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Month: September 2010

Liberty Bell Masquerade

A version of Souza’s Liberty Bell brutalised and squeezed into fitting (very approximately) the folk dance ‘Swedish Masquerade’ and intended to be used as an alternative tune for that dance (which whenever I’ve met it has *always* been done to the same tune).

This involves playing the A music once, as a ‘stately march’, whatever that is. Then the B music once, as a waltz. Then the C music twice, as a fast polka. We quietly forget about the rest. And we transpose the whole thing to the same key, completely ignoring the key changes of the original. In keeping with the tv series, there are plenty of ‘Monty Python’ moments in this version; some intentional, some not. I don’t even know which are which!

I don’t happen to have a spare room full of Swedish Masquerade dancers to try this out of course; if you do, why don’t you try it out and let me know how it goes?

One of many arrangements of the Liberty Bell March played as part of’s tune of the month for September 2010.

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Robin Griggs’ “Mike Hurry”

About 3 months ago, a fellow poster Anahata at posted this as part of our then Theme of the Month, “Morris Tunes”. This tune has captivated me since. It’s written by Robin Griggs, melodeon player with Pig Dyke Molly, who passed away in early 2008, as a tribute to another deceased Pig Dyke Molly member, Mike Hurry. Anahata is a current member of Pig Dyke’s musicians, and took this tune and arranged it for a dance in memory of absent friends.

For something that’s written on and for a standard 2 row melodeon, it’s an astonishing tune. It teaches 2 new chords in the first few bars, has a seemingly simple but frustratingly difficult bass rhythm, and plays with chord conventions like they don’t exist.

Played on a newly acquired and restored Hohner Preciosa in Bb/Eb; I think every melodeon has some tunes that it just loves playing, and this is the tune that this Hohner taught me when it said hello.

Part of’s theme of the month for September 2010 – Tunes you learned on your holidays.

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