1. Song from Venjan, Traditional Song, Dalarna, Sweden
2. The Dream, Göran ‘Freddy’ Fredriksson, Sweden (also has flute/fiddle part)
3. Polska from Hälleforsnäs, Traditional Polska, Sweden
4. Ball Polska, Traditional Polska, Sweden
5. Funk Fars Polska, Traditional Polska, Rättvik, Sweden
6. Marjankukka (Berry Flower), Lauri Keskinen, Finland (Flute or Fiddle part included)
7. Springtime Waltz, Traditional Waltz, Sweden (Flute or Fiddle included)
8. Walking Tune (Gånglåt efter Hamare), Traditional Gånglåt, Sweden
9. The Lost Sheep, Traditional Melody, Telemark, Norway
10. Waltz from Denmark, Traditional Waltz, Denmark
11. Amanda, Roger Tallroth, Sweden
12. Waltz from Folldal, Traditional Waltz, Norway (Flute or Fiddle part included)
13. Bridal March from Äppelbo, Traditional Wedding March, Sweden
14. Griffenfeldt, Traditional Reinlender, Norway
15. La Folia, Traditional Polska, Sweden (Flute or Fiddle part included)
Songs for the Midnight Sun comprises fifteen Nordic folk melodies, dance tunes, songs and ballads that have captured my imagination over the years. I am completely enamored with the depth and beauty of the music from Scandinavia. It is with great joy that I offer them to you. For me, Scandinavian music is the expression of the unparalleled beauty of the Nordic countries. The exotically different modes and harmonies evoke wild nature, and unseen beings of the ancient folk beliefs. This is music meant to be sung, danced to, or crooned to sleepy children, preferably in an age-old log cabin redolent of sweet, mellow resin and many years of comforting fires. As with all my other books, these arrangements are meant to be adjusted to your own playing style. Use them as a stepping-off point for making the arrangement your own, or use some of my ideas in a different song. Consider yourself warned: many Scandinavian tunes are addictive and tend to roll around in your head. The cure for that, of course, is to find another tune to replace the one in your head. And so on….good luck with that.
A Word About Key Signatures: Please check the lever settings found on the top system of each arrangement. Some are quite unusual, so I have included accidentals in the notation for clarity. (Yes, it’s possible for a Bb and F# to co-exist in the same tune!) For those who are unfamiliar with Nordic musical forms, here is a brief description of the types of tunes you will see in this book:
Waltz: A folk waltz is different from a ballroom waltz. It’s easier to do! And the beats are more even in rhythm, with slightly greater emphasis on Beat One. ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three.
Polska: A Swedish couple dance, but polska is nothing like a polka or a waltz. Emphasis is on Beats One and Three. The beats can be even: ONE-two-THREE. Or syncopated a bit: ONE-two — THREE. It depends on what village the polska is from and what kind of polska it is. Search in YouTube for polska tunes and dances to see for yourself.
Reinlendar or Schottis: A four-beat couple dance from any one of the Nordic countries. The beats are evenly played, with little emphasis on any particular beat. The dance is full of energy, even jaunty, and some of the tunes closely resemble Irish hornpipe in character and speed.
Gånglåt (pron. Gohng-loht): This means ‘Walking Tune’, and comes from Sweden, In
Norway it is called ‘gangar’. Play it at a good walking tempo, as if you were walking casually in a parade with a bit of a bounce to your step. Walking Tune (Gånglåt efter Hamare) and Bridal March from Äppelbo are examples.
Songs: There are a couple of tunes in this book we will just call Songs…
Marjankukka, from Finland, is beautiful and slightly wistful.
The Lost Sheep was originally an ancient folk melody from Norway, with added lyrics to make it into a hymn. Song from Venjan is a Swedish ballad, meant to be sung, but it’s also lovely as a harp piece with or without other instruments. However you choose to play these tunes, I hope you enjoy them!