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Are there any English slow airs?

GUEST,hrh 14 Nov 08 - 06:03 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Nov 08 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Ed 14 Nov 08 - 06:29 PM
The Sandman 15 Nov 08 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,Wolfhound person, lost my password 15 Nov 08 - 05:38 AM
bubblyrat 15 Nov 08 - 07:01 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 15 Nov 08 - 07:12 AM
The Sandman 15 Nov 08 - 08:52 AM
The Sandman 15 Nov 08 - 09:06 AM
treewind 15 Nov 08 - 09:47 AM
treewind 15 Nov 08 - 11:11 AM
MartinRyan 15 Nov 08 - 01:17 PM
Suegorgeous 15 Nov 08 - 08:54 PM
greg stephens 16 Nov 08 - 07:07 AM
Jack Campin 16 Nov 08 - 07:59 AM
The Sandman 16 Nov 08 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Nov 08 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,crazy little woman 16 Nov 08 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,hrh 17 Nov 08 - 03:43 PM
greg stephens 17 Nov 08 - 03:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 08 - 04:01 PM
Jack Campin 17 Nov 08 - 04:01 PM
GUEST 17 Nov 08 - 04:06 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Nov 08 - 04:10 PM
greg stephens 17 Nov 08 - 04:39 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 08 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,c.g. 18 Nov 08 - 04:38 AM
Paul Burke 18 Nov 08 - 04:53 AM
The Sandman 18 Nov 08 - 04:58 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Nov 08 - 06:20 AM
greg stephens 18 Nov 08 - 06:41 AM
greg stephens 18 Nov 08 - 06:55 AM
Snuffy 18 Nov 08 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Dave Rowlands 18 Nov 08 - 09:11 AM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Nov 08 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,c.g. 18 Nov 08 - 10:22 AM
GUEST, Sminky 18 Nov 08 - 10:29 AM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Nov 08 - 10:45 AM
greg stephens 18 Nov 08 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,c.g. 18 Nov 08 - 12:40 PM
Jack Campin 18 Nov 08 - 04:58 PM
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Subject: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,hrh
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 06:03 PM

Are there any English slow airs?


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 06:07 PM

yes


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 06:29 PM

I'd second David. There are, in fact, many.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 02:46 AM

try the northumbrian pipers tune book.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,Wolfhound person, lost my password
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 05:38 AM

www.northumbrianpipers.org.uk/books

Paws


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 07:01 AM

Loads


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 07:12 AM

Are there any fish in the sea?

http://www.efdss.org/library.htm


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 08:52 AM

here is one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItcBocS_x_M


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 09:06 AM

hers another.
http://www.soundlantern.comalso the following titles Wild hills of Wannie,SweetHesleyside,Rothbury Hills.
also Cape Clear,this was originally Black Eyed Susan an air by Leveridge which was sung in the Village Opera in 1729.It was collected by Petrie and published by Pigot and co [dublin 1876].
http://www.dickmiles.com it is a sample of my cd Nautical and,under the title Cape Clear,Cape Clear was originally an English slow air,you can hear it at myabove mentioned website.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: treewind
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 09:47 AM

There don't seem to be many played in sessions, if you don't count waltzes. For that reason Mary and I introduced the Sun Assembly into our repertoire. It's an 18th century dance tune, slow and graceful and still danced now in some places, and we thought it fitted the bill very nicely.

There's lots of Northumbrian pipe tunes like Wild Hills of Wannie, of course.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: treewind
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 11:11 AM

PS we're also doing A Northern Lass now, a splendid English slow air, as far as I know neither a dance tune nor that of a song.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 01:17 PM

Is there a difference between "an English slow air" and "a slow English air"? Or, in other words, what exactly did ghostly GUEST hrh mean?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 08:54 PM

Aren't most airs slow? was my impression...


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 07:07 AM

Since the phrase "slow air" was coined to describe slow non-rhythmic non-dance Irish music, you could say that technically the answer to this question is no. There can't be an English slow air.But if the question means are there slow non-rhythmic non-dance English tunes, then the answer is yes, loads.
Many airs, incidentally, double as dance tunes when played fast and rhytmically.
   My own observation is that slow lyrical listening music has been more common in the north and west of England, as compared to the south and east. This may however be personal prejudice, serious research into English traditional music is still in its infancy.
   Some particular favourites of mine are "Never Love thee More"(aka Derwentwater's Farewell), the "Northern Lass"(mentioned by treewind earlier) and the "Beggar Boy of the North".

   All, incidentally, are available on "The Beggar Boy of the North", Greg Stephens and Crookfinger Jack, Harbourtown HARCD051.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 07:59 AM

The first collections of slow airs in the British Isles took them from all four nations - Dan Wright's "Aria di Camera", for example. But by the end of the18th century the Scottish ones predominated. This was a result of the unusual way in which Scottish traditional music developed, being adopted in the place of European-style art music by the elite (and in the Highlands using the flute, violin, harp and piano to fill the space vacated by the declining genre of piobaireachd). This created a role for elaborate listening pieces as fixed compositions, which in Scotland ramified into many subgenres (variations on songs, laments, pastorals, slow strathspeys). From the start the flute was the preferred instrument for this, and stayed that way well into the 19th century. The modern Irish "slow air" is largely a spinoff of the older Scottish genre, requiring instruments that only became widely available in Ireland in the 19th century - there are vastly more of the old Scottish tunes, even though they were not given a single unifying label. (The role of Carolan's tunes is an example: the Irish held on to Carolan, despite him not being all that good, because they didn't have much to replace him with; his tunes vanish into oblivion in Scottish collections after about 1750, there was a flood of new stuff appearing).

There must have been many occasions when English instrumentalists made up their own elaborations of folk songs when they needed a display piece, but with European art music occupying a central role these didn't get to develop as freely as they did in Scotland. If an English landowner wanted music to impress people he'd get his wife to play Beethoven on the piano or hire a brass band.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:33 AM

(The role of Carolan's tunes is an example: the Irish held on to Carolan, despite him not being all that good, because they didn't have much to replace him with.QUOT Jack Campin.
can you explain,why they are not all that good.
or do you mean, you dont like them very much,something totally different.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 10:11 PM

HRH asked the question 48 hours ago and hasn't been back. Maybe he got distracted by his 60th-birthday party.

So, HRH, why did you want to know? Idle curiosity? Are you looking for tunes to play? Or what?


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 10:16 PM

Oh, you mean this HRH? Ya think?

birthday bash


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,hrh
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:43 PM

If we exclude Northumberland, which is a seperate tradition, and we exclude slowed down country dance tunes and song tunes, what do we have left?


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:51 PM

Why exclude Northumberland? I noticed that the "EFDSS Hardcore English" CD didn't exclude any NE music either. I must express extreme anger at this normally unarticulated but deeply held belief expressed by many folkies that, say, the Cotswolds and Sussex and East Anglia are the "real" English, but other portions may be less so. Shropshire is too Welsh, Lanmcashire is too Irish, Cumbria and Northumberland are too Scottish. I might say that Sussex is too French, for that matter,but I wouldn't: Scan Tester and Billy Pigg are both great English musicians, and I am not going to rank them for Englishness. Northumbria is close to Cumbria, and far from Hampshire. But they are all English, all separate in one sense, and together in another.
But, does Northumbria have more slow music than Sussex? Yes, assuredly, in recent history anyway. But both have lots of sheep.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:55 PM

Northumberland is a region of England. So are Yorkshire, East Anglia, and so on. Not even the Northumbrian tradition is 'separate'; none of the regional traditions are. Call them 'distinct', if you like, but let's not pretend that everything changes at county boundaries; or national ones, come to that.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:01 PM

Northumberland is England,so is the Isle of Wight.,so is Cornwall.
Cornwall is part of England.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:01 PM

Northumberland evolved in a similar way to Scotland, in that the Northumbrian pipes developed a tradition of showpieces in the local idiom designed for performance to the elite. Nowhere else in England had such a development. (James Hill's music for the dancehalls and pubs of Newcastle and Gateshead doesn't have anything like it, for that matter, though Hill could certainly have composed slow display tunes if he'd needed them).

Anyway we want Berwick back, please.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:06 PM

I am aware that Northumberland has a wealth of slow airs and I am not trying to insinuate that some areas are more English than others. But,whenever I ask about English slow airs the only ones that are mentioned are Northumbrian. I'm trying to find out if there are slow airs from other parts of England


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:10 PM

Then why didn't you say so in the first place?


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:39 PM

WWell, I have mentioned a few English tunes that get played to listen to, as opposed to dance two. The Northern Lass, Never Love Thee More,the Beggar Boy of the North. To which I might the various English versions of the Broom, and Westmoreland. Now, these are just a few I have played myself over the years, and recorded. I would think of them all as northern in feel, certainly, but I challenge anyone to prove they are Northumbrian. They just aren't, as far as I can tell.Anybody who makes pontifical statements about the origins of tunes needs to be prepared to give chapter and verse.
I will stick by what I've said already: the tradition of playing slower music for listening too has been stronger in the north than the south in recent years. But to claim that Northumbria doesn't count is just silly.
However, I will certainly agree that the traditions of, say, Cumbria Northumberland and Shropshire don't fit into the notion of "Englishness", as peddled by the practitioners of "English country music";the stuff that was developed by the usual suspects in the 70's and 80's. They certainly didn't play slow airs, for sure: they were much too jolly! But English music is emphatically not only Flowers and Frolics, Old Swan Band, Scan Tester, Headington Quarry and Walter Bulwer etc etc. They are the south-eastern contingent; there are other worlds up in the frozen north and the celtic twilight west!


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:59 PM

well said Greg,and may


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,c.g.
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:38 AM

Greg, are you wilfully mis-understandig hrh's point? They have not said Northumbrian music is not English, never mind Northumberland isn't part of England. They have not said Northumbrian music doesn't count. They have not said only southern music is English. They made it plain that they were asking about the existence of tunes which were neither Northumbrian, (which is widely known to have a rich tradition of slow airs), slowed-down dance tunes or song tunes. In other words, what slow airs are there from the rest of England?

They have made the very valid point that, outside of the Northumbrian pipe-influenced tradition, there is little evidence of English slow airs which are neither song tunes nor slowed down dance tunes.

This is something I have noticed and wondered about for some considerable time.

Perhaps we could now stop getting angry about something which was never said in the first place and answer these questions - what is the distribution of slow airs throughout England, other than Northumbria's rich,vibrant, well-known and well-respected and undoubtedly English tradition, and if there are very few, particularly in the south, why is this?


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:53 AM

If you exclude foreign tunes, song tunes and slowed- down tunes, are there any Irish slow airs?


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:58 AM

in answer to guest cg.Cape Clear.originally BlackEyed Susan an air by Leviridge originally sung in the Village Opera IN 1729.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 06:20 AM

'If you exclude foreign tunes, song tunes and slowed- down tunes, are there any Irish slow airs'

(slow)airs ARE song tunes by definition aren't they? In the Irish context mostly from the Sean Nos singing tradition, which shapes them into the way they are.

Did the Irish 'hold on to Carolan's tunes' or were they raised from the dead by Sean O' Riada?


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 06:41 AM

No c.g, I don't think I was wilfully misunderstanding hrh's point.
The question is "Are there any English slow airs", and hrh said "If we exclude Northumberland, which is a seperate tradition" etc etc.I was pointing out that weasel words like that carry an unspoken assumption that needs to be faced sometimes. That assumption is, that there is an English tradition, which is separate from the Northumbrian tradition. My position is that the English tradition is large and multi-faceted, and includes the music Cotswolds, East Anglia, Lancashire, Northumberland etc. Now, this is maybe nitpicking over forms of words....but people who use forms of words like hrh there soon start falling into the trap of thinking that some things are more English than others. I say it again: just because Northumbrian music sounds a bit Scottish, it is no less part of the English tradition than a good old boy in a Norfolk pub with a melodeon. And just because Shropshire tunes may sound a bit Welsh doesn't give them any less status as traditonal music than the Mellstock quires sounds.
    I would also suggest that the geographical spread of slow listening music may have more to with time than intrinsic cultural differences. For example, we(in particular, the "Celtic" tourist industry)tend to associate bagpipes and harps with the western and northern regions of the British Isles, and therefore present them as a fine indigenous habit driven out by the filthy strangers/Angl-Saxon invaders. In fact, of course, the Anglo-Saxons had harps and bagpipes just the same as everybody else. But their heartlands moved into capitalism and industrialism quicker than the Celtic fringes, and the cultural changes tended to weaken,and in some cases get rid of many old ways. Among which we may number bagpipes, harps and slow airs, not to mention pubs where you can buy shoelaces..
    For that reason, when I was looking for nice slow sad English music to record, since I love slow sad music, I looked mainly in the north. And found!


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 06:55 AM

Aprops of Cap'n Birsdeye's point a while ago, watch out for the Cape Clear Festival next June, where the Boat Band will undoubtedly be rendering the aforesaid air.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 09:06 AM

Greg, I think you're probably more likely to find that people who say it's not English are within the Northumbrian tradition rather than outside it. (And the same for Cornwall too)


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,Dave Rowlands
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 09:11 AM

Hi...

Northunberland is different. It is racially diffferent, pollitically different,historically different, different government, and religious seats, and its music has grown up to reflect that. Just because it has a border with England, doesn't mean that it is "English". One could liken it to Catalunia, part of Spain, but independent as well!

Getting back to topic, the Whim seems to be a good air when played slowly. I know this doesn't fit the above category, but are we looking for English sounding airs, or being pedantic?

This from the Fiddlers companion…

WHIM [1], THE. AKA – "Bartholomew Fair." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning. AB (Sharp): AABB (Barnes). The tune dates to 1695 where it appears in the 9th edition of John Playford's English Dancing Master. It was reprinted in 1721 in the 17th edition of the work, with the title "The Whim, or Bartholomew Fair." Regarding the alternate title, Bartholomew Fair is the name of Ben Jonson's play, written in 1614, and refer to an annual fair held in West Smithfield held between the years 1133–1855 on St. Bartholomew's Day. So famous was the fair that aspects of it entered popular vernacular, at leas for a time. For example, a 'Bartholomew doll' was a tawdry, overdressed woman, in association with a flashy, bespangled doll that could be found for sale at the fair. A 'Bartholomew pig' was a very fat person, derived from the fact that one of the chief attractions of the fair were pigs, roasted whole, and sold piping hot to the crowd. Shakespeare makes reference to this in Henry IV (ii 4) when Falstaff calls himself:
***
A tidy little Bartholomew boar-pig.
***
Bruce Olson finds the melody also published in Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing Master of 1718, and reprinted by the same publisher in 1735 in his Third Book of the same work. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of a Scottish tune by this name in print in Robert Ross's 1780 collection (pg. 12). Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909/1994; pg. 53. Harvest 0777 7 81428 2 9, Albion Dance Band – "The Prospect Before Us" (1993. Orig. rec. in 1976).


X:1
T:Whim, The
M:6/8
L:1/8
S:Sharp – Country Dance Tunes (1909)
Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion
K:G
d|BGG G>AB|c2B A2G|FAA A2B|c>de dBG|c>dB ABc|BGG G2d|
BGG G>AB|c2B A2G|FAA A2B|c>de dBG|c>dB ABc|BGG G2||
B|c>de/f/ g>fe|dBc A2G|cAA A>Bc|d3 c3|B>cB A2d|BGG G2B|
c>de/f/ g>fe|dBc A2G|cAA A>Bc|d3 c3|B>cB A2d|BGG G2||


One might think that Lakeland fiddler William Irwin's tune Ja's Porterus's lamentation for old Doctor Clapperton is an air as well
Portuses lamentation

All the best,

Dave Rowlands


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 09:31 AM

Northumberland is, politically, part of England; no special pleading is going to change that. Your argument can equally be applied to all the regions that comprise England; and, for that matter, to the regions of most (if not all) countries in the world. Is Aberdeenshire Scottish? Is Kerry Irish? Is the Ardèche French?

Where traditional vernacular cultures are concerned, the regional/local approach is generally more productive when attempting analysis; 'national' culture is largely an artificial construct. To deny that the regions of a country are part of that country is unhelpful, however, and will inevitably weaken any argument which includes that assumption.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,c.g.
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 10:22 AM

I'm still puzzled by the amount of baggage placed on hrh's request for information on what is left if -'if' - we look at what is not included in three categories of music (not geographical areas)

I think this says more about the people making the comments than hrh. And I speak as a Northerner.

"To deny that the regions of a country are part of that country is unhelpful, however, and will inevitably weaken any argument which includes that assumption. " - who said that? hrh certainly didn't.

And Captain Birdseye, "in answer to guest cg.Cape Clear.originally BlackEyed Susan an air by Leviridge originally sung in the Village Opera IN 1729. ". Ah, a song tune.

"Slow airs are by definition song tunes"?????????????????? No. Slow airs are - slow airs. They may, for example, have an unsingably large range.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 10:29 AM

Just because it has a border with England, doesn't mean that it is "English".

If it had a border with England, then it couldn't be English. It has a border with Scotland on all the maps I've looked at.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 10:45 AM

If a point is raised that distracts from the matter in hand, then it needs to be addressed if only to get it out of the way. It is reasonably clear, I'd have thought, that my comment was made in response to Dave Rowlands, not the original questioner.

As to establishing terms of reference, you will of course know that the term 'slow air' as used in Ireland is frequently explained as an instrumental development of the singing tradition; no longer dependent on vocal range, considerable expansion becomes possible. Though a common definition and helpful so far as it goes, I certainly would not consider it all-inclusive. Jack Campin's first post in this discussion is pretty comprehensive in that regard.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 12:20 PM

I know that many in Cornwall, Cumbria, Northumbria etc habitually refer to England as being elsewhere. Just as inhabitants of Orkney and Shetland will point out they are not Scottish.That is fine, as a Cornish Cumbrian I do myself. I often refer the A30, and the A595, as "the road back to England". But if outsiders refer to eg Northumbrian music as not being English, that is slightly different. Because you have to ask, what is it, then? Basically, I reserve the right to say "I am not English", that is my choice.But if someone in London says my music is not English, I will say,it's just as English as yours. I appreciate that questions of multiple identity are not always totally logical or self-consistent.
By the by, a recent post refers to "James Porteous' Farewell to old Dr Clapperton" as being an English air, as it comes from William Irwin's Cumbrian MSS. Well, we might be chopping logic here, and Irwin doubtless played the tune in England. But James Porteous, the composer, was actually a Scottish fiddler.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: GUEST,c.g.
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 12:40 PM

'But if outsiders refer to eg Northumbrian music as not being English, that is slightly different.'

Please give examples within this discussion of outsiders referring to Northumbrian music as not being English.

hrh wanted to know, if you look at the totality of English music, and you put Northumbrian music, slowed down dance tunes and song tunes on one side and examine the rest, what slow airs do you find. This is obvious to anyone who actually read the post.


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Subject: RE: Are there any English slow airs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:58 PM

Here's an English slow air:

Sweet Annie frae the Sea Beach Came

But Greene marketed it as a Scots song, and by the end of the century it effectively was, with the words forgotten and the tune only appearing in Scottish collections like Nathaniel Gow's "Vocal Melodies of Scotland". I included a version for the flute in my Scottish flute music CD-ROM.

I'd bet that if you played it on the flute in a typical session most people would think it was Irish.


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