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tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)

DigiTrad:
ASHOKAN FAREWELL
HI FI, STEREO, COLOR TV


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GUEST,the mincing chicken 26 Apr 10 - 06:27 PM
Will Fly 26 Apr 10 - 06:35 PM
Bill D 26 Apr 10 - 06:38 PM
Leadfingers 26 Apr 10 - 06:43 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 10 - 07:00 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Apr 10 - 07:26 PM
Jack Campin 26 Apr 10 - 08:21 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Apr 10 - 08:26 PM
Midchuck 26 Apr 10 - 08:34 PM
Desert Dancer 26 Apr 10 - 10:35 PM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Apr 10 - 10:50 PM
Ebbie 26 Apr 10 - 11:02 PM
frogprince 26 Apr 10 - 11:24 PM
catspaw49 27 Apr 10 - 12:48 AM
akenaton 27 Apr 10 - 02:07 AM
Joe Offer 27 Apr 10 - 02:09 AM
Will Fly 27 Apr 10 - 03:07 AM
nickp 27 Apr 10 - 05:15 AM
Leadfingers 27 Apr 10 - 05:39 AM
Steve Shaw 27 Apr 10 - 06:41 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 27 Apr 10 - 06:55 AM
Seamus Kennedy 27 Apr 10 - 11:33 AM
Seamus Kennedy 27 Apr 10 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Apr 10 - 01:41 PM
Will Fly 27 Apr 10 - 01:57 PM
akenaton 27 Apr 10 - 03:07 PM
Jeri 27 Apr 10 - 03:16 PM
Will Fly 27 Apr 10 - 03:18 PM
Jeri 27 Apr 10 - 03:27 PM
Little Robyn 27 Apr 10 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Apr 10 - 04:21 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Apr 10 - 05:25 PM
Jeri 27 Apr 10 - 05:36 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Apr 10 - 05:58 PM
Tootler 27 Apr 10 - 06:21 PM
Ebbie 27 Apr 10 - 06:36 PM
Micca 27 Apr 10 - 07:19 PM
Jack Campin 27 Apr 10 - 07:32 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Apr 10 - 08:23 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Apr 10 - 10:01 PM
Don Firth 27 Apr 10 - 10:08 PM
Rowan 27 Apr 10 - 10:20 PM
Rob Naylor 28 Apr 10 - 03:14 AM
nickp 28 Apr 10 - 04:32 AM
manitas_at_work 28 Apr 10 - 04:55 AM
Tootler 28 Apr 10 - 05:28 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Apr 10 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Apr 10 - 10:29 AM
Jack Campin 28 Apr 10 - 11:07 AM
Jeri 28 Apr 10 - 11:19 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Apr 10 - 01:50 PM
Leadfingers 28 Apr 10 - 02:35 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Apr 10 - 07:29 PM
Jack Campin 28 Apr 10 - 07:46 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Apr 10 - 08:23 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Apr 10 - 08:28 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Apr 10 - 08:32 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Apr 10 - 08:39 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Apr 10 - 10:37 PM
banjoman 29 Apr 10 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Apr 10 - 09:20 AM
Jack Campin 29 Apr 10 - 09:50 AM
Mooh 29 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM
Will Fly 29 Apr 10 - 12:12 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Apr 10 - 03:27 PM
Paul Burke 29 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM
Will Fly 29 Apr 10 - 05:29 PM
Jack Campin 29 Apr 10 - 05:30 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Apr 10 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Apr 10 - 11:16 AM
Jack Campin 30 Apr 10 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Apr 10 - 04:13 PM
GLoux 30 Apr 10 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Apr 10 - 05:17 PM
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Subject: tune id: o shokuns farewell?
From: GUEST,the mincing chicken
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 06:27 PM

i heard a beautiful slow fiddle tune last night, but havent remembered the name properly, so cant find it online.
i was told by the fiddler that its an old american tune, written as a sort of lament to a village/town that was lost under the water when a valley was flooded for a dam project.
i think it has a name like o shokuns farewell; and it was i think played in dmaj; im sorry it was a long weekend with 100s of tunes and dozens of pints, so i could be way off, but any pointers would be apreciated......... :-)


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 06:35 PM

"The Ashokan Farewell" - by Jay Ungar in 1982 - written as a parting tune for participants in his fiddle workshops in the Ashokan area of the Catskills. Part of the valley was indeed flooded.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 06:38 PM

It was the major background tune for much of the "Civil War" documentary a few years ago.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 06:43 PM

And its because it was used in the Civil War Documentary that people think its an old Tune , though by todays standards 1982 MUST be to a
certain extent Ancient !


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 07:00 PM

thankyou all so much, it now seems that this is a well played tune-as its not really my usual genre, i wasnt aware of it.
i hope 1982 isntancient, dat makes me feel old :-0


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 07:26 PM

And Mr Ungar would dearly love you to be paying for performing this tedious tune.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 08:21 PM

I think of it as a "time to go for a pee" tune when it starts up in a session.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 08:26 PM

Me too, even when I'm playing it. It's a great tune for mucking about with, though. The norm in our session is for about four people to be harmonising and no-one to be playing the actual tune.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Midchuck
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 08:34 PM

Some lyrics:

I never will forget
When we camped up at Ashoken
The fiddlers kept us up all the night long.
It would not have been so bad
If they hadn't kept repeating,
Over and over, "Ashoken Fairwell."

The first time was sweet,
The second was lovely.
The fiftieth got a bit old.
So we gathered up the fiddles,
And threw them in the campfire.
And danced around the embers,
Singing "Ashoken Fairwell."

I never will regret
What we did up at Ashoken
But there was one more thing
That we should have done.
For as the embers cooled,
And we danced around the ashes,
I heard a far-off banjo
Start "Fox on the Run"...


(Typed from memory - I've forgotten the authorship.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 10:35 PM

It is sadly overused, but over in L.A. recently astro and I had the chance to hear it unmic-ed and from about 12 feet away from Jay Ungar himself (with family), and suddenly it was fresh.

Just because a tune is excessively familiar doesn't mean it's a bad tune... (same for songs...)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 10:50 PM

"sadly overused"

It's my "Show Piece" for the Piano Accordion - of course probably only someone trained on Pipe Organ would do that!

:-P


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 11:02 PM

I agree that it is over-played but it still is a gorgeous tune, especially with two fiddles and an understated guitar.

On the other hand, I can't stand either of the two songs that have been written ostensibly for the tune, neither of which were written by Ungar.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: frogprince
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 11:24 PM

A few years ago my wife was scheduled for a solo in church, and we adapted the lyric of the old Fanny Crosby gospel song "He Hideth My Soul" to the melody. It took just a minimun of tweaking, and the flow of the two melodies is a lot alike.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 12:48 AM

With only slightly modified scansion, you can sing dirty limericks to the tune.

On the other hand, this is a tune that can be done on a lot of instruments with great results. Most Hammered players do it as it is a natyral for that instrument.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 02:07 AM

I agree with Ebbie and Becky....A beautiful simple tune, heard a nice version by Aly Bain and Jay Ungar on U tube.
Folk music should be all about emotion and simplicity, some of us are "too clever by half"


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 02:09 AM

The Ken Burns "National Parks" series credits Jay Ungar and Molly Mason for music, but doesn't say which tunes they provided. Anybody know? There's a very nice guitar solo that plays during the menu, and in parts of the program. I'm guessing that's a Jay Ungar composition.
-Joe-

Ah, here's the track listing:

Features

  • Tracks include:
      Mallard Island Hymn Peter Ostroushko
      The Blue River Waltz Jay Unger and Molly Mason
      Sligo Creek Al Petteway
      Land of Rest Bobby Horton
      Shores of Orgygia - Remix Bobby Horton
      Horse Stealing Song Joseph Fire Crow
      Late Summer Aire Jacqueline Schwab and Matt Glaser
      (Twilight On) The Sangre de Cristos Peter Ostroushko
      This Is My Father's World Bobby Horton
      Riding the River Al Petteway and Amy White
      In Nature's Hands Bobby Horton
      Pretty Polly Bobby Horton
      Crossing the Platte Dana Robinson
      Dunlap's Creek Bobby Horton
      Psalm of the Prairie Peter Ostroushko
      Beside Brown Waters Bobby Horton
      Peace at Last Will Duncan and Bobby Horton
      Across the Ocean Will Duncan and Bobby Horton
      Land of the Sky Al Petteway and Amy White
      The Shores of Orgygia Will Duncan and Bobby Horton.
    • Includes four stunning music videos viewable on your computer (CD-ROM)


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 03:07 AM

We play this in our band - and at sessions - but we take it at a fairly fast pace, rather more in the style of a Viennese waltz than the usual slow affair. Ungar and Bain did it together on an early "Transatlantic Sessions" recording, in a very slow and, I thought, rather syrupy style. But who am I say - JU wrote it, after all!


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: nickp
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 05:15 AM

Try playing it as a brisk march - it really works well although you do get looks of horror!


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 05:39 AM

Its a bit of a Poseur Piece on Whistle because of the range - If you dont want any Octave Jumps it needs to be in One Sharp , so for Concert D , A on a G whistle , Start note One Bottom hole open


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 06:41 AM

It's a very unfriendly tune for the 10-hole diatonic harmonica, unlike the vast majority of, say, Irish tunes. It uses both missing notes in the bottom octave (still one missing even with Paddy Richter tuning) and it has that damned C natural in the B part that you can't get by bending. Hence my tasteless habit of harmonising like crazy. Our landlord loves it and he's the man with the beer, so...


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 06:55 AM

Sounds lovely on Irish harp and goes very well with any number of Carolan tunes; also as a follow-on from Rory Dall's Give Me Your Hand.

Bonnie (still trying to think up a dirty limerick sufficiently elevated to meet Spaw's standards)


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 11:33 AM

Please define "overplayed".

Where?
When?
By whom?


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 11:35 AM

If you think that YOU are overplaying it, well then, stop playing it.

But please allow anyone else who wants to play it, play it.

And this goes for any other "overplayed" songs/tunes as well.

Over and out.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 01:41 PM

Hello, Mincing Chicken. Welcome to the Mudcat.

What exactly do you want to do with Askokan Farewell? Do you play an instrument? Are you in a band? Or do you just want to have a fine recording of the piece?

The first time I heard 'Askokan Farewell,' I loved it. It is SO American! When it came to that unusual minor chord toward the end, I saw in my mind a beautiful green landscape with a small town in a broad valley. A town of 'just people' trying to get along and be free.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 01:57 PM

Hi Leeneia - I'm intrigued by the unusual minor chord - which is? :-)


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 03:07 PM

When I first saw Molly performing with Jay back in the 90s, I thought her one of the most beautiful women that I had ever seen.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 03:16 PM

I think I missed it being over-played here. Either I wasn't around or it was shut off before people got sick of it. Don't know. The first time I heard it, I could play it. After that, it was always harmony.

If you're playing the tune in G, I suspect it's the F major. (I could be wrong, as I just tried it on guitar for the first time.)

Joe, I know Jay wrote it. I don't know if Molly wrote it too.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 03:18 PM

The tune's in D - and the sweet chord in the "B" part is a C major...


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 03:27 PM

Yep, you're right. I play a lot in G on the guitar, so I just went to G. The chord's a C, and I got my fiddle out--the note is a C.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Little Robyn
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 03:30 PM

It's at the place where Steve Shaw says "that damned C natural in the B part that you can't get by bending."
Whichever key you're playing in, it's lovely but it's unexpected.
(Except you know it's coming because you've heard it a thousand times.)
But I still love it and I think the words spoil it.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 04:21 PM

The way I play it, it's in the key of D and the unusual chord is an Am. The melody consists of two C's at that point, one a half note and one a quarter note. Of course, someone else might want to accompany it differently.

It is that Am, played low and rich in a song in D, that makes that broad green valley that I spoke of open up before us.

I realize that the tune was written in 1982, but to me it resembles a tune from 1870 - 1890. Tin Pan Alley, where they decided that 'we paid for all the notes on this piano, and by God we are going to use them,' is just around the corner.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 05:25 PM

"that damned C natural in the B part that you can't get by bending."

Key of D Major, C Major is the VII chord....

C major - Relative Minor is A....

Isn't Music Theory sooooooooo Helpful....

Actually, the C bass chord when the piece is played on the Stradella Accordion Bass is NOT 'unexpected', at all....

But then that IS the style of music the instrument was deigned for...

:-)


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 05:36 PM

Steve Shaw was talking about finding the note, not the chord, on a 'D' "10-hole diatonic harmonica".

Need to graft a C hole on there!


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 05:58 PM

I know that Jeri - that sort of thing is why I really gave up trying to play that instrument, I prefer a keyboard where I can see/find all the notes! ;-0


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 06:21 PM

Try playing it as a brisk march - it really works well although you do get looks of horror!

And well deserved such a look would be. What is it about slow airs that some people can't resist speeding them up? Is it because they simply can't play slowly - after all you've got to hold the notes on for far too long!

I remember once starting Da Slockit Light and some idiot on a Mandolin decided that he couldn't be bothered with playing it at its proper tempo and took off like a bullet, in the process destroying the tune - not to mention the sheer bad manners involved in his behaviour.

Slow airs are just that - Slow. So play them slowly and enjoy them. They are great for calming down a frenetic session.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 06:36 PM

You know, when I agreed that Ashokan Farewell was overplayed, I did not mean that I personally dreaded it coming up. I think it's a beautiful tune and there's room for the guitar to also shine.

There are tunes/songs that I get tired of. Some of them have died at least temporarily, thank the gods. Among them are 'I Saw the Light' and 'I'll Fly Away' and a few other dreadfuls.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Micca
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 07:19 PM

It was No13 in Classic FM (UK Clasical music radio station)s Hall of Fame recently


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 07:32 PM

Key of D Major, C Major is the VII chord

Nope - VII of D major is C#dim.

The C in Ashcan Farewell doesn't really come out of any musical logic and certainly not out of Scottish tradition. I prefer leeneia's characterization - it's from Tin Pan Alley. For me it doesn't open a vista on a broad green valley, rather it suggests staring at the walls in a tiny cheap motel room with windows that face the back of a retread-tyres shop, nothing but Jim Reeves on the radio, nothing to read but a pile of Readers Digests and a Gideon Bible and a pervasive smell of rotting vinyl and stale cigarette ends.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 08:23 PM

I wouldn't call Ashokan Farewell a slow air, not by a long chalk. And that version they play on Classic FM is the most turgid you'll ever hear. Completely bereft of any rhythmic sense and, well, a crashing bore. The first version I heard was played by Pauline Cato and Tom McConville, and is still the best I've heard by a country mile.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 10:01 PM

"Key of D Major, C Major is the VII chord

Nope - VII of D major is C#dim."

Wish I could type what I think....

Actually I meant to use the word 'modulation', but I'm just too tired and busy at the moment to write it out in full....

The V chord of D is A - it modulates to that - the III of A is C#, the C nat - A minor is 'close enough' :) is the 'dissonant' modulation that 'hangs' and needs resolving to the Tonic...

That's what I meant by the Stradella Bass reference to the 'circle of fifths'...

bye for now....


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 10:08 PM

There is a whole body of folk songs and tunes—very good songs and tunes—that never get played anymore because a self-appointed core of super-sophisticates decided that they are "overplayed" or "oversung." And when choruses of them roll their eyes and mutter, "Oh, God, not that again!" when someone starts to sing one, the song tends to get dropped from the repertoire. And generally lost and forgotten.

I could make a fairly substantial list of songs that used to be considered "standard" folk songs, songs that had to be in the repertoire of any self-respecting folk singer. And these were songs that general, non-"folkie" audiences often requested.

You never hear them anymore! Never. Ever.

This tendency to ostracize perfectly good songs because a few people think they're "overplayed" is not doing folk music any favors.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Rowan
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 10:20 PM

There is a whole body of folk songs and tunes—very good songs and tunes—that never get played anymore because a self-appointed core of super-sophisticates decided that they are "overplayed" or "oversung."

I gather "hackneyed" is the original pejorative, often used without knowing that the appellation arose because the songs originally so described were listed in "The 1st Hackney Scout Troop Songbook", distributed to other scouts (and many Oz troops during WWII, according to my father's copy). Lots of songs there that helped the revival get up and running.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 03:14 AM

Rowan,

I don't think that "hackneyed" can be derived from the Scout song book. Its first recorded use in the sense of "over-used / worn out" is from 1749...considerably before Baden-Powell was even born.

A "hackney" was originally a horse (and later a horse and carriage) that could be rented....and since the owner would try to maximise a return on it, it would tend to be over-used.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: nickp
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 04:32 AM

Nice one Tootler! Being another (not the same) idiot on a Mandolin I wouldn't normally play it fast because I think it works best at a slower speed, but it does sneak out for a few bars at a quicker speed sometimes if I feel the need...

*grin*


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 04:55 AM

I had a copy of the Hackney Scout songbook somewhere! Hackney horses were kept and pastured at Hackney which is only a short way outside the City of London.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 05:28 AM

I wouldn't call Ashokan Farewell a slow air, not by a long chalk.

It's a lament. Perhaps you don't include laments within the category of slow airs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx6dxrhqPZY

The C in Ashcan Farewell doesn't really come out of any musical logic and certainly not out of Scottish tradition.

Maybe not, but it works for me by being unexpected when I first heard it and it feels right in the context of the particular tune.

Musical rules, musical logic and musical traditions are not carved in stone or set in concrete, but provide a framework round which you can base your compositions. It is perfectly OK to step outside them if that enables you to better express your ideas. Without the ability to step outside the "rules" there is no musical development. Jay Ungar was influenced by the Scottish tradition in writing Ashoken Farewell, that is quite clear from what he has said about the tune. He explains it himself in the U-Tube clip linked above. Obviously there will be other influences from his own musical development as well.

BTW, I preferred it with the solo fiddle rather than when the guitar came in. The solo fiddle conveys the haunting quality much better.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 06:22 AM

The Stradella Bass runs

F - C - G - D - A - E - B

Thus it's dead easy to get the C major... ;-)

It's 4th + a 4th down..


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 10:29 AM

Two weeks ago I was in Costa Rica with a tour group. A few afternoons, I got out my recorder and refreshed my soul with a few early and traditional numbers.

The first time I did that, a woman in the group asked about the music she had heard. I told her it was I and what the music was. Her eyes shone! She pulled herself up straight and cried, "That was beautiful!" Clearly she does not get many chances to hear anything beautiful.

When people talk about 'Ashoken Farewell' being trite or overdone, keep in mind that 95% of the population never hears any music that's beautiful. The choice is between ugly rock and whiny Country. 95% have never even heard 'Ashoken Farewell' ONCE.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 11:07 AM

There are lots of better Scottish slow airs, both old ones (often far too neglected) and recent ones. Some from the same period as Ashokan Farewell:

Marni Swanson of the Grey Coast (Andy Thorburn)
Lament for Will Starr (Angus Fitchet)
Lament for the Death of the Reverend Archie Beaton (John Mason)
Da Slockit Licht (Tom Anderson)
Farewell to Craigie Dhu (Dougie Maclean)
Leaving Lerwick Harbour (Willie Hunter)
Farewell to Nigg (Duncan Johnstone)
Gight Castle (Hector McAndrew)

But Ashokan Farewell has come to be played more often than all of them put together. My guess is that it sounds enough like "whiny country" to cross over to that market, and in particular to appeal to TV executives.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 11:19 AM

It's probably, a good thing Ashoken Farewell isn't Scottish. It doesn't sound whiny to me, but I haven't ever heard a commercial "hit" version on the radio.

"Over the Waterfall" is in D, and has a C natural in it.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 01:50 PM

There's The Old Resting Chair too. Another one with an "accidental" that doesn't sound at all whiny country.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 02:35 PM

A C major in D may not be in the Scottish Tradition as Scottish Pipes are NOT tuned to D , but the Equivalent crops up in a hell of a lot of Pipe tunes !


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 07:29 PM

The C natural in Ashokan Farewell, sitting at the end of a phrase as a long note, is actually quite jarring and ugly. Very affected. Try playing it to yourself, even in your mind, a few times over. It's pretty unattractive once its rather meretricious gloss has worn off.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 07:46 PM

And that C is not playing the same role as the mixolydian flattened seventh in pipe tunes (the tune is major authentic, with several C sharps - pipes can't vary the pitch of the seventh degree).

I suspect it was inspired by the "major to minor" bit in that ghastly Cole Porter number.

It's sometimes possible to head off an impending "Ashokan Farewell" by starting "My Cape Breton Home" instead.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 08:23 PM

Ok, everyone's entitled to their opinion, so mine is diametrically opposed to some expressed here.I'm with Tootler and Leadfingers!
For me, the tune works best as a slow air/lament: the slower the better, and please, OMG NO NO oom-ching-ching of accordion basses turning it into a waltz. The C chord (yes C) is just fine too. Yes, wallow shamelessly, and enjoy it!!
And has the person who wants it in strict tempo never heard of rubato? It can even work in a session, provided the other musicians are actually listening to the leading player, and not just getting their heads down and taking off at their own pace.
The recording that really hit the high spots with Classic FM (and where I first heard the tune some years ago, before it got so popular on the folk scene) was with Major J R Perkins conducting the Band of the Royal Marines: I think it was this version that was used as the theme music to The American Civil War" TV series. This, and the version played by Aly Bain and Jay Ungar himself on the first series of Transatlantic sessions are the definitives performances IMHO.
See aso a long thread started in 1998!


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 08:28 PM

D - C is a 6th in the circle of fifths - no - not C#, C natural!

"The C natural in Ashokan Farewell, sitting at the end of a phrase as a long note, is actually quite jarring and ugly. Very affected"

Well, if some WILL insist playing every damn tune at 600 mph, it is 'ugly and affected'! And then, of course there's 'Indian Music' what with its microtones, etc, it is an abomination too! :-P

BUT, if you play all those slow 'Air' pieces sensitively and paced according to their soul, that disputed note hangs in the air plaintively, asking for resolution - the 6th usually wants to go to the fifth, but eventually it will end up at the tonic.

It's a 'tour de force' for me on the Piano Accordion (and a pipe organ), what with register changes in the bass, and clever use of the different keyboard register stops that allow differing tonal timbres. When combined with 'tremolo' - keyboard wobble - and subtle pace changes as per the 'soul' of the Air (where that C 'hangs'), it also sounds totally unlike anything any player who belts through everything at 600 mph has ever heard - or probably never heard! :-)

I once was at a 'chalk board walk up' session (5 mins max per act), and this very piece was played before me in the queue by a lady and guy - think it was a banjo and hammer dulcimer, or similar, in much the 'traditional' way you have all heard it. I did it a few acts after them, 'my way'!!! and they approached me afterwards, saying that they had never heard it done THAT way before and were amazed at how different and beautiful the tune sounded!

We agreed that since it was one of the few pieces that I CAN 'hold in my head' without refresher music :-) I didn't really have any option but to play my 'party piece' that they had 'stolen' by getting in first! We also agreed that the 2 renditions were SO different, that it detracted from NEITHER performance nor performers, unlike when a piece is normally played in succession by 2 separate acts, in a similar style, so not only 'no harm done' by either, :-) but that the piece was so good that the piece itself only benefited by the two totally contrasting styles played in the same session.

~~~~~~~~~
And thanks to Rowan who said "Robin, I reckon your story above (which I've seen on a couple of other threads) is one that bears repeated reiteration; in this case, the latter is not tautologous."

I reiter... retatter, oh damn, I'll just tell it again...

QUOTE
My dad was a very good amateur Classical Violinist - was 2nd lead when a teenager in a private orchestra before WWII started.

When I had been taking piano lessons for a year or two, and knew everything, I said "Hey Dad, look how fast I can play!"

He stopped what he was doing, smiled to my Mum, got out his violin, set up, and the drew the bow across one string so slowly from frog to tip that it almost was not moving. When it reached the tip, he reversed. The tone was soft, clear and unwavering.

Then he smiled and said "Son, any fool can play fast and loud. It takes Talent, Training, and Practice to play slow and soft."

I have never forgotten, no matter what of the many instruments I dabble with, is in my hands.
UNQUOTE

It's all YOUR fault Rowan! :-p


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 08:32 PM

"please, OMG NO NO oom-ching-ching of accordion basses turning it into a waltz"

Hah! Which is WHY the way I do it - WITHOUT ANY 'accordion' BOOM! CHA! CHA! - works - what with all the subtle pace changes, there's no way even the Irish could dance to it! :-P

"rubato"

Damn! another muso with classical Music training! Knows all the big Latin words too! Sprung! :-)


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 08:39 PM

Glad to hear it Foolestroupe: that comment wasn't specifically aimed at you!
Molto allargando!


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 10:37 PM

Actually, a few people who were in on some of the Mudcat online group sessions a few years ago heard my feeble beginning attempts at this piece via a low quality microphone while trying to play in a cramped space. Strangely enough, I have since improved my rendition of this...

Would dearly love to find such sessions again - I heard lots of great stuff!


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: banjoman
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 06:31 AM

I absolutley love this tune., and play it often, usually on the long neck (E) banjo as a solo piece. I use a keith key to lower the bottom string by a semi tone and use G shape chords. Sometimes my wife (mrs banjoman) joins in using a very old wooden trebble recoreder and the effect is astounding.
This tune could never be overplayed


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 09:20 AM

Thanks for the stories, Foolestroupe.

Everybody's entitled to their opinion. We're also entitled to do arithmetic. I just checked, and U.S. Eastern time, (Mudcat time) is five hours behind the time in England. Therefore, a crabbed and illogical post from somebody English that says 7:46 pm was actually posted at 12:46 a.m, most probably after the pub closed and the evening's alcohol has turned from fun to misery.

Just something to keep in mind.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 09:50 AM

I'm a night owl. 12:46 is early.

Another very much better slow air I can't get out of my head at the moment: Paul Cranford's "The Graveyard of the Gulf". Needing a retuned fiddle, it's never going to be a session tune, though.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Mooh
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM

I got kind of tired of this tune a few years ago, after hearing it everywhere trad players of any stripe congregated, but lately I've revived it for my students. First, it's a good tune, and that alone is excuse enough. Second, it's modern enough but in a traditional style, bringing new breath to old music. Third, young students are to be the future carriers of tunes, so they should be taught tunes, new and old and in between.

Seems to me that folks in Upper Canada are losing touch with tunes. Is that true elsewhere?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 12:12 PM

It's a tune - like any other - and everyone's taste differs. Like it, dislike it, play it fast, slow or indifferently, it's there in the list of tunes to be played. And very popular it is - I wouldn't have minded writing it! The differences in opinion here simply reflect... the tastes of the people who wrote the posts.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 03:27 PM

According to an interview with the composer in Fiddler magazine (a couple of years ago?), Mr. Ungar has been "greatly offended" by the multitudes who have attempted to put words to the tune.

He insisted that it was composed as a tune and there should be NO WORDS TO IT.

A few weeks later, he grudgingly "approved" two different sets of lyrics, "due to popular demand for verses;" but with the comment that he'd still rather they not be sung.

His complaint was much akin, with similar level of expressed opprobrium, to the one by the composer of "Nail that Catfish to a Tree," who said in a similar interview: "everybody plays those two notes WRONG."

Unfortunately, my notes on these articles are still "in storage" so I'm afraid I can't give advice on the "correct" and "composer approved" details of either.

John


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM

Sod the composer- it's not up to him. That's what tradition- a process involving natural selection - does. He has two choices: (1) insist that no one plays it except how he approves, and uses the law to enforce his preferences (2) let it develop, in which case his preferences are just one set among many.

If choice (1), he'll spend a fortune to ensure it's forgotten within 20 years.

If choice (2), anything could happen.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 05:29 PM

Just going back to the original title of this thread, I quite like the concept of someone being called "O'Shokun"...

Q: And who the divil are you?
A: Dermot O'Shokan.

Great.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 05:30 PM

Seems to me that folks in Upper Canada are losing touch with tunes. Is that true elsewhere?

What do you mean by "losing touch with tunes"?


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 06:28 AM

"Nail that Catfish to a Tree"

Ok - I looked at the score - it's a simple 3 chorder I IV V, nothing awkward, - just what 2 notes could be played wrong?


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 11:16 AM

Here's one set of notes to 'Nail that Catfish...'

http://www.nigelgatherer.com/tunes/tab/tab13/nailc.html

I suspect that the 'two notes' referred to are the long C's in the B part. They just seem to beg to be special.

As I'm sure we all know, there are a number of things one could do: play an ornament, play them unusually softly, play them quite loudly, or start flat and gradually bring it up to pitch. (I don't think the opposite - starting sharp and coming down, is done much or at all.)

However, the only way this will be resolved is if the composer plays it and posts it.   It's music - it won't get anywhere unless people can hear it.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 12:15 PM

The composer does have a webpage for "Nail That Catfish to a Tree", with both a full-speed MP3 and a slowed-down one for learning it.

It didn't inspire me to make the effort, though I don't mind the tune - I figured that with "Push the Pig's Foot a Little Further Into the Fire" and "The Fisherman's Song for Attracting Seals", I had enough cruelty-to-animals tunes in my repertoire already.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 04:13 PM

I'll look for that page.


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: GLoux
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 04:23 PM

Joe O writes: The Ken Burns "National Parks" series credits Jay Ungar and Molly Mason for music, but doesn't say which tunes they provided. Anybody know? There's a very nice guitar solo that plays during the menu, and in parts of the program. I'm guessing that's a Jay Ungar composition.
-Joe-

Joe, I think you're referring to "The Love Of My Life" which Jay wrote for Ken Burns' wedding and used in "National Parks"...Jay and Molly have it available for free download at: http://www.jayandmolly.com/loveofmylife.shtml
-Greg


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Subject: RE: tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:17 PM

Thanks, GLoux. it's a lovely tune.


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