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How to play Morris tunes?

folktheatre 19 Feb 08 - 07:52 AM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Feb 08 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,PMB 19 Feb 08 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Dazbo at work 19 Feb 08 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Waddon Pete 19 Feb 08 - 08:24 AM
GUEST 19 Feb 08 - 08:29 AM
folktheatre 19 Feb 08 - 08:30 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 08 - 08:34 AM
folktheatre 19 Feb 08 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Dazbo 19 Feb 08 - 09:09 AM
Jess A 19 Feb 08 - 09:11 AM
Mr Happy 19 Feb 08 - 09:28 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 08 - 09:28 AM
RTim 19 Feb 08 - 09:32 AM
folktheatre 19 Feb 08 - 09:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 09:44 AM
Mr Happy 19 Feb 08 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,banjoman 19 Feb 08 - 11:09 AM
irishenglish 19 Feb 08 - 11:24 AM
Tootler 19 Feb 08 - 11:29 AM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Feb 08 - 11:32 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Feb 08 - 12:13 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Feb 08 - 12:19 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 12:58 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 01:06 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Feb 08 - 01:14 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 01:15 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 01:17 PM
Little Robyn 19 Feb 08 - 02:00 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 02:24 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Feb 08 - 02:33 PM
Ian Burdon 19 Feb 08 - 02:37 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Feb 08 - 02:45 PM
Folkiedave 19 Feb 08 - 02:59 PM
Jim Moray 19 Feb 08 - 03:11 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 03:38 PM
Folkiedave 19 Feb 08 - 05:08 PM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 19 Feb 08 - 05:21 PM
Gene Burton 19 Feb 08 - 05:21 PM
Herga Kitty 19 Feb 08 - 05:41 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Feb 08 - 10:58 PM
Wincing Devil 20 Feb 08 - 12:50 AM
Andrez 20 Feb 08 - 03:58 AM
The Borchester Echo 20 Feb 08 - 05:04 AM
folktheatre 20 Feb 08 - 05:16 AM
Mr Happy 20 Feb 08 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Joe 20 Feb 08 - 05:54 AM
jonm 20 Feb 08 - 06:07 AM
pavane 20 Feb 08 - 06:52 AM
mattkeen 20 Feb 08 - 06:56 AM
Green Man 20 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM
The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive) 20 Feb 08 - 12:07 PM
Ruth Archer 20 Feb 08 - 12:41 PM
Snuffy 20 Feb 08 - 01:06 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Feb 08 - 07:24 PM
Greg B 20 Feb 08 - 08:04 PM
Geoff the Duck 21 Feb 08 - 04:17 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 08 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Neovo 21 Feb 08 - 08:59 AM
Jim Moray 21 Feb 08 - 09:48 AM
Green Man 21 Feb 08 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,JohnB 21 Feb 08 - 01:02 PM
Dick The Box 22 Feb 08 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 22 Feb 08 - 11:57 AM
folktheatre 19 May 10 - 03:05 AM
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Subject: How to play Morris tunes?
From: folktheatre
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 07:52 AM

Hello!

I'm confused about how I should play morris tunes. Are they in 4/4 and swung? Like reels? Anyone have a potted history in their heads?!

Michael.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:10 AM

Yes, you swing the stick really hard and each panel on the Morris will give a different note. You have your choice of car - either Major or Minor. Thta's my potted history, and I think I need to go lie down now...


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:16 AM

Go and listen to some morris dancers. The tunes should be played at the same speed and rhythm as the dancers dance, which varies with dance, aspirations and age of dancers, time of day and quality of pub. The fiddle must be detuned by about half a notch, and concertina players just press all the keys at once and squeeze in and out as hard as possible. It is an offence for melodeon players to remember all the tune, and the rule for pipe and tabor is let not the left hand know.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:17 AM

Depends, North West, Cotswold, Border, Molly, Rapper, Longsword etc.

Can be in 6/8, occasionally 3/4 mainly 4/4.

The Don'ts

1) Don't play too slowly
2) Don't play too fast
3) Don't speed up*
4) don't slow down*
5) don't play a piano accordion
6) don't daydream whilst playing
7) don't wander off to the pub in the middle of a dance
8) don't play too quietly
9) don't play too loudly
10) don't play the wrong tune
11) don't play the wrong part of the the right tune
12) don't play a piano accordion
13) don't wear the wrong kit
14) don't scare the horses
15) don't do it in the rain
16) don't do it in the snow
17) don't do it in the dark
18) don't play it in any key except G or D
19) don't play a piano accordion
20) don't use Irish tunes
21) don't use Scottish tunes
22) don't use Welsh tunes
23) don't use French Tunes
24) don't use Cornish Tunes
25) don't use American tunes
26) don't use a bodhran
27) don't use a violin
28) don't play a piano accordion
29) don't do it Oxford
30) don't say it's a pagan tradition going back to the 1960s


The Dos

1) Have fun






*unless the dance calls for it


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,Waddon Pete
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:24 AM

"Don't play the piano accordion"

Yes....play the piano accordion if you want to!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:29 AM

No, don't play the piano accordion!


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: folktheatre
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:30 AM

Ha ha ha. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 08:34 AM

I would never have guessed that this thread could be so funny.

Clearly some tension in the Morris community?

They are great tunes and many of us play them at folk clubs for fun, this may be very bad and we will rot in Morris Ring Hell.

Like all dance, the dance and the music work of each other. I saw Bampton once and they seemed to get well off the ground. Very exciting it was. i think John K said something like - people don't need music to hit the ground to but they can be helped by music that lifts them off it - clearly good advice for the wild morresco dancing.

Why do morris dancers sing at the start of dances? So that the musicians know what to play.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: folktheatre
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:00 AM

What I was confused by was when I look one up and it's in 4/4 and it's all quavers (not the crispy snack). Do I play them like they're dotted or play them straight? I'm guessing not straight. I don't know! I'm not going to get a 'straight' answer anyway!


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:09 AM

Without knowing the dance it's hard to say. If you're learning from dots, get rid of them as soon as poss and just play the tune over and over to get it into your fingers and see what comes out.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Jess A
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:11 AM

in an attempt at a straight answer...

.... it depends.... I wouldn't assume that they should be played like they're dotted if not written that way. But then if it sounds good with it dotted then go for it. Contrary to the beliefs of many a folk muso, there is no right and wrong way to do things really.

If you are intending on playing it for people to actually morris dance to, try it both ways and watch the way they step to it - it will probably become obvious that with or without dots feel a more natural match for the dance. Or indeed a mixture of the two, with certain bars or notes played dotted and others not.

Finally, it may well be the case that the tune you want to play is commonly played in a particular way... (not that that makes other variations 'wrong'). Is there one specific tune we're talking about? If so, what is the name of the tune?

Jess


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:28 AM

Here's a typical morris tune, combining a lot of the elements you requested

http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/cgi/abc/tuneget?F=MIDI&U=http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/Red_Herring/dances/trunkles.abc&X=1&T=TRUNKLES

click on midi to hear it


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:28 AM

Lots of tunes have been recorded - some of actual Morris sides. Perhaps others here can list some of those recordings


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: RTim
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:32 AM

My old team - The Adderbury Morris men have a web page where you can down load tunes as played by the team.

http://www.kickback.btinternet.co.uk/Adderbury.Morris/Tunes/Atunes.html


Tim Radford
AND - Mr. Happy is having you on pointing you to the Trunkles tune above - IT IS NOT how to play!!!
Tim R.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: folktheatre
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:40 AM

Thanks RTim. That's very useful. When I get home I'll take a listen and that should be a good start. Thanks everyone for their help very much.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:44 AM

IT IS NOT how to play

Indeed it is not.
Here's Ian Dedic playing Trunkles (Bampton version) as it should be played, and lots of other Smiffs tunes.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 09:44 AM

Not at all - it's traditional!!


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 11:09 AM

Having played for a North West side (banjo) for a long time I finally left when I found ou that their definition of a musician was "Anybody who isn't in the current dance who can bash hell out of a bass drum)"
The only way to play Morris Tunes is in a sealed room with plenty of soundproofing.
And before anyone comes back with smart ass quips about banjo players - I have heard them all so don't bother


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: irishenglish
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 11:24 AM

It's a shame no discussion of Morris can go without a joke. I'm not a musician, but find the rythm of morris fascinating. As a dance it looks a little funny, but then again, Irish dancing with arms glued to the sides looks a little funny as well, but gets less chuckles. Check out some recordings like John Kirkpatrick's Plain Capers, any of the Ashley Hutchings Morris On stuff, plus all the ones previously mentioned. Oh, and You Lazy Lot Of Bone Shakers, one of the Voice Of The People series ( I forget which volume), which has some of the old masters (pre folk-rock).


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 11:29 AM

Search for "Morris Dancing" on U-Tube and you will get pages and pages of clips of morris sides of all types. Play a few and you should get the feel after a while.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 11:32 AM

"John Kirkpatrick's Plain Capers, any of the Ashley Hutchings Morris"

The Duck Race (a morris dance tune written by John Kirkpatrick) is a great CD too...plus the Ashley Hutchings Rattle Bone and Plough-jack.

Charlotte (morris dances and plays the piano, but not at the same time)


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 12:13 PM

Look, just play "Nellie the Elephant" (in D or G). They all fit to that, but sometimes Nellie needs to slow down to lift her tail.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 12:19 PM

I was being a bit more adventourous, but if you insist..

Charlotte (learned Nellie the Elephant from the old Mandy Miller single)


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 12:58 PM

Nothing wrong with morris tunes, as long as nobody actually dances to them...(talk about giving folk a bad name!!)


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 01:06 PM

Patronising prat (again).
All the more so for ignorantly denigrating our cultural heritage.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 01:14 PM

I was about to say that there's nothing wrong with Gene Burton's music, as long as nobody actually has to listen to it *LOL*

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 01:15 PM

Diane, you've had a sense of humour bypass. Your problem, not mine. This'll be my only response to you, as judging by what I've seen of your postings you seem a very angry, joyless individual. Have a nice life, nonetheless.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 01:17 PM

Charlotte, apologies if I misjudged your mood on the other thread.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 02:00 PM

You need to hear someone else playing the tunes properly, either from a recording or by joining the side and playing along because each one has subtle differences, places where the dancers want to speed up, places where the music needs to slow down so the dancers aren't left behind and then dances that have 'slows' where they need to do some fancy movement/high kick/low bow etc. and I find these tunes exciting.
I must admit I learnt most of my tunes from Morris on and Son of Morris on - if you can find a recording now.
People have said they feel sorry for me - just sitting and playing when needed but to me the opposite is true - I control the lot of them!!! If I play too fast they get worn out. In some dances, if I play too slow they get puffed out too!
They can't do very much without ME!!!!
And when I stick to the right speed and they all enjoy themselves, then I get lots of thank-you's, as well as the satisfaction of knowing I played everything OK.
Morris Off
Robyn


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 02:24 PM

I too went to investigate Gene Burton's tracks.
I lasted three bars and realised I'd far rather be sticking pins in my eyes than stay for a fourth.
To take the long view (as long as possible), at least the pompous, cloth-eared prat is unlikely to impinge upon (and ruin) our joyous and magnificent English dance music.
I shall continue to have "a very nice life" through my involvement in it, as demonstrated by my link to Ian Dedic's playing above.
My "sense of humour" does not extend (and never will) to the ill-informed sneers of chavs who diss it.
We have pea-brained radio presenters and brain-dead taloid journalists to do that.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 02:33 PM

That's "tabloid" (for the brain-dead).

I should add that I don't usually bother to read posts from ARSSs (that's "acoustic rock singer songwriters", but if I notice one mouthing off in a crass and denigratory fashion against women AND the tradarts, well-aimed boots can be anticipated.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 02:37 PM

My tuppence worth is to say that playing for dancing is not the same as playing in a session. When playing for dancing the key thing is to present the dance properly. For the musician this means practising with the team so that you each get to know each others' little ways and when in public, starting things off properly at an appropriate tempo then keeping your eyes on the dancers' feet so that it all works together.

For Rapper and Longsword (without getting into arguments about whether they are "Morris") then the same applies plus staying metronomically precise.

Ian


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 02:45 PM

Morris On

Robyn go Here for all the Morris On CD's and, of course The Mother Of All Morris

Charlotte ( Morris off)


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 02:59 PM

I hesitate to contradict Diane's spelling but shouldn't ARSS be spelt AARSS - standing for Another Acoustic Rock Singer Songwriter?

Just checking......


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Jim Moray
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 03:11 PM

Listen to other musicians. The best examples on the web (in my humble opinion) are of Nick Cooke playing for Bristol Morris Men here - http://www.themorrisring.org/more/tunes_examples.html. He was about 17 when those were recorded...

Go and buy the re-issue of John Kirkpatricks Plain Capers album.

There is a particular swagger for cotswold morris tunes that is neither 'swing' or 'straight' rhythms in the accepted sense, but its also easy to overdo which is annoying to dance to, especially if you're under 60 and still have functioning limbs. Play the tunes like you are dancing as part of the set.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy playing the tunes. It comes across.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 03:38 PM

Thanks for posting that, Jim- some really nice, sympathetic arrangements there.

By the way, if anybody (aside from the obvious couple of trolls) was genuinely offended by my earlier post; I should say I've always enjoyed listening to/watching morris teams whenever I've happened to come across them (eg. in festivals etc.) though of course I'm no aficionado. I've generally found it a very pleasant and relaxing way to while away a summer afternoon. I thought I was contributing to the generally humourous and playful tone of the discussion here...sigh...well, I can't always get it right...

Though while we're on the subject of our cultural heritage, I think the capacity we English have for good natured self-mockery is in itself something to be celebrated.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:08 PM

A capacity for good-natured self-mockery is done by morris teams all the time.

Many weekends of the year there are morris teams meeting in village halls etc. and many of those have self-mocking party pieces performed at them, indeed at some it's compulsory!!


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:21 PM

trolls...moi....*LOL*

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pas's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:21 PM

Sounds fun...LOL


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 05:41 PM

Re Banjoman's post - when I was dancing North West I was fortunate in having Ian Dedic playing for the side. But it's true that North West dancers can follow a drum, whereas Cotswold dances have more subtle variations in rhythm...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 10:58 PM

I'm glad that my attempts to get the thread on a good natured track, instead of a dry pompous pontificating lines worked. The problem is that the practioners will tell you that there is more than one way to do it...


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 12:50 AM

To play Morris tunes on the Concertina (Anglo OR English)
  • Pull the bellows apart
  • Press random buttons
  • Push the bellows together
  • Press random buttons
  • Whack the guy waving a hanky with a club
  • Repeat until it makes sense


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Andrez
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 03:58 AM

My humble suggestion is that they should all be played under water!

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 05:04 AM

In an unpromising-looking thread about Chris Evans and the pipe and tabor, I found the following:

. . . he treated it seriously without trying to make a joke of it. It is obvious that Chris Evans knows about as much as most of the rest of the public, but is actually willing to listen and learn rather than just make fun of something traditional . . .

Well, good for the ginger-headed one who clearly has infinitely more respect for English tradition and culture than self-appointed "comedians" who ought to know better but who lack any whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: folktheatre
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 05:16 AM

Wow. This is quite a lot of information and I hope that what has come of it is as much use to other people as it is me. I have the Plain Capers album now so I'll have to listen to it carefully. I'm not sure I still fully understand the music but like you all said, just keep playing and listening. I'll get there!


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 05:17 AM

IMO, the best way is first to practice the rudiments of some've the tunes your local side uses, then go play with the rest've the band - it'll soon come


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 05:54 AM

To become a great Morris musician, the best way to go about things is to dance first, so as to get the feel for the rhythm and the interaction between musicians and dancers. I have danced and played for over 10 years and cant really explain the difference in rhythms between tunes / dances, but it seems to become intuitive when I play!

Don't practise tunes too fast, as it is more difficult to slow down a tune you have learnt to play fast than to speed a tune up. I made that mistake for the first few years of playing!

The main thing is to enjoy yourself, dont take yourself, the team or 'the tradition' too seriously, do make mistakes and dont give a damn about them! It works for Bampton!

Playing morris tunes in sessions is fine - playing Shepherd's Hey for 20 mins always winds up the uptight ones, always a bonus.

And finally - dont play a piano accordion!


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: jonm
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 06:07 AM

More so than any other form of dance I have played for, Cotswold morris music is governed by the dance.

There are times to emphasise lift and capers and this actually encourages dancers to get higher off the ground. There are times to vary the pace to drive the set along. Playing staccato and legato can emphasise the vigorous and/or smooth elements of figures or movements.

John Kirkpatrick is a master, but in reality the Plain Capers CD is only half the story, since the dancers are not involved. A great starting point, but there's much more to playing for Morris.

One example, in the Headington Quarry (Boy) half heys, the six dancers have to complete a half figure-eight in two bars of double-step (one-two-three-hop), then perform the cross-back steps and jump in the next two bars to get the set into the correct shapre for the next figure.

If you play just ahead of the dancers' feet (i.e. speed up) for the first two bars, it drives the team round the movement with vigour and gets them into place. Then you take some of the pace out and slow the next two bars so the dancers have time to pause, gauge the shape of the set and all perform the cross-backs together in neat lines. In BPM terms, you're not varying the tempo much, it's more akin to "singing behind the beat."

This sort of thing cannot be practised without a team dancing it - these quirks are different for every tradition and every dance.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: pavane
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 06:52 AM

Listen also to The Art of William Kimber, if you can find a copy.

Seriously, if you want to play the tunes properly, there is no substitute for finding a real Morris side and learning from them and their musician.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: mattkeen
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 06:56 AM

Quote Guest,Joe

"Don't practise tunes too fast, as it is more difficult to slow down a tune you have learnt to play fast than to speed a tune up. I made that mistake for the first few years of playing!"


This is very true - I know there is a lot of discussion about how fast the tunes should or shouldn't be played (depends on whether your playing for dancers or not and personal taste I think), but I knew of a really good music teacherwho insisted that if you can't play something really really slow then you cant play it. I believe he is right


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Green Man
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM

Wyfre Forest musicians used to speed up slow down walk a figure 8 or the shadows step leer at the ladies make mistakes dress up funny dress up seriously funny, drink lots, fall over make lots of noise, chat up the ladies, try to recruit new people (repeat that several times).

In the end all that FUN resulted in bad backs bad knees old age and generally made us into nicer people (I think).

Along the way we made friends got given the keys to Barnsley (we got the Mayor total wozzled).

I really miss the cameraderie and the apres dance sessions which were magic.

The side died due to lack of new blood which is what the folk scene really needs. New (young) people to help out at the festivals and to make the Murris into wot it should be. Oooh Arrr


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Mole Catcher's Apprentice (inactive)
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 12:07 PM

"My humble suggestion is that they should all be played under water!

Cheers,

Andrez "

Beneath the spreading chestnut tree the village idiot stands...ooops sorry, that should read, the village blacksmith :-E

Charlotte (recitations R Us)


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 12:41 PM

I think you got it right the first time.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 01:06 PM

Mudcat's so short of funds it can't afford to employ an idiot, so we all take turns at doing the job instead.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 07:24 PM

"it can't afford to employ an idiot, so we all take turns at doing the job instead"

With comments like that, The Fooles Troupe may have to leave - too much competition...


"if you can't play something really really slow then you cant play it"

My dad said that any fool can play loud and fast - it takes talent and practice to play slow and soft.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Greg B
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 08:04 PM

Best thing to do to a Morris side is to stop on the odd note
in the midst of capers, then go off to the pub, leaving the
whole side hanging in the air with no means to get back to
the ground.

There they are, their great big feet dangling down, and
kicking about, trying to get traction on thin air.

Quite amusing, really.

Worst of it is that until they can get down, they can't make
their own way to the pub, which to a Morris side is probably
the worst fate.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 04:17 AM

Green Man - If you've still got the keys to Barnsley, please you send them back to Yorkshire so we can lock them back in again...
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:39 AM

1.watch the dancers
2.practise with dancers,make notes of approximate metronome settings
3.If dancers are not available,use a metronome as a substitute,or play along with recordings.
4,visit all clips of morris dancers on you tube,and goand watch and listen to a lot of live morris dancers.
Bampton and Moulton are two good sides that spring to mind.
5.listen to recordings of Kimber, John Kirkpatrick,and Jinky Wells.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:59 AM

If playing for an established side ask them how they want it playing. If playing for own amusement - put your own interpretation on it.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Jim Moray
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 09:48 AM

Somebody just threw a brick through my window (true!).

Don't make fun of Morris dancers...


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Green Man
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:40 AM

Playing for the Morris is an art, sometimes there are slow bits and other times the dancers can keep up. :)

GM

Barnsley door was bolted after the Morris had fled.


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 01:02 PM

If there are triplets in the music "DON"T RUSH THEM" it's not like Irish music at all.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: Dick The Box
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 06:05 AM

Comments for Cotswold.....

Play for the dancers not for yourself. Watch them at all times.

Don't be afraid to vary the pace to encourage lift.

What you leave out of a tune can be as important as what you put in.

Avoid large groups of musicians unless they are well practised and know what they are trying to achieve - lowest common denominator kicks in otherwise.

Percussion (especially drums) should be avoided unless played well. Percussion is often provided by non-musicians. An unvarying beat is more suited to North West. A random beat is deadly for averyone.

If you can, be a dancer as well (even if it is just at practises) - you will then understand what you are trying to achieve in your music.

Lastly, enjoy yourself!!!!

Richard Ashe - Great Western Morris


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 11:57 AM

From: Jim Moray
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 09:48 AM

Somebody just threw a brick through my window (true!).

Don't make fun of Morris dancers...

and this after your fine performance of Black Joke, on The Mother of All Morris, Jim? Shame, Shame!

Charlotte (aka Eva Brick)


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Subject: RE: How to play Morris tunes?
From: folktheatre
Date: 19 May 10 - 03:05 AM

Oh deary. Just read this thread again..........!


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