Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Folklore: Define English Trad Music

Related threads:
Popfolk? (19)
What isn't folk (88)
What is a Folk Song? (229)
Still wondering what's folk these days? (145)
What makes a new song a folk song? (1710)
Does Folk Exist? (709)
Definition of folk song (137)
Here comes that bloody horse - again! (23)
What is a traditional singer? (136)
Is the 1954 definition, open to improvement? (105)
Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition? (133)
So what is *Traditional* Folk Music? (409)
'Folk.' OK...1954. What's 'country?' (17)
What is Folk Music? This is... (120)
What is Zydeco? (74)
Traditional singer definition (360)
Is traditional song finished? (621)
1954 and All That - defining folk music (994)
BS: It ain't folk if ? (28)
No, really -- what IS NOT folk music? (176)
What defines a traditional song? (160) (closed)
Folklore: Are 'What is Folk?' Threads Finished? (79)
How did Folk Song start? (57)
Traditional? (63)
Should folk songs be sung in folk clubs? (129)
What is The Tradition? (296) (closed)
Who Defines 'Folk'???? (177)
What is Blues? (80)
What is filk? (47)
What makes it a Folk Song? (404)
Article in Guardian:folk songs & pop junk & racism (30)
Does any other music require a committee (152)
Folk Music Tradition, what is it? (29)
Trad Song (36)
What do you consider Folk? (113)
Definition of Acoustic Music (52)
definition of a ballad (197)
Threads on the meaning of Folk (106)
Does it matter what music is called? (451)
What IS Folk Music? (132)
It isn't 'Folk', but what is it we do? (169)
Giving Talk on Folk Music (24)
What is Skiffle? (22)
Folklore: Folk, Pop, Trad or what? (19)
Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-definers? (124)
Folklore: What Is Folk? (60)
Is it really Folk? (105)
What is a kid's song? (51)
Folk Rush in Where Mudcat Fears To Go (10)
A new definition of Folk? (34)
What is Folk? IN SONG. (20)
New Input Into 'WHAT IS FOLK?' (7)
What Is More Insular Than Folk Music? (33)
What is Folk Rock? (39)
'What is folk?' and cultural differences (24)
What is a folk song, version 3.0 (32)
What is Muzak? (19)
What is a folk song? Version 2.0 (59)
FILK: what is it? (18)
What is a Folksinger? (51)
BS: What is folk music? (69) (closed)
What is improvisation ? (21)
What is a Grange Song? (26)


GUEST,Alex - Fiddler 22 Jun 08 - 01:03 PM
Lester 22 Jun 08 - 01:15 PM
Stringsinger 22 Jun 08 - 01:15 PM
glueman 22 Jun 08 - 01:40 PM
Waddon Pete 22 Jun 08 - 01:44 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Jun 08 - 02:04 PM
Howard Jones 22 Jun 08 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,Jon 22 Jun 08 - 02:14 PM
Sue Allan 22 Jun 08 - 02:19 PM
Sue Allan 22 Jun 08 - 02:21 PM
BB 22 Jun 08 - 02:58 PM
greg stephens 22 Jun 08 - 02:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 08 - 03:25 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 03:35 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 08 - 03:47 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 08 - 03:51 PM
greg stephens 22 Jun 08 - 03:54 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 08 - 03:54 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 04:00 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Alex Guest Fiddle 22 Jun 08 - 04:08 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 04:17 PM
Waddon Pete 22 Jun 08 - 04:20 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 08 - 04:22 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 04:22 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 08 - 04:53 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 04:55 PM
Bonzo3legs 22 Jun 08 - 05:06 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Jun 08 - 05:08 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 08 - 05:15 PM
greg stephens 22 Jun 08 - 05:16 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 05:24 PM
Howard Jones 22 Jun 08 - 05:30 PM
greg stephens 22 Jun 08 - 05:37 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Jun 08 - 05:38 PM
GUEST 22 Jun 08 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Alex Guest Fiddle 22 Jun 08 - 05:45 PM
greg stephens 22 Jun 08 - 05:46 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Alex Guest Fiddle 22 Jun 08 - 05:52 PM
greg stephens 22 Jun 08 - 05:54 PM
greg stephens 22 Jun 08 - 05:58 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 06:08 PM
johnadams 22 Jun 08 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Alex 22 Jun 08 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Al 22 Jun 08 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Jon 22 Jun 08 - 07:26 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Jun 08 - 08:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 08 - 09:21 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 08 - 09:59 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Jun 08 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 23 Jun 08 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Jon 23 Jun 08 - 04:41 AM
The Sandman 23 Jun 08 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,Dazbo at work 23 Jun 08 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Long Lankin 23 Jun 08 - 11:09 AM
Pete_Standing 23 Jun 08 - 11:55 AM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 12:03 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Jun 08 - 01:07 PM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 01:19 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Jun 08 - 02:33 PM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Wolfhound person 23 Jun 08 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Jun 08 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Jun 08 - 03:39 PM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 03:41 PM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Jun 08 - 04:00 PM
greg stephens 23 Jun 08 - 04:06 PM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 04:08 PM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 04:13 PM
irishenglish 23 Jun 08 - 04:23 PM
Def Shepard 23 Jun 08 - 04:30 PM
greg stephens 23 Jun 08 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Jun 08 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Al 23 Jun 08 - 09:13 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 08 - 02:54 AM
greg stephens 24 Jun 08 - 03:46 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 08 - 04:16 AM
Waddon Pete 24 Jun 08 - 04:55 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 08 - 05:24 AM
Stu 24 Jun 08 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,tom bliss 24 Jun 08 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Joe 24 Jun 08 - 06:16 AM
greg stephens 24 Jun 08 - 06:21 AM
Waddon Pete 24 Jun 08 - 06:23 AM
irishenglish 24 Jun 08 - 06:56 AM
greg stephens 24 Jun 08 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Jon 24 Jun 08 - 07:07 AM
greg stephens 24 Jun 08 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 24 Jun 08 - 07:16 AM
Paul Burke 24 Jun 08 - 07:40 AM
TheSnail 24 Jun 08 - 07:47 AM
greg stephens 24 Jun 08 - 08:01 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 08 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 24 Jun 08 - 09:47 AM
Leadfingers 24 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM
Leadfingers 24 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Alex Fiddle 24 Jun 08 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Alex Fiddle 24 Jun 08 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Valmai Goodyear 24 Jun 08 - 03:02 PM
TheSnail 24 Jun 08 - 03:28 PM
TheSnail 24 Jun 08 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Jon 24 Jun 08 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Alex Fiddle 24 Jun 08 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 25 Jun 08 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,Joe 25 Jun 08 - 05:33 AM
greg stephens 25 Jun 08 - 06:45 AM
Stu 25 Jun 08 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Jon 25 Jun 08 - 08:39 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM
TheSnail 25 Jun 08 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 26 Jun 08 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Fiddle PLayer 26 Jun 08 - 04:17 AM
Stu 26 Jun 08 - 05:05 AM
TheSnail 26 Jun 08 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,eliza c 27 Jun 08 - 12:55 PM
The Sandman 27 Jun 08 - 01:26 PM
The Sandman 27 Jun 08 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,eliza c 27 Jun 08 - 01:40 PM
irishenglish 27 Jun 08 - 01:46 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 27 Jun 08 - 02:06 PM
The Sandman 27 Jun 08 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,martin ellison 27 Jun 08 - 07:02 PM
The Sandman 27 Jun 08 - 07:14 PM
Lynn W 28 Jun 08 - 05:18 PM
Valmai Goodyear 29 Jun 08 - 06:24 AM
The Sandman 29 Jun 08 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Swarbrules 08 Jul 08 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Joe 08 Jul 08 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Swarbrules 08 Jul 08 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,eliza c 08 Jul 08 - 07:33 AM
greg stephens 08 Jul 08 - 08:10 AM
greg stephens 08 Jul 08 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,ALex Fiddle 08 Jul 08 - 03:17 PM
TheSnail 09 Jul 08 - 12:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 08 - 12:37 PM
greg stephens 09 Jul 08 - 12:43 PM
greg stephens 09 Jul 08 - 12:46 PM
GUEST 14 Nov 11 - 01:44 PM
Paul Davenport 15 Nov 11 - 05:18 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Nov 11 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Nov 11 - 08:17 AM
Paul Davenport 15 Nov 11 - 12:16 PM
Paul Davenport 15 Nov 11 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Nov 11 - 12:47 PM
Sailor Ron 16 Nov 11 - 06:33 AM
GUEST,OP 16 Nov 11 - 09:40 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Alex - Fiddler
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:03 PM

A common quandary, I am an English fiddle player that is most often found playing Irish music, (mainly because these sessions are most prevalent).

I play with lots of rolls and trebles commonly associated with Irish playing, although there is evidence to suggest that traditionally these were used in English trad playing too. If I play English tunes in this manner (highly ornamented and perhaps a little up tempo) in a session advertised as English, people look at me as-if-to-say I've walked into the wrong bar.

Since I am English, living in England playing English tunes, is my style of playing enough to make it not traditional. After-all there are unfortunately not many old recordings to listen to guide us.

Any thoughts?

Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Lester
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:15 PM

Since I am English, living in England playing English tunes, is my style of playing enough to make it not traditional.

Probably, in the same way that if I went to an Irish session and played their music in a Morris dance melodeon style it would not be Irish Traditional Music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:15 PM

The distinction has to come from your area. Of course it has earlier so-called "Celtic" influences but if the folk musician has spent enough time in a given area, they will take on unique musical and lyric expression. The goal is to study the music in that given area
and learn to play and sing it. Then you will find its unique qualities.

I don't know much about early English folk music but I see that some of it informs American folk songs (as Sharp and Karpeles have shown). I think that American ballads identification with Britain might be overstated but nonetheless, Barbara Allen seems to have crossed the pond with definable strings (no pun intended). My inclination is that most fiddle music is Scots-Irish in the Appalachians and not too influenced by English music.

I think that there certainly are examples of Cornish folk songs, North Country songs,
and probably predecessors in the time of Shakespeare or Henry the VIII. Early sea chanteys may have English origins. The tradition can be defined when isolating the region whereby the unique styles emerge.

Frank Hamilton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: glueman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:40 PM

Impossible. There isn't a definition.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:44 PM

Just play the tunes....enjoy them...let others enjoy them....pass the music along....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 02:04 PM

There is no single pan-English style of playing on any folk instrument. One of the most distinct, Northumbrian, is heavily influenced by the pipes and indeed Scottish styles, and to some extent Irish. The north of England has been very cosmopolitan in style
as far back as records go. The southern style dominated by polkas and hornpipes has (unfortunately IMHO) made great inroads in the north in the last 40 years. I much prefer the eclectic mix of Scottish, Irish, American, whatever. Variety is the spice of life. I have great difficulty dancing some of our northern dances to the humpty-dumpty tunes from down south.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 02:05 PM

"Tradition" means a continuous, transmitted process. The style that's been transmitted to you is Irish. The fact that you're English, living in England, doesn't alter that, and doesn't make it English.

Many tunes are common to all the traditions of the British Isles, and often the only thing that distinguishes them is the style in which they're played.

Whilst there aren't as many recordings around of traditional English fiddlers as there are of Irish, you should be able to find enough for you to get an idea of the style. Fiddle styles vary around England (just as Irish fiddle styles vary from region to region). "English sessions" often mean southern or East Anglian music, but the north has its own style and repertoire.

I'm not a fiddler, so I can't be more specific than that. But if you want to play English music, learn to play an English style.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 02:14 PM

is my style of playing enough to make it not traditional.

Well from what you say, your style of playing is not fitting in with the English sessions you go to and I think "fitting in" is what you (or I) need to do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Sue Allan
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 02:19 PM

If by 'humpty dumpty' tunes (above) is meant those southern English ones, played very rhythmically but often quite slowly and melodeon led, which too many people seem to think are THE definitive English style. Not so!

Try some of northern tunes: much closer to Scottish and Irish. Jamie Knowles 'Northern Lass' book has some (out of print though, I think), or for Lake District tunes get down to EDFDSS where the library has the wonderful William Irwin tunebooks, as well as those of Henry Stables and Matthew Betham (but catalogued under William Docker)

Or, try here: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/musicfiles/rook/ for the wonderful John Rook manuscript.

Or, if you don't want the dots get hold of the wonderful Boat Band and Crookfinger Jack CD (say thank you Greg!!)

Sue


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Sue Allan
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 02:21 PM

Gosh... sorry about last post: far too many wonderfuls! Substitute your own preferred enthusiastic, admiring adjectives.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: BB
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 02:58 PM

I'm a singer, not an instrumentalist, but that doesn't mean that I don't listen to instrumental music. One of the best fiddle sessions I ever heard was a purely English one at the National Festival some years ago - I can't describe how it differed from an Irish one, but it was definitely English in style as well as in content. It seemed to me that there was a precision and cleanness about the playing which perhaps in Irish and Scottish is disguised by ornamentation, but I don't really know - perhaps the likes of John Adams can tell us, as I believe he was involved. But to me it was inspirational!

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 02:59 PM

GUEST Alex-fiddler.
The problem may lie in the fact you are going to a sesion "advertised as English". I play in many sessions where we play English tunes, but these are just informal get-togethers which are not advertised as anything whatsoever really, they just are what they are. Now it strikes me that the session referred to, being "advertised as English" may be "run" by some of those musicians of the Old Swan/Oak "English country music" sort of persuasion, who sometimes have a rather strict notion of what they consider to be authentic English(very slow and polka-ish, really).Could you be a little more specific about the geographical location and social composition of your "advertised as English" session?

PS: Re Sue Allan's previous post. You can't use too many "wonderful"s when describing the Boat Band(he said modestly)
PPS Thank you, Sue


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:25 PM

Interesting when you put it like that. Does it worry you that you're not English enough? Most of us find ourselves a bit discomfitted at how very English we are. We're virtually unintelligible to the rest of the world as it is.

Even a singer like Martin Carthy seems to incorporate bits of Romany and Irish style slides and grace notes into his singing and playing.

You sound like a candidate for this folk degree, where they sort out all this ethnography. I think for many of us - the wide bill of fare that English folk music encompasses is rather a plus. everything from the Geordies to the Devon and Cornwall gang and stopping at all stations in between.

And lets face it, the Scots and Irish use all our material - think of Bert Jansch and Christy Moore. They sing English songs. So what makes the Scottish and Irish stuff off limits to us?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:35 PM

Phew! Big subject!

I played in a session today with musicians from Ryburn 3 Step and the wonderful (it's catching Sue!!) Geckoes dance band.

It felt to me like an English session whatever one of those is. Some of the tunes were lumpy and slow. Some were faster and lighter. The lumpiest and slowest tune we played was a Scottish tune as played for a Northumbrian dance (Laddy With the Plaidie/Kielder Schottische) so there are no absolutes.

In terms of fiddle players displaying 'Englishness' in style let's just list a few and see what people think. You won't have heard of all of them but to me an English list would include

Dave Swarbrick
Barry Dransfield
Nic Jones
Willie Taylor
Paul Burgess
Flos Headford
Fi Fraser
Jackie Allen
John Dipper
Matt Green
Caroline Ritson
Jane LLoyd (Flett)
Nina Hansell
Chris Partington
Me

All of these people have differing styles and apply decoration in different ways but probably all borrow from the same bucket of tricks used by other traditions like Irish and Scottish and American. They just apply them differently.

As an English fiddler I feel closer to Tommy Jarrel and Alan Jabbour than I do to Frankie Gavin or Sean McGuire.

I also feel closer to the Cajun fiddlers and interestingly, the (wonderful) Boat Band can sound very English when (the even more wonderful) Kate Barfield sounds, in isolation, very Cajun.

Interesting discussion.

J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:47 PM

Ihave read some nonsense in my time[whereisWAV]and this thread has a couple of nonsensical posts
TO THE ORIGINAL POSTER,Yes,you are playing in an English style.
unfortunately about 60 percent of music sessions in both England and Ireland are made up of intolerant twats.
keep enjoying playing and ignore the funny expressions of the intolerant rule makers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:51 PM

god preserve me from 30mile per hour sessions in c,and 130 mile per hour sessions that people cant dance to unless they have four feet four heads,and fourarms.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:54 PM

A very interesting list from Johnny Adams. Now, I would certainly put Dave Swarbrick as the most influential fiddler in the English folk revival. And so many people have followed him, and then others have followed his followers, that the style has become very dominating arounbd the folk scene. But I would not classify his approach as very English in any traditional sense. It is just very Swarbrick!
    As I said previously, there are a multiplicity of English styles, so to pick out the "one and only authentic English" fiddler is impossible. But I would suggest, of those who are still with us as opposed to those who made the name we call it by: you wouldn't go far wrong if you had a listen to
Paul Roberts(in the north)
or Flos Headford (in the south).
Or, as Johnny Adams mentioned, the "even more wonderful Kate Barfield" (who virtully never plays decorations except slides and double strings, in common with a lot of traditional players)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:54 PM

give me a padded cell and a metrognome.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:00 PM

.... and a dictionary? Or did you really mean a 'town dwarf'?

Toddle off and read another thread, there's a good chap.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:07 PM

What was I thinking of - leaving Paul Roberts off my list!!!

Read his essay on pre-Victorian fiddle style on the Village Music Project site,

Pre Victorian English Fiddle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Alex Guest Fiddle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:08 PM

Hey Ho,

thanks for responses,

well I'm down south, (Dorset and now Brighton) and so I suppose I am particularly keen on the traditions from these areas, (easy to find songs from these areas, not so much the dance tunes) I know a fair bit of the Northern repertoire including 'Scottishy' Northumbrian tunes and enjoy a lot of this, but I would like to play my own regional style......   just can't think of what that is?


I don't have a specifically Irish style, (certainly not enough to distinguish a regional preference) and I have also learned from predominantly English musicians, it's just that a lot of the time .... they're playing Irish tunes.

So, to be truly trad should I learn from someone that plays trad Southern English fiddle?

Who?

This description appeals to me...

English Fiddle Style

and suggests 'rich in ornamentation'
Sounds like they're describing my playing!!!!

Alex

Some responses:-

Lester
"Probably, in the same way that if I went to an Irish session and played their music in a Morris dance melodeon style it would not be Irish Traditional Music"

That's true, although Morris has a very distinctive style and contemporary Irish trad music is also well defined, in a way I don't think English music is....

(Howard Jones quote "continuous, transmitted process.")

....but there's not an unbroken chain of tradition, nor is a there a distinct enough modern interpretation of Trad English by which you can define it. Is there?


If, as my linked website seems to suggest, some trad English was fast, ornamented reels, then I'm not content to just let the other traditions have them, as we currently appear to. If I play a fast reel people will most likely say it's Irish (or in an Irish style) but if it has been played like this in England previously then why shouldn't I say it's English, merely because there isn't an unbroken chain?

Hmmmm....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:17 PM

GUEST Alex fiddle wrote:

well I'm down south, (Dorset and now Brighton) and so I suppose I am particularly keen on the traditions from these areas,

If you're in Brighton then the person you need to talk to is Ian Salter, who has researched and reconstructed a style of playing that he believes to have some relationship with what Paul Roberts has researched (see my earlier link).

Contact me via my (incomplete) web site and I'll put you in contact with him.

www.john-adams.info


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:20 PM

The best musicians don't mind where the music comes from... they play from the heart...yes they absorb influences from all around, but the greatest influence is within...and that has been handed down to them through their family time out of mind.

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:22 PM

well spoken,WaddonPete.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:22 PM

Alex guest fiddle wrote:

I don't have a specifically Irish style, (certainly not enough to distinguish a regional preference) and I have also learned from predominantly English musicians, it's just that a lot of the time .... they're playing Irish tunes.

The style transcends the origin of the tunes. Willie Taylor up in the Borders used to be able to listen to RTE and learned tunes off Irish fiddlers being broadcast. Listen to him play those tunes and you'd swear that they were born in Northumbria.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:53 PM

I play with lots of rolls and trebles commonly associated with Irish playing, although there is evidence to suggest that traditionally these were used in English trad playing too.quote from alex fiddle.
   playing with lots of rolls and trebles is often associated with Sligo style.English players like Stephen Baldwin WalterBulwer,EelyWhent,did not use rolls and trebles,what evidence is there that it is an English style
John Adams I know how to spell metronome.just having a joke,great mistake I know,I will write out a hundred times Imust be earnest about English music at all times,I must not make jokes,I must be very serious,.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:55 PM

Glad to see you've got your sense of humour back.

Now, about that padded cell.................


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:06 PM

Does it really matter? If it sounds good, who cares if certain rule makers consider it traditional or not. What are rolls and trebles?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:08 PM

There are literally thousands of excellent English musicians (and let's not forget the Americans as well) who are playing brilliant Irish music and coming close to Irish traditional styles. Certainly the vast majority of musicians in this country couldn't tell the difference between them and Irish musicians brought up with the music. Okay so those brought up with it could tell, so what? Most sessions are open and free to allcomers. Any session that plays reels wall to wall endlessly is boring diddly diddly to all but the incestuous few at the centre and certainly doesn't make good listening after half an hour. Similarly an endless session of humpty dumpty. For god's sake bring variety back!
If I was running a session and one type of music started to dominate I would deliberately play something entirely different just to make the point, or (gasp!) even sing a song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:15 PM

I agree Steve,but lets get back to traditional english style,WillieTaylor was unusual;why?.he was missing a finger or part of a finger of his left hand,this would affect his abilty to do rolls.
four english fiddlers so far who did not use rolls, where is the evidence that English traditional fiddlers played used rolls and trebles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:16 PM

Bonzo3Legs, like many pontificators on folk music, tends to confuse4 rule making with describing something. To say that zebras have black and white stripes is not a rule made by the animal police. It is a decription of the animnals.If I say that Irish traditional players play a lot of jigs and reels, but Bavarians play more polkas and waltzes, is a description of their behaviour. It is not a rule that I am making that I wish them to follow.
See the difference?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:24 PM

There is no evidence that I'm aware of that English traditional fiddlers used rolls and trebles.

Present 'English' fiddlers don't seem to use them either.

OK?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:30 PM

"why shouldn't I say it's English, merely because there isn't an unbroken chain?"

The point that I was trying to make is that it is clear from your original post that you are not part of that unbroken chain. Neither am I for that matter. So if you've learned a style which is Irish then just because you're English doesn't turn it into an English style. And certainly not "traditional".

As musicians who've come to folk music we have to choose what we're going to play and how to play it. There are two approaches to this. One is the "purist" one - how was this music played by traditional fiddlers? The other is simply try to fit in with the other players in the session, who have a clear idea of what English fiddle should sound like (or perhaps not a clear idea, but they're sure that the way you play isn't it!)

Listen to some of the players Johnny Adams has recommended. Listen to the fiddlers in your local sessions. As with any instrument, try to find your own style which reflects and respects the tradition and yet allows you to express yourself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:37 PM

I would hesitate to disagree with the illustrious director of the Village Music Project, but I would suggest that there is plenty of evidence that traditional English players used trebles and rolls(though not necessarily under that those names, which I believe are possibly Irish usage, and possibly modern at that).Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say there is plenty of evidence that they wrote them down. Whether they actually played them or not is not so certain, as we are talking about books written down pre the recording era.
If you would like to examine the evidence, perhaps you should take a look in some MS books. I believe there is a national online collection whose name escapes me.
(Ha ha, joke)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:38 PM

Alex,
For gawd's sake play what you enjoy and what you're good at. If anyone objects there are plenty of other sessions and if not start your own! By all means listen to some of the people recommended above but please don't slavishly follow anyone. Good advice from Howard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:43 PM

"There is no evidence that I'm aware of that English traditional fiddlers used rolls and trebles.

Present 'English' fiddlers don't seem to use them either."

This is on the website link that YOU posted....



"A perfomance can be decorated with fingering as well as the bow. In this respect 20th century English fiddlers were generally quite unadventurous, making sparing use of a few fairly simple gracenotings. However, the old books make clear that some pre-Victorian players habitually used a wide variety of often quite complex gracings, including single gracenotes above and below the melody note, long semi-quaver runs between melody notes, the rapid movement of the bow the Scots call the "birl" - the same note rapidly bowed 3 or 4 times - plus all the standard baroque decorations like the Mordant, the Shake, and the Turn. The mordant is when you tap the note above or below after landing on the melody note, the Shake or Trill is the repeated beating of the note above or occassionally below the melody note, perhaps the archetypal baroque decoration (demonstrate). Vibrato in this period was regarded as a variant of the trill and was thus only used as an occasional decoration. The Turn appears to have been particularly common - you'll be familiar with this because its the movement Irish players call the Roll. It's played by hitting first the note above then the note below the melody note"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Alex Guest Fiddle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:45 PM

A Birl is an Irish treble as far as I'm concerned.

Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:46 PM

Alex: very much agree with previous poster. If you are playing too fast and too ornamented for your local session, rein yourself in a bit if you want to play along with others. Or if you too are wedded to your own style and don't want to change, fine, start your own and see who coalesces round you. That is how the tradition will be defined for the next generation, by what you and your friends make of it now.
Go to it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:49 PM

Greg! I'm more industrious than illustrious.

Yes, you're dead right. From the evidence, the fiddlers used every trick in the book and then some!

I was just trying to help the Captain avoid his next apoplectic fit!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Alex Guest Fiddle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:52 PM

Anyway ornamentation is one the best parts of this music, they are an obvious way to bring live and interest into a tune. It seems hard to conceive that 'pre-melodeon' fiddler's didn't use this effective method.

This is going to sound terrible but.....

most English fiddler's I've come across in sessions really haven't been that good. It's not to say that there aren't people out there, but...well I don't wish to learn style from a novice...even someone that's been a novice for a long time....

al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:54 PM

My reference to "previous poster" referred to Steve Gardham who was the previous poster at the time, but a few others intervened!
I am at one with GUEST (unnamed) above: a bit confused by John Adams' posts. In one John adamantly denies that English fiddlers used trebles and rolls, in another he includes a link to an article that discusses the use of these very ornamentations by English fiddlers.An article with which I fully agree(on that point at least).
Earlier on in this thread, for example, John Adams particularly mentions mentions the Englishman William Irwin's tunebooks with approbation. Well, he'll find rolls and trebles in there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:58 PM

Alex Guest Fiddle: for your own sake, I should avoid the sessions I play at. I think you'll find it all a bit novice and slow and, well, crap. But you could come and give it a try once ...you just might get the taste.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 06:08 PM

Greg. Sorry I've confused things with my retort to the Cap'n. I should have been serious like I'm expected to be. See my post above.

Alex Guest Fiddle

most English fiddler's I've come across in sessions really haven't been that good. It's not to say that there aren't people out there, but...well I don't wish to learn style from a novice...even someone that's been a novice for a long time....

We can suggest good people to listen to but we can't improve the people around you. You'll just have to search a bit wider.

When you were in Dorset did you ever session with Colin Thomson? - an excellent fiddler!

More people to listen to....

Carolyn Francis from the Lake District
Laurel Swift from the Gloworms band.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 06:13 PM

Greg,

Earlier on in this thread, for example, John Adams particularly mentions mentions the Englishman William Irwin's tunebooks with approbation. Well, he'll find rolls and trebles in there.

It was Sue mentioned Irwin but again, I agree about the rolls and trebles - honestly I agree - I just had a daft moment - I won't do it again - honest!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Alex
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 06:14 PM

I think that came out a bit harsh, i'm not elitist and enjoy almost all sessions, but.... i'll tell you what started this thread...

i was briefly playing tunes with Ross Couper and common ground was a lot of Irish tunes, and then he and comrades played some Shetland tunes and I'd have loved it if we could have contributed some great English music. But what? I do play loads of the classic tunes and I'm good enough to play them well (musical and interesting) but not maybe in a trad English way...

I'm sure I would enjoy your session, I enjoy slow (and fast) (and faster) tunes and I enjoy new tunes and new people. But I can only learn what i hear...
and I need English bowing, phrasing, ornamenting, set ideas, variation ideas/improv.... etc

cheers,

al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 06:52 PM

I want to play english music but with this passion...

Lau


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 07:26 PM

Just fit in, Alex. You wouldn't really be expecting to be a Galway, Clare, Donnegal, Sligo, Kerry, etc. fiddle player all in one would you?-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 08:04 PM

Good point, Jon. Equally, there's no mileage in trying to define 'English trad music'; though some general characteristics can be identified in regional styles.

The MS tunebook issue having been dealt with (they are full of turns, rolls and mordants) I see no reason why decorative techniques nowadays associated mainly with Irish styles shouldn't be used once again in English contexts.

I learned fiddle largely in the 'Irish' sessions around Sheffield in the '80s (that's all there was at the time) and still have a lot of Irish tunes I can fall back on, but I've concentrated on English repertoire for a long time now. I use more decoration than many 'English' players, but nobody has ever remarked adversely upon that. It ought to be used with discretion, though, and mainly for punctuation and emphasis; some players in the 'modern' Irish style use so much that the melody disappears almost entirely behind the 'aren't-I-clever' frills, and it would be quite impossible to dance to.

One English fiddler who started out via the (Liverpool) Irish tradition and has subsequently devoted a lot of time to exploring the background is Gina LeFaux. Her thesis would be, I think, that 'Irish' ornamentation is basically a survival of the normal Baroque style, which went out of fashion in England, whereas in Ireland it didn't. Of course there isn't an 'Irish' style as such (the Kerry and Donegal traditions, for example, are wildly different from each other); what you tend to hear in 'Irish' sessions is an homogenised, 'mix and match' thing. Essentially a modern construct. Regional styles are more distinctive and a lot more interesting once you start exploring them, and that's true of the whole of Britain and Ireland.

There will always be people who will say 'What does it matter' or 'Just enjoy the music and don't think about it'. That's fine for those who have limited horizons and small imaginations. It's bad advice for the intelligent and enquiring mind, though, which seeks to understand as well as to enjoy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 09:21 PM

depends if your limited horizon exends into the future I suppose, or even tries to make an understanding of the people who have lived in your lifetime.

the easiest opton of course is to pretend you have some sort of god given understanding of 'the English tradition'.


that's for the real mentally lazy bastards with virtually no powers of cerebration.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 09:59 PM

What makes me really angry is the thinly veiled abuse....

Where on earth are you coming from mentally.

This thread contains the sincerely expresed views of lots of musicians, many of them working for no monetary remuneration, just doing their damndest to make the folk revival work.

Is there just some inbred instinct to see others as your inferior?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:01 AM

"the Kerry and Donegal traditions, for example, are wildly different from each other"
This is true - but only to an extent Malcolm.
The two styles you mentioned are certainly still to be found, but have been greatly eroded; many other regional styles have disappeared completely.
The influence of the Coleman era in introducing Irish American records severely dented regionalism, as did the emigrations, where musicians brought back the very much neutralised styles they picked up from playing with others from different parts of Ireland. The tendency of CCE teachers to teach for competitions has produced what is often referred to a 'a Comhaltas style' of playing.
There has been a series of TV programmes on regionalism recently, the constant theme of which was its disappearance. It was suggested that in many places regional music was identified as belonging to a specific area by repertoire rather than style.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:23 AM

A further observation... the key element in English music (southern English, at least, which I believe is what you want to play) is rhythm. Irish music focusses more on melody, and the decorations serve to embellish the melody.

The rhythm in English music is often more subtle than might first appear, slightly off the beat and sometimes with internal rythyms that are easily overlooked if you don't listen carefully. Compare the way Oscar Woods played his eponymous jig with the way most session players do if you want an example of this. If you can get the feel of the rythm and play accordingly, I believe this will help you to fit in far more than the question of decoration, or lack of it.

It's about the "feel" of the music - if the style you're playing "feels" Irish, you won't fit into the session, no matter what historic justification you can produce for the decorations. If you can give your playing an "English feel", by understanding the English rythms, then I suspect any decoration you choose to add will be less of an issue with the other musicians in the session.

The styles of playing most instruments has moved on from the original tradition. Many traditional melodeon players seemed to use the basses more for percussion than harmony, whereas modern players feel free to introduce more sophisticated harmonies. Anglo concertina has likewise developed a "revival" style. Many modern fiddlers, including some of those mentioned by Johnny, seem to include more decoration than the "old boys" did. But the music still has an English feel to it because of the rhythm.

If you can get the rythm right, the rest will follow


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:41 AM

I suppose we all have our own ways of thinking about this. I don't play many ornaments (on banjo/mandolin) but I play in a way that (I hope) fits in with an Irish session.

To me, it is very much the rhythm. I find the way a tune set goes can vary depending on who starts it, from session to session etc. but to me they are all in some Irish session ballpark.

I find English rythms different in feel to the Irish range and I find it harder/less natural to adapt.

Hope that makes some sense - it's difficult to explain how I try to feel it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 06:03 AM

very intersting.
I used to play,with a fiddler,who had never moved from his native village In county cork,he had a very oomphy style,and although he used decorations rolls[he never used trebles],the lack of trebling was fairly common in the south west, he could have been [until you listened carefully] mistaken for Walter Bulwer.
his style despite the use of rolls was very rhythmic ,and had much in commone with Walter Bulwer,but then unlike many present day Irish session players he regularly played for crossroad dances.
one day he played Dashing away with the smoothing iron.;intrigued I asked him how he knew that tune[english folksong]he learned it[aurally] by hanging around outside a visiting holiday makers house.
he also learned a few Jimmy Shand tunes from the wireless.
There are a number of things that have caused a divergence stylistically in the 20 century ,and caused Irish music to sound less like English or Scottish,CCE is the main culprit,since 1951,their system of competitions and highmarking for ornamentation have produced a homogenised hybrid,that has consciously changed many regional irish styles,some of which were closer to English styles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 10:30 AM

You could also do worse than listen to:

Eliza Carthy
Nancy Kerr
Jon Boden

Also I'm sure some of Topic's Voice of the People CDs will have plenty of pre-revival English fiddlers on them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Long Lankin
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 11:09 AM

Its funny how we tend to view other traditions as monolithic and only see the regional variations in our own. There is no typically "English" style because we see the regional differences Northumbrian, South West, Southern, Northern, Morris (by which I think you really mean Cotswold Morris). Scottish and Irish music is in reality just as varied and "American" even more so - Appalachian, Cajun, Texan/mexican.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 11:55 AM

Search out some recordings and books by Pete Cooper. He also teaches fiddle at the Strings at Witney weekends, in Oxfordshire. This weekend usually hosts workshops in many styles and really is a fantastic weekend away.

As you are now in Brighton, I suggest you also look at some of the workshops held at the Lewes Arms and also seek out the marvellous fiddler Ben Paley.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 12:03 PM

glueman is right, there is no single definition. I play tunes (on the fiddle [electric] and mandolin [electric]) The very fact that I play electric instruments rather than acoustic condemns me in some people's eyes, but you know what ? I gave up caring along time ago. I play the way I play regardless of the origin of the tune. Infact I committed heresey last Saturday night, I accompanied a friend while he sang a few Ray Davies songs (the last of the great folkies:-D) It was fun. I operate, musically with no borders, it's the best way, you don't get all tangled up on dogma that way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 01:07 PM

"You could also do worse than listen to:
Eliza Carthy"
Hmmmm - not sure of that.
"ROCK – POP- JAZZ REVIEWS
Sunday Times ; June 22nd
Dreams of Breathing Underwater
Topic TSCD571
Eliza Carthy has stepped outside her comfort zone — namely, sublime interpretations of traditional English tunes, and original compositions that sit alongside them — to create a folk phantasmagoria of a record. With mariachi horns, fuzzy electronica, achingly pure fiddle playing and the odd dirty grunge guitar, Dreams of Breathing Underwater suggests Angela Carter's magic-realist novels set to music in a smoky circus big top. And dressing up has freed Carthy. While Rosalie retains the lightness of touch of her traditional tunes. Lavenders evolves from a folk-drone into a piece of multilayered exotica; Simple Things applies dub-reggae production depths to a stream-of-consciousness lament. The former folk grail-keeper is investigating the artist/auteur method."
As I said - hmmmm
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 01:19 PM

Yeah, and to top it all, Dreams of Breathing Underwater is an absolutely incredible CD. Well Done Eliza!! :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 02:33 PM

Sounds dire - sorry
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 02:39 PM

To put it in a simplistic form, I can more and more every day understand why Dave Swarbrick ran away from the folk clubs, plugged in and joined Fairport Convention :-D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Wolfhound person
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:14 PM

Will Taylor definitely looked north rather than south in his playing. In fact he once remarked that Scottish music was merely a subset of Northumbrian music - to the amused consternation of his audience.

And any list of fiddlers that includes Dave Swarbrick should surely include Colin Ross - described once as one of the two revival fiddlers at folk festivals(in about 196-something).

The OP might be more confused than helped by recordings from the Northumbrian tradition if southern English is actually his goal.

Paws


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:28 PM

Def Shepherd, do you play in sessions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM

Thinking again, the OP might be as well off recording some tunes in the sessions that he's finding difficult.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:33 PM

If it's of any importance, on occasion I do. Do You?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:39 PM

OK, I was wondering how you found "I play the way I play regardless of the origin of the tune.", etc. went with playing along with others in sessions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:41 PM

haven't had too many complaints in 40 odd years of playing, but I have had fun, and that'd the key, fun.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:49 PM

By the way, I don't have the crying need to 'fit in' as you so quaintly put it, which accounts for the limited number of sessions I've ever done.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:00 PM

Fair enough. I find most the fun comes when everyone is fitting in well together.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:06 PM

De gustibus non est disputandum. Os something like that. Obviously the Roman who said that had never visited Mudcat.
You ought to like Eliza Carthy. Oh no I oughtn't.Oh yes you should, yah boo. You ought to like playing in sessions. You ought to hate playing in sessions. You ought to like Irish fiddling. You ought to like English fiddling. You ought to like birls, rolls and trebles. You ought to know what birls rolls and trebles are.You ought to care what birls trolls and trebles are.You ought to know what folk meant in 1954. You ought to know that Lonnie Donegan recorded Rock Island Line in 1954.
Well, I am off to Glastonbury, thank God, where I can listen to all kinds of music with enjoyment. Well, some with enjoyment.And I am fairly confident I will run into absolutely nobody who will insist on buttonholing me and explaining why Seth Lakeman's White Hare is a traditional English folk song. Or why it isn't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:08 PM

My 'going electric' saw to it that I didn't fit in with alot of musicians, but that was my choice, and one I have never regreted for a single moment


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:13 PM

You missed one, You ought to go to Glastonbury. Oh no I oughtn't :-D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: irishenglish
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:23 PM

Ah Jim Carroll-"You could also do worse than listen to:
Eliza Carthy"
Hmmmm - not sure of that.


Do I sense another she's abandoning her roots here regarding "Dreams?" I hope not because Eliza has done this before-with Angels and Cigarettes. What did she follow that one with? Anglicana, and Rough Music, both solid traditional material, and that's not even counting Waterson Carthy, Blue Murder, playing or producing for her mom and dad, etc, etc. If you haven't figured out from the clothes, the hair color, and the piercings, Eliza is Eliza-she's going to do what she wants whether or not you and I like it. In my case, that would be a whole lot. Ok, I only liked about half of Angels & Cigarettes-the one album in her career in which that is the case. I say that comment stands, she is most definitely near the top of the list of a very crowded list that one should start with, whether you think so or not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Def Shepard
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:30 PM

I seriously think it would be to panic in a very big way if one was to think that Eliza Carthy was abandoning her roots, as irishenglish states, she's experimented before, but still retained her traditions. I'll be seeing Waterson : Carthy at the Moseley Folk Festival at the end of August and I have no doubt at all the the traditions will be alive and well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:57 PM

JIm C: go on, have a listen to Eliza C's new CD. Who knows, you might surprise yourself and like it. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with writing songs, liking Mexican music or playing accordions is there? Or do you know some rules that I have never heard of? (1954 only defines folk music...it doesn't define good music).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 05:09 PM

I didn't see much ought/ought not to in this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 09:13 PM

hi all, thanks for the responses, some interesting points... i've been listening to quite a number of names mentioned... quite a few of which i'm familiar with. I play tunes with Ben P quite often and do get over to the Lewes workshops occasionally.

Malcolm, I should listen to more of Gina's playing, I've been to a couple of workshops... however THIS opens a whole new tinned worm,

"some players in the 'modern' Irish style use so much that the melody disappears almost entirely behind the 'aren't-I-clever' frills, and it would be quite impossible to dance to."

Mainly, because I haven't ever head this done, if I know the tune and can recognise it from the playing then I almost always really enjoy the different ways people play.... the more variations, while holding the tune well, the better... otherwise I get bored...

also... and this is for another thread really.....is the music always there to be danced to, J Kirk Patrick seems to think so (intro to one of hism tune books) I really disagree! Shock horror! Mainly befcause well... I can enjoy it entirely independently of the dancing, and know many others that feel the same. But I can only really speak for me.

I do play for ceilidhs almost every weekend, and session abut twice a week average, and I enjoy both... but in different ways....

ax


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 02:54 AM

Sorry, I forgot what a lot of precious little flowers you all are on the folk scene nowadays! I wonder why, when personal icons are criticised everybody starts throwing their toys out of the pram.
I am not particularly enamoured of Liza Carthy's singing, what she does to traditional song doesn't do it for me and I would not in a thousand years use her as an example of traditional English music.
The type of reaction here describes perfectly what I believe to be 'folk policing' and if we are not allowed to express our opinions - what's the point of talking to each other? If Dave Swarbrick hooked it because somebody said they didn't like his playing, maybe he's as well out of it.
Please grow up - as Jon rightly said, "I didn't see much ought/ought not" in this thread either.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 03:46 AM

WEll, I detected quite a lot of "ought to". I was merely trying to point out that there is no moral imperative you can use to persuade people to like what they don't like, or play what they don't want to. My suggestion, JimC, was just that you had a listen to the new ECarthy CD before criticising it,; on the grounds that you might be agreeeably surprised. Whether you actually like it or not when you do so is of no moral significance at all!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 04:16 AM

Who on earth introduced 'morality' into the discussion Greg; my search engine only finds it twice - both in your posting. 'Ought' only turns up in responses to my expressing an OPINION (11 times in one of your postings).
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 04:55 AM

Hello,

Al, it's good to hear that you enjoy playing in different styles and for different audiences.

IMHO, if we are serious about wanting our music to survive into the next generation but one, then we need to make it relevant to those who hear it.

Playing traditional dances using the correct rhythm connects those taking part with the maybe unrecognised rhythm of the past. Very few come off the dance floor without feeling glad they danced. Look at the number of feet tapping when they are sitting out.

If a musician wants to demonstrate prowess on an instrument by playing in a more ornamental style or, on occasion playing faster than dance speed, fine! But do remember your audience. What may be technical brilliance to you may be boredom to many! If you are a passive listener, then jigs, reels, etc. played at a breakneck speed pass the ears as a blur. Slow some tunes down and they reveal another side to them. You as the artist decide!

Those of us with limited horizons and small imaginations would much rather that musicians play from the heart...absorbing influences from all around, but always acknowledging that the music is a living, breathing entity that has been handed down to them.

Tell it like it is....not like it was!

Best wishes,

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 05:24 AM

Sorry Peter, I have been listening to this argument since the days of The Spinners and we are still no nearer a guarantee that the music will survive outside of us little band of cranks. I have always suspected that the 'moderise or die' argument really interprets into 'play it the way I like it' which guarantees nothing.
Nor does the hysteria that discussions like this tend to generate.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Stu
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 05:37 AM

"A further observation... the key element in English music (southern English, at least, which I believe is what you want to play) is rhythm. Irish music focusses more on melody, and the decorations serve to embellish the melody."

Rhythm is as key an element in Irish music as it is in English, it's just different. It might not be as obvious as some of the the yompy Morris tunes but is as important.

Everything is in the tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,tom bliss
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 05:53 AM

Gina's fiddle DVD

(Made by someone with the same name as me ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 06:16 AM

Whats wrong with playing in the style that you learnt to play? Dont try and emulate any style. It makes the music sound forced, and a bit pants a lot of the time!

I play a lot of tunes (including a very small amount of Irish tunes) in the morris / southern English style which I have developed through local influences (loud, solid rhythm, dont hold the bow at the bottom, drone 2 strings a lot of the time). The response to my music is usually pretty good, but there are the odd people who try and tell me that my style is wrong, I should do this, etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 06:21 AM

Stigweard is right on the button. English dance music is rhythmic. So is Irish dance music. There is a built-in cultural mechanism (aka the folk process) that determines that it how the music should be, otherwise the musicians wouldn't have been hired to play at weddings etc. They just have differeent sorts of rhythms. that's all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 06:23 AM

Hello Jim,

I don't think I implied "modernise or die"....IMHO all music, whatever genre, is on a continuum. It constantly changes and develops. If an artist wants to play ancient Viking music in the "authentic" style...why not? If you want to recreate Elizabethan music or Trad Jazz...why not? But that is preservation. Even then the artist's interpretation might ensure that, in all probability, some-one from that era would think it new-fangled!

There is a place for preserving and a place for enjoying and a place for developing music. Each artist decides for themselves. What I was saying is that our music is not set in stone. Neither are the people who listen to it. If you want to involve them, you must engage with them.

Best wishes,

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: irishenglish
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 06:56 AM

Jim C I never said modernize or die. Nor do I feel the need to grow up-I already am and have no desire of returning. MY comment reflected the fact that whether you yourself like Eliza C, the fear that she is abandoning traditonal music would be unfounded just because she has released a (second) album of all self penned material. Fine, you don't like her voice, but I didn't hear you say anything about her fiddle playing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 06:57 AM

This thread started with a request as to what is English fiddle music, and has rambled around a bit since. For a bit of background, here are two fairly in depth articles on two English fiddlers, the southern Stephen Baldwin and the northern William Irwin.
Alas, we don't have vast amounts of recordings of English trad fiddlers, but Stephen Baldwin was quite well-recorded, and William Irwin, thjough pre-recording era, left a lot of notated tunes and quite a well-documented life. I like this sort of backgroud, it helps to make sense of the music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 07:07 AM

Whats wrong with playing in the style that you learnt to play?

Well if you encounter the type of problem mentioned in the first post (his [more Irish] style not going too well in certain English sessions), it could be you need to change things a bit, at least for some situations.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 07:08 AM

"Modernise or die", whether explicitly spelled out or not, is an underlying thought that drives a lot of discussion about folk music. There is also the opposing thought, "keep it like it is, it might come in handy some day" which might in some circumstances have as much if not more validity.
    Climate change, peak oil etc, may make it a fact that in some senses society is going over a hump and now has to go down the other side. In which case it might just be that people who have carefully preserved the knowledge of how to build wooden boats,how to sail them or pull them along canals, how to do horse-ploughing,how to farm organically, how to keep warm by burning wood,how to keep warm by wearing sweaters, how to use hydro-power and wind-power of various kinds, how to play lively dance music acoustically with instruments made out of bits of wood and wire : well, you see where the thought is going, it is not totally impossible that this stuff may come back into fashion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 07:16 AM

I didn't say that Irish music lacked rhythm, just that it puts more emphasis on the melody. The decorations in Irish music are there to embellish the melody, whereas the decorations in English music tend to emphasise the rhythm.

As a player, I know that my enjoyment from playing Irish tunes comes from being swept along by the melody, whereas the enjoyment from English tunes comes from getting into the rythmic groove and seeing where it takes you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Paul Burke
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 07:40 AM

The decorations in Irish music are there to embellish the melody

Not at all- they can be used to highlight the rhythm just as much, especially scratches, crans and triplets.

I had that Stephen Baldwin record (before someone "looked after" my vinyl collection)- interesting, but I wouldn't use an old man, isolated as a traditional fiddler, and well into his declining years, as a guide to style. In fact, if anyone took up playing like that, I'd take up fusion bhangra-bebop reggae tuba.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 07:47 AM

GUEST,Alex - Fiddler

If I play English tunes in this manner (highly ornamented and perhaps a little up tempo) in a session advertised as English, people look at me as-if-to-say I've walked into the wrong bar.

If I'm identifying you correctly, Alex, I WAS THERE. (Little fat bloke with a grey beard and long black hair playing English concertina and fiddle.) I'm one of those "that's been a novice for a long time" and will probably continue to be for some time yet.

For the information of Greg Stephens who said "Now it strikes me that the session referred to, being "advertised as English" may be "run" by some of those musicians of the Old Swan/Oak "English country music" sort of persuasion, it was run by Will Duke in the presence of Dan Quinn, Bob Keeble, Tony Dunn... I can't remember if Ian Slater was there that time but he often is.

I'm sorry if you felt that your style didn't fit, but the muttering around my end of the room was along the lines of "Who's that young fella? Bit good isn't he." I could point out that there were three fiddlers there younger than you, at least one of whom could vie with you for "best fiddler in the room" but who I think has more of a feel for English traditional playing than you. I think you know who I mean.

I want to play english music but with this passion...

Then do it. You don't have to ask anybody's permission but remember that Lau were up on stage in a packed auditorium, not sitting alongside everybody else in a session. Session playing is about adding your small part to the whole not about standing out for your virtuosity. I remember an occasion where things were getting a bit out of hand when one of the more experienced musicians said "Play to hear your neighbour not yourself.". The effect was immediate and magical.

also... and this is for another thread really.....is the music always there to be danced to

That is fundamental to this thread. For Southern English traditional music at least, it may not always be there to be danced to but that is where it comes from. If you forget that you will have lost its heart.

Next time you come to the Trevor, sit as near as you can to Will Duke. Next time we have Matt Green doing a workshop at the Lewes Arms, come along.

In the end, you've got to do what YOU want to do and you will do that a lot better than trying to do what you think is expected of you, but it's worth doing a lot of listening first even to some of those who may not be technically as good as you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 08:01 AM

Paul Burke: I agree with your remarks about Stephen Baldwin. It is difficult to see how many young aspiring musicians would listen to those recordings and find a viable role model. Which is why I put a link to the article about him, you do need a bit of background to make sense of music wrenched out of context and recording from an aging musician away from his support system. Compare and contrast with the context in which Michael Coleman was recorded, or the early New Orleans musicians for example!
But after a bit of playing tunes, you can return to Baldwin and think, aha, that's interesting how he plays hornpipes, or whatever.
    I was interested that the original poster was referring to a session run by Will Duke. Now, if I wanted to advise someone how to find out about English music, I would have said leave your instrument in its case, go and find Will Duke and Dan Quinn and listen to them for a few hours(or days).
Mind you it's all southern lumpy polkas with them, with never a reel in sight!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 08:37 AM

"Modernise or die"
"IMHO, if we are serious about wanting our music to survive into the next generation but one, then we need to make it relevant to those who hear it."
Peter,
That's how I read this - if I mistook your meaning I apologise.
Have no objection to experimentation whatsoever, as long as it is recognised as just that. I enjoy George Butterworth's 'Banks of Green Willow' enormously but it ain't folk and it in no way helps to guarantee survival.
I can still remember the embarrassing attempts to popularise my other great musical love - classical music
I believe that folk music can survive without attempted kisses-of-life which turn out to be cul-de-sacs.
Here in Ireland we are in the middle of a rise in popularity of a music that hasn't strayed too far from its roots as to become unrecogognisable - who knows.....?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 09:47 AM

I was simply trying to highlight the differences in "feel" between Irish and English playing styles. Of course it is a gross over-simplification, but in very general terms I think it stands up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM

Despite the 'Smallness' of this Island we live on , there is a VERY wide variation of singing and playing styles in ALL the 'local' traditions - Nearly as varied as the spoken accents across the country ! Trying to Define 'English Tradition' is as bad as trying to define 'Folk' !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM

And 100 !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Alex Fiddle
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 01:27 PM

Hey Snail,

well yes it's the right Alex, although I wasn't really thinking of the Trevor Arms, only went there 1 1/2 times and didn't want to play because of previous experience of other English sessions. (if people thought I was good, I could just be good at pretending to play!!)

I actualy enjoyed it a lot, and picked up a number of new tunes, but if I play them now, they'd sound a bit differnt in rhythm emphasis.

I knew that "novice for a long time" comment was gonna come back to bite me! That was just to get my point across, I meant "lack of experienced mentor" rather than 'bunch of beginners'! And I do like Mike's, Matt's and Doe's fiddle playing, but again they do not fulfill the 'expereinced mentor' role in the same way as.....
...well...
.... I've been very fortunate to have sat in, on occasion, (alas not regularly...mostly at festivals) in various Irish/Scottish sessions with the likes of Chris Stout, Aidan O'Rourke, Sam Proctor, Brendan McGlinchey, Ben Paley, Clare Mann, Alisdair White, John McCusker, Oisin Mac Diarmada....and more... where I can watch and listen and see clearly what I have to work on... something I haven't been able to do at an English session.

I'd like to come over to the Trevor again... when is it?

Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Alex Fiddle
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 01:41 PM

I should add....that actualy at the Trevor I thought the people there were very welcoming! Believe me Snail, if there were views on me not fitting in that night, they were very subtle because I didn't notice... I have been told in no uncertain terms that I 'don't belong' in other English sessions!!!! Which is why I was rather quiet... didn't want to put my foot in my mouth incase it led to someone else's foot joining it!

Anyone thinking of going to that session should, my only complaint is that it ends at 11. That's just when I wake up.... afterwards I went down into Brighton where the Irish session continues on 'till 12.30!

best regards,
Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Valmai Goodyear
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 03:02 PM

Alex, it's good to hear from you. I've been at the Trevor when you were there and thoroughly enjoyed hearing you play. I'm absolutely sure you'd be more than welcome at all the similar sessions in the area. Are you free to come to the John Harvey Tavern in Lewes on Tuesday 1st. July? Dan and Matt Quinn are leading.

For broadly English sessions in Sussex and Surrey, see the Snail's excitingly dynamic page here .

For more guidance on English fiddling from someone definitely beyond the novice class, come to Paul Sartin's all-day workshop at the Lewes Arms on Saturday 6th. December this year. Paul Hutchinson leads an accordion workshop at the same time, but not in the same room, and the two perform at the Lewes Arms in the evening as Belshazzar's Feast.

Another fiddler whose name I haven't noticed in the thread is the excellent Emma Reid, who plays as a duo with Rob Harbron and in the quartet Methera. She did a workshop for us last November.

Next year's fiddle workshops at the Lewes Arms will be led by:

Tom McConville (Saturday 28th. March - I think you came to his last one)

Nancy Kerr (probably the first or second Saturday in June - this is going to be a monster full weekend with five all-day workshops from Nancy on fiddle, James Fagan on bouzouki, Rob Harbon on English concertina, Nancy and James on vocal harmony, and Rob on tunes from the Winter manuscript for any instrument; they'll perform as a trio on the Saturday night)

and Tommy Peoples (Saturday 12th. September).

I think you'd enjoy all of these for different reasons.

Tootle pip,

Valmai


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 03:28 PM

In that case, Alex, I owe you an apology for implying that you were knocking Will's session at the Trevor. The next one will be on Monday 14th July. For that and other sessions in the area, see here. I don't think anybody had any problems with you fitting in apart from a little envy on the part of some of the other fiddlers.

I have been told in no uncertain terms that I 'don't belong' in other English sessions!!!!

Now you've got me intrigued. I certainly wasn't at THAT session. I go to quite a few and can't think of any where that would happen.

I have to tread carefully for fear of offending others, but I don't think we have anyone round here of the quality you are looking for. (I have no problem with the "been a novice for a long time" tag for myself.) This is more concertina and melodeon country but several of the fiddlers have a lot to offer even if they aren't technically brilliant. As Greg says, you can learn a lot about English traditional music by spending plenty of time listening to Will and Dan. Dogan may be horribly young but he has an instinct for English trad. (Approximate quote "English traditional music is great and if it takes a Turk to tell people about it, so be it."). I've known Matt and Mike since before they were born amd to see them develop (and leave me choking in their dust) has been a delight.

Try and get to hear some of the people that John Adams and Dazbo have mentioned (I'd add Paul Sartin and Kathryn Tickell and Emma Reid.) I don't think Chris Bartram plays in public these days which is a great pity. Get his recordings if you can.

It's there if you look but Lau's way isn't the only way of doing it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 05:13 PM

GUEST,Valmai Goodyear

see the Snail's excitingly dynamic page

She gets excited over the smallest things.

I meant to say -

my only complaint is that it ends at 11. That's just when I wake up.... afterwards I went down into Brighton where the Irish session continues on 'till 12.30!

You may have spotted one of the significant differences between English and Irish sessions. Another which has now passed into history is the never smoked but permanently smouldering roll-up in the ashtray.

Another thought; have you considered joining Brighton Morris?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 05:31 PM

Hmm... Both Irish sessions I go to finish at 10:30. I've a feeling the English session in the same pub as one of the Irish ones finishes at 11:00 (I think they only have the earlier finish for music on a Sunday.)

Of course there's no shortage of players who would go on a lot later...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Alex Fiddle
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 07:51 PM

well the really -ve experiences have been at festivals... where there are, i suppose, a lot of different musicians jostling for time and space to play their own music...so tensions are high.... i'm pretty thick skinned though.....

session list looks good, i'll try and make some.... same goes for the workshops...great stuff!

morris.. maybe... my dad played and danced for many years.... i'm prob too busy to commit to anything else at the moment, though..

oh and 10.30!!!!!!! i quite regularly arrive at sessions at this time.... quite a few that i go to occasionally in london go on 1 2 3 even 4.....! a bit rough if you're working the next day, granted....

thanks again,

alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 04:56 AM

Festival sessions can be very polarised, a lot of people who mau not know each other very well all trying to play their own music, as you say, and reluctant to see it diluted by other styles. In a regular session where you get to know the other musicians you also get to know what is acceptable, and once accepted you can perhaps introduce something different.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 05:33 AM

Joining a morris team would be a good way to get the feel for the southern dance rhythm and feel - although, IMHO, to be a good Morris musician you need to be at least a reasonable Morris dancer


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 06:45 AM

Well, I'm off to Glastonbury this minute, where the sessions round the campfire often run till breakfast (whenever that may be).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Stu
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 08:17 AM

Howard, do you by any chance often attend a session at a country pub somewhere in Cheshire?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 08:39 AM

Here's some good folk music for you, Jim Carrol.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM

I'll get you after school Jon
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 10:41 AM

Several people have cheerfully stated that there is evidence that English fiddlers did use rolls and trebles and such Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say there is plenty of evidence that they wrote them down. (Greg) but can anyone guide me to some actual accessible examples? I'm not doubting it; I'm genuinely interested.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 04:15 AM

I do indeed attend that Cheshire session!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Fiddle PLayer
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 04:17 AM

Who is Ian Salter?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Stu
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 05:05 AM

"I do indeed attend that Cheshire session!"

Nice to see you - I'm the fat bouzouki player that treads on your foot five times an evening on my way to the bar : )

Not been for a while due to developing bad tinnitus, but hope to be back soon.

Stu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 12:56 PM

GUEST,Fiddle PLayer

Who is Ian Salter?

Is that you, Alex? It gets very confusing if you don't post under a consistent name.

Ian Salter is a fiddler (from Hastings, I think) who turns up to the Trevor occasionally. He plays in a somewhat idiosyncratic style with the fiddle held against his chest, strings pointing to the right. He seems to keep the bown moving along the same vertical line and turn the fiddle to change strings. He is well worth listening to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 12:55 PM

The difference between Celtic styles and English styles for me as a fiddle player is definitely rhythm. While a lot of the tunes have the same roots the lilt is totally different-I had real trouble playing with Salsa Celtica because the tunes are constructed for several notes per bow and around finger patterns that repeat rather than melody as such (making the phrases almost like decorations in themselves, decorations made up of several bars), whereas English tunes sound better with only one or very few. Also the emphasis seems to be on the up-bow rather than the down, although this does vary between the Northern style which tends towards the faster and more fluid, say for Longsword or Rapper, and Southern Morris and country tunes.
x e


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 01:26 PM

Eliza,that is interesting ,because only last week on tg4,there was a programme about Sliabh Luchra fiddlers,and one of the fiddlers was saying thatSliabh Luchra style was different from other Irish styles in that there was more emphasis on the up bow,certainly KERRY POLKAS are often played with an emphasis on the off beat.Dick Miles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 01:38 PM

go to web tv tg4,then ceol cartlann,then canuinti ceol for 4/ 5 /2008,and at about eight minutes 38,you have whatIam referring to.Dick Miles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 01:40 PM

hiya dick
   And more emphasis on the CAPS LOCK it seems too! Do you know, I have never studied and very rarely play any Celtic music at all, so my experience with the Salsas may just be particular to that clique of people. The fiddle styles in Edinburgh, the Irish and Scots musicians that play there, do seem to meld a lot.
I love the Quebecois triplet on the bow, that's more like a hiccup than what you hear over here-me and Nancy K spent a lot of time learning the up-down-up of that rather than the down-up-down we were used to. It's all the little distinguishing things, isn't it?
Of course, what has survived to a much greater extent in Ireland and Scotland is the tiny differences in regional styles, if you don't live in a place like Edinburgh. I can really only differentiate between Northern and Southern in England, North-Western and North-Eastern at a push if I don't know the tunes already. Although I can usually spot a Bampton tune played by a Bampton musician, there is something unique about that.
Would have given my right foot for more recordings of English trad fiddlers when I was growing up, and now. Not my right arm though, because I need that, obviously...
x e


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: irishenglish
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 01:46 PM

Would have given my right foot for more recordings of English trad fiddlers when I was growing up, and now. Not my right arm though, because I need that, obviously...

Can't imagine why Eliza! Very interesting point though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 02:06 PM

So as an interested non-fiddler, can anyone post a few recommendations of "definitive" (or at least "so-called definitive") recordings of the different styles, please?

My sorely abused credit card is throbbing with anticipation...

Cheers,

Nigel

PS: Eliza - "The hinterland of what-the-fuck"... priceless!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 06:22 PM

hi Eliza,sorry about the caps locks.
my biggest regret is that Julia Clifford offered to teach me the fiddle,this would have been about 1982,when she was living in Norfolk,and I didnt, partly because I thought I was too old ,and partly because I was obsessed with the concertina.
I think the fiddle is the most expressive instrument,and Iam still trying to learn it,when I am about eighty,I might get it and then ill drop dead.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,martin ellison
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 07:02 PM

If we're now talking about English fiddle then I have to cite Paul Burgess and Floss Headford (both of the Old Swan Band) as being my idea of the epitome of English fiddle - dignified but with dirt under it's fingernails. I don't have the academic knowledge to assert that it's authentic but it sounds and feels right. So exciting - I love it.
Hi 'Liza - you're not bad either. Need a melodeon player??
Martin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 07:14 PM

she is very good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Lynn W
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 05:18 PM

For anyone wanting to abuse their credit card a little, there is a new CD out, The Whitchurch Hornpipe, with Neil Brookes on fiddle and Tony Weatherall on melodeon. All the tunes are from Shropshire manuscripts and many don't appear elsewhere. I got a copy at Beverley and it's not been off the CD player since!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 06:24 AM

Ah, yes, Neil Brookes is another excellent English fiddler.

I should have mentioned that Roy Clinging and Neil Brookes are doing an all-day workshop on Cheshire and North Shropshire tunes for any instrument at the Lewes Arms on Saturday 22nd. November. Like all our tutors, they perform at the club in the evening.

Also, Mary Humphreys and Anahata are doing one on Fenland tunes for any instrument on Saturday 20th. September. They don't play fiddle, but they do have an English regional style.

Will Dukes's all-day workshop on the tunes of Scan Tester for any instrument on Saturday 5th. July is sold out, but we have some tickets left for his performance in the evening.

We meet every Saturday night as a folk club and don't stop for August. Only Christmas, New Year and Bonfire stop us if they fall on a Saturday.

Valmai (Lewes)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 03:20 PM

I hope they have their own style.
EastAnglia has notable differences in style,Percy Brown was quite different from OscarWoods,who was different again from Font Watling,CyrilBarber was instantly recognisable and couldnt be confused with anyone else.
Walter Bulwer was different from Eely Whent,and Billy Bennington was different from BananaCooper, Reg Reeder differed from both Bennington and Cooper,vive la difference,if they all sounded the same,it would be boring.Dick Miles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Swarbrules
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 03:01 AM

This is not going off topic so, please bear with me. I play Welsh music, where the fiddle tradition all but died out for many years, only reviving in the 50s and 60s. There is, therefore, no traditional style. Does this then, make the music less authentic? Of course not. Look, as well, at the collection of John Thomas, an eighteenth century Welsh fiddler, and you will find, among all the traditional tunes, snatches of Handel's Water Music. Then there is John Clare's collection from deepest Northamptonshire with several Welsh tunes included. Why are these anomolies there? Because they were popular and the fiddler or whoever, got paid to entertain. And music can travel a long way. Listen to the Welsh tune On Tredegar Moor http://www.ukmagic.co.uk/song_welsh/ar_ben_waun_tredegar.html
and compare it to Waters of Tyne. Should one country, therefore, have it removed from its traditional canon? And who can lay claim to Soldier's Joy? Isn't this so universal that every country can accept it as part of their tradition?

As for styles etc, I believe that we have become far too academic and removed from the original source. Thomas hardy talks about the village band playing for dances and church services. A mish-mash of musicians of varying competence playing whatever they could lay their hands on. There may have been individual players who rose above the ranks and brought their own style to the music but, most of the time it would have been a group of amateurs helping their fellow villagers to dance and get drunk.

All hail these fellows. We all them our existence. Somewhere in the mist of time, one of our ancestors was probably the direct result of the dancing and drinking.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 03:52 AM

"Although I can usually spot a Bampton tune played by a Bampton musician, there is something unique about that."

I'm intruigued...


"As for styles etc, I believe that we have become far too academic and removed from the original source. "

Are there not still 'original sources' still in existence?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Swarbrules
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 05:08 AM

"As for styles etc, I believe that we have become far too academic and removed from the original source. "

Perhaps I should have used the word "precious".

Of course there are original sources available in the form of old collections and old recordings. Steven Baldwin has been mentioned and I have fiddle collections from the North and from East Anglia. In all of them it is difficult to define a style owing to the poor recording and, let us not mince words, the less than brilliant playing. However, because these exist are we to take them as the pardigms of English style and so shun any modern playing that differs from these set models?

I prefer to look at more abstract sources, like Hardy, that can give us clues. There was a great furore when Fairport and Steeleye came on the scene because traditional musicians did not use electric instruments. Of course they didn't: for obvius reasons but, you can bet your life that they would have seized on any instrument that would have helped them get more beer for their night's work. Hardy, as well, gives us an insight into the competence (or otherwise) of rural musicians. We are, perhaps led astray by memories of Swarb playing for the dance in Far from the Madding Crowd or from the professionals in smocks and breeches who turn up in costume dramas. Go back to Baldwin and other early recordings to see what our forebears listened to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 07:33 AM

Spot on, Swarbrules. People forget that it wasn't called "folk music" in the past, it was just music, and people played with whatever there was to hand.
I think the huge body of printed collections can be used in conjunction with the styles of what remains of recorded music from the turn of the last century onwards to create a new tradition. The best English fiddle players are individuals, ploughing their own furrow with whatever they can find. The same can be said for the Welsh styles, they can be reinvented with the little there remains and the imaginations of the new players. It's really quite exciting at the end of the day.
x e


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:10 AM

There are a couple of references to Tony Weatherall and Neil Brooke's Whitchurch Hornpipe CD, earlier in this thread. Here is the Musical Traditions Magazine review I wrote. I strongly recommend the record, and the remarks I make in the review about Welsh fiddlers are, I hope, also relevant to the stuff about Welsh music earlier in the thread.
   There is a also a followup from the Snail to my earlier remarks about English fiddlers and rolls, trebles and decorations: he asked for chapter and verse on this in MS collections. I suggest a look at the copies of William Irwin's notebooks, which you can find at the Village Music Project website (I hope the decorations are reproduced, I have't actually checked). There are many other examples.This is not the place for a long discussion on the value of notebook evidence as a relibal guide to performance styles, but that is something you obviously have to consider with care.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:19 AM

Re lack of recordings of traditional fiddlers: a lot of people forget that Fellside put out an LP of Geoff Purvis and his band called "Border Fiddler", and it is out on CD again.Just because Geoff was young at the time(1970 maybe) doesn't mean that he wasn't traditional! That sort of fiddling didn't become part of the canon of "English country music" when that genre got going in the 70's....Cumbria and Northumbria were written of as part of Scotland by that fraternity, as far as I could judge. But self-evidently traditional music in the north is surely just as traditional as music in the south.
Isn't it a shame there isn't much recorded trad English fiddling? And, as far as I am aware, no recording whatsoever of trad Welsh.Maybe somebody could point me in the right direction if there is any, but I've never heard any yet. (I mean trad, not reconstruction trad, there is loads of that getting going now, and very good too).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,ALex Fiddle
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 03:17 PM

INteresting points, thanks people,

I guess coming from a different angle shold make my way of playing English tunes individual anyway....

I've experimenting with differnt rhythm ideas in English trad but it's hard to translate musical ideas from the written page to actually playing it, however ... it's getting me really enthusiastic though for one project i'm involved in at the moment; recording short tutorial videos demonstrating a particular technique with differnt tutors a bit like the Ayepod site but covering a wider range of trad music from the UK and Ireland. Could be  a very useful resource, it think.a x


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 12:23 PM

greg stephens

There is a also a followup from the Snail to my earlier remarks about English fiddlers and rolls, trebles and decorations: he asked for chapter and verse on this in MS collections. I suggest a look at the copies of William Irwin's notebooks,

I asked for examples. I want to know and learn. William Irwin's MS on the VMP has quite a few grace notes, one tune with trills marked and one (Lal(Little) Schottische,The. WI.092) with some trills and something that might be called rolls. (I've never come across the word trebles used for a decoration before.)

That gives me something to work on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 12:37 PM

John's previously referenced Village Music Project should give you a few more as well, Bryan. Try some of 'Billy Tilts' as well - Dunno if he plays grace notes but he did play in what is now our folk club:-)

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 12:43 PM

Trebles( I think the term triples is also used) means playing a triplet with the bow on a crotchet when playing a reel. (It may mean other things to other people, that was what I was talking about). It is sometimes notated as threee quavers with a line and a 3 over them, sometimes as two semi-quavers and a quaver. The third note is often taken in one bow with the note that follows.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 12:46 PM

My definition looks a bit ambiguous on re-reading. Perhaps it should be "instead of a crotchet, playing the same note three times. Generally occurs on the beat, ie 1 and 3 in the bar".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 01:44 PM

Can someone suggest one or more websites that have free downloadable sheet music and audio files of traditional English Folk music?

I play an Irish pennywhistle and have mostly played Celtic tunes. This weekend I listened to a fiddle/mandolin player perform some 18th century English tunes , and I'd like to learn to play some of them.

Thanks,

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 05:18 AM

I once attended a workshop at the National Folk Festival at Sutton Bonnington run by Paul Burgess. I found the comment made at the time, 'there are very few recordings of English traditional fiddlers' a bit of a challenge. Since that time I've collected every recording I could find and have come to two conclusions which, although probably observed elsewhere in this thread, always cause younger musicians some annoyance. Firstly there is nothing like a 'school' of English fiddling, each player is idiosyncratic and most usually, self-taught. Secondly, there is a uniform disregard for tonality, even in the most accomplished players such as Ned Pearson. What there is, however, is a strong pulse. This is analogous with the playing of many eastern European players. (for what its worth)
I added this merely to point out that there is a world of difference between 'repertoire' (the actual melodies) and the actual tradition of playing the fiddle. Clearly the repertoire is available to any instrument that will play a melody, the fiddling tradition, such as it is, seems to be different to this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 07:02 AM

De fine English Folk Music is great.

De rubbish English folk music - really is rubbish.

Simple really.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 08:17 AM

Firstly there is nothing like a 'school' of English fiddling, each player is idiosyncratic and most usually, self-taught. Secondly, there is a uniform disregard for tonality, even in the most accomplished players such as Ned Pearson.

That will be my fiddle credo from henceforth, Paul. Being a string player more accustomed to fretted instruments, I've fretted my fiddle with the same 16lb fishing line I use on my crwths & medieval fiddle, thus bringing myself more in line with the first clause than the second. I take heart that fretted fiddles are illustrated on a 13th century post-card from York Minster - and in Beverly Minster it seems that the fiddle & guitar was, in fact, one and the same instrument played by one and the same player. Check out pictures 2 & 9 in a bunch I took there back in the summer.

Medieval Musicians : Beverley Minster

In both, the sculptor (and the restorer) has gone to pains to feature strings rather than frets, but I reckon this is a low-bridged fretted instrument, and it's the same chap playing it, bowed in one and plucked in the other. I also reckon the idiosyncratic fiddle style is a folk memory of such musicians and the uniform disregard for tonality is most likely due to an absense of frets. This begs the question as to why English fiddlers didn't fret their fiddles. I reckon the answer is the same as today - in fear of being sneered at by more accomplished musicians. Myself, I have no such qualms; both my crwths are fretted, likewise my violins and medieval fiddle, though my Black Sea Fiddles / Lyra remain unfretted because it's never been an issue. Oddly, I never had such problems on the double-bass, fretless electric bass likewise...

Meanwhile, I still study the old unfretted fiddlers in awe and deference however idiosyncratic & out-of-tune they might sound to modern ears - and Jim Eldon too, of course, whose playing is examplary in every respect; Michael Hurdley likewise, and that old Catskill fiddler on YouTube, circa 1929, none of whom seem to the same intonation problems as I do. I have an old unfretted fiddle I pick up from time to time; domestically it's no problem at all, but I know if I take it out I'll quickly regret it...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 12:16 PM

'and in Beverly Minster it seems that the fiddle & guitar was, in fact, one and the same instrument played by one and the same player.'
My theory, for what its worth is that the Beverley sculptures were done by the same sculptor as did the Gothic Hall figures in Bruges. The faces and style are virtually identical. That being the case I guess you should go to Bruges to check out the Musical Instrument museum. If this fails to enlighten there's always the 400 + Belgian beers to sample before the ferry comes back.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 12:19 PM

Oh yes, forgot…'Apollo's Banquet for the Violin' by John Playford begins with a short instrucion as to how to play the violin. He recommends tying frets made of gut onto the neck and gives instructions as to how to do it. He does make the point, however, that its only for beginners.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 12:47 PM

He does make the point, however, that its only for beginners.

If it's good enough for Jordi Savall, it's good enough for me, though Savall is a dedicated gamba player, even on his medieval vielles, which doesn't tie in so good with the iconography. I'm happy fiddling over the elbow, but the vielle was played up high - often way up on the shoulder. Seriously, I reckon frets died out as the differentiations between guitar and vielle became more obvious: higher bridge, greater curve, increased neck angle, and the fact that high playing is more a matter of feel than sight. Those vielles you see fretted (such as the York postcard) I reckon were plucked as well; the more violin-like the vielle gets, the harder it is to play it plucked with any degree of dynamic.

I'm currently in a bit of a dilema because the violin doesn't readily lend itself to my pluralist approach to fiddle playing (all four of my fiddles require radically different playing positions) but it remains essential to the scheme of things in it's fretted form. What is a boy to do? Easy - live by the idiosyncratic rule until such a time as one may afford one of THESE.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 06:33 AM

"13th Century post card from York Minster" didn't know they did post cards in the 13th century, if they did I'd sack the post man, that's some late delivery!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Define English Trad Music
From: GUEST,OP
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 09:40 AM

This old chestnut again.

Wonderful photos of the Minster Suibhne! And they got to keep their bagpipes! In [I think] Sherborne Abbey, round my way, someone removed the bagpipes as they were the devil's instrument (quite possibly due to those devilishly good Scottish pipers, but that is conjecture)

'disregard for tonality'

Certainly this seems apparent from recordings.

However (all just my opinion) it doesn't seem to fit with the village band model where fiddlers would also be playing in the church. (i'm thinking Hardy in particular) 2 out of tune fiddles and a (presumably equally off-key) cello would sound just awful when accompanying comparatively tuneful voices.

There is the argument that without the frame of reference for the twelve-tone equal temperament music that we are all bombarded with today, that they wouldn't judge all other music on this scale. Hmmm.

They certainly were not just slumming it, they played all the time and took great pride in it and played in all manners of keys. There are loads of tunes in Winters MS (Somerset same period as the older Hardy MS)in Bb, F, Gmin.

The tunes in these keys actually are great on the fiddle, but they're not an easy option, if you have poor intonation due to skill-level, you would naturally stick to G, D, A major (& relative minors) as your open strings keep you rooted better (and there are plenty of tunes in these keys too), to venture off into F, would sound worse to the player if they lacked this skill.

The fact that they did, i think, suggests their intonation was exactly what they wished it to be (or at least the same as nowadays , where we all strive for that little extra)

On the wider issue. Over the last 3 years I have enjoyed playing with lots of great players from all over England. I have my own style and the tunes I am particulaly enjoying playing at the momement are my local ones .... from 200 years ago. Lucky enough to have 3 great MS, Hardy (well actually that's a BOGOF), Winter and very soon Rose from just a few miles from my house. Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson are due to release a Facsimile of Rose's book over the next month or so!   Yay In fact I'm going to see them playing some of the tunes down at the West Country Christmas Carols Weekend this weekend! Wahoo.

Anyone else going?

Cheers, A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 October 2:52 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.