A six week course for all musical instrument focusing on Swedish and Scandinavian dance music. The course is taught by clarinet and melodeon player Esbjorn Wettermark, who has many years of experience as a dance musician and music educator. Focus will be on melody, chord players are welcome but will be encouraged also to try to play the melody.
We will learn about the main tune types and dances used in Scandinavian traditional music (i.e. Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland). There will be an emphasis on Swedish tunes but we will also look at specific tunes from the other Scandinavian countries.
The ambition is to learn one new tune each session (at least 6 tunes) as well as doing some arrangements together in the group. We will also work with performance style and how to get in to the right groove of different kinds of tunes. If there is interest we might do a bit of singing and dancing, to get a better feel for the rhythms of the music.
Different forms of tunes we might cover include, polska, waltz, schottische, marches, and polka, as well as regional specialities such as Halling and Sönderhoning.
The course will culminate with an opportunity to perform at The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Once again various groups from the Trad Academy will be part of the St George’s celebrations at the museum on Saturday 23rd April. In a massive multi-cultutural twist Swedish Esbjorn Wettermark has promised to teach everyone some Swedish tunes known as Engelska (literally “English Tunes”) to be performed at the event. Save the date, it’s going to be great!
Please note that due to the dates of the Easter holidays this course will be split and run for four weeks from 24th February – 16th March, have a two week and have two more weeks on the 6th and 13th April.
You should be able to get around your instrument on your own, but there is no requirement to know any Scandinavian tunes. Generally Scandinavian music uses a wider range of keys than English traditional music, and its good if you can play in a few different keys, however we will primarily be moving in violin and melodeon friendly keys during this course.
Syndens Kapell playing for a dance in Sweden:
Fiddle legend Nils Agenmark playing a polska:
Folkrock band Hoven Droven playing a polska:
Fiddler Lena Jonsson and folk cellist Jonas Bleckman playing a Polska and an American Oldtime tune: