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Tempo for Chanties

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shipcmo 23 Feb 11 - 05:53 AM
shipcmo 23 Feb 11 - 07:22 AM
Charley Noble 23 Feb 11 - 07:43 AM
Dead Horse 23 Feb 11 - 09:05 AM
shipcmo 23 Feb 11 - 09:59 AM
Marc Bernier 23 Feb 11 - 10:23 AM
shipcmo 23 Feb 11 - 10:31 AM
Mr Red 23 Feb 11 - 10:47 AM
Nancy King 23 Feb 11 - 11:09 AM
Dead Horse 23 Feb 11 - 02:34 PM
Charley Noble 23 Feb 11 - 08:14 PM
shipcmo 26 Feb 11 - 12:41 PM
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Subject: Tempo for Chanties
From: shipcmo
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:53 AM

Perhaps this thread should be given a sub-title : Bag o' Worms! But enquiring minds need an answer.
I have been generating MIDI's recently without any real consideration of tempo.
The standard musical notation for tempo is the symbol for a note, e.g. a quarter note, equals (=) a number e.g. 88.
The abc notation has provision to accomodate such, viz. Q:1/4=88.
However, seldom do the published chanties have this information.
Doerflinger does, sometimes.
Bone does for the most part, but then he also uses the term "andante", et. al.
Colcord gives none whatsoever

Since chanties were "work" songs, the tempo would have been set by the nature of the work at hand. That is, say marching around the capstan.
However, even in that case, there would have been a moderate tempo while bringing the ship to the anchor 'til the cable was "up and down", then somewhat slower to "break 'er out", and faster to bring the anchor up to the hawse.

Reuben Ranzo is cited in most Chanty books.

As noted, Colcord has none.
Bone has 1/4 note = 108
Whall says : Brisk
Doerflinger has 1l4 = 88, and also :Moderately
Haswell has none
Hugill has: Strong and Steady
Bullen has none, although adverbs for other tunes
Huntington has none
Shay has none
Harlow has: Marcato
Terry says: With unction
L.A.Smith give none, although adverbs for others
Alden gives: Allegro


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: shipcmo
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:22 AM

A couple more data points:
Sampson has 1/8 = 120
Terry has 1/4 = 112
Frothingham has: Rather Slow


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:43 AM

Your concern about tempo is to present the shanty as it was used on board ship historically?

I ask because tempo is also a concern when one is planning to present the shanty as entertainment, and that could open up another can of sea worms.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: Dead Horse
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 09:05 AM

I guess it would also depend upon the prevailing weather, the state of the crew, and how near to a lee shore you were at the time :-)


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: shipcmo
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 09:59 AM

Just to show I know how to use the Search.



Sea Shanties timing and tempo

Tempo


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:23 AM

The speed I sing a chantey at depends on how much I'm drinking.


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: shipcmo
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:31 AM

And now a word about Meter.
The rhythm of a tune in terms of beats per minute?

Ranzo

Bone 4/4
Hugill 2/4
Doerflinger C
Sampson 2/4


George H. Haswell's "Collection Of Sea Shanties" 1879. It is commented that he was "a musician of some ability", so presumably would copy the tunes in an appropriate meter.
As Follows:
Heave Away, My Johnny in 6/8 (Capstan Song)
Haulin' The Bowlin in 4/4 (for hauling a short rope)
Handy Jim in 6/8 (For Hauling a Long Rope)
Haul Away in 6/8 (For Pulling a Short Rope)
The Dead Horse in 4/4
Bonny in 6/8 (For Hauling a Rope)
Whisky in 4/4 (for hauling a Rope)
Blow The Man Down in 6/8 (For hauling a Rope)
Ranzo in 4/4 (For hauling a Rope)
Good Bye Fare Ye Well in 3/4 (Capstan Song)


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:47 AM

For a good idea - why not look at videos of Stan Hugill?

The one that brought me up sharp was Stan yanking the down rope and two tars on the pull.

He sang (and all he had breath for I might add) a staccato "Ranzo Boys Ranzo" for the chorus. Now compare that with any Folk Club rendition and they will (replete with pauses for harmonies) sing Ranzo me Boyzzzzz Ranzo.

Having said that I was told by a knowing non-singer that the pace was dictated by the job and a pump shanty went at a fair lick, a lick faster than a lot of Folk Clubbers sing it.

But what do I know - Stan used to say when told it was not that hard by 10 strong choir - you try it in a howling gale with one shantyman and two hauling".

And don't be put off by the bunt-line shanty. But do the research.


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: Nancy King
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 11:09 AM

It is certainly true that shanties (or chanteys) are sung a whole lot faster in modern concert/singaround settings than they ever were when used as work songs. As was pointed out in the other thread ("Sea Shanties timing and tempo) linked to above, it's impossible to actually work at the pace commonly sung today. But they're generally more fun to sing at a somewhat faster tempo.

The Boarding Party guys used to say that traditionally, shantymen were paid half by the ship owners (to keep the pace as lively as possible) and half by the crew (to keep the pace from getting too fast). I don't know where they got that particular factoid, but it does make a certain amount of sense.


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: Dead Horse
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 02:34 PM

As far as I know (not a terrific lot) during the later days of sail a Shantyman was not paid for being a Shantyman at all, just as a regular hand. And to add to that, there may well have been several leaders of shanties sung, as it doesnt make any sense to me to have a so called Shantyman sitting in the maintruck while half a dozen men 'stow a bunt' while several more work at the pumps and a few more are hauling in the fore sheets. Or did each job have to wait til the 'Nightingale' had finished the previous one ?
The next question to ask will be "What key were shanties sung in?" or maybe "Did they do requests?" :-)


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 08:14 PM

And who does which harmony? Another can of seaworms.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Tempo for Chanties
From: shipcmo
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 12:41 PM

The following books have tempo marking.
Bone, David W, Capstan Bars. Harcourt Brace and Co., New York, 1932.
Doerflinger, William Main, Shantymen and shantyboys. Macmillan, New York, 1951.
Lomax, Alan, The folk songs of North America. Illustrated. London, Cassell, 1960.
Sampson, John , The Seven Seas Shanty Book. 1927.
Terry, Richard Runciman, The Way of the Ship. Fireship Press, Tucson, 2008.

"I found it difficult to set the exact time to the music. . . .and now another clever girl came to help me by suggesting the use of the metronome. Miss Margaret Shaw . . . recorded the time . . . .and placed the signs for the metronomic time at the head of the script." David W. Bone April 7~ 1935

Eighth note =1/8
Quarter note =1/4
dotted Quarter note =3/8
Half note =1/2


    CAPSTAN Bone
Amsterdam, Sampson:1/4=108, Terry:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=96, Doerflinger:1/4=94, Bone:1/4=92
Homeward Bound (Goodbye fare you well), Sampson:3/8=40, Terry:3/8=48, Doerflinger:1/4=120, Bone:3/8=120
Leave Her Johnnie, Sampson:1/8=90, Terry:1/4=108, Doerflinger:1/4=108, Bone:1/4=108
Rio Grande, Sampson:1/4=72, Terry:3/8=60, Doerflinger:3/8=63, Bone:1/4=88

   CAPSTAN Sampson
Amsterdam, Sampson:1/4=108, Terry:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=96, Doerflinger:1/4=94, Bone:1/4=92
The Blackball Line, Sampson:1/4=88, Terry:1/4=132
The Bulgine Run, Lomax:1/8=132, Sampson:1/8=144, Terry:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=150
Can't You Dance The Polka, Sampson:1/4=100, Terry:1/4=92, Doerflinger:1/4=63
The Dreadnaught, Sampson:1/8=144, Doerflinger:3/8=72
Fire Down Below, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:3/8=112
Homeward Bound (Goodbye fare you well), Sampson:3/8=40, Terry:3/8=48, Doerflinger:1/4=120, Bone:3/8=120
Leave Her Johnnie, Sampson:1/8=90, Terry:1/4=108, Doerflinger:1/4=108, Bone:1/4=108
Lowlands away, Terry:1/4=60, Doerflinger:1/4=76, Bone:1/4=84
One More Day, Sampson:1/4=105, Terry:1/4=80
Rio Grande, Sampson:1/4=72, Terry:3/8=60, Doerflinger:3/8=63
Sacramento, Sampson:1/4=80, Terry:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=92
Sally Brown, Lomax:1/4=128, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=150, Doerflinger:1/4=76, Doerflinger:1/4=80
Santy Anna, Lomax:1/4=108, Sampson:1/4=90, Terry:1/4=110, Bone:1/4=84
Shenandoah, Lomax:1/4=72, Sampson:1/4=72, Doerflinger:1/4=60
Stormalong, Sampson:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=130, Terry:1/4=104, Doerflinger:1/4=60, Bone:1/4=84
We're All Bound to Go, Sampson:3/8=72, Terry:3/8=60
When Johnny Comes Down To Hilo, Sampson:1/4=160, Terry:1/4=72

    CAPSTAN, WINDLASS, AND PUMP SHANTIES Doerflinger
Amsterdam, Sampson:1/4=108, Terry:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=96, Doerflinger:1/4=94, Bone:1/4=92
Can't You Dance The Polka, Sampson:1/4=100, Terry:1/4=92, Doerflinger:1/4=63
Homeward Bound (Goodbye fare you well), Sampson:3/8=40, Terry:3/8=48, Doerflinger:1/4=120, Bone:3/8=120
Leave Her Johnnie, Sampson:1/8=90, Terry:1/4=108, Doerflinger:1/4=108, Bone:1/4=108
Lowlands away, Terry:1/4=60, Doerflinger:1/4=76, Bone:1/4=84
Rio Grande, Sampson:1/4=72, Terry:3/8=60, Doerflinger:3/8=63
Sacramento, Sampson:1/4=80, Terry:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=92
Sally Brown, Lomax:1/4=128, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=150, Doerflinger:1/4=76, Doerflinger:1/4=80
Santy Anna, Lomax:1/4=108, Sampson:1/4=90, Terry:1/4=110, Bone:1/4=84
Shenandoah, Lomax:1/4=72, Sampson:1/4=72, Doerflinger:1/4=60
Stormalong, Sampson:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=130, Terry:1/4=104, Doerflinger:1/4=60, Bone:1/4=84

    WINDLASS & CAPSTAN SHANTIES Terry
Amsterdam, Sampson:1/4=108, Terry:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=96, Doerflinger:1/4=94, Bone:1/4=92
The Blackball Line, Sampson:1/4=88, Terry:1/4=132
The Bulgine Run, Lomax:1/8=132, Sampson:1/8=144, Terry:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=150
Can't You Dance The Polka, Sampson:1/4=100, Terry:1/4=92, Doerflinger:1/4=63
Fire Down Below, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:3/8=112
Homeward Bound (Goodbye fare you well), Sampson:3/8=40, Terry:3/8=48, Doerflinger:1/4=120, Bone:3/8=120
Leave Her Johnnie, Sampson:1/8=90, Terry:1/4=108, Doerflinger:1/4=108, Bone:1/4=108
Lowlands away, Terry:1/4=60, Doerflinger:1/4=76, Bone:1/4=84
Rio Grande, Sampson:1/4=72, Terry:3/8=60, Doerflinger:3/8=63
Sacramento, Sampson:1/4=80, Terry:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=92
Sally Brown, Lomax:1/4=128, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=150, Doerflinger:1/4=76, Doerflinger:1/4=80
Santy Anna, Lomax:1/4=108, Sampson:1/4=90, Terry:1/4=110, Bone:1/4=84
Stormalong, Sampson:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=130, Terry:1/4=104, Doerflinger:1/4=60, Bone:1/4=84
We're All Bound to Go, Sampson:3/8=72, Terry:3/8=60
When Johnny Comes Down To Hilo, Sampson:1/4=160, Terry:1/4=72

   WINDLASS AND PUMP CHANTIES Bone
Lowlands away, Terry:1/4=60, Doerflinger:1/4=76, Bone:1/4=84
Stormalong, Sampson:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=130, Terry:1/4=104, Doerflinger:1/4=60, Bone:1/4=84
Santy Anna, Lomax:1/4=108, Sampson:1/4=90, Terry:1/4=110, Bone:1/4=84

   SHORT HAUL CHANTIES Bone
Boney, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Terry:3/8=88, Terry:3/8=76, Doerflinger:3/8=63, Bone:1/4=72
Bulgine Run, Lomax:1/8=132, Sampson:1/8=144, Terry:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=150
Dead Horse, Sampson:1/4=100, Terry:1/4=120, Bone:1/4=88
Hauling on the Bowline, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=126, Doerflinger:1/4=92
Paddy Doyle, Sampson:3/8=72, Terry:3/8=60, Doerflinger:1/2=69, Bone:1/4=152
      
SHORT-HAUL SHANTIES Doerflinger
Boney, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Terry:3/8=88, Terry:3/8=76, Doerflinger:3/8=63, Bone:1/4=72
Haul Away, Joe, Sampson:3/8=84, Terry:3/8=52, Terry:3/8=92, Doerflinger:3/8=72
Hauling on the Bowline, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=126, Doerflinger:1/4=92
Johnny Boker, Sampson:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=100, Doerflinger:1/4=76
Paddy Doyle, Sampson:3/8=72, Terry:3/8=60, Doerflinger:1/2=69, Bone:1/4=152

   HALYARD CHANTIES Bone
Blow, Boys, Blow, Sampson:1/4=112, Terry:1/4=150, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=92, Bone:1/4=93
Blow the Man Down, Sampson:3/8=60, Doerflinger:1/4=176, Doerflinger:3/8=54, Bone:1/4=132
Ranzo, Sampson:1/8=120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=88, Doerflinger:1/4=69, Bone:1/4=103
Roll the Cotton Down, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Bone:1/4=100
Tom's gone to Hilo, Terry:1/4=72, Doerflinger:1/4=88, Bone:1/4=80
Whisky, Sampson:1/4=144, Terry:1/4=130, Doerflinger:1/4=80-84

    HALLIARD SHANTIES Sampson
A Long Time Ago, Lomax:3/8=54, Sampson:3/8=80, Terry:1/4=96, Doerflinger:3/8=56, Doerflinger:3/8=69
Blow, Boys, Blow, Sampson:1/4=112, Terry:1/4=150, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=92, Bone:1/4=93
Blow the Man Down, Sampson:3/8=60, Doerflinger:1/4=176, Doerflinger:3/8=54, Bone:1/4=132
Boney, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Terry:3/8=88, Terry:3/8=76, Doerflinger:3/8=63, Bone:1/4=72
Dead Horse, Sampson:1/4=100, Terry:1/4=120, Bone:1/4=88
Hanging Johnny, Sampson:1/4=72, Terry:3/8=72, Doerflinger:1/4=58
Ranzo, Sampson:E120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=88, Doerflinger:1/4=69, Bone:1/4=103
Roll the Cotton Down, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Bone:1/4=100
So Handy, My Boys, Sampson:3/8=80, Terry:3/8=76, Doerflinger:3/8=76
Whisky, Sampson:1/4=144, Terry:1/4=130, Doerflinger:1/4=80-84

   HALYARD SHANTIES Doerflinger
A Long Time Ago, Lomax:3/8=54, Sampson:3/8=80, Terry:1/4=96, Doerflinger:3/8=56, Doerflinger:3/8=69
Blow, Boys, Blow, Sampson:1/4=112, Terry:1/4=150, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Doerflinger:1/4=92, Bone:1/4=93
Hanging Johnny, Sampson:1/4=72, Terry:3/8=72, Doerflinger:1/4=58
Ranzo, Sampson:E120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=88, Doerflinger:1/4=69, Bone:1/4=103
Roll the Cotton Down, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Bone:1/4=100
So Handy, My Boys, Sampson:3/8=80, Terry:3/8=76, Doerflinger:3/8=76
Tom's gone to Hilo, Terry:1/4=72, Doerflinger:1/4=88, Bone:1/4=80
Whisky, Sampson:1/4=144, Terry:1/4=130, Doerflinger:1/4=80-84

    HALLIARD SHANTIES Terry
A Long Time Ago, Lomax:3/8=54, Sampson:3/8=80, Terry:1/4=96, Doerflinger:3/8=56, Doerflinger:3/8=69
Blow the Man Down, Sampson:3/8=60, Doerflinger:1/4=176, Doerflinger:3/8=54, Bone:1/4=132
Boney, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Terry:3/8=88, Terry:3/8=76, Doerflinger:3/8=63, Bone:1/4=72
The Bulgine Run, Lomax:1/8=132, Sampson:1/8=144, Terry:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=150
Dead Horse, Sampson:1/4=100, Terry:1/4=120, Bone:1/4=88
Hanging Johnny, Sampson:1/4=72, Terry:3/8=72, Doerflinger:1/4=58
Ranzo, Sampson:E120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=88, Doerflinger:1/4=69, Bone:1/4=103
Roll the Cotton Down, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Bone:1/4=100
Shallow Brown, Terry:1/4=69, Doerflinger:1/4=66
Tom's gone to Hilo, Terry:1/4=72, Doerflinger:1/4=88, Bone:1/4=80
Whisky, Sampson:1/4=144, Terry:1/4=130, Doerflinger:1/4=80-84

    FORE-SHEET SHANTIES Sampson
Haul Away, Joe, Sampson:3/8=84, Terry:3/8=52, Terry:3/8=92, Doerflinger:3/8=72
Hauling on the Bowline, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=126, Doerflinger:1/4=92
Johnny Boker, Sampson:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=100, Doerflinger:1/4=76

    FORE-SHEET OR SWEATING-UP SHANTIES Terry
Haul Away, Joe, Sampson:3/8=84, Terry:3/8=52, Terry:3/8=92, Doerflinger:3/8=72
Hauling on the Bowline, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=126, Doerflinger:1/4=92
Johnny Boker, Sampson:1/4=96, Terry:1/4=100, Doerflinger:1/4=76

    RUNAWAY SHANTIES Sampson
Drunken Sailor, Sampson:1/8=192, Terry:1/4=108, Doerflinger:1/4=90, Bone:1/4=72
Highland Laddie, Sampson:1/4=108, Doerflinger:1/4=106

    WALKAWAY SHANTY Doerflinger
Drunken Sailor, Sampson:1/8=192, Terry:1/4=108, Doerflinger:1/4=90, Bone:1/4=72
Highland Laddie, Sampson:1/4=108, Doerflinger:1/4=106
Roll the Cotton Down, Sampson:1/4=120, Terry:1/4=112, Doerflinger:1/4=80, Bone:1/4=100
   
    BUNTING SHANTY Sampson
Paddy Doyle, Sampson:3/8=72, Terry:3/8=60, Doerflinger:1/2=69, Bone:1/4=152

    BUNT SHANTY Terry
Paddy Doyle, Sampson:3/8=72, Terry:3/8=60, Doerflinger:1/2=69, Bone:1/4=152

    SEA SONGS Sampson
Rolling Home, Sampson:1/4=72, Doerflinger:1/4=66, Doerflinger:1/4=69
The Stately Southerner, Sampson:3/8=60, Doerflinger:E112

    DEEP-WATER SONGS Doerflinger
The Dreadnaught, Sampson:1/8=144, Doerflinger:3/8=72
Rolling Home, Sampson:1/4=72, Doerflinger:1/4=66
The Stately Southerner, Sampson:3/8=60, Doerflinger:1/8=112


                              Abc Notation
The standard musical notation for tempo is the symbol for a note = a number.
The abc notation has provision to accommodate such, viz. Q:1/4=88.

X:1
T:Leave her Johnny
T:Terry
L:1/8
M:4/4
Q:3/8=72
K:Eb
B,2 | G2 G2 G2 EF | G2 GF E4 | F2 F2 F3 E | G (B3 B2) B2 | c2 c2 B2 BA | G2 GF E2 B2 | G3 E G3 F | F (E3 E2) ||

To experiment with different tempos,
copy the abc notation above to Notepad and change the Q line, then copy and paste in
Tune-O-Tron


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Mudcat time: 20 September 2:45 PM EDT

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