Tag: folk


Glenn Jones – Of Its Own Kind – A…

I have recently discovered  the Tiny Desk Concert video with guitarist and banjo player Glenn Jones.

You can watch this video at NPR and download the audio version.


It is also available as youtube video:

Glenn Jones: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts

The following text can be found on the NPR site:

Glenn Jones has only taken up the banjo recently, but it’s as if he’s been inside the instrument for a lifetime. At least that’s how it felt when he opened his set with a modal piece that might have felt more appropriate played next to a quiet creek than behind our desks at the NPR Music offices.

Jones’ most recent album, The Wanting, is a compelling work of American folk music that tells stories without a single word. When he introduced “The Great Pacific Northwest,” he said that if he played it right, “Mt. Rainier should burst right through the floor of this room.” Heaven help us if it didn’t seem like it might.

Glenn Jones gave a great performance, very relaxed and soft, and I did especially like the third tune of this concert – Of Its Own Kind – very much.

There is a special video of this tune which is part of the new CD “The Wanting” by Glenn Jones:

Glenn Jones – Of Its Own Kind

Playlist with more youtube videos with Glenn Jones

Additional informationen

Website: http://people.bu.edu/nsmith/GLENNJONES/GlennJones_HOME.html

Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/glennjonesguitar

NPR about Glenn Jones:



mandolin ensemble

Plucked Strings Ensemble “La Volta” – New CD Ensalada…

The Ensemble La Volta from Switzerland knows very well how to present the plucked instruments of the world and the typical music for those instruments in their concerts.

When you visit a concert by La Volta you can hear and see all kinds of plucked instruments. Every member of the group plays several instruments, and the instruments are exchanged permanently. The music that you hear will originate from four or five centuries, including medieval dances, music of the Renaissance, but also Brazilian choro, American bluegrass and Southamerican folk dances.

Jürgen Hübscher started to offer ensemble classes in 1984 as an addition to his guitar lessons at the music school in Riehen. The ensemble was named La Volta and over the years has given many concerts all over the world. They have produced six CDs. Their latest CD Ensalada has been published recently.

New CD – Ensalada

The new CD  Ensalada contains folk music from Southamerica, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece and Switzerland as well as music from the 17th and 18th century from Ireland, England, Italy and Germany.

18 Pieces have been recorded on March 8th 2011, the Ensemble La Volta was composed of  Tobias Schmitz, Yannick Gattlen, Jürgen Hübscher, Silvan Stöckli, Lilli Beile, Valerie Schneider, Philip Stämpfli und Maxim Lavoie.

The following instruments were used for the recording: classical guitar, octave guitar, requinto, guitarra de son, baroque guitar, archlute, six-course baroque mandolin, pandora, cuatro Puertoriqueno, guitarron, charango, mandolin, five string banjo, Cuatro Venezolano, hammered dulcimer, bombo, crash cymbals, maracas, triangle, waldteufel, matchbox, rainstick, bird voices, tambourine, cajon, darbuka, bells, bread knife.

A 16-page booklet includes descriptions of all the pieces and the instruments played.

This CD Ensalada is great to call back a concert with La Volta or to prepare for a coming concert. It is great to listen to the sounds of all the different plucked instruments and the great and often surprising arrangements.

A CD that presents the diversity of the music for plucked instruments, a CD the demonstrates the high quality of the young musicians of La Volta – a CD that you can play again and again.

La Arboleda – Guitar Ensemble “La Volta”

Playlist from a concert in 2011

Playlist with several tracks of the previous La Volta CD  “Hermes Invention”

Playlist with the videos of the anniversary concert of La Volta


Additional Information

favorite tunes

The Tarantella – A Famous Italian Folk Dance Tune

Some time ago I have discovered a site with a collection of free sheet music for the fisarmonca – the accordeon. Its mainly a collection of Italian tunes, folk songs, folk dances and also some opera melodies. When I visited this site again I looked at some Tarantellas and decided to write a post about this famous Italian dance that is very often played on the mandolin.

The Tarantella is one of the important and well known Italian folk dances. Especially the Tarantella from Napoli is famous. This tarantella is also known as the Wedding Tarantella. With the abc tune search you can find this and other traditional tarantellas from different regions in Italy.

There are still some tsypical Italian folk groups who pay the tarantella with mandolin, accordeon, tambourine, guitar and fiddle. And very often two or three dancers dance with the music like in the first video of my playlist below.

A tarantella well known to the guitar players is the tarantella by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Roman Gurochkin has made this great video with the guitarist Asva Selvutina:

“Tarantella” Mario Castelnuovo – Tedesco, Asya Selyutina (classical guitar)

Many videos at yoputube show performances of folk dance groups – but very often the music used is not the best. The tarantella as a dance is also used in theatre and ballet. A great example is this tarantella from the ballet Napoli by Danish composer  Bournonville:

Bournonville: Tarantella Napoli

Playlist Tarantella

In this playlist I have collected many tarantellas including folk dace, folk ensembles, versions for mandolin, mandolin and guitar, guitar, accordeon and orchestra. Enjoy the Italian tarantella!

Additional Information

Wikipedia about the tarantella (German): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantella

Wikipedia about the tarantella (English.): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantella

Wikipedia about the ballet Napoli: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoli_%28ballet%29

Diskussion in the Mandolin Cafe (with information and sheet music): http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?57691-Tarentella

Another post about a tarantella: Tarantella Siziliana – Mit Gitarre, Mandoline und Maultrommel

youtube channel Roman Gurochkin: http://www.youtube.com/user/Gurochkin


I have collected many sources for sheet music of tarantellas:

Three tarantellas for the accordeon (manuscript): http://www.cabrillo.edu/~stappero/Music%20Sheets/MusicIndex.htm

Sheetmusic at IMSLP – classical versions, many versions for the piano: http://www.google.com/search?q=site:imslp.org+tarantella

Paganini – Tarantella for violin and guitar (ther is a video of this tarantella with flute and guitar in my playlist): http://imslp.org/wiki/Tarantella_for_Violin_and_Guitar_%28Paganini,_Niccol%C3%B2%29

Sheetmusic and TABs for mandolin: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/american-mandolin-tab/tarantella.htm

Sheetmusic and TABs for guitar: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/american-guitar-tab/tarantella.htm

Sheetmusic  for flute: http://www.flutetunes.com/tunes.php?id=543

Traditional Italian tune

The “Tarantella” dance music is probably the most recognized tune of all Italian folk music. You can see this dance at authentic southern Italian weddings, and obviously it appears in the famous 1972 film The Godfather. In The Godfather Part II, Frankie Pentangeli tries to get the wedding band (who is not Italian) to play a tarantella; they end up playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” instead!

Sheetmusic (abc tune search) – the most important tarantella folk tunes: http://abcnotation.com/searchTunes?q=tarantella&f=c&o=a&s=0

Carlo Aonzo – Northern Italian & Ticino Region Folk Songs for Mandolin

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