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Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?

Steve Parkes 20 Jun 08 - 02:31 PM
Sue Allan 20 Jun 08 - 02:35 PM
The Sandman 20 Jun 08 - 03:53 PM
Marje 20 Jun 08 - 04:21 PM
Jack Campin 20 Jun 08 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 20 Jun 08 - 06:57 PM
GUEST 21 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Jun 08 - 06:34 AM
Dave Hanson 21 Jun 08 - 07:53 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Jun 08 - 09:48 AM
Phil Edwards 21 Jun 08 - 10:04 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Jun 08 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Chris_Brownbridge 21 Jun 08 - 12:33 PM
Phil Edwards 21 Jun 08 - 04:49 PM
greg stephens 21 Jun 08 - 05:05 PM
Stringsinger 21 Jun 08 - 05:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 21 Jun 08 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 21 Jun 08 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Nick 21 Jun 08 - 09:40 PM
Steve Parkes 22 Jun 08 - 03:46 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 08 - 03:56 PM
greg stephens 22 Jun 08 - 04:06 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Jun 08 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 22 Jun 08 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 23 Jun 08 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Joe 23 Jun 08 - 08:15 AM
Mr Red 23 Jun 08 - 08:24 AM
Fidjit 23 Jun 08 - 09:49 AM
The Sandman 23 Jun 08 - 10:02 AM
Mo the caller 24 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM
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Subject: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:31 PM

I thought I could tell one from the other, just, but trying to write one ort other down, I'm having trouble! They keep tryong to slip into 6/8 time, when I jbnow they should be in 2/4 or 4/4 (with or without triplets). Help!


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Sue Allan
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 02:35 PM

I'm absolutely no expert and prepared to be shot down in flames, but I think polkas are generally 2/4 (ie emphasis on just one beat in the bar) and hornpipes are 4/4 - often written straight but played dotted. If you're writing down from hearing tunes, don't forget there will often be UP beats before the first bars of A or B music (the time taken out of the last bar) - just to confuse the unwitting musician like me who hasn't done grade 5 theory!

Then of course there are 3/2 hornpipes, but that's another story ...


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:53 PM

firstly Irish polkas are different from English polkas ,they have lost their hop.Irish polkas are often faster.Hornpipes are played at varying speeds,they are generally dotted, long /short,andplayed with varying degrees of speed they are often written in4/4,but sometimes3/2.IN Irelandtheyare played very slowly for solo dances such as the blackbird ,Madam Bonaparte etc,they are played faster[144to148]for pattern dances like BelfastDuck,Nottingham Swing,and faster still for hoppies,hornpipes for set dancers[as part of the Dunmanway set etc]about 160.hornpipes sound quit different from polkas.DickMiles


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Marje
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 04:21 PM

I'm not sure what you're asking us. Neither of them is in 6/8 time. They're both normally written as 4/4 but have a completely different stress pattern, and polkas are played much faster and more smoothly. Hornpipes are often played "dotted" and played quite emphatically, polkas not. This may be why you find you're wanting to write hornpipes as 6/8. It's easier to write them as undotted 4/4 tunes and then just play them as dotted. (The dotted note values are not quite correct anyway, as they're played in a less clipped way that is, as you imply, more like triplets).

It shouldn't matter when you're writing them down, but you couldn't dance a polka to a hornpipe or vice versa.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 06:05 PM

Scottish polkas usually *are* dotted, but not as consistently as hornpipes - the usual pattern is alternating dotted and straight bars.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 06:57 PM

Isn't the "Sailor's Hornpipe" a polka?


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM

No, it's usually a single reel, ie in 4/4 rather than 2/2. It can eaily be played as a hornpipe by slowing down and playing it dotted.
As said above the dotted quavers are longer than usually notated the ratio is 1/3 rather than 1/4. Think of why hornpipes so often use triplets.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:34 AM

sailors dance one. ladies in long dresses dance the other one.

a trained eye can spot the difference.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 07:53 AM

Oh you New York Gals,
Can you poke a dancer.

eric


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:48 AM

"They keep tryong to slip into 6/8 time, when I jbnow they should be in 2/4 or 4/4 (with or without triplets). Help!"

What I think you have spotted is the odd appearance of triplets repcing single notes ina few bars whilst the basic timing is 4/4 dotted as people have said. The dotted notes give the long - short - long - short jirky rhythm of the hornpipe


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 10:04 AM

(The dotted note values are not quite correct anyway, as they're played in a less clipped way that is, as you imply, more like triplets).

That's good to hear. On the rare occasions I try to play a hornpipe I have terrible trouble making that 3+1 stress pattern 'hop' properly - like Steve, I always find it slips back into 2+1 if you take your eye off the ball. Much muttering and cursing ensues - "no, it's not 'dumpa dumpa', it's 'dummm... pa-dumm... pa'"...

As I say, I don't often try to play a hornpipe.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 11:31 AM

Phil,

how do you feel about practice with a local group of enthusiastic but not dead good tune players?

Les of The Traveling People


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: GUEST,Chris_Brownbridge
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 12:33 PM

If you can sing "and he played his ukelele when the ship went down" to the last few bars, it's a hornpipe! (Try it really!) I don't known how to recognise a polka except by the stressed fourth beat (maybe) until I play it, then the sixth sense seems to cut in.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 04:49 PM

Les - that sounds like a fine idea. About time I got my cordwangler working again.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 05:05 PM

"Never clean the window with a soft boiled egg" is the ITMA mnemonic for the rhythm of the last two bars of a hornpipe. Except, confusingly, it is equally good for the last two bars of many polkas (eg the quintessential Jimmy Shand's Bluebell Polka).


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 05:50 PM

I write polkas and hornpipes in 2/4. You could write them in cut time. The important
thing is that the bass and chord in the accompaniment be two in a bar:
bass-chord, bass-chord.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:09 PM

and he played his ukelele when the ship went down
and he played his ukelele when the ship went down
and he played his ukelele when the ship went down
Never clean the window with a soft boiled egg

quite catchy!


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:25 PM

Yes, you can play the "Sailor's Hornpipe" as a hornpipe, but very few people do. And although it's in 4/4 it comes out more as a polka.

Hornpipes will normally be accompanied by two beats to the bar.

And just to confuse the issue, jigs take a 4/4 accompaniment.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:40 PM

Sometimes the title of a thread has so much potential, so much mystery, such raw sex apeal, it just draws you in...


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:46 PM

Ah ... I think the misnamed "hornpipes" have helped confuse me. Not that I need much help there ...

Thanks folks -- I think I'm getting it now. Playing things in the right time isn't too much of a problem, but making up midis to pass on to non-dot-readers is! I think I'm just going to have to go round there with my mandolin. Or maybe dig out my cassette recorder.

Niock, I'm not sure where the sex appeal comes into it. Do you think it would show in the music? It's about time my luck changed!


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:56 PM

Yes, you can play the "Sailor's Hornpipe" as a hornpipe, but very few people do. And although it's in 4/4 it comes out more as a polka.

Hornpipes will normally be accompanied by two beats to the bar.

And just to confuse the issue, jigs take a 4/4 accompaniment.
is thissome sort of a joke?


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:06 PM

An important point to make to those who are trained to read dots, is that the use of dotted notations, or reference to "dotted rhythm" is confusing when applied to hornpipes, as it is not to be taken literally. Only very very rarely, as an emphasis or decoration, will a traditional player play two quavers in the "dotted quaver semi-quaver" strict rhyhm of 3:1. Traditional players always(in my experience) play somewhere between 1:1 and 2:1.The standardised modern Irish style veers towards the 2:1, whereas the old "Sailor's Hornpipe" rhythm in England tends more to the 1:1. I was musically brought up in the northwest of England, where a more dotted(2:1) approach, similar to the Irish was used for slower hornpipes. I believe this was and is generally true in the north-east as well, but less so in the south and east. There, even or 1:1 rhythms ceratinly seem to be the modern fashion; and maybe historically as well?
But the distinctive feature of the hornpipe has always been the diddle diddle diddle diddle om pom pom ending. Which has a close historical connection, as has often been observed, with one of the two standard Latin claves beats, the Bo Diddley(or Not Fade Away) beat, and many kinds of African music. And, as pointed out at the start of this thread, the polka as well.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:48 PM

The Bacca Pipes Jig takes a 4/4 accompaniment, that I do know.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 06:55 PM

No joke. Ask Paddy Marchant.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 07:59 AM

"The Bacca Pipes Jig takes a 4/4 accompaniment, that I do know."

Ah, but the Bacca Pipes tune isn't a jig. In Morris, the word "jig" describes a solo dance (or sometimes two dancers), it has nothing to do with the rhythm of the music.

On the other hand, quite a lot of marches are in 6/8, so you can play a 2/4 accompaniment - think of it as two beats of triplets.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 08:15 AM

"Ah, but the Bacca Pipes tune isn't a jig. In Morris, the word "jig" describes a solo dance (or sometimes two dancers), it has nothing to do with the rhythm of the music."

When it comes to morris jigs, I think its impossible to apply time signatures or any of the normal rules of music!


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 08:24 AM

If you are playing for dancers there is quite a difference.

Broken ankle being one of them!

Hornpipe stepping relies on the hesitation/dotted note for synchronising. And some polkas don't dance well. I don't think it is Irish polkas - it is more the style of the artist and some smooth any (all) tune out to suit their fingers. And some artists can make virtually any tune into a polka, rant, march, hornpipe and even a waltze.
I just dance or struggle depending on the music quality.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Fidjit
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 09:49 AM

Interesting.
Now where I am in Sweden.
They have "Schottis" which I think is a, "Hornpipe".
They also have "Engelska" Which is also like a "Hornpipe".
For me very confusing. But I guess you "Dotty" people would know which is which.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 10:02 AM

Greg, you are nearly right,but scottish dotted rhythym for strathspeys is 3:1 or 1:3,and their hornpipes are about 2 3/4to 1,lovely and swingey,and wonderful to dance to,The Scottish Snap.


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Subject: RE: Hornpipe, polka - what's the difference?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM

Then you have the American Contra (type) dance called Homassassa Hornpipe, which is danced to reels.
And 'Barley Reel' which goes well to slip jigs. In fact 'reel' can be used for a dance movement as well as a type of tune - weaving in and out,or a strip-the-willow.


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