Mark Gilston

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Location: Cedar Park, TX
Country: US

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youtube videos: 143

The Maid Peeped Out at the Window


musician/member name: Mark Gilston
Duration: 00:02:05
description:
Mark Gilston plays an English country dance from John Playford's "English Dancing Master" (1651) on mountain dulcimer.
The tune "The Maid Peept Out at the Window" is also used for a version of the old traditional ballad, "The Friar in the Well" (Child 276).
For tabs, CDs, books, and Skype lessons, visit http://www.markgilston.com/
Karel Votanek
01/19/17 09:48:05AM @karel-votanek:

Sehr schön gespielt,super!


Helen Seiler
01/10/17 07:03:31PM @helen-seiler:

A really enjoyable tune Mark and as always... great playing.


Mark Gilston
01/08/17 11:40:47PM @mark-gilston:

Strumelia:

Mark thank you for correcting me about Playford- here I was thinking he wrote all those tunes!  I love learning something new every day.  I heard when we stop learning that's when we get 'old'.  oma

Lots of folks make that error, and I think a big part of the reason is public radio and concert announcements of "music by John Playford".  I cringe every time I hear that on NPR.  Thomas Ravenscroft and David Melville get the same treatment.  They were great and important collectors, but not composers.  Even Wikipedia gets it wrong (no big surprise there).


Strumelia
01/08/17 11:24:50PM @strumelia:

Mark thank you for correcting me about Playford- here I was thinking he wrote all those tunes!  I love learning something new every day.  I heard when we stop learning that's when we get 'old'.  oma


Mark Gilston
01/08/17 11:19:20PM @mark-gilston:

[quote

 

In my explorations I am thinking that Playford was a genius in composing tunes of much variety- some happy and full of joy and sweetness, some sad or even strange but always in beautiful ways. Here is Kleinerman's fiddle version, which really knocked me for a loop, maybe you guys will like it too- I bought his album right afterwards, and I don't much buy albums anymore- https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=YG9wbLn9uw4

[/quote]

I like his interpretation, and it certainly sounds time appropriate. 

Playford was not a composer, he was a collector (and publisher).  The tunes in the English Dancing Master were mostly popular tunes of the time.  Playford's brilliance was is bringing them all into a cohesive collection of tunes and instructions for dances which were widespread at the time.  It is possible that he wrote some of the tunes or made up some of the dances, but it would have been a small percentage if any.


Strumelia
01/08/17 10:50:02PM @strumelia:

I had the pleasure of talking with Kate Barnes about penny whistles and recorders a couple of months ago-  I enjoyed dancing at an English Country dance she was playing for.  :)  She has some really beautiful whistles..one in ebony and silver.

I actually first heard the Maid Peept.. tune on an album I purchased of Shulamit Kleinerman's fiddling, called New New Nothing. I recently fell in love with his playing.  Maybe you know him?  His version of this tune was what inspired me to try it on the pennywhistle, which i am struggling along with in my crude beginner way but I love the tune enough to keep me at it.  I do play it in Dorian mode, where it seems to lie nicely on the whistle for me.  It sounded very quirky and odd at first to me, but after a few listens of the beautiful harmonies he sparingly overlaid, it unfolded like a rare flower.

In my explorations I am thinking that Playford was a genius in composing tunes of much variety- some happy and full of joy and sweetness, some sad or even strange but always in beautiful ways. Here is Kleinerman's fiddle version, which really knocked me for a loop, maybe you guys will like it too- I bought his album right afterwards, and I don't much buy albums anymore- https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=YG9wbLn9uw4


Mark Gilston
01/08/17 09:14:02PM @mark-gilston:

Regarding the time signature, there is a C indicating "cut time" which in this case would seem to imply the two triplets of a 6/8 jig.  However this is a supposition, and there might be some other plausible explanation, particularly considering that pretty much all of Playford's tunes show the same C (along with a rather bizarre G clef).  Music of that period did not use time signature notation the way it is currently displayed, and rhythm was assumed based on bar lines and note duration.


Mark Gilston
01/08/17 08:57:01PM @mark-gilston:

Well, looking at the close up of the Playford facsimile, I'd say it should actually be a Dorian tune rather than Mixolydian, which would explain the B-flat.  Several transcriptions agree, including Bertrand Bronson, who gives it as his oldest known tune for Friar in the Well.  Playing (or singing) it that way makes it sound really strange to me.  Bertrand Bronson describes it as a Dorian version of Sir Eglamore.  However, I put the blame for the current way it's played squarely on Peter Barnes, who has it in G mixolydian in his book of English Country Dance tunes.  And whether it was changed (or corrected) from  Playford, or whether it's due to Barnes' popularity, there is no question that when played for dancing, it is always played in Mixolydian as the numerous YouTube performances will attest.  I've not heard this particular tune used for sung versions of Friar in the Well, but there are some similar tunes, and they're all major.


Strumelia
01/08/17 07:23:47PM @strumelia:

Here is a clearer scan I found: http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/playford_1651/049.png 
I think what throws me off is the Bb indicated in Playford's key signature, and no apparent Bnatural accidentals indicated for the A part?..so I play both A and B parts with a Bflat.  But I am woefully deficient in music theory, I could well be missing something very obvious.  And it also goes without saying that individual interpretations are what makes the music world go round!

I'm so happy you posted this tune Mark, because it has now led me to hunt down online scans of Playford's complete original books, what a treasure trove of beautiful tunes.  sun


Strumelia
01/08/17 06:28:21PM @strumelia:

I assumed Playford's dance tune notations were for melody only, without accompaniment.  Looking at the original from Playford's book that Dusty posted- would love to see these as I usually see relatively recent transcriptions to standard notation.

The pic Dusty posted is pretty fuzzy- did Playford indicate the key signature or any sharps and flats in his notations...?  I can't even make out the time signature there- though it sounds like 6/8 maybe?  Is there a clearer scan of Playford's orginal notations somewhere online?  I 'think' I've been playing the whole thing in Dorian, but maybe I'm following the wrong trail.  I don't know the finer points of music theory, for sure.  worried


Mark Gilston
01/08/17 03:33:44PM @mark-gilston:

Strumelia:

Hi Mark, this is so weird-  I've been working on this very tune on my penny whistle for the past several weeks.  I just love this tune.  I'm not up to recording a video on it yet though...mistakes all over the place still.  tmi

I think you have a great bounce and good dance-able tempo in this- really enjoyed listening!

I note with interest that you are playing it with the A part as major and the B part as minor-  I've been playing both parts minor, but I'm not sure how the original Playford version has it.  I love that some of Playford's tunes are reeeeally quirky.  He must have been an awesome person to know!

Thanks Strumelia,

  Actually the tune is straight mixolydian and I'm not playing any minor chords, though the F natural (vii) chord in first inversion has a modally deceptive quality about it.  The fact that it doesn't show up at all in the first half of the tune really adds to the feeling that the tune changes modes.  Dusty is correct in that none of the Playford tunes come with any accompaniments, and I certainly put a lot of thought into my interpretations and arrangements.


Sam
01/08/17 06:23:27AM @sam:

Jaunty little tune. I like it. Extremely well played.


Brian G.
01/06/17 08:19:02PM @brian-g:

Very nice Mark!  :)


Dusty Turtle
01/06/17 02:09:54PM @dusty-turtle:

I also love your version of this tune, Mark.  You have a nice steady bounce; I'm sure dancers from any era would love to dance to your playing.   And it seems like this is one of your rare tunes whose tempo I might be able to keep up with!


Dusty Turtle
01/06/17 02:05:57PM @dusty-turtle:

Strumelia, the Playford English Dancing Master only shows the melody for each tune, with instructions for dancers but not much for musicians.  The arrangements we hear today involve a lot of interpretation on the part of modern musicians.  Here is the song Mark is playing:

 

John Playford English Dancing Master 1651 page 42.jpg

 

Some time back in a search for fiddle tunes that sound good slow, I located the sheet music for a tune called "The Cradle Song," by the 19th-century Scottish fiddler James Scott Skinner.  There was no harmony indicated on the sheet music, only the melody. I arranged a version of the tune and still teach it to my beginner students.  My arrangement uses only major chords. But I eventually found another recording that was mostly minor! Instead of assuming that I got it wrong, I'm now working on a second arrangement of the tune with more minor chords.  My plan is to put them together into one version with harmonic variations.


Strumelia
01/06/17 10:59:20AM @strumelia:

Hi Mark, this is so weird-  I've been working on this very tune on my penny whistle for the past several weeks.  I just love this tune.  I'm not up to recording a video on it yet though...mistakes all over the place still.  tmi

I think you have a great bounce and good dance-able tempo in this- really enjoyed listening!

I note with interest that you are playing it with the A part as major and the B part as minor-  I've been playing both parts minor, but I'm not sure how the original Playford version has it.  I love that some of Playford's tunes are reeeeally quirky.  He must have been an awesome person to know!


Benjamin W Barr Jr
01/06/17 09:18:27AM @benjamin-w-barr-jr:

Another nice song Mark.