Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

I am involved in organising ITM classes in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, Ireland for both young people and adults. We have two Lithuanian children learning tin whistle. They’re at beginner level and so doing simple tunes such as polkas. They’ll almost certainly be learning a mazurka or two after Christmas if they stick at it.

While the classes are in ITM, it would be good if we could teach the pair of them - and their class mates from an Irish background - one or two Lithuanian pieces. Their families don’t seem to have any knowledge of traditional Lithuanian music.

So what I’m looking for are recommendations for one or two easy Lithuanian folk tunes which would be similar in style to traditional Irish tunes (I’m assuming mazurka, polka or even waltz). The hope is that we could teach one or two of these in the classes and possibly even put the Lithuanian tunes into a set with similar Irish tunes.

While our focus will always remain Irish traditional music, the experience of music from other traditions should benefit our students. It would also be a nice way of helping those coming from another culture to relate better to our tradition.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

There’s a dance tune I picked up in Latvia known as Gardancis (‘longdance’) - apparently also known in Lithuania, since a friend of mine that plays for a circle dance group in England learned it as a Lithuanian tune. I’ll send it by PM.

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

Children growing up in Ireland will have plenty of opportunity to learn Irish tunes, especially if their parents send them to Irish music classes; by contrast they will have very few opportunities to learn Lithuanian tunes in Ireland. It is a nice gesture to acknowledge their heritage with a token tune or two from their own cultural background, even if they end up playing them with an ‘Irish accent’.

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

ITM has not evolved in cultural isolation and nor can it in the future. I think the idea is good. I know absolutely nothing about Lithuanian music or if it is fusible in any way, but if any suggestions are posted I will check them out with interest. Why not?

Posted by .

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

https://folkcloud.com/song/11090/sutaras/ubag%C5%B3-sala

Found this. Starts with a simple polka melody.

There aren’t a lot of dance tunes I can find and name. As far as my 30 minutes of research (take that for what you will) Lithuania appears to have evolved a mainly vocal folk style (Much like the Irish after their instruments were banned). The instruments seem to be a relatively new installation to Lithuanian tradition. I’ll keep looking though, and tell you what I find.

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

Just found a tune by the name of "The Matchmakers Polka"

I wouldn’t call it "easy" though

I’ll keep looking

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

"Subatele"

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

That’s another one

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

[removed as it turned out to be Latvian, sorry]

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

I’ve just transcribed an untitled polka from a Lithuanian group called Vydraga - perhaps it might do?

X:1076
T:Polka
S:Vydraga, Piktzirnis (2004)
M:2/4
L:1/8
Z:Nigel Gatherer
K:A
e/e/ | ea g/g/f | ec A/B/c/d/ | ed B/c/d/e/ | fe c2 |
ea g/g/f | ec A/B/c/d/ | ed B/B/B | A2 A :|
z | d2 f>g | fe c>B | BB c/c/d | cA A2 |
d2 f>g | fe e>f | gg g/g/g | a2 a :|]

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

Thanks to everyone who contributed, both in the thread here and in direct messages. I have a few options now so it will be interesting to see what the teachers think of them.

Re: Easy Lithuanian tunes for Irish traditional music students

I think it’s a great idea, even if I had no tunes to contribute: all for international exchange of ideas and music, leading to greater understanding of each others’ cultures and traditions. And as you said, the ITM would still remain the main focus of the classes.
It also got me reading about Lithuanian music on Wikipedia and other websites: one thing I got from that was that as far as dancing goes, they often use tunes from other neighbouring countries.