These songs and tunes have strong associations with friends, a place or a time. In each case, the music reproduced here is only a close approximation to how I normally play them, and should be treated as a starting point for your own variations and embellishments. My hope is that one or two of them will find their way into “the tradition”, so that one day, when I’m old, I will hear one played by someone who doesn’t know where it comes from because he learnt it from a friend.
I’m gradually transcribing them into internet-friendly formats and will publish them here as and when I do.
Although I indicate approximate dance type, this hardly an exact science! Schottisches can be played as hornpipes, polkas or even reels by varying the speed and the amount of “dotting”. Jigs can be turned into marches or waltzes; 3/2 hornpipes into slip jigs and vice versa, and anything can be made into a slow air. Feel free to experiment…
What about copyright? Except where I indicate otherwise, all the songs and tunes on this web-site were written by me, Mark Fry, and I assert my right to be identified as the author. I’m happy for everyone to play them in live performance. If you’d like to record or broadcast, you must ask my permission first – I’m sure we can come to some arrangement.
Another tune named after a pub. In this case it’s a rather nice little place in Milton village, between Abingdon and Didcot. It happens to be the current venue for the 3rd Sunday “Mostly English” music session (which used to be held at The Cherry Tree). So it’s not too surprising that it’s the first place where I played this tune in public, hence the tune’s name. That was on Sunday 15th March 2020 and was the last pub session I went to before lock-down started. There were only three musicians present, the barmaid and, I think, one other.
Here’s another schottische named after a pub. In this case it’s The Cherry Tree in Steventon, Oxon. This was the home of the “mostly English” session, held on the 3rd Sunday of each month, from 2000 until 2017. (read more…)
An English or “three-two” hornpipe. I attempted to pass this off at a session as an early 18th century tune, saying I thought it was written “between about 1700 and 1730” but was rumbled immediately. (read more…)
Schottische. Composed in Feb 2007 for my friend Corinne to play on her violin. She wanted something that would use the bottom string. The alternative version was produced for her violin teacher, Felicity, to play on her bagpipes, which don’t go so low. (read more…)