irish reels on the harmonica
What a supertalent on the harmonica, this Joel Andersson. I'm hooked on fast irish reels.
Bravo for the dancer.

<URL url=""></URL>
Irish Step Dance & Harmonica
Hi Stephen,

Takes me back to my childhood in the west of Scotland, when my father and I used to play Irish and Scottish music on the harmonica, although not as well as Joel Andersson. We also used to buy big Hohner Alpine "Octave" type harmonicas and got a lot of fun out of playing them. Sounds as though Joel is playing a "tremolo" harmonica, which is tuned on a similar principle to the accordion. The tremolo harmonica has two reeds, one straight and the other one slightly sharp. Those are the kind we used to play Irish and Scottish stuff. The Alpine instruments are double octave tuned. Don't think we'd have got away with playing single note diatonic "blues harp" harmonicas. The oldies would have taken them off us and thrown them in the fire.

The Irish and Scottish dancing was taboo for us because of our religion (Calvinist Presbyterian), but we were allowed to play the music. I booted the religious stuff into touch in my late teens, but still couldn't dance if my life depended on it.
Joel Andersson's website :

<URL url=""></URL>

Don't let Jean Calvin's writings hold you from dancing. Can we be so sure Jean Calvin never danced with a woman? Wink
Can we trust Jean Wink ?

Unfortunately religious fanaticism exists in Scotland to this day. I never really read much about Calvin, as we had our own version of his doctrines, which I decided weren't for me. The history of Scotland is complex, and my own family tradition meant that we had nothing in common with Catholic kilted Highlanders, who were used in an attempt to eradicate Presbyterianism from the lowland areas in the 17th century. To this day I'll never wear anything that is tartan, as although I don't have any religious preferences, some of my civilian Scottish ancestors were beheaded by Highland Scottish soldiers on account of their religious beliefs. Certain Scottish Presbyterian families, as well as some Calvinists who had sought refuge in Scotland from Mecklenburg in Germany, fled to Ireland to avoid the risk of execution. It's a very long story.

Harmonica was very popular in the 50s in Scotland, but very few kids bother to learn it these days. The price of a decent harmonica came as a surprise to me, as a brand new double sided C/G Hohner Echo could be had for the equivalent of about 10 Euros in the 50s in the UK. People used to buy them as cheap Xmas presents, but they aren't cheap any more.

Dancing is pretty cheap, although I have noticed in recent times that it is not obligatory for a man to dance with a woman. Wonder what Calvin would have made of that?

Thanks for the link to Joel Andersson's website. Wonder how much a Guinness would cost in Sweden?

Forum Jump: