Six Of The Best.

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Stephen Hawkins
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Six Of The Best.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:51 am

Six of the best ... an odd title, and one which could refer to Corporal Punishment in British Schools. Boys who misbehaved (myself included) were often given "six of the best" by irate and long suffering teachers, but this thread has nothing to do with the cane. (long sigh of relief)

I would like you, if you would be so kind, to list the six songs/tunes which are nearest the top of your play list. You are then perfectly at liberty to expand your response by telling the rest of us what each tune means to you.

Here is a list of songs which I tend to play most often:

1) Que Sera, Sera.
2) The River. (Le Colline Sono in Fiore)
3) Love Me With All Of Your Heart.
4) Wild Mountain Thyme.
5) Mull Of Kintyre.
6) The Wild Rover.

It is very difficult to select only six tunes for this list, and I have left out a great many tunes that I play regularly, but these are (probably) the ones I play most often.

I look forward to reading your playlists.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by Anyanka » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:15 pm

What I play most often are the Morris tunes that are required of me; also ceilidh band tunes when we have a practice or a gig coming up. I'll ignore those, and instead go for favourites.

1 & 2) Flatworld & In Continental Mood by Andy Cutting. I learned them from one of Karen Tweed's May Monday CDs and was very disappointed when I found out that all melodeonists play these tunes (waltzes!), but they are still my top favourites.

3) Jaguar by Paul Hutchinson. One day I'll get all the way through it with expression AND without mistakes. I don't expect that anyone knows this as there are no recordings of it; he gave me the sheet music in one of our occasional lessons. It's got a slight ragtime feel to it.

4) Robin's Waltz by Jon Swayne, in an arrangement by Karen Tweed. It's beautiful and uplifting. Ideally I'll play this with my fiddler pal, and we'll mess around with harmonies and counter melodies.

5) Blodau'r Drain, a Welsh waltz. Waltzes are a bit of a theme here...

6) The Westmorland. Guess what. It's a waltz.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by george garside » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:36 pm

I would have great difficulty in selecting 6 favourites as I have many more than 6. However for what its worth here are 6 that I play pretty often.( in no particular order of merit!)

Thistle of Scotland key A
da slocket light mostly A but also in other keys
Geordie Hinny and Maggie F, g or E as a set.
bluebell polka 3 parts gdc
home on the range Ab as a waltz but sometimes in G!
the rowan tree first as a slow air then changing to a waltz varied keys but most frequenty run through in D G A F E Ab BbEb

Will stop there but could come up with several other 6 of the best lists!

george

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by JeffJetton » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:15 pm

Good thread idea!

A lot of depends on whether or not I have a gig coming up. They'll usually want songs of a certain style (Bavarian, or Italian, or whatever the theme of event is), so those sorts of songs become top of my personal pops for a while.

But even if I'm just playing "for fun", my list of faves tends to rotate. Some fall out of favor, others get "rediscovered", etc. But here's a current snapshot. Obviously, I've been in a French/musette mood here lately. In particular, minor-key waltzes...

Le Bal de la Marine -- Has fun, leaping melody, plus a nice arpeggiated intro/outro.

French Toast -- A Frank Morocco original in the bal musette style. Been working on this one for quite awhile... still don't have it 100% down.

French Waltz #1 -- Some nameless French folk melody that I learned from a Dan Newton book. I emailed him once to ask if he ever did find out the actual name of it, but he never did. Has some nice minor/major harmony shifts that I enjoy, reminiscent of Star of the County Down (which is another fave of mine).

Talianska -- From the movie "Time of the Gypsies". I had never heard of it before until someone requested it for a gig. Another waltz with major and minor bits. Sort of has a Tra Veglia e Sonno vibe going on.

Silver Spire -- Finally! A tune that's not a waltz. :D Learned this reel from a Karen Tweed recording. Love playing the ascending line in the B section. Not to be confused with the more popular "Silver Spear" reel.

Michi Polka -- Just a simple polka that I worked up for an Oktoberfest gig. Learned it off of a YouTube video by a fabulous Steirische Harmonika player who goes by "Karin S".

Honorable Mention: Olive Blossoms by Pietro Frosini. I was working on this one a lot, but have been giving it a rest for a few months. Need to dust it back off. Like "French Toast" (which has some similar techniques) I just keep chipping away at the dang thing...

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:50 pm

Hi Kirsten,

Great playlist, especially for anyone who likes waltzes. My musical tastes are eclectic, but this thread is not about me, it is all about what others like to play.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:00 am

Hello George,

Yes, it is difficult to condense your favourite tunes down to just six, but that is the point. It is a similar question to this: In the case of a house fire, if you only had time to save one accordion, which one would it be? Not an easy question to answer, is it?

I'm afraid I must demonstrate my ignorance here, as I am by no means sure that I know the tunes on your playlist. That doesn't matter though, as the point of the question was to gain insights into the likes and dislikes of other forum members.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:14 am

Hi Jeff,

You were entirely right to assume that I was looking for personal favourites, and I do recognise the distinction between tunes you play for personal pleasure and those for which there exists a commercial imperative.

Happily for me, I no longer have to think in terms of earning a living. Now I just do whatever feels right and gives the maximum amount of pleasure. The tunes I have listed are simply ones that I never get tired of playing.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by hais1273 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:57 am

Some very nice tunes here, best beloved plays the two Dan Newton tunes on her G/C Castagnari perhaps I should add them to my hit list, and a good thread Steven.

In no particular order.

Mon Amant de St Jean 3/4 Valse Chantee Em
Valse des Cerf-Volant by the marvellous Breton diatonic player Yann Dour in Am (probably)
Ural Rowan Tree. 6/8 but played in you've guessed, waltz time
Petite Boite en Bois. Schottishe. G
Metsukukkia ( Forest Flowers) Am or less confidently Gm
and two 3/8 bourrees that fit together nicely as a unit
Garcons de Montagne and Bourree a huit. G I think

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:28 am

JeffJetton wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:15 pm




French Waltz #1 -- Some nameless French folk melody that I learned from a Dan Newton book. I emailed him once to ask if he ever did find out the actual name of it, but he never did. Has some nice minor/major harmony shifts that I enjoy, reminiscent of Star of the County Down (which is another fave of mine).


Jeff


Don't know the name of the first one ( sounds like a modern Diato composition) but the second tune is called 'Fleur de Bruyère' , which could be on my current favourites list too, with lots of other French waltzes.

Here are my current every day favourites :

'Les Gondoliers' . Waltz traditional

'Musette'. A waltz from the playing of Emile Vacher.

'Mazurka à Bonal.'

'Polka de l'Ase.'

'La Tusta Barta'. A scottish ( schottiche) by Pierre Ladonne.

'La Bourrasque'... very much a work in progress. I heard several versions during my visit to the Salon d'Accordéon' last weekend and decided it was time for me to have a try... might have it going by Christmas ( but which year ?). :shock: :?

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by george garside » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:54 am

hais1273 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:57 am
Some very nice tunes here, best beloved plays the two Dan Newton tunes on her G/C Castagnari perhaps I should add them to my hit list, and a good thread Steven.

In no particular order.

Mon Amant de St Jean 3/4 Valse Chantee Em
Valse des Cerf-Volant by the marvellous Breton diatonic player Yann Dour in Am (probably)
Ural Rowan Tree. 6/8 but played in you've guessed, waltz time
Petite Boite en Bois. Schottishe. G
Metsukukkia ( Forest Flowers) Am or less confidently Gm
and two 3/8 bourrees that fit together nicely as a unit
Garcons de Montagne and Bourree a huit. G I think
is ural rowan tree the same tune as the Scottish tune rowan tree ?

george

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:32 am

Thank you all so much for entering into the spirit of this thread. It is fascinating to see the points at which our musical tastes either meet or diverge, and personally helps me to understand my fellow members much better.

So far, I would say, there is more that binds us than separates us, and I very much look forward to reading more of your interesting playlists.

Good luck to you all,

Stephen.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by hais1273 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:37 pm

George. No it isn't, Ural Rowan Tree was probably composed by some one with the name of Rodygin or maybe adapted from a trad theme.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RFrflLOBk0

The tune from Scotland is new to me, rather nice isn't it.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by JeffJetton » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:58 pm

hais1273 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:57 am
Metsukukkia ( Forest Flowers) Am or less confidently Gm
Ah yes, that's one of my faves too. I play it in Gm and would probably find Am to be harder, oddly enough. (Those flats serve as a sort of anchor for me, since I avoid looking at the keys as much as possible... when it's all white keys it can be easier to lose your fingering!)

Lots of tunes in this thread for me to check out that I've never heard of. {}

Last night, inspired by this thread, I did indeed dust off "Olive Blossoms". Ran through it first with the metronome, very slowly (100 bpm), then had a go closer to speed. Still needs work, but I hadn't lost nearly as much as I thought I might've.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by wirralaccordion » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:36 pm

Good thread this - many of these so far I do not know ( which is good )

Here is my playlist:

Hava Nagila
Mack the knife
Milord
76 Trombones
Petite Valse
La Varenne

I suspect that by Christmas the list will be rather changed!

Maybe some of these are on others' playlists too. Enjoy!

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by StargazerTony » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:00 pm

Not sure I have a six pack of songs, yet. I must discount the ones my teacher has me endlessly practice although Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes is a rather nice English song I enjoy playing. I tend to get into a rut and play say waltzes or polkas, or tangos endlessly until my wife gives me "the look", then I move on. The titles of songs that several have posted seem interesting and was wondering if some could upload the song to the "I Like That!" section or their YouTube channel?
Last edited by StargazerTony on Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by rancoman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:02 pm

This is fascinating for all sorts of reasons! Mine, not in any order, would be:

Happy Hours - D? great for reminding me that my fingers aren't as supple as they once were.
Mull of the cool high bens (John McDonald) Played in A as a slow air on a single reed, almost like bapipe style - haunting.
The Black Maria (Felix Burns) F, and a great two-step tune for what I call 'sauntering' though it - it just seems to roll along.
The Household Brigade (Felix Burns) G Another great two-step, with plenty of lift (and dunt!)
Reine de musette - A? Like Happy Hours, it keeps my feet on the ground. And sometimes my fingers too.
The Balmoral Highlanders (Angus McKay) Possibly the best ever 2/4 march - originally for pipes but ideal for the box too.

That was REALLY hard to choose - there are so many beautiful Scottish airs and foot tapping tunes. Even something really simple like the Rattlin' Bog (traditional Irish) can be so rousing if played well, and so many of the continental pieces are lovely.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by losthobos » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:57 pm

Waltzes...Mon Amants des St Jean, Bluesette, Sous Les Ciel de Paris
Swing,,,,, Pennies from Heaven , Cheek to Cheek, I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Ballads, Misty, Polkadots and Moonbeams , A Nightingale in Berkeley Square
Latinos., Copacobana, Blue Velvet (as a beguine), Besame Mucho
Classical, Shostokovitch Jazz Waltz No2, Mido's theme from Old Boy, Monteverdi's Si Dolce Il Tormento
Tango's.... Por Una Cabeza, Jealousy, Jezienne Roze

Sorry closest i could get to six ;)
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by JeffJetton » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:42 pm

losthobos wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:57 pm
Blue Velvet (as a beguine)
:o

That is a brilliant idea! Totally stealing it...

:ch

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:04 pm

Wow, Guys, what a superb effort. I will not pretend to know all of your choices, though I do know about 25% of them. (that is know, rather than play)

It is difficult to refine your list down to just six tunes, or at least I found it so. I confess that "six" was an arbitrary figure, but it did enable me to link it to corporal punishment by way of a joke, and allowed me to use a catchy title.

The serious side of it is affording members an opportunity to discuss their own musical tastes, and to read about what kind of music other members enjoy. I thought that it would be a valuable and interesting exercise, and I'm very pleased to find that others agree.

You can, if you wish, expand your lists a little. I would certainly welcome additional contributions.

I will add a few tunes to my initial list:
7) Wooden Heart.
8) Mountains of Mourne.
9) World Without Love. (Peter & Gordon)

What do you think about those?

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Six Of The Best.

Post by StargazerTony » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:54 am

How about La valse d'Amélie
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