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Folk Tunes from the Hispanic Tradition

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Folk Tunes from the Hispanic Tradition
SS, SA+ Recorder Ensembles
By: Virginia Nylander Ebinger

The nineteen pieces in this book are folk songs arranged to be sung by recorders. No instrument more nearly matches the human voice than the recorder in its production of sound and in its intimacy, so it is fitting and proper that folk songs become recorder pieces as well as vocal pieces. Words to the songs, as well as instructions to the dances, can be found on pages 18 and 19, and it will be interesting to study them in relation to the music they belong to. Note that the translations given are literal and in most cases not singable translations. In addition to singing the songs in Spanish, students might like to try their hand at adapting the literal translations into English poetry that can be sung.


The pieces: solos, duets, trios-are presented here with upper elementary, middle school, and older students in mind. It is not an instruction book and it assumes that students will have had sufficient beginning instruction on the soprano recorder that they are able to manage tone production and basic fingering skills. When the alto recorder appears later in the book, almost all its notes are easy to play and can serve as an introduction to the instrument.


In every case the pieces can be played by solo or unison soprano recorders, reading the upper part only. Of course the addition of one or more of the other parts increases the challenge and richness of the music. Basic chord symbols are given for guitar or piano or other chordal instrument for many of the pieces. The hand drum is suggested as an addition to several pieces. All pieces in this book have arisen in the Hispanic folk tradition, some directly from Spain, most found throughout Latin America, Mexico, and our own Southwest. There are songs of great variety: rounds, singing games, lyric and reflective music, dances, light-hearted "spoofs." Among the common threads in Hispanic music are two elements that show up frequently in these pieces: a keen, vital rhythmic sense and rich harmonies.

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