Bal Folk (French/Breton) Dance Tunes (all instruments) w/ Rachel Bell at The Parlor Room - Archived

  • April 11, 2023 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • The Parlor Room

    32 Masonic Street
    Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
Ticket Price $25.00 This event is now over

The Parlor Room School of Music Presents
Bal Folk (French/Breton) Dance Tunes (all instruments) w/ Rachel Bell 
at The Parlor Room
Tuesday, April 11 
7pm - 8:30pm

TICKETS: $25 GA / $20 Members


Come with at least basic proficiency on your instrument and learn one or two bal folk tunes that you will get stuck in your head for weeks on end! Bal folk is French and European traditional dancing that is crazy popular in Europe and becoming more and more sought after in the States. An example of the excitement of this kind of dance  and (especially that moment around 1:10! wheeeee!). The tunes are enormously fun, memorable, and satisfying to play, ranging from spacious, subtle beauty to wild, raucous energy. We will focus a lot on what makes the tunes danceable and how to infuse them with infectious groove. We will explore what distinguishes them from other kinds of tunes and how to turn a simple melody into an adventurous ensemble arrangement. Here are a couple examples of types of tunes you might encounter in this tradition: a bourrée and a gavotte de l'aven We'll work by ear but don't worry-- we'll break it down into small pieces, and I'll provide sheet music as a reference later in the workshop. 


Rachel Bell 

Rachel Bell is an accordion player based in Brattleboro, VT, and in demand throughout North America and abroad for concerts, contra dances, French bal folk dances, English country dances, workshops, camps, and festivals. This performer, tunesmith, and teacher draws her inspiration from Celtic, French, English, Quebecois, and New England traditions. She thrives on ensemble work, especially with her bands Eloise & Co., Peregrine Road, Alchemy, and various combinations with Susan Kevra. In 2021, Rachel published a book of her original tunes, and it has sold over 400 copies! Her latest endeavors include starting a monthly bal folk dance at home with her bandmate Becky Tracy and delving into the wild world of grant writing to secure funding for projects like new band videos: When she’s not playing music, Rachel can usually be found looking for waterfalls or drinking a lot of espresso.


The Parlor Room Nonprofit and School of Music's mission is to: Promote a vibrant musical community in downtown Northampton, MA for musicians of all abilities and at all stages of their career. The Parlor Room will bring nationally touring and local acts to our listening room to provide an exceptional experience for the artist and audience and guide musicians and anyone interested in a career in the music industry through our school of music. Learn more at

The Parlor Room is a BYOB venue.  Tickets are non-refundable. 

The Parlor Room is located at 32 Masonic Street Northampton, MA 01060

Date & Time

Tue, Apr 11, 2023 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Venue Details

The Parlor Room

32 Masonic Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060 The Parlor Room
The Parlor Room