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Stages d'été dans Le Fraysee
Summer Class on Arranging Street Organ Music
conducted by Jean Potteck in Le Fraysee, France
by Robbie Rhodes (010605 MMDigest)
Iluustrations courtesy Jean Potteck

MMDer Jean Potteck will once again conduct a one-week summer course on arranging music especially for small crank organs, to be held July 30 to August 5, 2001, in Le Fraysse, a restored old village situated at 800 meters (2600 feet) in the mountains of Ardeche, near Valence in southeast France.  The price is 2000 FF (about 250 US$) which includes the training course and all board and lodging (room and meals).

Last years course was attended by ten trainees who worked with eight computers, printers, scanners, drilling machines, cardboard folding machines, and computer music programs.

The instruction program is built around the MIDI editing software "Harmony Assistant", for which Jean helped to develop the special features for the street organ.  It is published by Myriad of Toulouse; an English evaluation version can be downloaded at the web site

The trainee learns to enter the melody into a MIDI file and to create chords and accompaniment, assisted by the features of "Harmony Assistant" which analyze the melody notes and suggest appropriate chords, etc.

Then the target organ is defined so that the program knows which notes can and cannot be played.  The program analyzes the song and displays unavailable notes and offers suggestions, such as transposition.  When all is okay the program prints a template so the student can punch the holes in the book music cardboard or paper roll.

Jean says, "The people going to this training course are very satisfied by the performance of "Harmony" for printing cards or rolls, and because the eating, sleeping and working are all together in Le Fraysse, all the day is used to work and exchange ideas and experiences about music for street organs."

Two other related summer training courses will be held also in Le Fraysse :

 - Building organ pipes of tin or wood, 16-22 July 2001, organized by André Bouvier, a professional organ builder

 - Building pneumatic street organ, 23-29 July 2001, directed by Patrice Lauvergeon for about ten years.

Many other summer training courses (stages d'été) are held in the old village, organized by Association Echanges Culturels et Artisanaux (Cultural and Arts & Crafts Exchanges Association):

  Association ECA Le Fraysse, Stages d'été,
  07570 Desaignes
  Tel. +33 (0)4 75 06 55 47

To find Le Fraysee on a map: find the autoroute that goes south along the Rhône from Lyon to Marseille and Nimes.  At Valence, 90 km south of Lyon, go west on road D533 about 30 km to Lamastre and Desaignes; Le Fraysee is a bit north of these two towns, toward the Doux river.

Pictures of Le Fraysee and of Jean playing the Orgue de Barbarie are below.

For more information about the summer courses please write to Jean Potteck <> .

Robbie Rhodes






le 6 Juni 2001

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