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One tune or many for a dance

GUEST,FloraG 25 Jul 14 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Peter 25 Jul 14 - 05:32 AM
Tattie Bogle 25 Jul 14 - 05:58 AM
Mo the caller 25 Jul 14 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Denis the Autoharpoonist 25 Jul 14 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,PeterC 25 Jul 14 - 09:51 AM
GUEST, topsie 25 Jul 14 - 10:30 AM
GUEST, topsie 25 Jul 14 - 05:03 PM
Bert 26 Jul 14 - 02:18 AM
GUEST,Derrick 26 Jul 14 - 06:19 AM
treewind 26 Jul 14 - 06:30 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 26 Jul 14 - 08:40 AM
Bert 26 Jul 14 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,FloraG 27 Jul 14 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Peter 27 Jul 14 - 06:13 AM
banjoman 27 Jul 14 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Derrick 27 Jul 14 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Bert 27 Jul 14 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Jul 14 - 03:22 AM
Mo the caller 28 Jul 14 - 07:12 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Jul 14 - 06:00 PM
Mo the caller 28 Jul 14 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken) 29 Jul 14 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 29 Jul 14 - 08:50 AM
clueless don 29 Jul 14 - 09:14 AM
Steve Gardham 29 Jul 14 - 01:29 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jul 14 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,FloraG 30 Jul 14 - 03:23 AM
Steve Gardham 30 Jul 14 - 03:25 AM
Bert 30 Jul 14 - 01:10 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Jul 14 - 04:45 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 14 - 02:58 AM
GUEST, topsie 31 Jul 14 - 03:36 AM
GUEST, topsie 31 Jul 14 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 31 Jul 14 - 01:14 PM
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Subject: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 04:39 AM

Ok - so do you play one tune throughout or change the tune during the dance?
Me - I think I prefer one tune on the instructions that the band are to make it sound different each time through. I think its more creative this way than playing three tunes that all sound the same.
Any opinion?
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 05:32 AM

Depends on the band and on the dance.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 05:58 AM

In the Scottish Country Dance and ceilidh tradition it is pretty unusual to play the same tune all the way through, unless you're talking about something like The Bluebell Polka which anyway has different keys and sections.
For many dances you start and finish with the same tune with 2 or 3 other tunes in between - (anything up to 8 tunes in between for an Eightsome Reel!)Changing keys, and major to minor and back gives the dances a big "lift"
For Gay Gordons it's not uncommon to change from 2/4 Marches to dotted 6/8 ones, which also bumps up the feel of the dance.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Mo the caller
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 07:15 AM

Some dances are very linked to a tune.
If I'm dancing Blaydon Races the music tells me what to do, but if the band changes tune I forget and go into a promenade after the swing.
And we feel very cheated if we dance 2nd couple in Fandango and get the wrong tune for our turn.
I agree that it's the sign of a creative band to change instrumentation or key to give variety.
Though for some longways dances, 7 times through or more, if the band goes back to the first tune it's a clue that we are nearing the end.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,Denis the Autoharpoonist
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 08:30 AM

Our band (No Such Thing) usually will play a set of tunes, often with a key change or two and/or a change from major to minor and back. Stops it being boring for the dancers and the band.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 09:51 AM

When our band (Amazing Matchless Band) first started (20 + years ago!) we only knew a few tunes, so one dance per tune was the norm. Nowadays we often, but not always, play 2 tunes per set except for a few dances - Circassian Circle, Nottingham Swing, where we have evolved a tune sequence that fits the dance. I think I do on the whole prefer one tune per dance - it is up to the band to keep the interest up!


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 10:30 AM

Some tunes and dances go together so well that it is disappointing if the band plays anything else. An example is La Russe.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 05:03 PM

I was once at a dance at Sidmouth when the caller walked us through The Rifleman, then told us to rant - and the band played a hornpipe.
For those of us who disobeyed the caller and did what the music was telling us to do, it was brilliant (if a bit frantic).


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Bert
Date: 26 Jul 14 - 02:18 AM

It also depends on the culture. Most International Dances keep a standard tune.

I was at a Fest Noz in Brittany once, and when a different dance was announced it turned out to be the same dance to a different tune. We pretty much did the same dance all evening.

A lot of my calling and dancing experience has been with American square, so singing calls would keep the same tunes, and for hoedowns it probably wouldn't be noticed what tune was being played.

A good topic for discussion FloraG.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 26 Jul 14 - 06:19 AM

Bert if you thought you were doing the same dance for most of the evening you missed the subtle differences in Breton dances.
The arm and foot movements are distinctly different,if youre not familiar with the dance relax and be guided by those who know.
At many Fest Noz I have been to the dancers old and young recognise the tune and spontaneously dance.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: treewind
Date: 26 Jul 14 - 06:30 AM

Mostly two tunes.
With a bit of luck, a set dance will go round exactly twice and we change tunes halfway i.e. when the first couple start again. Most of our favourite callers like to go exactly twice though - once isn't enough, especially if the dancers are young and fit, and once and a half isn't fair on the couples who don't get a 2nd go at being top, though we've worked with callers who do both of those things routinely.

For 64 bar dances, we like to use a 64 bar tune (they do exist) and stick with the one tune. In the case of Cumberland Square Eight, that's flying in the face of convention, but you really don't have to play My Love She's But a Lassie Yet followed by Atholl Highlanders. We use either The Silverton Polka or The Weymouth Quickstep all the way through.

We also have lots of 48 bar jigs now. They are all cracking tunes and I can hardly believe how much I used (decades ago) to play 32 bar tunes AABBAB when 48 bars were required.

(that's enough trade secrets)


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 26 Jul 14 - 08:40 AM

With Blind Panic we actually used a tune followed by a song for one simple dance, as the caller did not need to give instructions after a couple of times through.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Bert
Date: 26 Jul 14 - 02:16 PM

Ye GODS, there is always someone who is going to get nit picky and personal.

For the rest of us, the phrases "subtle differences" and "pretty much the same" mean pretty much the same thing.

What struck me about that evening were the similarities. A few steps to the left, step to the center and back, grapevine(or something like it) to the left.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 27 Jul 14 - 04:55 AM

OK - so with the dots or not. I think the reason I prefer one tune is that you can do it without the music. If you give people the dots they seem to think that that is what they must play. Without I think you can be more creative - though I might be happy using a chart ( list) of chords if I want to play a counter melody - as I don't automatically hear chords.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 27 Jul 14 - 06:13 AM

Done right switching to a second tune half way through can really lift the dancers. For example this set by Peeping Tom


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: banjoman
Date: 27 Jul 14 - 06:36 AM

Flora - you & I have discussed this subject often and you know what I think. OTB always looked at their repertoire before the gig and agreed that some dances (Blaydon Races etc.) would need just the one tune. However, most of our sets did include a change.
We do enjoy playing with you when the occasions arises and we "Obey orders" from the leader (Which you do very well.)
Look forward to meeting up again soon
Pete


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 27 Jul 14 - 06:51 AM

Sorry Bert,I missunderstood the statement "it turned out to be the same dance to a different tune"


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,Bert
Date: 27 Jul 14 - 11:23 AM

OK, Derrick, no problem.

About half a century ago they used to produce square dance records that were just chords.

When I get back to my home computer I'll see if I can find them.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Jul 14 - 03:22 AM

What - no one has an opinion! With music or without?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Mo the caller
Date: 28 Jul 14 - 07:12 AM

Whichever the band does best.

If you always go out with the same caller then you know that x tune works with y dance. Since I go out with several bands who have other callers I have 2 ways of working. If they have a tune book I thumb through and see if I can pick out one that fits my dance. If not I say what sort of tune I want, maybe mention or hum one that works, and let them choose one that suits.

If bands field substitutes then a tunebook might be useful.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Jul 14 - 06:00 PM

As many tunes as the band can and want to play before the dance ends.
The dancers don't give a flying .... anyway and wouldn't even notice and the musicians don't get bored!


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Mo the caller
Date: 28 Jul 14 - 06:20 PM

Well this dancer notices (sometimes). And enjoys an arrangement or key change. I think Full House played Horses Brawl in more keys than there are, last time I danced to them.
If the dance is difficult or I have a novice partner then I might not notice, if I'm standing out at the end of a longways set I certainly do.
But I agree, the band should do what they enjoy (then we will too)


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken)
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 07:44 AM

The music's main purpose is to lift the dancers and help them interpret the caller's instructions. But it also needs to be listenable since not everyone is dancing all the time. So it needs to engage everyone present whether they are dancing or not. Have a look at the non-dancers and those dancers who are standing still in the set. If they are tapping feet, beating time, moving to the music, you've got it right, and it doesn't matter whether you play one tune or twenty if everyone is bopping. If they're sat there like puddings looking bored, think again.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 08:50 AM

LOL... couples dances are usually a single tune... but the length of the lines seems to determine if more than tune is used. at that's what i've observed on this side of the pond.

This past weekend we did a gig for a local town festival and when our set ended there was a 19th century dance group that was to dance and bring in onlookers into the dance. But their fiddler never showed up and the only way to provide music was for me to sing some tunes for them. Believe me, I was more than a little happy to finally switch from Marching through Georgia to another tune to get through the first dance. At least I knew some period songs to go with the dances.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: clueless don
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 09:14 AM

When I used to sit in with the Baltimore (Maryland, USA) Ceili Band, back in the 80s and early 90s, the band would play a medley of tunes for almost every dance except waltzes (for waltzes, a medley of instrumental waltz tunes were sometimes played, but a single song in 3/4 time was also sometimes used, particularly if a good singer was present.) Even for dances that had a signature tune (e.g. The High Cauled Cap, The Stack of Barley), different tunes would be used after initial playing of the signature tune (sometimes the signature tune would be brought back at the end of the dance.) The one exception I can think of was The Sweets of May, where the signature tune was played for the entire dance.

Don


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 01:29 PM

The only exceptions I can think of are for singing calls.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 01:30 PM

And even then I used to relieve the monotony by singing a different harmony each time through the tune.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 03:23 AM

Steve - can you recomend a really easy singing calling dance for someone who manages the hokey cokey but not much else? Easy tune and words.
Its something I'd like to have a go at but I'm not sure where to start.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 03:25 AM

I want to be near you.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Bert
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 01:10 PM

I know that you asked Steve, but here are some that I remember from half a century ago.

Lady be Good
Coming 'round the Mountain
Golden Slippers
Marianne
Billy Boy


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 04:45 PM

Gypsy Girl isn't that complex in the call as well.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 02:58 AM

I'm with Ted Crum on this. I don't know how many tunes they do but Steam Chicken get it right.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 03:36 AM

Looks like a spammer has hitched a ride on my first post to this thread.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 08:09 AM

I see the spam is now removed. Thank you elf.


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Subject: RE: One tune or many for a dance
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 01:14 PM

I like bands that use a couple of tunes ...a change in the middle of the dance provides a good 'lift'....None of the bands I work with need to use the dots..(thank God!)..they have learned the tunes!   With Old Swan for example,in the last thirtyseven years working together we have sorted out which tunes are ideal for which dances...but it's not static...Currently listening to the new demo OSB CD, and will use as many of the tunes on there as possible at Sidmuff on Tuesday evening in Blackmore Gardens....yes indeed. a celebration outdoor ceilidh...lets just hope for dry weather! 60 years of Sidmouth..40 years for OSB!!


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