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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:28 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
Azalin wrote:
Redwolf wrote:
Or we can just leave. We know when we're not wanted.


If it were only true, but sadly some people don't get it...


You missed what I was saying. I meant I'm leaving. I'm tired of this same old bs coming up again and again, and I definitely not interested in playing with people who automatically assume my playing is going to be substandard before I so much as pick up a whistle.

Redwolf


I don't think anyone is *not* wanted here. I love the discussions and difference of opinion. Do you think I or someone lacked respect for you? You shouldnt leave.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:05 pm 
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Peter Laban wrote:
I don't know why the sheet music thing has become such a dogma, notations have always been used, not as a primary learning tool maybe but always as an aid to memory (to paraphrase Breathnach). For godsake, there's piles of manuscripts left by Padraig O'Keeffe, tunes he wrote for his students. Almost every teacher I know hands out written tunes as a back up, I do it myself if the students prefer it that way. Martin Rochford kept shelves full of manuscripts in his kichen, he had tunes there written for him by Johnny Doran and Seamus Ennis. It's not necessarily blasphemy if you use the stuff, if you use it the right way. :roll:


I think that may be just about the best thing I've read on this subject in my years reading the board. Bravo!

~ad
user of dots and ears


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:29 pm 
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rh wrote:
Kysh wrote:
I would be more than happy to, if he rephrased his post more politely. ;>


Kysh:
Upon reflection, I am sorry if you found my remarks offensive. Thank you for your clarifications. I still regard your opinions on Western art music as ill-informed. But that's neither here nor there.


Thank you; We can differ on the point of me being ill-informed, as I do not believe that I am. My knowledge of the subject is not small, but it is all gathered empirically rather than learnt from a book, so it is possible that others, even well versed in music, might not see eye-to-eye with me. I accept that I cannot know everything, nor people's motivations; However, it's overt that with rare exceptions anything but extremely subtle interpretation, usually involving feramtae, is not common in classically trained musicians. I am a 'classically trained' euphonium player. I adore the power of mid and low brass in arrangements, and the lyric poise of them solo; But there's something lacking .. something intangible .. if interpretation is limited to 'accepted' variance.

On the other hand, it's something I hear missing a lot in irish music, as well; Less, perhaps, because of sheet music-- Though that is one culprit I'm sure-- and more because of the dictates of a 'tradition'; The problem with 'tradition' is that it wasn't always 'traditional'. People didn't gather to talk about the chromatic variations in a reel, or the vagaries of mixolydian temperment-- They got together to play for the sheer joy of it.

That joy seems to be greatly lacking in many cases, and I'm happy to 'bend' tradition to get it back- Whether that means not gasping in horror if someone wants to play a 'non traditional' instrument, not breaking someone's fingers for playing spoons with energy and enthusiasm and some understanding of what they're doing, not making a nice, tight little closed session circle, not getting up to have a drink whenever anyone starts to sing or play an aire..

.. It's the joy that we miss in these discussions, in the renditions of what we hear -- It's the lack of joy that makes so many solo recordings of tunes sound flat and lifeless.

It's the lack of joy that makes people say, "I really can't stand irish trad" because they've been kicked between the legs one too many times for 'playing out' at a session.. the lack of joy that dour-faced pipers show when they walk out on an openly gay performer, the lack of 'care' for a language that is more expressive than any other on the planet

In my opinion, it's damned sad. Sheet music or not.

Play with joy; Make music with abandon. Don't let the 'tradition' become a stony-faced set of parents who whip you when you get out of line.

-Kysh

PS. ... And I speak as someone who plays quite traditionally ...
PPS. ... We are not here to imitate the masters by turning their joy in playing into some static 'traditional method' ...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:38 pm 
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aderyn_du wrote:
Peter Laban wrote:
I don't know why the sheet music thing has become such a dogma, notations have always been used, not as a primary learning tool maybe but always as an aid to memory (to paraphrase Breathnach). For godsake, there's piles of manuscripts left by Padraig O'Keeffe, tunes he wrote for his students. Almost every teacher I know hands out written tunes as a back up, I do it myself if the students prefer it that way. Martin Rochford kept shelves full of manuscripts in his kichen, he had tunes there written for him by Johnny Doran and Seamus Ennis. It's not necessarily blasphemy if you use the stuff, if you use it the right way. :roll:


I think that may be just about the best thing I've read on this subject in my years reading the board. Bravo!

~ad
user of dots and ears


Yeah,
Kinda sez it all'
Doesn't it just. :wink:

Slan,
D.

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Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:17 am 
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Azalin wrote:
Redwolf wrote:
Azalin wrote:
Redwolf wrote:
Or we can just leave. We know when we're not wanted.


If it were only true, but sadly some people don't get it...


You missed what I was saying. I meant I'm leaving. I'm tired of this same old bs coming up again and again, and I definitely not interested in playing with people who automatically assume my playing is going to be substandard before I so much as pick up a whistle.

Redwolf


I don't think anyone is *not* wanted here. I love the discussions and difference of opinion. Do you think I or someone lacked respect for you? You shouldnt leave.


What people like me are seeing with this argument (that started in 2001 -- same old stuff from both sides, just another year) is that if sheet music is how I've learned to play anything "Irish", my playing is reprehensible, my "feel for the music" has to be horrendous, etc ad nauseum. Sure you've had some bad experiences at sessions with lousy musicians. I bet any starting whistlers lucky enough to find a session has just as many horror stories about rude, egotistical, patronizing, high-snoot musicians. (No, this is not a description of you ... unless it fits :wink: )

Why be surprised when someone like Redwolf gets hurt & offended ... and leaves? Sometimes it seems like the only opinions welcome here have to come from a select few -- no newer voices allowed. For myself, I envy your talent, your apparent freedom to travel to Ireland, your skill. No matter how hard I wish it to be, I wasn't born in Ireland -- I can't grow up learning the music the 'right' way .... and God won't let me be Joanie Madden when I grow up, either - I asked.

I guess I really rambled along with all this to really say:
"This is a dead horse, y'all -- it won't run. Why keep beating it?"

~Judy


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:57 am 
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Hi Judy

Way to go!!!.

Play your tunes in whatever way you wish. As long as you enjoy playing them and any audience you have enjoys listening to them, who cares how you learned them and whether they sound Irish/ Scottish/ Breton/ Galician/ Asturian/ whatever.

David

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:15 am 
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Sheesh! Some of you guys make it sound that one must go to Ireland and sit at the feet of the masters, or only listen to the recordings of someone's deemed authentic gurus. I think there is a bit of snobbery winding its way through this thread.

I am am amateur, one of no particular talent, and a relatively new player. I cannot depend on just my ears or I would have a repetoire of about four tunes and I would be bored silly. . I hear what the purists say about the evils of sheet music alone. I need that music to help me get fluency. I have not been playing long enough to have many note patterns in my muscle memory. Once I have that fluency I play along with my recordings. I get the best approximation I can. Not everyone is a talented musician here. I will never be a great player. But I love the music and I love playing it the best I can. If I had to depend on my ears alone, I would not be playing and that would leave a dark hole in my life.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:07 am 
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jkrazy52 wrote:

Quote:
I don't think anyone is *not* wanted here. I love the discussions and difference of opinion. Do you think I or someone lacked respect for you? You shouldnt leave.


What people like me are seeing with this argument (that started in 2001 -- same old stuff from both sides, just another year) is that if sheet music is how I've learned to play anything "Irish", my playing is reprehensible, my "feel for the music" has to be horrendous, etc ad nauseum. Sure you've had some bad experiences at sessions with lousy musicians. I bet any starting whistlers lucky enough to find a session has just as many horror stories about rude, egotistical, patronizing, high-snoot musicians. (No, this is not a description of you ... unless it fits :wink: )

Why be surprised when someone like Redwolf gets hurt & offended ... and leaves? Sometimes it seems like the only opinions welcome here have to come from a select few -- no newer voices allowed. For myself, I envy your talent, your apparent freedom to travel to Ireland, your skill. No matter how hard I wish it to be, I wasn't born in Ireland -- I can't grow up learning the music the 'right' way .... and God won't let me be Joanie Madden when I grow up, either - I asked.

I guess I really rambled along with all this to really say:
"This is a dead horse, y'all -- it won't run. Why keep beating it?"

~Judy


I wish I knew why people keep beating the dead horse but you'll find lots of recurring topics around here where this happens. :D

Every time this topic comes up two points get made which are opposite sides of the same coin. Every time, some people correct the misconceptions, but that doesn't prevent them from coming straight back in a few weeks or months.

One side of the coin is that the use of notation for any purpose at all in the teaching of Irish music (perhaps all folk music) is misguided, wrong, the well-spring of bad habits, sinful, inauthentic, unhygenic, environmentally unsound and probably both fascist and Stalinist. This time around, Peter seems to have ridiculed this view effectively, but every time this topic surfaces there is a group of people who weigh in with this point. I'm not going back over ten pages to prove my point but, at a conservative estimate, I'd guess that Peter was probably about the tenth person to make it this time around. Regarding this view as farcical is perfectly compatible with holding that ear training is essential to learning to play Irish music well.

The other side of the same coin is that everything you need to know to play classical music well is contained either in the dots or in the composer's marginal instructions. This view is equally farcical. Just watch a voice coach training a singer in phrasing or a violin virtuoso giving a master class. When they stop the student to demonstrate how something is done they are not criticising something that the student is missing in the dots; they are teaching aspects of interpretation that are not contained in the score, no matter how heavily annotated. I'd be inclined to say that everyone with hands on experience of high-level classical training would know the importance of mimicry and ear training except that people who miss this point keep saying they have deep and high-level classical experience. I can only guess that their experience was not very reflective.

Why don't people take either of these points? Your guess is as good as mine, perhaps better, but I think the misconception starts with classical music and spreads outwards from there. I think that people are under the misconception that formality and stiffness is actually written into the score, is somehow inescapably there in the dots. Once you make this mistake, it is a short jump to the idea that, for folk music, to avoid stiffness you must at all costs avoid dots.

Better to just avoid the misconception to start with.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:11 am 
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Lizzie wrote:
Sheesh! Some of you guys make it sound that one must go to Ireland and sit at the feet of the masters, or only listen to the recordings of someone's deemed authentic gurus. I think there is a bit of snobbery winding its way through this thread.

It seems like basic common sense to me. Trying to learn to play Irish music while listening to only The Paperboys and Great Big Sea (to name two groups I like) is like trying to learn to play classical music by listening to only Hooked On Classics albums, or trying to learn to play bee bop by listening to Kenny G.

I guess if saying the good stuff is better than the not-so-good stuff is snobbery, then I'll take the label snob with pride.

It's not like it takes lots of money or something. For the price of one of those Burke whistles that everyone seems to have, a person could get a nice sampling of great Irish music that would last for years of study. (Say, Joe Cooley, The Mountain Road (with tunebook), Live at Mona's, Music at Matt Molloy's, and a John Carty CD to round things out. But that's just one list out of quite a few possbilities.)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:12 am 
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Peter Laban wrote:
I don't know why the sheet music thing has become such a dogma, notations have always been used, not as a primary learning tool maybe but always as an aid to memory (to paraphrase Breathnach). For godsake, there's piles of manuscripts left by Padraig O'Keeffe, tunes he wrote for his students. Almost every teacher I know hands out written tunes as a back up, I do it myself if the students prefer it that way. Martin Rochford kept shelves full of manuscripts in his kichen, he had tunes there written for him by Johnny Doran and Seamus Ennis. It's not necessarily blasphemy if you use the stuff, if you use it the right way. :roll:

Why don't we let this thread die on this note (until it resurfaces in another year or so)?

Susan ***busily sewing Peter's words into a lovely (but large) cross-stitch sampler***


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:45 am 
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As someone immersed in the classical music tradition, I have some comments. The difference between a beginner/intermediate player and an artist is that the artist isn't just simply playing notes on a page. They are expressing something through those notes. Much of "me" comes out in my playing. I may play the same piece of music quite differently than another player, even though we both began with the same "notes on the page". The ability to play expressively is something that takes years of immersion and hard work to master. Some never master it. The reason classical musicians study with an expert teacher is not to learn how to play notes on a page, but how to express something through those notes. For ITM players that haven't been lucky enough to be immersed in the culture for years, it appears than many of you immerse yourself by careful listening, going to sessions, going to masterclasses, and so forth. The ability to play good music must be "caught". Learning to play in a new musical style is similar - it takes time, willingness to unlearn old habits, exposure and hard work.

Oh, and for those of you that think orchestral musicians are automatons, this simply isn't so. Sometimes I'll get recordings of a work by several different orchestras, to see how each principal flute played some of the solos. Each musician (in any musical tradition) brings much of who they are personally to their playing.

Dana


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 11:40 am 
I must insert here that the beginning whistlers here in town, say the age group of 8-12, are taught by ear and supplied with the notes. BUT they are being taught by a whistler who has the msuic down to the finest detail who manages to instantly transfer that magic quality, that little special lift, that finesse of phrasing and that instinctive understanding of the phrasing and structure of the tune to even the beginners. There no denying there's a quality there that comes naturally with the proicess oftransmission that anyone from the outside will have to work on immensely hard, if ever they want to get it.

As an example, listen to last weeks concert (see ITM forum for download details) and spot Anne Ruth Benagh playing the Dear irish Boy and Kiss the Maid behind the Bar on the whistle. A sixteen or seventeen year old girl, that. Immersion and absorbtion indeed.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 11:58 am 
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Peter Laban wrote:
I must insert here that the beginning whistlers here in town, say the age group of 8-12, are taught by ear and supplied with the notes. BUT they are being taught by a whistler who has the msuic down to the finest detail who manages to instantly transfer that magic quality, that little special lift, that finesse of phrasing and that instinctive understanding of the phrasing and structure of the tune to even the beginners. There no denying there's a quality there that comes naturally with the proicess oftransmission that anyone from the outside will have to work on immensely hard, if ever they want to get it.

This is why so many of us classical music types spend years studying, immersing ourselves in the style, and perfecting our craft. I had the added blessing to be raised in a family of classical musicians, and was immersed at an early age.

On the other hand, I don't think expert players should look with distain at people that play for the sheer joy of playing, but may never be an "artist". That kinda takes all the joy out of it...

Dana


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:19 pm 
dhigbee wrote:
On the other hand, I don't think expert players should look with distain at people that play for the sheer joy of playing, but may never be an "artist". That kinda takes all the joy out of it...

Dana


I don't think that either, i know a lot of people who can play a few tunes for their own amusement and do a nice job on what they have, in a simple way the yhave nice music. On the other hand though I don't think 'for my own amusement' should be an excuse for not getting the simple basics of a music right.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:44 pm 
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Peter Laban wrote:
dhigbee wrote:
On the other hand, I don't think expert players should look with distain at people that play for the sheer joy of playing, but may never be an "artist". That kinda takes all the joy out of it...

Dana


I don't think that either

I never thought you did. :)

By the way, I'm one of those types when it comes to ITM. Very much a rank beginner. For me, the best way to learn a tune is to listen to an expert play it, and try to imitate what they're doing. My life is so full that I don't have the time or the accessibility to "immerse".


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