Ascolta! (= Listen!) is the name of the ensemble with which the editor played all the pieces in this book: in the classroom, in home music-making, outdoors and at international festivals. Listening is an indispensable precondition of group playing, particularly because the stylistically appropriate performance of folk music requires improvisational abilities. The performance material consists of sheet music that can be used without having to turn pages. This sheet music has also been prepared for instruments in C, B flat and for guitar on the enclosed CD-ROM. The subheading variable ensemble is to be taken literally, for there are practically no limits to the imagination when it comes to the scoring and the execution of the pieces: the classical melody instruments can be supplemented by the accordion, the guitar and percussion. The 14 pieces come from Europe, South America, and from Yiddish folk music. The edition is rounded off by tips and comments on ensemble playing, on the individual pieces, and on the performance of percussion instruments; further, there are free translations of the song texts.