Newsletter #6 • December 2004
News, Music, tablature, MPs, to download & learn!

Hello and welcome to our Musix Newsletter #6!
Four tunes for guitar & mandolin, with standard notation, chords, tablature, in pdf and MP3 formats. You can download and print .pdfs of the music and listen to the MP3 examples.

Mandolin: “The Holly and the Ivy / Coventry Carol” (Christmas mandolin Trio)
Mandolin: “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming” (XV century Michael Praetorius composition)
Guitar: “Toyland” (Basic Carter-style lead. Victor Herbert composition)
Guitar: “Deck the Hall” (Christmas Cross Picking)

First, some Musix News.

Musix now accepts PayPal
The big news for the Musix Website is that we now accept PayPal. We’ve received a number of requests lately and in response have added the capability of accepting secure PayPal payments in addition to Visa and MasterCard. To use PayPal, click the shopping cart button for an item, just as you’d do with a credit card purchase. Once you complete the ordering process, you’ll be offered the choice of PayPal or credit card.

First Lessons: Mandolin DVD should be in print and available by the end of January 2005. It’ll include all the teaching plus every song from the original book/CD set at both slow and regular speeds. We’ll make it available from this website as soon as it’s in print. Meanwhile, the book and CD set are now available. Mel Bay is the publisher. Click here.

Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin book/audio set is also due to be in print by the end of January 2005. We had some production delays toward the end of the summer, but the decks are finally clear and we expect to see copies of the book/audio set within a few weeks. I had more fun writing and recording this book than any other I’ve worked on. I enjoyed exploring what I believe is the essence of Bluegrass rhythm, lead, and back up playing and organizing my thoughts to communicate them to beginning and intermediate mandolinists. The songs and tunes themselves are a blast to play! We’ll post an announcement on this site when the set is available. Again, Mel Bay is the publisher.

Still working on Bluegrass Solos book/CDs for guitar and mandolin. I also have two guitar cross picking books in production along with a collection of Scandinavian House Party tunes Uff Da: Let’s Dance! Scandinavian House Party Music for Mandolin, and more BackUP TRAX. (For a sample tune from “Uff Da” for mandolin, check out “Auction Pa Strommen” from Newsletter #3.

Mel Bay tells me that my two transcription books “String Band Classics, Vol. 2: The Highwoods String Band for Guitar” and “String Band Classics, Vol. 2: The Highwoods String Band for Mandolin” may finally see the light of day early next year. (It’s been delayed so many times, I’ll believe it when I see it!) “Vol 2” is a collection of great Old Time Music from the Highwoods band and includes lyrics, melodies, and chords.

For you mandolin players:
We still have a few copies of Jethro Burns Complete Mandolin. It will interest those who want to stretch their knowledge of mandolin beyond what was thought possible. Worth the price for the transcriptions of Jethro’s famous and revolutionary recorded solos on Back Up & Push, Mississippi Sawyer, Tennessee Waggoner, Old Joe Clark, Soldier’s Joy, Hell Amongst the Yearlings alone. Great tunes and exercises for any mandolinist. Click here.

Bill Monroe Mandolin Instrumentals
If you’re gonna play Bluegrass mandolin, you have to know the music of Bill Monroe. This book includes transcriptions of 25 Monroe classic solos including Bluegrass Stomp, Raw Hide, Big Mon, Cheyenne, Monroe’s Hornpipe, more. Click here.

For guitarists and mandolinists too:
Dawg Picks
We’ve finally got these very popular picks back in stock and the legend has further grown! Click for Picks!

Garcia/Grisman “Shady Grove” Transcriptions
 Great collections of all the solos from the wonderful recording. Guitar book includes lyrics, chords, Jerry’s solos and several of his backups. Great songbook! David Grisman transcriptions from Shady Grove also available. Click here.

Ear Training
Elvo D’Amante’s wonderful three volume, 11-CD ear training course is available. If you’re serious about training your ears to hear scales, intervals, and chords, check it out! Click here.

Don’t forget all our other great books, CDs, DVDs, and more.

Now, on to the music & MP3s!

MP3 recordings to the following are presented in mono and at one speed only to save space on the website. Similar recordings on the CDs that accompany all my books are in split track stereo and presented at both slow and regular speeds. Click on the links to download the .pdfs and MP3s

Mandolin: “The Holly and the Ivy / Coventry Carol” (Christmas mandolin Trio)
A few years back, during the holiday season, I heard a Salvation Army Band playing on a street corner in San Francisco. It was a brass band and they played simple ensemble versions of traditional Christmas music. The sound was evocative of an old-time Christmas. I wanted to try playing similar music on mandolins. A trumpet-playing friend loaned me some brass trio arrangements and I made a few changes, put “The Holly and the Ivy” together with “The Coventry Carol” and here’s the result.

I broke with my usual music layout, standard notation with tablature underneath, for this piece because it includes three separate parts. If you read music, download the standard notation version. If you read TAB, download the TAB version.

“The Holly and the Ivy / Coventry Carol trio music in standard notation.
The Holly and the Ivy / Coventry Carol trio music in tablature.
The Holly and the Ivy / Coventry Carol MP3.

Mandolin: “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming” (XV century Michael Praetorius composition)
One of my students, Lorna Joy Swain, brought this beautiful melody to my attention. I searched the internet and found a couple of MP3s of it and I urge you to do the same. It’s usually performed as a duet, trio or quarter and the harmonies are stunning. I simplified this arrangement for solo mandolin with guitar back up, which is not traditional.

The timing is a little odd here and there, but if you follow the rhythms as they’re written out, you’ll be OK! I squared the rhythm somewhat to make it more readable. If you hear it performed in a more traditional setting, you notice how it flows and swells without a strict meter.

Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming music and tablature.
Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming MP3.

Guitar: “Toyland” (Basic Carter-style lead. Victor Herbert composition)
I’ve always loved this bitter sweet waltz by Victor Herbert about moving from childhood to adulthood. It seems most appropriate around holiday time.

Toyland, Toyland,
Little girl and boy land,
When you dwell within it,
You are ever happy there!

Childhood Toyland,
Mystical merry Toyland,
Once you pass it’s borders,
You can never return again!

I recently arranged a version of “Toyland” for cross picked guitar. I’m currently working on a book/CD set of cross picked Christmas Tunes for Mel Bay. As I reviewed the cross picked version, I thought “Toyland” would lend itself to a simple Carter-style treatment. Let me know what you think!

Toyland music and tablature.
Toyland MP3.

Guitar: “Deck the Hall” (Christmas Cross Picking)
Speaking of cross picking, here’s an arrangement of “Deck the Hall.” I cross pick with an alternating “down-up-down” pattern with the flatpick. You can also use a “down-down-up” pattern. This arrangement is from my cross picked Christmas Tunes book/CD project.

Deck the Hall music and tablature.
Deck the Hall” MP3.

You can e-mail me or Musix at:

Here’s wishing you a safe and Happy Holiday Season. Thanks for your support of Musix and our website. Happy 2005!

Photo by Gene Tortora
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