It may be odd, but no Alspel is complete without playing a waltz. We will list a number of common waltzes which are played at Nisswa during the stammen:
Svenska Anna (also known as the Peek-a-boo Waltz)
Lordags Vals (also known as Saturday Night Waltz)
And during the workshop we learned to play:
Renee's advice: A lot of these tunes were around long before the violin was invented, and they had been originally sung. One way to learn a lot of tunes quickly. Is to listen to the tune many times. Then don't just listen to the tune, try singing with it. Da,Dah, Da,Da,Da, Dah...
Because there are a number of fiddle players who want to participate in the Nisswa Stammen fiddlers parade, and next year is the 20th anniversary of Nisswa Stammen, we organized a workshop with Jon-Anders and Renee to see if we could learn a few Scandinavian tunes in preparation for the stammen which occurs Saturday June 7 & 8, 2019.
So, perhaps we need to explain a few terms: A Stammen is a gathering - in this case a gathering of musicians. And, since 1999 there has been a gathering of Scandinavian musicians in Nisswa, Minnesota, and not just any musicians... fiddlers.
Now this Stammen in Nisswa starts with a fiddlers parade at 10am Saturday morning (June 8, 2019), where a number of fiddlers walk, while playing, from downtown Nisswa, Minnesota into the pioneer village just 300 meters from the town center.
Once the musicians are all in place they begin an "Alspel" this is where everyone plays a number of tunes together. The alspel takes place on a stage setup up in the pioneer village and lasts only for a half hour, after which the planned programs begin. There are often a number of international acts that have been booked at Nisswa-Stammen
As to that whole walking and playing the fiddle thing... think of it as playing bluegrass music, you stand and play, except you go one step further, and then another step, and then another... and before long you are a strolling minstrel.
Jon-Anders advice: Intro each piece with a slow up-bow on the strings before attacking the first note of the tune on the down-bow. Not everyone plays a piece exactly the same way and that is OK. Remember that each player has their own style of bowing and ornamentation so you can own your own performance.
So, if you want to participate in the fiddlers parade there are a number of well known (traditional) walking tunes which are played. Because a lot of groups participate in the fiddlers parade, and because the parade gets stretched out a bit, the different groups will play different tunes and there is enough space between the players that there is no conflict. We will list a few common walking tunes below:
Now, this does require having the tune memorized because your music stand will not come with you, however, playing with a group of musician helps to keep you on track. You will also notice that the beat of these tunes sets you up for walking at a certain pace. You might feel like you are walking a little like Frankenstein as you play, don't worry about it. Remember to smile while you play.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is NOT required to learn all these tunes - We are only targeting Gardebylaten and Appelbo for any MSFA people who want to participate. Listen to the recordings above and become familiar with them. Listening to Gardebylaten and Appelbo make it much easier to memorize and play them with the group. All the other tunes are just extra credit.
If you are going to Nisswa for June 7-8, 2019 - Don't miss out on the concert held on the evening of Friday June 7th in the local church near downtown Nisswa. For details go to:
That strange instrument that Renee is playing is called a Nyckleharpa - its a Swedish fiddle.
Much of the music played at Nisswa is dance music... especially at the dance that is held on Saturday evening after the final Alspel at 5pm on Saturday. So here is a list of commonly played Schottishes at Nisswa Stammen: