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The English Guitar/Cittern

WalkaboutsVerse 18 Jun 08 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Joe 18 Jun 08 - 05:04 AM
Jack Campin 18 Jun 08 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,JM 18 Jun 08 - 05:15 AM
greg stephens 18 Jun 08 - 05:20 AM
Phil Edwards 18 Jun 08 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Dt 18 Jun 08 - 05:24 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 18 Jun 08 - 05:42 AM
ClaireBear 18 Jun 08 - 05:42 AM
Deeps 18 Jun 08 - 06:07 AM
TheSnail 18 Jun 08 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Dt 18 Jun 08 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 18 Jun 08 - 07:31 AM
catspaw49 18 Jun 08 - 07:47 AM
theleveller 18 Jun 08 - 07:51 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 18 Jun 08 - 08:19 AM
irishenglish 18 Jun 08 - 08:23 AM
TheSnail 18 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 18 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM
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Jack Campin 18 Jun 08 - 09:18 AM
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Subject: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 04:53 AM

When Portuguese accompany their fado songs (although they may sometimes use the Spanish guitar) they always use the Portuguese guitar - as I've questioned here, why aren't more English folk playing the English cittern..?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:04 AM

"(although they may sometimes use the Spanish guitar) they always use the Portuguese guitar"

That says it all.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:14 AM

Because there's no tradition of using it for the sort of English folksongs most often performed today, and it isn't all that flexible.

I have some Scottish music for it on my website. Again, it's not much like any Scottish music you'll hear these days. It would make an interesting break in a programme but not everybody could afford the investment of time to learn something that's basically a novelty.

It woul be fine (and historically accurate) for Arne's and Dibdin's patriotic songs. Good luck finding an audience for an evening of them.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:15 AM

erm.. because it died out several hundred years ago? Perhaps the answer should be "because no one was playing them any more".

Incidentally, the modern 'cittern' (invented/resurrected by Stefan Sobell I believe) is different to historical citterns and isn't really the same instrument. Sounds amazing in the right hands though!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:20 AM

WAV: I take it you are a keen practitioner of le vice anglais, on similar patriotic grounds?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:22 AM

Sounds amazing in the right hands though!

Example. (I am not John's agent, just an admirer!)


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Dt
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:24 AM

from what I can make out the English guitar/Scottish guittar was a continental import popular for a period of time in the eighteenth century. I believe that it was more commonly called the German guitar on the continent. The cittern was widely dispersed throughout Europe. Which particular type of cittern did you have in mind? - DT


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:42 AM

A while back, there was a series on the Beeb which had historians farming as of 17th century England; and, on one episode, they were visited by a period musician who played the English/Leicester pipes, the crumhorn, pipe and tabor, plus, with a feather plectrum, a 5 times 2 strung "English cittern" - which is what I had in mind, DT.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: ClaireBear
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:42 AM

Actually I used to have one, but it proved rather peculiar to play though lovely to look at. Eventually I sold it to a friend who collects beautiful historic but less than playable instruments...now it's probably hanging on his wall next to the crwth.

Another issue was that it was made en England of some gorgeous but delicate blond wood which didn't take kindly to California's low-humidity summers. I am sure it is happier in North Carolina.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Deeps
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:07 AM

The English guitar actually originated in Germany, it was known in France as guittare allemande. The cittern is also, originally, from the continent. The modern cittern, bouzouki, mandola and octave mandolin family have no direct connection to the renaissance cittern or English guitar, rather they are developments of the Greek bouzouki (which has it's origins in the Arabic oud)or the mandolin and differ from each other only in scale length and the number of strings, the cittern having 10 and the others usually 8. You might as well ask why folk singers don't wear doublet and hose in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:14 AM

WAV, lead by example. Put the results on MySpace when you're ready.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Dt
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:25 AM

And if money is a problem try a waldzither. Its a type of German cittern four double courses and one single ( instead of the four double courses and two singles of the English guitar). It is tuned in a very similar fashion and they can be picked up on ebay relatively cheaply. I look forward to hearing your playing it. - Dt


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:31 AM

"When Portuguese accompany their fado songs (although they may sometimes use the Spanish guitar) they always use the Portuguese guitar"
Eh? How do you reconcile sometimes with always? I thought the terms contradicted each other.
Make up your mind.

Guitar was often used as a generic term for a plucked instrument. A Spanish guitar and a Portuguese one are very different beasts. Their use has NOTHING to do with the name. A couple of hundred years ago those instruments abounded and were used in low-dives, where the music that became fado evolved. Availalbility dictated their use, not patriotic notions.
Am I wrong, or is the Portuguese guitar not really used for other genres of Portuguese music?
Should the Portuguese be concerned because their instrument originated from English guitars?

Now, as for the English guitar, take a look at this:
http://www.standingstones.com/engguit.html

"This instrument is vastly different from the gut-strung guitar, and was actually a revival of the cittern. Although not the kind of instrument I have been concerned with in this book, a brief discussion of it is necessary due to the large amount of music for it from the mid-eighteenth century, the title pages of which all say, either for 'guitar or 'guittar'. Hence, unless one is able to distinguish which music is for the 'English' guitar and which is for the Spanish guitar, much confusion can result.

The English guitar was known in France as the cistre or guittare allemande (indicating its German origin), and in Italy as the cetra. Italian musicians apparently introduced and started the fashion for the instrument in England. The earliest music for it in England is Pasqualinide Marzi's Six sonatas for the cetra or Kitara ... (c. 1740; copy in London, British Library). It soon, however, became known simply as the 'guittar'."

So, an instrument of probable German origin, popularised by Italian musicians, should be a national instrument because of it's name?
Sorry, but the banjo, guitar, mandolin, Irish bouzouki and electric guitar have just as much claim to the title!!
Just look at the ammount of guitarists from England who pioneered and developed electric guitar playing.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:47 AM

Ah yes......Here you are again WalksAboutCrappingInPants.............Artificially screwing with tradition.

Why are they not used now? Because they are far too useful as wall decorations to be actually used. So are hundreds of other instruments that once were part of some tradition but for numerous reasons fell by the wayside.

Tradition is sometimes described as a river. As the river flows along some new little creeks and streams add to it and some things are swept off the banks. Other things get hung up in various eddys and pools and others are washed up onto the banks..............and every once in awhile some asshole wanders along the banks asking why some things are left behind.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:51 AM

As a player of a modern cittern I find this very interesting - it is, as other posters have said, a totally different instrument and the different tunings and playing styles allow a unique and personal approach to the music, which is one of the reasons I like it.

Paul Hathway makes a 10-string English Guitar, an 8-string Early Cittern and a 12-string Bell Cittern. His website also gives a brief background to each of these instruments:

www.paulhathway.com

BTW, I can recommend Paul's instruments; we have a mandolin and octave mando by him.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:19 AM

Thanks, theleveller and Phil - Jez Lowe also plays a cittern (8 string, I think, from my memory of enjoying his Durham gig, last year).
To Greg Stephens, Claire Bear, and The Snail: I introduce the tune to English folk songs and hymns on a tenor-recorder/English flute; and I occasionally accompany myself on keyboards, as on, yes Snail, myspace. There is now way, however, that I'd have an English cittern mounted on a wall just for show - I'd surely have a go.
And further to my above mention of that period farming series on the Beeb, it was a 5 times 2 WIRE strung instrument...how about theleveller's and Paul Hathway's?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:23 AM

Thanks for.....what exactly WAV? Stating that your original point is incorrect?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM

There is now way, however, that I'd have an English cittern mounted on a wall just for show - I'd surely have a go.

Just so WAV, have a go. Put in the practice and show us all how it's done and how good and English it is. You might start a trend.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM

WAV, you answered your own point in your post of 18/6 05:42 pm referring to seeing it in a 17th century reenactment on TV.

Most people in the folk revival are trying to continue a tradition that was and is alive (albeit much reduced) in the 20th and 21st centuries. We use instruments appropriate to this period.

The English guitar/cittern is appropriate for 17 century reenactments but its not appropriate now. There was a brief fad for early music instruments in the 1960s and 70s but it rightly dropped out of fashion.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:35 AM

To IE - it was thanks for the links/examples of people making and playing citterns; and I stand by my opening post.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:47 AM

If I had an English cittern on me, Snail, I'd try plucking (with a feather?!) the very same top-line melodies that I sing - which is all I do on the keyboards (play and sing just the melody).
To HJ - it was English and Germans who brought the recorder back in the early 20th century...why not English folkie string-players, at this early part of the 21st century, reviving the English cittern..?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:50 AM

Sorry - I meant to say the recorder was brought back as a folk instrument.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:51 AM

It would be a backwards step!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:10 AM

WalkaboutsVerse

If I had an English cittern on me

I think we may have stumbled on the answer to your orginal question here WAV.

why aren't more English folk playing the English cittern..?

For exactly the same reason as you. THEY HAVEN'T GOT ONE!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Banjiman
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:11 AM

WAV.........would you be able to start a thread without "English" in the title, it makes me shudder every time I see your name attached to one?

Not that I'm ashamed of being English.....just not comfortable with some of your ideas of "Englishness" .

Thanks

Paul


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:18 AM

It doesn't sound very different from a Puerto Rican cuatro, though the tuning pushes it in a different musical direction. The cuatro has a place in country and western music, and works for bluegrass where a sound midway between guitar and mandolin has a blending effect (I've done it).

Insofar as their sounds do differ, I prefer the cuatro, and the cuatro handles key changes better, but I could imagine a C&W outfit having a use for the English guitar.

Trawl through late 18th century songsheets and you can see what the English guitar was actually used for in its heyday. Not much of it is stuff a present-day audience (either from the early music or folk constituencies) would pay to hear.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:18 AM

Am I being ignored, WAV? Are there no valid points in my post?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:24 AM

Yes Snail: we need more "big names" to put their guitar aside for an English cittern (I have tried before), start a revival, and then they will become more accessible/more of a FOLK instrument - the same could be said of the (very sorry Banjiman) English concertina.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:29 AM

It never WAS much of a folk instrument. Anyway, why swap one instrument for another which functions and sounds differently? Anyway, I'd rather hear an oud over a cittern anyday of the week.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Bernard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:35 AM

I have a Brazilian 'Viola', which is a guitar-shaped ten string instrument with the same scale length as a cittern, and the body is similar in size to a three-quarter 'Spanish' guitar. As I couldn't see the point of the 'official' stringing, which is similar to a 12-string guitar without the bass, I strung it as a cittern. After all, I already have 6 and 12-string guitars.

Boy do I confuse people with it!!

Okay, someone will ask why I bought it in the first place... well, I didn't - it was a gift, so it was only polite to be seen to use it.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:36 AM

Yes Snail: we need more "big names" to put their guitar aside for an English cittern

But you're a Big Name, WalkaboutsVerse, (or at least a long one). You've won competitions and things. Give us the lead we need.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Houston_Diamond
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 09:51 AM

Sounds amazing in the right hands though!

I know it's old but...
this reminded me of the latino act they had at the bulverton last August... they came down to jam in the session in the tent after and was playing any object (frying pan, chair, bottles) like they were designed for the purpose... it was truly amazing.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 10:05 AM

WAV-in a purely academic sense, whoever was the first person who made a piece of wood, and strung it with string or what have you is the person whom we have to thank for all string instruments. Everything-mandolin, banjo,oud, guitar, EVERYTHING derives from that invention. So purely speaking, your concept of an English cittern is flawed because no one in England created (to quote from a Fairport song) the wood and the wire. Oh and by the way, on another thread I asked you repeatedly where your recorder is actually made? While we're at it, how about your keyboard?

I also guess you have abandoned your English folk awards thread.
Coming up next week folks will be all the other bullet points from WAV on his "website" so be prepared.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 10:33 AM

Hmm, a tricky question, WAV. Do you think it's:

a) because they fell out of use hundreds of years ago, have played next to no role in the evolution of English traditional music as we know it, their stringing/ tuning system is quite restrictive, and nowadays we have a choice of much better and more suitable instruments.

or

b) because they were forcibly suppressed by PC multi-culturalist England-haters who wanted to stamp on our native culture by replacing all instruments with "English" in their names with foreign ones.

I know which answer I'd choose, and I suspect everyone with perhaps one exception would. People will carry on playing guitars, mandolins, citterns, ouds, bouzoukis and banjos, regardless of what they're called or what historical links to certain nations they might have.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Phil at work
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 10:46 AM

Thanks for.....what exactly WAV? Stating that your original point is incorrect?

Thanks for answering, IE. (I know, I'm no better.) Thanks for paying him attention and treating his opinion as if it's worth responding to. It's all he wants.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 11:17 AM

Sorry - I meant to say the recorder was brought back as a folk instrument

WAV - Do never listen to anything anyone says to you? I pointed out some time ago that in now way was the recorder brought back as a folk instrument; such wilful wishfulness on your part is enough to make Arnold Dolmetsch turn in his grave I'm sure!

Here's that message again, I suggest you read it this time:

It's interesting to note that many people seem unaware of the recorder's status as a revived instrument, assuming that it has always been there & is, therefore, modern, rather than early, along with the various other instruments Dolmetsch (et al) revived, with whatever degrees of success. The instrument we know today is the Baroque recorder, which is to say the instrument as it was when it reached its highest development as an essential component of the baroque orchestral tradition before being replaced by the transverse flute. I would disagree, therefore, that it was revived as folk instrument (in the strictest sense) however.

The recorder caught on in musical education because it was an inexpensive instrument with fully chromatic capabilities (unlike the penny whistle) and was therefore the ideal primer for kids who wanted to learn a proper wind instrument at a later stage. Despite this, thanks to the sterling work of the late David Munrow and Dr Rene Clemencic and many others, the recorder enjoys the status of serious virtuoso instrument in the world of early classical music, but it's never taken root in folk music, with one or two notable exceptions. Neil Smith, for example, one of the finest of the Northumbrian Pipers is also an accomplished recorder player. Also of note is the playing of Terry Wincott of the Amazing Blondel whose idiosyncratic style of recorder playing (florid with chiffs & trills) certainly gave the impression of how the recorder might once have sounded in a Merry Englande of yore.

The recorder developed from the simple whistle flute, with which it had a parallel history; we find more developed recorder type instruments in medieval times, but it's not until the wide-bore consort instruments of the Renaissance that the instrument called the recorder comes into being, later refined into the Baroque recorder most commonly manufactured today, though the earlier types are still available, albeit at a price! Have a look at The Early Music Shop for some choice examples - a few earlier sorts too, such as the gemshorn as well as some lovely Baroque recorders too...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 11:43 AM

There are a number of people playing recorder at all levels in the folk revival, but I'm not aware of any recorder players from the actual English tradition - if there were I'd be interested to learn of them.

This puts it alongside the (Spanish) guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, etc as an instrument of the modern revival rather than a proper English folk instrument. It's got no more authenticity than the other instruments WAV would prefer to see replaced by good English instruments.

Is an electronic keyboard English, by the way?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 11:50 AM

Banjiman wrote: "WAV.........would you be able to start a thread without "English" in the title"

I'm having fun playing "WAV Bingo": I look at the list of titles in Mudcat and try to guess which ones have been started by WAV. So far I've a 100% hit rate.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 11:55 AM

Learn to play the damned instrument then get back to us!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:21 PM

"This puts it alongside the (Spanish) guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, etc as an instrument of the modern revival rather than a proper English folk instrument."

I'm intrigued to know what you class as a proper English folk instrument. The only one that I can think of is the concertina, though that may have been developed for other purposes.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:23 PM

I'm having fun playing "WAV Bingo"

Did you miss one?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Deeps
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:35 PM

WAV: Jez wasn't playing a cittern if it only had eight strings, both the renaissance cittern and the modern cittern have ten strings set up in five pairs (courses). What Jez does play is either a short scale bouzouki or octave mandolin, the instrument can be either depending on the way the maker/player chooses to describe it. The modern cittern came via Stefan Sobell who needed a name for the 10 stringed instrument he had just made (based on a cross between his Portugese guitarra and his Martin archtop guitar) and happened across the cittern in a book on Renaissance instruments.

The prevalence of the bouzouki in todays folk traditions is often laid at the door of Johnny Moynihan of Sweeny's Men who brought one to Ireland after a trip to Greece. Much as I like the bouzouki, cittern and octave mandolin, they are in truth mongrel instruments and to try and claim any of them as a racially pure English instrument is, frankly, laughable.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Banjiman
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:38 PM

"and to try and claim any of them as a racially pure English instrument is, frankly, laughable"

Why would you want to (nice though most of them can be in the right hands)?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:38 PM

Yes, Sedayne, I remember, and agree with, that post, but would still add that it was brought back mainly as a student AND folk instrument, plus that we now have two styles of fingering/holes on the Baroque recorder - German and English. Also, the inexpensive tenor I play most of the time is moulded out of ABS polymer.
To Howard - I accept that when I play my electronic keyboard, or a piano at a pub, in self-accompaniment I am, as you suggest, moving away a bit from E. trad. music...but then I only play the top-line melody (which is E. trad.), and singing around the piano, of course, is a strong English tradition in itself. Also, re: "WAV Bingo", if you goto the BS section, you'll find an "All Things English" thread NOT started by me, but Phil...although I couldn't resist posting on it (Sedayne - you'll find stotties get another guernsey there, too!)
Back to strings: there was an interesting interview, on the last Travelling Folk (BBC Scotland), of Judy Collins by Archie Fisher that mentioned the "great folk scare" and "the epidemic" of having to play some kind of stringed instrument - even though I may never play it, DS, I do like the sound of the English cittern, and do hope the list of players grows.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:43 PM

Well safe to say I won't be among the practioners. I tend to go for more adventurous instruments (as I stated somewhere else, it'll very likely be the melodeon next), the cittern does tend to have a very limited range...now that sounds familiar! :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: mattkeen
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:50 PM

Sedayne
Thanks for repeating the recorder information, it was an absolute joy to read


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Stu
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:52 PM

WAV's got a point. I think the only way to play/accompany English folk music is with a pig's bladder, a couple of birch branches and an elder twig hollowed out, holes drilled in it and a sparrow shoved up one end which tweets the top line melody until the RSPCA find out and ban you from approaching with 50 (megalithic) yards of small brown finches.

Which is why I'll be sticking to my Irish Bouzouki made by a chap in Norfolk.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 12:57 PM

I'm sorry, but WAV's verbatim answers again just leave me baffled. So I'm just going to quote random nonsense from Monty Python as a reply.

Lemon Curry?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:01 PM

a random thought, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds :-D

and random nonsense? Henry Crun, Minnie Bannister, Major Denis Bloodnok, curried eggs. :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:02 PM

Fatang, Fatang ole' biscuit barrel

Pickled Herring?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:13 PM

Is this money going towards the Chairman of The Board's wife's saxophone lessons?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:16 PM

I didn't expect some type of Spanish Inquisition

DAH DAH.......

No one expects the Spanish Inquistion.......


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: jonm
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:19 PM

A couple of thoughts, without entering the arguments.

"When Portuguese accompany their fado songs (although they may sometimes use the Spanish guitar) they always use the Portuguese guitar ..."

This is perfectly consistent if you know fado, the Portuguese guitar is always used, sometimes with a Spanish as well.

There is one naming convention which has modern citterns as the ten-string cousins of the eight-string mandolin family. There is another which suggests that instruments tuned in fifths are mandolin family (you tend not to find five-course instruments due to problems with string gauge and tension) and those in open tunings are citterns.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:22 PM

Friends, pick up that bottle you will finding standing in the centre of your dining room table. Now examine it closely and read what it says on the very small print on the back of the label. Note that it's contents are invaluable for pea soup, falling ears, irritation of the nurglers, exteriminating socks and preserving eggs And that doctors strongly recommend it as a cure for the lurgi, the on-set of the nadgers, spots before the ankles, soft shoulders, pink toenail and
acute amounting on the legs.

Ying tong iddle I po !


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:27 PM

To Stigweard: as well as imitating the human voice (recorden is olde-English for - to warble or sing) the recorder/English flute has been used to mimic/attract birds (although Mozart, of course, preferred the transverse/German flute. And, for what it's worth, on my myspace Blog, I've encouraged GREEN GODLY GARDENING, and carefully selected feeders and boxes, for the benefit of native birds and other fauna.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:31 PM

...and now for something completely different.



Know what I mean...wink wink nudge nudge, say no more


Albatross


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:34 PM

Actually they are still being played, I play an antique one attributed to John Preston c. 1770. I think the reason you don't hear many people reviving them is that being tuned to a two octave open C chord they are not anything like a modern guitar for accompanying a song. I got a copy of Bremners tutor from 1758 and it has a few songs in there. He says that the accompaniment is simply doubling the melody, which I do for a few songs like Liberty Tree by Thomas Paine. It is a far different sound than modern ears are used to, and I suspect that is why there isn't more of it.
They are wonderful little parlor instruments from a different world. If you want to hear a breif sample you can hear mine at http://www.wireharp.com/wireharp_015.htm and click on the tune
"Rangers Wedding". it is just a bit of melody.

Robert Mouland
www.wireharp.com


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:38 PM

"And, for what it's worth, on my myspace Blog"

memo to self: keep repeating, I'm not going to sucumb to temptation, I'm not going to sucumb to temptation...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:42 PM

Min, Min, stop that sinful rhythmn type dancing!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:53 PM

Thanks Robert, and here's a blue clicky to your good site - wireharp.com


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:01 PM

It's the Upperclass Twit Of The Year competition...

The Society For Putting Things On Top Of Other Things

Confuse A Cat Ltd.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Hon. Sec for TSFPTOTOOT
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:04 PM

ta ever so for the publicity.
toodle pip!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:12 PM

Your Right Hon. Sec for TSFPTOTOOT....

The Fish Slapping Dance


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:12 PM

Oddly enough, Peter Sellers was something of a virtuoso on an hourglass-shaped four-stringed instrument - the fine old English ukulele, which he played to great effect on an English traditional song performed by Steeleye Span. (Almost all of this sentence is true.)

if you goto the BS section, you'll find an "All Things English" thread NOT started by me, but Phil...although I couldn't resist posting on it

As you'll see if you look at the top post in that thread and click the links, that entire thread was meant as a joke - a kind of heffalump trap for any passing English nationalists. But you're in good company, WAV - hardly anybody else has got the joke either...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:14 PM

...all you New York Girls, can you dance the polka!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:15 PM

Phil, I think Sellers is on New York Girls didn't he?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:16 PM

...play that modern banjo Min...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:20 PM

Just dawned on me that maybe I should stop with the Monty Python. After all, there was an American and (shudder) a Welshman in the troupe. Not very English!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:29 PM

Hang on a sec, Harry 'exploding Welshman' Secombe was from South Wales, and Spike Milligan was born in India of Irish parents

when Secombe met Milligan in a wadi in North Africa Milligan was wearing a German helmet, Italian shorts and British boots, he wasn't taking any chances :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:35 PM

Robert, what did you play "She's Sweetest Ehen She's Naked" on? Sopranino recorder? I've never heard anybody but me play it. I used a transverse flute, I think. We have a very similar repertoire.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:39 PM

sorry, I thought this thread was about
I couldn't fathom where the English guitar came into the picture :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Howard Jones
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:41 PM

Let's run through some of the traditional English instruments:

Fiddle: Italian
Concertina: Arguably the only instrument invented in England. However other similar instruments were being developed elsewhere, especially Germany, at the same time. Wheatstone's patent was just one of the more successful versions. Anyway, the free reed probably comes from China
Melodeon: German/Austrian. See above re free reed
Bagpipes: English versions mostly extinct, apart from Northumbrian, but bagpipes are widely found throughout Europe and beyond, so hardly English
Hammered Dulcimer: Widely distributed throughout Asia and Europe. Not English
Pipe and Tabor: the flute and drum are found in many cultures back to the dawn of human society.
Banjo: African-American

We've been through this before - you can't draw lines around these things. Playing the English Cittern, or recorder for that matter, is no more authentic than playing a Stratocaster.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:46 PM

If I had a choice, I think I'd rather play a Strat, far more exciting:-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:09 PM

ooooooooooooo.... :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:14 PM

Have you noticed that the English always use Spanish in Pontefract Cakes, except in the rare occasions when they use the more traditional liquorice?

I suspect this heinous practice gained popularity round about the time the English nation regained its self respect and stopped picking their citterns with a feather, learned three chords from the Bert Weedon book and The Watersons learned all they knew about harmony singing from the first Beach Boys album.

Like WAV, I was devastated by all that and lost my personal equilibrium.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Darowyn
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM

And introducing the Walkabouts English band.
Let's hear it for WAV on the Anglo Concertina,
And Verso playing the Cor Anglais,
Take it away Bertsverse on Recorder (English Flute, allegedly)
And Walkie on the Cittern (English guitar from Germany)
And now on lead vocals, Mr Doggerel himself, Walkaboutsverse!
Come on now! You all know the words......
"There'll always be an England....."

Cheers
Dave
A Briton and descendent of Britons for over 2000 years and nothing to do with those Anglo Saxon incomers.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 03:35 PM

Oi!, you might get called Anglo-Saxonist :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:42 PM

Adolf Sax, of Belgium, invented the saxophone, DS, for military use...as for the English cittern's use, apparently, in 17th century England, one could be found in nearly every barber-shop and tavern in England, where they were used to accompany songs...what songs?...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 05:52 PM

WAV, so what, I didn't ask you, and the cittern is last instrument in the world I'll be learning to play ( I prefer more adventurous instruments, as I've already noted), I don't care how English you claim it is, and all this nonsense about barber shops and such like is just that, nonsense, and the songs, you're the only one who seems to be interested. Another thing you don't have is a bloody sense of humour. irishenglish, Phil Edwards and myself were having a bit of fun, to liven up this thread. By the way, the so-called English guitar was of German origin, as has already been noted, I believe.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:37 PM

in 17th century England, one could be found in nearly every barber-shop and tavern in England, where they were used to accompany songs...what songs?...

I think they would have gone something like this:

My Evaline
Hey derry, hey derry, hey derry down dilly oh!
My Evaline
Hey derry down my lady
My Evaline,
Say you'll be mine
With a derry down, dilly down and don't forget the gravy-oh!

Fortunately, 17th-century barbers were slow workers.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 06:55 PM

I just looked at WAV's Myspace site, and 28,000 and a bit people have listened to the music. Well, I'm damn sure nothing like that number have listened to my Boat Band Myspace. What has this man got?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:01 PM

Has anybody done of a survey of what kind of car wreck is best at making people slow down to look?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Nick
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 07:53 PM

>>I just looked at WAV's Myspace site, and 28,000 and a bit people have listened to the music. Well, I'm damn sure nothing like that number have listened to my Boat Band Myspace. What has this man got?

Skin like a rhinoceros. Incredibly limited ability to either play or sing. Limitless self promotion inversely proportional to the value of what is being promoted. Bizarre attachments to ideas regardless of any proof in their validity. Enormous (though misguided) belief in the worth of his poetry, ideas and music. To mention but a few. On the numbers the thought of flies and shit come to mind.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 04:37 AM

Hi Greg,

I just visited the Boat Band's myspace site to start to redress the balance! Great stuff, as expected. I decided to give WAV's a miss.

All the best

Brian


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:30 AM

"I like the idea of the European lute having evolved into different guitar-like instruments in different lands: Portuguese guitar, E. cittern, Russian balalaika, Italian mandolin, Greek bouzouki, Hawaiian ukulele, American lap-steel, African/American banjo, as well as the Spanish guitar" (from here).


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:49 AM

"I like the idea of the European lute having evolved into different guitar-like instruments in different lands: Portuguese guitar, E. cittern, Russian balalaika, Italian mandolin, Greek bouzouki, Hawaiian ukulele, American lap-steel, African/American banjo, as well as the Spanish guitar"

The European lute itself has much earlier African roots (from Ancient Egypt) but derives entirely from the Arabic Oud, supposedly brought back by Crusaders, and from the hugely influential cross-cultural adventures of Alfonso 'El Sabio' X of Castille, who employed Arabic, Christian & Jewish musicians at his court in the 13th century. See HERE for illuminations from the famous Cantigas de Santa Maria.

Why don't you do some research before forming your erroneous conclusions? Let's see some of that much professed scholarship in action!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:52 AM

I might add that the other instruments didn't necessarily evolve from the lute either, and certainly not the Banjo! But feel free to persist in the racist fantasy of Europe being the mother of all cultures if it makes you feel better!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 09:33 AM

Oud -> 'el oud' -> laud -> lute?

The roots of the banjo are of course much older, dating back to classical times. The word 'banjo' is in fact the first person singular of the Latin verb banjare, 'to clank repetitively'. The 'fiddle' supposedly played by Nero while Rome burned may well have been one of the first banji.

(Sorry, there's just something about these 'English' threads...)


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 12:35 PM

Instead of a Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, how about an English Cittern Orchestra of England..?..I think it's got a wiry ring to it...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Darowyn
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 12:38 PM

If "lute" comes from Arabic, there is no consolation for the "English or nothing" brigade in the name of the Cittern or guitar.
From the same Sanscrit root (which would imply an Indian (Indus Valley) or possibly Persian origin) we have the Indian Sitar, The Javanese Siter, which is more like a table harp, the Cithara from Greece and the Balkans,and the Zither, common in Northern Europe.
The Spanish took their word from the Arabic Speaking Moors so qitar becomes Guitarra in Spanish.
The earliest recorded use of the word in English was in the 14th century, when the instrument, whatever it looked like, was called a "giterne"
This reference was found here:-
Etymology
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 12:41 PM

"Instead of a Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, how about an English Cittern Orchestra of England..?..I think it's got a wiry ring to it..."

Are we seeing a nugget of self-deprecating humour here? Nice.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 12:41 PM

Me above.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Banjiman
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 12:47 PM

Sedayne said:

"I might add that the other instruments didn't necessarily evolve from the lute either, and certainly not the Banjo! But feel free to persist in the racist fantasy of Europe being the mother of all cultures if it makes you feel better!"

Phil stammered:

"The roots of the banjo are of course much older, dating back to classical times. The word 'banjo' is in fact the first person singular of the Latin verb banjare, 'to clank repetitively'. The 'fiddle' supposedly played by Nero while Rome burned may well have been one of the first banji."

If you're interested though I can't see why you heathens (Phil!!!) would be but:

Akonting

Paul


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 12:47 PM

You know WAV, it just dawned on me. Isn't the use of your username, Walkaboutsverse at odds with your demand for all things England? Shouldn't you be calling yourself, oh I don't know, M-1motorwayverse?
Or marmiteverse? I bet someone else can come up with a few more. There doesn't seem to be anything very English about a walkabout.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 01:08 PM

"Instead of a Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, how about an English Cittern Orchestra of England..?..I think it's got a wiry ring to it..."

"Are we seeing a nugget of self-deprecating humour here? Nice. "


no, the sad thing is, WAV is being perfectly serious


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 01:08 PM

It's the first and last words from the full title of my book, IE -
"Walkabouts: travels and conclusions in verse"; and, although I'm not a monarchist, "walkabout" has been used for some time by our media to describe the visits of our various "leaders", such as EW. There is/was also a "Walkabout Guide" for those who visit(ed) Liverpool (see poem 64). But my whole life's work and title really derive from this experience/poem (which you may hear chanted on myspace, minus the recorder intro., which I've only just worked out) -

Poem 2 of 230: WALKABOUT WITH MY PEN

Once drove an old sedan, up north,
    From a place in Sydney to Cairns;
Then to Kuranda I went forth,
    By train, to look without set plans.

I browsed through the trendy market,
    With fresh fruits of tropical kind;
Walked to the creek through lush thicket -
    Nature's hand giving peace of mind.

I dined in a scenic cafe;
    Then, outside, as I wrote for yen,
Some passing Kooris called-out: "Hey,
    You go walkabout with your pen."

Request or question, I don't know -
    Assured voices, elderly men.
That's now several years ago,
    And I've seen the world - with my pen.

From walkaboutsverse.741.com


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 01:09 PM

Nothingbutenglishverse


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 01:48 PM

Hi there. Nice to be with you. Happy you could stick around. Like to introduce... "the Walkabouts English band.
Let's hear it for WAV on the Anglo Concertina,
And Verso playing the Cor Anglais,
Take it away Bertsverse on Recorder (English Flute, allegedly)
And Walkie on the Cittern (English guitar from Germany)
And now on lead vocals, Mr Doggerel himself, Walkaboutsverse!
Come on now! You all know the words......
"There'll always be an England....."

And looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes... Nice!

"I like the idea of the European lute having evolved into different guitar-like instruments in different lands: Portuguese guitar, E. cittern, Russian balalaika, Italian mandolin, Greek bouzouki, Hawaiian ukulele, American lap-steel, African/American banjo, as well as the Spanish guitar" (from here).

WAV, the E guitar was developed in Germany, became popular in France and was brough to England by Italians. The Portuguese guitar was named that because guitar was a generic term, the bouzouki came from several bastardised Turkish instruments, it was only really played in hashish-dens until the 1960s, I believe, the ukulele derives from a Portuguese instrument, the banjo derives from african instruments which, like many Central Asian intruments, probably predate the lute.
The balalaika DOES NOT descend from the lute, but from Central Asian instruments.
The lute derives from the Arab oud, which probably derives from a Persian instrument, which may or may not have roos in ancient Mesopotamia.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Sedayne (Astray)
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:05 PM

If you're interested though I can't see why you heathens (Phil!!!) would be but:

Akonting


There's a lot of possible contenders, Paul - rather like the European ancestors of the Appalachian Dulcimer (citera, epinette, hummel, langeliek, langspil etc.) - but that's definitely the sort of thing! A search for Banjo Ancestry in Google comes up with THIS, and others. Whatever the case, one might well ponder the true roots of the ongoing Banjo Disparagement, no matter how tongue in cheek...

which may or may not have roos in ancient Mesopotamia

In the context of a WAV thread, this slip of the finger is close to genius! ;-)>


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:07 PM

100


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:22 PM

To Volgadon - I hate imperialism be it Nazi, Victorian or any other; and, to my fellow goatee, etc., for what it's worth, Akonting has been on my Top Friends for months. Furhter, from this thread, I think I'll change "European lute" (me, above) for "lute-like instruments" (on my site).


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:24 PM

WAV says, "I hate imperialism be it Nazi, Victorian or any other;"
So you keep trying to tell us, I for one don't believe a single word of it.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:26 PM

WAV, if you want to revive 17th century barbershop music based on the English Cittern, that's absolutely fine. However, you're promoting it on the wrong forum - this one is about folk music.

Try one of the early music forums.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:27 PM

Eh? Who said a thing about imperialism?
Nice to see you ignoring my points about instruments NOT being national, like you seem to think.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:28 PM

To be honest, Paul, there are few sounds I like better than really good banjo. A banjo player who comes to our folk club is one of the few performers I've been really embarrassed to go on after - I remember thinking I'd rather he just did another couple, for my sake as well as the audience's.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:31 PM

What on earth is wrong with using it (and the recorder, e.g.) for folk, as well as (other) early music, HJ?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: ClaireBear
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:45 PM

OK, so I know this is porobably a vain effort, but I'd actually like to hear about playing the English guitar in this thread.

When I had one, I tuned its five courses to C G C D G, which gave me basically a diatonic inctrument in C that could be played in major or minor. It sounded cool in a Martin Carthy, dulcimer tuning kind of way, and its sound was ideal for songs that happened to be in C and could be droned along to; one song that I remember sounding very good was "Brave Wolfe." As I recall, I did research the tuning before I chose this setup.

By the way, tuning it was a bit of a bear as the "friction pegs" didn't actually have all that much friction, so retuning between songs was pretty much out of the question.


Ultimately, along with the instrument's innate fragility, what caused me to give it up was that not everything I sang was in C or could be accompanied in a droning manner, especially not when I was playing with my band (which was most of the time).

So, has anyone experience with some other radically different tuning that allows more flexibility in key choice? Not that I expect Simon would sell me back the instruent now...

Claire


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:46 PM

Nothing WRONG with it, just the notion that it is somehow authentic or English.
Anyway, still ignoring me?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 02:47 PM

I have this feeling that there no truly English musical instrument


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:11 PM

Stylophone?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:19 PM

The Stylophone appears on a few commercial recordings, most notably David Bowie's Space Oddity

Does this make Bowie a folk musician? :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:21 PM

Well, he does play an acoustic guitar at times . . .


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:25 PM

And he played sax on a Steeleye Span record


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:31 PM

Does this make Bowie a folk musician?

No. No more than it makes Anne-Sophie Mutter a folk musician because she plays the fiddle.

Anyway, I didn't say it was folk, just that it was English.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:31 PM

That's it then, David Bowie IS a folk musican...ohhh it just occured to me, that must mean that the saxophone is a folk music instrument :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:32 PM

ummm...sense of humour here... :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:32 PM

Works for Martin Brinsford.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:35 PM

That's right, Brass Monkey, and, of course the late, great The Home Service and the 'brassed' version of The Gresford Disaster by The Albion Band


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:44 PM

the saxophone is a folk music instrument

Of course it is. One of the best.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:08 PM

I think I'll change "European lute" (me, above) for "lute-like instruments"

Please read this THIS. Basically in organological taxonomy lute is a category of basic chordophone types (the other categories being harp, lyre, zither & bow) that includes guitars, banjos, violins, sitars, mandolins, ukuleles, citterns, balalaikas, shamisen, rabab, saz, bouzouki, etc etc. It's worth reading up on such things before you start drawing any more of your conclusions; and the more you learn, the more you'll come to realise there are no conclusions to be drawn...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,RWM
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 11:37 PM

Sorry for the long response time Jack, it was played on a 19th century boxwood flageolet.

Robert Mouland
www.wireharp.com


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 01:45 AM

The reason I would prefer to hear an oud over a cittern any day of the week, is because it sounds stunning. They add a lot of colour and depth to songs, especially as the instrument is meant to accompany songs and stories. Citterns pluck, but the oud has SOUL!!!!!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Banjiman
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:00 AM

"Whatever the case, one might well ponder the true roots of the ongoing Banjo Disparagement, no matter how tongue in cheek... "

Sedayne, quite right you could....however I prefer just to get on with the banter and enjoy the (usually!!) good natured insults that the banjo provokes. Helps deal with the Po faced attitudes in some folk clubs (not your local though, that's for sure!). I'll play you "5th String Jealousy" next time we visit you!

Oh, sorry, back to the English guitar, you know, I don't think I've ever seen one actually. Do they migrate or spend all year here?

Paul


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:55 AM

To Claire - this is what I found on cittern tuning - dustystrings.com


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 08:02 AM

If I'm not mistaken, most of the recordings there don't include cittern, but bouzouki.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Grab
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM

What on earth is wrong with using it (and the recorder, e.g.) for folk, as well as (other) early music, HJ?

Did I miss something here?

You started an entire thread based on the premise that the so-called "English cittern" should be played more in English/British folk music. Your argument was not because the instrument sounded good, but because its name contains the word "English" and therefor you thought that its use was traditional in English folk music. At no point was your reasoning based on the musical properties of the instrument.

And now that more informed people have let you know what the *real* origins of the instrument are, you ask what's wrong with using it for folk. No-one ever said there was anything wrong with it. *YOU'RE* saying that there's something wrong with using non-English-origin instruments (which amounts to just about everything) in English folk music when those instruments happen to suit the music better than the alternatives. Unless you can keep your reasoning straight, why bother trying to start a debate?

FWIW, I play octave mandolin. There are a few songs that suit it perfectly - I could never sing Steve Knightley's "Galway Farmer" with any other instrument. There are also a lot of songs which don't suit it at all, but a guitar backing is perfect. I'd personally like to see more people playing octave mandolin, regular mandolin and viola in folk contexts, because I love the sounds they make. But realistically they're all minority instruments compared to violins and guitars, because they don't suit everything (or everyone).

Graham.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 08:40 AM

I'd personally like to see more people playing octave mandolin, regular mandolin and viola in folk contexts, because I love the sounds they make

So would I, for the record. And the cello.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Stu
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 08:41 AM

"If I'm not mistaken, most of the recordings there don't include cittern, but bouzouki."

. . . and they're Irish, not English too.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM

INSTRUMENTS OF (OR CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH) ENGLAND (from here)

Northumbrian Bagpipes (bellows blown), Leicestershire Bagpipes (mouth blown); English Concertina, Anglo Concertina, Duet Concertina (and important developments to – if not inventions of – other key-boards, such as piano and organ, have also occurred in England); Dital Harp/Harp-Lute, English Cittern; English Flageolet, Penny Whistle, Recorder/English Flute, Pipe and Tabor (old Morris accompaniment), Bells, Brass, and (a recent one) the Stylophone
(Footnote: during the Athens Olympics ceremonies, the Greeks, pleasingly, presented their bouzoukis: I wonder how-many of the above instruments - and dances - will be shown at the London Olympics..?)


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Deeps
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 09:09 AM

"...and they're Irish, not English too."

Gerald Trimble being the exeption, he's American and plays a five course (10 string) mando-cello. Ironically on his last recording, Celtic Cantigas, he uses 'early instruments', possibly even the cittern.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 09:11 AM

"I'd personally like to see more people playing octave mandolin, regular mandolin"

I play octave mando as well as cittern and guitar. mrsleveller plays mandolin.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Stu
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 10:04 AM

INSTRUMENTS OF (OR CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH) ENGLAND

Pint glass, vomit organ, arse pipes, rattling crisp bag, piddling pink flaccidette, half-a-brick and shop window pane, coppers helmet, car alarm, yaffing pit pull, whinging slapper, bladdered chav etc etc etc


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 10:18 AM

It might be quicker to list INSTRUMENTS that are NOT OF (OR CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH) ENGLAND

You don't see many National guitars, for instance. Mbira and didgeridoo are definitely minority tastes. Not many English koto or cueca virtuosi, either.

But you could make a perfectly good case for pretty much everything else - banjo, ukulele, sitar, sousaphone, Hammond organ, soprano sax, cello, bongos, turntables, I could go on. England is a big place.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Veronica L. Footprint
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 10:22 AM

other key-boards, such as piano and organ, have also occurred in England

Likewise sitar, djembe, darbukka, didgeridoo, baja, dan moi, dholak, tumbi etc.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 10:26 AM

What HASN'T occured in England?
Anyway, the banjo is as much an English folk instrument as the cittern. In one of my books (Mr. Kipling's Army, maybe) there is a picture of an officer playing the banjo. It was very popular at the turn of the century.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 10:45 AM

The stylophone is arguably more Australian, given who popularized it.

I'd nominate the foxhunter's horn; I don't recall encountering one anywhere else in the world. But then no other country has so badly needed an instrument that could carry over the sound of its upper class braying.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Sue Allan
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 10:55 AM

Not quite right there Jack: hunting horns are used in Cumbria (former Cumberland and Westmorland) by the fell packs, who hunt on foot and who are most definitely NOT upper class - let alone braying. More a case of needing the sound to travel far over the fells. Hmmm,there's a song there somewhere ...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: theleveller
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 11:01 AM

Yes, Sue, it's probably The Granemore Hare or The White Hare of Howden.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 11:11 AM

WAV once more says *yawn* "(Footnote: during the Athens Olympics ceremonies, the Greeks, pleasingly, presented their bouzoukis: I wonder how-many of the above instruments - and dances - will be shown at the London Olympics..?)
None we can fervently hope.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 11:58 AM

INSTRUMENTS OF (OR CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH) ENGLAND (from here)

We know where its from, WAV

I refer you to my previous answer. Yes, they're associated with English music, but so what? The only one which can claim to be an English invention (disregarding the Stylophone) is the English concertina, but there were other similar instruments being developed in Germany at the same time, and the free reed is from China.

Strangely, your list doesn't include the two instruments most associated with traditional English music over the last 100 years or so: the fiddle (Italian) and the melodeon (German/Austrian).


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 12:01 PM

.....Oh God do we know where its from. Do we ever know where its from. Expecting a cut and paste any moment now as answer.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 01:22 PM

I didn't include the harmonica, either - even though my two mini-encyclopedias, at least, say Wheatstone of England, rather than Buschmann of Germany, as it's inventor..?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 01:41 PM

In 1828, Wheatstone IMPROVED the German wind instrument, called the Mundharmonika, until it became the popular concertina.

Note: the word is improve NOT invent

Actually there is one instrument that, perhaps, Wheatstone can claim to have invented....


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 01:41 PM

Or the electric guitar, an instrument VERY MUCH associated with England.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 01:43 PM

wonder if Les Paul was aware of that claim?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 01:49 PM

Further to that, Adolph Rickenbacher and George Beauchamp were experimenting with the potential for electric guitars in 1931, indeed, what became the Rickenbacher Guitar Company made the first popularly availeable electric guitar


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:04 PM

To WAV- I quote from the great David Swarbrick, "Ain't it nice to seem wise, when you've only surmised, and you haven't really got a clue."


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:12 PM

Old WAV thinks he's above it all, after all he dismissed the opinions of Eliza Carthy and Chris Parkinson out of hand. Me? When Swarb speaks, I listen!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:14 PM

Not to mention when he tucks that fiddle under his chin, or picks up that mandolin, or steps up to the mike and sings...I know Rosie......


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:26 PM

I never claimed the electric guitar was INVENTED in England. To name but a few, in no particular order, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Brian May, Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, Keith Richards, Peter Green, Pete Townshend.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:29 PM

Richard Thompson, Jeff Beck, Ron Wood, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour.............


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:40 PM

Yes, the list could go on, see what I mean? The electric guitar has as much claim to Englishness, if not more, than the cittern.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:44 PM

Maart Allcock, Rado 'Bob' Klose (Floyd's original guitarist), Dave Davies, Robert Fripp, George Harrison


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:48 PM

The ancestry of the cittern is questionable to begin with. But you're right, the electric guitar has asserted its right to Englishness.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:12 PM

But those "big names" are Englishmen who decided to copy American pop/rock culture, rather than put their musical skills into the English tradition.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:19 PM

they're also NOT folk musicians, so what's your point?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:19 PM

WAV, what were those cittern players singing/playing in barber shops all those centuries ago?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:27 PM

All Battoverse can see is his 'vision' of what England should be, outside of that nothing exists, everything else is to be dismissed, including, as I've already stated, the opinions of those who know far better the state of English folk music than Walkswithhisheaduphisarse will ever know.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:32 PM

This is another instrument developed in England:
The Till Family Rock Band .

Should go brilliantly with the stylophone and hunting horn in that Olympic welcoming band.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:44 PM

Oh just stop it WAV. Seriously. You lose these discussions time and time and time again. You yourself, in your head think you're being so witty and above it all. You've been dismissed by musicians, scholars, and people such as myself who have been listening to this music for years longer than yourself. You've got nothing. Just quotes from what you deem is your life's work. You don't listen. You don't choose to debate rationally, sociologically, historically, and on and on. I've said it before-in your mind, its your way or no way. All this junk about top line melody, recorders probably not even made in England, keyboards that are probably made in Japan, morris dancing cricket and tennis balls, idiotic concepts of repatriating people to the closest safe nation, gardening only native English plants. Its self promotion of the worst sort. You use this forum as a barren ground for your own musings, instead of as a place of education, discourse, or even humour. I know more about many genres of music than you could ever hope to know. You know why? I listen. I find out where this came from, and where that came from. I don't place ridiculous notions of music being something that is limited as if it were a box, preserved in time, never allowed to change. Your concepts for English music are without any merit whatsoever. You seek to constantly critique the very thing you profess to love. Your political notions are simplistic and unrealistic. Your prose offers little in the way of contemplation. Your continued obfuscation on threads that you are the original poster of is, lets be blunt here-annoying. You are preaching to a choir of people who wish you would go back on walkabout somewhere for a couple of years. You post topics on mudcat that are on your website. But you post them not in a -Hey guys, be brutally frank here, how do you like this sort of way, but rather in a I'm an intellectual of the highest degree, therefore, bow down before my life's work sort of way. WAV-your thinking is nothing. Learn to discuss, learn to debate, learn to learn. Learn to do these things that most of us learned a long time ago.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Sue Allan
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:51 PM

Yes irishenglish. Couldn't agree more.
Jack - brilliant suggestion! The curator of Keswick Museum plays the Richardson 'rock band' himself, and has done some work with folk musicians and a gamelan. Lithophonic schist you say, available in Scotland? Sounds like the sort of thing WAV's been talking for the past few months ...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:00 PM

" you're a pseudo-intellectual of the highest degree" Now that reminds me of a line from a song, but I can't for the life of me remember which one.. :-D


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:16 PM

"Traditions exist due to folks being impressed by how their forebears did things; and, accordingly, taking this attitude is, I feel, vital for the cause of maintaining a nice multicultural-world, against the forces of globalisation/Americanisation – a cause which U.S. citizens themselves should support" (from here). As an English repat., I find plenty of good (i.e., I'm "impressed") in OUR OWN good traditions, and keep practising/performing some myself. Have you folks also heard it said that travel abroad tends to make people wish to practise their own culture more, as well as APPRECIATING others more..?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:21 PM

Well done WAV. Just ignore and quote, and quote, and quote again more meaningless stuff. Ladies and gentleman....its official.....the man will not listen or take advice from anyone.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:32 PM

Sue: Lithophonic schist you say?

Lithophonic schist - I've just said it. Although I have to point out that it's surprisingly difficult to type - at least first time (bad fingers!)

Lithophonic schist. I have said it twice. That alone should encourage the crew...


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:34 PM

By the way WAV-your grammar sucks.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:36 PM

"Traditions exist due to folks being impressed by how their forebears did things; and, accordingly, taking this attitude is, I feel, vital for the cause of maintaining a nice multicultural-world, against the forces of globalisation/Americanisation – a cause which U.S. citizens themselves should support" (from here). As an English repat., I find plenty of good (i.e., I'm "impressed") in OUR OWN good traditions, and keep practising/performing some myself. Have you folks also heard it said that travel abroad tends to make people wish to practise their own culture more, as well as APPRECIATING others more..? "

Answer my question. What were they playing on the cittern?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:54 PM

WAV *Oh God the ennui* says" maintaining a nice multicultural-world"

just as long as that multicultural world doesn't find its way into England.

The whole world is not going to bow to you, WAV, so get used to it, The state of music in England is the way it is, and is NOT going to change because you don't like it. Might I recommend a long term sojourn in a monastery? Further to the point, I plugged in my fiddle and mandolin almost forty years ago,; and you know what WAV? I'm not unplugging either of them because you and others like you don't like it.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 05:11 PM

To Volgadon - I myself, just above, posted that very question and, apart from barber-shop songs (plus someone on another thread, I think, suggesting bawdy songs), we are still not sure..? It has, however, been said that they were very common in the taverns and barber-shops of 17th century England. Were traditionally unaccompanied English folk-songs SOMETIMES accompanied with a cittern, whilst courtly songs were accompanied on a lute..?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 05:18 PM

and WAV replied, in his usual tedious fashion, "It has,however, been said"
you rely on tavern and barber shop gossip for your assertions? No wonder people question you, it just won't do, it just won't do. What we need here is academic proof, my boy, from reliable sources (not your mini-encyclopedias either). Please report to the department office by next Monday week with the proofs in hand.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 05:25 PM

Oh My Lord! "Have you folks also heard it said that travel abroad tends to make people wish to practise their own culture more, as well as APPRECIATING others more..?

The saying actually is "travel broadens the mind."

Obviously, with you, it didn't work, did it?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Gene Burton
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 06:55 PM

And, through all the scorn, abuse and opprobrium, WAV gains attention, brand recognition, and above all, 115 plays in the last 24 hours

Once more, I suggest that he who laughs last, laughs loudest.
Live and learn, peeps.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Deeps
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 07:11 PM

"Traditions exist due to folks being impressed by how their forebears did things..."

So how come the cittern fell out of use in the first place?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:46 AM

"And, through all the scorn, abuse and opprobrium, WAV gains attention, brand recognition, and above all, 115 plays in the last 24 hours"

Attention, yes, but with what result? Hands up anyone who's impressed by his poetry, recorder or keyboard playing, or singing? All he's succeeded in doing is convince the world that he lacks talent, self-awareness and, despite his much-vaunted degree, an analytical mind.

If his poetry and music had any merit, we might respect that. If he argued his case persuasively, we might respect that, even if we disagree. But what comes across is that, despite his professed love for the music, he knows little about where it comes from or how it was performed, and doesn't seem interested in finding out if it conflicts with his preconceived ideas.

All he's succeeded in doing is let the world know he's a prat, knowledge which would otherwise be restricted to those who know him personally.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,English Rose
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:54 AM

On myspace the golden rule is less is more. All wavs plays are probably by himself anyway as hes never once offline constatly spamming the bulletin board for attention which is pretty sad. Hey, wav - if you put as much effort into jobhunting as you do promoting yourself on myspace youd be quids in.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 07:26 AM

I HAVE made changes to my site due to such threads/discussions/arguments; but, overall, yes, I do stick to what I believe in. And, our English Rose, I do, indeed, "put as much effort into jobhunting", whilst still managing to grow hedera helix!, whack a few tennis balls, go through my repertoire, of songs and hymns, weekly, etc.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:10 AM

Sticking to what you believe in is not necessarily a bad thing, if those beliefs are properly thought out. However you appear to have reached your beliefs based on little knowledge or understanding of the subject. To then stick to these beliefs once the underlying errors have been pointed out is not commendable, its just stubborn.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:17 AM

Behind my "beliefs", Howard, lie 4 tech. certificates; a degree in humanities, majoring in anthropology; travel on a shoestring through about 40 countries, etc., and plenty of extra "thought".


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:25 AM

The difference is, some of us are still learning.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: s&r
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 10:03 AM

Even if the list of accomplishments and qualifications were as high as many of the contributors to Mudcat, your arguments, beliefs, responses, conclusions, English, verse, and music would still be pretty naff

Stu


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: irishenglish
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM

Gene, thanks again for the myspace play count which you obviously seem to be contributing to yourself.And what English Rose said is most certainly true I would guess. WAV-I guess you have no comment whatsoever on anything I said, thereby proving that your mission on mudcat is pure egotistical self promotion. Pardon me, but I'm going to enjoy my weekend, have some beers, go hear some blues maybe, and enjoy the company of my wife.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 11:22 AM

It's my untutored opinion that WAV lacks the capability of introspection

Fortunately I'm not one of those 115 :-D

WAv replied in his usual tedious fashion, "Behind my "beliefs", Howard, lie 4 tech. certificates; a degree in humanities, majoring in anthropology; travel on a shoestring through about 40 countries, etc., and plenty of extra "thought"

Been there done that, once more I ask; What's your point?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 11:39 AM

Behind my "beliefs", Howard, lie 4 tech. certificates; a degree in humanities, majoring in anthropology; travel on a shoestring through about 40 countries, etc., and plenty of extra "thought".

Much of the extra thought seems to me to be devoted to ramming square pegs into round holes.


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 12:07 PM

We do know, Jon, that the cittern commonly had 10 pegs, for tuning 10 wire strings, plucked with a feather-plectrum, from what bird I, frankly, know not - although I doubt it was the bittern, which really does have a ring all of its own!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 12:08 PM

" To Volgadon - I myself, just above, posted that very question and, apart from barber-shop songs (plus someone on another thread, I think, suggesting bawdy songs), we are still not sure..? It has, however, been said that they were very common in the taverns and barber-shops of 17th century England. Were traditionally unaccompanied English folk-songs SOMETIMES accompanied with a cittern, whilst courtly songs were accompanied on a lute..? "

WAV, the vast majority of music for the cittern is italianate. That is, cittern players were copying French/Italian court culture instead of putting their skills into the English tradition.
So, what we have here is a German instrument brought over to England by Italians and used to play songs in an Italian and French style. Why should it be any more a part of the 'tradition' than the electric guitar?

Maybe a cittern player strummed along to Barbarah Allen once in a rare while, but we do have many, many more recorded instances of Eng trad songs being played on electric guitar!!!!!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: GUEST,Rambling Syd Rumpo
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 12:21 PM

'Ello me dearie-os, As 'e must know boi now, WAV yurr bain't got no sense of humour, so in his honour oid loike to sing a Traditional Englis ballad (very sad indeed) oi come across whilst...well never mind that...here we go *strums cittern*...It be called

The Ballad of The Wogglers Moulie

(To the tune of `Clementine')
Joe he was a young cordwangler,
Monging greebles he did go,
For he loved a bogler's daughter,
By the name of Chiswick Flo.

Vain she was and like a grusset,
Though her ganderparts were fine,
But she sneered at his cordwangle,
As it hung upon the line.

So he stole a woggler's moulie,
For to make a wedding ring,
But the Bow Street Runners caught him,
And the Judge said he will swing.

So they hung him by the postern,
Nailed his moulie to the fence,
For to warn all young cordwanglers,
That it was a grave offence.

There's a moral to this story,
Though your cordwangle be poor,
Keep your hands off others moulies,
For it is against the law............ohhhhhh!


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Stu
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 12:45 PM

I think you're all being a little harsh on old WAV, after all he has been into folk music for over two years now.

So why the feck should he listen to us upstarts? I mean, surely after two years you know all there is to know, right?


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Subject: RE: The English Guitar/Cittern
From: Def Shepard
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 12:50 PM

stigweard said, "surely after two years you know all there is to know, right?"

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say no, a bit radical I know, but I'm going with my basic feeling on the matter :-D


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