Dick Atlee's Dance Tunes
Updated: 6 May 2017 -- see update notes
(see also other music on this site)

General Notes on This Collection:  Background and Technical Characteristics
Skip down to Tunes table
Skip down to In honor of..." table
Tune list, organized by:   title,   date,   person,   type
  1. Motivation: Although my exposure to playing folk dance music began in earnest at Folklore Village Farm in Wisconsin in the late sixties, making my own tunes didn't begin until my involvement with the English Country (and eventually Scandinavian and International) dance band that I helped start in 1975 and played with for 25 years -- The Peascods Gathering ("PG" in the notes below). It developed a tradition of members writing tunes in honor of the decade birthdays of other members, a tradition which produced an outpouring of diverse and often fascinating/beautiful tunes. Having previously written only one tune (Buggy Rock), these occasions were a great motivation for me to play around with tune composing.
  2. Approach: I'm not familiar with how other people compose such tunes. I sit down with a pencil, an eraser and a sheet of manuscript paper, and, starting only with the type of tune I want (which may change), begin randomly messing around on the accordion, until I hit a run of interesting sounding notes and/or chord progressions. Once I hit something I like, all kinds of variations happen. Since the one I like best may have been wiped from memory by subsequent playing around, I keep an old cassette recorder running in order to be able to retrieve such fragments.
  3. ABC: ABC notation is a method of expressing music using a code of simple letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. The "sheet music" and sound files on this page were generated by using ABC notation. If you are interested in that, see the ABC note on the root page of my music section.

  4. Mechanism: My initial output consists of almost unreadable rapid pencil scribbles, smeared dots representing notes whose eighth/sixteenth flags are only tenuously associated with them.
    Prior to my becoming aware of ABC notation in 2003, I would transfer these raw notes to carefully-drawn notation, using a calculator and proportions to figure out how the tune should be laid out. An example of the raw scribbles and calculations can be seen
    here. Scanned copies of all these hand-drawn tunes are indicated as orig in the "Xtra" column in the table below.
    ABC notation changed all that. The files linked below are the output of the programs described in the ABC note -- ABC2Win for the abc and sheet files, and ABCMus for the play files.
  5. Tempo: The MM tempo recommendations in the abc files are reflected in the play files, except where they are identified as "faster" or "slow." However, these are simply my sense of what makes the tune sound both good and danceable. Your mileage may vary.
  6. Fixing the files:  As good as the ABC2Win and ABCMus programs are, they each have quirks that affect the way the abc/sheet files look and the play files sound.

    The "Fix" -- In such a situation (indicated by an asterisk *), I apply a "fix." This involves creating a "playback" version of the abc file to produce a correctly playable sheet file and/or a play file whose melody is correct or whose rhythm sounds best. In such a case, the play link is the fixed playback version and has an asterisk next to it. In the table's Fix-related column you will find the playback version's abc and sheet files and the unfixed version's play file.

    1. Ties: ABCMus plays tied notes as separate notes, which can be a real problem where ties are needed for the correct sound. Sometimes this can be fixed by creating a playback version of the tune, but when a tie crosses a measure line or a chord change, it can't be fixed. So to understand what a tune should actually sound like (i.e., where two shorter notes should be actually be a single longer note), it is helpful to look at the sheet version while listening to the play version.
    2. Rhythm: ABCMus handles backing rhythm well for many tunes; for others, not so well -- particularly a failure to provide the kind of upbeats (or, in Balkan music, to deal with "odd"-metered rhythms like 7/8 or 11/16)) that make a tune danceable. In a few cases, this can be fixed by "lying" to ABCMus about what kind of a tune it is. For most others, a rhythm-fix version of the "fix" has to be applied.
    3. Third/Fourth endings and returned-to parts: Most of the tunes consist of several parts, each repeated. These parts often have two different endings. Occasionally the whole part, with two different endings. To save writing the whole part out twice, it's convenient to mark the two endings as "1,3" and "2,4." ABC2Win does not support this convention. In other cases, the ending for the last time through a piece is different from all the others, or a part other than the last is repeated to end the tune (where a "D.C. al fine" or "D.S. al fine" is used). ABC notation doesn't support this. In such cases, the "fix" involves including all the necessary material, repetitive though it may be.

  7. Sheet Music: Staff music is available under the Sheet column in two formats: Print format (PDF) and -- for those whose browsers don't immediately render PDF files -- a Graphic format (PNG graphic).

  8. Chords: Over the years I've encountered string rhythm players who have difficulty reading chords from plain sheet music when the chords aren't strictly one per measure, with every measure's chord written out. So I've developed a simple format with chord letters shown between measure lines -- e.g. | Am | E7 |. In cases where there are two chords in a measure, if this only occurs a couple of times in a piece I simply cram them into the measure. But if the piece is characterized by such patterns, I include dashes in all single-chord measures to indicate a repeat of that chord -- e.g. | Am ‑ | Am E7 |.
    The chords are available under the Crd column in two formats: Print format (PDF) and -- for those whose browsers don't immediately render PDF files -- a Screen format (PNG graphic).
  9. Live: Since MIDI files are quite "clean" and accurate (except for the idiosyncracies noted above), I've counted on them to get the basic sound of the tunes across. However, I now have an good mp3-capable digital recorder, so I've started adding mp3's of accordion renditions, played twice -- please forgive the occasional small glitches. :-).
  10. Xtra: In general, a single MIDI playthrough of each piece is offered in Sound, at the MM-speed specified in the tune's ABC file. If for some reason I think having more repetitions or a different speed would be useful in using/appreciating a tune, MIDIs of such variations are linked in this column. Also, the "raw" or "original" manuscript of the tunes (described in Method, above) are linked in this column, if available. [Note: Regrettably, modern browsers have gotten out of the business of playing MIDI files, requiring programs like QuickTime or Windows Media Player to render them.]
  11. Notes and Tense: Each tune has a link to a note about the tune in the background notes section below the tune table. The note puts into context the person for whom the tune was made, the reason for the tune's name, and comments about the nature of the tune or shortcomings in its play file representation. In these notes, I use the past tense in referring to people, even though most of them are still around and doing much the same things, because the tunes are like a snapshot in time of those people at the time the tunes were made.


The Tunes

- speak_up
ABC Sheet Crd Sound Live Xtra Note Title Key Type In honor of... Occasion Date
abc G  P S  P midi mid-mp3 orig 3d 3-D Wise D/Bm waltz Tom Atlee 70 bday 201704
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig alr A Leksand Riamarsch D Gånglåt Dottie Beck 50 bday 199207
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig ap The Adams Pairadocs Em/G March Dr. Tom Adams retirement 201508
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 -- abg Annie Through Breeze and Gale D/Bm Waltz Anne Lord 73 bday 201104
abc G  P S  P midi*   orig ah The Arbor Harp Am March Dottie Pecson 50 bday 199905
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 2x acp Arpeggichrome Polka C Polka Dottie Beck 70 bday 201207
abc G  P S  P midi   -bdw The Barbadav Waltz G waltz Barbara McLeod 60 bday 201311
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 -- bt Be Thankit Dm Waltz Thanksgiving 2009 -- 200911
abc G  P S  P 2x mp3 raw,orig,faster bvv Beau Vals' Vals Dm Waltz Beau Vals/Galen Malicoat wedding 199906
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 polka bdr The BeenSome DoneSome Rag G Rag Fred and Ann Benson 50 anniv 200912
abc G  P S  P midi mp3   bgg Bena Gets a Grip Dm jig Robena Malicoat 55 bday 201604
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig bw Blue Winter Em Waltz no record -- 1995?
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig,~Boda* bsh Breathing Space Hambo or Bodapolska G Hambo Joanna Rueter 50 bday 199908
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig bg Bronwyn's Grace G March Bronwyn Malicoat 50th bday 201511
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig br Buggy Rock Am Jig West Virginia landmark for fun 1980?
abc G  P S  P midi   - ck Čačak Karush Am/C Čačak Carl Karush 70 bday 201503
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig cat Captain Alan's Travels G/Em March Alan Lord 60 bday 201502
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 -- cc Cerama-Cubism ala Conrad D/Bm Jig Conrad Malicoat 75 bday 201101
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig crl Charlemagne and the Ruby Light Em March Carl Minkus 50 bday 198803
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig,2x ccj Chock-Chock Jig-A-Jig Jig Am Jig Carl Minkus 60 bday 199803
abc G  P S  P midi* (mp3) orig cgr Common Good Rag G/C rag Larry (&Fran) Stettner Fran passing 201702
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 -- cr Competence Rag D Rag Jim Vekasi retirement 201112
abc G  P S  P midi   orig ep The Elinora Polka Am Polka Ellie Atlee 75 bday 199307
abc G  P S  P 2x mp3 orig,faster etf Ellie's Three-fourthed G Waltz Ellie Atlee 81 bday 199907
ABC Sheet Crd Sound Live Xtra Note Title Key Type In honor of... Occasion Date
abc G  P S  P midi   3x ed Em-Dash Am Ragtime Emma Walsh Off to school 201208
abc G  P S  P midi   orig fd1 Farewell to Down Under I D Waltz Margaret Eccles 55 bday 199707
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig fd2 Farewell to Down Under II D March Margaret Eccles 55 bday 199707
abc
abc
abc
G  P
G  P
G  P
S  P
S  P
S  P
midi
midi
midi
  -- fsh The Fifth Shift Gm+Am
Gm
Am
Waltz Lorraine Silsbee 50 bday 200503
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 3x ff Firm Foundation Gm Waltz Brian Dyer-Stewart 60 bday 201104
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig ffe Fixer From Elsewhere, The G/Am march (jig) Willie Brown 60 bday 201612
abc
abc
G  P
G  P
S  P midi*
midi*
  -- fss Four Score and Seven Eighths
    harmony (also,
PDF of both)
D/Bm Lesnoto
3-2-2
Ruth Grierson 80 bday 200712
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 faster fsl The Friendship Sloop D Waltz Ralph Stanley career 200908
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig fft The Front Forty Dm Waltz Jennifer Atlee 40 bday 201608
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig gm Global Maddy D/Bm Waltz Madeline Uraneck not-70 bday 201608
abc G  P S  P midi   -- gtl A Guy's Twice-in-Your Life Waltz G Waltz April Hall‑Hough/Steve Davis wedding 200810
abc G  P S  P midi*   orig hp Haråspols Dm Pols Sarah Corson 51 bday 199208
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 w/Metsäkukkia ht Helsingin Tähti Gm/Bb/Gm Waltz Anu Partanen 39 bday 201402
abc G  P S  P midi   -- hf Herbs Forever G Waltz Eva Sommaripa 70 bday 201106
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 2x htf High Tide and Fog D Waltz Sarah Corson 72 bday 201307
abc G  P  S  P midi* mp3 orig ikt Im Kalten Tal G/Em Zwiefache Becky Rehl 60 bday 201608
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig imf Institutional Memory's Farewell G Waltz Julie Fernald, RN retirement 201507
abc G  P S  P midi   orig,2x ir Island Rugosa D Waltz Ann & Warren Fernald 50 anniv 200007
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig iww It Was Wrigged G march Jennifer Wriggins 60 bday 201704
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 2x iic It's In The Clay C/Am Waltz Joan Johnston 75 bday 200804
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig jj Jake's Jig G Jig Jake Carrera 10 bday 201701
abc G  P S  P midi   m2x,hp jf Jennifrench D Reel Jennifer Atlee 30 bday 200608
abc G  P S  P midi   2x jjj Julia's Jewel-of-a-Jig G Jig Julia Johnston/Brian Lanoie wedding 200607
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig jsq Juliesque A Waltz Julie Russell Departure 201704
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig,slow jl Julie Låt G/Em Gånglåt Julie Speakman 85 bday 200001
ABC Sheet Crd Sound Live Xtra Note Title Key Type In honor of... Occasion Date
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 3x jag Just A Game G Jig Ash Corson 40 bday 201305
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 -- kr Keys to Ruth G Waltz Ruth Rohl 80 bday 201307
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig kk The Kiwi Kids G jig Peter & Suzanne Lord 50 anniv 201608
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 -- km The Klezmarch Dm March Margaret Eccles 70 bday 201206
abc G  P S  P midi mp3
faster
-- lg The Lord Girl Dm Waltz Sarah Corson 70 bday 201108
abc G  P S  P midi   2x lok Lord Only Knows Dm Humppa Anne Lord 75 bday 201304
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig lor Lord Only Rows Em/G Reel/polka Peter Lord 87 bday 201609
abc G  P S  P midi   -- mp Madre Paulo Gm Waltz Doleta Chapru 70 bday 200612
abc G  P S  P midi   -- mr Maria of Rivers G Reel Maria Van Dusen 75 bday 201103
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig mdi MDIrish G Waltz Tim Garrity & Lynn Boulger honor 201609
abc G  P S  P midi  mp3 orig msf Miss Susan's Favorite D Waltz Keith Davis & Susan Pink Thanksgiving 201511
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 faster mic Molly In The Clouds Am/C waltz/air Molly Lyman Departure 201506
abc
 
G  P
 
S  P
 
midi*
 

 
2x
fast
mcg MonoCarlo Gankino
        full speed (140 vs 80)
Dm Gankino
2-2-3-2-2
Carl Minkus 70 bday 200803
abc G  P S  P midi   mwl More With Less G Jig Lorraine Silsbee 60 bday 201502
abc G  P S  P midi   -- nw The Neuro-Wit G Jig Alan Rosenquist 70 bday 201309
abc G  P S  P midi*   orig nfp Newfane-gled Pols Am Pols Joanna Rueter of Newfane 50 bday 199907
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig nr The Nobility Romp D March Joel Edelman 50 bday 199311
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 -- ohc Olgyay Hatvan Csardas Dm Csardas Cora Olgyay 60 bday 201307
abc G  P S  P midi*   orig om Over Middagshøyden Dm Pols Fred Aalto 50 bday 199203
abc
abc
G  P
G  P
S  P
midi
midi*

 
-- pbc Peanut Butter Cakewalk
        as I like to play it
D Rag Brian Hubbell honorary 200707
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 - phh The Pilates Half Hundred C/Am Rag Linda Homer 50 bday 201404
abc G  P S  P midi   orig,hp rr The Raggedy Reel A Reel Chris Hough 50 bday 199701
abc
abc
abc
G  P
G  P
G  P
S  P
S  P
S  P
midi*
midi*
midi*


-- rrr Really, Really, Rehl G+C
G
C
Reinlendar Becky Rehl 50 bday 200608
ABC Sheet Crd Sound Live Xtra Note Title Key Type In honor of... Occasion Date
abc G  P S  P midi*   orig rvr The River Roll C Hornpipe Charlie Bookman 50 bday 199803
abc G  P S  P midi   -- rq A Rohl of Quarters G Waltz Carol Rohl 60 bday 201307
abc G  P S  P midi*   - sr Sagittarius Rising Am/C Gankino Jon Archer 60 bday 2015bb
abc
abc
G  P
G  P
S  P
 
midi
midi
mp3
-- si Sally of the Island
  (later transcription)
D
G
Waltz Sarah Corson 52 bday 199308
abc G  P S  P midi*   -- shd Saying Hi At the Dance G Rag Carol Hyatt 50 bday 200210
abc G  P  S  P midi mp3 orig ssp SemiSesqui Polka D Polka Sarah Corson 75th bday 201608
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig sh She Has The Time... G waltz Noreen Dolan 60 bday 201608
abc G  P S  P midi   -- ss Simon Sez D/Bm Jig Jon Simon 60 bday 201309
abc G  P S  P midi   - sjj Sleepin' Joel's Jig Am Jig Joel Edelman 70 bday 201311
abc G  P S  P midi   -- ssb Soaring Sea Blue Am Waltz Sarah Corson 65 bday 200608
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 orig su Speak Up! G/Em Jig Marjory Russakoff 60 bday 201605
abc G  P S  P midi   orig sb The Spruce Bough Dm Waltz Sarah, Dick, Trevor, Ash Xmas card 1988?
abc G  P S  P midi   orig,2x sgr St. George Raggg A Waltz George & Eva Sommaripa honor 199804
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 orig sat Stålman och Ask Trädet D March Ash Corson 25 bday 199805
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 -- sps Suz Pizzazz non Solemnis Am/C Waltz Suzanne Lord 70 bday 201102
abc G  P S  P midi   2x tt The Temple Turn (fingering) Em Reel Temple Blackwood 60 bday 200807
abc G  P S  P midi
slower
mp3 orig tlh That Love of Hers G/Em Swing Jennie Cline in memory 201604
abc G  P S  P midi* mp3 -- tfse Three Fourths in Seven Eighths D/Bm Lesnoto Carl Minkus 75 bday 201303
abc G  P S  P midi mp3 faster tat Time and Tide  (fingering) Em Waltz Pam Walsh 50 bday 200908
abc G  P S  P midi   -- tw Trainer's Waltz G Waltz Deb Mateik 50 bday 200604
abc G  P S  P midi*   orig ubl Unger Bensam'slåt D Gånglåt Lorraine Silsbee 40 bday 199502
abc
abc
G  P
G  P
S  P midi
midi

mp3
-- vs Vileä Svengaa
        w/upbeats but no ties
Dm Humppa Trevor Corson 40 bday 200907
abc G  P S  P midi   orig wg Waltz for George G/Em Waltz George Sommaripa honor 199804
abc G  P S  P midi*   orig wfn Warren's Finnsk-Norsk Dm Reinlendar Bill Warren career 199312
abc G  P S  P midi*   orig wr Welcome 'Rain Am Pols Lorraine Silsbee 40 bday 199502
ABC Sheet Crd Sound Live Xtra Note Title Key Type In honor of... Occasion Date

All Tunes -- actual (abc file)
All Tunes -- playback versions (abc file)

*   An asterisked play link indicates that the rhythm fix has been applied to the tune. This means the linked play file was created by a separate "playback" version of the tune, rather than by the version shown in the abc and sheet links. The playback version's abc and sheet files, and the play file for the "unfixed" tune (unfixed play), are linked from the tune's footnote.


Background Notes
The linked abbreviations take you to the tune in the table above
(Past tense is used to acknowledge the fact that the tunes are snapshots of the people involved as they were at that time, though they may be quite the same now.)

3D Who: Tom Atlee, my brother, the founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute and inspiration for the concept of 3-D Wise Democracy.
Tune: This is one of the most programmatic tunes I've ever made. As a result, some might say it lacks a certain amount of grace. But it is intended as an homage to the important role of diversity of thought and perspective in wise decision making. It starts out with a burst of eighth notes in a major key -- someone on the positive side talking fast and pushing a point. After 8 measures it is interrupted by someone on the negative side doing the same, in a minor key. But towards the end of the rant, Negative is beginning see a bit of Positive's viewpoint, and slows down. The rest of the tune is a lyrical mixture of both major and minor. Finally, given the importance of iteration of the process to take account of new information, the tune pauses for that new information, before starting to hash it all out anew, finally ending with a comfortable consensus.
Title: Self evident.
ALR Who: Dottie was one of the PG concertina players.
Tune: The style is a gånglåt, a Swedish walking tune, like a strolling march.
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: A cross between Dottie's hometown Alexandria and the gånglåt "Leksands Tingsmarsch."
AP Who: Dr. Tom Adams.
Tune: In keeping with the reasoning behind the title mentioned below, I wanted a two-faced tune: one part that would be more serious and minor (the scientist), the other more kindly and major (the warm-hearted house-caller).
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi)
Title: Dr. Tom Adams was the ultimate small-town doctor: the serious diagnostician combined with the empathetic house-caller -- hence the pair-of-docs play on "paradox." He might be sitting in the town library reading up in Science or the Scientific American, or sitting on the front porch of one his patients (or family) who was having a hard time. He always had (within limits) the time to explore controversial ideas, and refused to knuckle under to pressure for reducing time with his patients.
ABG Who: Anne is one of Sarah's sisters, a whimsical artist in sketches and ceramics.
Tune: Anne said she'd like a waltz that moved from major to minor. The A-music is in the legato style of a Swedish "sailor's waltz." But when I switched to minor for the B-music, it began to demand a bit more variation in rhythm.
Title: As the tune emerged, it felt like a combination of lightness and dark, of the good times and difficulties that Anne takes so graciously. I'd originally thought of sun and storm, but the A-music is so breezy that I switched.
AH Who: DottieP was the PG harp player.
Tune: An attempt at a "harp tune" by an accordion player. The MIDI file didn't sound as I'd envisioned the tune, until I changed the ABCMus setting from the "0 (Accordion)" I've used in most of these other tunes to "46 (Orchestral harp)," and it made all the difference in illustrating what I was trying to do with the tune.
Title: At the time of the tune's making, Dottie was the arbolist for Montgomery County, Maryland.
ACP Who: DottieB is a PG concertina player.
Tune: Since Dottie plays English concertina, which can handle chromatic runs, I thought it would be fun to mix those with arpeggios and some pedal-note sequences.
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: Arpeggios are a natural for a keyboard instrument, and I was hoping they were for a concertina, as well.
BDW Who: Barbara McLeod is actively involved with a number of nonprofits here, such as Bar Harbor's Abbe Museum.
Tune: Barbara and her husband David Hales (a former head of the College of the Atlantic) were in our ballroom dance class, and Barbara's idea of a 60th birthday party was a big costume and dance party. They aren't contra dancers, and I don't write ballroom dance tunes. The only common denominator in our repertoires is waltz. The tune, a legato "sailor's waltz," is intended to be played slowly enough for a box-step waltz. I wanted to include some variations in the 3-beat rhythm pattern, and threw in a brief key change in the "B" part.
Title: It honors the fact that Barbara and David love dancing with each other.
BT Who: In honor of the many wonderful Thanksgiving dinners held at Keith Davis's and Susan Pink's house "in the woods."
Tune: Commissioned by Sarah, who asked for a waltz with "drive."
Title: From the words of the Selkirk Grace that opens traditional Scottish Burns suppers, incorrectly attributed to Robert Burns:
        Some hae meat and canna eat,
        And some wad eat that want it;
        But we hae meat, and we can eat,
        Sae let the Lord be thankit.
BVV Who: Sarah's niece Galen Malicoat married Beau Vals some thirty years after they'd kissed in a kindergarten rendition of "The Tempest" and had then lost track of each other.
Tune: I was sitting on the elevated back deck of a deserted house on Cape Cod the day before the wedding. The tune came out of nowhere, a "driving" kind of waltz unlike anything I'd written before.
Title: Too obvious to pass up.
BDR Who: When I first met him, Fred played guitar and Strumstick (a small dulcimer). Later he took up electric bass, and has been a great addition to many musical endeavors, some of which I've had the pleasure to play in. The people who knew him as a lobbyist in Washington probably had no idea he was a musician and singer with his own recording studio and a deep caring about how what he produced sounded.
Tune: The only way to write this tune -- and still get the chords properly placed -- is to use ties, as shown in the ABC file. But ABCMus can't "do" ties -- it splits them into multiple notes, which wrecks any sense of a rag's syncopation. So I used a variation on the rhythm fix, making one note out of the ties, even though this shifts some of the chords into the wrong position (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
I gave this tune a rhythm declaration of "reel," which in ABCMus introduces a dotted-flagged "hornpipey" quality, though this is masked by all the syncopation. A more straightforward (but hardly discernable) implementation comes from declaring the tune in ABCMus to be a "polka." You can hear this version in the "polka" link in the "Other" column.
Title: This was a play on "BenSon" and the fact that one sees a lot in 50 years of marriage.
BGG Who: Robena ("Bena") Malicoat is one of the trio of daughters of my partner Sarah's sister Anne (abg,bg,bvvb). Her early career was in the film industry as a "grip," one of the people who handles equipment, sets things up, and does all kinds of trouble-shooting.
Title: My initial awareness of Robena was as a film industry grip, and the most common phrase involving "grip" is "get a grip."
Tune: My (perhaps incorrect) image of a grip's work involves scurrying and grabbing hold of things, a da-da-da-da-bump da-da-da-da-bump. Only a jig has that kind of behavior, and I tried to incorporate that in the tune.
BW This tune is a mystery. I'm not sure when or why it was composed, though there had to be a reason. There's also the possibility that I wrote out a tune by someone else, but I've been unable to locate the tune anywhere else.
BSH Who: Joanna was my (former) sister-in-law.
Tune: She spent a formative high-school year in Sweden; one of the many things that she fell in love with there was the universal Swedish couple dance, the hambo. (I also wrote a Norwegian pols for her.)
Because ABCMus can't do "1&3" rhythm, I had to resort to the rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Another, more local traditional dance, the Bodapolska, from the town of Boda, though much slower in tempo, has the same rhythm superficially, but with a very different feel. The second beat is pushed a bit into the first beat, making the first beat shorter and the second longer. ABCMus has a "Rhythm" setting (i.e., tune-type) called "polska K1," which actually implements this. It doesn't work perfectly with the triplets in this tune, but you can get an idea of the rhythm. It's the "~Boda" MIDI file linked in the "Other" column, which was made using the playback version of the tune and the "polska K1" rhythm and the tempo slowed from 120 to 100.
Title: For many years, Joanna ran a professional personal-organizing ("decluttering") business called Breathing Space.
BG Who: Bronwyn Malicoat is one of my partner Sarah's nieces. She is a remarkable combination of caring (emotional and ability-wise) and strength.
Tune: I wanted something that characterized this, falling back on my penchant for combining major (sweetness) and minor (strength) keys. In this case, I tried the switch halfway through the second phrase of both the A and B music. In terms of dancing, reels can be very exciting and wild, but my favorite for contras are march/walking tunes, because of their smooth precision.
To get the upbeats, the tune required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi)
Title: I'd originally decided on "Bronwyn's Grace" for a title because it so accurately characterizes her. But then, since I've always had the impression the name Bronwyn had a mythological background, I thought I ought to look it up. I couldn't find any basis for that impression, but the closest I came was the story of Branwen. After reading about her situation, I decided I'd better stick with the original title!
BR Who: Buggy Rock is a physical landmark in West VIrginia, near where an all-night contra dance Sarah and I attended was held (late 70's or early 80's); PG was one of the bands. .
Tune: This is the first tune I can remember making. Jigs always seemed to me easier to play than reels, and were especially lively, given that the PG had had a musicians' workshop with Marshall Barron of the Country Dance Society in which she drilled into our heads how important emphasis on the upbeat is; it radically changed the way jigs sounded.
Title: I'd show you a picture of Buggy Rock, but all the images on the net are of rock buggy off-road vehicles.
CK Who: Carl Karush has been a fixture of the contra/folkdance scene in near-Downeast Maine for a long time. In addition to teaching folk dancing, he plays mandolin, guitar and tamboura.
Tune: A Serbian čačak (how-to) has the same rhythm as a jig (6/8) but is much faster, and many of the tunes are wildly driving. I tried to get a bit of the wild in here, but I don't know if I could ever play it as fast of some of the dancers go. I tend to like shifts between major and minor (usually in that order), but in this case (and Jon Archer's) I found it nice to go the other way. (This my second attempt at a čačak, the other also written for a Carl.)
Title: Self-explanatory
CAT Who: Alan Lord is an unusually capable man. He has served many roles, from captain on down, on large ships and ferries. His knowledge is encyclopedic, and his ability to fabricate and repair things is sometimes hard to believe.
Tune: Alan is a solid, steady guy, but he easily thinks outside the box. Although he isn't into this kind of music, a march seemed to fit that solidity, with some odd twists and a key-change to aknowledge that not-in-box-ness.
The tune required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi)
Title:Alan has traveled the ocean far and wide and near, with many a hair-raising experience.
CRL Who: Carl Minkus was the inveterate marimba player in PG; he also played hammer dulcimer for a while.
Tune: It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: "Charlemagne" is no understatement. Carl was probably the greatest member of the band -- solid, dependable, organizer of events, missing almost no practices or gigs, carrying more than his share of responsibility during much of PG's long history. The ruby light is a reference to the fact that he worked for the Library of Congress, and at the time was doing scientific literature searches in Russian journals for information on lasers.
CC Who: Conrad Malicoat was the husband of Anne Malicoat, one of Sarah's three sisters.
Tune: Like the Chock-Chock Jig-a-Jig Jig, this tune makes use of a pedal-note scalar pattern in an inverted way, with the pedal rather than the melody on the beat, producing the neat syncopated sound that a duple pattern produces against the triple rhythm of a jig.
Title: Conrad was a master stone craftsman, whose fireplaces and chimneys have been much sought after for their unconventional -- sometimes downright whimsical -- style. I wanted to incorporate that whimsy into the tune (hence the unconventional scalar pattern mentioned above). I also wanted the title to reflect his work with bricks, the most notable (to me) being the moebius strips he made of suspended, glued-together bricks. A cute example of his thinking can be seen in a brick-tree Christmas card he sent to an elderly relative.
CCJ Who: Carl Minkus was the inveterate marimba player in PG; he also played hammer dulcimer for a while.
Tune: Among the tunes I've written, this is one of my favorites. It makes use of the always-cool descending chord sequence (A-G-F-E) and, in the B-music, an attempt to use the standard pedal-note pattern in an inverted way, with the pedal rather than the melody on the beat. This not only gives a syncopated feel to the tune, but the duple nature of the pedal melody against the triple of the jig's rhythm was an attempt at hemiola .
Title: Carl loved playing Balkan music, and since among the odd-meter rhythms of Balkan music, the 6/8 rhythm of the Serbian čačak is virtually the same as a jig, and one of PG's standard Balkan tunes was Godečki Čačak, I started the tune in that style and had fun in the title with a transliteration of "čačak."
CGR Who: Larry Stettner is a community activist in my town. He has been a mover/doer in activities involving food, music (he has at times been a veritable impresario), and croquet (he's nationally rated), among many other things. In his wife's final years, Larry was a remarkable, attentive caregiver, and her death in February 2017 was a hard blow.
Tune: Larry is particularly fond of the Pig Ankle Rag (midi) -- so much so that musicians can manipulate him by playing it, which invariably drives him to get up and dance. So it seemed that a rag tune would be the most appropriate, though I didn't risk trying to duplicate "Pig Ankle's" driving repetitiveness.
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi)
Title: Perhaps Larry's crowning achievement was his founding and development of The Common Good Cafe, an all-community soup-kitchen famous for its Sunday popover breakfast in the summer.
CR Who: Jim Vekasi is a wonderfully versatile mandolin player in my town who has played with the Green Mountain Railway and Big Moose contradance bands, the Dog Mountain bluegrass band, and "Ralph Stanley and Friends," in which group I had the great pleasure of playing with him. He is by no means limited to the genres implied by these various groups.
Tune: I've only written a couple of other tunes that might be considered rags, and because Jim is so versatile, I wanted something that was to an extent outside the sterotyped realm of contras and bluegrass.
Title: This tune was composed for Jim's retirement from the National Park Service, in which he spent many decades, the last several being at Acadia National Park, where he retired from long service as head of maintenance of an incredible variety of facilities, roads, and trails. Although he wasn't aware of it while it was happening, his reputation for competence spread throughout the Park Service.
EP Who: In her later years, my mother, Elinore Atlee, received the gift of a two-headed African-like drum from my sister-in-law, Joanna. Ellie thought that getting into drumming might be spiritually therapeutic. What turned out to be therapeutic, however -- for both of us -- were the countless sessions over the next decade-plus of her playing drum to the folk music I played on accordion. When our physical locations separated in 1998, we kept up by doing it over the phone with headsets. She had a knack for classy percussion, and to an extent, the eventual decline of that musical side of her was a key measure of her slide into Alzheimers.
Tune: ABCMus's problems with upbeats in 2/4-4/4 seem to disappear when you call a tune a polka, but it can't produce the ties which make the B-music interesting.
Title: Most of what we played was Scandinavian. Ellie loved waltzes, but for playing percussion accompaniment, she was at her finest with 2/4 and 4/4 rhythms; hence this polka.
ETF Who: Ellie Atlee, my mother (see the Elinora Polka note).
Tune: ABCMus's inability to handle ties, and teatment of all 3 beats as equal makes the MIDI sound more jumpy and plodding than the tune actually is, and ABC2Win's inability to handle more than two endings requires a note that the final time should use the "second" #2 ending.
Title: A pun on the fact that a waltz is in 3/4 rhythm, and 81 (her birthday) is 3 to the 4th power.
FD1 Who: Margaret was one of the PG's two long-time recorder players.
Tune: This waltz is the original version of the tune. The MIDI file is hampered by the plodding effect of ABCMus's rendition of all three waltz beats as equals.
Title: Margaret was married to an Australian. They had recently divorced when this tune was composed.
FD2 Who: Margaret was one of the PG's two long-time recorder players.
Tune: The original tune was a waltz. However, one day I was playing around with playing tunes in different styles from the intended ones, and this one was great as a march. Playing it over that summer on a yard-sale accordion I'd bought as a "throw-away" to withstand the salt atmosphere of the Maine coast caused me to fall in love with that accordion; it's now my main instrument.
For this presentation, the tune required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: Margaret was married to an Australian. They had recently divorced when this tune was composed.
FSH Who: Lorraine was one of the PG's two long-time recorder players, a long-time friend and one of the early members of the band.
Tune: I present this in two keys because I love the effect of a transition from one minor key to the next one a full step up. The MIDI file is hampered by the plodding effect of ABCMus's rendition of all three waltz beats as equals.
Title: A homonymic play on the fifth shift into a new decade.
FF Who: Brian is a remarkable man, softspoken singer-songwriter. He plays guitar and is wonderfully flexible on keyboard, especially with jazz.
Tune: I have a great affection for minor key tunes that make brief forays into major mode. There's something about this that reminds me of Finland's Metsäkukkia.
Title: Brian was preparing to completely replace the rotting foundation of the old farmhouse his family lived in.
FFE Who: I hired Willie Brown back in 1992 as a help-desk staffer specializing in the then fairly-new-to-our-center IBM PCs. He is a quite remarkable man, and became my friend and eventually my boss.
Tune: This was an interesting experience. I started out to write a march (4/4 time). After writing the A music, I discovered that the tune had led me into a key change. After trying for a while to figure out how to get out of that, I decided it sounded fine and left it till after the end of the B music to recover the original key. More seriously, when I finished the tune, I put it into ABC notation and played it with ABCMus, and it sounded ALL WRONG! I finally realized what I'd been hearing in my head (while writing a 4/4 dum-dum-dum-dum march) was a 6/8 (dum-dee-dum-dee) jig. There are marches that sound like jigs, such as The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and that's what I had had in mind for this one. All my work to force triplets into 4/4 march time was foolish -- they're perfectly natural in 6/8 jig time. I reworked the ABC's into jig time, and this time ABCMus played it the way I'd envisioned it.
Title: Rising from humble beginnings, throughout his remarkable career, Willie says he has always felt he was different from the people around him, which I think is probably quite accurate. He has seemed to be able to fix almost anything, whether hardware or administrative. We used to half-joke about him coming from outer space, hence the title.
FSS Who: Ruth is a local naturalist, piano player, and long-time violin and fiddle player, having her own classical trios and playing in various old-time and contra bands for many decades. A spunky lady, and a veritable force of nature.
Tune: Ruth loves playing Balkan and Israeli/Klezmer music, and I thought a quiet Lesnoto was appropriate for an octagenarian (though she'd always be playing it rather than dancing it). It owes a lot in its feeling to Reflections of Arcadia, a tune that talented PG folk-dance-teacher/accordionist Fred Aalto wrote for his wife. I was tickled to learn that Ruth loves to play it on the organ for services at her church. People don't notice or get confused by 7/8 rhythm if you don't mention it.
The tune is in Macedonian Lesnoto 7/8 meter (3 ‑ 2 ‑ 2, sometimes counted as "slooow quick quick").
Because ABCMus can't handle odd meters, the ABCMus rhythm fix was required:
    Tune:  (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi, rhythm "once per beat").
    Harmony:  (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi, rythm "none").
Title: An acknowledgment of the meter and the birthday, with a nod to the Gettysburg Address.
FSL Who: Ralph Stanley is an icon on the Maine coast, a long-time builder of wooden boats who received a "national treasure" award from President Clinton. He is also a remarkable storehouse and researcher of local history, and has for years played fiddles (most of which he made) solo and in local old-time music ensembles and dance bands.
Tune: This is in the languid style of a Swedish "sailor's waltz."
Title: Although originally written with someone else in mind, in the end it seemed more appropriate to Ralph. He built many boats, particularly lobster-fishing craft, but for me he will always mean Friendship sloops, to me the sweetest boats in the harbor. The sweetness of this tune, and the maritime connection of its style, insisted that it be named after them.
FFT Who: Jennifer Atlee is my neice.
Tune: I definitely wanted a waltz. But I tried three times, and couldn't decide. The first was, well, characterful, with no clear "A" and "B" part. The second had an unusual number of measures. The third was more normal. I asked Jennifer and her partner Marko (a musician) to see if any of these appealed to them. I was gratified that they each independently decided on the "characterful" one.
Title: The "back forty" is an old phrase relating technically to the forty acres at the rear of a farm, but generally referring to something somewhat removed from this place or notice. This being her 40th birthday, the "front forty" was simply a play on this, referring to the first 40 years.
GM Who: Madeline Uraneck is a good friend. My connection with her goes back to the relatively early days of Folklore Village in the early 1970s. Madeline became what I had been, a kind of do-everything person, taking on many roles, and remaining involved for a much longer time than I had. In the last few year we've been resurrecting the long-quiescent "Folklore Village Games Book" project. Her next decade birthday isn't until December 2017, but I thought it was long since time to acknowledge her in this way.
Tune: On my last games-book visit, I broached the subject of a tune, and with a bit of leading, she said she'd like a waltz, and liked the idea of a major-minor shift. The minor-key B music feels different from other such parts, and goes lower than anything I'd written previously.
Title: Madeline worked for years with international students at the University of Wisconsin, and then joined the Peace Corps, working in Lesotho and then Turkmenistan, with a stint in the DC HQ. In addition, she travelled to many other countries. I was tempted to call the tune "The Wanderer," but decided that her own self-applied moniker, "Global Maddy," was more appropriate.
GTL Who: April Hall-Hough is the daughter of Chris Hough, a long-time friend and accordionist who has been with PG since its inception. We played at his wedding, and when his daughter got married, and circumstances prevented me from playing with PG for that, I wrote this waltz for April and her groom, Steve Davis, to dance to.
Tune: I was hoping to find a tune that would fit that scene I have seen at many weddings.
Title: When Steve was told by April that he was going to have to waltz with her at the wedding, he was disinclined for some reason :-). However, April told him that a guy needs to waltz, even if only twice in his life -- once at his own wedding, and once at his daughter's. I gather he rose to the occasion. Who knows what the future will bring...
HP Who: For my partner Sarah.
Tune: Because ABCMus can't do "1&3" rhythm, I had to resort to the rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title:"Haras" is "Sarah" backwards.
HT Who: Anu Partanen, my Finnish step-daughter-in-law.
Tune: The most beloved traditional waltz tune in Finland is Metsäkukkia, as I discovered when I played it at Anu and Trevor's wedding celebration in Helsinki. It has three parts -- a G-minor sandwich with a B-flat/G-minor in the middle. This tune is a nod to Metsäkukkia, in its initial notes, its sandwich nature, and a bit of the character of the third part.
Title: Anu is certainly the "Star of Helsinki," in the same sense as the "Star of the County Down."
HF Who: Eva Sommaripa was a college roommate of Sarah's.
Tune: Eva operates at an unbelievable pace, so it seemed appropriate to have a nice, quiet "sailors" waltz as a calming influence -- except for a little twist at the end.
Title: Eva founded Eva's Garden and became the premier herb farmer in the Boston area, supplying herbs and edible greens and flowers to restaurants over a wide area.
HTF Who: Sarah Corson.
Tune: Between May and October, when her skiff is in the water, Sarah is passionate about trying to row as often as possible, sometimes just around the harbor, where she daily increases her knowledge of the fishing boats and fishermen, sometimes as far out as around a nearby island. I wanted a tune that reflected the quiet joy that activity can bring her (the major key parts), with the hint of the always-present possibility of sudden danger (the minor key parts).
Title: At low tide, it is impossible to get the skiff out. High tide is a beautiful time to be out, but even better is somewhat before high tide, when there is still an incoming tide to return with. But fog cancels everything -- going far out entails the risk of getting lost, and staying in the harbor entails the risk of being hit by a fishing or recreational boat that can't see the skiff.
IKT Who: Becky Rehl.
Tune: When writing a tune for someone, it is sometimes hard to figure out what kind of a tune would be appropriate, so I sometimes ask. In this case, at the 2016 Jane-Farwell/Folklore-Village centennial celebration, Becky was pushing hard for zwiefacher, the Bavarian dance form that mixes 2/4 (pivots) and 3/4 (waltzes) time signatures. So when I suggested a zwiefache, it was readily accepted. This tune is more in "my style" than the traditional zwiefacher, and the B music has an odd number of waltzes, so at the end of the first repetition the dancers are on the "wrong foot" (this is not unique to my tune), but after the repeat they are back on the "right" foot.
(ABCMus is not fond of multiple-time-signature tunes, requiring that a chord be placed in the first measure of the changed time signature even if it is the same as the chord for the previous measure -- trivial enough but necessary, and this provided the opportunity to offer a twice-through without repeating the intro (abc, pdf). Even so, the midi that ABCMus produced is hard to follow unless you dance it or simultaneously look at the music.)
Title: Originally this was going to be "Zwei-dee Drei-ree Becca," but that was a bit ridiculous. Becky and her husband Karl Fredericks run a sheep farm in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, known as Cold Valley Farm; the title is German for In the Cold Valley.
Pattern: (for Zwiefacher lovers) D=drehe/pivot, W=waltz -- (d2w2)3 w2 / (d4w)3 w2 .
IMF Who: "Nurse Julie" Fernald dispensed care, kindness and humor during her 39-year career at our local medical center.
Tune: I wanted a tune that reflected her kindness mixed with business-like-ness, and tossed in some semi-chromatic runs for humor.
Title: Julie's career produced a storehouse of medical knowledge about the community extending back long before computerized records. Sometimes she could tell people history of their family of which they were completely unaware. When she retired, a lot of institutional memory left with her.
IR Who: Warren Fernald was an institution, the elder statesman of the lobstermen on Islesford, Maine -- a fierce fisherman in a relatively small wooden boat, out in all kinds of conditions. He was not a music person, and was NOT a dancer, but he had a fundamental kindness, a good sense of humor, and a remarkable knack of connecting with all kinds of people. His wife Ann had a complementary sweetness, steadiness, and kind generosity. On the other hand, she loved to dance, and was going to off-island ballroom dance classes in her seventies. Together, over many years they had encouraged a remarkable number of people "from away" to settle on Islesford and become integral parts of the year-round working community. I wanted to honor their big anniversary, but since there wasn't much I could do for the Warren half of the couple, I made this tune with Ann in mind.
Tune: Ann liked all kinds of dancing, but to me a waltz "fit" her.
Title: Ann was a "rose person" -- she liked them and had them about her in image and reality. She was positively stunning with a Rugosa rose (one of the predominant flowers on Islesford) in her hair.
IWW Who: Jennifer Wriggins is the daughter of long-ago acquaintances of my parents and a lifelong friend of my partner Sarah. She is also a superb law professor and dean at the University of Maine School of Law.
Tune: I originally wanted something legal-ish, stentorian. But Jenny can be quite whimsical, and stentorian didn't really fit. So while there is a stentorian half note at the start, and others do put in guest appearances, they are countered by whimsical runs of eighth notes. With regard to major/minor, I tend to like to keep them within their own 16-bar phrases, but here they for some reason decided to split those phrases.
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi)
Title: I couldn't resist edging "Wriggins" into something that sounds a bit illegally shady (call it the last election, if you like). I'd started out with "Unobstructed Justice," but halfway through the tune I realized I was looking for whimsy.
IIC Who: Joan Johnston of West Virginia is one of Sarah's three sisters.
Tune: I like the idea of transitions from major to minor.
Title: Joan, a marvellous potter, made most of the beautiful bowls, plates, platters and mugs that we use.
JJ Who: Jake Carrera is the lively son of a friend of Ash Corson. When I heard his first decade-birthday was coming up, I couldn't resist this, having never done a "first" before.
Tune: I was looking for a lively jig. Despite this, the pattern of the first measure immediately forced its way into the tune, but the rest of it stayed lively. I think my favorite parts are the "different" (syncopated) 13th measure and the holding patterns in the B music.
Title: Pretty straightforward, but it harkens back to the English Country Dance Jacob Hall's Jig (midi, sheet) which our band used to call "Jake's Jig."
JF Who: My niece Jennifer is an avid contra dancer with a lot of pizazz.
Tune: I wanted a tune with pizazz that would have some of the classic reel pedal-note runs mixed with the reverse of that pattern (pedal note on the downbeat, as I used in the Chock-Chock Jig-A-Jig Jig. To get around ABCMus's chose to render reels as a fast "dotted-flagged" hornpipe instead of straight reel, the main MIDI file was done as a polka. The "reel" version is linked from "hp" in the "Other" column.
Title: I was using the tune Old French (midi) as an inspiration, and it tacked on to "Jennifer" rather nicely. These two tunes and Morpeth Rant (midi) make a nice medley.
JSQ Who: Julie Russell was the sister of a friend of mine, and on the staff at our library.
Tune: Julie was a remarkably sweet and caring person. I wanted a tune that would convey that kind of feeling, which suggested a waltz in the legato "Swedish sailor's waltz" style. It did get a bit livelier as it went on. Many of my favorite Scandinavian waltzes are in the key of A, and one of them, Lordags Kvell, walks into a D chord in a way I love; I couldn't resist doing that in the A and B phrases of this waltz..
Title: I was sorely tempted to include her beloved beagle "Peanut" in this -- e.g., "Peanut's Fancy." But it just seemed a bit too oblique. For a short time, the tune was called by her nickname, Jules (though spelled "Julez"). But at Julie's memorial service, in the middle of a long monologue, her son happened to mention something that he described as quite "Juliesque." I knew instantly that was the right name.
JJJ Who: Julia Johnston was one of Sarah's many talented nieces, who was changing from a career in architecture to one in teaching at about the same time as she was getting married.
Tune: I wanted a jig that made "jazzy" use of accidentals, in the style of jigs like Phillipe Bruneau's Lancers and Doug Clark's Digging Dutchman.
Title: The combination of the similarity of "Julia" and "jewel" with the resulting alliteration was irresistible.
JL Who: Julie Speakman was a long-time friend of ours, a former actress who retained her spiciness in her advanced years. I used to sit in her backyard and play Norwegian "troll tunes" for her on a sopranino recorder.
Tune: I originally composed this as a brudmarsch, a very slow processional tune. I liked it that way (see the "slow" link in the "Other" column), but Sarah pointed out that it was a bit doloroous for someone like Julie. Speeded up, it's a good walking tune.
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: "Låt" (pron. "lote") is the Swedish/Norwegian word for "tune."
JAG Who: For my stepson, Ash Corson.
Tune: Ash is not into dance music or folk/contra dancing. He's a wonderfully steady, insightful guy with a warm sense of humor. The tune is deliberately light-hearted in a skippy kind of way, which is NOT characteristic of him :-). It embodies the pedal-note sequences (especially nice in jigs) and chromatic runs that I so much enjoy.
Title: At the time this is written, Ash has been working for several years at Konami, a publisher of video games.
KR Who: Ruth Rohl is the mother of celtic harpist Carol Rohl. Their decade birthdays fell in the same month.
Tune: I wanted to do a waltz for Carol, but the tune that developed went through several transient key shifts, which seemed to me would be virtually impossible on a Celtic harp, particularly when played basically one-handed. So I dedicated it to Ruth, to whom the music world owes a debt of gratitude for Carol.
Title: I hadn't initially intended it, but it just kind of happened, a wandering off of the key of G -- to E, A, D, G, and C all within 7 measures -- not to mention my love of wandering into the relative minor key in a major key piece. The tune ended up being all about keys, and struck a chord with the title of a spy thriller -- The Keys to Rebecca.
KK Who: Peter Lord is my partner Sarah Corson's brother, and he and Suzanne celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.
Tune: I'd originally written a waltz for them, but Peter is more attuned to bluegrass. I'm not so much a reel person, so I thought a jig might be more appropriate. For many years they have spent a half year at a small house they purchased in Motueka, New Zealand. I thought it might be interesting to adapt the New Zealand national anthem. It turns out there are two: "God Save the Queen," and "God Save New Zealand," also known by its Maori name, "Aotearoa."
The NZ government's site had information about it, and even a guitar-piano arrangement (original image). I put it into abc, and created a midi for those interested in hearing it. If you want to see how a 4/4 tune was converted to 6/8, see this comparison.
Title: "KiwiKids" was the email address they used when they were in New Zealand.
KM Who: For Margaret Eccles, one of our PG recorder players.
Tune: There's nothing programmatic about this. It just makes use of the minor-major-minor shift and pedal-note patterns I love so well.
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: At the time this is written, Ash has been working for several years at Konami, a publisher of video games.
LG Who: For my partner Sarah.
Tune: She likes minor-key waltzes, and loves the drive of Beau Vals' Vals. This was an attempt to make something that could work for either dancing or faster playing.
Title: She and her sisters, daughters of Milton and Rosamond Lord, are collectively known as "the Lord girls." But Sarah has always been The Lord Girl for me.
LOK Who: Anne Lord, one of Sarah's sisters.
Tune: When times are difficult, it can be helpful to have an upbeat tune to hum. In this case, it turned out, quite inadvertantly, to have the double-time nature of a Finnish humppa (foxtrot) or Danish hopsa.
LOR Who: Peter Lord is my partner Sarah Corson's older brother.
Tune: Peter is fond of bluegrass music. A few bluegrass tunes are jigs, but most of the non-ballad type pieces are reels. I don't tend to write reels; my attempts to do so usually turn out as what are called in the Irish tradition "polkas." That's what I ended up with in this case.
(ABCMus note: In order to get a non-hornpipe even-sounding rhythm on the midi file, I had to say explicitly that it was a polka rather than a reel.)
Title: Since he was in college, Peter has been an avid rower. Almost anywhere he has gone, he has found ways to row. He competed in river races into his 80s, and it was inspiring to watch him. Almost anywhere he has gone, he has found ways to row.
MP Who: Doleta was a music teacher from the high school in Montfort WI, about twenty miles west of Folklore Village Farm who became, as a dancer and clarinet player, very involved in the musical life of the Farm. I very much enjoyed playing duets with her. Accordion later became her primary instrument.
Tune: I wanted a minor-key waltz that could be danced slow-and-sweeping.
Title: Her son's name was Paul; he was a great participant in all the Farm's activities.
MR Who: Maria is one of Sarah's sisters.
Tune: Maria is dynamic, which suggested a reel. She enjoys climbing mountains, hence some of the melodic patterns. When she gets on a project, she pursues it powerfully. One of the most famous of these was her work on preserving rivers in her home state of Massachusetts. Sometimes her focus on a project would exclude focus on others; I tried to capture that in the tune.
Title: Her Massachusetts rivers project.
MDI Who: Tim Garrity has done wonders as the head of the Mount Desert Island (MDI) Historical Society and enjoys his Irish heritage. His wife, Lynn Boulger, is Dean of Institutional Advancement at the College of the Atlantic and a poet. I mistakenly thought I'd written a tune for them, and when I realized I hadn't, I wrote this to acknowledge the many things they've done to enrich life on MDI.
Tune: I told Tim I'd like to write an Irish dance tune and gave him a menu of possibilities. He said Lynn could dance anything, but he'd probably be limited to a waltz :-). I was looking for something sweet and airy, which I think I got, but there's perhaps a larger dose of a Swedish sailor's waltz cadence in it than should be present in a strictly Irish tune.
Title: The local newspaper is the Mount Desert Islander, known affectionately as the MDIslander. The potential to do the same thing with "Irish" was too strong to resist.
MSF Who: Keith Davis is a wonderful singer, guitarist, and recently a fiddler, as well as being a can-do-almost-anything kind of guy, building a major part of his house, clearing trees for his partner Susan Pink's garden, resurrecting the famous-but-defunct Bar Harbor Bar ice-cream bar. Susan is a spunky editor, an excellent Indian cook, and Keith's solid better half and dancing partner. The two of them have for many years hosted a large gathering for wonderful Thanksgivings, including many musicians. This tune was written for one of those Thanksgivings.
Tune: Many interesting tune fragments came through my head at a time when I couldn't work at them. When I finally could, they were all gone, and this quiet tune developed, in the legato style of Swedish "sailor waltzes," which I guess is more of a nod to Keith's courtliness than to Susan's spunkiness :-).
Title: This is a nod to the old English Country Dance manner of naming tunes and dances for someone by saying that person was another person's favorite person. Keith, in his courtly manner, refers to Susan as "Miss Susan," even in her presence.
MIC Who: Molly Lyman was a solid, kind and thoughtful person, dedicated to peace and social justice, and with many friends. I appreciated her presence in our local peace vigils for years. When she began seriously struggling with cancer, she shared her experience from time to time, and her positive approach to a very hard situation was truly inspiring.
Tune: In the tune I was trying to include the mixture of sadness and sweetness of her departure and memory.
Title: Molly was a strongly religious person. Something about the thought of her smiling "up there" defined this tune after it was finished.
MCG Who: Carl Minkus was the inveterate marimba player in PG; he also played hammer dulcimer for a while. He loved playing "odd"-meter Balkan tunes.
Tune: Gankino is family of Bulgarian dances in 11/16 meter (2 ‑ 2 ‑ 3 ‑ 2 ‑ 2, sometimes counted as "1 2 3 and 4 5" or "quick quick slooow quick quick").
Because ABCMus can't handle odd meters, the ABCMus rhythm fix was required (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: There's only one Carl Minkus!
MWL Who: Lorraine Silsbee.
Tune: When you are being asked to do more with less, it seems an uncomplicated, comfortable, predictable but sprightly tune is in order. I was looking for something like the sweet När Vandet Fryser i Hanerne. I hope I hit it.
Title: Staff is being shrunk, and more is being asked.
NWB Who: Alan Rosenquist.
Tune: I wanted something lively that would represent Alan's sense of humor. Jigs are usually the best for that. It starts out similarly to Just A Game, but I found myself in chromatic mini-runs instead of pedal runs.
Title: Alan is the former head of the neuroscience department at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a great, wry sense of humor.
NFP Who: Joanna Rueter was my (former) sister-in-law. She spent a formative high-school year in Sweden.
Tune: I wanted a tune to acknowledge her fondness for Scandinavian music. In the end, I wrote two -- this pols (Norwegian) and a hambo (Swedish).
Because ABCMus can't do "1&3" rhythm, I had to resort to the rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: The title reflects the different sound of this tune from a "normal" pols, and the fact that Joanna lived in Newfane VT at the time.
NR Who: Joel Edelman was a perennial fixture among the various PG guitar players that came and went. He was absolutely solid, and, watching the kind of trance he would go into while playing, we would insist he could play in his sleep.
Tune: It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: The German word Edelmann means "nobleman."
OHC Who: Our neighbor Cora Olgyay (ole-zhyay) is a high-energy landscape architect who, in addition to professional contracting, has been teaching landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.
Tune: Cora is of decidedly Hungarian background, and it seemed fitting to offer a csardas. Csardases tend to have gypsy feel, and, not being a fiddler, cymbalom player or clarinetist, I tried to make up for it with (apologies!) some Balkan-like melody. (Note: The MIDI file is, as usual, hopeless. A csardas should start off very slow, with implicit pent-up speed, and after a bit of a gradual acceleration, kick into high gear. Auto-generated MIDIs don't do that.)
Title: Although I also have Hungarian in my background, I know nothing about the language, and since it is allegedly related to Finnish -- which I have tried and utterly failed to make more than a start -- I will continue to know nothing about it. But it seemed appropriate to toss in the Hungarian word for sixty, "hatvan."
OM Who: Fred was one of the three main accodion players in PG. A Finnish-American, he had a long history of teaching international folk-dancing, and a remarkable ability to compose tunes that fit seamlessly into the traditions they seek to emulate -- particularly Balkan and the various Scandinavian countries, a number of which are included on my Balkan rhythms page (asterisked in the "Country" column).
Tune: Because ABCMus can't do "1&3" rhythm, I had to resort to the rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: This was as close as I could come to a Norwegian version of "over the hill in the middle of the day."
PBC Who: I worked with Brian and several others in opposing an unwise and Machiavellian plan to consolidate Maine schools. He created and managed a website for the effort, and was a workhorse par excellence, who could accomplish three times as much as most of us.
Tune: I wanted to write a tune in his honor. He's a runner, not a dancer. I don't know why it came out as a rag. Since the tune as written doesn't give the "ragginess" I wanted, I did a separate version with a lot of rests to induce ABCMus to make a proper-sounding MIDI.
Title: Brian always said that he often didn't take time to eat a regular meal, and would instead have his favorite -- peanut butter out of a jar.
PHH Who: For many years I have been taking Pilates under the tutelage of Linda Stahl Homer in her Downeast Pilates studio. Linda brings to Pilates a combination of remarkable teaching/coaching competence, warmth, uplifting enthusiasm, and an eagle eye for what each of her charges needs.
Title: The Hundred is one of the signature exercises in Pilates. It involves lying on your back with your legs elevated in any of several positions and your arms stretched straight down along your body. You move your arms up and down rapidly in small motions in ten groups of five inhale/exhales, while keeping the body core tight, stable and motionless. (examples: for real, and Linda's logo :-))
And then, of course, there's the 50th birthday (half-hundred) angle.
Tune: I wanted a lively tune that would mirror Linda's general vivaciousness. And the Hundred starts out easy and then suddenly is VERY hard, like a large number of crunches -- hence the switch from major to minor.
RR Who: Chris was one of the three main accordion players in PG. We were long-time friends, brothers-in-arms of a sort.
Tune: I'm not generally partial to reels. But I do like pedal-note sequences, and I decided I'd like to combine these with a "rag"-like feeling. I really like the result. To get around ABCMus's tendency to render reels as a fast "dotted-flagged" hornpipe instead of straight reel, the main MIDI file was done as a polka. ABCMus's native hornpipey version is linked from "hp" in the "Other" column.
Title: I think the melody accomplished my desire to have something that combined a reel and a rag.
RRR Who: Becky was an indispensible member of the Folklore Village team, both as a fiddler, logistics person, and program planner, with a lot of hard common sense when some of the rest of us might be displaying off-in-the-clouds tendencies.
Tune: It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix
  All: abc, G  P;  unfixed midi
  G: abc, G  P;  unfixed midi
  C: abc, G  P;  unfixed midi
Title: Becky's husband, Karl Fredericks, was a railroad buff, and "The Rehlway" was a runner up for the title, but I couldn't resist the play on "really, really real."
RVR Who: Charlie, one of the two PG English concertina players, was one of early members of the band.
Tune: Hornpipes are the quintessential concertina tune, and Charlie clearly enjoyed throwing in triplets, so I thought I give him a real load of them.
The tune required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi). Also, I wanted a concertina sound rather than the "accordion" setting I've used as the default for most of these tunes. ABCMus has no "concertina" setting, but it has a "22 (Harmonica)" setting which sounds a bit more like a concertina than the "0 (Accordion)" setting, so I used it.
Title: Charlie lived quite close to the Potomac River, of which we always very much aware when coming to practices at his house. I wanted a tune that rolled along like the Potomac, and I think I got it.
RQ Who: Carol Rohl is a sweet Celtic harp player whom we got to know because she married a good friend -- Maine folk singer Gordon Bok. Many years ago, Carol experienced a stroke which disabled much of her left side, but through intense and truly inspiring perseverence and patience she recovered the use of it, with limitations.
Tune: As mentioned above (KR), I wanted a sweet waltz for Carol that could be played on a harp with limitations on the left hand. The Swedish "sailor waltzes" are peaceful, laid-back legato waltzes with a sweet sound, consisting mostly of quarter and half notes, without a lot of overt drama or key changes. My first attempt was anything but! However, I think this second attempt succeeded, giving way to fooling around only in the use of a couple of alternating-pedal-note sequences usually reserved for reels.
Title: Carol learned something during her recovery that has become a watchword in our own lives. Some of us, as we get older -- or injured -- find that our energy is limited. There's only so much we can do in a day. Learning to live with that, and deciding which of the many possibilities of things that might be done in a day you will actually pursue, is like being given a finite number of quarters to spend in the day. As you go through the day, you use the quarters (shares of energy), and acknowledge when you have run out of them. "I haven't got that many quarters," or "I've pretty much used up all my quarters" are wonderful ways to express the obvious situations. A tune for the woman with a name like "roll" who gave us this concept just had to be called "A Rohl of Quarters."
SR Who: Jon Archer has been a fixture in Downeast Maine folk and contra dancing. He is an extremely versatile guy, teaching and calling dances and playing flutes (especially the kaval), bozouki, and drums). Despite all this, he's humble, nice guy.
Tune: I originally started out trying to write a paiduško (5/16 rhythm). But it became frustratingly clear that something different was in my head. I finally gave up, counted what I was hearing in my head, and realized it was 11/16 -- a Bulgarian gankino horo (music, dance.
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi)
Title: I couldn't resist the play on his last name. (And if you want to see an archer to knock your socks off, try this!)
SI Who: Sarah is my very-much-better-half partner of almost three decades.
Tune: I wanted a very sweet waltz. This is that, though you might not recognize that fact through the shrillness of the MIDI. The B music originally was just a repeat of the first 8 bars you see here, but it quickly became impossible not to play the variation that now makes up the second 8 bars.
Title: A friend of mine once said of his wife that if you put her down on a deserted island, she'll have met 20 people in the first half hour. Sarah is like that, and though she has lived in a number of places, she has been an integral part of the Little Cranberry Island (Islesford) community for many years.
SHD Who: I worked with Carol on K-12 technology issues in Maryland. She was a remarkably indefatigable, well-connected and effective person, starting all kinds of insightful projects, and sticking with them to make them happen.
Tune: Since Carol didn't seem to be a dance person, I felt I could get away with a not-identifiably-dance tune -- i.e., a rag, perhaps something to express the lift one gets when one sees a welcome dance partner show up.
In order to get the upbeat sound I wanted, I had to use the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  basic midi).
The original tune (in 4/4) was written a bit more legato, with only a few "pizzicatos" (created by the use of rests) -- abc, G  P, midi.
Title: Just a takeoff on "Hyatt" = "Hi At."
SSP Who: Sarah Corson.
Tune: In late summer, the load of events and visitors can become overwhelming. What was needed in this case was a perky, cheerful tune to counter the occasional oppression of overload, and I'd written enough waltzes for her by now.
Title: A sesquicentennial is 150 years, half of that (a 75th birthday) obviously must be a semi-sesquicentennial.
SH Who: Noreen Dolan is the Nurse Practitioner for Dr. Martin Maron at the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Both she and Dr. Maron (and many others there) were instrumental in changing my life for the better cardiologically several years ago. Noreen stood out -- sweet, competent, and caring, and became a friend of ours.
Tune: I wanted something light and sweet, but which would have a bit (but not a major role) of minor key. I particularly like measures 3-4 in the B music.
Title: The kindness and generosity-with-time of both Noreen and Dr. Maron were particularly remarkable in that they were seriously overworked during the time I was under their care in the hospital. I'd sometimes encounter Noreen leaving the hospital late at night. She had no time for "a life." Fortunately, the hospital administration recognized the value of their service and enlarged the staff at the HCM Center, which gave her some of that time.
SS Who: Jon has been an on-again off-again flute player with the Peascods Gathering.
Tune: I would have liked to do something jazzy to honor Jon's wonderful ability to toss in jazz-like riffs that really enrich the experience of playing tunes, but I'm not a jazz-literate person. It was interesting, however, coming up with this tune, in the sense that I don't think I've ever worked over and modified a tune after initially committing it as "finished" to ABCs as I have this one.
Title: Kinda self-explanatory :-).
SJJ Who: Joel has been the Peascods' longest term, most competent and dependable guitar player.
Tune: I wanted something sprightly, hence the jig. Melodic features that I'm fond of that were thrown in here include (a) the almost syncopated feel of pedal-note patterns in jigs, (b) chromatic runs, (c) wandering through a descending chord sequence, and (d) brief but relentless repetition of a note pattern.
Title: Joel was so good at internalizing chords (sometimes complex) for dozens of English Country Dances that we would sometimes look over and see him playing with his eyes closed and his face slack, and when we'd say something to him he would come to as if he'd just woken up, playing all the while. It got to be a standard joke that he was playing in his sleep; I still half believe it.
SSB Who: Sarah is my very-much-better-half partner of almost three decades.
Tune: I wanted the other Sarah waltz (Sally of the Island) to be gentle and sweet, but it turns out Sarah likes driving waltzes (one of her favorite among mine being Beau Vals' Vals). So I tried to comply in making this one.
Title: One of her nicknames is Sarah Sea Blue, and I hoped that dancing to this waltz would feel like soaring.
SU Who: Marjory Russakoff founded and for years coached the competitive Speech Team at my local high school, hosting various speech events and even winning the state championship one year.
Tune: There are a variety of genres in which participants can compete, hence the switch from major to minor and back. The A-music just came out of the pencil. The B-music is a nod to the repetitive-yet-downward progression (EDCB) I use in my adaptation of Bob McQuillen's Dancing Bear.
Title: The worst fault a public speaker can have (other than using a hopelessly boring monotone) is to fail to project in the absence of a microphone.
SB Who: This was made for the family Christmas card somewhere in the late eighties.
Tune: To fit on the card, it was short.
Title: Above it on the card was a sketch of a spruce twig, of about the size that I used for making Advent wreaths at Folklore Village (later changed to yew for PG Christmas events).
SGR Who: Eva was Sarah's college roommate and long-time friend, an herb farmer in MA. Her husband George, one of the principals in the Nuclear Freeze in MA, dealt very effectively thoughout his life with the crippling effects of childhood polio. He died of it shortly after this tune was written.
Tune: Eva had a sprightly, enthusiastic different-drummer personality, which this tune tried to capture. As with many of these waltzes, this tune is far smoother when freed of the hammering rhythm of ABCMus's MIDI.
Title: George was Russian Orthodox, with what seemed to me Unitarian leanings. Among his unpublished writings was a fascinating treatise on Jesus Christ.
SAT Who: Ash is Sarah's younger son, by far the most physically strong and adept -- and probably the steadiest -- of our family.
Tune: He isn't into this kind of music, but I decided to honor him, anyway, and chose a march because of his wonderful steadfastness.
It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: This is the closest I could come, with the Swedish Embassy's help, to "Man of Steel and Ash" to honor his strength and, in later years, flexibility.
SPS Who: Suzanne is the wife of Sarah's brother Peter.
Tune: Suzanne has a lot of pizzazz. She is passionate about many things, which can show up as pizazz, but also as great seriousness. To acknowledge her consistency in attending Mass wherever she may be, I've included in the B-music some melodic and rhythmic patterns from the beginning of the "Gloria" in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. I chose that piece because it was my mother's favorite classical work. (further background)
Title: It's intended to emphasize Suzanne's pizazz, with a left-handed nod to the Missa Solemnis.
TT Who: Temple was the superb head of a small private school in Prince George's County, MD, and also the head of the Association of Independent Schools of Maryland. He was a strong advocate of the use of technology in K-12 education, and became a good friend in our mutual efforts in that arena. Beyond that, he was a highly-skilled professional wood turner, creating everything from fine goblets to large columns.
Tune: I wanted something that gave the sense of a chisel working on turning wood. I think it worked. To get around ABCMus's chose to render reels as a fast "dotted-flagged" hornpipe instead of straight reel, the MIDI files were done as a polka. I've included a fingering that makes it possible for me to play the tune.
Title: It honors his wood-turning side.
TLH Who: Andy Cline has been for many years a stalwart supporter of progressive activities in my town, helping out in a variety of ways. This tune was written in memory of his wife, Jennie.
Tune: When I asked Andy what kind of a tune might be appropriate for such a purpose, he commented that they liked to swing dance, and foxtrot. Although I have some limited experience with both dances, this was a bit out of my usual composition range (with the exception of the Finnish humppa/foxtrot Vilea Svengaa). What appeared on paper works well for East Coast Swing, though I'm not sure what an experienced swing dancer would think. Played a little faster it could also be used for a foxtrot. And I've become enamored of major-to-minor-to-major tunes. [P.S. When I played it for him, Andy felt it was a bit fast for Swing, so I put up a version at 100 in addition to the original 120.]
Title: This started out as "Andy's Fancy," in the tradition of English tunes indirectly honoring the person liked by the person named in the title. But that's perhaps jargon for other people. The "love" in this title has the ambiguous advantage of maybe referring to Andy, maybe to the dancing.
TFSE Who: Carl was one of the original Peascods, playing first hammer dulcimer, then marimba, making the band unique among bands with our repertoire.
Tune: The A music is sweet, in honor of Carl's disposition. The B music is a bit edgy, in a nod to the "unusual-ities" that would sometimes crop up in the tunes Carl composed for fellow band members.
Because the tune is in 7/8, a MIDI file with appropriate rhythm required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi). Because ABCMus handles neither 7/8 nor ties, and the "slow" notes have a beat in the middle and thus must be broken into tied notes in order to force a 7/8 rhythm. So the 7/8 rhythm version ("midi") has the "slow" notes broken into two, which sounds choppy. The melody as it should sound, but without the 7/8 rhythm, can be heard in the unfixed version. The mp3 has the proper melody and rhythm.
Title: Three quarters of a century in Lesnoto 7/8 rhythm.
TAT Who: Pam is a good friend of ours, mother of an incredible young fiddler who is also an animal farmer of sorts (at one point there were 30-40 free-range chickens, two miniature horses, a nice goat, a dozen or so ducks, two cats, and four greyhounds) and a supplier of excellent eggs.
Tune: Given a choice of tune type and major vs. minor, Pam chose a waltz and minor. I tried to add in just a bit of major.
Title: She had been thinking a lot about life and changes and her closeness to the sea, the moon and the tides. Thinking of this, her daughter chose the title.
TW Who: Deb was the head of the keypunch group at the University of Maryland Computer Science Center when I started working there in 1982, soon moving on to be the head of the documentation group. She was a good and helpful colleague and friend during my years there, and was the only one of my many colleagues who was attuned to the kind of dancing whose music I play. (She also made a great Santa Lucia!)
Tune: The waltz honors Deb's affection for dancing, and my liking for major/minor pieces. As with most ABCMus waltzes, it is smoother than the hammering MIDI rhythm makes it sound.
Title: Deb became the head of the training group at UofM's Office of Information Technology.
UBL Who: Lorraine was one of the PG's two long-time recorder players, a long-time friend and one of the early members of the band.
Tune: It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: Lorraine's two sons were Ben and Sam. Låt (pron. "lote") is the Swedish word for tune.
VS Who: Trevor is Sarah's older son. In addition to being the author of two lively narrative-nonfiction books, The Secret Life of Lobsters and The Story of Sushi, he was an avid contra and swing dancer, lately engaged to a beautiful Finnish journalist.
Tune: To honor the Finnish connection and Trevor's dancing, I wanted a fast-moving, driving Finnish tune, and the Finns' version of a foxtrot, a humppa, seemed appropriate. These tunes tend have an instrumental section followed by a vocal ("laulu") section. The third part of the tune is intended to sound like a typical vocal section, though it is a bit shorter and has no words. ABCMus's MIDI lacks of upbeats, making it sound a bit plodding instead of lively, so I created a "rhythm" version, telling ABCMus it was a 2/4 polka to get the upbeats, though doing so unfortunately requires using ties, which are rendered as separate notes. (For the fun of it, I've also included an MP3 of one of my early attempts to play the tune.)
Title: This was the Finnish embassy's translation of "Still Swinging," to honor Trevor's dancing at that supposedly-over-the-hill age.
WG Who: George was the husband of Sarah's college roommate, Eva. One of the principals in the Nuclear Freeze in MA, he dealt very effectively thoughout his life with the crippling effects of childhood polio, but died of it shortly after this tune was written.
Tune: This waltz was written after I visited George in the hospital; I was looking for a tune that would give his wife Eva pleasure after his death.
WFN Who: Bill (in addition to having written the EPA's asbestos rules) was a low-key but excellent Scandinavian turning-dance teacher. In the early 80's, he prevailed on the PG English Country Dance band, all of whom had a liking for Scandinavian music, to start a monthly Scan Gamaldans, which went on for almost two decades, and still emerges every December in the form of a candle-lit Santa Lucia dance party. Bill eventually became bedridden from prostate cancer, and I wrote this tune to lift his spirits.
Tune: It required the usual ABCMus rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: The tune is an attempt at a cross between a Norwegian reinlendar and Finnish jenkka (which are otherwise indistinguishable :-) ).
WR Who: Lorraine was one of the PG's two long-time recorder players, a long-time friend and one of the early members of the band.
Tune: Because ABCMus can't do "1&3" rhythm, I had to resort to the rhythm fix (abc, G  P;  unfixed midi).
Title: One might have said (Lor)Raine was as refreshing as rain after a drought.


In Honor Of...

(Note: with the exception of Sarah Corson, the number of songs for any given person reflects not their importance to me, but whether I was self- or band-reminded of their birthday and had the time to work on a tune.)
Aalto, Fred omb
Adams, Dr. Tom ap
Archer, Jon srb
Atlee, Ellie epb, etfb
Atlee, Jennifer jfb, fftb
Atlee, Tom 3d
Beck, Dottie alrb, acpb
Benson, Fred & Ann bdrb
Blackwood, Temple ttb
Bookman, Charlie rvrb
Brown, Willie ffeb
Carrera, Jake jj
Chapru, Doleta mpb
Cline, Jennie jagb
Corson, Ash jagb, satb
Corson, Sarah hpb, htf, lgb, sib, ssbb, sspb
Corson, Trevor vsb
Corson/Atlee family sbb
Davis, Keith msfb
Dolan, Noreen, NP shb
Dyer-Stewart, Brian ffb
Eccles, Margaret fd1b, fd2b, kmb
Edelman, Joel nrb, sjj
Fernald, Ann & Warren irb
         
Fernald, Julie imfb
Garrity, Tim & Boulger, Lynn mdib
Grierson, Ruth fssb
Hall-Hough/Davis, April/Steve gtlb
Homer, Linda phhb
Hough, Chris rrb
Hubbell, Brian pbcb
Hyatt, Carol shdb
Johnston, Joan iicb
Johnston/Lanoie, Julia/Brian jjjb
Karush, Carl ckb
Lord, Alan catb
Lord, Peter and Suzanne kkb, lorb (Peter)
Lyman, Molly micb
Lord, Anne abgb, lokb
Malicoat, Bronwyn bg
Malicoat, Conrad ccb
Malicoat, Robena bggb
Mateik, Deb twb
McLeod, Barbara bdw
Minkus, Carl crlb, ccjb, mcgb, tfse
Olgyay, Cora ohcb
Partanen, Anu htb
Pecson, Dottie ahb
         
Pink, Susan msfb
Rehl, Becky ihtb, rrrb
Rohl, Carol rqb
Rohl, Ruth krb
Rosenquist, Alan nwb
Rueter, Joanna bshb, nfpb
Russakoff, Marjory sub
Russell, Julie jzb
Silsbee, Lorraine fshb, ublb, wrb, mwlb
Simon, Jon ssb
Sommaripa, Eva and/or George hfb, wgb, sgrb
Speakman, Julie jlb
Stanley, Ralph fslb
Stettner, Larry (& Fran) fslb
Thanksgiving 2009 btb
Unknown bwb
Uraneck, Madeline gmb
Vals/Malicoat, Beau/Galen bvvb
Walsh, Emma edb
Walsh, Pam tatb
Warren, Bill wfnb
West Virginia landmark brb
Wriggins, Jennifer iwwb


Update Notes
3 May 17 juliesque
22 Apr 17 It Was Wrigged, changed "play" to "midi"
6 Apr 17 3-D Wise
13 Mar 17 The Common Good Rag (w/temporary "midi mp3")
5 Jan 17 Jake's Jig
6 Dec 16 Fixer From Elsewhere
22 Sep 16 Added MDIrish
11 Sep 16 Added Lord Only Knows
1-2 Sep 16 Added The Front Forty, Global Maddy, The Kiwi Kids
26 Aug 16 Added She Has the Time...
22 Aug 16 Added SemiSesqui Polka, Im Kalten Tal (and mp3's two days later)
19 May 16 Added mp3s: That Love of Hers, Speak Up!; edited That Love of Hers
16 May 16 Speak Up!
27 Apr 16 Bena Gets a Grip
24 Apr 16 That Love of Hers
26 Nov 15 Miss Susan's Favorite
18 Nov 15 Added mp3: Bronwyn's Grace
12 Nov 15 Added Bronwyn's Grace
8 Sep 15 Added Institutional Memory's Farewell
19 Aug 15 Added The Adams Pairadocs
24 Jun 15 Added Molly In the Clouds (w/mp3)
10 May 15 Added Čačak Karush, Sagittarius Rising
30 Mar 15 Added More With Less
11 Mar 15 Added Captain Alan's Travels, mp3 mix of Helsingen Tähti and Metsäkukkia
16 Jan 15 Added mp3: Cerama-Cubism ala Conrad
4 Apr 14 Added Helsingen Tähti, The Pilates Half-Hundred
10 Nov 13 Added Sleepin' Joel's Jig and The Barbadav Waltz, without mp3s
27 Sep 13 Added Simon Sez, without mp3
27 Aug 13 Added The Neuro-Wit, without mp3
14 Aug 13 Added Suz Pizzazz non Solemnis mp3, High Tide and Fog w/mp3, and extra column-head bars to the tune list.
27 Jul 13 Added Keys to Ruth (w/mp3), Olgyag Hatvan Csardas, A Rohl of Quarters
14 Jun 13 Added Three Fourths in Seven Eighths
23 May 13 Added mp3's: Charlemagne and the Ruby Light, Chock-Chock Jig-a-Jig Jig, Ellie's Three-Fourthed, Stålman och Ask Trädet
Also added Conrad Malicoat's brick tree card to the notes to his tune.
16 May 13 Added mp3's: A Leksand's Riamarsch, Be Thankit, Beau Vals's Vals, Blue Winter, Breathing Space Hambo, Nobility Romp
13 May 13 Added mp3's: Arpeggichrome Polka, BeenSome Donesome Rag, Friendship Sloop, It's In the Clay, Julie Låt, The Klezmarch, Sally of the Island
9 May 13 Added mp3's: Competence Rag (replacement), Farewell to Down Under 2, Just A Game, Lord Girl (replacement), Time and Tide
7 May 13 Added People table
3-5 May 13 Added Arpeggichrome Polka, Em-Dash, Firm Foundation, Just a Game and The Klezmarch.
Created and added PDF files, making an entry for them in the Sheet column.
Made a Live column for mp3's, moved the extant ones from Xtra.
Updated the All-Tunes files (first time since April 2010).
Made various changes to the introductory material.
Corrected massive erroneous overuse of asterisk for tunes not requiring fixing
9 Apr 13 Added Lord Only Knows
9 Dec 11 Added Competence Rag
28 Nov 11 Redid some of the introductory notes to the page
7 Sep 11 Added The Lord Girl
6 Sep 11 Added Annie Through Breeze and Gale
20 Jun 11 Added Herbs Forever
8 Mar 11 Added Maria of Rivers, renamed Ceramic Cubism to Cerama-Cubism ala Conrad, put a second "z" in Suz Pizzazz non Solemnis
28 Jan 11 Added Suz Pizazz non Solemnis
14 Jan 11 Added Ceramic Cubism
09 Apr 10 Added a scanned copy of an example of raw pencil work, and scanned copies of all the hand-drawn tunes done prior to the "advent" of ABC notation, linked as "orig" in the table's "Xtra" column
25 Mar 10 Added Håraspols from 1992, which I discovered lost in a file
04 Jan 10 Major but superficial change in terms used to describe and link files: abc for "abc", play for "midi" (and 2x for "mdid2x"), and sheet for PNG or "screen-shot sheet music."
01 Jan 10 Corrected a problem with ABC files resulting from their having been saved from a Windows partition to a Mac shared folder, which resulted in their not opening in ABC2Win when downloaded in Internet Explorer;
Corrected problem with undesired-centered text resulting from Internet Explorer's poor implementation of HTML;
Slightly reorganized home page and settings pages.