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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:04 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
That version isn't unmetered.

In the playing, sure it is. As with certain ways of singing, the meter is suggested but phrasing takes the tune, as played, out of rigid meter. Instead of being accountable to the metronome, it goes by phrasing. That's what I mean by "unmetered". If there's another term for that, I don't know it; metric elasticity, perhaps?

Here's another example of the idea as sung by Iarla Ó Lionáird:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JEiuM_eHuw

benhall.1 wrote:
Then, for some bizarre reason, they lay the second part, also in strict 3/4 time, but at twice the speed!

Come now, that's exaggeration. There's nothing strict about it; it only approaches the meter. And yes, there's a touch of rubato, but twice the speed it is not. Not even close.

Sorry, but the crotchets at the start of the second part are, exactly (allowing for very slight rubaot in the first part) twice the speed of the crotchet meter of the first part. My point about the rubato in the first part is that all it does is very slightly play with the rhythm, whilst broadly maintaining a very slow but recognisable meter. There are one or two notes (it's too slow for me to listen again to count, but I don't think it's more than two) in the first part which are held for slightly longer than the meter would suggest. That's about it.

Anyway, that's how I hear it ...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:10 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
BTW and per my OP, I still don't know what "band boy" in the title really means...

...anyone?
Maybe do a Google image search for "marching band" and take your pick. Plenty of finery to turn a lassie's head. Or is that too simple ?

Or am I missing some joke ?

I have been asking after any (possibly historical) implications in the specific term "band boy" that might go beyond what seems merely obvious at first glance to us in our time. For example, the words "Land League" will mean nothing particular until you know what it means in the Irish context.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Well, Ben, we'll just have to agree to disagree, then. I don't want to infuriate you by saying that in spite of what you think, I think you're generally making my point. :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Well, Ben, we'll just have to agree to disagree, then. I don't want to infuriate you by saying that in spite of what you think, I think you're generally making my point. :wink:

Oh, that's all right. I'm in the mood the be infuriated. A good infuriation may do me good. :)

Oh, and, um ... no I'm not. :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:28 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I have been asking after any (possibly historical) implications in the specific term "band boy" that might go beyond what seems merely obvious at first glance to us in our time. For example, the words "Land League" will mean nothing particular until you know what it means in the Irish context.

Second photo on this page: http://www.nam.ac.uk/research/famous-un ... e-regiment

I'm guessing the implied context here is regimental band boy, with (as david_h said) the fancy dress uniform to make the ladies swoon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_b ... ed_Kingdom

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:31 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Well, Ben, we'll just have to agree to disagree, then. I don't want to infuriate you by saying that in spite of what you think, I think you're generally making my point. :wink:

Oh, that's all right. I'm in the mood the be infuriated. A good infuriation may do me good. :)

Oh, and, um ... no I'm not. :wink:

But you've allowed that the playing's elastic, which is what I'm talking about. That the implied meter is discernible, doesn't qualify it as "strict" - at least as I define the term.

Here's another example of what I mean:

http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhal ... rthy_kent/

The meter is discernible, implied; but it's not strict. Does that make sense?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:38 pm 
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Another sighting - Look for "Reg Mitchell" about 1/3 down the page: https://sites.google.com/site/hmtships/ ... wantedlist

"Bugle Major: DOB about 1930. KSLI 1964, 1966 Junior Soldier's Company. Joined DCLI in 1946 as 14 year old band boy." [DCLI = Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry] So the specific term was still current as of 1946.

Neither Google nor Bing are very helpful here. An ordered search for the phrase "band boy" is still overwhelmed by results for boy bands. :evil:

And another, The Manchester Regiment Band Boy Murders: http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-kille ... d-boy.html

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:44 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Well, you've allowed that the playing's elastic, which is what I'm talking about. That the implied meter is discernible, doesn't qualify it as "strict" - at least as I define the term.

Ok, I think that gets us somewhere. The modern idea of a "slow air" is, properly, unmetered. For the most part such pieces don't have any discernible or even implied meter. This one is, as I've conceded, flexible. But, in my view, it's very far from being unmetered. Contrast the usual playing of, say, a common air like the Coulin. I couldn't put it in any sort of implied, let alone discernible, meter. But this one is instantly recognisable as 3/4, even though there's that bizarre double speed thing in the second part.

Nanohedron wrote:
Here's another example of what I mean:

http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhal ... rthy_kent/

The meter is discernible, implied; but it's not strict. Does that make sense?

Gosh, but that's beautiful playing. I would differentiate that from the earlier example. In fact, I would say that that is properly "unmetered", in that it has rhythm, but no readily discernible meter. In fact, not being familiar with that air, I wouldn't know what meter it might be in. Not that I would think about it for a second, it's so gorgeous.

But the earlier example is simple metered, but meter that's been mucked about with. A different thing.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:58 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
Another sighting - Look for "Reg Mitchell" about 1/3 down the page: https://sites.google.com/site/hmtships/ ... wantedlist

"Bugle Major: DOB about 1930. KSLI 1964, 1966 Junior Soldier's Company. Joined DCLI in 1946 as 14 year old band boy." [DCLI = Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry] So the specific term was still current as of 1946.

Seems to me the term "band boy" suggests an ancillary capacity to a band in this case, given his age and the fact that he wasn't listed joining as a bugler. Conjecture by guesswork, but a fourteen year old musician established in a light infantry division seems unlikely. However, there's entry level, and someone's got to mind stuff and run errands. A youth would fit the bill. But what do I know?

MTGuru wrote:
Neither Google nor Bing are very helpful here. An ordered search for the phrase "band boy" is still overwhelmed by results for boy bands. :evil:

Yeah, it was frustrating, all right.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:11 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
a fourteen year old musician in a light infantry division seems unlikely.

No, I think that's exactly what it is/was. That it's alien to our thinking about military tradition is what makes it hard to read "band boy" as a fixed phrase with a specific referent. But enlisting young children as drummers/buglers/fifers to march and die on the front lines was a practice here as well at least through the American Civil War. Our notions of childhood and adolescence as a special state of being are really quite modern, and certainly postdate the name of the tune.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:15 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
a fourteen year old musician in a light infantry division seems unlikely.

No, I think that's exactly what it is/was. That it's alien to our thinking about military tradition is what makes hard to read "band boy" as a fixed phrase with a specific referent. But enlisting young children as drummers/buglers/fifers to march and die on the front lines was a practice here as well at least through the Civil War.

Ah. A light dawns. Since, over here at least, that's the immediate and obvious meaning, I thought you'd discounted it for some reason and were deliberately thinking of other possible meanings.

Also, the word "boy", of course, implies a potentially wide age range.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:19 pm 
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I'll start by admitting that I cold bloodedly cheat when it comes to patterns in slow tunes - I listen to them at 2 or 4 times the speed. It's because I am bad at it and want to hear what I am missing. To my [augmented] ear it's what Ben says, and I don't see how that piano piece can be an example of the same thing as the Iarla Ó Lionáird clip.

The Iarla Ó Lionáird clip seems to be four strong regular beats to the phrase but with the phrase sometimes truncated by up to half one of those beats. The piano piece seems to have no more regular pattern than waves on a beach, which I guess is part of what makes it nice.

'Land League' doesn't carry any meaning without looking it up. 'Band boy' can be taken at face value. I can see that in 19C Ireland a local girl taking a fancy to a boy in an English regiment may have been substance for a song. On the other hand my elderly neighbour has in his cellar a coat hanger bearing some shoulder pads and scraps of braid that are the remains of his uncle's unform from the (rural English) town band. His wife was widowed early and probably just abandoned it to the moths - but I guess some songwriter could concoct a tale about why she kept it.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:22 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Gosh, but that's beautiful playing. I would differentiate that from the earlier example. In fact, I would say that that is properly "unmetered", in that it has rhythm, but no readily discernible meter. In fact, not being familiar with that air, I wouldn't know what meter it might be in. Not that I would think about it for a second, it's so gorgeous.

But the earlier example is simple metered, but meter that's been mucked about with. A different thing.

To me this playing of Iníon Uí Bhailigh suggests a 4/4 meter, duple in any case. I've heard it only once or twice before, and that long past, so like you I'm pretty unfamiliar with it, and there isn't a lot of info out there on it beyond the Comhaltas vid. As you say, the meter is not readily discernible.

I consider the Zekley recording, the Iarla Ó Lionáird clip, and this one to be examples of points along a spectrum of how a slow air might be executed.

Speaking of metered/unmetered playing of slow airs, I first heard The Pretty Young Maid Milking Her Cow played as a solid waltz, and I pretty much still play it that way, although I don't have to and probably shouldn't, just in the name of not blindly parroting one's sources. I know an ould fella who really plays it unmetered, though. Same thing for me with Hector The Hero: I first learned it as a waltz, but playing it that way puts a Scottish friend's nose out of joint. I've had to revise how I play it when I play with him, but for me that's tough to do. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:45 pm 
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david_h wrote:
'Band boy' can be taken at face value.

Ah, but I'm a Yank, you see; I can't trust myself to make easy assumptions when it comes to terms from Across the Pond. But between you and MTGuru, I think I've learned what I needed to. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:28 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Well, you've allowed that the playing's elastic, which is what I'm talking about. That the implied meter is discernible, doesn't qualify it as "strict" - at least as I define the term.

Ok, I think that gets us somewhere. The modern idea of a "slow air" is, properly, unmetered. For the most part such pieces don't have any discernible or even implied meter.

And, as I have witnessed to my dismay, to often disastrous results.

I think that the words "metered/unmetered", as I have used them, are misapplied in what I'm trying to describe; "strict cadence/flexible cadence" would instead be more clear, accurate, and useful. This is how you suffer for my not having a solid musical education. :)

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