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 Post subject: Irish style
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:05 pm 
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First time posting under this tab; but don't holdback the slaggin' unless, of course, you can easily cut to the quick & set me straight.

I believe I listen to different styles of playing Irish traditional music & learn many tunes from listening to as much variety as I can; both live & recorded. It's all relative, sure. My question isn't about what is & what isn't the irish style of playing. Rather I'm wondering about a few of my fellow (local) musicians, who continue to ask about how is one tune different from another (hornpipes vs reels . . . slip jig vs slide . . . etc.) why, when I send a YouTube link, say Paddy Glackin for instance, the musicians in question seem utterly oblivious to Glackin's (or whoever's) playing; instead thanking me profusely for the (original) link only after they have viewed YouTube's suggested related videos.

Here's one of those related videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACc0R1_LB18 which absolutely thrilled my friends. Don't get me wrong the version of the Rolling Wave Jig is good. I just don't think my friends listened to that version & from listening proceeded to learn the jig. My original purpose was to give them an example, in this case, of a jig. Still the question(s) keep coming.*

I'm gobsmacked why they've yet to comment on a single one of the actual links I've sent; yet have nothing but praise for the alternate videos which YouTube gives them.

* Don't mean to sound fatalistic. They actually seem to get how the tunes go & probably continue asking because of some deep-seated sadomasochistic proclivities. Yet, they seem like such nice people.

rant away at will,
Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:58 pm 
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. . . & if I may also ask about WikiPedia, nothing to do w/only Irish playing; but how can such a vastly used website identify a mere 10 tin whistlers???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tin_whistle_players


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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:27 am 
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Oh, gee. That's easy ... NOT! ;-) Anyway, I'll give it the "two minute" version a go.

As a rule, the tunes types and their meters have to do with the dances they're intended to accompany. A hornpipe is generally in 4/4, a reel is in 4/4 (though often counted in 2/2 or cut time), a jig is in 6/8, a slip jig is in 9/8, and a slide is in 12/8. Polkas and marches are often in 2/4 as well, though some marches are in 4/4 or 6/8 ... but again, at that point I think it depends on the composer's goal and perhaps the dance the tune is intended for.

Of course, you can reduce the "counting" of virtually any of these meters to "one, two" but that's pretty simplistic as there's more nuance to what's going on in each bar than just notes and two beats. A lot of it has to do with phrasing and the rhythmic emphasis given to each phrase. Quarter notes or eighth notes are the norm (dotted or undotted -- hornpipes have a distinctive pattern that calls on dotted eighth-sixteenth note figures), but if you're playing for dancers who are dancing to a specific pattern, you need to know where the strong beats and overarching rhythm/phrasing are. Those are the major differentiators to my ear.

Okay, bring on the hordes!

Edited to fix hornpipe meter mistake.

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Last edited by Cathy Wilde on Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:46 am 
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Cathy Wilde wrote:
A hornpipe is GENERALLY in 2/4

I don't think I've ever heard a hornpipe in 2/4 - can you give an example? They're always in 4/4 in my experience, although I think I've occasionally seen some older transcriptions written out in 12/8. There are also some hornpipes of a different nature, apparently (IIRC) from an older tradition, which are in 9/8 or 3/2, depending on how you think of them.

To the OP, some of your question, Ben, is unanswerable on a general forum, since you seem to be asking about the reactions of a specific group of people local to you. I don't know them, so can't really second guess why they choose not to just accept what you give them and instead go off and explore for themselves. How frustratingly adventurous of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:33 am 
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Ben Steen wrote:
. . . & if I may also ask about WikiPedia, nothing to do w/only Irish playing; but how can such a vastly used website identify a mere 10 tin whistlers???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tin_whistle_players


That's because whoever it is that wrote the entry on whistlers only knew those ten, and nobody else has bothered to edit the Wikipedia page to add more.

Never ever forget that Wikipedia is written by a self-selecting coterie of people, not necessarily the people who a proper professional authoritative encyclopaedia would approach to write on any particular subject ...

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:14 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Cathy Wilde wrote:
A hornpipe is GENERALLY in 2/4

I don't think I've ever heard a hornpipe in 2/4 - can you give an example?


DOH! Brain freeze! 4/4 it is. I was thinking about how the eighth notes in a hornpipe seem broken into duplets, whereas in a reel they're linked in fours. That translated to a clear, but wrong, visual picture of a 2/4 time signature. :tomato:

Thank you for keeping me honest, Ben.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:23 am 
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Cathy Wilde wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
Cathy Wilde wrote:
A hornpipe is GENERALLY in 2/4

I don't think I've ever heard a hornpipe in 2/4 - can you give an example?


DOH! Brain freeze! 4/4 it is. I was thinking about how the eighth notes in a hornpipe seem broken into duplets, whereas in a reel they're linked in fours. That translated to a clear, but wrong, visual picture of a 2/4 time signature. :tomato:

Thank you for keeping me honest, Ben.

You're welcome! :)

Actually, I'm really glad I asked, because it was one of those moments where you stop and think ... HAVE I got it wrong? But no. All's well with the world.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:30 am 
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BTW, Cathy, there's something that I've been puzzling about to do with hornpipes (and reels) for the last few years. I agree with you that hornpipes seem linked in four pairs of notes whereas reels seem linked in two fours within a bar. However, a very well known musician at a summer school the other year (4 years ago?) suggested that pulses might be two in a bar for hornpipes and four in a bar for reels. It's had me thinking ever since.

And the really strange thing is that the two seemingly contradictory positions don't seem to be incompatible. If you play a hornpipe pulsed at each half bar, you can still link the pairs of notes within a bar and get a really nice hornpipey feel. Also, in a reel, if you put in some, as it were, mini-pulses at each off-beat, you can still do so and maintain the 'two-in-a-bar' feel and it becomes lovely and bouncy and punchy.

I'm still working through the concept 4 years on ...

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:35 pm 
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Cheers, Ben, I wouldn't want you to second guess their reactions. I am pleased when they explore beyond the obvious, especially when I hear something new in their playing & want to learn from them.


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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Argh, I am so not going to be able to explain this (though why let that stop me from trying?) ...

I totally hear hornpipes as "two to a bar." As for reels, I tend to envision and hear MANY of them four to a bar (I think the word "watermelon" for pulse emphasis), but count them as two to a bar ("cut time") simply because it's easier to tap my foot only two times per measure :-D

But then there are all those cool reels like "The Mountain Top." For some reason I invariably find myself mentally counting that tune and reels like it in four, with duplets/paired eighth notes, and I do not know why. I figure it has something to do with internal rhythm and structure, which leads to the tune being either "driving" and forward-leaning or "spiky" and bouncy, with the pulse or emphasis on the "up."

The Mountain Top is a built-in bouncy reel where everything feels like paired notes. The Silver Spear feels like a forward reel with four grouped eighth notes. That doesn't mean it can't be bouncy, but it has a "galloping" quality whereas some other tunes feel like skipping goats.

(go ahead, call the guys in the white coats)

I wonder if it's a pattern like the repeated A-note (rolled, of course) in the first bar of the Silver Spear (FAAA BAFA ...) vs. the leaping intervals of the opening of The Mountain Top (BG AG EG DE ...) { :lol:! See, I even wrote it out that way!} that has me thinking that way?

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Last edited by Cathy Wilde on Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Must stop, head exploding

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:53 pm 
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Ben Steen wrote:
Rather I'm wondering about a few of my fellow (local) musicians, who continue to ask about how is one tune different from another (hornpipes vs reels . . . slip jig vs slide . . . etc.) why, when I send a YouTube link, say Paddy Glackin for instance, the musicians in question seem utterly oblivious to Glackin's (or whoever's) playing; instead thanking me profusely for the (original) link only after they have viewed YouTube's suggested related videos. [snip] I'm gobsmacked why they've yet to comment on a single one of the actual links I've sent; yet have nothing but praise for the alternate videos which YouTube gives them.

Not meaning to overthink this, but this has been a difficult post for me, so bear with me:

Since we are presented here with an abrupt shift between very different themes - 1) understanding what makes a type of tune what it is, and 2a) etiquette with 2b) personal taste in playing style or presentation - and since the greater weight in your post soon seems to be given over to the latter two issues although we are first alerted to the former, I find myself having to backtrack and ask: How far have your links served to help clear up at least some confusion for your friends? It's not entirely clear.

Perhaps it doesn't matter in the end; perhaps the first was all just by way of idle preface, but I found the appearance of an unresolved shift disorienting, hence my question. As to the 2nd combined issue, it may simply be that you are confronted with iffy-mannered people whose tastes will never coincide with yours, or it could be that their lack of direct response means they're just not equipped yet with the ear to appreciate, much less discuss, the subtleties of the Glackins of the tradition. Either way, I would agree that on privately receiving a link, a simple "thank you" given in return would at least be in order (profuseness is a bit much to ask for, isn't it?) before they wax enthusiastic about the other stuff that better caught their eye. IMHO, of course.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:11 pm 
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Sorry for the confusion, Nanohedron, though it probably drives the point home.

The questions & responses go back quite some time. More often than not resolution happens; as best as can be expected. However there are instances (hopefully isolated, rare & of which I'm still sorting through) . . . recurring instances(?) where the exact, same, questions keep coming around & always from the usual suspects. I refer to them (a married couple) as suspects out of affection.

: - /

Eureka!

I've just now sorted this w/complete resolution. It's absolutey the ongoing dialog of marriage, of old friends; a tradition if you like, with no beginning & no ending ~ mad at times.

I'm so happy! Nanohedron, you're brilliant, cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:56 pm 
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Now that we know that you are referring to old friends, some things become clearer to me. When it comes to old friends, in certain cases - and it depends - things like thanks may be considered to be already understood, and indeed voicing it may instead be an awkwardness. I think that's reasonable when you're all in the right place together.

Considering I was just rambling earlier, I'm glad it was somehow helpful to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Irish style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:05 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I was just rambling earlier

Yes, I thought so.

:)

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