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lilting,didling,mouth music

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JulieF 19 Jun 07 - 08:27 AM
Mr Happy 19 Jun 07 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,meself 19 Jun 07 - 08:35 AM
JulieF 19 Jun 07 - 09:24 AM
Peter T. 19 Jun 07 - 10:12 AM
The Sandman 19 Jun 07 - 10:24 AM
dick greenhaus 19 Jun 07 - 11:51 AM
IanC 19 Jun 07 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,meself 19 Jun 07 - 12:47 PM
The Sandman 19 Jun 07 - 01:48 PM
pattyClink 19 Jun 07 - 07:50 PM
The Sandman 20 Jun 07 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Young Buchan 20 Jun 07 - 05:08 AM
IanC 20 Jun 07 - 05:39 AM
Mick Tems 20 Jun 07 - 07:24 AM
The Sandman 20 Jun 07 - 07:27 AM
JulieF 20 Jun 07 - 08:21 AM
IanC 20 Jun 07 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 20 Jun 07 - 08:29 AM
The Sandman 20 Jun 07 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 20 Jun 07 - 08:32 AM
Jack Campin 20 Jun 07 - 09:17 AM
IanC 20 Jun 07 - 09:35 AM
The Sandman 20 Jun 07 - 10:21 AM
IanC 20 Jun 07 - 10:33 AM
s&r 20 Jun 07 - 10:37 AM
IanC 20 Jun 07 - 10:46 AM
Dave Swan 20 Jun 07 - 10:57 AM
Jack Campin 20 Jun 07 - 11:08 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jun 07 - 03:05 AM
The Sandman 21 Jun 07 - 05:02 AM
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Subject: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: JulieF
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 08:27 AM

Hi

Anyone out there got any ideas on the best way of learning / improving lilting,didding,, mouth music in general.   I do a bit sat in sessions with the musicians but there is a mile of diference between doing that and doing it as a solo.

Any thoughts on the matter most welcome.

J


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 08:33 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diddling


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 08:35 AM

Need to know where you're at musically first - do you play an instrument?


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: JulieF
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 09:24 AM

Musically I'm fairly sound. I'm a singer and I've got a good ear for tune.   Don't actually play anything at the moment but that is more due to circumstance.    I know a lot of the tunes ( if not their names)and hang around sessions an awful lot.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 10:12 AM

Check out Pam Swan's web page -- the mouth music expert on the planet.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 10:24 AM

well you will have to learn to sing fiddle type ornamentation.
start practising five note rolls,example .e fsharp. d. e. fsharp. e.
practise singing NOTE ABOVE triplets.E F SHARP E.note below tripletsE D E,same note triplets e. e. e.
get a fiddle book like matt crannitch,learn some of the tunes,traeat your voice exactly like an instrument[preferably the fiddle],sing all his ornamentation exercises,including glissandos,and to start with copy his ornamentation with your voice.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 11:51 AM

There's a CD of various English/Scottish/Irish mouth music on the Folktrax label--available from CAMSCO, of course. Appropriately titled "Diddle-Daddle.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: IanC
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 12:02 PM

Actually, you don't have to study fiddle-style decorations for 100 years, or read 1,000 books or even look at 1,000,000 web sites.

Mouth music is just that. Just start doing it. Sing without words. You'll have to do it to yourself for a while as you'll feel self conscious and won't be sure if you're good enough to carry it off. When this feeling goes away, do it in public. Your style will be your style and, if you do it well, people will enjoy it.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 12:47 PM

Well - yes and no. If you are planning on developing this for performance, then it has to be something more than vaguely tuneful mumbling. A few essentials, to my mind:

- The most important thing is that you have to have the melody 'right' - in other words, you have to know and deliver the melody convincingly. Whether you learn the tune by ear, by sheet music, or a combination doesn't matter; whatever works best for you. You might want to start with a tune with which you are already familiar - give it a good close listen (or read). Sing it to yourself, go back and check passages you're unsure of, go over it until you have it firmly in your head. Don't worry about what sort of vocables you use at this point. Just hum it, if that's easier.

- Equally important, if not moreso, is the rhythm. Once you don't have to think about the melody, attend to your rhythm. If it doesn't make you want to move your feet, you need to give it more lift, bounce, drive.

- Work out vocables that roll easily off your tongue and that emphasize the rhythm of the tune. Don't make them difficult to remember, and just go over them and over them - and get used to improvising when you don't remember exactly what vocables you had intended to use.

- I wouldn't worry about decorations in the early stages; get the melody and rhythm solid first. If you listen to a lot of fiddle music, you should get a feel for how the decorations work - in most traditions, decorations serve the rhythm more than the melody.

- Playing with your vocables can give you rhythmic effects that are legitimate in their own right, even if they are not strictly imitative of the fiddle. For instance, where you usually sing, 'deedle-dee', you might try, 'deedle-ee-dee' for a triplet effect.

- Listen to the singing of songs in the tradition of music that you're following, and you'll probably find decorations or approaches that correspond with the instrumental music of that tradition.

One thing to be aware of in a session is that some musicians may find it quite distracting to have someone beside them lilting. I'd be careful about that ... It might work better in small, intimate setting, or with a regular music-partner or two.

That's my take on it, FWIW.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 01:48 PM

traditonal music of all kinds[including mouth music] deserves respect.listening is very important,treating your voice as a good instrumentalist treats an instrument is also important.Diddling like good singing requires work.
Nobody suggested studying fiddle decoration for a 100 years,a little study would do no harm, and would undoubtedly improve your singing.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: pattyClink
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 07:50 PM

well, when the instrumentalists take a break, have a tune ready, and start lilting it! my understanding is that's when people offered up their lilts, at house parties when the fiddlers would take a break for a drink and a smoke, and all the dancers didn't necessarily want to do the same, somebody would lilt a tune to keep things going.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 04:22 AM

very often lilting occurred because there were no instrumentalists,at one time England banned the playing of irish music in Ireland,so they sang it instead.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: GUEST,Young Buchan
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 05:08 AM

A good way into it, since you are starting as a singer, is to sing a song (which doesn't have a chorus - elsewise the audience will drown you out)and lilt a 'chorus' between each verse. Don't do it with Lord Bateman! Something light and short.

I once heard an Irish builder called Mike Henry do it with this:

She came from the mountains, her stockings were black.
I'd like to be tickling the small of her back.
She came from the mountains her stockings were white.
I'd like to be tightening her garters.

While walking the road to sweet Athy
I saw an old petticoat hanging to dry
So I took off my trousers and left them nearby
To keep the old petticot warm.

Paddy McCarty he had a fine goat
So he tied it up with a rope by the throat.
Along came a fellow and stole off its coat
So now it's another damned bodhran.

I courted a girl and she was quite fair
Her only drawback was her surplus of hair.
She came from Athy in the county Kildare
And shaved before mass every Sunday.

Maggie O'Brien she said unto me
She never would marry; no never said she.
But now she is happily married to me
And the mother of seventeen children.

Tune is The Limerick Rake


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 05:39 AM

England banned the playing of irish music in Ireland,so they sang it instead.

What?


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: Mick Tems
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 07:24 AM

Phil Tanner of Llangennith, Gower, South Wales (1862 - 1950) was an expert at what he called "mouth music". Veteran Records should have "The Gower Nightingale" (VT145CD) - you can listen to Phil doing mouth music and step-dancing, all at the same time!


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 07:27 AM

check out Henry The second ,the period after the battle of kinsale 1601,
AND 1646 and the time of Oliver Cromwell.
I believe [but am not sure]that there was a later attempt,as well in the early nineteenth century.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: JulieF
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 08:21 AM

I hadn't thought of going to the point of learning the decoration in the same way that a fiddler would. I use decoration in song but I have always sort of developed it as part of my own way of approaching the song and not approached in a formal manner.    That could be really interesting

I have done a version on Cunla where I have put a diddled verse in ( usually in between the thighs and chin if you know the song) and it certainly made me realise that I couldn't really go about it in a half - hearted manner - otherwise it just looks as if you have forgotten the words.    I have also been doing some rhythmic scottish stuff - a rather nice version of Johnny Lad which was almost getting close to it at times as you attack the rhythm.

I was thinking of having a go at Paddy Tunney's Hurricane of reels where the chorus is a diddled version of the reel that was last mentioned.

As for doing it in sessions - well I have to put up with them playing along with my singing :)    Seriously, I haven't been thrown out yet and I try to avoid it if I can see someone has their head down trying to pick up the tune or I am somewhere I am not known.   Saying that it is not the easiest thing to control after a couple of pints and musicians have managed to pick up the tunes from me.

thanks for you help so far.   Any more ideas ?

J


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 08:22 AM

"Captain Birdseye"

Please point to one single piece of actual evidence for what you are suggesting and I'll happily believe it. Otherwise, please stop propagating this uhnhelpful mythology.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 08:29 AM

The song variously known as "Invitation to a Funeral" and other titles, is sung to the air of "The Teetotaller" jig - and can serve as a longwinded introduction to a diddled version of the tune!

REgards


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 08:30 AM

Ian C,
Here is aquote from Irish Song Tradition,by Sean O Boyle[1976].
In1603 a proclamation was issued by the lord president of munster for the extermination buy martial law of ALL manner of bards,harpers etc,and within ten days,Queen Elizabeth herself ordered Lord Barrymore
to hang the harpers wherever found.
all through the seventeeth century they were banned and persecuted.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 08:32 AM

Ooops! "The Teetotaller" is a reel not a jig!

Regards


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 09:17 AM

JulieF didn't say what idiom she was intending to do. The kind of twiddles Dick is advocating are only appropriate for a small number of Irish idioms and wildly inappropriate for almost anything else, no matter what instrument or voice is playing.

I have heard this "imitate instrumental ornamentation" bollocks in Scotland, with people claiming they (or more often their heroes) could imitate Highland pipe ornamentation with mechanical exactness. Listen to what they're really doing, rather than what they say they're doing, and it's obvious they aren't even remotely alike. (The implied history is also nonsense: both Irish fiddle ornamentation and Highland pipe ornamentation have changed a lot over the years, mainly in the direction of increasing standardization and complexity - if there were any genuinely old folk tradition of diddling in instrumental style, it would have to use ornaments no present-day fiddler or piper would recognize).

I would suggest doing it for dancing, which was always the tradional role for it. That'll get the timing right. Ornamentation is a minor side issue in comparison (except that those five-note rolls would result in an undanceable blurring of the beat, so you should probably avoid anything so complicated).


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 09:35 AM

"Captain Birdseye"

Your quote originates from "A History of Irish Music" (1913) by William H. Grattan Flood. There is, in fact, no historical support for this (or many other assertions made by him) though it has been subsequently quoted many times.

Now that the war was over, severe measures were taken against the minstrels. On January 28th, 1603, a proclamation was issued by the Lord President of Munster, by the terms of which the Marshal of the Province was strictly charged "to exterminate by marshal law all manner of Bards, Harpers," etc. Within ten days after said proclamation, Queen Elizabeth herself ordered Lord Barrymore "to hang the harpers wherever found, and destroy their instruments."


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 10:21 AM

Ian C,there is plenty of evidence amongst the opinions of the Irish People,handed down from one generation to another.It would be advisable to keep your opinions to yourself if you ever visit Ireland.
jack C,it is perfectly easy for a good singer ,to sing ornamentation,,in fact some of the tunes that I play, I cant help singing/Diddling in the same way[including ornaments],but then I dont over ornament when I play. I,like you say concentrate foremost on a good dance lilt.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 10:33 AM

"Captain Birdseye"

What?


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: s&r
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 10:37 AM

There was a proclamation in Kilkenny in 1367(?) which forbade the use of warpipes

Stu


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 10:46 AM

Stu

Well, I don't know about "War Pipes" but an attempt was made to ban Hurling and other sports, which was about as successful as the attempt at banning football in England 30 years earlier ...

"An ordinance issued in 1337 forbade all games and sports apart from archery as Britain prepared for war with France. Most of these prohibited games involved gambling [dice, cockfights] or physical aggression [football, cudgel play] or, ideally, both. Similar legislation in Ireland [The Statutes of Kilkenny, 1367] went so far as to name the sports that were to be suppressed in favour of archery. These included hurling, still popular in Ireland today."


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: Dave Swan
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 10:57 AM

Pam Swan's website. Watch that space. She's off on another collecting expedition.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 11:08 AM

Henry VIII banned shove-halfpenny (well, actually shove-groat) in 1541 because Londoners preferred it to archery practice. History does not record the disappearance of the game.

James IV of Scotland had a go at banning football. Some chance.

Mary Queen of Scots imposed a sentence of death on anyone using drums in a demo or performing street theatre. After the first (failed) attempt at enforcing the law (the officers who tried it in Edinburgh nearly got lynched), it didn't make any difference that anybody noticed.

You can't conclude anything about social history by looking up whose head the Red Queen wanted off.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 03:05 AM

Most stories about things actually being banned (as opposed to failed attempts at it) turn out to be folklore; there is rarely any verifiable evidence when you look into it properly. Such stories are firmly believed by many people, of course, but that doesn't make them true. 'Are you calling my Granny a liar' (or equivalent) is a depressingly common reaction that completely misses the point. These myths are always dragged out by somebody whenever lilting/mouth music is mentioned here (see various earlier discussions on the same subject).

For what it's worth, the action taken against itinerant harpers in Ireland had nothing at all to do with the music they played. It was their perceived (and, in some cases, real) function as a network for subversive communication that was the issue. Even Grattan Flood, that arch disseminator of misinformation, acknowledged that licensed harpers were allowed to carry on plying their trade.

In the case of lilting, or whatever you choose to call it, all that is irrelevant anyway. I doubt if there is a culture anywhere in the world that doesn't have some sort of equivalent. It's what you do when you want to dance and there's nobody around who can play anything, or has anything with them to play on. People who can play a musical instrument or have access to one have always been in a small minority as compared to the number of people who like to dance.


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Subject: RE: lilting,didling,mouth music
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 05:02 AM

well Malcolm,history is always written by the establishment of a particular country,France would have a different take historically than England on certain battles,.History has been described as bunk,I would prefer Propaganda
That is why I prefer to listen to the voice of the people,call it folklore if you like, but that doesnt NECESSARILY make it mythology.


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