• New Music: Rondos Vol. I, by Jack Dwyer

    Rondos Vol. I, by Jack Dwyer

    PORT TOWNSEND, WASH. — Jack Dwyer has announced the release of his new recording entitled Rondos Vol. I, the first installment in an original collection of fiddle tunes. Each volume features 15 tunes with demonstration recordings and complete musical notation. Volume I features Jack performing on mandolin with guitar accompaniment.

    The recording is now available for digital download from Bandcamp with CD and print versions to come in the near future.

    About the recording, Dwyer said, "These tunes are an exploration of the rondo form, which originated in European Baroque and Classical music and entered folk traditions around the world including Brazilian choro, and French musette. The rondo form is characterized by a primary refrain that alternates between two or more novel themes. As an example, the rondos in this volume generally follow an AA BB A CC A form.

    "This particular rondo form is also known as the 'French Waltz Form' for its presence in French musette and is also a major feature of Brazilian Choro music (of various time signatures). Choro developed in Rio de Janeiro during the early 1900s in parallel to American Ragtime and is a similar amalgamation of African, Indigenous American, and European influences.

    "Both Choro and Ragtime feature syncopated rhythms, recurring melodic themes, with complex harmony and modulating tonalities. However, the two developed largely separately and this created notable differences. Whereas Choro relies heavily on the rondo, Ragtime's main European formal forebearer was the march form popularized by John Philip Sousa.

    "That is all to say: the Northern American rondo is a rare thing. There are a handful of American fiddle tunes that come close. Bill Monroe's 'Big Mon' features an alternate A part: A B A1 B. The Texas contest tune 'Lime Rock' or 'Limerock Rag', is sometimes played as a rondo. Scott Joplin's 'The Entertainer' was composed in rondo form. However, aside from a few exceptions, this wonderful form never flourished in the United States the way it did elsewhere in the Americas. This is likely due to the popularity of the Rag, as well as the longstanding hegemony of the AABB form.

    "Which brings us back to this collection. What if there were rondos in America? You might think of these tunes as alt-history, or parallel-universe folk music. Or perhaps a giant waste of notes. Regardless, I submit this volume for your listening and playing pleasure. (Keep a look out for volume two!)."


    From the album, the track "Rondo No. 1 The Homecoming Rondo."

    Track Listing

    • Rondo No. 1 The Homecoming Rondo
    • Rondo No. 2 Cowboy Rondo
    • Rondo No. 3 'Round Town Rondo
    • Rondo No. 4 The Boardwalk Rondo
    • Rondo No. 5 Fox Chase Rondo
    • Rondo No. 6 Downtown Rondo
    • Rondo No. 7 The Riverboat Rondo
    • Rondo No. 8 Mississippi Rondo
    • Rondo No. 9 Round Peak Rondo
    • Rondo No. 10 The Carousel Rondo
    • Rondo No. 11 Big Top Rondo
    • Rondo No. 12 Blue Ribbon Rondo
    • Rondo No. 13 Racine Rondo
    • Rondo No. 14 Uptown Rondo
    • Rondo No. 15 Lexington Rondo

    Additional Information

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Andy B's Avatar
      Andy B -
      Very nice work Jack. Itís great to hear what youíre doing these days.
    1. Al Bergstein's Avatar
      Al Bergstein -
      Good work on this Jack!