A Little Music for the New Year

The late, beloved Goku, inspiration for my tune, Spotted Cat.

The late, beloved Goku, inspiration for my tune, Spotted Cat.

I’ve spent the past few days reworking some of the music I’ve written over the past thirty years as a concertina and whistle player. Some tunes were also composed on the fiddle. The way the folk process works, some of these contain hints of melodies from other tunes. While I’ve copyrighted all of them, I’m putting the tunes out here for anyone to use, especially as they were written to be danced to.

To hear these tunes, you should download Easy ABC, a free music composition program available online. Copy my music, including the header, and paste it into the window labeled ABC Code. Then click on the play arrow to hear the tune. Print the music, play the music, mess with it. It’s for having fun with.

The first tune is one of the oldest, a jig written on the concertina in the early 1980s.  Because it’s a concertina tune, it presents a certain challenge on the fiddle. A lot of my tunes featured animals in the titles, for some reason. This one is named for a rhythm found in the tune.

Tickle the Turtle and Woof at the Cat

X:1
T:Tickle the Turtle & Woof at the Cat
C: Mark Danielson
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
Z: ©1982 Mark Danielson
K:Gm
|: G2g G2g | ede cde | dgd BdB | ABc ^c2 d |
G2g G2g | ede cde | dga bag | ^fga g3 😐
| f2 c c=Bc | d2 B BAB | ABc cBA | Bc^c d2 B |
f2 c c=Bc | dBG g3 |  dga bag | ^fga g3 |
f2 c c=Bc | d2 B BAB | ABc cBA | Bc^c d2 B |
fcA fcA | dBG g3 |  dga bag | ^fga g3 |

When I returned from Ireland in the early 1980s I moved to Spokane. At a street fair one summer I ran into a flute maker from Montana, and I was immediately impressed by his beautiful wooden flutes. Casey Burns continues to make high quality wooden flutes, but his craft has developed into an art after thirty more years of study, experimentation and building skills. His website is Casey Burns Flutes. I used my mountain mahogany Casey Burns flute to write a reel dedicated to him. It sounds best played on a whistle or flute, using lots of Irish ornamentation, but it can be cleaned up and played on the fiddle to use for contra dancing.

The Flute Maker Reel

X:1
T:The Flute Maker
C: Mark Danielson
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Z: ©1994 Mark Danielson
K:Bm
|: F/2F/2F Bcd2 Bd | ecAc dBB2 | F/2F/2F Bcd2 Bd | ecAG F2 FE |
F/2F/2F Bcd2 Bd | ecAc dB B/2B/2B | fgfe dfec | dBAG F4 😐
|: E2 EFGE Bc | dB fg e2 ed | cdec dede | fBcd ABFG |
E2 EFGE Bc | dB fg e2 ed  | cbag fede | fBcd B4 😐

This next one is a fiddle tune. It is an example of a tune that popped up out of nowhere, nearly perfect. It probably sounds like hundreds of other tunes. I like to give it a dark, creepy rendering.

Dark Side of the Room

X: 1
T: Dark Side of the Room
C: Mark Danielson
N: Copyright 2013 Mark Danielson
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Am
|: A,3 E3 | FED B,CD | EBA ^FGF | E3 EDB, |
A,3 E3 | FED B,CD | EBA dcA |1  B3 BAE :|2  B3 Bcd ||
|: eAe f2f | eAe fed | Bcd edc | B3 Bcd |
eAe f2f | eAe fed | edc BcB |1 A3 Acd :|2 A3 FEC ||

The contra dance band I play with, Northern Contra Band, uses this reel in one of our sets. It has a Growling Old Man feel to it and tolerates a driving rhythm. While visiting our cabin on the Sauk River, our lady labrador ran off into the woods where she encountered our neighbor’s plott hound. This resulted in a litter of 13 black puppies, one of which we still have. Shorty, the plott hound, later disappeared in an affray involving a treed cougar. The title is a bit misleading, as Sauk Mountain is a few miles away. It probably ought to be Sauk River Hound instead.

Sauk Mountain Hound

X:1
T:Sauk Mountain Hound
C: Mark Danielson
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Z: ©2010 Mark Danielson
K: Am
|: A,A,CA, DA,CA, | G,G,B,D G,B,DB, | A,A,CD EGAc | BAGB A2 AA |
A,A,CA, DA,CA, | G,G,B,D G,B,DB, | A,A,CD EGAc |1 dBcB A2 AA :|2 dBcB A2 cd 😐
|: eA A/2A/2A EAce | dB B/2B/2B GBdB | cBcA EAcA | BAGB A2 cd |
eA A/2A/2A EAce |  dg g/2g/2g dgdB |1 cBcA d^cdB | cBAG A4 :|2 cBcA d^cdB | cBAG AGED ||

About the same time I wrote Sauk Mountain Hound I wrote another tune using the fiddle. This one was in a somewhat awkward key, and I revised it once, putting it into an even more awkward key. A few days ago I transcribed it in the key of Am, which seems to work really well. I named this tune for our cat, Goku. He was a beautiful and loving cat with a streak of mischief in him. His ancestry included an Asian Leopard Cat. Last year someone shot him with a pellet gun. The tune comes from an earlier, more happy era.

Spotted Cat

X:1
T:Spotted Cat
C: Mark Danielson
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Z: ©2012 Mark Danielson
K:Dm
|: D2 DD D2 E2 | DEDC A,CDE | F2E2 FEFG | A2d2d2c2 |
A2ded2A=B | c=BAG ^F2 DE | FEDF EDCE | A,2 DED2A,C 😐
|: f4e4 | fedc Acde | f2a2 gf e2 | fgfe d2 de |
fedf ed c2 | dedc AGFE | FEDF ED C2 | A,2 DED4  😐

Finally, my wife and I take joint credit for the following waltz. It’s named for our Sauk River cabin. Patti was struggling to compose a tune on the fiddle one day, and she asked me to help out. I decided that rather than a reel or a jig, her melody worked best as a waltz. We worked out the details together. Later I added a harmony to it. We use this waltz in the Northern Contra Band repertoire, one of the few tunes we play on which I play fiddle.

The Dusty Cabin Waltz

X:1
T:The Dusty Cabin Waltz
C: Patti Cromarty & Mark Danielson
M:3/4
L:1/8
Z:©2012  Patti Cromarty & Mark Danielson
K:D
DE |: F2D2D2 | A2D2D2 | d3cdB | A2F2D2 |
G3 FGB | A2G2F2 | E2F2G2 | A4 DE |
F2D2D2 | A2D2D2 | d3cdB | A2F2D2 |
G3 ABd | A2F2D2 | E3 AFE | D4 😐
|: (3ABc | d2d2c2 | d4 ef | g3 fed | ce A2 Bc |
d2d2c2 | d4 ef | g2g2f2 | e4 AG |
F3 Adf | a4 fa | ba gf ed | ec A2 AG |
F3 Adg | f3ed2 | e3 Ace | d4 😐

This is a relatively accurate rendering of the harmony I play for this waltz when we play it for dances.

The Dusty Cabin Waltz Harmony

X:1
T:The Dusty Cabin Waltz
T:Harmony
C:Mark Danielson
M:3/4
L:1/8
Z:©2013 Mark Danielson
K:D
|: FG | A2F2F2 | d2A2A2 | f3 gfe | d2A2F2 |
G3 ABd | A2d2c2 | A2d2c2 | AB AG FG |
A2F2F2 | d2A2A2 | f3 gfe | d2A2F2 |
G3 ABd | A2d2c2 | A2d2c2 | d4 😐
|:FG | F4 E2 | F4 F2 | G2G2B2 | AB AG FE |
F2F2E2 | F2A2d2 | B4cd | cB AG FE |
F2A2d2 | f2d2A2 | B2d2Bdc2 | cB AGF2 |
A2d2f2 | d2A2B2 | d2c2(d2 | d4) 😐

I hope you get some enjoyment from these pieces. I have a total of about fourteen pieces, which I’m considering putting together in a booklet.

 

Advertisements

2 responses to “A Little Music for the New Year

  1. are you from othello i grew up in othello i think were about the same age troy is my name and i love the work you are doing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s