Hollantse Boerenlieties

In the early 1700s, the Netherlands had a wealthy populace, and music was a common hobby. So what did people play? Well, not everyone was able to play the big name composers that we today associate with that era. Instead, several publishers made good money by selling large collections of fairly simple monophonic melodies. One particular collection, "Oude en Nieuwe Hollantse Boerenlieties en Contredansen" ("Old and New Dutch Peasant Songs and Contra Dances) numbered about a thousand melodies. (Check out the melodies here.)

Now this is where the story gets interesting. I am arranging this collection for recorder quartet. I have released a number of scores on IMSLP. Download them and have fun with it. Here's a playlist with some more pieces.

Thanks to a recently funded project on kickstarter I will between now and mid 2016 produce 240 of these tunes and release them all under a Creative Commons License, meaning that you can download them and use them however you see fit.

Here are a couple more videos of these arrangements.