1. Found in The Division Viol (1659): an interesting social comment on mid-17th Century acceptance of the idea of a heliocentric solar system:

    “(Chuse whether you will have the Sun, or Earth to be the Fixed Center)”

    Also of interest: “American English” spelling of “centre” as “center”…
  2. Video: Jelängerjelieber — Solo Hurdy Gurdy

    Jelängerjelieber played on solo gurdy as a wickler/slängpolska for an epic eight minutes (it feels like much less on the other side of the instrument!) — so grab the nearest person and wickl some time away :)

    This lovely tune is Matthias Branschke’s Säckpipa version of what was originally a Sorbish song from the Kralsches Geigenspielbuch called “Fa ßym ta jena hubena ßryota”, and was given a new name by the Verein zur Förderung traditioneller Musik des deutschsprachigen Raums (who need a new name themselves, phew), and published in 2015 in “Neues aus alten Büchern 2” — full of nice tunes and highly recommended.

    Sheet music for this tune is available here

    The instrument is a 2nd generation Vio gurdy from me, recorded with an AKG C1000S and the internal pickup.

  3. Die Tanzsammlung Dahlhoff is now available to download in PDF format, one file per book, from the internet archive:

    Tanzsammlung Dahlhoff

    If you want full-resolution, archive quality TIFF files then the best place to get them from is still the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin site, but if you just want access to complete, usable, small-ish filesize PDFs then this is, as far as I know, the easiest place to find them. Viel Spaß damit!

  4. Apparently the lyrics for Steve Knightley’s Unlock Me are not on the web yet. Here is my attempt to fix this:

    you hand me a bunch of keys
    said “let’s look through the past.”
    you know I like to please
    but all I ask
    is which one,
    oh, which one
    unlocks me.

    the first key opens a garden gate
    where I play in the sun.
    under the trees a shadow grows dark
    and I want to run.
    does this one,
    oh, does this one
    unlock me?

    you look around, there’s no-one there
    you say “something’s wrong”.
    what is it that I’ve got to hide?
    then we move on.

    the next key opens the old front door
    daylight shines in the hall.
    I hear a voice I’m trying to hide
    pressed up against the wall.
    does this one
    oh, does this one
    unlock me?

    we enter a room at the top of the stairs
    I hide under the bed.
    my hand touches a small wooden box
    with my name written in red.
    you open the box, there’s nothing inside
    you say “something’s wrong.”
    what is it that I’ve got to hide?
    unlock me

    I’m not speaking to you any more
    I throw your keys at your feet
    down the stairs, through the front door
    I open the gate to the street
    will someone
    please someone
    unlock me

    unlock me
    unlock me
    unlock me

  5. Spent this morning meeting a very interesting old hurdy gurdy owned by some very interesting people. Tomorrow we’re off to find a lathe with which to fix it.

  6. Video: Benjamin Bech playing Icelandic dance tunes at VAKA 2015:


    These tunes are three of the pieces of music Benjamin has discovered whilst researching old dance music known to have been played in Iceland. All three feel to me like polkas, although the second (“ræll”) could probably be played as a schottish too.

  7. Back in Reykjavík after the thoroughly enjoyable Vaka festival! Many new friends made, tunes and dances learned. Thanks to everyone involved for putting on such a great event!

    Now to catch up on four days of no German practice…

  8. Last minute reminder: VAKA is in Akureyri from this Wednesday! Join us for four days of Northern European folk music, dancing, workshops and crafts.