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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 9:44 am 
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Peter has given us a quite a treat! This is the first installment in a set of Micho Russell recordings and transcriptions. The first offering is "Scotch Mary". Many thanks to you, Peter, for sharing such treasures.

As Brother Steve is away on holiday, the transcription has been posted to my page at:

http://www.nwparalegal.com/music/scotchmary.htm

Teri


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 3:58 pm 
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Fantastic! .Despite the poor quality of the recording(no offence meant Peter)the whistle just shines through the ambient noise! I agree with every word you say re Micho's playing- this music is timeless in it's 'apparent'simplicity, thank you for sharing it with us!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 12:40 am 
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Thankyou, Peter and Teri. Keeps our noses to the grindstone!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 2:05 pm 
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Thank you, Peter. Your recordings and transcriptions are a great gift to players.

For those who rely on the dots, may I suggest one change? In the B part, all of the C's in measures 10, 12, 14, and 16 come through on the recording as clearly sharped. At least to my ear, this is not an instance where he's playing that ambiguous note, "C supernatural."

--C#/D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 3:03 pm 
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Wow, agree on 10 & 14 but totally disagree on 12 & 16 -- it's the same bar that ends the A section, and it sounds exactly the same to my ear.

Is anyone having weird problems with these MP3 files? They seem to run okay with QuickTime, but either fail or sound weird with my normal MP3 playing programs.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 5:10 pm 
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On 2002-09-05 17:03, colomon wrote:
Wow, agree on 10 & 14 but totally disagree on 12 & 16


Colomon,

I just took a couple more passes through the mp3. To my ear, what I wrote holds true for the first time through the tune. The second time through, on the repeat of the B part, he plays a Cnat in measure 16 (this is the end of the sound clip). I hear a big difference between this and the end of the tune the first time through. YMMV.

It's interesting that we hear these parts differently. Obviously the dots can't do the music justice.

--C#/D


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:59 am 
Possibly a matter of taking certain things for granted, the triplets in 10 and 14 are likely to be sharps, I would think of the other ones as naturals but he does vary them a bit. This is a transcription I made at full speed, what I did was listen to a phrase and then play it myself before writing it down. I noticed in a few cases I initially wrote down what I would play myself, these things usually get corrected when I go over the transcription to finalise it. But it was interesting to note that, you easily fill in things with what you know.
I downloaded slow down software since to deal with details I fail to pick up at full speed, I am satisfied the four remaining Micho transcriptions I have submitted are accurate enough, listening at half speed irons out a few ambiguities.
As for the MP3s I use goldwave and a related program, razorLAME to encode files. It turns out they encode the soundfile as MP3 2.5 which is not an official standard and is not supported by all software. If there are any problems out there, let us know so we can put things right.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Laban on 2002-09-06 04:21 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 7:27 am 
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Interestingly, I found that if you look up Scotch Mary in JC's abc tune finder, you'll find a couple of transcriptions in A mixolydian (rather than A dorian) -- meaning that in those versions *all* the C's, including those in the A part, are sharped. I guess this is one of those tunes that "goes both ways."

Quote:
On 2002-09-06 02:59, Peter Laban wrote:
... I am satisfied the four remaining Micho transcriptions I have submitted are accurate enough, ... If there are any problems out there, let us know so we can put things right.


Please take another look at Sporting Nell. It seems to me that many of the C's in the B part (e.g., measures 9-11), which are sharped by the key signature, should have natural signs.

(Lest you get the wrong idea, I'm not obsessed with C#'s ... despite my signature!)

Thanks,
--C#/D


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:04 am 
I haven't seen Sporting Nell, it went off with a wrong keysignature and I sent a correction immediately after it, apparently Teri must have missed that one, she's a lot on. All Cs in the second part are naturals as far as I remember, sorry about that, we'll get everything fixed when the stuff goes to it's final resting place on Steve's site.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:52 am 
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To my ear, what I wrote holds true for the first time through the tune. The second time through, on the repeat of the B part, he plays a Cnat in measure 16 (this is the end of the sound clip). I hear a big difference between this and the end of the tune the first time through. YMMV.


I agree that all Cs in the B part are true C sharps, except for the very last one. I'd add that C's in the A part are distincly sharp, ranging from roughly 1/4 tone above true Cnat to almost C sharp. (Which might be why the Cs in the B part do not sound as sharp as they "objectively" are.)

Another question is *how* (what fingerings) he does that. It's hard to tell because different whistles will respond in different ways to different breath pressures...
My guess is that C sharps in the B part are played the standard way, with every hole uncovered. In the A part, he might be using
oxo ooo, or oxx ooo, or both...

For the transcription, I'd go for a simple approximation: only C natural in part A, only C sharp in part B, maybe with an explanatory note for the die-hards.

Sylvain


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 10:22 am 
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On 2002-09-06 11:52, SylvainM wrote:
Another question is *how* (what fingerings) he does that. ...
My guess is that C sharps in the B part are played the standard way, with every hole uncovered. In the A part, he might be using
oxo ooo, or oxx ooo, or both...


I've been thinking about this too. Perhaps he's half-holing Cnats throughout (except for the triplets), and sometimes uncovering more than half a whole.

--C#/D


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 2:14 pm 
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Quote:
On 2002-09-06 09:27, csharpd wrote:
Interestingly, I found that if you look up Scotch Mary in JC's abc tune finder, you'll find a couple of transcriptions in A mixolydian (rather than A dorian) -- meaning that in those versions *all* the C's, including those in the A part, are sharped. I guess this is one of those tunes that "goes both ways."


In fact there are at least 3 versions.
One is similar to Peter's transcription, ie all Cs are natural. The second is the same except all Cs are sharp (including those in the first part, which I find a bit surprising).
The third is in Amix throughout; the B part is close to that of version 2, but the A part is quite different. I found it in Henrik Norbeck's collection, with alternative title "The Abbey Reel" and "Dervish: At the End of th Day" as discographical reference.

Has anyone ideas on which version is older, and how it might have evolved?

Sylvain

PS: By the way, I do have problems listening to the sound files on my Linux system. XMMS screws up several bars; alsaplayer reads "Scotch Mary" OK (though not perfectly) but gets nothing out of "Sporting Nellie".


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2002 2:26 am 
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On 2002-09-06 12:22, csharpd wrote:
Quote:

I've been thinking about this too. Perhaps he's half-holing Cnats throughout (except for the triplets), and sometimes uncovering more than half a whole.

--C#/D


Micho definitely didn't half hole Cs, I think you'd find he left his lower hand on for the c sharps.
In this case however it's hard to say which way he wanted to go, I have the same type of whistle here he was using in that paticular concert, an old style brass Generation Eflat,
fingering the cnat oxooox or oxxoox as I think Micho would have and blowing it really hard, right up to breaking point, as I am certain Micho did, you get results very consistent with what we hear on the recording.

The version of Patsy Touhey I referred to in the comment may be a cause of confusion, Touhey in his piping always tried to avoid the C naturals, not always an easy note on the pipes and depending on the reeding potentially a no-go note on some Taylor chanter [allthough I played the chanter Touhey used in the original recording extensively recently and it was capable of fine c naturals]. Touhey's influential recording of the tune is fairly ambiguous on the note.

Personally I use C naturals in this tune [except in triplet], playing it on the pipes. Micho asked me to play a few tunes wit him for a radio programme back in 1992. We played this particular tune, going over it a few times beorehand so we'd have it well. I think we had it well and his playing then didn't clash with my c naturals, that's all I can say about it, I have no idea which note he intended to play.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Laban on 2002-09-07 04:42 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2002 10:43 am 
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Thanks for this last post in particular, Peter. Like others, I printed out sheet and have been working on the tune.
At the stage of whistling I am at, A minor, as a key, is still problematic as I havent solidified a C natural fingering strategy; sometimes half-holes, sometimes cross etc. This particular piece convinced me to really work on just A minor tunes. I find that half-hole comes natural but that I still have to drill cross -fingerings into the noggin to have them occur easily.

I really did wonder about the very first Cnat. It seems much more logical to use a cross fingering but i know that people will adapt to whatever they choose. Its nice to know what Micho Russell did to help me shape my technique. it would also account for a non-equal tempered Cnat to someones very sharp ears earlier on post.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 4:39 pm 
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Quote:
On 2002-09-07 04:26, Peter Laban wrote:

In this case however it's hard to say which way he wanted to go, I have the same type of whistle here he was using in that paticular concert, an old style brass Generation Eflat,
fingering the cnat oxooox or oxxoox as I think Micho would have and blowing it really hard, right up to breaking point, as I am certain Micho did, you get results very consistent with what we hear on the recording.


I've been experimenting over the weekend with various Generation whistles (I don't have an Eb one) and reached the same conclusion. The slight variations in pitch can be explained in terms of variations of breath pressure, without reference to half-holing.
Perhaps the overall difference between Cs at the beginning of phrases and Cs at the end of phrases (ie in cAGB A) is due to going from oxx oox to oxo oox. (One could do this unconsciously because the transition into A is easier with the latter fingering.) Or perhaps not.

Quote:
Personally I use C naturals in this tune [except in triplet], playing it on the pipes. Micho asked me to play a few tunes wit him for a radio programme back in 1992. We played this particular tune, going over it a few times beorehand so we'd have it well. I think we had it well and his playing then didn't clash with my c naturals, that's all I can say about it, I have no idea which note he intended to play.


Then maybe he unconsciously adapted to your playing and didn't blow quite so hard on Cs, so that they would be lower that when he's playing alone?

Sylvain


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