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Where do your songs, tunes come from?

Mr Happy 27 Sep 10 - 09:27 AM
RTim 27 Sep 10 - 09:39 AM
GRex 27 Sep 10 - 12:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Sep 10 - 12:45 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Sep 10 - 12:53 PM
SteveMansfield 27 Sep 10 - 12:59 PM
Amos 27 Sep 10 - 01:12 PM
Old Vermin 27 Sep 10 - 01:16 PM
Doug Chadwick 27 Sep 10 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,dingbat 27 Sep 10 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Betsy 27 Sep 10 - 07:54 PM
Suffet 27 Sep 10 - 10:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Sep 10 - 10:58 PM
Georgiansilver 28 Sep 10 - 01:44 AM
Tim Chesterton 28 Sep 10 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,LDT 28 Sep 10 - 05:21 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Sep 10 - 09:21 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 10 - 09:27 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 10 - 09:37 AM
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Subject: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 09:27 AM

Trad folk [whatever that is] in the olden days before gramophones, wirelesses, printing etc were invented, the ways people acquired their repertoire was by oral/aural means.


These days, there's a whole host of source material & devices for recording stuff.

I generally find new stuff by hearing songs & tunes performed in sesses or sometimes folk clubs, then gaining words, sound bites from media sources, so my collecting's a hybrid of 'trad' & modern methods.

Also write me own stuff too.

What's your main sources?


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: RTim
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 09:39 AM

Manuscripts!!!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: GRex
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 12:37 PM

The same places as you Mr Happy

       GRex


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 12:45 PM

Stuff I've heard, stuff I've played, stuff I've remembered and stuff I've forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 12:53 PM

From my well. Everything I've listened to throughout my life has gone into my well. When I lower a bucket into the well, I never know what I'm going to bring up. It doesn't matter what kind of music it is. There is a common thread to all music and sometimes a line or a song may naturally flow from the bucket even though the original sources might seem completely incompatible.

This is a good question. Songwriters almost never talk about one half of the song: the melody. They tend to be wordy buggers, me included.


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 12:59 PM

I'd say its an even split three ways
- sessions and other live aural sources,
- tune books (in which category I include the Internet for abcs, NWCs, and images,
- and recordings, be that CD/MP3 or YouTube.

I'm a tunes player rather than a singer, so quite often I'll be looking for a particular type of tune to put to a dance (I'm currently auditioning 48-bar polkas for example). But also, a lot of the time, I'll just hear a tune somewhere and think 'I want to learn that', and will then acquire it from whichever of the three main categories of sources I've outlined above come up with the goods first!


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 01:12 PM

They come from a rich compost of songs, poems, music and rhythms from the world. Like Jerry's well, only a bit muckier perhaps.


A


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 01:16 PM

What seems to happen is that something I've come across in a pub or session or concert very often turns out have a source in a book or a recording.

The couple of examples from the last week or so are the Beggar's Song, which I've heard live a few times, finding it later on a Belshazzars Feast CD and probably from Gammar Gurton's Needle via Steeleye; and Alfred Noyes The Highwayman. A woman sang this very well - dramatic without being melodramatic - yesterday, I knew I'd heard mention of it recently and in today's Guardian paper is mention of the late Don Partridge having sung an arrangement of it.

There is stuff I only ever hear in particular places though.


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 01:16 PM

Stuff I've heard, stuff I've played, stuff I've remembered and stuff I've forgotten.

That's not a bad description.

"Stuff I've heard" often comes from old films on TV.
"Stuff I've played" often comes from sessions.
"Stuff I've remembered" may well be from the radio in the days of my youth.

Mostly, the above are only in outline form and the internet plays a large part in filling in the details. This is also where I am reminded of the "stuff I've forgotten".

DC


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: GUEST,dingbat
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 02:15 PM

I steal from Mr Happy..........


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 07:54 PM

Hastily written words on the back of beer mats and fag packets .
(Doesn't translate for US readers )


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Suffet
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 10:40 PM

Greetings:

I'm with Jerry on this one. My songs and tunes come from everywhere and they go into what he calls a well. When I dredge them up they are not necessarily the same as when they went in. They words may be different, the tune may be different, the accompaniment (if any) will most certainly be different. In fact, I am completely shameless in rewriting my sources to please myself, even when the sources are well known. That's why I can and do perform Merle Travis's 16 Tons as a funky blues.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 10:58 PM

Hey, Steve: I've always been tempted to do Orange Blossom Special as a waltz. Yeehaws in waltz time? I don't think so.


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 01:44 AM

Mostly remembered from Folk Club days in 70's and 80's..... but now.. some from Folk Clubs.. some from Youtube.. some from radio, some from TV. Hear it, like it, learn it sing it.


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 01:54 AM

I didn't grow up with traditional folk music, so my 'well' is not very deep. Also, where I live there isn't a lot of trad folk played live, so I don't get to hear it from others very much.

I started learning songs a few years ago from CDs (Martin Simpson and Kate Rusby, to be exact); later, of course, I found out that the CD is one person's interpretation of the song and it's good to hear others and then make your own mind up. I 'followed the trails' in the CD liner notes and discovered the older artists the performers had learned the songs from, and then I began to find the written resources (including the internet).

I'm still listening to CDs and I'm still following trails. But I'm not as far along them as most of the people on this site!


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 05:21 AM

From tunebooks and sessions at folk festivals or workshops...mainly.
I'll record tunes I like then find someone who can tell me what they are then go and look for the ABC online.


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 09:21 AM

Hey, Tim: Very few people on here grew up listening to a lot of traditional music. I certainly didn't. My well is a real Mulligan's stew, and it's not just the music. Music is an expression of our lives and who we are as much as it is our influences. That's part of the reason why twenty people can do twenty different interpretations of a song, The tradition has never been static and never will be, no matter how much some people insist it should be.


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 09:27 AM

I was lucky to grow up in a traditional household, my mother being from an Irish speaking area. I picked up the tradition from her, but it was a long time before I felt it a "cool" thing to do. I grew up with people not from the same background as me, so it's really only something I'm focusing in on now. But I always gathered the airs, music, the characters and the words along the way. Now, it's combination of technology (youtube, itunes), trad sessions and songs that have a bit of meaning for me (historical songs of interest because of something outside of the singing part of my life, songs written by my mother's father, songs from where my spiritual home is) and lots more besides!

if this is leadaránach I apologise!


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Subject: RE: Where do your songs, tunes come from?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 09:37 AM

Who wrote the original "Rooster" song?


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