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 Post subject: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 4:05 pm 
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Am I correctly understanding how to do a turn? The description I read was thus - play the note above the main note first, main note, note below the main, main. So a turn on E, say coming form G would be: F- E- D -E.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 4:12 pm 
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Do you mean turns or rolls? (While the notes might be pretty well the same, the execution is completely different!)

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 4:23 pm 
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That's not remotely the way a roll in Irish (or Scottish) music is played.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 4:50 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Do you mean turns or rolls? (While the notes might be pretty well the same, the execution is completely different!)

Right. While a turn is a melodic ornament - IOW one clearly hears all the notes - a roll is rhythmic in character: properly done, the F# and D of an E roll are so brief as to be blips that register no clear pitch to the ear.

Michael, for turns you have the progression right, but I'm not as sure of your choice of terms. Rolls get a lot of discussion around here among Trad players, because they're bread and butter; turns, OTOH, seldom if ever get covered except to say that they're not rolls if rolls are what you're trying to do. To wit:

An E roll begins not with the F#, but with the E, thusly: E (F#) E (D) E (the parentheses are to convey the highly fugitive nature of those notes). The effect should sound much like E E E; the difference is that it's articulated with the fingers, not the breath.

And then there are long and short rolls; you can even do a reverse roll if it suits you.

Here's a vid that does a decent job at demonstrating the general idea:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIylr_B1_U0

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:28 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Do you mean turns or rolls? (While the notes might be pretty well the same, the execution is completely different!)

I have some sheet music with a notation which looks like an S on its side. A music theory book calls this a "turn" and as I read the description it is played as I stated. It seemed somewhat awkward.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:34 pm 
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@Nano -

Michael, for turns you have the progression right

Yes you have hit it I think. I had thought a roll was played as you describe and this is what i practice at. In reading the description of a turn I began to think maybe I was wrong. My original understanding was the main note, e.g. E with a quick F# and D. the same above/below pattern on any main note.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 7:25 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
My original understanding was the main note, e.g. E with a quick F# and D. the same above/below pattern on any main note.

Yep, that's the basics of a roll.

Michael w6 wrote:
I have some sheet music with a notation which looks like an S on its side. A music theory book calls this a "turn" and as I read the description it is played as I stated. It seemed somewhat awkward.

And this was for a Trad tune? I'm not sure I've ever seen the sideways S used in Trad notation to indicate a roll, but I suppose some transcribers might go there; our offenses are beyond counting, after all, so why not that, too? If I have seen it, it would have been long ago, though. IMO it ought to be unnecessary in any case.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 7:41 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Michael w6 wrote:
My original understanding was the main note, e.g. E with a quick F# and D. the same above/below pattern on any main note.

Yep, that's the basics of a roll.

Michael w6 wrote:
I have some sheet music with a notation which looks like an S on its side. A music theory book calls this a "turn" and as I read the description it is played as I stated. It seemed somewhat awkward.

And this was for a Trad tune? I'm not sure I've ever seen the sideways S used in Trad notation to indicate a roll, but I suppose some transcribers might go there; our offenses are beyond counting, after all, so why not that, too? If I have seen it, it would have been long ago, though. IMO it ought to be unnecessary in any case.


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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 8:35 pm 
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Ninth version, right? I don't know that symbol; looks like half a mordent. If a mordent's what it's supposed to be, a mordent would work there; it's a single trill (ABA, for example). A turn, even moreso a roll, would indeed be so awkward as not to fit.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:12 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
Am I correctly understanding how to do a turn? The description I read was thus - play the note above the main note first, main note, note below the main, main. So a turn on E, say coming form G would be: F- E- D -E.


As people are pointing out there are turns, and there are rolls.

I personally don't do any turns on whistle, except in slow airs, where they're a common way of embellishing, in traditional music and in jazz alike.

In reels and jigs I play rolls. It's possible for a turn and a roll to contain the same notes, but the timing is completely different.

So we can take B on the whistle, a turn on B and a roll on B might both have these notes

xoo ooo
ooo ooo
xoo ooo
xxo ooo
xoo ooo

but in a turn the first notes B C# B A are all timed exactly evenly, then you dwell on the final B.

In a roll there are three B's which are equally-timed melody notes BBB

with infinitesimally small blips separating them, first C# then A. These aren't heard as "notes" but are instantaneous flicks of the finger.

One could write a roll on B as B'B,B with the ' meaning the quickest possible C# and the , meaning the quickest possible A.

Irish trad players generally call the gracenotes above the note being rolled "cuts" and the gracenotes below the note being rolled "pats".

Since cuts and pats are so short that they aren't heard as distinct notes the exact pitch of them doesn't matter, they're chosen more for effect than what note they are.

So the note G can be cut with A or B or C (you just lift a single finger) for example

xxx ooo
xox ooo
xxx ooo

is two Gs separated by a B cut.

I and many players generally cut the lower-hand notes with A cuts, for example F#

xxx xoo
xxo xoo
xxx xoo

Here's a short video I did demonstrating rolls on all the notes from Bottom D to High B on a high D whistle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfu_fDUyNHs&t=41s

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 1:49 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Ninth version, right? I don't know that symbol; looks like half a mordent.

It's just a tilde, looking somewhat angular in whatever font the ABC-to-staff rendering is using. It's actually specified for rolls in the ABC standard despite the potential confusion with turns:

http://abcnotation.com/wiki/abc:standard:v2.1#decorations
~ Irish roll

Quote:
If a mordent's what it's supposed to be, a mordent would work there; it's a single trill (ABA, for example).

Don't get me started on mordents and inverted mordents because there's a perpetual argument about which is which...

Quote:
A turn, even moreso a roll, would indeed be so awkward as not to fit.

A turn would be horrendous, but it seems like a perfectly natural place for a long roll to me. (That said, I agree that it shouldn't be necessary to notate what's up to the performer.)

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 2:10 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Don't get me started on mordents and inverted mordents because there's a perpetual argument about which is which...

Ha! Yes. From memory, I believe that that particular argument has been running for hundreds of years.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 4:15 am 
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ABC notation!!

It's not very specific, and there's no consensus how to notate things, so you could have several correct transcriptions of a performance but each one different in the ABC.

Basically ABC is handy if you already have a thorough knowledge of Irish Traditional Music, but I think it's next to worthless for notating the details of Irish trad flute and whistle performance practices.

When I was teaching Irish flute workshops at festivals there would always be "classical" fluteplayers attending, that is, people who were sight-readers but unfamiliar with ITM. I would have the tunes written out such that sight-readers could produce fairly trad-sounding performances even if they had never heard ITM. (There's a tendency to blame the sight-readers, rather than put the blame where it belongs, on the people who produce inaccurate transcriptions.)

Bottom line, use ABC as shorthand but don't try to base your playing on it. For that watch, listen, and take lessons.

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Last edited by pancelticpiper on Sun May 24, 2020 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 4:20 am 
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Bottom line, use ABC as shorthand but don't try to base your playing on it. For that watch, listen, and take lessons.


ABC, the computer notation, is capable of highly detailed transcripts that convert to staff notation. Shorthand ABC scribbled on paper i a completely different thing and the two should, at this stage, not be confused.

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 Post subject: Re: TURNS
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 4:35 am 
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It might be capable of a transcription detailed enough to be of use to somebody not already thoroughly knowledgeable with ITM, but if so I've not seen such. Certainly as used by nearly all the people who use it, ABC is quite vague.

I have to stress that there are two levels of accuracy and detail, one is transcriptions which are deemed accurate and detailed enough for people with a working knowledge of ITM, for whom much can be left for them to fill in on their own.

The other is a far higher level of accuracy and detail, such as would enable a good sight-reader who has never heard ITM to immediately produce a performance, from sight-reading a transcription alone, that is fairly idiomatic.

Plenty of flutists are quite good enough sight-readers to read such. Few are the practitioners of ITM who know enough about transcribing flute music to produce transcriptions of that level.

ITM isn't alone, not by a long shot! Jazz musicians write out transcriptions that they can read and produce idiomatic jazz, but if a good sight-reader who had never heard jazz sight-read the transcription it would sound like a fugue.

ITM players, and jazz players, within their own worlds get so used to the norms of their transcribing practices that they often don't realise how sketchy they are. It takes having a good sight-reader from outside of their world to read the transcriptions to demonstrate how short the transcriptions fall from capturing the bulk of the details of their performance practices.

If I have a hard time making out just what a blurry photo shows the blame is not with my eyes, nor the subject, but with the photographer.

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