The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166615   Message #4008262
Posted By: Helen
10-Sep-19 - 03:24 PM
Thread Name: Looking to ID an Irish tune
Subject: RE: Looking to ID an Irish tune
Don, that makes sense. Normally I'd identify a banjo at a hundred paces but this time it was a bit iffy.

Off topic: Don't get me wrong about the banjo. I like the fingerpicking style a lot, but some banjo playing styles can be overwhelming, even relentless at times - very much depending on the player, however. I'm sure gillymor's long suffering Significant Other can sympathise with that. LOL (sorry gillymor, I couldn't resist that one! As a great Aussie once said in song, "don't ever let a chance go by".)

The hornpipe in question has a certain charm, but it reminds me of an incident in our session group. For some decades we have been playing Rosbif Waltz (scroll down to title), thanks to Mudcatter Alan Day for sending it to me all those years ago.

It has an unusual and interesting tune and rhythm, inspired by a French tune I think. A few years ago, one of the members of our session group excitedly started playing a variation of the tune which she had learned from a friend and asked me if I liked it. Without hesitation I said no, because all of the interesting bits had been ironed out of it and it had become a mundane tune and rhythm. Like taking a spiky sound file and smoothing the spikes out of it to make it more like Muzak than music. It was almost like a completely different tune but with the same chord progression. Rosbif Waltz has been one of my favourite tunes ever since I first heard it. I'll stick with the original, thanks.

So, although the hornpipe in question has some charm, for me it is the lilt and variation or even bending of rhythm which makes a tune more interesting. Having said that, the hornpipe under discussion is a specific tool built (we suspect) for a specific purpose and using those criteria it splendidly does the job for which it was designed.