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The Vals - how complicated can it be?
No "Oom-Pah-Pah" here!
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (6 votes) 
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ELCBK
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September 15, 2020 - 3:55 pm
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https://centuryballroom.com/home/sites/default/files/WaltzSun_2.jpg

I've always loved waltzes, but I never thought I'd be so "head-over-heels" for the many Folk Vals of Sweden, because they are not the same as what I grew up learning! 

Funny, as a child, my father convinced me a waltz was as simple as "Oom, Pah-Pah" or "One... Two, Three".  I'm sure it had something to do with my Great Grandfather coming to the USA from Germany (and the little accordion he handed down).  

Later, I would find a waltz could definitely be more complicated than "Oom, Pah-Pah"... 

While I was in the Military (of all places!), I was lucky enough to experience a few waltzes at the hands of some extremely talented dance partners.  It was MAGIC!  This makes my perception of a waltz very multi-dimensional - probably the closest I'll ever come to an "out-of-body" experience, although aerobatics in a vintage plane comes close (not commenting on anything intimate 😵)!  I do regret, to this day, I couldn't persuade my Soulmate (of many years) to take up Ballroom Dancing with me.

Anyway, now that the Fiddle has led me to explore Swedish Folk Music, here's some explanation as to how/why the "Swedish folk vals" are different. 

 

I'm never going to be happy until I learn to play this vals on my 5-string, "Mortimer".  It's one of my favorites, transferred from the other thread, "Hökpers vals" - presented here by Mia Marin along with a polska, "Carica".  Even Mia can't keep still while she plays this!

So, after listening to and playing a Swedish Folk Vals or 2, I decided to search deeper.  Wikipedia has really piqued my interest with all the waltz "variants".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltz 

Maybe I'll move a few other videos/tutorials here, but I think there's many more Vals (or Valsen? Help me with the correct term if you can!) in the Nordic region to explore. 

Thoughts?

Just Being Contented Smiley

- Emily

 

                                                                                                                                                             

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Ilona
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September 17, 2020 - 5:31 am
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Maybe I'll move a few other videos/tutorials here, but I think there's many more Vals (or Valsen? Help me with the correct term if you can!) in the Nordic region to explore.                                                                                                                                          

 

 

Little off topic: Swedish is the official language in Finland, in practice this means that we have so called ”pakkoruotsi” = obligatory Swedish, so every child studies Swedish at school at least a couple of years. So did also I, but unfortunatelly my skills are very rusty nowadays because I haven’t had any need to speak Swedish. I can understand it when I read it, but if I go to Sweden I have huge problems to understand when somebody speaks it. That’s also because people in Sweden and in Finland speaks it differently. 

In Swedish Vals is just a waltz, valsen when you talk about some particular waltz.
(And I’m not good with explaining any grammatic...🙄)

Many waltzes:
In Swedish - många valser
In Finnish - useita valsseja/ monta valssia

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ELCBK
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September 17, 2020 - 5:53 am
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Ilona -

Thank you so much - that will help me in the future because I wish to talk about these more!

I just learned today that a "Vispolska" means a "song or ballad' polska!

 

https://www.lanesboro.lib.mn.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/cat_fiddle.jpg- Emily

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ELCBK
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Thought I'd better transplant this post here, because I LOVE THIS VALS!

giphy.gifEmelie Walken's (Sweden) tutorial for the haunting, "H-moll Valsen" (Bm Waltz).

The tutorial for the FIDDLE starts at 3 minutes into the video.  I learned this today (so anyone can learn this)!

 

LetOkay, so I did learn the basic tune back when I originally posted this (end of Aug?) - now I'm back to it.  Been trying to get the whole extra "variations/ornamentation" thing down (starting at 5:42) & let me tell you, I may not have much patience but I AM persistent (stubborn)! 

The 1st video in this thread is helpful - I'm getting there... and keeping in mind the ornamentation is left up to the player, which leaves some room for interpretation (trying to still keep this fun).

I'd LOVE to hear if someone else has tried this, yet! 

giphy.gif- Emily

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ELCBK
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September 25, 2020 - 10:35 am
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Induction Hypno GIF - Induction Hypno Hypnosis GIFs Figured I'd better transplant this post, also from the end of August since nobody commented on it. 

I think this Vals is sooooo hypnotic... you guessed it (it's been on my list & I've already tried some of it)!  It's not so different from some of the other haunting tunes I love! 

"Stålvalsen" by Mia Marin (Mikael Marin & Leo Sander are also playing) - "a tune in Dm with a variable blue F intonation" with 5-string Fiddle and 5-string Viola!

 I've read that sometimes, Mikael will tune his 5-string viola down from CGDAE to GDAEB - which actually makes it an OCTAVE lower than the common tuning of a 4-string Fiddle!Hmm Thinking Here Smiley 

an "Octave Violin" - but a viola body?

 

Doesn't anyone else have the urge to play this - or at least think it's SUPER COOL, but me?  

- Emily 

 

The Bad Devil Smiley

Oh, maybe it pays to have a 5-string after all...

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ELCBK
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December 4, 2020 - 11:43 am
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I started out looking for Christmas music and ended up here! 

Ran across this Karjalan Valssi "Etela" performed by Toive (Karelian Folk Music Ensemble) and couldn't resist it! 

I'm posting this here for now, because I think they are Nordic and waltzes, but these are definitely not a Swedish type vals!

 

And "Pappani Talo"! 

 

Karjala refers to people of Karelia in Finland and Russia.  These valssia are from the cd by Toive, "Finnish Melodies and Dances (Early Years)". 

 

@Ilona -

Do you know anything about these valssia or "Toive"?  Because if it really is Finnish folk music, I LOVE both of them!

giphy.gif

 

- Emily

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Ilona
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December 5, 2020 - 3:41 pm
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@ELCBK I haven’t heard about this ensemble before, but I did some search on internet. It’s actually not Finnish ensemble at all. Check this: https://petrsu.ru/en/page/stud.....c-ensemble

”Pappani talo” = ”my father's house” is actually an Ingrian-Finnish folk song. 

”Etelä-Karjalan valssi” = ”walz from Southern Karelia”. I didn’t find any information about this. 🙁

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ELCBK
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December 6, 2020 - 5:29 am
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@Ilona -

Wow!  This gets complicated. 

If Toive is a Karelian group, doesn't Finland have some cultural ties to Karelia? 

I see Toive talk about their music being of the Finno-Ugric peoples and their repertoire is quite broad! 

  • Zaonezhje
  • The Karelians
  • The Saami
  • The Ingrian Finns
  • The Ingrians
  • The Mari
  • The Udmurts
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Jewish

I was all excited, thinking I could just search on YouTube for "Valssi" to find Finnish waltzes - now I don't know what to think! 

I read the Karelian people and culture have historical territory ties to Sweden, Finland and Russia - many use the Finnish language.  I'm pretty fuzzy with Northeast Europe boundaries and religious division, but is there any general animosity between Finland and Karelia?  And then there's the Ingrian Finns... 

I've been learning quite a bit today. 

Am I stretching the boundaries of this Nordic Genre too far?  Do you feel I should move this music to another thread? 

Thank you so much for the link! 

giphy.gif

- Emily

 
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ELCBK
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@Ilona -

I'm pretty sure this one is Finnish! (lol)

I'm probably running down the rabbit hole here, but I really like this "Valssi Jaanalle" performed by Anneli Aho. 

 

@AndrewH -  You might find this next one interesting.

Taking this a step further, I found this "Konsta Jylhä: Valssi Jaanalle & J.S. Bach: Giga, Partita d-molli" by Kreeta-Maria Kentala, from her Cd "The Classical Age in Finland"! 

You can hear it here from this link.

https://kreetamariakentala.fi/.....86?lang=en   

Here is a really nice review of her Cd. 

https://www.classicstoday.com/.....ew-7141/ 

Even though Kreeta-Maria Kentala plays a lot of Baroque style music, here's a little "Kaustinen-style jam session"

https://kreetamariakentala.fi/.....?lang=en 

https://vintageholidaycrafts.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/298.jpg

 

- Emily

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Ilona
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December 8, 2020 - 3:24 pm
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ELCB said 

Wow!  This gets complicated. 

If Toive is a Karelian group, doesn't Finland have some cultural ties to Karelia? 

I read the Karelian people and culture have historical territory ties to Sweden, Finland and Russia - many use the Finnish language.  I'm pretty fuzzy with Northeast Europe boundaries and religious division, but is there any general animosity between Finland and Karelia?  And then there's the Ingrian Finns...
 

Yep, it’s complicated! 

We have a long common history with Karelia. It was part of Finland untill a large part of it was ceded to the Soviet Union in 1944 after the World War II. 
From the areas ceded, almost the whole population was evacuated and resettled in other parts of Finland. I think only minority of people living there nowadays are ethnically Finnish. They are the descendants of them who decided to stay after the war. 

Some people hopes that Karelia will once again become part of Finland at some point. However, no serious political party has openly supported this goal, and Finnish politicians generally say there is no need for it.

After all this history Karelian music definitely belongs to this thread!

PS. ”Valssi Jaanalle” definitely is Finnish!

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Ilona
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December 9, 2020 - 1:14 pm
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@ELCBK 
Have you heard this? ”Kesäillan valssi” = Summer evening waltz.

It’s composed by Oskar Merikanto and if somebody asked me to mention some famous Finnish waltz I would probably say just this. 😊

https://youtu.be/zsitlyC9cmI

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ELCBK
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@Ilona -

Thank you! 

No, I haven't heard this.  Very nice. 

It's quite a workout for that cellist! 

 

I read somewhere somebody said this was a Finnish waltz?  I also read "spelman" can mean folk musician other than just from Sweden or Norway.

"Spelmansmorgon" 

 

I guess this is what can happen if you kick a waltz up a couple notches!  I like it! 

"Valssi" (Pihlaja)

 

giphy.gif

 

- Emily 

 

...did I catch anyone offguard?

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Ilona
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The original name for ”Spelmans morgon” is ”Pelimannin aamu”. I would translate it as ”Fiddler’s morning”. The Finnish word ”pelimanni” means just this type folk music player, not ”serious” musician. (Playing Bach etc...) I’m not 100% sure about these English terms, but I think maybe ”fiddler” is something similar, so its meaning is different than ”violinist”? Or is it? 
If you write ”pelimannimusiikki” to Google, you will find a lot of this kind Finnish folk music!
This piece is composed by Antti Vesterinen who was very famous fiddler. 😊

It was easy to find a backstory for this Pihlaja’s song. It’s quite new song. I tried to translate the main things what she said in one interview.
She listened to old waltz classics and noticed there was something inexplicable about them that so often in modern music was no longer found. They had a completely different atmosphere than in today's Finnish pop song. The beat of the songs was somehow memorable. 
That gave her an idea. What if she made a modern waltz?
While listening to old songs, she also noticed how the words of them often swore eternal love. She began to wonder what if a modern waltz would tell about something else. So the words in this song tells about a one-night stand. 🤭

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ELCBK
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While I'm learning the 2nd half of "Valssi Jaanalle", I did start to get a little off track with this thread and I really should be practicing Christmas Carols, but...

I have a New Favorite Band, "Spælimenninir"! 

Their home is in the Faroe Islands (between Scotland, Iceland and Norway) - they play traditional and contemporary music of Scandinavian, Celtic and Faroese origins.  Here's a link to more of their info and music. 

https://sonichits.com/video/Sp.....aivalsurin

Here's a very uplifting vals, "Vals efter Per Röst" by Spælimenninir - just what I need today!  This one seems pretty straight forward, so I better get started. 

 

Here's a traditional Norwegian Vals to try! 

"Treskarens Vals" by Ånon Egeland 

 

giphy.gif

 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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@Ilona -

Sorry I missed your post earlier. 

Thank you for all that wonderful information!  I will definitely look more into "pelimannimusiikki”. 

It is usually felt that "Fiddlers" play Folk music and "Violinists" play Classical music.

I keep finding myself drawn back again to listen to Pihlaja’s song! 

I can see you playing it on your Cello!

 

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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December 11, 2020 - 1:26 am
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Emily, since you seem to be interested in waltzes and things from all over the world (Scandinavia, Mexico), this book may interest you. I found it in a charity shop, and it's rare and expensive, but if you shop around a lot you may find a cheap copy.

Little-Couple-Dancemusik-Waltzes-Zwiefachers-Traditional

To answer your question, "how complicated can it be?", the Zwiefacher has randomly distributed measures of 3/4 and measures of 2/4. Frankly, I'd rather play it than dance it!

Andrew

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Mark
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You might find this interesting,

The Benedetti foundation had Marshel Winston compose a song the they have sent it to different string players in different countries to make it there own. Then at the end or the week the player has a mini concert featuring that country's style of music. Here is Pekka from Finland, I personally like his approach to music and his style.

 

Mark

 

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway and @Mark -

Thank you very much!  I'll definitely check into both your information. 

I submitted a request for a new genre, hoping after the Holidays we can have an "International Folk Music Styles" where members can feel comfortable to start a thread/share info on any regional or ethnic style of music they like from around the World. 

Mark - Pekka Kuusisto is hilarious! 

I had forgotten I'd seen the BBC video "Pekka Kuusisto’s hilarious Proms encore - My Darling Is Beautiful" (Karelia tune), before I ever joined the forum and was maybe starting an interest in the Nordic area music.  He's a wonderful violinist and comedian - recommend watching all YouTube videos of him! 

Here, Pekka plays a Swedish Wedding March and a Finnish Waltz (from Vihti). 

Pekka Kuusisto & Malin Broman: Swedish and Finnish encore on Brexit Day

 

@Ilona - Do you know of the music Pekka plays in the video? 

giphy.gif

 

- Emily

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Ilona
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December 13, 2020 - 1:58 pm
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@Mark your video was really hilarious. :D  
I recognized "Kopsin Joonas" and the last one he played and sang "Rai, rii ja rallallei".

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ELCBK
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@Ilona -

Great!  Thank you for the titles.

Could you see the video in my last post?

The link broke, so I fixed it. 

Have you thought of playing any of these?

I've just learned "Valssi Jaanalle" and "Pihlaja - Valssi"!

giphy.gif

 

What do you like to play around this time of year?

Too Bad Santa doesn't have a cello! 

- Emily

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