Tag: Sweden

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.


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


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:


favorite tunes

Josefin’s Dopvals – A Great Waltz by Swedish Band…

During one of the sessions at the European Mandolin and Guitar Academy in Trossingen a great slow waltz was played – Josefin’s Waltz. This tune has been composed by Roger Tallroth who plays guitar and bouzouki in the Swedish folk rock band Väsen.

Mike Marshall told that he has played this tune very often when he was on tour with Väsen. He said that this is one of the most popular pieces and that the band just talks about “the song” when they play it.

I have found a great version played by a big ensemble including Mike Marshall and Hamilton de Holanda who plays a fantastic solo on his 10 string bandolim.

Josefin’s Waltz Live at StringNation 2007

Josefin’s Waltz
Roger Tallroth & Scott Nygaard – Guitar
Darol Anger, Hamilton de Holanda, Mike Marshall, Olov Johansson, Mikael Marin, Seamus Egan, Eamon McElholm, Eric Merrill, Brittany Haas, Bryce Milano Paul Kowert

A great version played by Väsen, with fiddle, nyckelharpa and bouzouki:

Väsen – Josefin’s Waltz

Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, California 3/19/2011

This is another interesting version played in a more Irish style with accordion: Read more “Josefin’s Dopvals – A Great Waltz by Swedish Band Väsen with Nyckelharpa, Fiddle and Bouzouki”


The Nordic Sound: Pettersson & Fredriksson – Nyckelharpa &…

Pettersson & Fredriksson – nyckelharpa and mandola (octave mandolin) – a great duo with a great nordic sound.

Daniel Fredriksson was part of a project that I have just recently written about in this blog – the Magic Lute Project from the TFF Rudolstadt in 2009.

Daniel Fredriksson plays the nordic mandola, an instrument that was conceived in the 1980s by Ale Möller in cooperation with two luthiers:

The history of the nordic mandola is rather short – it was developed by swedish multi-musician Ale Möller and luthiers Christer Ådin and Anders Ekvall in the 80s.

The nordic mandola is a a 10-string, 5 chorus instrument. The lowest two strings are longer than the other strings and tuned down which can produce a real bassy sound. You will hear this in songs of the new album Sotali very well.

Most nordic mandolas have 5 choruses, with octaves on the C and G string.

But here’s the little peculiarity with this instrument. As Ale and Ådin/Ekvall developed the instrument, they found a need to be able to have different drones in the base. This led to the invention of something called “pin point capos”. The pin point capo is a little screw with a rubber packing on it which goes into holes drilled in the fretboard. This allows for shortening of single strings, and thus being able to change the base notes – without changing the tuning.  The base strings are usually elongated/theorbed so the lowest string goes down to A, and the second goes to F.

The nordic mandola is able to produce sounds from very low to very high, it gives a lot of possibilities – I think this is a great instrument as a solo instrument and as an instrument in a duo like Pettersson & Fredriksson. And the possibility to tune the lowest two strings to other notes very easily makes this a very flexible instrument.

Daniel Pettersson plays the nyckelharpa, another great nordic instrument with an incredible sound.

You can see Daniel Pettersson and Daniel Fredriksson and both instruments in the following video that was made in 2008:

Pettersson and Fredriksson

Another video from the same concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5pGvHMvocQ

New album Sotali

This summer the duo released its third album, Sotali – a great album that is available on the following site: http://petfred.bandcamp.com/

You can listen to the complete Album for free! And if you like it you can buy it as a digital download or as a special unique custom digipack.

Pettersson & Fredriksson: Brand

In the following video you can see the making of Sotali in the studio:

UPSWEDENTV – Pettersson & Fredriksson

Another example from the new CD:

Pettersson & Fredriksson – Stjarnan

Playlist Pettersson & Fredriksson

Additional information

Blog by Daniel Fredriksson about the nordic mandola: http://silkwoodmusic.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/the-nordic-mandola-its-not-a-banjo/

Buy the latest album Sotali or listen to the complete album (free streaming audio): http://petfred.bandcamp.com/

Homepage: http://petfred.freehostia.com/

myspace Pettersson & Fredriksson : http://www.myspace.com/petfred

youtube channel of Daniel Fredriksson: http://www.youtube.com/user/danielfre

youtube channel with more videos with Pettersson & Fredriksson: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheStringway/videos?view=0