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The Weekly Walkabout (part 2.)

Related threads:
The re-Imagined Village (946)
BS: WalkaboutsVerse Anew (1193)
The Weekly Walkabout cum Talkabout (380)
The Weekly Walkabout (273) (closed)
Walkaboutsverse (989) (closed)


WalkaboutsVerse 02 Aug 08 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Aug 08 - 11:00 PM
Dave Hanson 03 Aug 08 - 02:14 AM
CarolC 03 Aug 08 - 02:25 AM
catspaw49 03 Aug 08 - 02:53 AM
CarolC 03 Aug 08 - 03:51 PM
Charley Noble 03 Aug 08 - 08:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Aug 08 - 10:27 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 04 Aug 08 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 04 Aug 08 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 04 Aug 08 - 06:27 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 04 Aug 08 - 07:29 AM
catspaw49 04 Aug 08 - 08:00 AM
Joseph P 04 Aug 08 - 08:19 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Aug 08 - 08:30 AM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Aug 08 - 08:55 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 04 Aug 08 - 09:03 AM
catspaw49 04 Aug 08 - 09:06 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 04 Aug 08 - 09:30 AM
catspaw49 04 Aug 08 - 12:32 PM
katlaughing 04 Aug 08 - 12:45 PM
catspaw49 04 Aug 08 - 06:47 PM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Aug 08 - 07:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Aug 08 - 12:01 AM
Amos 05 Aug 08 - 02:55 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Aug 08 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 05 Aug 08 - 10:54 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Aug 08 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 05 Aug 08 - 05:48 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Aug 08 - 07:37 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Aug 08 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 06 Aug 08 - 06:12 AM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Aug 08 - 06:13 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Aug 08 - 06:52 AM
mandotim 06 Aug 08 - 07:05 AM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Aug 08 - 07:13 AM
mandotim 06 Aug 08 - 07:40 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Aug 08 - 09:04 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Aug 08 - 10:12 AM
mandotim 06 Aug 08 - 11:21 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Aug 08 - 12:05 PM
CarolC 06 Aug 08 - 12:17 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Aug 08 - 12:34 PM
mandotim 06 Aug 08 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 06 Aug 08 - 12:40 PM
CarolC 06 Aug 08 - 12:45 PM
Amos 06 Aug 08 - 01:06 PM
lady penelope 06 Aug 08 - 01:10 PM
Jack Blandiver 06 Aug 08 - 01:22 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Aug 08 - 02:31 PM
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Subject: Folklore: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 08:14 AM

(I've been told a mod. will look at why The Weekly Walkabout was closed and, meantime, to start this new temporary thread.)

THE WEEKLY WALKABOUT, E.G.

(I wrote this just after repatriating 11 years ago.)

Poem 43 of 230: A BAYSWATER BED-SIT

Arrived in London,
    At Heathrow Airport -
With sixty kilos
    Of luggage I'd brought.

Found a paper, Loot,
    And called an agent;
Stored two heavy bags,
    Then to him I went.

For one week of rent,
    He'd ensure a bed
Within Bayswater -
    A bed-sit, he said.

It was eighty pounds
    Per week, nothing more,
With a lift arranged
    To the building's door.

Knackered and sleepless,
    I took the deal;
Checked-in quickly,
    Had a rushed meal.

Collected my bags
    (Tube there, shared-van back),
Then carried them up
    To my top-floor shack.

A penthouse - no need,
    It did me just fine;
A cook-top and fridge,
    A table to dine.

Seated, I could watch
    The clouds roll by -
Often from the west -
    Or jets cut the sky.

There were large plane-trees,
    A squirrel or two;
And pigeons dropped by -
    Foregrounding the view.

Plus, at dawn, the sun
    Shined in from the east -
Filling the small room
    As on egg I'd feast.

And contemplating,
    It occurs to me -
If all lived that well,
    How great it would be.

But a lot do sleep
    Outdoors many nights -
On sheets of cardboard,
    Without basic rights.

From walksaboutverse.741.com

    I allowed this thread in the music section because I thought it was mostly poetry. Since it's not, I think it should move back down to the non-music section. No offense intended - it just seems to be time for it to go below the line because it's more "insider" Mudcatter stuff than music-related.
    -Joe Offer-
    13 August 2008


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 11:00 PM

Thanks, W. Your poem arouses clear pictures in my mind.

When my husband and I went to Europe one year (I believe it was 2004), we got the wacky idea of photographing the surfaces we were walking on. There was a 'marble' floor in Heathrow airport with beautiful fossils which we photographed. I'm sure thousands of people walk over them and never notice them.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 02:14 AM

I've just remembered who WAV reminds me of, Arnold Rimmer.

eric


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 02:25 AM

I don't think Arnold Rimmer wrote poetry.

I am reminded more of Stephen Leacock...

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/oh-mr-malthus/

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-social-plan/


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 02:53 AM

You may comment on the poetry, and even critique it. But personal attacks are not allowed. Message deleted.

WAV doesn't write poetry either..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: CarolC
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 03:51 PM

What I can't understand is, if some people don't like what is written in these threads, why they even bother to open them, much less take the time to abuse the person who starts them. I'm guessing they like to get their jollies by bullying easy targets. Or maybe the only way they are able to feel good about themselves is by belittling others.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 08:44 PM

Walkabout-

Thanks for posting this again and becoming a member.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 10:27 PM

Spaw is doing a public service, providing balance. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 06:17 AM

As for Arnold, Eric, sorry but I rarely, if ever, watch television plays. Thanks for the Leacock poems, Carol - before and during writing "Walkabouts: travels and conclusions in verse" I was reading/studying quite a lot of poetry (despite what my old Spawing-partner said!), but it was nearly all from an English anthology, frankly, and I'd not read any of his poems (although I knew the name).
And thanks, Charley - I've just had another message from a moderator, and this thread may be moved up to the music section, where the "walkaboutsverse" now-dead-thread was originally.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 06:26 AM

How does studying one anthology qualify as quite a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 06:27 AM

I never knew Red Dwarf was a television play.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 07:29 AM

Well what kind of television series is it then, Volgadon? And I meant that I read quite a lot of Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Blake, and other "big names" in the English anthology of verse. I've also read a bit of American verse, as well as Australians such as Henry Lawson.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 08:00 AM

Gee.... I thought it was a critique of the poetry.

Actually I agree with moving this thread out of BS. It has a place as folklore above.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Joseph P
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 08:19 AM

I think Red Dwarf is, or at least certainly was a vital part of English / British culture. Indeed watching it is a shared tradition among my contemporaries. Hurrah!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 08:30 AM

What I can't understand is, if some people don't like what is written in these threads, why they even bother to open them, much less take the time to abuse the person who starts them. I'm guessing they like to get their jollies by bullying easy targets. Or maybe the only way they are able to feel good about themselves is by belittling others

If people set themselves up as something, relentlessly promoting themselves and their life's work, then they are openly inviting and actively encouraging criticism, often entirely negative. But it's not a matter of bullying easy targets, rather one of fighting a particular ideological corner that has been breached and otherwise affronted by ideas as odiously inhumane as we find expressed in many of these poems. The only truly offensive thing we find in these threads is the reactionary ideology of the poet coupled with his seemingly desperate need for a platform for a relentless self-promotion which in itself will be regarded with various degrees of suspicion by many here given our own involvements with creative work, on whatever level.

Apart from anything else, Mudcat is a place of recreation; a place to sit around and chat, with a little bit of self-promotion here and there, but for the most part we're just getting on with what we do in our creative / professional lives and coming here for a bit crack on topics that interest and amuse us. There are other places for self-promotion and publication - and, personally, I would dearly love to see an end of it on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 08:55 AM

"There are other places for self-promotion and publication - and, personally, I would dearly love to see an end of it on Mudcat."


The Fooles Troupe think deeply about this and then ignore it.


THE AUTHOR


:-P


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 09:03 AM

...is that you playing a crumhorn, FT?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 09:06 AM

It also might be worth taking it another step further. If you have actually visited WAV's site it needs more coherency and organiztion not available in the webspace he's using.

His works are an important example of the emerging additions to the folklore of the world and need to be hosted elsewhere so they can be more readily seen. As he is a 'Catter perhaps Max could host it here. It would save a lot of the reposting WAV has to do and instead of long threads he could be aided in making his works available to all on disc as is done with the DT.   This might be done as an adjunct to the DT which might aid in also drawing more to Mudcat.

His verses could also be accessed by several different searches if it were hosted here. This too might aid both the DT and Mudcat in visitors.



Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 09:30 AM

When I first posted the "walkaboutsverse" thread, Spaw, folks said I should re-do my site, with one poem per page. I've left it as an E-scroll (similar to a mudcat thread), but I did transfer it from Word to FrontPage, which cut the KBs from about 900 to about 650.
I've also tried and failed to put the lot as a myspace blog - so, instead, I have just the same Weekly Walkabout as here.
This was done with a level 1, and a bit of level 2, computer certificate behind me, on a free put-up-with-ads site, and I accept there are many who could do it better. But, once on the site, it is very easy to navigate, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 12:32 PM

I'm sure Max or Dick could help you a lot with a better way to search yourwritings to help find pertinent information. I could see it as a part of the DT in a way once Max agreed to host it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 12:45 PM

Spaw what are you smokin'? I don't even see any kitty litter needing to be cleaned up!:->


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 06:47 PM

I quit smoking everything as you know darlin'..............I'm just trying to give WAV a few options here.

I think Max and Dick will see the value and importance of his life's work and try to perhaps get him aboard here so he can more easily and broadly share. Making a more searchable and accessible version of his verse cannot but help and will also bring additional interest in both the Digitrad and Mudcat. At the very least it would be a wonderful complement and valuable adjunct to the DT.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 07:29 PM

"...is that you playing a crumhorn, FT?"

Nope - I've been eating beans again.


Oh, the site! Sorry!

No - I obtained the music midi files from someone on the net - who has now shifted, and I have lost track of where his new site is.



"folks said I should re-do my site,"

I would totally agree.

If you look at the way I did 'The Fooles Routines' pages, that is the sort of layout I would suggest, WAV - one poem/item per HTML page. I made a basic HTML file template, then plugged in each routine. As I wrote new ones, I just wrote them straight in to the template (remember to save a backup copy of the template somewhere!). As I added each new one, I just modified the HTML index pages. I have several indexes, some by date, some by theme. You can do as many manual indexes as you want. Really, for a 'small' collection, doing it by hand that way is far less hassle than setting up some sort of live search engine!

I would also suggest that doing the HTML 'by hand' as basic as possible, using all the HTML defaults, gives the smallest file sizes - faster downloads, and more files in the storage area allowed. Most of those programs you mention add so much pointless bloated crap that you can easily shrink down to about 1/4 or less the size of 'real' (essential***) HTML. If you really paid attention to those courses, and properly read the HTML (recommend staying with HTML Ver4) manual, you can easily work it out - then it's just practice!

***HTML was intentionally designed for simplicity (assuming that the viewer would be setting all the defaults, such as fonts, sizes, colours, etc), then the 'experts' turned it into just another "Pretty Print Text Layout" mess.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 12:01 AM

Is there a surgeon handy who can deal with such severe cases of the Mudcat lingua franca?

SRS

(AKA tongue-in-cheek disease)


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Amos
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 02:55 AM

Spaw done jumped the shark with a weiner in his mouth this time.


A


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 05:11 AM

That's what I thought, FT - FrontPage is more efficient than Word (above), but someone who knows html could (given quite a lot of time I'd imagine) cut the KBs down again considerably, with the exact same E-scroll format (which I do prefer to 1 page/poem). The CSV course I did here was just level 1, and we learnt web-design with Word. I taught myself FrontPage (there wasn't much extra to know) when folks on mudcat and elsewhere said it was more efficient; but, yes, I believe you that there's still lots of unnecessary html in there. However, when I find a spelling mistake or suchlike, FrontPage makes it quick and easy to fix, plus more-and-more have broadband and are used to heavier sites from using myspace, etc...also, there's the keyboard and recorder fingering to more than 50 tunes to learn and, ideally, get into my head!


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 10:54 AM

Well, as it shares very little in common with plays, I would call it a comedy series.

As for poetry, that isn't really what you said.

"Well what kind of television series is it then, Volgadon? And I meant that I read quite a lot of Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Blake, and other "big names" in the English anthology of verse. I've also read a bit of American verse, as well as Australians such as Henry Lawson."


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 05:23 PM

Either way, Volgadon, I'd rather watch (sometimes while on the computer, sometimes while practising the more difficult keyboard and recorder fingering in my repertoire) documentaries, news, tennis, or listen, via satellite, to folk radio from different parts of these isles.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 05:48 PM

I was just wondering why you called it a play, when it shares little of the format or style of a play. Documentaries are great, news is pointless to watch for more than a couple of times a day, sports are alright if you enjoy them and music is wonderful, but so is watching comedy.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 07:37 PM

"someone who knows HTML [note correct capitals!] could (given quite a lot of time I'd imagine) cut the KBs down again considerably,"

Not as much time as you might think. Actually it would be easier with most of those programs to just start from the beginning with a clean slate - and a PLANNED [on paper] Layout.

"The CSV course I did here was just level 1, and we learnt web-design with Word."

AAAAAGGGGGHHHH! I'm disgusted people are paid money to brain damage others with that rubbish! :-) It's NOT 'HTML' it's just an error ridden "word porncessor"! I mean it F***s up the HTML...


"FrontPage ... there's still lots of unnecessary html in there."
"when I find a spelling mistake or suchlike, FrontPage makes it quick and easy to fix"

Ah! If you want to speak French fluently, you don't think in English and translate everything - you learn to THINK IN FRENCH! If you want to write good compact correct HTML, you WRITE GOOD CORRECT HTML DIRECT! If you want, you CAN write it with just notepad, but I used NotePad Plus (even PAID for it!) under Windoze - I am looking for something else to run under Linux. The program colour coded all the correct open & close HTML 'buckets' if the syntax was correct, or it just showed black text starting where there was a problem. It also could load templates for any programming language. It thus picked up any HTML syntax spelling error instantly, while typing.


"more-and-more have broadband and are used to heavier sites from using myspace"

Ah - but people still PAY for the VOLUME (with limits), so that argument is just as hopelessly weak as the one about 'big files just load slower on dialup' - the MacroCrap Argument... just ask John in Kansas about Microsoft .... :-) I HATE 'MyCrapSpace' - and I use all sort of tools to shut off most of the graphics to speed it up, unless it is something I really WANT to see... :-) When I save a 'file' from places like there, I also get umpty dozen files of pointless useless crap in css & js files as well, that usually just DUPLICATE all the 'standard HTML defaults' anyway! ... which means that 'the author' (or their manager) doesn't really know the theory of what they are doing...   KISS! There's also less to go wrong then...


"also, there's the keyboard and recorder fingering to more than 50 tunes to learn and, ideally, get into my head"

Hmmm, you REALLY need to think, if learning tunes always seems so difficult, are you really a 'muso'? :-(

50? 50 ?!! 50??!!!!! Only 50 !!!!? I play about a dozen different instruments, and never bother about learning things off by heart, after all I learnt by 'the classical method' where it is usually expected that you will have the dots as a mainly unlooked at 'security blanket' anyway. That said I can play thousands of tunes (different ones on each instrument) without music, but the hassle is remembering the way they start... :-) Of course I can also extemporise endlessly, as I used to do on Pipe Organ instead of playing from sheet music during the Walkout - wait on, I mean after the service finished! :-)

Of course, we all have to start somewhere, and the first few years are always the hardest...


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 03:53 AM

Thanks, FT, and, yes, as the months go by, I am getting a bit quicker/better at learning a new tune from the score; memorising it (which is a folky thing, but, apparently, also the trend in classical music); and mimicking, on recorder/keys, my Chants from Walkabouts (I've about half of these simple tunes "worked out", I think?!).
Having read your info. on HTML, I opened the "walkaboutsverse" dead-thread, which closed just short of a 1000 posts, and, for comparison, did a right-click of my mouse for "properties" - it said about 1300KB, which made me think that maybe my FrontPage version is not that inefficient at about 650KB for 230 poems..?
I think others did that same level 1 course on web-design, at the CSV, on FrontPage, and I've heard others say we should not have been learning on Word. But, as I say, there was not much extra to learn when I did transfer to FrontPage.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 06:12 AM

The trend?????? Eh? Most musicians try to memorise the tunes they play, at least partways. Classical music tends to emphasize exactness, and is of considerable length, so naturally you use sheet music a lot.

"memorising it (which is a folky thing, but, apparently, also the trend in classical music);"


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 06:13 AM

"memorising it (which is a folky thing, but, apparently, also the trend in classical music"

Actually the Prima Donna Soloists have always done it in Classical Music, but 'Session Musos' in all genres have always been good 'sight readers'.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 06:52 AM

I was thinking of the BBCs young musician of the year competition, which is mostly classical and once involved a senior judge criticising a young classical musician for NOT sight reading. And, in the last one, the Beeb showed (perhaps too much) how the students prepared, with visualisation techiniques being popular. Thus, I stand by what I said regarding a trend toward playing-by-heart in the classical scene, more than in the past (which that judge also noted).
Would you both agree, FT and Volgadon, that the ideal "in all genres" is to be able to sight-read and play-by-ear well?


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: mandotim
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 07:05 AM

Regarding the need to read music, I'm reminded of the old story about the very famous country music bass player in Nashville, who was asked on arriving at a recording session 'Do you read music?'. The reply? 'Not enough to hurt my playing'.
As with so many things, a search for absolutes and 'ideal' situations seems futile. There are just too many variables; live or recording studio? Music genre? Structured or improvisation? Solo or ensemble? The good news is it seems to be possible to succeed in music with or without the ability to read music. The real determinants seem to be talent, motivation, dedication and a degree of originality.
Incidentally WAV; well done for not mentioning your website in your last post.
Tim


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 07:13 AM

Also Tim,

In a 'restricted music genre' some musos only need to know the 'formula' to make their part fit in the ensemble,e.g. some parts need only the chord progression, not the melody as such.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: mandotim
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 07:40 AM

Hi Foolestroupe! Agreed; in something like the blues, or country, or even traditional tunes, there is an underlying formula that tends to dictate the structure. The people I consider to be really talented seem to be able to play outside the patterns and switch readily between genres, and are able to be proficient in the new genre almost immediately. Gardner (see here) has a theory of mutiple intelligences, suggesting that our traditional idea of academic intelligence is too limited. One of his 'intelligences' is a musical intelligence. Perhaps this exists independently of the ablity to sight read?
Tim


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 09:04 AM

"The real determinants seem to be talent, motivation, dedication and a degree of originality."...now that really IS idealistic, Mandotim...you don't see any taut-tushed mimers making a fortune from the music industry - I think there's heaps of hype...

"Within the broader music industry, and beyond, what some get for their hour's work, compared with others, is ridiculous and inhumane; hence, many relatively competent musicians within the folk-scene are really struggling to make ends meet; so, if we like fair competition, we don't like capitalism. A better way, as I've suggested in verse, is to accept that humans are competitive, and have strong regulations (partly via nationalisation) to make that competition as fair as possible – whilst also providing "safety-net" support" (from here).


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 10:12 AM

Perhaps this exists independently of the ability to sight read?

Let's hope so! This is a particular bugbear with me as, try as I might, I cannot understand musical notation in any shape or form. I think there's a defective gene, or some sort of dyslexic thing going on in what I laughingly call my brain that has been a scourge and embarrassment for my entire life. If I hated music this wouldn't be a problem of course, much less if I wasn't a pretender to the cause in terms of experimental, medieval & folkish idioms, but I console myself with the thoughts that musical notation is a comparatively recent development in terms of western history anyway, emerging with regard to the medieval scholastic tradition and developing into the music we now think of as Classical, which by definition includes all Western derived Art Music of the last nine hundred years.

Meanwhile, the non-literate Non-Art Music existed by virtue of some other process, evolving out of the melismatic modal crooning of the Indo-European hunter-gatherers which somehow sang itself into existence like birdsong and of which we still find an echo in the Irish sean nos or the Sami joik, or in the Muezzin calling the faithful to prayer, which, in turn, works its way into the Revival of British Folk Song via Ewan McColl trying to get some of that into his own singing, and urging others to do likewise. This other thing we think of as the Oral Tradition is not simply a matter of playing by ear, rather being a part of a transfigurative process of dissemination by which the thing itself undergoes a vibrant renewal with each new birth, both individually, and collectively, which is the essence of the process we might think of as being Folk Music. Once we write it down it's dead on the page; it's a relic in a museum, but not without its own persuasive mediumistic potency should we be successful in raising the spectres of ages past in that most glorious of Seances we call The Singaround, or, for those of an instrumental bent, The Session.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: mandotim
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 11:21 AM

WAV, I won't apologise for seeming idealistic :)! However, there is some pragmatism here as well; if you look at those performers who have sustained a career beyond the ephemeral world of the one or two hit wonder, there is generally a degree of real musical ability there, either in the performer themselves or in those who play/arrange/produce the music for them. I'm able to ignore (mostly) the taut tushed mimers, as you put it, and listen to what's actually going on in the music. A good example here is K T Tunstall, an English singer/songwriter. She could be viewed as a lightweight pop singer, but no; she is older than the norm, and has done the hard work of gigging with a band for some years before getting a break. 'Manufactured' boy/girl singing groups tend not to sustain, although they make a lot of money while they can. Those who do sustain tend to have talent; have you ever heard Westlife singing a capella with no amplification? I took my youngest daughter to see them some years ago. They stepped out from the mikes, and filled a large theatre with a really glorious sound.
There is a danger here though, and that's the pernicious practice of sampling the work of others and putting it out as your own; the recent offering from Kid Rock springs to mind, a blatant sample of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London. Anyone with a mixer and a computer can do this now, thanks to digital technology, and it worries me that there is less incentive to develop original talent as a result.
Regarding the determinants; I forgot 'luck'!
Back to promoting your website I see. Sigh.
Tim


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 12:05 PM

I agree in part, again, Tim - but the examples you give are people from these parts practising American culture instead of their own (as The Beatles were very good at). As a multiculturalist, I admire much more folks from around the world who are good at THEIR OWN culture.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 12:17 PM

For me, when the recorder was my main instrument, I practiced until the fingering became second nature and I never really had to think about it any more. And then, once that happened, all I had to do was know a melody in my head, and if I could whistle it, I could play it on the recorder. Which, I guess, is another way of saying I tended to play by ear. I could do this with any simple melody, but much longer classical pieces, I had difficulty with playing because I couldn't memorize them very well, and I never was able to read music for the recorder.

I can read music for the accordion, and I do (mostly for the basses, which I sometimes have difficulty memorizing), but I can play a melody on the keyboard side by ear (if I can whistle it, I can play it). I'm sure that's because I've been playing on keyboards since I was a child and the notes have become second nature on that instrument as well.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 12:34 PM

It didn't take me long to teach myself, in my late 30s, to sight-read (only the top-line melody, mind) but I find playing-by-ear/mimicking my above-mentioned Chants much more difficult (I'd earlier simply found a way to sing/chant my verses without being able to read or write music). On the other hand, someone sat next to me at a folk-club, who can't sight-read, worked out the fingering for a folk-song literally within minutes of me singing it - I guess it's at least partly knowing the instrument very well, as you say, Carol.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: mandotim
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 12:39 PM

WAV, I wish you would get off your one-note melody about Englishness; I'm trying to have a rational and friendly discussion here. KT Tunstall; have you ever heard her sing? Do you know what she sings about? Her songs are about her experience here, in England. Westlife are Irish, and I didn't name the song I used as an example. It was a traditional Irish air, sung unaccompanied, with words by an Irishman. How was that 'American culture'?
Are you saying that the whole of the Beatles canon was American? Have you ever been to Penny Lane? Do you know where Strawberry Fields is?
I'm going to leave this thread now, because I'm always bored by monomaniacs.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 12:40 PM

WAV, nearly every aspect of English cultutre has it's roots somewhere else in the world. Morriss dancing is a case in point, as is tennis. Your very recorder is another case in point, a foreign instrument used to play courtly music brought over from Europe.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 12:45 PM

Here's a couple of websites I designed and built using only some CSS I stole from other sites and HTML. I've not ever used any tools for building websites, and while mine are far from professional, it shows that someone with little or no training can build a workable website without using any tools (everything I know, I learned from a book on HTML, from studying other people's websites, and some basic stuff from the Mudcat). The first one uses a free service and as one can see, the ads aren't too intrusive, and they can even be hidden by the person viewing the page...

http://www.geocities.com/kevan_tolley/index.htm

http://www.alcdv.com/ArtFurniture.html


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 01:06 PM

THose are very nice web pages, Carol!


A


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: lady penelope
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 01:10 PM

I don't understand this 'written music versus learning by ear thing'. Nobody complains or argues about the written word, why this friction about writing music down, or being able to read it? And what's this absolute rubbish about written music being an anathema to the 'folk process'? You think 'cos some one writes a melody down it'll never be improvised upon, nor evolve in any way??? Puh-lease...

Really guys, get over the whole written music thing. It's a tool and like any other, works extremely well for those who learn to use it properly. If you don't wanna use it, fine, but don't turn not using written music into an idealistic 'folk banner' to march behind. Sheesh...


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 01:22 PM

THEIR OWN culture

Here's the universal cultural formula, WAV: Culture = What Folks Do.

Its the doing of it that makes it their own, rather than any nationalistic provenance which can always be proven to be at best spurious, at worst specious.


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Subject: RE: The Weekly Walkabout (temp.)
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 02:31 PM

I thought KT Tunstall and Westlife perform in the pop style, which is one of the American genres. This is not to say I've never enjoyed any American pop - Avril Lavigne, e.g., is a great American singer, in my opinion.
On my computer, I had trouble with your first site, Carol, but like your other one.


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