Category: favorite tunes

favorite tunes

Sugar in the Gourd – A great fiddle tune

Today I have played some tunes from Butch Baldassari’s book 30 Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin Taught by Butch Baldassari – including a tune named “Sugar in the Gourd” which was fun to play.

I have looked for some youtube videos and found some great performances of this tune as well as some very old recordings like the following recorded in 1930:

SUGAR IN THE GOURD by Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers with Riley Puckett and Clayton McMichen. Recorded in 1930. Good, old timey foot stompin’ hillbilly music. Enjoy!

 

Sugar in the Gourd is an oldtime tune, but it is also a tune that can be played in a bluegrass style. It is mostly played by the fiddle, the other instruments are mostly playing the acompaniment.

I recommend that you listen to my playlist and select your favorite version of the tune. The tune is a fast tune, a good tune to practice speed.

Sugar in the gourd was the song of the week in the Mandolin Cafe in May 2012 – in the thread about this tune you can find more information and other videos with mandolins.

Playlist “Sugar in the Gourd”

Sheet music

I can recommend the Butch Baldassari book – the tunes are all great to play and the CD that comes with the book helps to play the tunes properly.

You can find some free sheet music links for Sugar in the Gourd in my link collection sugar in the gourd

“30 Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin Taught by Butch Baldassari” (amazon partnerlink)

favorite tunes

Dargason – From John Playford to Gustav Holst –…

I have recently started working on a new tune with my student – Dargason.

This tune goes back to John Playfords book about dancing – it just one line of music with instructions how to dance to the tune.

dargason-playford

On the abc notation website you can find this tune as well:

dargason-abc

This tune is related to the very popular tune Irish Washerwoman which has a very similar melody in the first part.

Dargason is a great example what you can do with a simple tune when you work with it creatively. Swedish composer Gustav Holst who is best known for his “Planets” suite has composed the St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra. The Finale from this suite is based on Dargason which is played over and over while the other instruments play chords, accompaniment or counterpoint – including the usage of another famous melody – Greensleeves. A fascinating piece which was invented by working creatively with this one-line melody from the 17th century.

As this composition belongs to the public domain ther are no restrictions for arrangements. I was happy to find the following version played by the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra:

San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra – Dargason

Playlist Dargason

Including versions for String Orchestra, lute, harp ensemple, maqrching band, percussion ensemble, recorder and more:

Sheet music – Dargason – The Dancing Master

In the Petrucci Library you can find the original source “The Dancing Master” by John Playford in several editions:

John Playford – The Dancing Master:

You can find the St. Paul’s Suite in the original version for string orchestra and in an arrangement for 15 saxophones.

Gustav Holst – St. Paul’s Suite:

Merken

favorite tunes

Ernesto Becucci – The famous waltz “Tesoro Mio” and…

Ernesto Becucci (1845 – 1905) was a popular and succesful Italian composer during the second half of the 19th century. Especially his composition “Tesoro Mio” has been successful all over the world.

His compositions have also been arranged for mandolin and mandolin orchestra. In the monthly reports about published music (Hofmeisters Monatsberichte) from 1906 I have found a note about the composition “Erhaschte Küsse Op. 294” in a version for mandolin solo or with piano or guitar accompaniment:

a224-becucci

The composition “Che Ridere!” played by the mandolin ensemble “Mutinae Plectri” can be seen in the following video:

I have also found a historical recording with Troise and his Mandoliers (Selecta Plectrum Orchestra), a recording of  “Che ridere” by the Ensemble Ansamblul “ANIMO” from Moldavia and another version of “Tesoro Mio” with mandolins, mandocello and guitar (sheet music for this arrangement can be found in the Mandolin Cafe forum – see below).

There are many other versions with piano, accordion, carouselorgan or with bigger orchestras.

I have compiled compositions by Ernesto Becucci in the following playlist – enjoy the music by Ernesto Becucci!

Playlist Ernesto Becucci

Additional Information and Sheet Music

This is a well-known Italian waltz, originally written in 1895 for piano and adapted to many other settings over the following century. The original piano score is at IMSLP and there are many recordings, old and new, on Youtube. Pasquale Troise recorded it at one of his very first Decca sessions around 1929/30 (Link) with his Selecta Plectrum Mandoline Orchestra, shortly to be renamed “Troise & His Mandoliers”.

Becucci was a popular composer of the day and this is his best-known tune. He was a contemporary of Carlo Munier in Florence, and Munier dedicated his Duettino I to Becucci.

My recording is based on an arrangement for two mandolins and guitar published around 1910/20 by A. Paolilli’s Music Co., Providence R.I., and uploaded by Sheri in her Dropbox thread. I have recorded the original mandolin parts on vintage Italian bowlback mandolins, and have added a mandocello bass line to the guitar rhythm.

You can also find a number of free sheet music downloads for piano in the French National Library bnf:

Another compostion can be found on the site of James Garber:

Sheet music by Becucci from the Nakano library

favorite tunes

Vieni sul Mar – A Great Italian Folk Tune…

Some time ago I have compiled a playlist with my favorite versions of the Italian folk song Vieni sul mar. This song has been popular for a long time, there are historical recordings from the early 20th century, Oscar Aleman recorded a great Jazz version of this song, and Andre Rieu played this for thousands of listeners in an open air TV show.

This is a great folk song to play on the mandolin, mandolin with guitar or with a complete mandolin ensemble. The song was also very popular in the Netherlands as Twee ogen zo blauw. And this song is also very popular in Japan.

There is another song closely related to Vieni sul mar, in English it’s titled Two lovely black eyes. This song has a different first part, but uses the same chorus.

Playlist Vieni sul Mar / Twee ogen zo blauw / Two lovely black eyes

Sheet music “Vieni sul Mar”

Discussion

A discussion about the origin of this song in the Mandolin Cafe, including free sheet music for mandolin ensemble:

Links