Viritä Viikon helmikuun 6, 2012

Finnish for Tune of the Week for February 6, 2012

I first heard this tune as the Priazhan Katrilli on the first Arto Järvelä album I ever heard, some 20 years ago. It’s a great European square dance tune. Here is the recording, by Pinnan Pojat. It can be found in the Old Town School Tune Archive.

Austrian fiddler Rudi Pietsch, another guest featured by the Fiddle Club of the World, also played the tune. What follows are recordings from Swedish, Finnish and Estonian musicians.

Finnjorka, a 1917 recording by Swedish-American artists Hugo Johnson & Fritz Aase

Frank Hietala
Frank Hietala with folklorist Elli Köngäs Maranda
Indrek Kalda & Tiit Kikus
Indrek Kalda & Tiit Kikus

Vinkerska, a 1960 recording by Frank Hietala, a Finnish immigrant living in Virginia, Minnesota

Vengerick, a circa 2000 recording by Indrek Kalda & Tiit Kikas, Estonian fiddlers from Viljandi, Eesti

S:Finland & Estonia
O:Indrek Kalda & Tiit Kikas
GFGA BABc | d^cde d4 | g2B2 B>dcB | BAA^G A4 |
D^CDE FEFG | A^GAB cedc | BdG2 AcF2 | AGGF G4 ::
g3f e3^d| e^de^d e4 | a3g f3e | decd B4 |
D^CDE FEFG | A^GAB cedc | BdG2 AcF2 | AGGF G4 :|

NB: Arto Järvela with Kaivama will be featured guests at a Fiddle Club of the World meeting on Saturday, March 3 in room E324 in Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln).

Chicago is Fiddle World

Truly. What a few days we had at the beginning of June.

Rudi Pietsch from Vienna gave an intimate concert, joined by his friend Jürgen Schempp, from Swabia (that’s in Germany) on guitar. Your humble convener was quickly trained for second fiddle. For the proper Austrian style we lacked a kontra (chorded fiddle or viola) and a bowed bass. Here is a slow yodel followed by a fast dance tune.

Meraner Jodler-Ischler Schläunige


Two days later, the Mostly Mountain Boys and the Polka Chicks dropped in for two evenings at the Old Town School. On Tuesday night they did a workshop for several fiddle class and the Fiddle Club.

The Mostly Mountain Boys (Paul Brown-fiddle, Teri McMurray-banjo and John Schwab-guitar) hail from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Washington DC. They started out with a twisty but fine version of “Fisher’s Hornpipe” they learned from Esker Hutchins of Dobson, North Carolina.

Fisher’s Hornpipe


The Polka Chicks, from Helsinki (that’s in Suomi, aka Finland), are Kukka Lehto on fiddle and Tejia Niku on accordion. They started with song of poverty and sadness. The singer’s life is so sad that his parents don’t even care if he marries a girl in America.

unnamed song from northern Finland


Following this lovely introduction, Paul Brown taught us distinctive version of Sugar in the Gourd that he learned from Norman Edmonds of Hillsville, Virginia. And Kukka Lehto worked us through the haunting major and minor turns of Viktors Vals from Ostrobothnia, an area in western Finland with an especially rich fiddle tradition.

The following night, both the Mostly Mountain Boys and the Polka Chicks were on the stage in our concert hall for World Music Wednesday. A delightful performance.

Polka Chicks
Kukka Lehto & Teija Niku

One morsel more. One of the oldest folk dance tunes from Austria, a ländler that was written down in 1702. Rudi plays a setting that imitates the dudelsack (German for bagpipes). Here’s an example of a Czech dudelsack, and another view from Austria.

My father’s day gift to all who are the child of a dad.
Paul Tyler, convenver

Tunes from the Polka Chicks

A selection of tunes from the Polka Chicks, from Finland. Along with the Mostly Mountain Boys, they will participate in the Fiddlepalooza at the Old Town School on Tuesday, June 8 at 8pm. The next day, June 9, both groups will be on stage for World Music Wednesday at 8:30.

Press the arrows to listen or right-click the blue title to download and save on your computer.

“. . . a polska and a waltz, which are both traditional tunes from Swedish-speaking areas in Finland. The tunes are called ‘Bromarvin polska’ (Polska from Bromarv, situated on a cape by the southern coast of Finland) and ‘Viktors Vals’ (from a small village called Jeppo in Ostrobothnia, Finnish west coast).”

Bromarv polska

Bromarv polska slow

Viktors vals

Viktor vals slow

” . . . a traditional polka played by a horn orchestra from Hattula, a county in Häme-region which is situated kind of in the southern-middle Finland. The tune is called ‘Ampumakoulun polkka’ which means ‘Shooting school polka’.”

Ampumakoulun polkka

Ampumakoulun polkka slow

Click here from some workshop tunes from Paul Brown & the Mostly Mountain Boys.

Click here to register for Fiddlepalooza. (Steve Rosen’s Fiddle 3 and Paul Tyler’s Fiddle 4 students for this session are already registered.)

Fiddlepalooza – Tueday, June 8

Tuesday, June 8, 8pm at the Old Town School
Two bands from two traditions of old-time music – Finnish and American – the evening will be part workshop, part visit, and part jam session. Members of Steve Rosen’s Fiddle 3 and Paul Tyler’s Fiddle 4 will attend Fiddlepalooza in lieu of their regular class. All fiddlers, banjoists, mandolinists, guitarists, accordionists and friends of old-time music are welcome. Check back with this blog for some tunes to learn for the jam session.
Click here to register for Fiddlepalooza.
Polka Chicks
The Polka Chicks, from Helsinki, Suomi (Finland)
Their American tour features the duo of Kukka Lehto (fiddle & mandolin) and Teija Niku (accordions).

Polka Chicks, hear here . . .



Mostly Mountain Boys
The Mostly Mountain Boys, from Washington, DC (USA)
Paul Brown (you hear him on NPR newscasts) plays fiddle; Terri McMurray is on banjo; and John Schwab is the guitarist.

Hear Paul Brown at the U of Chicago folk festival, 2008

Battle of the Horseshoe

Lady of the Lake

Click one of the following links to listen to and learn some tunes from the Polka Chicks and from the Mostly Mountain Boys.

The Polka Chicks and the Mostly Mountain Boys will share the bill on June 9 at the Old Town School’s World Music Wednesdays. Click here for more info or to reserve tickets.

Fiddle Club meetings for Fall 2009

Arto Jarvela by Kimmo TahtinenARTO JÄRVELÄ – Sept. 25

Arto Järvelä is a world-class musician from Järvelä, a small village just across the Perho River from the slightly less smaller town of Kaustinen, seismic center of the Finnish Folk Music explosion of the last few decades. Arto’s grandfather Johannes led the Järvelän Pelimannit (Järvelä Village Fiddlers) through the 1970s. Since then, Arto has made a name for himself as a solo fiddler and as a member of many important folk bands, such as Pinnin Pojat, the Helsinki Mandolinners and Nordic Tree. He perhaps is best known for JPP (short for Järvelän Pikkupelimannit, or little village fiddlers band).

Arto will perform Finnish polskas, polkkas, sotiisis (schottisches) and more on fiddle and nyckleharpa (Swedish keyed-fiddle).

Arto Järvelä will play for the Fiddle Club of the World on
Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:30pm
Leadway Bar & Gallery (5233 N. Damen)

Click here to register for Arto’s visit to the Fiddle Club of the World

Go here to download Arto’s jam session tunes.


Pete SutherlandPETE SUTHERLAND – Oct. 16

Pete Sutherland is a fiddler’s fiddle (also a master songwriter and multi-insturmentalist). A native of Vermont’s Champlain Valley, Pete sojourned in southern Indiana during the 1980s, where your Fiddle Club convener was lucky enough to live, dance and soak up tunes. Pete’s band credits include Arm & Hammer Stringband, Metamora and the Clayfoot Strutters.

Pete will be joined on his visit to the Fiddle Club by Jeremaiah McLane (piano & accordion) and Mark Roberts (flute & banjo). They are in town for a barn dance and workshops at the University of Chicago, where they will spin out more driving square dance and contra dance melodies to complete a great Fall weekend.

Pete Sutherland

Pete Sutherland, with Jeremiah McLane & Mark Roberts
will play for the Fiddle Club of the World on
Friday, October 16, 2009 at 7:30pm
Leadway Bar & Gallery (5233 N. Damen)
NB: location may be changed to a larger venue

Click here to register for Pete’s visit to the Fiddle Club of the World

Go here to download Pete’s jam session tunes


Ruth Ball


RUTH BALL – Oct. 25

Ruth and her accompanist, Tom Cronin, are from Newcastle, England.
Unfortunately, the US Department of Homespun Inferiority might interfere with this meeting. Plans for a substitute guest artist are underway. Stay tuned for more details

(Click picture for a full view.)

Kenny StoneKENNY STONE – Nov. 22

Chicagoland Bluegrass. Jam session tunes to be posted in October.

Kenny Stone of the Chicago Bluegrass Band
and a master folk artist for Traditional Arts Indiana


SEASON PASS for all four Fall 2009 Fiddle Club meetings is available through Sept. 25.

All meetings scheduled for
Leadway Bar & Gallery
5233 N. Damen
Chicago, Illinois

-Paul Tyler, convener
Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)

Arto Järvelä tunes notated

These transcriptions of Arto Järvelä’s tunes were made by Paul Tyler as a sketch of the general melody. Arto’s uses more fingered and bowed ornaments, double stops and subtle variations in playing the tunes. Listen carefully to the recordings, as posted here.

Notation of Arto Jarvela tunes
Click on thumbnail to enlarge.
(The music sheet should print nicely.)

Arto Järvelä will be performing at the Fiddle Club of the World‘s meeting on Friday, September 25 at the Leadway Bar & Gallery (5233 N. Damen). Click here to register, or call 773.728.6000.

Nota Bene: Musical notation is only a guide to one way to play a tune. Use the written notes along with the recordings. If you hear something different than what is written down, good. Trust your ears. Play what you hear.

Arto Järvelä tunes

Here are solo fiddle performances by Arto of three tunes we can all play together at the jam. Arto learned both the march (marssi) and polska from Elias Tallari of Kuortane, Finland. The waltz (valssi) is “efter” (from the playing of) Johan Petter Ragvals of Övermark.

Peli-Jussin syömämarssi


Peli-Jussin syömämarssi can also be heard on the CD “Arto Järvelä Plays Violin” (there is a tunebook with the same name) one of the many you can purchase from Arto during his residency at the Old Town School.

Mäläskän kuoleman polska


Both polskas and waltzes are in 3/4 time. But it is easy to hear that they are for totally different dances.

Ragvalsin valssi


Go here to view Paul Tyler’s notation of Arto’s tunes.

Arto Järvelä will be performing at the Fiddle Club‘s meeting on Friday, September 25 at the Leadway Bar & Gallery (5233 N. Damen). Click here to register, or call 773.728.6000.

Preview of Fiddle Club’s Upcoming Season(s)

Announcing meetings scheduled for Fall 2009

Three are set in cement. The fourth requires some more phone calls.
An announcement will be made here soon of how you can register for these meetings, with a provision to subscribe to all four at a bargain price.

Tunes for learning will be posted here in the coming weeks.

We have . . .

Arto Järvelä from Kaustinen, Finland
Friday, September 25

Jarvelan Antin polska

Arto Järvelä (click to enlarge)

Pete Sutherland from Montpelier, Vermont
with Jeremiah McLane (piano & accordion)
and Mark Roberts (banjo & flute)
Friday, October 16

Lady of the Lake #s 1-3


Icy Mountain-Blind Steer in a Mud Hole


Ruth Ball and Tom Cronin from Newcastle, England
Sunday, October 25

Dunstanburgh Rant


I’m now thinking bluegrass for late November or early December

Coming in 2010

Irish, possibly in January

Genevieve Harrison (old-time) in perhaps February

Dennis Stroughmatt (Illinois-Louisiana French tunes)
Sunday, March 28

Watch this website for announcement of time and place for each meeting.

Paul Tyler, convener
Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)

Notes and Tunes from Our European Correspondent

Maria McCullough, a charter member of the Chicago chapter of the Fiddle Club of the World, represented the Fiddle Department on an exchange program that sent five Old Town School teachers and two administrators to Newcastle, England and Helsinki, Finland this past spring. Armed with a video camera and sound recorder, Maria digitally captured some fabulous folk music moments.

You can visit the Old Town School Connect blog to read Maria’s comments and peruse some of the footage. I highly recommend the videos of the Rapper Sword Dance, performed in a pub in Newcastle, and the demonstration of the Jouhikko, an archaic bowed lyre now being taught to students at the in the Folk Music Department of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

The Sibelius Academy parallels the Old Town School in many ways, including offering ensemble classes dedicated to traditional folk music. Maria got to participate in one such class taught by Olli Varis. A mandolinist and guitarist, Olli is a veteran of some of Finland’s best known professional folk music groups, including Koinurit, Värttinä and the Helsinki Mandoliners.

Olli Varis
Olli Varis

Here’s a three-part tune taught by Olli.

Suden Rita

And here’s the ensemble class wailing away at the tune. The Old Town School’s Steve Levitt joins in on guitar on the right. What is the one major difference between this class in Helsinki and Old Time Ensemble at the Old Town School (I mean besides the fact that the students are reading music off the stands in front of them)? These Finnish students are receiving college credit for learning their old time music!

Sibelius Ensemble Class

For more of the flavor of folk music in Finland and England, peruse Maria’s comments on the On the Road blog. For a taste of fiddling in northern England, try her recording of a lesson with fiddler Ruth Ball. The tune is the “Dunstanburgh Rant.” Here’s a shorter clip of the full tune at a moderate tempo. (Rants are like reels. They should played pretty fast.)

Dunstanburgh Rant

Keep fiddling.

Paul Tyler