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


breakneck speed and Irish Music

The Sandman 03 Mar 09 - 05:56 AM
The Sandman 03 Mar 09 - 05:59 AM
Bryn Pugh 03 Mar 09 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Golightly 03 Mar 09 - 06:12 AM
bubblyrat 03 Mar 09 - 06:32 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Mar 09 - 06:55 AM
The Sandman 03 Mar 09 - 07:01 AM
The Sandman 03 Mar 09 - 07:07 AM
GUEST 03 Mar 09 - 07:22 AM
Les in Chorlton 03 Mar 09 - 07:56 AM
Jack Campin 03 Mar 09 - 08:05 AM
Leadfingers 03 Mar 09 - 08:13 AM
Will Fly 03 Mar 09 - 08:18 AM
LesB 03 Mar 09 - 08:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Mar 09 - 08:23 AM
Leadfingers 03 Mar 09 - 08:32 AM
Jack Campin 03 Mar 09 - 08:52 AM
SteveMansfield 03 Mar 09 - 08:58 AM
G-Force 03 Mar 09 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Mar 09 - 09:36 AM
Sleepy Rosie 03 Mar 09 - 09:55 AM
Bryn Pugh 03 Mar 09 - 10:51 AM
Big Mick 03 Mar 09 - 10:58 AM
Brian Peters 03 Mar 09 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 03 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM
Les in Chorlton 03 Mar 09 - 11:34 AM
Zen 03 Mar 09 - 11:46 AM
LesB 03 Mar 09 - 12:05 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 Mar 09 - 12:07 PM
Phil Edwards 03 Mar 09 - 12:14 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 Mar 09 - 12:20 PM
SteveMansfield 03 Mar 09 - 12:23 PM
The Sandman 03 Mar 09 - 12:26 PM
Paul Burke 03 Mar 09 - 01:21 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 Mar 09 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Frank Southport 03 Mar 09 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM
Stringsinger 03 Mar 09 - 02:21 PM
Jack Campin 03 Mar 09 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,Gulliver sans Cookie 03 Mar 09 - 03:17 PM
The Sandman 03 Mar 09 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Vrdpkr 03 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM
oggie 03 Mar 09 - 04:33 PM
john f weldon 03 Mar 09 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Sapper on TRC at Hastings 03 Mar 09 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Smokey 03 Mar 09 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Phil Williams 03 Mar 09 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Smokey 03 Mar 09 - 06:23 PM
Tradsinger 03 Mar 09 - 06:47 PM
terrier 03 Mar 09 - 06:49 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 03 Mar 09 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Mar 09 - 07:07 PM
terrier 03 Mar 09 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,lox 03 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,lox 03 Mar 09 - 07:33 PM
GUEST 03 Mar 09 - 08:47 PM
terrier 03 Mar 09 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,Gibb 03 Mar 09 - 11:16 PM
Gurney 03 Mar 09 - 11:50 PM
The Sandman 04 Mar 09 - 04:25 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Mar 09 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,lox 04 Mar 09 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,lox 04 Mar 09 - 05:45 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 06:08 AM
The Sandman 04 Mar 09 - 07:30 AM
Sugwash 04 Mar 09 - 07:38 AM
The Sandman 04 Mar 09 - 07:51 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 08:38 AM
The Sandman 04 Mar 09 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Bardan 04 Mar 09 - 10:11 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 02:42 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 02:44 PM
The Sandman 04 Mar 09 - 05:13 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 05:34 PM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 09 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Mar 09 - 06:05 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 06:43 PM
John P 04 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Mar 09 - 07:33 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 07:54 PM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 09 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Mar 09 - 08:16 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 08:22 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Mar 09 - 08:25 PM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 09 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Mar 09 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Mar 09 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,lox 04 Mar 09 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Mar 09 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,lox 04 Mar 09 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Mar 09 - 09:52 PM
JohnInKansas 04 Mar 09 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Mar 09 - 11:17 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Mar 09 - 02:54 AM
Noreen 05 Mar 09 - 05:27 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 09 - 05:44 AM
The Sandman 05 Mar 09 - 07:16 AM
Dave Hanson 05 Mar 09 - 08:01 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Mar 09 - 08:29 AM
Zen 05 Mar 09 - 08:53 AM
Jack Campin 05 Mar 09 - 09:08 AM
The Sandman 05 Mar 09 - 09:17 AM
The Sandman 05 Mar 09 - 09:25 AM
MartinRyan 05 Mar 09 - 10:20 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 09 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Smokey 05 Mar 09 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Young speedy muscian 05 Mar 09 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,young speedy musician 05 Mar 09 - 03:44 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Mar 09 - 03:46 PM
Big Mick 05 Mar 09 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,YSM 05 Mar 09 - 04:05 PM
Big Mick 05 Mar 09 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,YSM 05 Mar 09 - 04:27 PM
Big Mick 05 Mar 09 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,YSM 05 Mar 09 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,YSM 05 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,YSM 05 Mar 09 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,YSF 05 Mar 09 - 04:50 PM
mayomick 05 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM
meself 05 Mar 09 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,lox 05 Mar 09 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Smokey 05 Mar 09 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,lox 05 Mar 09 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Smokey 05 Mar 09 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,YSG 05 Mar 09 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Smokey 05 Mar 09 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,MSG 05 Mar 09 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,Smokey 05 Mar 09 - 09:21 PM
GUEST,MPG 05 Mar 09 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Smokey 05 Mar 09 - 09:42 PM
Big Mick 05 Mar 09 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,Smokey 05 Mar 09 - 10:34 PM
The Sandman 06 Mar 09 - 03:31 AM
manitas_at_work 06 Mar 09 - 04:21 AM
Will Fly 06 Mar 09 - 04:39 AM
The Sandman 06 Mar 09 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,lox 06 Mar 09 - 07:15 AM
Sugwash 06 Mar 09 - 08:44 AM
meself 06 Mar 09 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,LPG 06 Mar 09 - 09:38 AM
Zen 06 Mar 09 - 09:54 AM
Stu 06 Mar 09 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,mayomick at work 06 Mar 09 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,lox 06 Mar 09 - 12:59 PM
mayomick 06 Mar 09 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Smokey 06 Mar 09 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Smokey 06 Mar 09 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,lox 06 Mar 09 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,lox 06 Mar 09 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Smokey 06 Mar 09 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,lox 06 Mar 09 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,Smokey 06 Mar 09 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 07 Mar 09 - 08:03 AM
Stu 07 Mar 09 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,mayomick at slavery 07 Mar 09 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Mar 09 - 04:12 PM
terrier 07 Mar 09 - 04:28 PM
JohnB 07 Mar 09 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Mar 09 - 04:46 PM
John P 07 Mar 09 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Mar 09 - 05:23 PM
curmudgeon 07 Mar 09 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Mar 09 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Mar 09 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Mar 09 - 06:56 PM
terrier 07 Mar 09 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Mar 09 - 08:48 PM
terrier 07 Mar 09 - 09:36 PM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Mar 09 - 09:47 PM
Declan 07 Mar 09 - 09:51 PM
terrier 07 Mar 09 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 08 Mar 09 - 06:55 AM
Mr Happy 08 Mar 09 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,lox 08 Mar 09 - 08:51 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Mar 09 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,lox 08 Mar 09 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,lox 08 Mar 09 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,lox 08 Mar 09 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,lox 08 Mar 09 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,Smokey 08 Mar 09 - 09:22 PM
mayomick 09 Mar 09 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,lox 09 Mar 09 - 02:21 PM
meself 09 Mar 09 - 04:14 PM
dick greenhaus 09 Mar 09 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Smokey 09 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM
mayomick 10 Mar 09 - 06:24 AM
GUEST 28 May 17 - 09:48 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 05:56 AM

is breakneck speed spoiling Irish music?what are your opinions .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 05:59 AM

I believe it was Johnny Oleary ,who said that if Denis Murphy was alive today,he wouldnt be playing out because the music was too fast .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:01 AM

Name Drop alert !

I was once in the company of Finbarr Furey, when another piper demanded of him "Why do you play so fast ?"

To which Fin replied "I can."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Golightly
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:12 AM

I think Chris Sherburn said something like he spent the first 10 years putting in as many notes as possible and the next 10 years taking them out again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: bubblyrat
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:32 AM

For me,there's nothing worse than a good tune,of any nationality,being played so fast as to totally ruin it.Classic example----"Silly Wizard" playing The Wind That Shakes The Barley....absolutely AWFUL !! IMHO,of course.Plus,it deters the less musically able from having a go !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:55 AM

An old fiddle player here in Clare, referring to a very fast young player, said, "He'll be a good musician when he's too old to move that fast".
The last time I saw the old man play was the night he gave up half way through the session because he was unable to keep up with the high-speed young players - not the best way to end a lifetime of music.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:01 AM

Because someone chooses not to play fast it doesnt follow that they are not capable of it .
[imo]some dance tunes[slides]which often have fewer notes,work quite well played fast.
Johnny O leary , in an interview, blamed the dancers,I am not sure it is as simple as that,many people who play in sessions,have never played for dancing.,yet play reels so fast that dancers,that imo are too fast for enjoyable dancing.
funnily enough, I have been accused of playing reels too fast,although I generally play them between 200 and 210[or 100 to 105],which would be considered on the slow side .
so I am talking of reels played at speeds above about 225 .
of course many dancers play to recordings these days,and the recordings can be artificially speeded up after the recording[without altering the pitch].


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:07 AM

yes,I agree,Jim .
and I bet that musician played with more lilt and joy than the other people playing in the session.
[imo] your story shows a disrespect that seems to be becoming prevalent .
session etiquette seems to be disappearing too,if someone starts at a speed ,please join in at that speed,do not speed them up ,and please listen to the musician who starts the tune .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:22 AM

This is one reason why a lot of Irish music turns me off. The only 'big' Irish band that I have seen that I enjoy is Patrick Street. I sat through Dervish at day of concerts last year & was bored stiff. But that's just me, i'm sure a lot of the Dervish fans were bored listening to Brass Monkey.
Cheers
Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:56 AM

Hence the growing popularity of Beginners and Slow and Easy Sessions

L in C
Last Tuesday of the Month, The Beech, Beech Road, Chorlton
Some Irish, mostly English many mongrel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:05 AM

Maybe Irish music just isn't all that suited to session playing?

One of the most amazing fiddle performances I've ever heard was from the late Glasgow Irish fiddler Jimmy McHugh, late at night after a folk festival when almost everybody had gone home. Playing solo, not very fast, with fantastic expressiveness and gorgeous ornamentation thought out to emphasise every turn of each individual melody. I've never heard that sort of playing in a massed Irish session and I don't think it's possible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:13 AM

Is this 'bleedthrough' from the modern Bluegrass style ? I was at a
Bluegrass Jam in Virginia last year that was extremely enjoyable , with some VERY good musicians playing interesting tunes at a SENSIBLE speed - But they were mostly Older Players ! Including one Four times State Fiddle champion .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:18 AM

One of the reasons that I don't attend Irish sessions. Not only can I not play the tunes with any feeling at that speed but, after a while, they all seem to blend into one amorphous tune.

It's not just Irish music, though. The same applies to a lot of jazz playing. It's very easy, for example, to take an old standard like Sweet Georgia Brown and go through it at a hell of a lick - anyone can do it - but when it's slowed down (without getting plodding), it sounds much more laid back and expressive. It's great fun, of course, to go ripping along at warp speed now and then. But not all the time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: LesB
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:22 AM

Sorry peeps Guest above was me, I didn't realise i'd lost my cookie.
Cheers
Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:23 AM

If it's too fast to be danced to, it's too fast to play or listen to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:32 AM

The other side of the coin is singers (Particularly Un Accompanied) who turn decent songs into Absolute Dirgies !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:52 AM

There are two different things going on here:

- the tempo of the music
- the number of musical events per second

And they don't correlate. Typically in classical music, slow movements have more notes per second than fast ones. And a good unaccompanied singer or solo instrumentalist doing a metrically very slow piece will add so much ornamentation and so many rapid variations of timbre and dynamic that the rate of musical activity can be far faster than a reel.

Pibroch takes this to an extreme. Its tempi are among the slowest ever used in music, but the number of notes per second is at the limit of what human fingers are capable of.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:58 AM

Captain Birdseye: session etiquette seems to be disappearing too,if someone starts at a speed ,please join in at that speed,do not speed them up ,and please listen to the musician who starts the tune .

Amen to that. There are some local (South Manchester / Cheshire) sessions I just don't bother with any more, because every tune ends up at 250bpm regardless of the original tempo set by the originator in the first few bars.

You only need one or two cretins with a modicum of ability and a superiority complex (or, even worse, an unshakeable conviction that they know better than me what speed I fancy playing a tune at), and it takes more of a determined effort to fight against them than I usually think is worth expending in what is supposed to be a sociable and collaborative activity. And sometimes if I'm feeling bloody minded and on one of my louder instruments, I just keep playing at the original tempo :)

Would that the speed-is-everything attitude was limited to Irish music sessions: I play very little Irish, partly for this very reason, and the same thing is leaking across into English-music sessions. I went to one in Yorkshire when I was away training for work and the tempos for a supposedly English session were just crazy, it was more like The Ramones than The Old Swan Band.

There's also the problem that many people seem to think that the speed they first heard a tune is the only speed it can possibly be played at; are sometimes genuinely shocked at a slightly slower tempo; and probably even think they're helping you out by winding it up to the speed it's played on the O'Turbo Band CD they have at home. And of course some people are just arrogant fools who do it deliberately to show how much 'better' they are than everyone else in the room.

The result is that it all becomes a frantic tedious characterless mismash, and I've got better things to do. And then there are the nights when everyone playing is of a like mind and the most wonderful impromptu music-making transpires, and it's those evening that keep me turning out. Don't get me wrong, I love playing fast tunes in the course of an evening, but I don't want every tune at the edge of degenerating into white noise the same way I don't want pizza for tea every single night ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: G-Force
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:59 AM

The dances determine the speed, surely. With my admittedly limited understanding of Irish dances I would say that reels need to be played fairly fast, polkas a bit slower (but faster than English polkas), and jigs much slower than you might imagine especially double jigs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 09:36 AM

Dancers have their needs. The dance mustn't go too slow or too fast.

If dancing is not involved, then the music ought to be paced so that we can play with precision (for example, get all fingers in the right place), so we can tell minor from major, and so that there is variation in tempo from one piece to another. An entire night of pieces in the tempo is tiresome.

My husband plays the bodhran. I was surprised to learn that it was possible for our amateur group to play Irish music too fast for him.

Most of the bands who travel, doing concerts, play all the dance music fast and loud. They also turn the guitar into a percussion instrument, tuning it DADGAB and whacking the strings all night. The result: new listeners say it all sounds alike.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 09:55 AM

Jack Campin:
"- the tempo of the music
- the number of musical events per second

And they don't correlate. Typically in classical music, slow movements have more notes per second than fast ones. And a good unaccompanied singer or solo instrumentalist doing a metrically very slow piece will add so much ornamentation and so many rapid variations of timbre and dynamic that the rate of musical activity can be far faster than a reel."

A very helpful clafification that Jack.
I've just memorised Lowlands, and sing it quite slow - as I feel is fitting..
Then reading on this thread (and elsewhere on Cat previously) about complaints concerning unaccompanied singers dirging away at songs, made me think "Oops!!"
I don't ornament constantly (or at a highly intricate level, as I'm not vocally athletic enough), but having just tested the song without ornamentation, I find it sounds pretty dull by comparison.
Another minor peice of illumination, that will be stored away for future reference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:51 AM

I agree, Captain - it is possible (and happens all too often) that the pace of the music strips it of dignity and enjoyment of the listener.

That said : I once heard an outfit play O'Carolan's "Hewlett" as if it were a slow march. It was DIRE.

When I asked why, I was told (by a snooty Englishwoman, if you don't mind) : "This is how O'Carolan would have played it".

As Eric Morecambe was wont to say "there's no answer to that".

Regards, Bryn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:58 AM

I absolutely detest session thugs as much as I detest song circle thugs. When a musician calls out a tune, that person is entitled to set the tempo at whatever rate they desire, or need to ornament it properly. No one else has the right to speed it up, slow it down, or chastise them for that. They are playing it as they hear it, or as they are able. It is legitimate to discuss it, and anytime one performs, they must be ready for criticism, but it is their tune to call.

One thing that we learn as we grow older is that it takes a great deal more skill, and fewer notes, to make a tune speak. When we are young it seems that it is about us, and showing off our reflexes. When we are old, it seems that we understand it is about the tune and how to coax the emotion out of it. It is about nuance and ornament. Some tunes, reels in particular, are meant to be played at a much higher tempo. But it is not about how fast can you play it, it is about how fast should it be played to allow the listeners ear to catch the excitement of it, and still distinguish the tune. Same problem in the abstract on the air. How slow to play, and keep the audience engaged and feeling the depth and resonance of the air.

It's about the tune, not the player....

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:01 AM

> The only 'big' Irish band that I have seen that I enjoy is Patrick Street. <

Right with you there, Les, and I suspect it's because when Patrick Street wish to up the excitement level, they do it using dynamics and ornamentation rather than by playing faster.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM

I have heard it said that older set dancers reckoned to dance at 60 bpm and that was when they were younger, but I wonder whether this would have applied say, to Sliabh Luachra polkas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:34 AM

So, general range:

Jigs
Slip jigs
Polkas
Hornpipes
Reels
Waltzes

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Zen
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:46 AM

I've been playing Irish music most of my life and have to say I also used to play too fast when I was younger. Part of this might have been copying the style of some well-known players in the 70s and 80s when speed seemed to beome the fashion.

As I've got older I've consciously tried to slow down the tempo of a lot of tunes... bounce and lift being more important than speed. It's also difficult to play tasteful triplets and other ornamentation if the tempo is too fast.

Now I live in Scotland I've noticed the tendancy to speed with Scottish music too, especially with some younger players (though definitely not all).

Zen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: LesB
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:05 PM

Sometimes it can be fun to change the usual tempo to a song or tune. At out regular session we very occasionally play 'Slow the Plough'.
ie starting 'peed the Plough' very very slowly & then build it up gently & then on the call do it one last time with a furious race to the end. It's only an occasional bit of fun though.
Another thing that sometimes happens is when a punter in the pub keeps on shouting "why don't you play an Irish tune" we just play something (probably not Irish because we don't know all that many Irish tunes) at breakneck speed & he is happy and none the wiser. The general public tend to equate any up tempo tunes with Iirishness!
Cheers
Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:07 PM

So, general range I should have said in beats per minute:

Jigs
Slip jigs
Polkas
Hornpipes
Reels
Waltzes

I guess nobody wants to commit?
L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:14 PM

Give 'em a chance, Les. I think you're assuming too high a value of CPH (comments per hour).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:20 PM

But Phil, I'm a bloke, I need attention and I need to now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you tomorrow at the Beech?

Cheers

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:23 PM

Give 'em a chance, Les. I think you're assuming too high a value of CPH (comments per hour).

Aside from the rate of CPH there's the minor problem that I've got no idea about BPM for the various tune types off the top of my head, and no immediate way of working them out!

However if you listen very carefully Les (I'm only over in Withington) you should be able to hear me playing them at what I consider a decent pace ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:26 PM

yes, I will,jigs 117, irishpolkas 140,slides 142,reels 103[206],hornpipes 147,marches 117, slip jigs 114,those are the approximate speeds Ilike to play .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Paul Burke
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 01:21 PM

DEon't forget that one person's easy pace is the next person's breakneck. I try to avoid sessions and musicians who play beyond the speed at which it sounds pleasant, but some musicians sound ever so relaxed, until you notice that actually hey are playing very fast. It's the relax that matters.

I recently got a Martin Hayes CD, which is played in a fairly slow, but uncelievably relaxed, manner.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 01:37 PM

Thanks sfmans, I couldn't hear you but perhaps it was covered by the sound of sobbing Man City fans? (Of which I am one). However, last Tuesday of the month at the Beech, Beech Road Chorlton for tunes and first and third Wednesday for songs (and a few tunes)!


Thanks also to Capt. Birdseye for numeracy and more

Cheers

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Frank Southport
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 02:08 PM

Bryn Pugh: I remember you telling me that Finbarr Furey story on the Manchester to Southport train. I miss those interesting chats!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM

Have a look at this video and concentrate on the guitarist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgj9Q4-YEBc&feature=related

As a person who's had tennis elbow, I have the following thoughts:

His right arm is doing the same thing too hard, too fast and too many times without a rest.

His hand is tense from holding the pick. This is not good.

The sharp edge of the guitar is digging into his elbow while the whatchacallit nerve is having to move, back and forth, back and forth through the elbow joint.

I have seen other guitarists who move that arm further, harder and faster than the man in the video.   
=====
It would be interesting to calculate how many times a right arm does this during rehearsals followed by a tour. Hundreds, thousands?

In my opinion, someone who plays like that very long is headed for joint trouble and real pain.

I've known two musicians (one keyboard, one fiddle) who've gone to doctors with tendonitis and been told to stop playing for A Year.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 02:21 PM

I have observed that speed is not the best interpretation for the feeling of the tune.
This is a redundant comment, I know, but so much of Irish music is based on dance,
either home set-dances or step-dancing that it should become obvious as it is in jazz music that speed for its own sake is silly.

I like to hear an irish tune without too much ornamentation (which obscures the tune) or
done too fast to keep the notes away from the ear.

Music is not a gymnastic feat. The BPM obsession comes from an instinct by those that possess a gene for finger-dexterity to let it run away with them. In jazz, BPM becomes less of an expressive agent even though the jazz musician is capable of playing fast if needed.
(Check Charlie Parker).

What makes Irish music Irish is not speed but lilt (as Capt. Birdseye says) and feel.
I've heard too many American groups not get it right because they are Johnny-come-latelys to the music. When a music is culture-based such as jazz, growing up in it
requires different tempos to express variety.

Interesting is that there is a slight swing to Irish music not unlike jazz. It almost
has a 12/8 feel to it. (Lilt).

What excites the audience for Irish music is not speed per se but a kind of passion
that is uniquely Irish and a sense of lyricism in which the Irish music excels. I think
that speed for its own sake would be laughed at in the Comhaltas seisiuns.
Someone who tried to do that would be stepped on as a beginner.

So, it's like Bluegrass which for a while prized pyro-technics. Then the music
outgrew the gymnastics. Same for Americans playing Irish.

Stringsinger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 02:27 PM

I've heard that Finbar Furey anecdote as a Phil Cunningham anecdote. (While I like his tunes, I don't think that much of Cunningham as a player).

Waltz tempi vary between different styles. Swedish waltzes often pack so many notes into the bar that they end up requiring faster fingers than the average Irish reel.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Gulliver sans Cookie
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 03:17 PM

I don't think the speed thing is new - I've heard old pipers on record and cylinder about a hundred years old and they're fairly whizzing along.

If speed is a problem you can always stick to hornpipes, polkas, slides, marches, etc, which you can then play at your own pace.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 03:54 PM

which you can then play at your own pace.[quote]
but you cant because some f####### comes in,not listening and speeds the tune up,and then you have guitarists who think hornpipes should be played even,when you are playing them in triplet rhythm,and then at the guitarists who cant hear the lilt in jigs,but play as if they are six even quavers,.if only they would listen .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Vrdpkr
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM

Bob Wills once said, "If it is too fast to dance to, it's too damn fast."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: oggie
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 04:33 PM

If you have an old vinyl copy of John Doonan "Flute for the Feis" have a listen. Everything played at dance speed and in perfect time. I use it as my reference point and yes, I do find most sessions play too fast.

My other great influence was Pat Nealy from Humberston who was also a player for the dance. Now sadly gone for many years he could play a reel for an hour and the dancers at the end got the same chance as those at the beginning.

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: john f weldon
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 04:43 PM

Watching Derek Bell rip through O'Carolan's Concerto, it seemed to lose its melody in the flurry of notes. The most stately version I've heard is (gasp) by an American Old-timey group, the Delaware Water String band, which brings out the beauty in a slow and gentle fashion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Sapper on TRC at Hastings
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 04:56 PM

A band at Burntwood some time ago played "The One Eyed Riley" at such a breakneck speed that all the humour from the words was totally lost!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 05:50 PM

It's a lot harder to play slowly (and well) than it is to play at breakneck speed. Sadly, that's a fact not widely appreciated by non-musicians, and consequently sometimes exploited by not-so-good musicians.

There are some who are apt to play 'competitively' fast though, and I find that annoying because it so obviously detracts from the musicality of what's happening. It can be fun to do occasionally but I think the entertainment value is soon exhausted.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Phil Williams
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:15 PM

Interesting that throughout this thread everyone would like to see tunes played more slowly, - me too, I love the pace of, say, Maids of Mitchelstown by the Bothy's. Trouble is, audiences like the pedal to the floor! Sessions ought to be different. Expression and arrangements turn good music into great music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:23 PM

Expression and arrangements turn good music into great music.

Ne'er a truer word was spoke - shout it from the rooftops...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Tradsinger
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:47 PM

First of all, a corny joke - "How do you tell one Irish reel from another?" Answer "By the title".

Here's my thoughts on the subject. When I visited Ireland for the first time in early 70s, some West coast musicians were critical of the way tunes were played in say, Dublin, which was all fast and furious reels, whereas the Galway musicians played in a slower, lighter, more delicate and lilting style. When I went back to Ireland several decades later, my perception was that this regional difference had been lost and that even in Galway everyone was playing fast and furious reels. I am not making a judgement here, only an observation, but I did enjoy the old Galway music more.

Of course, it is exciting to hear tunes played fast but after a while I start to get 'fast tune overload'. To hear a slow jig played well excites different emotions. I must emphasise that I am not an expert on Irish music and these are just my observations and perceptions. I would welcome more postings on the East/West debate, though.

Tradsinger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: terrier
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:49 PM

Maybe it's an alcohol related thing, no alcohol..good steady playing, a lot of alcohol..playing speeds up because musicians 'think' they can play the tunes faster, too much alcohol.. the tunes slow down again because the drunken musicians can't relate to their instruments any more!
I don't know if it's more difficult to play slowly, as Smokey suggests, but playing fast can mask a lot of the inability the musician has to play the correct notes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:50 PM

A few thoughts:
If you can play the instrument you're sitting behind, it's just a matter of taste.
I was playing an Irish wedding (in Kent). When we arrived, the thirteen piece jazz band was just leaving, and Granny was absolutely rat-arsed. At a break in our set, a beanpole of a Mayo man lurched up and said, "Can you play a double jig?" As we started, he kept saying "slower, slower..." until we were going dotted crotchet = 60 or less, whereupon he kicked off his shoes and treated us to about four minutes of the most amazing dancing I have ever seen, then just stopped and walked off.
"Because I can" is just showing off.
I once had a bollocking from Rod Stradling (what does he know?) for playing English polkas too fast...
And I play at our local steady session for beginners whenever I can, 'cos it's passing it on. If that's patronising, remember that patronising used to be a positive word. There used to be people who went there to show off; to the eternal credit of most of them, that's now stopped and they are really supportive. It's an old fashioned concept, but good manners are still important.
End of sermon...KYBTTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:07 PM

'audiences like the pedal to the floor!'

Yes, often and perhaps usually. But not all night. What audiences like is variety.

I once made the mistake of going to an all-Mozart concert played on a 'piano' such as he actually played. It had tiny key dip which permits the fingers to fly over the keyboard with little effort. By the end of the evening I was ready to throw something. And I definitely sympathized with the king who said 'Too many notes!'

In other words, it lacked variety.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: terrier
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:09 PM

Pretty much the same happened to me years ago when asked to play for an Irish dancer to dance a Hornpipe. I couldn't believe how slow they wanted it at first. That's when the value of being able to
phrase a tune correctly comes into it's own. I don't think I've ever had to concentrate so hard on a tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM

I was surprised not to see the following observation made ...

... The key factor in my opinion is that ones timing should be clear and explicit and not sloppy at either slow or fast tempos.

Many musicians who play too fast don't take the time to consider the clarity of the pulse/tempo/rhythm in what they are playing and as a result it sounds hurried and messy.

When a musicians timing is good and they have obviously put a little work into getting it sounding crisp, they are able to speed up and it will sound awesome.

More often than not, instrumentalists try to run before they can walk and try and gloss over their poor timing by showing off their speed.

More often again, the reason things are going too fast and sounding too "white noise"-ish is that musicians are compensating for their lack of surety of the tempo by rushing it.

Players going too fast to the extent that it sounds crap are demonstrating a poor understanding and limited technique.

So in other words, all you moaners are in my view 100% correct.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:33 PM

Two factors common to ALL great musicians.

1. Great tone quality.

2. Great timing.


And heres a tip - if you want to learn to play fast, practice excruciatingly slowly with a metronome.

Then when things speed up, relax!

You'll be surprised.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:47 PM

"I have heard it said that older set dancers reckoned to dance at 60 bpm and that was when they were younger, but I wonder whether this would have applied say, to Sliabh Luachra polkas."

I have also heard it said that older set dancers used to be able to dance all night until sunrise because they danced economically and at a steady pace with due consideration for their fellow dancers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: terrier
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 09:18 PM

Yes, Guest, good point. I remember marathon dance sessions at Whitby and Sidmouth years ago, it wasn't just the dancers who had to exercise economy of expression.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:16 PM

Obviously this is my opinion...but I'd say the question is absurd. Consider this: it was music originally meant as accompaniment to dance. That's something different than "music you sit there and listen to." Each activity has different needs. Once the repertoire was adapted from one need to another, it changed, hence the funky orchestrations, arrangements, and "impressive" speeds. My guess would be that the competitions of the 20th century, meant to encourage the continuance of traditions by younger generations, planted the seed. After all, if you're ~competing~ against someone, one of the common gimmicks will be to play faster.

If it sounds like I'm condemning one thing or the other, I'm not. I'm suggesting that it's impossible to spoil the music by playing too fast since it was already "spoiled" from the jump--according to one perspective. All you're doing is creating music that emphasizes a different "need" or value over others, as per how you expect to use the music to fulfill yourself (and maybe others). It is just possible though, that if you think deeply about what this music is all about, how it does ( or doesn't) fit into a tradition and culture, you'll reconsider your ideas of what is appropriate and satisfying.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:50 PM

Most of the replies here are about dancers and music.
From a listener's point of view, it carries over into songs, and they often gabble songs too fast, and we don't get a chance to enjoy the words and wit.


Maybe it is my brain slowing down?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 04:25 AM

the use of a metronome helps,either to play along with,or just to get an idea of speed and then switch it off,believe it or not although a metronome is a mechanical device,when you get used to them it is possible to play along and play with lilt,although it takes some getting used to.
one good thing that a metronome does is to teach the player not to speed up during a tune.
I use a metronome about 50 per cent of the time ,I find it particularly useful for new tunes,with an electronic metronome,you can adjust the speed by minute amounts,and gradually build up speed .Ithink metronomes also teach you to listen carefully .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 05:31 AM

I have also heard it said that older set dancers used to be able to dance all night until sunrise because they danced economically and at a steady pace with due consideration for their fellow dancers.

French dance is the same - many of the mazurkas, schottisches and waltzes are played at a steady speed and the dancing is economical and fluid, with the result that bals can go on for hours. Lovely stuff. There's a special extra-toasty circle of hell reserved for people who play schottisches at Irish-tourist-board-advert speed by the way ...

Les, last Tuesday of the month sounds like a good'un, it's in the diary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 05:41 AM

The metronome shouldn't be treated like a wire frame or a coat hanger of sorts around which the music has to be forced to fit, that isn't its purpose.

Its job is to train a musicians internal sense of timing - in the process it often exposes to musicians as they practice just how ropey their sense of time is.

A good way to use it that helps to make the process more enjoyable and practice more musical is to set it to half speed and have the clicks on beats 2 and 4 so that beats 1 and 3 are in the players head.

Thus it serves to act like a jazzers hi hat, a bodhran players rimshot, a reggae players sksnk etc.

Train with a metronome and the result is less of a sense of panic about getting the tempo right, a feeling of "space" to think about expression and timing of notes and a feeling of confidence in ones own internal timing which manifests in strong clear and coherent articulation of notes and phrases.

For the listener this results in a more enjoyable explicit sound, and for anyone playing along it seems somehow easier.

Having a well developed internal clock affects everything from the tone quality to ease with which a group gels together.

The other thing is of course that your fellow musicians will tend to gravitate towards the one whose timing is most reliable for reassurance as they too are instinctively striving for the same goals.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 05:45 AM

Captain,

Just a quick note to clarify that my last post was meant in Addition and not in Opposition to yours.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 06:08 AM

Relentless fast playing in a session is just plain wearisome. Irish music calls for lots of attention to ornamentation and variation, and if these are becoming the victims of excessive speed in a particular setting then I think you could with some justice moan about the playing. Not only can these aspects of the playing be overwhelmed but also the less experienced players are not able to hone their craft where it really matters, playing live with other musicians. However, it isn't a simple issue. Slow playing all night is also wearisome to listen to (who cares who's listening, did I hear?), as is an insistence on some kind of adherence to a "good tempo for dancing" when there are no dancers to dance. I think a nice mixture is best all round myself. Patrick Street are (is?) an interesting example. The playing sounds relaxed and spacious but try playing along and you discover that they're actually not exactly hanging around. What they are doing is playing briskly well within their (considerable) powers in each element of the music, an ideal balance (and the tasty arrangements help as well, of course). We shouldn't condemn fast playing outright. As someone above pointed out, it isn't exactly new. Some of the old guys, the Morrisons of this world, often played at breakneck speed. I sometimes wonder whether they really wanted to play that fast or whether they were playing fast to adapt to the time constraint for each side of a 78. Some of it doesn't sound too good to my ears. Sacrilege! Four Men And A Dog played superfast on a number of tracks on their first CD "Barking Mad," but there is lovely articulation all the same and no sense of strain. They are just very good at it. On the whole we should, I think, be discussing that elusive thing, good taste, and not rules.

As for metronomes, as far as I'm concerned they have one use only, to help detect and iron out irregularities in internal rhythm in tunes. Extensive playing along with a metronome to keep you from speeding up will only serve to delay the day when you can stand on your own feet. You learn things like that by developing listening and interacting skills when playing with other musicians, not trying slavishly to follow some mechanical contraption. Use it for diagnosis only then ditch it. Good, expressive music is never metronomic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 07:30 AM

I didnt say good expressive music was metronomic,however good dance music needs to have a steady beat,the metronome is a useful tool,in helping to prevent speeding up,and in a diagnostic capacity ,to work out approximate dancing speeds for tunes,
of course some jigs[like all tunes] feel that they want to go slower and some feel that they want to go faster .,again a metronome can be useful here, like LARK IN THE MORNING [better at 120]Walls of liscaroll better at 115,it is just a tool for training,but if more people used them,I think there would be less breackneck speeding.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Sugwash
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 07:38 AM

Good dance music is played by musicians who watch the dancers dancing and play accordingly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 07:51 AM

sugwash ,yes I agree ,but when practising at home,a metronome can be a useful tool,in eliminating problems such as speeding up between the a music and the turn.
this knid of speeding up does not help dancers .it is also common among session players who have not played for dancing or practised with a metronome.
the ultimate parody was Peter Sellers ceili band playing [tell her I am],and ending up exploding .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:38 AM

Sugwash is right. Interactions among all participants is always the way to go, and that applies to situation with dancers or without. One thing a metronome can't do is interact, and you can't interact with the metronome. Good musicians have internal, organic metronomes. I'm even working on desisting from tapping my foot, which is a bit of a waste of energy, but at least foot-tapping is you deciding on the rhythm and not some souless gizmo doing it for you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 09:22 AM

yes, steve,
but the problem is many musicians are not listening or interacting these are musicians[in my experience ]who do not use metronomes ]if you play with a metronome you have to listen to the metronome,therefore what happens is,the player starts listening,carry this on and you start listening to other people at a session .
the metronome trains you to listen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 10:11 AM

It might be something to do with the number of players and the place as well though. I mean, If there´s a small bunch of well balanced instruments and everyone can hear each other you´ve got room to respond to each other or just accompany whoever is leading the tune. You can play around with dynamics too, even vary the tempo. As a result good musicians can be expressive. When only two people next to you can hear you properly theres no room for that so everyone just has to blare the tune out and play fast so theres some element of challenge to the whole thing.
This isnt just a huge denigration of sessions. They can be great fun and occasionally really magical musically, but if they´re huge and theres a massive noisy crowd, sometimes youve just got to give up on the expressiveness and play loud fast music, (which is probably what the crowd wants anyway.)
Also, when I busk I notice that the faster I play, the more money I get. (Within limits). The man on the street as it were just wants fast happy sounding music.
There are some tunes that just have to be fast though. I mean just imagin Martin Hayes playing the Mason´s Apron. He´s a brilliant player but that would be really bizzare.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 02:42 PM

The metronome trains you only to rely on a external source of setting the rhythm/tempo. It can't develop these skills for you. Keeping up with it or slowing down to stay with it is forcing you to make a ton of minor corrections just to keep step with a machine. That is no way to learn how to play music. There is no interaction going on. All it can do is, at best, show you what needs attention, but it can't give you that attention. It is like using a crutch to walk with when all your legs need is a bit of exercise. I'm keeping on with this because you are a well-known musician and there may be people who therefore think your advice with regard to metronomes is good advice, and I don't think it is. If you have faults with rhythm or in keeping tempo the first step is to recognise that you have a problem. You can help yourself by listening to yourself in recordings or getting a friend to listen to you and discuss. Once you know what the problem is you're halfway to solving it, but you solve it only with people, because it is only with people that you will be playing music with. Playing with a metronome will make you a virtuoso at playing with a metronome. You may be disappointed to find that this in no way translates into playing well with real people. Been there, done it, got the...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 02:44 PM

One "with" too many. I'm bloody illiterate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 05:13 PM

I didnt say it was a way to learn music ,I said it was useful for certain things ,such as correcting, speeding up the music between the a part of a tune and the turn .
people that decide to play with a metronome are often doing it because they realise they have a rhythym problem .
the problem here are those musicians who continue to play with other people in a session[in my experience,some have them have been playing out of ryhthym for a couple of years ]and make no attempt to adress their problem,they still keep speeding up between different sections of the music,playing with a metronome would help to sort this out,clearly playing with other people has not .
I dont think your advice is good either,so lets beg to differ,good night


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 05:34 PM

You can beg to differ, we can agree to differ. Yeah, that's good. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 05:40 PM

Just because the metronome is running doesn't mean you have to hit every beat the same time it does. It's telling you what your overall tempo is.

I know two extremely high-profile players who keep their foot tapping with metronomic regularity. The point of this, the way they see it, is not simply to keep at a steady tempo, it's get a feel for when they're ahead or behind the beat, and to what extent (and they WILL be one or the other much of the time). It's something I haven't properly learned yet but mean to.

Almost all Highland pipers keep a foot-metronome going. I'm not sure how most of them perceive what they're doing. But this includes all the big names and all the ones you would least accuse of being metronomic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 06:05 PM

Metronomes have been around and widely used long enough to have proved their usefulness beyond any reasonable doubt, I reckon. Certainly not all music should be played 'strict tempo', but any musician worth their salt should know the difference, be able to do either, and be aware of it. Long observation has told me that hatred of metronomes is generally inversely proportional to the natural rhythmical skill of the player.

Habitual foot tapping is nearly always counter-productive as the foot invariably follows the timing errors and reinforces the bad habit. The one exception to that being when the player already has an excellent sense of rhythm and timing. Obviously the best way to determine that is to try playing with a metronome.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 06:43 PM

*Sigh* I guess the proof of the pudding, and all that. I suppose all musicians that existed before Maalzel invented his confounded contraption were utter shite. Y'know, Bach and all his useless buddies, that lot.   My mates and I always finish at the same tempo as that at which we start (I have abundant recordings to prove it), and WE all think metronomes are small guys on the Paris tube.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: John P
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM

Whenever I'm learning a new tune, I play it slow, fast, and in between. Also on a couple or three different instruments. Most tunes teach me something new about themselves at each speed and on each instrument I try it with. Sometimes the feel that comes out when I play it fast can be transferred to the slow version. Sometimes I end up with two completely different arrangements of the same tune and can plug them in according to my mood.

As soon as there are no dancers there is no particular reason to play a tune at any particular speed. The point is to make it sound good. Most traditional tunes sound better to me at a slightly more relaxed tempo than the speed demons want. The thing I like about traditional tunes is the melodies. If the melody is going by too fast to appreciate the nuances, what's the point?

Anyone who speeds up a tune that someone else started is just displaying their inexperience and lack of musical cooperation. Anyone who plays faster than they are competent to play should just stop.

Really good players can play a tune extremely fast with all appropriate ornaments in and without losing the throb. Most of us can't, and shouldn't try. As soon as you lose the throb you may as well put your instrument down. I use that as my limiter for the upper end of the speed on all tunes. That doesn't mean that I always play them as fast as I can; it just means I won't play them faster than that.

When I play for dances, I play at appropriate dance speeds and adjust if needed by watching the dancers. Knowing how to dance the dance can allow you to add subtleties to your playing that only mean anything if you know the dance, but which add a ton to the experience for everyone involved. I'm thankful that I've rarely been called on to play for Irish dancing, since the tunes are mostly played too fast for my taste. They lose their musicality. I've played a lot for French and Swedish dancing. Much more sensible speeds.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 07:33 PM

I suppose all musicians that existed before Maalzel invented his confounded contraption were utter shite. Y'know, Bach and all his useless buddies, that lot.

No, prior to clockwork metronomes a pendulum of a prescribed length was used as a reference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 07:54 PM

And have you information as to how widespread was the deployment of these Baroque gizmos? Know what I mean, getting the pendulum the right length to give you 160bpm, for example, then altering it for the next tune? Blimey, the average music lesson in those days must have lasted for an absolute age!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:08 PM

Some foot-tappers:

Gary West (the subtle approach): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVngcNVChvY

Jerry Holland (much the same - watch teh transitions and the pianist's feet too): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaxwYzGeOuw

Brenda Stubbert (with added stepdancing): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb07TrUyZek

Fred Morrison (I don't think anyone could accuse him of doing this as a "habitual" action): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fRWNxqNyNk

Natalie McMaster (for her, quite restrained, but watch that right heel): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdc-oL6VjIc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:16 PM

8" = 120 bpm

It was extremely common throughout Europe, but I don't quite understand what you're asking Steve - sorry. To quicken the speed you just hold it nearer to the weight. Or at least get someone else to..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:22 PM

One of the best musicians I ever played with was an inveterate foot-tapper, but the very worst thing you could do was watch his foot for any sort of guidance. Though his tempo was absolutely rock-solid, his tapping bore no relation whatsoever to what he was playing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:25 PM

I've been to see many a symphony orchestra/chamber orchestra/string quartet/solo pianist in my time and, well, whaddya know? Not a tapping foot in sight! :-D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:29 PM

There is some advice in teaching methods of Bach's time that suggests using your pulse as a metronome (maybe after calibrating it with a pendulum).

Introspecting your own pulse and simultaneously allowing for the factors that might speed it up, while continuing to play your instrument, would be quite a mental trick.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:36 PM

Classical training certainly frowns on foot tapping.
I've got a theory too that it can become a substitute for putting an accent in the music itself, which, in some situations could be detrimental.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:39 PM

I think taking your own pulse whilst playing the harpsicord is probably a feat which is beyond the cosseted young musicians of today :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 08:42 PM

I've never known a person who actually practises with a metronome to slag them off.

To be a musician you need an ear for pitch and an ear for rhythm.

To be a good musician, Both need to be trained.

Time waits for no man ... but doesn't hurry him either.

If my cake is ready in 20 minutes, I don't want my timer going off in 15 minutes or half an hour.

Check out james brown or any other "soul" icons (as opposed to soulless contraptions) and note the absolute crisp tightness of the bands timing.

Each musicain can trust 100% themselves and their colleagues to be on the nail with every nuance.

That takes practice.

Muscle memory dictates that the way you practice is the way you will play.

There are thousands of musicians around who believe they have good timing - just as there are thousands who beieve they have the X factor.

If you practice by playing one phrase fast, then slow down for the next etc, you will do the same thing live.

If you want to train yourself to carry your own time that you can consciously choose to speed up or slow down as appropriate, then you need to work to achieve that.

There isn't a single renouned instrumentalist on the face of the earth who hasn't put the work in on both their tone quality and their timing.

This is a tip I am passing on that I have learned from considerable experience as a working musician who has played numerous contrasting styles of music on numerous instruments, ranging from west african polyrhythms to jazz to Irish melodies on numerous instruments.

I know my shit - you can take it or leave it - its no skin off my nose either way.

Whatever you do - I hope it does it for you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 09:05 PM

Crikey, that's almost as many instruments as I play..

Excellent advice lox, though personally I prefer reggae to soul as a reference for rhythmic excellence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 09:37 PM

I suppose it depends on the reggae/soul artist.

But My point was in response to the matter of the "soulless" metronome.

If you check out just about every half decent soul tune from northern soul, stax and motown through to the cheesy 80's ans 90's variety's you'll find that they have one thing in common ... you could set your watch by them.

Same is true of Trad - check out the vocals on Fionnghuala by the Bothy band or any of the fast stuff that Paddy Keenan plays on his pipes - likewise the comping from donal lunny or in planxty the guitaring and bodhran playing of christy moore - not to mention the singing.

each beat is accurate to within the tiniest of margins - this isn't just the result of talent, but also of hard work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 09:52 PM

You're absolutely right.
I see the metronome as a measuring device; a tool.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 10:34 PM

A word of wisdom from up above:

"Good dance music is played by musicians who watch the dancers dancing and play accordingly."

Stated differently:

"Good dance music is played by musicians who know how to dance."

Until you've done at least a little of it for yourself, you can't really know much of what to watch for. Even just shufflin' a little on the sidelines, while a good dance band plays for some good dancers will give you at least some feel for what's needed - and it will work even if you can only "half-time" the tempo that the regular dancers prefer and have to shuffle when the dancers step.

And you should NEVER try to use - or emulate - a metronome when playing for dancers. The tempo needs to vary to suit the moves, and you need to learn enough of the moves to know when to "swing it." Perhaps even more than varying the tempo is knowing when to "hold" a note, or a beat, when the dancers need (or want) it. (And how to "catch up the beat" for the ones who didn't want the pause, without either of the dancers noticing what you've done.)

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 11:17 PM

I'm a firm believer in making the buggers dance in time.. insensitive though that may seem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:54 AM

Ah yes, GUEST Smokey. Obviously you're of the "dancing as a martial art" school.

Of course if you're the star performer, I have a hard time seeing why you're playing at a dance. You might as well be on the radio, and then you could call yourself a bluegrasser.

If it's a dance, the stars should be the dancers. They dance in time with their feeling of the dance, and the music should stay in time with them. (If you're gonna claim to be a musician, and not just a rote performer.)

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Noreen
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:27 AM

metronome on Wikipedia

Some interesting quotes included above:

    100 according to Maelzel, but this must be held applicable to only the first measures, for feeling also has its tempo and this cannot entirely be expressed in this figure.
    —Ludvig van Beethoven

    I do not mean to say that it is necessary to imitate the mathematical regularity of the metronome, which would give the music thus executed an icy frigidity; I even doubt whether it would be possible to maintain this rigid uniformity for more than a few bars.
    —Hector Berlioz

    A metronomical performance is certainly tiresome and nonsensical; time and rhythm must be adapted to and identified with the melody, the harmony, the accent and the poetry…
    —Franz Liszt


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:44 AM

"Good dance music is played by musicians who know how to dance."
A nice piece of observation, though I think I prefer:
"Good dance music is played by musicians who watch the dancers dancing and play accordingly."
While I don't believe that having two left feet should prevent anybody becoming a good musician, I think an understanding of the root of Irish traditional music, the dance, is essential to good playing.
By the same token, I agree totally with a comment made regarding Seamus Ennis's playing, "Those who understand singing make the best slow-air players".
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:16 AM

I agree, Jim .
many musicians who play in sessions have never played for a dance in their life .
[imo]some of the dances now being danced ,are also not always danced to the best rhythym for dancing.
eg Seige of Ennis to jigs,I know there are people on this forum who will disagree with this statement.
and again we must just agree to differ,but I find the side stepping to jigs ridiculous,in my experience the best tunes are Rattling Bog,Spanish ladies,Girl I left Behind me etc.[Just a personal opinion,from having danced,and watch dancers trying to step Seige of Ennis to jigs ]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:01 AM

Martin Carthy said ' if you play for dancers, watch the dancers feet '

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:29 AM

Looks like Beethoven, Berlioz and Liszt were expressing the same reservations as me when it comes to metronomes! ;-) I think they have appropriate uses and inappropriate uses like everything else. Diagnostic tool, great. Any other use, all you're doing is stretching out the time before you can stand on your own feet. I'll wager that all those crisp soulmen and reggae artists didn't get to sound so lovely and crisp together by all playing along with a metronome in their bedrooms the night before the gig.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Zen
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:53 AM

100 bpm!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:08 AM

History of metronomes:

http://www.franzmfg.com/history.htm

Given how closely associated with Beethoven Maelzel was (he'd made a series of custom ear trumpets for him), he must have known exactly what was wanted.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:17 AM

The metronome was invented and patented by the German inventor, Johann Nepomuk Mälzel (August 15, 1772 - July 21, 1838) in 1816, on the suggestion of composer Ludwig van Beethoven .
Beethoven was by this time completely deaf and died in 1827,BEETHOVEN LIST AND BERLOZ of course were well known composers of Irish Dance music.
I stated,that Metronomes would be of use as a diagnostic tool.
it is not a question of standing on ones own feet,its a question of not pissing off other people,by consistently speeding up the tunes when they have been started at a slower speed,it is all very well talking about interacting with other people,but the speedsters are not interacting,they are in their own world they are not listening[and in my experience,they persist with this cloth eared attitude],if they went away and listened to a metronome and noted where they speeded up,in other words used the Metronome as a diagnostic tool ,they might sort their rhythym problems out .,they might the start listening to other people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:25 AM

Go to Chapters 2, 3 & 4

Home
PRELUDE

The Musician and the Metronome

The original purpose of the inventors of the metronome was only to provide a yardstick with which tempos could he accurately measured and specified. Although Maelzel's and Beethoven's labors served this purpose well in the development of the instrument and the tempo scale, the growth in the use of the metronome is attributable to other uses to which it has been put. One of the principal objects of these other uses is the attainment of a high degree of skill in executing difficult or tricky rhythms.

There are two schools of thought among musicians concerning this use of the metronome-one opposed and the other favorable. "Practicing with a metronome" has been criticized by some musicians as "making you mechanical." In some instances such criticism is largely a prejudice, the critic having gained the impression that one starts a metronome and simply continues playing with it indefinitely. In most instances, however, such criticism is excusable since so little has been published on specific techniques of metronome uses. It is hoped that those who oppose its use for learning and improving the control of rhythm will read with tolerance these methods, employed by those who favor it, and perhaps investigate their value by experimenting with one or two of them in their own teaching or preparation for concerts.

To acquire concert-performance control of rhythm with all its nuances, a knowledge of the subtle use of metronome technique is very profitable. This little book aims to supply such knowledge. The techniques are really very simple. If one approaches the subject with an open mind, improvements that are positive, pleasurable, and often astonishing, are sure to follow.

Many of the techniques presented in this book have been gathered from correspondence and conversation with exponents of the art and are here codified and published for the first time. The others have been published here and there over the years. All are the result of the thoughts of many minds. Credit for first use or first publication is given when it has been possible to obtain the information. But, in an art as old as the use of the metronome in the study of music, exact knowledge of first uses is often obscure. It is hoped that any omission or incorrect attribution of credit may be pardoned in light of this fact. If the reader of this book employs successful methods in his or her teaching or concert preparatory work, other than those described here, we shall welcome an explanation of his or her methods so that an abstract of them may be included in future editions. It is intended to revise this book from time to time as new methods are devised and as more old ones are revealed. Then they, too, will be brought to the attention of those who love and live to make music


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 10:20 AM

Jim Carroll remarks:
I agree totally with a comment made regarding Seamus Ennis's playing, "Those who understand singing make the best slow-air players".

Very true. In fact it can be quite unnerving to hear slow airs played by people who have no idea of the underlying song. This relationship is, of course, similar to the "dance music without dance" one - its a matter of form and function, I suppose.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 11:32 AM

"The Musician and the Metronome"
And there's me thinking that a metronome was a vertically challenged man working on the Paris underground!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 01:08 PM

Ah yes, GUEST Smokey. Obviously you're of the "dancing as a martial art" school.

Of course if you're the star performer, I have a hard time seeing why you're playing at a dance. You might as well be on the radio, and then you could call yourself a bluegrasser.
(JiKansas)

Maybe we have different approaches to dance accompaniment John, but I don't think there's any need for insult. I've always understood that the music led the dancing, not the other way around. If what you say is correct, how do you account for all the old dance-band leaders who faced away from the dance floor to conduct? They weren't watching the dancers' feet, that's for sure, and I suspect the musicians weren't either. Certainly, playing for performance/exhibition dancing can require a certain elasticity, but for social dancing I would always advocate keeping the rhythm as solid and reliable as possible. It's always worked for me; they dance, they clap, they pay, and they keep booking. There are no stars, it's just a dance. I play dances for the money, since you were wondering. I've done it for about thirty years and no-one's rumbled me yet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Young speedy muscian
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:36 PM

in order to adhere to sterotype. Many sessions i go to are a bit slow.
for my taste anyway


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,young speedy musician
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:44 PM

also, it's not always about dancing. sessions are very rarely for dancing. if you want music for dancing then go to a dance!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:46 PM

Hey, Jim, I got there before you! "...and WE all think metronomes are small guys on the Paris tube." :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:57 PM

What is a reel? It's a dance.
What is a jig? It's a dance.
What is a treble jig? It's a dance.

Young speedy, one day you will mature and figure out where the skill really lies. What you have now is reflexes and talent. As time goes on, you will have wisdom. Then you will see that music played so fast as too miss the expressiveness, is simply an exercise in fitness and reflex. There is a correct speed to play, and it is not the same for every player, or every situation. Playing very fast is very cool, if it can be done and still allow the tune's expressiveness to come through. If your goal in a session is to leave everyone in the dust, you will be successful at accomplishing your goal. But you will be invited to fewer and fewer sessions. If your goal is to do justice to the music, and enjoy the camaradie of friends/fellow musicians, then you will find the right tempo and your music will not all sound the same to the listeners.

And maybe that is being done already. One thing is sure. I am glad you are playing the music.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,YSM
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:05 PM

nope. wrong! reels, jigs and whatever other meters are rhythms and i'm interested in the tunes that relate to the rhythms not the dances.

you don't know if I have reflexes or talent. I may well have neither. As it turns out I'm invited to plenty of sessions with players that like similar music to me.

I don't want to leave you in the dust. I want you to keep up!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:16 PM

From the Oxford Online dictionary:

reel

• noun 1 a cylinder on which film, wire, thread, etc. can be wound. 2 a part of a film. 3 a lively Scottish or Irish folk dance with music in simple or duple time.

• verb 1 (reel in) wind on or bring towards one by turning a reel. 2 (reel off) say or recite rapidly and effortlessly. 3 dance a reel. 4 stagger or lurch violently. 5 feel giddy or bewildered.

jig

• noun 1 a lively dance with leaping movements and music in compound time. 2 a device that guides tools and holds materials or parts securely.

• verb (jigged, jigging) 1 dance a jig. 2 move up and down with a quick jerky motion.

hornpipe

• noun 1 a lively solo dance traditionally performed by sailors. 2 a piece of music for such a dance.

Don't be embarassed. Another thing you learn with age is to be sure of definitions before you start flinging them around.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,YSM
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:27 PM

ur still wrong . completely wrong.

why am I so sure? because of youthful arrogance? possibly because i am not interested in dancing but am interested in 'dance' music. along with many, many other people.
I and those others do not need dancing to enjoy this music,

so you are wrong.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:29 PM

Spoken like a YOUNG speedy musician. That's OK. Just keep playing....... and enjoying. The rest will come.....

All the best, (really!!)

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,YSM
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:30 PM

googling terms and copying and pasting is not wisdom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,YSM
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM

maybe you don't get invited to the kinds of session i enjoy. Although in your infinite wisdom I'm sure that's not the case.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,YSM
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:33 PM

Anyway, maybe I'm not young afterall just speaking fo the cause


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,YSF
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:50 PM

Actually those aren't very good definitions at all! What questioning the oxford online dictionary dogma!!!!!!

The definitons are certainly not comprehensive. Everyone involved in traditional music uses these terms to describe tunes AND dances all of the time! (something the online dictionary include for Hornpipe but inexplicably not for Jig and Reel)

A reel may well be a dance but it's also a tune. And it is the definition of the tune that we are disputing here. At one time it may have been the tune for the dance but now they have a life of there own. These are the sessions that I am most often found in.

Don't just say "allright youngun, one day you'll understand" because you don't have an actual answer. That demonstrates your limited depth of knowledge on the subject.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: mayomick
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM

It's not a new problem. P.W.Joyce complained around the turn of the last century in the introduction to his Old Irish Music and Songs collection that jigs,reels and hornpipes were being played much faster then than in the mid nineteenth century . Airs he thought were played too slow.

I think it might be to do with the way we learn tunes. In order to play music proficiently at a slower speed musicians increase the speed when practicing so as to get the tune into their fingers .That way they can play it gracefully when they slow down to the right speed .Some people get carried away with the speed and forget to reconnect to the spirit of the tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: meself
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:07 PM

Oh, goodie! Things are finally heating up - I had just about given up on this thread ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:54 PM

Mick, Are you teasing?.

Sometimes a piece of music can also be called a "dance" like the third movement of a symphony, which in haydn and mozarts day was a dance (menuet) - yet you would never find people dancing to it - unless they were inspired by the music enough to choreograph something specifically - which I would add I have never known.

I presume when people are talking of dancers leading musicians they are talking about solo dancers.

Because in the absence of a common pulse (provided by musicians) the dancers are soon going to fall out of step with each other - so which dancer would the musicians follow ... and if there is a group of musicians do they each follow whichever musician catches their eye? or do they agree on a particular dancer beforehand? and what if it is a social occasion and everyone is dancing for fun?

The band leader is in charge of the rhythm and tempo or the above incomplete and chaotic scanario would result in a mess.

He may consult with the dancers to establish a preferred tempo beforehand, but for the musicians to follow them as they danced would be a mistake they would only ever make once.

Whether music should be played orlistened to fast or slow is a matter of taste.

Whether music is played rhythmically coherently and confidently is a matter of professionalism.

When someone with reat time plays, you can almost feel the pulse behind the music even when you can't hear it. It is so strong in the mind of the performer that it infects the audience with a sense of drive and momentum.

The question isn't whether music is better faster or slower, but whether musicians are good enough for the music to sound good at fast speeds or whether it just sounds like a mush of hasty poor quality notes skating roughly over a hoped for tempo.

The thing thats great about John McLaughlin isn't that he can play 16 notes a second but that he can do it so that it sounds great - ie, it scans /fits across the bar and finishes accurately and in time with the accompaniment.

And the tone quality doesn't suffer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:00 PM

I can't see anything wrong with those dictionary definitions - all three mention the music.
Wise words, Big Mick, I was a young speedy musician once. In an ideal world, it's just a phase you go through. Until you realise you're not getting paid per note :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:11 PM

The question I have to ask though is this - was your experience as a young speedy musicain less valid than your experience as an ... erm ... more mature musician.

Your taste was different back then - you wanted high intensity and high adrenaline as part of your music.

I don't think it has anything to do with wisdom one way or the other and I think many of those decrying fast music would enjoy it if they heard it done well.

The difference between an enjoyable flamenco performance isn't how fast or slow it is done, but whether it makes you want to stand up, thrust your pelvis forward, throw your hands in the air and shout OLE.

And when a great Fiddler player grabs a tune by the scruff of the neck and puts it through its paces, it has the exact opposite effect of a poor fiddler attempting to do the same - it makes heads turn, backs straighten and jaws drop (while the poor fiddlers attempt causes shoulders to sag, backs to turn and jaws to engage in conversation).

Most fiddlers aren't good enough to do the former, and if they ever want to be able to do it they need to train up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:29 PM

was your experience as a young speedy musicain less valid than your experience as an ... erm ... more mature musician.

I may be a bit old, but I'm not sure about mature..
Yes, it was every bit as valid - I'm not knocking the process. Whatever speed music is played at, what counts is whether it's played well. I think beyond that variety is the key factor in how entertaining the end result is. Play fast tunes all night and the effect is soon lost.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,YSG
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:40 PM

I can't see anything wrong with those dictionary definitions - all three mention the music.
GUEST,Smokey

yes but not as a definition in it's own right. they say dancing with music (except hornpipe which concedes "2 a piece of music for such a dance."

please read msg's before you comment


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:50 PM

I did read, thank you.
I suspect that the hornpipe definition differs because sometimes it was danced without music. That's only a guess though, I'd welcome an authorititive explanation from anyone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,MSG
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:09 PM

yawn. sure you did. we're discussing the music not the dance aspect!

and clearly a nececessary addendum to all entries is at least "the music that accompanies such a dance" (this isn't really up for debate as reels, jigs etc are everyday terms for tune types in itm)

my point isthat it should now be taken furthr and be "the music that accompanies such a dance or has been historically asscociated with such a dance meter"   or something more elequent to the same effect


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:21 PM

Yes, they could do that, but I think they imply it anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,MPG
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:33 PM

cool, then i have found a surprising ally in you


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:42 PM

Good!
I hope the music brings you as much pleasure as it has me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 10:08 PM

Sorry, had to leave to tape a TV show. Two of the selections were reel sets. Just so you understand, young one, that you are not the only musician in the crowd. And as to the patronizing tone, it was done by intent to let a little air out of you. You, as many young folks (remember that you started the whole "young speedy" thing) seem to approach music that many of us have been playing for more years than you have been alive as if you have the answers and we are old fuddy duddies. I can assure you that I can play as quickly as I wish to, and with considerable skill. Another thing you might want to consider is that most of us that you challenge were at the stage of developement you are at now years ago.

As to redefining the terms, you should have been around for the "What is Folk music" debate. People in that one wanted to redefine things as well. But you cannot. Reel, jig, and hornpipe describe dances that are done to specific meters, as the definition says. The music that accompanies these dances, obviously, is played to specific styles. That music has been categorized by the dances and not the other way around. And your contention that we need to redefine would have merit if there were something new about what you are doing. There is nothing new that you are doing. You simply have an erroneous idea that your ability to play fast means you have skill. It does not. It simply means you can play fast, but says nothing about the ornamentation and nuance that really separates a master from just a good player showing off. And there are plenty of those. Hell, we even do it in our pub shows when there are no dancers around. But make no mistake, young Padawan learner, it is first and foremost, dance music. And legendary performers, many mentioned already in this thread, will tell you. If you can't dance to it, you are doing it wrong.

I was sincere when I said I am glad young folks like you are around. I have no doubt of your love of the music. It is clear you love it. And you really aren't doing anything different from what many of us did. I will just bet that if I were to live long enough to meet you in 20 years (not likely), you would be saying something similar to what I am saying now.

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 10:34 PM

I think it would be unnecessarily confusing if the music required for various types of dance had different names to the dances themselves. And I'm probably confused quite enough already..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 03:31 AM

in my experience,it is better to pick the two or three best dancers,and watch them while you play,there is nothing worse than watching someone who has no sense of rhythym .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 04:21 AM

except, perhaps, listening to someone who has no sense of rhythm?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 04:39 AM

When we play at ceilidhs, the dance speed is dictated by the band. There's a good reason for this - most of the dances that we play for are populated by dancers who, apart from one or two, have never done it before. So we set the speed and watch carefully in case we have to do extra repeats so that those couples who've got themselves into an inextricable mess (in spite of the best efforts of our excellent caller) have the chance to do it properly.

And - just to be cheeky - we start off at a steady pace and, if they're doing OK, we speed up slightly, just to get their blood circulating a little faster...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:13 AM

learning the skill of playing with a metronome is one that should not be easily dismissed .
it can be useful ,if one is aasked to play as a session musican on a recording,and playing witha click track is called for,secondly it can be useful as a practice tool,for a situation where the musician has to play for forty solo dancers,and to enable them to be treated equally,the abilty to play at a precise tempo,is required .
to ensure that this happens, getting a speed from a metronome,when practising is very useful .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:15 AM

I'd also point out that just as a musician needs to develop good time, so should a dancer.

We can't have all you peg legs gallumphing around off the beat and then blaming it on us down here in the pits when it goes wrong ...

a dance leader counts out time and cues at rehearsals - acting as a kind of .. hmmm ... now what can I compare them to ...

... maybe ... something like ... a metronome ...

       ^_^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Sugwash
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 08:44 AM

Has anybody actually broken a neck playing Irish music too fast?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: meself
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 09:13 AM

I saw someone break a fingernail once ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,LPG
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 09:38 AM

Mick, how often in a session have you heard someone say give us a set of reels (or whatever) and the response has been someone getting up to dance a reel of 3 (or something)? never? because that's not what was meant, they meant The Tune. I may be young but I have been playing most of my life and have inherited it directly form family and friends.

Don't make out like you somehow are passing on the torch to me. I don't believe I have even heard you play, so can't have been influenced by you. Mine and your traditions may coexist but are almost entirely independent.

Plenty of specialist terms are not found in general dictionary. These are some of them. Reels and Jigs aren't words I've learnt from books, they are everyday terms that I use (funnily enough) on a daily basis. Maybe this is why I am confident in my defintion. Are you a tune player Mick? I'm thinking not.

I will admit that I have been a bit inflamatory on here but that was only in response to a thread that was basically saying the thing that I enjoy doing is somehow ruining it for everyone.

Short answer - No.

No - it's not ruining it overall.

Yes - of course no one should ever speed up a set started by someone else. That's beginner level etiquete. Any good player that breaks it would only do so if there are more underlying reasons.

Yes - variety in tunes is good. But that doesn't mean a fast set played poorly followed by a slow set played poorly.

Yes - all tunes sound the same. (sort of) Although if the players are good and it still sounds the same to you. Then you are out of your depth. Learn the tunes being played. Once you've done that you should be able to hear the differences at at last.

Sometines we play for people that can't hear the tune for the ornamentation, however most enjoyment is gleaned from playing tunes with people that can appreciate the subtleties that distinguish a great player from a good one, not trying to educate the masses.

Lilt should always be in the music. If people aren't tapping there feet then somethings probably wrong. The music maybe "dancey" with a strong rhythm but not at a speed you can dance a convoluted step dance to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Zen
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 09:54 AM

Has anybody actually broken a neck playing Irish music too fast

I don't know but it's probably prudent to have some spare ones.

Zen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Stu
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 10:31 AM

There's no right or wrong with this one. I know musicians who love playing tunes at a clip, and others who hate fast tunes along with plenty who like both.

Is breakneck speed spoiling Irish music? No.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,mayomick at work
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 10:57 AM

You can have music without dance but not the other way around ,so the original Irish dancers must have had something to dance to. To dancers the steps would have been more important than the music itself and so over the years the music would have changed to suit the tempo of the dancers .But you should never lose sight of the fact that the music in some form or another must have come first .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 12:59 PM

they're just different appendages of the same beast. Some of us became fascinated by the musical aspect, others by the dance.

There are dances without music - and there are "dances" with no dance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: mayomick
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 03:31 PM

Large numbers of people were spontaneously frolicking around in 6/8 time and then Italian musicians come along and invented the jig ? No, the music had to have come first.

There are no dances without music that I can of -even a bee dances to the humming of its own wings. Dances without dance ? Could you clarify Lox. I don't see how it's possible without the inverted commas ..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:40 PM

Regarding the definitions of the words, (jig, reel, hornpipe etc.) it's my belief that they were first coined to describe the dance, hence the way the dictionary treats them. To call a jig (music) a jig is by no means wrong, but knowing why leads to a greater understanding of the music even if you never play it to be danced to.

The dances themselves could be danced to no more than percussion instruments if necessary, just as the tunes can justifiably be played without dancers. I'd guess that the very first dancing humans ever did was to no more than thythmic percussion, not melody.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:43 PM

And you don't get much thythmic percussion these days, it's a dying art.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:01 PM

See my earlier comments concerning the third movement of a mozart or haydn symphony.

A "dance" can be a musical form as well as a piece of music written for dancing to or it can be a series of choreographed movements.

Which came first - dancing or music?

Maybe chanting and dancing simultaneously without a divide between dancers and musicians?

Who knows - who cares.

Both art forms can exist independantly of each other.

What do you call a tune from Ireland with two or three parts in the dorian or mixolydian mode at a moderate to fast tempo in either 9/8 time or swung 3/4 time (depending on how you hear it)

I'd save time by calling it a slip jig.

We could try to construct a logical hypothetical view about whether music or dance came first, but jigs and reels came into existence long after that time, so there is no telling whether musicians invented them first and dancers were inspired to get up and follow the music, or whether dancers requested music that fitted the rhythm of their dance.

All you can do is do the research and find the earliest reference to jigs and reels as dances or as musical forms and even that is unlikely to be conclusive since the tradition was passed largely from musician to musician and from dancer to dancer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:11 PM

As for dances without music - I went to see a flamenco exhibition recently - divine it was - there were dances to music ...

... but there were also dances with none. The dancers made their own music with their feet - you could have set your watch by the rhythm - and you could have added music if you felt like it - any musician watching would certainly have been inspired to.

Flamenco is similar to Irish dancing in respect of percussive feet.

I don't know one way or the otheer for sure, but I can easily conceive of a group of people singing airs and dancing reels without instruments.

What instruments would they have been dancing along to?

did the dances exist befor ethe arrival of thee guitar , the fiddle, the bouzouki etc or was everyone sitting around sipping guinness waiting for the musical instrument ship to arrive?

I don't know any better than you - but I contest the view that any part of this debate is logical or safe to assume.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:55 PM

We can only guess I suppose but I'm pretty sure rhythm must have came before melody. I wonder how fast they were banging the rocks? :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 08:21 PM

possible - but also possible that vocal expression came first, later developing into melody and harmony.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 08:32 PM

This is interesting, though not conclusive:

http://www.annaswebart.com/culture/dancehistory/history/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 08:03 AM

I don't know if the following has been discussed in this thread, but here goes...
Is the ability to play fast an innate skill or can it be acquired? Or, put another eay, are we born with a certain finger speed, or can we practice hard and gain real speed in our playing. I know a player of Irish music in Liverpool whose technique is so undisciplined that it's amazing that he can play at any speed at all; also, I've been watching the Kevin Burke fiddle tuition dvd recently, and so many techniques he employs are bound to make fast playing more accessible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Stu
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 08:11 AM

"Is the ability to play fast an innate skill or can it be acquired?"

I'm not sure there is such a thing as a truly innate skill. I think the players I've seen who play fast but can still articulate properly are so versed in the subtleties of the instrument and the music it seems effortless, when actually it's taken a lifetime to get to that skill level. Which I guess means anyone who puts the effort in could learn to do it, although whether they would be subject to the same influences that enables them to be as good as they could be is another matter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,mayomick at slavery
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 09:52 AM

Whatever about flamenco ,you do need a bit of music when you're performing Irish dance . The music came first historcally.
According to wiki
"The jig derives its name from the French word gigue, meaning small fiddle, or giga, the Italian name of a short piece of music popular in the Middle Ages. It was widely played as a dance tune at Irish fairs, and from the music the dance took its name.[1]"

Irish dance music was performed at a ceiili . Without musicians these ceilis wouldn't have happened :

"The céili can be traced back to pre-famine times, when dancing at the cross-roads was a popular rural pastime. These dances were usually held on Sunday evenings in summer when young people would gather at the cross-roads. The music was often performed by a fiddler seated on a three legged stool with his upturned hat beside him for a collection. The fiddler began with a reel such as the lively "Silver Tip", but he had to play it several times before the dancers joined in. The young men were reluctant to begin the dance but after some encouragement from the fiddler, the sets of eight filled up the dancing area."
http://www.irelandseye.com/dance.html

I'm certainly with the slow it down brigade on this issue ,but I don't think we should be taking the speed of dancers as the model . It could actually be the case that over-athletic dancers have been at fault in forcing musicians to speed up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 04:12 PM

The word 'jig' comes from the old French 'giguer' (to Dance) as far as I can tell.

Unreliable though Wikipaedia is, their definition of the reel doesn't support the hypothesis of the dance taking its name from the music either, nor does 'hornpipe'.

Not that it really matters....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: terrier
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 04:28 PM

...Irish dance music was performed at a ceiili...
and I'll raise you one i , ceiiili :)
I'm afraid I take Wiki very lightly as a serious resource, maybe it would be more acceptable to think that Irish music and dance evolved side by side, one discipline feeding off the other. Many times at Irish sessions I've been at, the musician/s have struck up a tune and people have just started an impromptu dance or set and in doing so have had no qualms about telling the musician/s to speed up or slow down to their needs, but I've never heard a dancer say "you're playing the wrong tune".
I'm not sure where this thread is leading as the speed at which tunes are meant to be played varies from tune to tune and area to area and different dancers will want to dance at different tempi. To my mind, I like to hear a tune played well, no matter how fast or slow it is played. Is it just a matter of personal choice?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: JohnB
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 04:45 PM

Got to agree somewhat with the Cap'n about metronomes.
We have a Morris dance group, when we get a musician with an Irish session background, they always play too fast. In general it comes from the diddelys or triplets, they play them with total disregard to the length of time of the piece (ie. as fast as humanly possible). Then after a couple of triplets they keep up the new tempo, or end up out of synch with the dancers. A metronme would definitely help there.
Unless it was like the one I bought for $5 in a garage sale, it went
T I C K - toc, it took quite a while to get the arm recentred on the shaft.
On the subject of the music/musicallity though, just remember the Police Force advertising mantra "SPEED KILLS"
JohnB.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 04:46 PM

It certainly should be a matter of personal choice. Manners and competence are important factors too. If we're talking specifically about Irish dance and its music as we know it, it's reasonably safe to assume that they evolved side by side, but that's only a small part of a big picture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: John P
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:20 PM

JohnB, I was amazed at how slow Morris music is the first time I played for some dancers. I'd watched Morris dancing for years and always thought of it as sprightly. Who knew it just looks sprightly because the dancers are pretty much in the air all the time? Playing too fast is courting heart attacks. I've always thought most Irish music is played too fast, but it was still quite an act of discipline for me to slow down to the appropriate speed. I can understand how your Irish musician kept bounding forward. Not that I'm excusing him for not getting it pretty quick, of course . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:23 PM

JohnB
Regarding your metronome - I trust you don't live on a very steep hill? Only kidding, but I live amidst an inordinate amount of clutter and often have great difficulty finding a truly level surface. It's one of the advantages that an electronic one has, but I still prefer my old wind-up one. A good tip for wind-ups is to not watch them, because the eye follows the sweep of the arm from end to end, and the click is in the middle of the sweep. The rhythm perceived by the eye is out of phase with that received via the ears.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: curmudgeon
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:53 PM

I've been following this thread since it started, but have not have the chance to read all the posts. But of thoae I have, I've seen both wisdom and balderdash.

Only my opinion, but I feel that excessive speed is a matter of attitude.

On the one hand, there's the musician who says, "Here, come listen this lovely tune," while the other says, "Here, come listen to me."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:59 PM

On the one hand, there's the musician who says, "Here, come listen this lovely tune," while the other says, "Here, come listen to me."

Nail hit firmly on head..

I always say a good singer/musician should never get in the way of the music. It's got me some funny looks, but it's my unshakeable belief. My advice to performers would be: If you want your personality to come through the music, don't try to put it there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 06:41 PM

Perhaps proper instrument-racing events could be organised, in order to separate the concepts of music as a sport and music as art from each other.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 06:56 PM

Fiddle jockeys.. whistle gusters.. bagpipe drivers.. accordion pilots..
They could put them on cigarette cards..
Then there's the Olympics..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: terrier
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 08:25 PM

Any chance we're getting hypercritical here, there's good players and not so good players, we all got to learn. I agree, keep your ego out of the music but your personality is how you play the music. Lots of good advice in this thread but I don't think the last comments are helpful( no offence intended, Smokey).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 08:48 PM

None taken Terrier.
What I meant about personality is that it's far more likely to come out if you're not consciously trying. Just play the music and allow it to happen rather than trying to make it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: terrier
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 09:36 PM

Thanks Smokey, it's just that some people are more enthusiastic than others. When I was many years younger and more enthusiastic than my ability warranted, I would feel the gentle hand of experiance on my shoulder offering contextual help. They never complained about my playing or said I was playing it wrong, but just gave friendly advice and guidence and led by example. That's something I've tried to carry on and use as a sort of Mantra( if that's a good explanation). I still regard my early mentors with great affection that they took the time and patience to impart their own feelings for the Music to me. Maybe we should all take a step back and give some room.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 09:47 PM

I'm not knocking it - I was there and I did it. I still can.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Declan
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 09:51 PM

I'd say most trad music is not played specifically for dancers at this stage so this is a bit of a red herring (unless you are actually playing for dancers).

Tempo does vary (among other things) with regional styles - Clare is usually fairly steady. As you move up the west coast towards Donegal things tend to get faster. I'm not personally a fan of very fast sessions, but a lot of people find really fast playing exciting and mistake it for virtuosity. Because of this bands tend to play fast on recordings, others learn from these recordings and a whole viscious circle gets going.

Sometimes when I hear people playing really quickly, I wonder if they really like the music they are playing - or are they trying to get the tunes finished as quickly as possible.

Mostly I'd advise musicians to develop their competence to be able to play tunes at a reasonable speed. Once they are competent in doing that they should consider an appropriate speed for whatever set of tunes they're playing - mostly I think a steady pace is preferable, but it's not for me to say. As a backer in a session my job is to back the tune at the speed it is started, although if I think people are overdoing the speed, I will generally say so. Discussing things like this generally works better than trying to impose 'rules'. For example its useful to point out to beginners with a limited repertoire of tunes that if they play the tunes they know at very high speed that they will run out of tunes they know very quickly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: terrier
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 10:38 PM

Declan, that's the point I would make, but I don't have the knowledge of Irish music to argue the point.

Maybe they're just playing the tunes as they learnt them not knowing any different. There is an understanding that if you hear someone play a tune a certain way, then that's the way to play it. That goes for singers as well as musicians. Right or wrong???

To get back to the 'metronome' idea. I was recording dance tunes with an Enlgish band. The tempo was all over the place. The recordings are very popular with English dancers. The musicians are long time dancers. I can only assume that they are playing the music as 'dancers' and not as musicians. I know from my days playing for the morris (I was also a dancer) that I used to play the music as I would have liked to dance it and that, due to the mechanics of the dance, was certainly not 'metronomic'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 06:55 AM

'Clare is usually fairly steady' - it has been said that when Clare set dancers used to dance the Plain Set to polkas (which it rarely is these days, dancers seem to prefer reels which came in the 80's I think, in Dublin, and it caught on), they would have been at a slower pace than Kerry ones. I doubt whether there are many musicians around now who would have had the experience of playing Clare polkas, I do know of 2, Michael Tubridy and Eamon McGivney, if anyone know knows of others, it would be very intersting to hear about them!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 07:04 AM

terrier,

The supersonic pace you & Keith play at Glan yr Afon [Fry an Anglo?]
no one'd be able to dance those chunes!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 08:51 AM

The link between "jigs" and "Gigues" is correct. I had forgotten till I read the post above but I can confirm that it is in fact accepted to be absolutely true, having been informed of it in a lecture at uni not more than a couple of months ago.

As for learning to play fast, Yes you can learn, but the way to do it isn't to practie at breakneck speed, but to do the exact opposite.

Just as good kung fu is practiced at excruciatingly slow speeds (t'ai chi) so the musician learns to play fast by practicing at uncomfortably slow speeds.

It teaches you unerring rhythmic accuracy and when you speed up your fingers are so much better trained and dextrous that they don't seize up so easily and get lost.

The primary obstacle to playing fast is tension. People trying to play faster tense up their whole bodies trying, and this in fat considerably slows them down.

If you train yourself to be accurate by practising extremely exaggeratedly slowly to a metronome, and then when you play fast trust your muscle memory, you can move on to step two.

Step two is, when it is time to play fast, concentrate on being relaxed - release the tension in your body and the tension in your fingers will be easier to to release.

Relaxed fingers will be able to devote themselves to playing, not being occupied with being tense - know what I mean?

Tension is a hindrance as it results in opposing muscles working against each other to achieve no purpose.

Relaxed fingers are free to do their job unhindered.

So train slowly - and perform relaxed.

You will be able to play at much faster tempos.

A teacher of mine sometimes refers to an old colleague of his who could play really fast, but was no good at fast tempos.

That kind of speed has nothing to do with music.

Being able to play at fast tempos is what its all about.

How many times have I repeated myself? - Sorry!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 02:37 PM

I can confirm that it is in fact accepted to be absolutely true, having been informed of it in a lecture at uni

I can see my job's more responsible than I thought!

I checked this in the OED & found quite a complicated story. The French 'gigue' (the dance) does seem to derive from the English 'jig'. But nobody seems to know whether 'jig' derived from the older French 'gigue' (the musical instrument a bit like a viol), and if so when or how.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 05:32 PM

Pip - you are right that I should rely on more than just half heard utterances so I will retract that point and offer something else instead.

I have just been to oxford music online (the new name for the online new grove dictionary of music and musicians) and would provide a link to the relevant pages but for the fact that you must have a password to view it, so I hope it proves useful and not annoying that I am cutting and pasting onto this page instead.

Perhaps Joe or Mick would like to check the legality of this so Max doesn't get in trouble.

Here is the first instalment.

"Jig.

Term used for several types of dance originating in the British Isles. The origin of the word is problematic; when used in connection with dance it may derive from Old French giguer ('to leap' or 'to gambol'). It contains the idea of a vigorous up and down movement, of which the dance is expressive. This is particularly true of the male solo dance; thus the English during the time of Elizabeth I described a Scottish jig as 'full of leapings' (J. Florio: A Worlde of Words, London, 1598) after the performance of the Scottish lords. This aristocratic form is distinct from the form resembling the hornpipe (see Hornpipe (ii)) and is a variety of 'stepping': beating out intricate movements with the feet (usually, but not always, without movement of the body and arms). Although prevalent in the north of England the form of stepping identified in the jig has become associated particularly with Ireland, and has spread from both countries, through traders and immigrants, to the USA and Canada. Differing from this form of stepping, but somewhat resembling the Scottish form popularly regarded as 'highland dancing', are the 'pater-o-pee' and the morris jig. A fourth type is the scurrilous song and dance act or farce-jig developed in the late 16th century (see Jigg). Country dances called jigs in Playford's Dancing Master are figured dances of geometrical form but their tunes may, in some instances, derive from farce-jigs: for instance Nobody's Jig is the tune of the farce-jig Pickelherring, and Kemp's Jig is a variant of Rowland, the most famous of all farce-jigs performed by Will Kemp and the Earl of Leicester's players.

Until the early 19th century the terms jig, hornpipe and reel were used interchangeably, as none of them was a distinct form in either style or rhythm. The Scottish association continued in what was known as 'Scots measure' (2/4 as distinct from 3/2); similar dances for two male soloists were known as jigs in central Scotland, as strathspeys in northern Scotland and as Cumberlands south of the Scottish border where, as in Ireland, the two soloists were often of opposite sex, the woman's performance being the more subdued. By the end of the 17th century, however, the jig, although undefined, was associated with Ireland; and Tom d'Urfey's Choice New Songs (London, 1684) contains A Scotch Song made to the Irish Jigg. With the invention of infinite steps and tunes the jig (again, like the hornpipe) was taken up by the dancing schools in the 18th and 19th centuries and fostered by competitions and championships, evolving into a distinct form of stepping and acquiring the terminology of single and double jig, hop jig, slip jig and set-dance, each having its own measures.

Irish jig tunes, sometimes known as 'ports', can be either regular or irregular in structure and are played in 'double time': that is, each section is repeated. Regular jigs consist of two eight-bar sections; irregular tunes have sections of unequal length and are employed in set-dances, each dance having its own name and movement figures. Single and double jigs are in 6/8 time, the single jig containing two crotchet-quaver groups in each bar, the double jig containing two groups of triplets. Slip (or hop) jigs are in 9/8 time, each bar consisting of three groups of triplets. Single and double jigs are danced solo or with a partner of the opposite sex, as in those dances called Cumberlands; slip jigs, in which stepping is alternated with a promenade, as in the reel, are performed by couples dancing independently of other couples. Country dances ('long-dances' or 'rounds') for mixed couples are not termed step-dances, although they may employ jig steps and tunes in jig (or hornpipe, or reel) time. Music is usually provided by the union pipes or fiddle, but tunes called jigs (in 6/8 time in two regular eight-bar sections) are found among harp compositions by Carolan (1670–1738) and are regarded by some as imitations of Corelli's gigas (see Ireland, §II, 5 and exx.1–3).

A similar but less elaborate form of stepping is found in the northern counties of England in solo clog dancing, of which tap-dancing is a stage variant. It is most commonly performed solo, and more often by men than by women. The posture of the body differs from the Irish rigidity, the arms being somewhat raised and the head and body tilted forward to preserve balance. Stepping in a stationary position is also executed in the 'rapper' sword dances of Durham and Northumberland. In rural areas of the Midlands and southern counties of England there is a form of jig sometimes called 'pater-o-pee' (a word, possibly 'franglais', descriptive of the light patting of the foot on the ground) which has some resemblance to the Scottish broad-sword dance. The rhythm is stepped over crossed whips, flails, sticks or churchwarden pipes, a feat of dexterity in which the dancer must preserve his own balance and the position of the objects laid on the ground. Another form is the morris jig performed with the usual steps of the morris dance accompanied by a counter-rhythm of arm and hand movements, sometimes emphasized by handkerchiefs held in each hand or a stick passed from hand to hand. Favourite jigs are Jockie to the Fair, Shepherd's Hey, Bacca-pipes and The Fool's Jig. These tunes are in 4/4, 2/2 or 6/8 time, usually consisting of two or three eight-bar sections repeated as required. In many jigs the time of one section will be augmented to permit the 'capers' or leaps which alternate with the figures and conclude the dance. Morris jigs are performed solo or by a number of soloists: three abreast successively repeating the figure, or four facing inwards. To perform the jig the dancer leaves the 'side' of six men and doffs the hat worn for set-dances and processional dances. Music was traditionally provided by the pipe and tabor until well into the 19th century, when the fiddle or concertina replaced them.

Pieces entitled 'jig', 'jigg' or 'gigge', although of no definite character, are found in early instrumental methods and were used as themes for keyboard variations. For example, in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book are A Gigge by Byrd (no.181); A Gigge, My Selfe and A Gigge both by Bull (nos.189, 190); and A Gigge by Farnaby (no.267). Others are derived from songs in farce-jigs: in the same collection are Farnaby's Nobody's Gigge (no.149) and Rowland or Rolandston, which also appears in My Lady Nevell's Book, Will Forster's Virginal Book, Robinson's Schoole and elsewhere up to Bach's Choralgesänge (no.371, 'Keinen hat Gott verlassen') of 1765. The majority of such identifiable jigs, however, are in Dutch collections such as J.J. Starter's Friesche Lust-hof (Amsterdam, 1621). The jig was also accepted into the dance suite, finding its place as the final movement (see R. Cotgrave: A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, London, 1611, under 'Farce')."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 05:34 PM

From the same source ...

jig.

(1) A traditional dance of the British Isles, probably dating back to the 15th century. The word may be derived from the Old French verb gigner ('to leap', 'to gambol'). It is characterized by lively jumping steps, the only common feature of its many varieties. The best-known jig is the Irish, danced solo or by a couple to the accompaniment of the pipe and fiddle and usually in compound duple or triple time. The jig appears in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and other contemporary keyboard collections, with examples by Byrd, Bull, and Farnaby. Shakespeare mentioned the 'Scotch jig' in Much Ado about Nothing. See also gigue.

(2) From the 16th century to the 18th, the jig (or jigg) was also an often bawdy farce in rhyme, sung and danced to popular tunes, performed both in England and on the Continent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 05:38 PM

And finally

1. Etymology and origin.

The various words for the dance form known as the jig or gigue have rather confused histories that in turn have led to confusion about the origins of the musical form. In French, Italian and German, the word seems to be derived from a medieval word for fiddle (as in Dante, Paradiso, xiv.110: 'E come giga ed arpa in tempratesa, Di molte corde, fan dolce tintinno'), a word also used to refer to the musician who played such a fiddle (see Gigue (ii)). The usage survives in modern German as Geige (violin), a survival that has contributed most to past uncertainty about the gigue's origin. It is now believed that if the English word came from the Continent, it came not from gigue or fiddle but rather from the verb 'giguer', to frolic, leap or gambol. Although no choreographies have survived for the 16th-century jig, contemporary literary references suggest that jigs were fast pantomimic dances for one or more soloists with lively rhythms created by virtuoso footwork, and that they were somewhat bawdy (Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, Act 2 scene i: 'Wooing is hot and hasty like a Scottish jigge'). Dean-Smith pointed out that the word 'jig' may have derived from slang in a manner similar to the more recent evolution of the word 'jazz', becoming a generic term encompassing many forms of non-aristocratic music and dance. As with the first American meaning of the slang 'jass', most 16th-century connotations of the English word 'jig' were vulgar.


So there you have it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 05:48 PM

This phrase seems to support the idea that the dance, like some flamenco, did occur without music.

"contemporary literary references suggest that jigs were fast pantomimic dances for one or more soloists with lively rhythms created by virtuoso footwork,"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 09:22 PM

Thanks for the information Lox.

It seems to me that some of the problem concerning speed at sessions could be due to the fact that some instruments are inherently or potentially faster than others. I mean no offence to anyone here, but if one were to 'race', say, a whistle, a fiddle and a concertina, the whistle would win every time. I'm sorry to put it in such an irreverent way and I hope it illustrates my point adequately.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: mayomick
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 02:10 PM

Pantomimic dances were accompanied by music, Lox -The Planting Stick, The Butchers'March ,Droghedy's March etc .


Writing in 1944 in the first chapter of A Handbook of Irish Dances, the authors O'Keefe and O'Brien have this to say under the heading Modern Dance :

"Generally speaking ,step-dances are danced much quicker than they should be.No dance ,no matter how accurately the step may be performed or the time marked, can possibly look beautiful if it is danced -as frequently happens - twice as rapidly as it should be."

At no stage do O'Keefe and O' Brien blame the musicians for playing too quickly .Their criticism is levelled at the dancers alone( If musicians were paid to go slower at the time they surely would have done !)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 02:21 PM

I should modify my last point to read:

"This phrase seems to support the idea that the dance, like some flamenco, 'could' occur without music."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: meself
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 04:14 PM

I can remember a time when it took at least a good sixty seconds to play the Minute Waltz. With all these steroid-popping pianists nowadays, fifty-six seconds is considered slow ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 04:18 PM

the syndrome, of course, isn't restricted to Irish music--bluegrass and Old-Timey stuff also suffers from over speeding.I suspect it's due to a stage of musical development between learning to play an instrument and being a musician.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM

I suspect it's due to a stage of musical development between learning to play an instrument and being a musician.

It has to be a signicant contributary factor. Musicianship is as much about knowing when not to do all these wonderful tricks that we learn as it is about doing them. The same principle can be applied to ornamentation and dynamics. Restraint and self-awareness usually take longer to master than digital dexterity, particularly in an untrained musician.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: mayomick
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 06:24 AM

Many old "hot" jazz purists hailed the arrival of rock n roll as a reassertion of the roots of the music against the "cool" of modern
jazz . Chuck Berry's Rock n Rolling Music :

I have no kick against modern jazz
Unless they try to play it too darn fast
And change the beauty of the melody etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: breakneck speed and Irish Music
From: GUEST
Date: 28 May 17 - 09:48 AM

big difference between playing traditional music and being a traditional musician- one to ponder, eight years on?


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: 23 April 2:09 AM 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.