La Folía (Spanish), also folies d’Espagne (French), Follies of Spain (English) or Follia (Italian), is one of the oldest remembered European musical themes on record. The theme exists in two versions, referred to as early and late folias, the earlier being faster.
Follia is a standard chord progression (i-V-i-VII / III-VII-
[i or VI]-V / i-V-i-VII / III-VII-[i or VI7]-V[4-3sus]-i) and usually features a standard or “stock” melody line, a slow sarabande in triple meter, as its initial theme. This theme generally appears at the start and end of a given “Folia” composition, serving as “bookends” for a set of variations within which both the melodic line and even the meter may vary.
Here it is performed by Mandolinarte, the Mandolin Orchestra of Athens, in a live performance in April 2014.
I am playing the octave mandolin at this performance. Enjoy!