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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 3:27 pm 
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If one were to compare the repertoires of say, 20-odd modern pipers and 20-odd pipers from 100 years ago or so, do you think there would be a noticeable difference in flavour? I'm thinking of things like the slip-jig to reel ratio, or a marked difference in the way medleys are put together, or a noticeable shift in the treatment of airs (longer/shorter, more/less Gaelic-influenced...)

Thanks much, and I'll be very intrigued to hear your observations.

BC


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:51 am 
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I, for one, have noticed an increasing tendency on the part of young urban pipers to include tunes from outside the generally accepted canon of Irish traditional music in their playing--stuff by Cheap Trick, for example. Make sure that wok is hot enough, BC.

L


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2002 11:02 am 
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Sounds about right. I've only recently heard a concert--pipes and all--which included as many John Prine and Beatles numbers as trad tunes. Wok's a-flamin'...how goes the reed-whittling there, Squashie?

B(b)C(hanter)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2002 7:49 pm 
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If one were to compare the repertoires of say, 20-odd modern pipers and 20-odd pipers from 100 years ago or so, do you think there would be a noticeable difference in flavour?

....

No, I don't think there'd be a noticeable difference.

I think ALL pipers are odd.

:smile:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 6:11 am 
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I am not to sure that I have HEARD any pipers from 100years ago let alone "say 20 or so" to compare, there are some recordings from the 20s but thats not a Century yet!!
Slan go foill
Liam


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:15 am 
Above is very much mistaken, there are loads of recordings made around the turn of the 19-20th century. The Dinny Delaney recordings and the other Feis recordings were made from 1898 onward. Other very early recordings include those of Mici 'Cumba', Martin Reilly, Jem Byrne etc. The Henebry cylinders are from around 1907 The commercially released McAuliffe and Willie Andrews cylinders, the Touheys etc are also from well before the 20s, not that you can make any definite conclusions about the repertoire based on that body of recordings. There are some listings of repertoire of early pipers in existence though[you will find one in an old issue of An Piobaire and you may find it reproduced in 'Breandan Breathnach, the man and his music.' The Canon Goodman collection 'Tunes of the Munster pipers' may give some indication as well.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Laban on 2002-09-05 10:34 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 11:51 am 
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Patrick Hutchinson mentioned that back in the 19th century there were very few reels in vogue. Most selections were jigs and horpipes. Threre was a catalogue of hundreds of tunes (I can't remember what it was called) from around the late 1800's in which only a few were reels. I apologize for having rather ambiguous information but it seemed quite interesting. Peter, do you anything about this?

Cheers,
PR


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 12:24 pm 
He was most likely referring to O Farrell's pocket companion which is one of the earlier published collections for the pipes. O farrell also wrote one of the first tutors for the instrument. Reels are not in abundance there, there are more in tehe Goodman collection. They seem to have come into fashion during the 19th century, the first ones being scottish imports, the form caught on quickly though.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 11:26 pm 
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Thank you, Peter, I look forward to getting my hands on some of those listings. What led me to wonder were comments by older singers along the lines of "...you don't hear that kind of song any more." There's a Scottish Gaelic one, for example, which gives the name and particular call of about 15 birds in a rapid-fire recitation. Once a favourite it is now rare, due perhaps to its less "musical" nature and the demand on the singer to be fairly invested in Gaelic. I'm wondering, then, if there are kinds of piping tunes which are now rare and stood apart from today's repertoire in some interesting way.

Ennis mentions, for example, that only one piper he'd met had the air "White Connor's Daughter, Nora" in it's entirety, as singers tend nowdays to abandon the A-part in "tunes of this structure." The blaming of the singers is itself interesting, and seems to me a clear sign of the closer relationship at that time between piping and singing. Or maybe it was just tempting to blame a singer for something...

BC


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:05 am 
Well tuens come into fashion and go out of it again. As for airs, that's the singer's terrain to start with isn't it, we pipers are only trying to imitate them there aren't we.

You may have heard the Willie Clancy interview where he talks about air-playing and how the pipes are the closest any instrument can come to the expression of the human voice. I love it how he casually followed that by 'I mean the old flat pitched pipes offcourse, not the the concert ones.'

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Laban on 2002-09-06 03:07 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 2:12 am 
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Peter I stand corrected.Patsy Touhey started recording in 1901 his 78s were in 1919.Liam Walsh recorded in 1924,25 and 26.William Andrews in 1928 and 1930.My Grandfather formed the famous Moate Ceilidhe Band in the 20s and was the first band to play live on Radio Athlone.Their surviving music sounds very different to that played today.As for reference I would reccommend George Petrie(1789-1866)Collection which predates Goodman 1861 and is more Catholic in its taste than Goodman who concentrated on Kerry.Slip or Hop Jigs seemed to be the most popular "the old style reels came in two types single,simple and played to lively tunes in single or two-four time and the slower old double reel tunes in common time,it was played at a speed that young and old alike could participate as it was a social dance"(Roche 1927)I think the muso of not so long ago would have a good laugh at some of the stuff played at todays sessions.My Grandfather said that Irish Music was Dance Music and as such should be capable of being danced to.The speed some of the sessioneers achieve may be entertaining but if you spent an evening dancing to it you would be going home in an ambulance!
Slan go foill
Liam


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 2:38 am 
I quoted Goodman because his collection is possibly more representative for the piper's repertoire, Petrie, Joyce and the like, while they had a fair number of pipers among thier informants, relied on a broader spectrum of musicians. If you read the older accounts, late 18-early 19th century you'll find the pipers played all sorts of stuff, classical pieces, operatic material etc.

Also note that Billy Andrews' Edison Gold mould cylinder recordings considerably pre-date his 78 rpms and his first HMV recrdings were made as early as 1923

I think some people today are having a good laugh at what's played at some sessions today. Speed is always an issue that's hard to resolve. I was talking to an older player in Corofin a while ago, he was close to the Kilfenora. Anywya, he was complaining about some players that he thought particularly fast. Now, I have a tape recorded at the County finals for the Ceiliband competitions in Kilrush 1960, The Kilfenora and The Tulla in one of their play-offs. They were quick enough, fierce quick. But they had a definite lift and by the end of it the man from Corofin had to agree that it's often the lack of 'lift' rather than the speed that is marring the playing of some modern players, it's more linear music rather than the more 'curved' lines of the older style .

That said, I don't like high speed myself but my experience is the fastest playing we do is generally for dancers, indeed Jackie Daly was complaining recently the dancers in Knocknagree wanted the music so fast he had to play reels for the polka figures of the set.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Laban on 2002-09-06 05:38 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 8:16 am 
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It's really good to have your insights into these collections/recordings, and thanks to all for posting them. I know what you mean about the lift, Peter; again with the Scottish, but there's a mouth music piece I listen to which is absolutely danceable yet beautifully unlinear or unflattened. The lady must be about 80, and her singing is full of little syncopations, swells and accents which pulse through the song and, far from disturbing the timing, actually seem to enhance it. It's seems to me yet another level above songs with just plain good timing, themselves a level above songs with just plain bad timing. But that's just my guess as to what might make for a pleasing "lift" to a tune; does anything else come to mind?

BC


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 10:46 am 
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The difficulty we have today is distance from history-
Petrie should not be dismissed,as Goodman himself plagiarised his collection(see Vol 111 1866)also Goodman was more interested in Munster music which somewhat limits the representiveness of pipers in general
Goodman also relied heavily on one single piper(kennedy) as his source(Hyde quotes Goodman as getting 700 tunes from one piper)so it is open to question as to how REPRESENTATIVE his collection is.eg the Kerry style is very different to the Donegal style.
Of course the pipers played all sorts of music including Quadrilles Polkas Mazurkas and Set Dances however"regarding our national dances in general,it may be observed that the Slip or Hop Jig is the oldest as well as the most characteristic of them" F.Roche(1927)
1960 was not the heyday of Ceilidhe as it was in serious decline(although the Kilfenora came into its own then.)Music was changing mega style.Try and listen to The Great Ceili Bands vol 1 by Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.
The dancers in Knocknagree missed a golden opportunity to be re-educated and tis pity that Jackie Daly changed Polka to Reel.I'm not blaming him,the dancers probably heard the Polkas played at a million r.p.m. at sessions and thought it was normal.
Slan go foill
Liam


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