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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:09 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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But it raises the question how music is given from one generation to the next. Which is what tradition means. When reading or listening to interviews with well regarded players. Quite a few learned mostly from recordings, at least in the beginning. Some never had a teacher themselves, like Brendan Mullholland.



Through family, neighbours and the general environment. That stuff is well documented. Assimilation, soaking it up and paying attention to older players. A lot of older players were never formally taught. I sometimes quietly think they were better off too, perhaps a whole other discussion.

I seem to have problems making myself clearly understood today. I didn't ask how traditional passing on of music works - that was a rhetorical question. My real question is - what about the people who learned from recordings as so may have done? Would you say that passing tradition through other means than personal contact is not "legitimate"?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:14 am 
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Or how about taking some online lessons with Conal Ograda for instance or Brendan Mullholland, who both offer online teaching?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:20 am 
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These seem to me to be contradictory positions.


Not necessarily. People at the time didn't get around as much and radio hadn't arrived yet (and if it had, in many places electricity to run one hadn't). He may have been playing his local style and still sounding completely novel (and intimidating) to a local mountainy fiddler on the back of beyond in another part of the country.

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Would you say that passing tradition through other means than personal contact is not "legitimate"?


Learning tunes off recordings is a legitimate way of acquiring repertoire but I would say it falls well short of what you can get from being in the company of players. You'd be skimming the surface, missing the context. When people talk about 'the tradition' there's a bit more to it.

But it depends on what you want from all this. Full immersion may not be everybody's cup of tea.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:47 am 
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I think if one is going to criticise someone for teaching Irish music badly one ought to be sure that they are claiming to be teaching Irish music, as opposed to teaching Irish tunes as part of 'tin whistle music'. Does that person have an introductory video? What tunes are on it?

I am not going to seek out that James Last recording (if it was amongst those I took to a charity shop a few years ago I wasn't tempted to listen to it first ...) but I guess he is playing Irish tunes rather than Irish music. Just as in an interview somewhere on the web another James who Is quite good on the flute and pulls out a whistle occasionally quickly corrects the interviewer by saying he plays Irish tunes, not Irish music.

So far as the idea of 'tradition' is concerned I am inclined to go along with Mr Gumby and pancelticpiper's suggestions. It may have been Mr Gumby who some time ago said "You can only push the corners out from the inside".

The trouble with following up the hints in the OP (at the time it was written :wink: ) is that I can anticipate what youtube will be offering me for the next couple of weeks. I guess if someone is teaching a dance tune the potential student might ask themself "can I tap my foot to it?"


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:56 am 
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@Mr.Gumby
I think we agree more than we disagree :D.
When finally traveling and making music in public is considered safe again, I'd love to go to some kind of "music retreat" to Ireland. I'm also considering some online lessons... But of course I'm doing all that primarily for my own amusement (the rest of the family is not all that amused but luckily the house is big enough). Started way too late in life to get any good in any traditional music, no matter from where. The thing is, I'd even play German traditional music, if they had any good flute or whistle music. But it sounds more like this. This is actually Austrian but it's very similar. Just not my cup of tea. Maybe one day...
https://youtu.be/ANvf1NToNRg

But I kind of like this one:
https://youtu.be/Xzsoi_C_3IQ


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:51 pm 
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I am not going to seek out that James Last recording (if it was amongst those I took to a charity shop a few years ago I wasn't tempted to listen to it first ...)


He actually did the work and involved an almost complete Comhaltas tourgroup in the project. Still, the result was similar to André Rieu getting John Sheehan to play with them. Not very enjoyable from a traditional point of view.

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It may have been Mr Gumby who some time ago said "You can only push the corners out from the inside".


It was and I was tempted earlier to recycle that one for this discussion.

I think the problem is that in most traditional music, of any kind, the devil is in the detail. And you need to get at the detail if you want to get it right.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:35 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
the music of Cuba, the US, Argentina, and Brazil. All had mixed European and west African populations: what did their national musics have in common and in what ways did they differ, and why?


What a fascinating topic! I would have loved to have been in that classroom.

I've done a lot of listening and pondering on a similar question, how and why the fiddle traditions of Cape Breton, Northern Ireland, and Appalachia are so different.

And what are the roots of Appalachian fiddling. To me the closest styles are the oldest Appalachian fiddle recordings, and old Shetland fiddling.

PB+J wrote:
...the US had way more Irish people, early on: it has the Ulster crowd in the hills...


I'm from an area in Deepest Darkest Appalachia which was settled in the late 18th and beginning of the 19th century and there are zero Irish last names in the area. Nearly all the last names come from Nothern England, actually, with a few Scottish names thrown in.

It's important to understand that Ulster Scots were Scots and not Irish in any way. The first three setters were named Cooke (from London) Stewart (from Perthshire) and MacDonald (unknown). The Stewart did live in Ulster for a few years before coming to the Shenandoah, but he was Scottish born. Since these Scots sailed to America from Ulster ports they were listed as "Irish".

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:33 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
Definitely an interesting discussion so far. But one question - who's "your man"?

A Hiberno-English expression basically meaning "that guy."


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:10 am 
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I know but I wondered who he was referring to? Sean? I think he's a good player.
In all honesty, I almost never use any tutorials myself nowadays. Or just to learn the basic melody. Then I look for good recordings of the tune I wanna learn.
At the moment, I try to learn "the moving cloud" and use different versions for that - of course by Matt Molloy, and one by Orlaith McAuliffe, and I think Brian Finnegan also recorded it.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:54 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:

I'm from an area in Deepest Darkest Appalachia which was settled in the late 18th and beginning of the 19th century and there are zero Irish last names in the area. Nearly all the last names come from Nothern England, actually, with a few Scottish names thrown in.

It's important to understand that Ulster Scots were Scots and not Irish in any way. The first three setters were named Cooke (from London) Stewart (from Perthshire) and MacDonald (unknown). The Stewart did live in Ulster for a few years before coming to the Shenandoah, but he was Scottish born. Since these Scots sailed to America from Ulster ports they were listed as "Irish".


Scottish protestants started coming to Ireland in the 16th century, in the 1500s. So they have three hundred years in Ulster, multiple generations. Scotland and Ireland have a lot in common to begin with, and then hundreds of years residence in Ireland makes them Irish. For example I do an exercise in class where students search the Pennsylvania Gazette, which was Ben Franklin's newspaper and is now digitized online, for the term "runaway." Before about 1800, most of what they come up with is indentured servants described as "irish." Here's a typical example: there are hundreds like this.

"RUN away from the Subscriber, in King and Queen, Virginia, two white indented Servants, a Man and his Wife. The Man is English, about 5 Feet 5 Inches high, of a red Complexion, wears his Hair, is much Sun burnt, steps short and quick in his Walk, is a Brickmaker by Trade, and has a sett of
ShoemakerTools; had a short red Coat, red Breeches with Metal Buttons, an old green lappelled jacket, a Flannel Jacket with red Stripes, new Ozenbrigs Trowsers, with other Clothes, as he stole Part of mine; his Name is James Marrington. His Wife is about 30 Years of Age, about 5 Feet high, very thick, looks well, and has got good Clothes; she is an Irish Woman, and her Name is Mary Marrington."


They are fascinating to read on many levels--what's with the clothes!-- but they definitely see a category of people who are Irish, but they aren't Catholic, and they make a distinction between Irish and English


Here's another one, from 1738

"RUN away on the 28th inst. from the Subscriber hereof at Christiana Bridge, a Servant Man named James Downing, an Irish Man, he is short of Stature, black Complexion, broad Shoulders, bandy Legs, hooper arsed, walks as if he was Hip shot: Had on when he went away, a good Felt Hat, white quilted Cap, an old drab colour'd Broad Cloth Coat full trimm'd with open Sleeved, and no Pockets, an old reddish colour'd Waistcoat without Sleeves, old coarse Kersey Breeches, two pair of bluish Stockings, good Shoes and Buckles, he formerly was a Servant to Joseph Thomas of Pencader Hundred in New Castle County, afterwards went to Ireland, and came back again last Fall a Servant with Mr. James Johnson; he knows all Parts of the Country and is an abominable Lyar. Whoever takes up the said Runaway and brings him to his Master, or secures him so that he may be had again, shall have Twenty Shillings Reward and reasonable Charges paid by John Read."

"Downing" doesn't register as a stereotypical Irish name but they had has no doubt he was Irish, and in fact he goes back to Ireland and then returns to Delaware. Also he has a "black" complexion," which is not uncommon as a descriptor in these ads.


from 1745

ON Friday Night, being the 28th Day of December, run away from the Subscriber, in Frederick County, Two Convict Servants, the one an English man, born in Cheshire, named John Lightfoot, a Dish faced, Raw boned, well made Fellow, of a middle Stature, with short brown Hair, and thin Beard, his Nose is turned up at the End, speaks slow and easy, is by Trade a Mason and Bricklayer, an old Runaway (tho' not above 26 or 28 Years of Age) Had on when he went away, an old yellowish Broad Cloth Coat, a bluish grey, home made Cloth Waistcoat, a Pair of Leather Breeches, a Pair of grey ribbed Stockings, he has stolen and carried away with him, a new Pair of Shoe Boots, and a Pair of Thread stockings, several Linnen Caps, a fine Holland shirts, a young dark brown Gelding, about 14 Hands high, with a large star in his Forehead, and one of his hind Feet white, a curled sprig Tail, and branded on the near Buttock thus 3, a very small Boy's saddle, a new red snaffle Bridle, and a Rug of a spotted colour. The other a Woman, named Anne Lightfoot (his Wife) is an Irish woman but speaks very good English, she's both jolly and fat, and aged about 36 or 38 Years, hath lost one of her fore Teeth, hath a very large scar in her Forehead, just in the edge of her Hair, and another on one of her Arms; her clothing is a dark brown Camblet Gown, a blue Silk quilted Coat, and a Boy's Hat; she had with her several suits of Head linnen, Aprons, shifts, a yellowish Linsey Waistcoat, and Petticoat, with a Pair of Virginia Wooden heel Shoes. Whoever takes up and secures said Runaways , shall have besides all reasonable Charges, Ten Pounds Pennsylvania Money Reward, to be paid by Thomas Rutherford, High Sheriff of Frederick County in Virginia.

Or this one, from 1785:

"WAS committed to this goal the 3d of September, a man, who calls himself NICHOLAS KELLY, on suspicion of being a runaway servant; had on a brown surtout coat, a blue short coat, white linen trowsers, and old shoes with brass buckles. Likewise was committed about the same time, an Irish boy, who calls himself ROBERT CAMPBELL, about 13 or 14 years of age, had on a blue sailor's jacket, check shirt, striped trowsers, and no shoes. Their masters, if any they have, are hereby desired to come, prove their property, pay charges, and take them away, otherwise they will be discharged in three weeks from the date hereof, on paying their fees.

THOMAS TAYLOR, Goaler.
"

Notice that young Robert Campbell is understood to be an Irish person, not a Scot.

Colonial Americans had a clear category of Irish people, but these are not the Catholic Irish, who don't start coming in significant numbers till the 1830s and then after the Famine. These are the oft-mentioned "scots irish" who were clearly understood in early America as "Irish."

I would love to know what their music was like!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:22 am 
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PB+J wrote:
Scottish protestants started coming to Ireland in the 16th century, in the 1500s. So they have three hundred years in Ulster, multiple generations.


I'm sure that's so, but I'm talking about specific persons, in this case a Perthshire-born Scot who lived in Ulster for a few years before coming to the Shenandoah, and after the Revolutionary war coming to Appalachia.

And it's not just him. As the book Albion's Seed says in the chapter Borderlands to the Backcountry: The Flight From North Britain 1717-1775

"the first slow trickle of emigration from North Britain had begun much earlier, in the 17th century...then after the end of Queen Anne's War in 1713 the movement began to accelerate...peak periods occurred in 1718, 1729, 1741, 1767, and 1774.

Many scholars call these people Scotch-Irish, an Americanism...some immigrant groups that historians have labelled Scotch-Irish never lived in Ireland but came directly from Scotland."

Some Border families lived in Ulster for generations, some only a generation, some a few years, some not at all, before coming to America. In the main the emigration was through Ulster rather than from Ulster, and the people from Ulster were aware of their Britishness. One immigrant, upon being called Irish, exclaimed "we're not Irish, we're Scotch!" But Americans usually called them Irish.

Cecil Sharp wrote of the Appalachian highlanders:

"From an analysis of their traditional songs, ballads, dances, singing-games, etc they came from...probably the North of England, or the Border country..."

All I know is that the region my family has lived in since the late 18th century (I'm a direct ancestor of John Cooke and Ralph Stewart, the first two white settlers) has no Irish names among the original and early settlers. There are a couple Scottish names, but a look at the 1841 British census showed that all of the last names I looked up are concentrated in northern England, mainly Lancashire and Yorkshire. To speak of Appalachian culture as "Irish" is simply not correct. None of the 19th century mass migrations (from Ireland, Italy, Poland, Greece, Eastern Europe, etc) impacted the people and culture of Appalachia; they went to the cities of the north, pretty much.

What was a bigger cultural component of Appalachia than most people realise was the Pennsylvania Germans, due to West Virginia and Pennsylvania sharing a long border. Appalachia's most distinctive instruments, the lap dulcimore and the hammered dulcimer, are German.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:57 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
All I know is that the region my family has lived in since the late 18th century (I'm a direct ancestor of John Cooke and Ralph Stewart, the first two white settlers)


Didn't know you were that old!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 5:03 pm 
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Since it's been mentioned :
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=O ... jsDCJ1lTsY

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