11th - 13th November 2016

For D/G Melodeon

Tutors: Steve Dumpleton, Brian Peters, John Spiers and Julian Sutton


COURSE UNITS - Choose one from each list.

*To avoid a ‘log jam’, course members will be able to register for only one Course Unit with John Spiers.

Saturday Morning

A1 - Steve Dumpleton - Onwards and Upwards!
Tunes, tips and tricks to help you gain confidence to improve and move beyond the basic level of playing.
[Level - B]

A2 - Brian Peters - Squeeze and Sing!
The melodeon is a great instrument to accompany songs in many styles. If you're interested in accompanying yourself, or another singer, this is for you.
[Level - I/H]

*A3 - John Spiers - Tunes in E minor - Tips & Tricks
The D/G melodeon is best known for playing in D and G (obviously!), but its third most popular key is E minor. We're going to look at several tunes in various modes of E minor and explore the best way to approach fingering, row-crossing and chords in this key.
[Level - B/I]

A4 - Julian Sutton - Pushing the Boundaries
Discovering different ways of using the two-row melodeon more creatively to bring tunes to life, whilst looking at a couple of Julian’s own compositions..
[Level - I/H]

Saturday Afternoon

B1 - Steve Dumpleton - One-row Riches and Wrinkles
A one-row melodeon can be extraordinarily satisfying for both players and listeners, with opportunity for a richness of sound and tremendous rhythmic drive. Taught in the key of D, this unit explores some one-row techniques and styles using tunes from the east of England. This is a chance to air your one-row four-stop instrument or a two-row instrument with a low-octave voice if you have one, but don’t worry if not - a standard two-row D/G melodeon will be fine.
[Level - I/H]

B2 - Brian Peters - Two Rows in Tandem
The two-row melodeon is much more than two one-rows stuck together - crossing between the rows opens up all kinds of possibilities in phrasing and chordal accompaniment. This class is for those wishing to take the first steps in cross-row playing.
[Level - B]

*B3 - John Spiers - D/G Plus - Expanding the Horizons
Many people play instruments based on the D/G system but with extra rows of buttons. While the keyboards of 2½-row and 3-row systems can vary considerably, the underlying principle of using those extra buttons to play tunes and chord sequences that stray outside D/G territory is the same. We're going to explore some of this more chromatic material while learning solid methods behind using the extra buttons.
[Level - I/H]

B4 - Julian Sutton - Rhythms of the North-East
Introducing the characteristic rhythms of tunes from Northumbria with some well-known dance tunes from the North-East repertoire. The focus is on playing rhythmically, keeping the tempo steady, and appropriate phrasing.
[Level - B/I]


C1 - Steve Dumpleton - Alawon Cymreig i Bawb (Welsh Tunes for Everyone)
Generally centred around intermediate playing level, but also with aspects for basic and higher level players, this unit will include some more delightful Welsh tunes and maybe some harmony parts too!
[Level - B/I/H]

C2 - Brian Peters - Mellow Melodeon
The melodeon's old reputation for clodhopping brashness is thankfully a thing of the past - this class will present lyrical pieces stressing smooth playing and expression
[Level - I/H]

*C3 - John Spiers - Orphaned Cotswold Morris Tunes
We've all heard the tunes of Bampton, Adderbury and Field Town and will have seen many of them danced, but did you know there were once many other traditions in the Cotswolds? When Cecil Sharp collected in this area he often couldn't find full information on the dances and just noted down the tunes. Whilst the dance traditions of Filkins, Brill and North Leigh may have ceased by the time he got there, we are still able to learn the tunes from his manuscripts.
[Level - B/I/H]

C4 - Julian Sutton - Minor Matters
Covering the minor scales/modes and chords available on the 2-row D/G whilst looking at some fairly well-known tunes in minor keys from the North East repertoire, and exploring how these can be played more creatively by crossing the rows with the right-hand and employing 'cross-chords' with the bass end.
[Level - I/H]



STEVE DUMPLETON lives in Sheffield and has been playing the melodeon and anglo concertina for over 30 years. He is an experienced teacher of both instruments and has frequently been a workshop tutor at various events including Melodeons and More in Suffolk and Whitby Folk Week. This will be his third appearance as a tutor at Melodeons at Witney. Steve specialises in playing for dancing and is a regular musician for the Sheffield womens' dance team Lizzie Dripping, fenland-based Ouse Washes Molly Dancers and local ceilidh bands. His style of playing is firmly rooted in the English dance tradition, particularly from the south and east of England, his original home. A few years living near Carmarthen also developed his love of traditional Welsh music. Additionally, Steve brings the experience and discipline of over 40 years as an orchestral clarinettist into fusion with folk traditions. He strives to bring rhythmic vitality coupled with melodic phrasing into his playing and into his teaching.

BRIAN PETERS has been a professional musician and teacher for over twenty years, using the melodeon in a variety of styles including Northern English dance music, and accompaniments for traditional folk songs. He’s also played melodeon in blues and rock’n’roll bands, dabbled in other styles such as Tex-Mex, and composed a body of original tunes, many taken up by other players. Brian is a regular tutor at Witney and has worked for the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust, Folkworks, Australian National Folk Festival masterclasses, the Carrefour Mondiale de l’Accordeon in Quebec, and numerous trekharmonika workshops in the Netherlands, as well as giving countless festival workshops. His classes are well-planned, carefully tailored to ability level, and always good fun.

JOHN SPIERS (known better in folk circles as ‘Squeezy‘) has made a name for himself as one of the leading melodeon players of his generation, well known for his long-standing duo partnership with Jon Boden as well as being a key member of Bellowhead, the most successful folk band in recent history. John was also a member of Eliza Carthy’s band for five years, featuring on her 2002 Mercury nominated album, Anglicana. John has a passion for traditional music, particularly that of the Thames Valley and the Vale of the White Horse where he grew up. Mainly self-taught and influenced by both local musicians and leading players in the folk world, he has developed an exciting and danceable style on his instruments which retains the raw rhythm of the morris while developing tunes in original and musical ways. John is also a composer and many of his tunes have been adopted and are played in music sessions up and down the country. After far too long, he makes a return visit to Witney as a tutor.

JULIAN SUTTON hails from the North East of England and has been playing melodeon in traditional music groups since the age of nine. His playing is rooted in Northumbrian traditional music but has also been influenced by various European traditional styles as well as by contemporary music and jazz. He is best known for his work with the Northumbrian piper and composer Kathryn Tickell and her band, with whom he has recorded several albums and toured throughout the UK, Europe, North America and beyond. Julian also has a reputation as a skilled accompanist of traditional song, having worked with (amongst others) Northumbrian song group and recent Mercury Prize nominees The Unthanks and the award-winning English folk songstress Kate Rusby. Other collaborations have included working with percussionist Evelyn Glennie and Norwegian brass group The Brazz Brothers.  His most exciting musical adventure to date has been recording and performing with Sting, for the projects If On a Winter's Night (2009), and The Last Ship (2013).


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