Monday, May 15, 2006

New Tunes

Continuing on this Gypsy theme, I've been learning some new tunes lately. All three in the French Musette genre, they are challenging my understanding of the dulcimer and of music in general. It's really enjoyable stretching out of my familiar Irish Trad domain. It's also enjoyable because it allows me to return to some of my percussion roots, because this style is more closely related to jazz.

Musette is a style of waltz that is associated with cafes in Paris. Often, these cafes were owned by people from the rural region of Auvergne. They would hold dances at these cafes, from which the musette was essentially born. The music is influenced by Paris, the Auvergne region, and also the Manouche gypsies that found work in these cafes. The gypsy connection with American Jazz through the influential playing of Django Reinhardt is what gives these quaint little waltzes their "jazzy" feel. The gypsy influence also provides the dark, minor scales, that these tunes often reside in.

Anyway, I've been working on three musettes:

Java Manouche, which I'm learning from a seminal LP of Jazz Manouche by Gypsy accordionist Jo Privat (I believe a 'Java' is a specific dance. No relation to coffee).

Beritwaltz, by Richard Galliano, an Italian accordionist who mixes Musette seamlessly with Tango and other forms.

Annie-Zette is the third tune, which I first heard on the "Paris Musette" compilation CD. It's a great, rare find. I heard it likened to the Buena Vista Social Club of French Musette. The recordings capture old masters playing alongside a new breed of musicians, carrying on the tradition. Annie-zette can also be heard on Swing Gitan's first recording.

Hopefully, with enough time in the woodshed, I'll be playing these out soon.

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At 5/22/2006 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great to see you're back on the music sight. Missed you, although it's the first time in months that I've checked. How fortuitous that I'd check and you'd have blogged something new. Are you learnin these tunes on the dulcimer or on another instrument? Thought of you yesterday while I was listening to my Housemartins CD.

You're time travelin friend.

At 6/04/2006 8:13 AM, Blogger dulcimist said...

Hey Stranger,
Been thinkin bout you and the missus myself lately. It's all dulcimer, baby. We'll have to catch up soon.

At 7/20/2006 11:53 AM, Blogger AnJaka said...

I like your blogs, I will add your link you to my blog.
This is a resource you can visit :
Google Music Links

And Listen to musics


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