FolkMADS Calendar and Notes
July - August 2006 Volume 9, Issue 4
P.O. Box 40421, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87196-0421
New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society, a nonprofit organization.
FolkMADS sponsors Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos contra dances, concerts, camps, and other special events. "Contra" dances include contras, squares, mixers, and couple dances. Unless noted on the calendar otherwise, admission is $5 for members, $6 for nonmembers. You need not come with a partner. Free instruction for beginners starts at 7:30 p.m. Dances begin at 8 p.m. and are smoke-free and alcohol-free. Children and teens are encouraged to participate if supervised by an adult.
Albuquerque Dances: 1st and 3rd Saturday, contra dances. 2nd Sunday Elegant English and Zesty Contra Dance, 7:00-9:30 p.m., $6/$7. Locations as noted on calendar.
Santa Fe Dances: 2nd and 4th Saturday contra dances and 5th Saturday English Country dances. Odd Fellows Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Road (south of Cordova Drive on the western side of Cerrillos).
Taos Dances: 3rd Saturdays, call for details, 776-1580.
ABQ Megaband: Albuquerque Megaband practice is held at the Blue Dragon Coffee House, 1517 Girard NE, Albuquerque, the Tuesday before the 3rd Saturday dance. Bruce Thomson, 268-6003, or email Jane Phillips (remove "NOSPAM" when emailing) for more info or to be added to the listserv.
Santa Fe Jam Sessions: Santa Fe Community Band practice at the ODD Fellows Hall on ODD (1st and 3rd) Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (contact Gary Papenhagen, 242-1104, gpap@NOSPAMcybermesa.com). Slow jam on the 2nd Thursday at 7 p.m. at Katherine Bueler & Gary Schiffmiller's house (995-1125). Beginning and experienced musicians all welcome!
Acoustic Jam: 7 p.m. before the Albuquerque dances. All acoustic musicians are welcome and all types of music are played. Call Jay Cutts for more information, 281-0684.
During FolkMADness Dance Camp, the Board of Directors met and voted to increase the admission price for contra dances in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. Reasons cited to justify this action were: There hasn't been an admission price increase in at least 10 years, our bands and callers have received a pay upgrade without an increase in the admission price and our dance space rental cost has increased and may increase again when we move back into the Heights Community Center (August 5th, hopefully).
Over the years, we have been able to keep the admission price at a minimum ($5/$6) and still break even. The Albuquerque and Santa Fe Megaband figure significantly into this ability to keep the price down. All of the musicians are volunteers! Thank you, Megabanders!
So, with a clear conscience and resolve, we are raising the price of admission to the regular dances to $6 for FOLKMADS members and $7 for non-members. This price increase will go into effect July 1st.
Thanks, Scott Mathis
Q: What do you get
when you drop a piano on an army base?
A: A flat major.
In the last column we talked a bit about the major scales used in fiddle music, the Ionian (white keys on the piano in the key of C) and the Mixolydian scale (same as the Ionian but with a flatted seventh or Bb note).
Q: What do you
get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
A: A flat miner.
Though there are many minor scales in music theory, the Aeolian is by far the most common in western fiddle music. It is called a natural minor scale because it uses the same notes as its relative major scale but starts on the six note of the major scale. Thus, playing an octave scale using the white notes on the piano but beginning at A generates an A minor scale, while beginning at C creates a C major scale. B minor is the relative minor of D major, E minor is the relative minor of G major and so forth. Minor scales are characterized by having a flatted third (in the key of C this means C & Eb instead of C & E).
A special case of both major and minor scales are Pentatonic scales, which are sometimes call synthetic scales. These scales use five notes in an octave scale instead of eight. The Pentatonic minor scale is created by dropping the second and sixth note from the Aeolian scale. Pentatonic scales are used extensively in blues and rock and roll, and to a lesser extent in traditional American music, especially the older stuff. Because they have fewer notes, tunes using this scale are sparse and haunting. Many of the old ballads from the southern mountains use Pentatonic scales and the combination of primitive recordings and bluesy tune sung by someone who's lived a hard scrabble life in the backwoods make this music very powerful.
Sandy Boys is a good example of a tune in a Pentatonic scale; it's simple, spare, and tense.
N:Transcribed by Bruce Thomson
Blue Dragon Coffeehouse,
NE, Albuquerque, for generously hosting the Albuquerque Megaband
practices (on the Tuesday before the 3rd Saturday dances).
For more information about Megaband, contact Bruce Thomson: 277-4729, or Jane Phillips: 898-2565.
Email Jane to be added to the Megaband listserv (automatic e-mail reminders).
The Albuquerque Megaband plays for free each month at the 3rd Saturday dances in ABQ, helping to keep FolkMADS going.
A big thank you to all the Megaband musicians!!
7:30-10:00. The at the U.U. Fellowship Hall, 3845 N. Swan, Silver City, N.M.
Come Celebrate Dancing Together. Music by the Silver Heels Community Dance Band, Fiddling Friends and the Fiddle Club. Children welcome!
La bastrange, waltzes and 2 steps, polkas and rancheras, the broom dance, the handkerchief dance, Virginia reel, the chotis, and lots more... Admission by donations. There will be refreshments and all dances will be taught!
The Silver Heels Community Dance band is made up of some of the Fiddling Friends' parents, the older Fiddling Friends/Fiddle Club and a few other people who want to play dance music. They have been practicing for several months and can really play music that makes you want to dance. They are being coached by Bayou Seco's Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie. There are several fiddlers, guitars, piano, drum, and acoustic bass. Members include Gayle Simmons, Craig Wentz, Doug and Susan Abbott, Jeffery Scott, Doug Medin, Karen Valentine, Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie, Tommy Wentz, Brian Abbott, Carolyn Medin and Katie Valentine. For more info: 505 388-1727, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us at the Odd Fellows Hall in Santa Fe on August 12 for a special treat -- two couples dance workshops (waltz at 3:00, and zweifache at 4:30), followed by a community potluck at 6:00 and our regular contra dance at 8:00! Come to any or all. Here are more details on what we have to look forward to, with dance teacher and caller Donna Howell, and music led by Gary Papenhagen. Contact Katherine Bueler for cost and registration details, 505 995-1125.
WALTZ workshop (at precisely 3:00 p.m.): No partners necessary, and men are encouraged to attend since the emphasis will be on leading. All experience levels welcome (and encouraged!) The workshop will cover these important points:
FRAME: "You stay in your space, I'll stay in mine" or why it's easier to move the box spring than the mattress;
LEADING: The gentle art of moving a 120-pound barrel with a triple jointed swivel handle;
FOLLOWING: Why a woman should never be light as a feather in a man's arms; and
WHY A WALTZ IS NEVER COUNTED 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2, 3. If you don't know where the 4 is, you'll never be able to lead.