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Morris Tunes??

Mr Happy 07 Jul 09 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,Chris P 07 Jul 09 - 07:56 AM
SteveMansfield 07 Jul 09 - 08:29 AM
Marje 07 Jul 09 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,Chris P 07 Jul 09 - 02:17 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Jul 09 - 02:34 PM
Old Vermin 07 Jul 09 - 03:17 PM
bubblyrat 07 Jul 09 - 06:11 PM
Snuffy 07 Jul 09 - 06:45 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jul 09 - 08:31 PM
SteveMansfield 08 Jul 09 - 02:57 AM
SteveMansfield 08 Jul 09 - 03:04 AM
Chris Partington 08 Jul 09 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,baz parkes 08 Jul 09 - 05:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler 08 Jul 09 - 07:55 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Jul 09 - 08:27 AM
Snuffy 08 Jul 09 - 09:19 AM
Tug the Cox 08 Jul 09 - 09:59 AM
Snuffy 08 Jul 09 - 08:01 PM
davyr 09 Jul 09 - 04:31 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Jul 09 - 05:02 AM
Chris Partington 09 Jul 09 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Dazbo At Work 09 Jul 09 - 08:02 AM
SteveMansfield 09 Jul 09 - 08:32 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Jul 09 - 09:43 AM
SteveMansfield 09 Jul 09 - 03:01 PM
Chris Partington 09 Jul 09 - 06:11 PM
Tattie Bogle 09 Jul 09 - 08:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 Jul 09 - 03:36 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Jul 09 - 03:50 AM
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Subject: Morris Tunes??
From: Mr Happy
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 07:32 AM

At the last few folk festivals this year & also over last couple of seasons, when seeing Morris sides perform, many of the tunes used of late don?ft seem ?etraditional dance tunes?f.

For example, a side at Cleckheaton danced to ?gThe Pride of Petravore?h & for the dance they did, it fitted perfectly

Now even though I was in a Morris side myself some years back, the tunes used reflected more, I feel, the historical heritage of the dances, but I may be wrong.

Some?fve the tunes I danced to were ?gConstant Billy?h, ?g Over the hills & Far Away?h, ?g Hesperance?h, ?gMaid of the Mill?h, also ?g Marie?fs Wedding?h, this last not really a dance tune, I know.

However, is there any hard & fast rule concerning dances & the tunes they ought to be danced to, or is it just free choice?

Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: GUEST,Chris P
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 07:56 AM

Free choice I say, like it always was, for the tunes. People will either like or they won't and the folk process will kick in. i.e. the dancers might not ask you again :-)
And the dances if you want. How could you possibly dance it the same twice anyway? Careful study of Dick Van Dyck in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang might reap rewards in the collection box. !*?


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 08:29 AM

Some/many of the Cotswold Morris dances are pretty much hard-linked to their tune; they were collected that way, they've always being done that way, in many cases the tune is only known by the name of the dance, and many tunes also have particular sections of 'slows' (where the rhythm changes to accommodate particular movements of the dances) or other irregular patterns.

The situation in Border and North-West is generally much more fluid in this respect. Many of these dances were effectively designed to be danced to whatever the musicians of that particular performance would/could play in a particular rhythm, and so just require jigs or polkas in 8-bar phrases: and whilst some dances have always been done to one tune or a particular set of tunes, for many of the dances there's less of a feeling of being bound by historical precedent.

All of the above are generalisations of course, and there are exceptions to the above in all the traditions.

And then there's the whole can of worms that starts to yawn open when you start looking into things like the 'traditional' Abbots Bromley Horn Dance tune (invented by a Victorian tunesmith and never known to have been used by Abbots Bromley), and the 'traditional' tune to the Upton-on-Severn Stick Dance (an Appalachian tune which Maud Karpeles put forward as a suggestion when she published the dance) ...

As Chris P says though, once you move away from the mind-set that Dance A is always danced to Tune B, the success of the tune as the vehicle for and accompaniment to the dance becomes the pre-eminent factor. If it works it stays in, if it doesn't it's back to the drawing board.

Many modern revival dances have been created with a particular tune in mind of course, but sometimes putting them to a different tune changes the character of the dance in interesting ways.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Marje
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 01:10 PM

Ah, I get it, it's "One Dance to the Tune of Another" we're talking about.
(Non-Radio-4 listeners never mind, it would take too long to explain, although the explantion itself would be an extension of the joke ...)

Marje


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: GUEST,Chris P
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 02:17 PM

BTW, my previous post was tongue in cheek, except the bit about making up new dances, for which you get to choose a suitable tune. I think there would be severe difficulty ahead for anyone suddenly playing Cuckoo's Nest when the dancers were intending to dance Bonny Green!


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 02:34 PM

I fel that tunes that are recognised to be (not always the same thing as "are") Irish or American are jarring in the context of Morris.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Old Vermin
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:17 PM

Definitely heard Nellie the Elephant at Brighton Day of dance, and very well it worked, too.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: bubblyrat
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 06:11 PM

I have played for Herbaceous Border a few times in the last two years,and,in my experience,when Sue is teaching members of the public how do do a simple dance,they seem to like having a familiar tune that they know well and are therefore comfortable with.So if she asks for "Lord of the Dance",then that's what she will get ! It works quite well,actually,as does "The Two Sisters", or "Upton Stick Dance",which I thought was Canadian, but we live & learn !!


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 06:45 PM

Bubblyrat,

Tou were right in the first place - "Twin Sisters" was and still is a Canadian tune (Newfoundland actually), collected there by Maud Karpeles. She "introduced" the tune to the Upton Stick Dance. Now almost everybody thinks the tune is called Upton Stick.

But the old Upton side danced it to Brighton Camp (and Flowers of Edinburgh and similar tunes), as do traditional Border sides to this day. It gives a totally different feel to the dance, emphasising the stately, ritual elements inherent in the dance rather than being just a frenzied scurrying around to a "foreign" melody completely unrelated to either the town or the dance, but a good excuse to let out some Amerindian war whoops.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 08:31 PM

Maybe somebody ought to try to sell this idea to ballet producers. Swan Lake to the music of The Rite of Spring.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 02:57 AM

"Twin Sisters" was and still is a Canadian tune (Newfoundland actually), collected there by Maud Karpeles. She "introduced" the tune to the Upton Stick Dance. Now almost everybody thinks the tune is called Upton Stick.

Minor pedantic historical point - it's true that Lionel Bacon, in his 'Handbook of Morris Dances', described the version of Twin Sisters that is now associated with the Upton Stick Dance as from Newfoundland: but the original article by Maud Karpeles in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 1934 clearly states that the tune was collected by her in Vermont.

Either way, yes it was Maud Karpeles who suggested the tune for the dance, and yes Brighton Camp / Lord Of The Dance / Flowers of Edinburgh all work very well.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 03:04 AM

Not 1934, 1933. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Chris Partington
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 04:37 AM

To be even more pedantic, if Maude HAD collected the tune in Newfoundland in 1934, it wouldn't have been Canadian anyway, since Newfoundland didn't become part of the Canadian Confederation until 1949. Hooray, I found my cookie!


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 05:10 AM

Quoting Mr Happy "many of the tunes used of late don?ft seem ?etraditional dance tunes?f"

Rod Stradling tells a wonderful tale of Playing for Francis Shergold's side in Bampton and introducing an Italian tune which the side loved.

On being told by an onlooker "That's not traditional, Francis" Francis replied "It is now..." :-))


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM

Baz,

On being told by an onlooker "That's not traditional, Francis" Francis replied "It is now..." :-))

You have changed the world

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 07:55 AM

What sort of Morris?

Cotswold morris has its tunes quite set in stone and yet you can see an analogy with Darwin's Galapagos finches with tunes from the different sides having minor variations on a theme.

North west morris is maily based upon Victorian mill workers seting up a team so that they could go to the seaside for the day, dance and collect to pay the train fare! As a result any popular tune of the day that fitted would do. As time has gone on some tunes have become "traditional" but there has always been a faction in North west dancing that has tried to introduce new or alternative tunes to try and prevent a dance form being fixed to a particular tune.

Some dances have been recovered from the brink of obscurity without the orignal tune being known and this can lead to several tunes being tried out over a period of time before finding the most suitable music to go with it. In John O' Gaunt we now use the minor version of "Mona's delight" for "The Maze" after some years using another tune. It came to light that a Manx reel was used in the past and on trying this out it worked perfectly.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 08:27 AM

Guest,

"North west morris is maily based upon Victorian mill workers seting up a team so that they could go to the seaside for the day, dance and collect to pay the train fare! As a result any popular tune of the day that fitted would do."

Is that it then? No roots going back anywhere?

Wow

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 09:19 AM

sfmans,

Many thanks for your correction - even Bacon's Bible has feet of clay, then? A timely reminder to check even apparently impeccable sources.

Lord of the Dance could have been made to measure for Glorishears (the Bampton one).


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 09:59 AM

Maud Karpeles has a lot to answer for. She suggested using Roxburgh Castle as an alternative for the Bampton Fool's Jig, which has a perfectly good tune of its own which you now rarely hear. Sharp was as bad, The Bonny Green garters tune he published for Bampton ( the Ring made up the absurd dance we now witness) came from Headington ( the actual Bampton tune and dance are much more satisfying)
and the Brighton Camp tune he published for Eynsham ( who used a medley of tunes) was collected in Bampton. He also invented dance names, like 'Leapfrog' ( Glorishears) and Step Back ( Molly Oxford). Many7 also refer to Fieldtown ( Leafield) amd it's 'signpost' dance ( Shepherd's hey. Most traditional teams used a variety of tines for their standard dances, with a few that seemed to demand a partucular tune. I've seen several 'new' tunes introduced in bampton over the years.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 08:01 PM

It had never really struck me before, but this evening we danced out with two North West clog sides (1 male and 1 female). All our Cotswold dances have a single tune throughout (whether from the tradition or Karpeles), whereas both the other sides danced to medleys of three, four or even more tunes, usually returning to the initial one to finish.

Is this a modern development. or have cloggies never danced to the same tune throughout a dance?


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: davyr
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 04:31 AM

The tunes used in NW generally don't need to be specific to a particular dance, unlike Cotswold. Despite what John Kirkpatrick has said in the past against playing medleys, they do provide a bit of variety for both the audience and the musicians.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 05:02 AM

Did NW evolve from Cotswold or from pre NW in the NW?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Chris Partington
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 05:36 AM

pre NW in the NW.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: GUEST,Dazbo At Work
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 08:02 AM

Surprised to find on checking Wikipedia (so it must be true) that the Appalachians stretch as far north as Vermont (and into Canada and even into Newfoundland!).

About the combining the Upton Stick Dance with this Appalachian tune I'm sure I read a few years ago an article by John Kirkpatrick who asserted that Maud K never suggested the tune for the dance it's just that the dance and the tune happened to be published on the same page and people just assumed they went together. Sorry I can't remember when or where I read this so memory may be at fault.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 08:32 AM

About the combining the Upton Stick Dance with this Appalachian tune I'm sure I read a few years ago an article by John Kirkpatrick who asserted that Maud K never suggested the tune for the dance it's just that the dance and the tune happened to be published on the same page and people just assumed they went together. Sorry I can't remember when or where I read this so memory may be at fault.

I'm also on lunch at work so haven't got the article immediately to hand, but I'm 99.9999% certain that Karpeles did indeed explicitly suggest the tune for the dance.

I'll post the precise quote (*) later on today, unless someone else gets there first.

* or, I guess, a grovelling apology ... :)


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 09:43 AM

Chris P:

"pre NW in the NW"

Any evidence?

Les


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 03:01 PM

I'll post the precise quote (*) later on today, unless someone else gets there first.

Journal of the English Foilk Dance and Song Society, Vol. 1 no. 2 (Dec 1933) pp. 101 - 103
Author : Maud Karpeles
Title : Upton-on-Severn Morris Dances

Quote:--
The tune given below was noted from Mr. Malon Hamilton, aged 85, at East Orange, Vermont, U.S.A. It has no connection with the Upton dances, but it is suggested as a suitable accompaniment for those who wish to perform the stick dance.
The title of the tune was said to be 'The Twin Sisters', but it has no relationship with another tune of that name noted in Maine.
--:End quote

And what follows (in A) is the Upton tune we all know and love (although don't necessarily use).

If anyone wants a copy of the PDF of the whole article (Vaughan, yours is on the way already), PM me.


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Chris Partington
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 06:11 PM

L in C,
Morris in Bolton, 1783
"B T Barton, Historical Gleanings of Bolton and District, 1881 From an account of 1783
'In the month of July 1783..there was so little of the appearance of want in this township, that one evening I met a very large procession of young men and women, with fiddles, garlands, and every ostentation of rural finery, dancing Morris dances in the highway, merely to celebrate an idle anniversary, or what they had been pleased to call for a year or two a fair, at a paltry thatched alehouse upon the neighbouring common."


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 08:22 PM

Coming from Scotland, I have often heard the tune we know as "Wha wouldna fecht for Chairlie" used in Morris medleys: does it go by another name in England?
Also played the tune I know as "Sing a Song of Sixpence " the other day, titled "Cawdor fair".


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 03:36 AM

Thanks Chris - it clearly is a pre-industrial reference. Here's another:

"In 1775, the Openshaw rush-bearing to Gorton Chapel was discontinued.

About 1780, the rush-cart went out on the Friday before the first Sunday in September, perambulating the village, visiting Mr. Grimshaw's, High Bank, and also the locality of Cotton Brook. On that night, or Saturday morning, the rushes were "teemed" down near the chapel gates.. The old ones of last year having been cleared out of the chapel, the new ones were carried in, and carefully strewn in the bottom of the pews, aisles, etc. On this day, .also, the band, accompanied by the pikemen carrying staves surmounted with brass eagles, perambulated the village, stopping nowhere, neither soliciting nor receiving any contributions. The garlands which had adorned the rush-bearing were placed in the Chapel, they were suspended on staves, which were fastened to the pillars in front of the lofts [galleries], where they remained till the next anniversary, when they-Were removed to make room for their successors, and although they somewhat intercepted the view of a portion of those who sat in the galleries, yet no complaints were ever made. On the Sunday the morris-dancers, and other officials connected with the rush-bearing, all attended the chapel, when an appropriate sermon was preached. This day finished the wake, labour being everywhere resumed on the Monday."

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris Tunes??
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 03:50 AM

And more here

Cheers

L in C


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