Wyldes Noyse

The Folia Challenge 2007

How to take the Folia Challenge

La Folia is a really old tune. It was first written down about 400 years ago and has been used as a basis for compositions and improvisations ever since. Corelli was a Baroque composer who wrote one of the most famous sets of variations on La Folia and hundreds of big stars and enthusiastic musicians have been playing and writing this tune their own way ever since. If you would like to see the list so far and hear some examples check out this website: www.folia.tk/

Now itís your turn! Once you've learned to play the basic melody of La Folia, you can start to change it around to make your own version. There are lots of ways to do this so try picking one or two from this list. You can find a backing track here.

  1. Play with the rhythm. You will notice that the rhythm of the original is quite simple Ė it repeats every 2 bars for most of the piece. Can you make up your own 2 bar rhythm pattern and play it using the original notes? Is your rhythm still in ¾ time (3 beats in each bar) or is it in another time signature?

  2. Add a few notes. See if you can play the melody as written but maybe doodle a bit between notes, for example the first 2 bars go C  C  C B  B, but you could make them go CD  C  C B  A  B. Click here to see this written in musical notation.

  3. Change the tempo (speed). Play the piece slowly then more quickly. How does it effect the mood of the music?

  4. Add some dynamics. Try playing some bits loud and some bits quietly, find a combination you like and mark in f for forte under the loud bits and p for piano under the quiet bits. You could also add some crescendos (getting louder) and diminuendos (getting quieter).
    Use the notes of La Folia to make up your own tune. Work out what notes are used in the tune and play around with them using the backing track as an accompaniment.

Once youíve made a version you like write something down to help you remember it, maybe a description of what you did, the rhythm you used or by writing your extra notes in on your sheet of music.

Eventually your piece will become part of our own set of variations and your name will be mentioned as a composer of a Folia on the folia website (www.folia.tk/).