The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109312   Message #2284368
Posted By: Bee
10-Mar-08 - 12:00 PM
Thread Name: Complex arrangments of traditional music
Subject: RE: Complex arrangments of traditional music
Disclaimer: not much of a musician.

Isn't there plenty of room for both complex and simpler or more traditional arrangements? If you take, for example, the situation with Gaelic singing in Cape Breton in the 1950s and 60s, in terms of publicly heard (on the radio) music, you would have heard almost exclusively what might be termed 'source' singers, that is, mostly senior citizens (and most of them men), singing unaccompanied. Sometimes you'd hear recordings from the Mod(sp?), where women would be included and percussive rhythm was provided per the pounding of the wool. That was material barely hanging on, on its way to prehistory. (Not addressing fiddling and bagpiping, just Gaelic songs)

Along came John Allan Cameron and others, adding guitars and English and harmonies, yet still being inclusive of the Gaelic and sparking a great deal of interest in the fading Gaelic source material. I would think the perception that any music can be interpreted as the creative musician sees fit at least ensures that interest in the original material continues. Whether the resulting arrangements and permutations are something one would care to listen to becomes a matter of the skill of the musicians and the tastes of the listeners.

Family story: My grandparents were all Gaelic speakers who refused to teach the language to their children, who picked up a smattering anyway, but were never fluent. Nevertheless, my father had a great interest in Gaelic songs, and never missed the Sunday afternoon radio broadcast of old Gaelic singers. His younger sister took delight in teasing him by coming in singing "Croakin' Ian, Croakin' Ian, some were dead and some were dyin'..", in reference to the quality of the old fellows' voices and their age.