Bagpipe & Huemmelchen (German smallpipe)
This beginners class is an ideal opportunity to just try out the bagpipe and German small pipe (Huemmelchen) to discover these fascinating instruments. Step by step newbies learn all the basics necessary to play the bagpipes: Blowing and coordination of the instrument, sustaining and intonation of a note and so on. In the end, everyone can play at least one melody. Those with a bit of previous knowledge of Huemmelchen or bagpipe playing get scores of tips on further development of technique, repertoire and how to continue at home.
Depending on the level we’ll build two working groups at the begin of the workshop.
Neither the ability to read sheet music nor previous knowledge of the instruments are necessary for the participation. A recording device is helpful. Please indicate in the application form if you need a rental instrument! Please also state whether you’d prefer: a bagpipe (based on the Shepherd Pipe) or a German small pipe (Huemmelchen).
The focus of this combined repertoire- and technique-course is to use the complete tonal range of our instruments and to explore the possibilities of expression in our playing. Every note in a melody is important. We shall thus try to play even the highest overblown notes in a way that sounds pleasing. Additionally, I will give examples on how one can use little ornaments to change the character of a tune, to make it complete as it were. The repertoire we’ll use is a diverse mixture of tunes from different European traditions as well as epochs. Some were originally intended for completely different instruments and it’s going to be intriguing to find out how to adapt them to the pipes while keeping their character.
We’ll play on instruments with half-closed fingering in the key of G/C.
Most of the tunes will be transmitted by ear, it’s not necessary to read sheet music but a recording device is very useful. I’ll give the sheet music in the end of the workshop.
Traditional music is not an old thing from a bygone age but can easily be revitalized by the way and style of playing it. So a part of the tunes we will work on is trad-repertoire from Central France which we will bring up to date by ornamentation and styling. Furthermore I will show you some compositions I play with the bands Topette!! and Mister Klof. I use the repertoire as the basis for techniques (rhythmic ornaments, glissando, vibrato…) and will work in a plurality of keys. I find it important that the music is enjoyable for both musicians and dancers and that the tunes stay groovy and boppy.
This class is aimed at advanced players, who already have experience in playing the bagpipes. We’ll play on instruments in the key of G/C (16p) in half-closed fingering. Different keys may be used for the polyphony.
Participants who try out the hurdy-gurdy for the first time get a basic introduction to the setup, tuning and handling of the instrument. Using simple tunes, we’ll try out how to play melodies as well as easy buzzing patterns. Advanced beginners or intermediates with previous knowledge can build on that, expanding their skills in refined buzzing rhythms and overcome individual challenges. Working on selected melodies, I’ll show you how to shape the tunes with ornaments.
No previous knowledge or ability to read music necessary! Everyone gets individual support in respect to their skill level.
Please state in the application if you want to rent an instrument! Participants with their own instruments should thoroughly check it beforehand and, if necessary, have it setup by their instrument maker.
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The workshop aims at advanced players who already have a long experience on the hurdy-gurdy.
I’ll splitt from time to time the class in smaller working groups, depending on the level and the affinities of the participants.
Please state your instruments keys and your equipment in the application.
Diatonic Accordion / Melodeon
The diatonic accordion has been one of the most popular instruments in the BalFolk scene for some years. If you want to just give this versatile instrument a try or if you have already started but still needs some help to better understand the diato, this workshop is the right one for you! Using easy yet beautiful melodies you’ll be taught the basics of bellows technique and coordination of your two hands for a balanced harmonie between melody and basses. We’ll work on the many sequences of movement for you to feel comfortable with the instrument and have fun with rehearsing and playing it.
The instruments have to be in the key of G/C (construction type and assignment of keys may vary).
Please indicate in the application form if you need a rental instrument!
What I love about music is to make things sing! Beyond notes and rhythm of a melody lie many more dimensions: The sound, interpretation, ornaments, variations, accompaniment, interplay… On the basis of relatively simple tunes which we will learn by heart, we will primarily focus on playing together. We want to refine different timbres and aspects of the melodies by working on the sound design, varying chord play and fitting accompaniments. In order to find new inspirations for everyone, I will try to focus on each individual person’s challenges.
The participants of this class should master the instrument relatively well.
The instruments have to be in G/C tuning (construction type and key assignment may vary – though the Irish system is not suitable!)
The reasons for the Diatonions growing popularity are without a doubt its special, sensitive sound and its diversity – whether used as solo or ensemble instrument. This course comes with two main objectives: firstly, to groove the playing by balancing the interplay of right and left hand, diverse ornaments, interesting harmonies, and secondly to learn new repertoire. Therefore I will bring a bag full of compositions and tunes which I play in a variety of bands (Topette!!, Leveret, Blowzabella). After learning the tunes by heart I will show you ways to interpret and shape them.
This workshop is for really advanced players who are already well-versed in playing and can implement the contents quickly!
The instruments should be in the key of G/C and if possible with 2 ½ or 3 rows and 12 or more bass.
Most of the tunes will be transmitted by ear, so it is an advantage if you are used to learn in this way but a recording device is very useful.
For their ensemble workshops, Barn and James will focus on selected tunes from the repertoire of Topette!! (There will be scores of the melodies provided, with basic chords included.) Using these melodies, they will build arrangements, out of the strengths of the group, around ideas coming from the participants themselves. Barn and James will provide a supportive atmosphere, focussed on the whole group listening to each other, sharing and developing riffs and arrangement ideas. Don’t worry if you can’t read music, as long as you can play in tune and in time, it will be easy to pick up the tunes by ear. The ensemble group will be working towards a unique performance, at the end of Spielkurs, where we hope to play music that is great to listen to, but also a pleasure to dance to … So, let’s have fun!
The ensemble class is open for any kind of instrument and we welcome also musicians from other musical background who wants to discover new aspacts of music.
Please indicate in the application form with which instruments you are coming (also key, playing experience, etc). Please bring some sheets and a pencil. A recorder is definitely quite handy as well.