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Dave Harker, Fakesong

GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 08:54 AM
Jack Campin 18 Feb 20 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,jag 18 Feb 20 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,jag 18 Feb 20 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 09:16 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Feb 20 - 09:36 AM
Jack Campin 18 Feb 20 - 09:39 AM
Jack Campin 18 Feb 20 - 09:42 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Feb 20 - 09:43 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 20 - 09:49 AM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 20 - 09:54 AM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 20 - 11:02 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Feb 20 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,jag 18 Feb 20 - 11:18 AM
Jack Campin 18 Feb 20 - 11:20 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Feb 20 - 12:33 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Feb 20 - 12:37 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Feb 20 - 12:37 PM
Brian Peters 18 Feb 20 - 12:40 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Feb 20 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,jag 18 Feb 20 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 11:07 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Feb 20 - 11:32 PM
Joe Offer 18 Feb 20 - 11:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 08:32 AM

"tell the guitar men that they're E minor and B minor respectively and they're happy"

But will the audience be, that is the question. Probably used to 'men' making a racket by playing the wrong chords to modal songs?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 08:54 AM

For me it stands to reason that it might not be a good idea to use the same set of chords to harmonise a melody drawn from a scale with b3 b6 b7 (as compared with the major/ionian starting on the same tonic) as to harmonise a melody drawn from a scale with b3 b9 (as compared with the major/ionian staring on the same tonic). The key problem probably being that b6. But perhaps Steve could enlighten us on how this works in practice?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 08:55 AM

I suppose "our" kind of music was much-influenced by the early church modes

No it wasn't. The modal systems of folk music are so different from those of church music that there can't be any genetic relationship. Church music is invariably heptatonic, older modal folk music almost never is.

There are even greater differences when you get away from the idiot simplification that a mode is a scale. Real modal systems include melodic content; this is explicit in church music (as it is in Indian or Arabic music) and the way it occurs (without explicit labelling) in Western folk is why it looked kinda plausible for Sharp to link modes to tune family relationships.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 08:59 AM

https://www.mardles.org/images/Mardles/NFA/Pardon.jpg


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:05 AM

Meant to add this but missed the Preview box

http://forum.melodeon.net/files/site/DGwithStave.pdf


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:16 AM

@ Jack

I think that the Julia Bishop sections in Roud's book on Folk Song in England begin to problematise the way that 'modes' have been used to think about folk song. As I said before, these sections are 'tantalising' because for me they don't go into the amount of detail or depth that I felt ready for when I read and re=read them.

Creating harmonisations of 'modal' tunes is one thing Sharp does touch on in the piece we have been discussing. He criticises a European composer who treated a modal melody as a with 'modulations' and who introduced classical music type leading chords to get from one key (as perceived by the composer) to the other key (as perceived by the composer).

This is why I asked many posts back whether people could point me to an example of a Cecil Sharp harmonisation of a modal tune, to see for myself how he approached the problem.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:36 AM

Which is why, Jack, I added the caveat that I'm not much of a scholar... Inconsistent terminology apropos of modes and keys is rife on harmonica forums, which is why I used all those speech marks.

As it happens, Pseudo, I possess a Hohner Erica D/G. It has at least as many notes on the G row as a G ten-hole harmonica, which is wot I mostly play, ditto for the D row, including missing notes in common at the bottom end. I have only one complete octave in the harmonica. I can retune one note in the bottom octave to give me back the missing sixth for G and A tunes. At least you have the flexibility of notes on crossing rows that I don't have. The guitar men I play with are intelligent enough. If I go out with blues harps in D, G and A I can handle, at a guess, over 90% of Irish tunes. Pesky tunes with accidentals can either be cheated on or notes can be bent. The main exception is Cnat in D tunes. Take Ashokan Farewell for example. Yeah, please take the hateful thing, as far away as possible.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:39 AM

This is why I asked many posts back whether people could point me to an example of a Cecil Sharp harmonisation of a modal tune, to see for myself how he approached the problem.

I think I may have a book with some suitable examples in it. Will take a look. I seem to remember the problem was that Sharp's arrangements just weren't all that arresting - sympathetic idiom isn't enough.

There are other ways to go about it. Bartok often preferred to set folk tunes in a harmonic context that was glaringly, unmistakably different. Lendvai's book explains how (in its saner moments). Grainger played the same game. It's an approach that maybe has more relevance than Sharp to typical folk arrangement practice today.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:42 AM

The main exception is Cnat in D tunes. Take Ashokan Farewell for example. Yeah, please take the hateful thing, as far away as possible.

It's a handy cue for going for a pee.

On the other hand, Banish Misfortune is downright good, and has the same issue.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:43 AM

Indeed it does. I can't be arsed with it, good though it is. Still, it's normally soon done and dusted.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:49 AM

I'm sure Steve will be familiar with the b3 b7 compared with ionian approach to modes I used a moment ago, but in case others are not, here is a link to a page also approaching modes starting with the major scale on the same root. I learned this approach on a jazz course, harmonisation in jazz is of course another thing altogether and I only dipped my toe in:

http://www.jargstorff.us/2011/major-scale-modes-from-bright-to-dark/

If you scroll down the page you will see examples showing how the modes relate to C major in terms of adding a sharp (lydian) or flats (the rest).


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:54 AM

"Brian: I'm sorry but you appear to have caught that thing of not reading posts carefully before replying. I refer to your comments on the modes on a melodeon. You put: "If you were once a melodeon player it must have been a long time ago. It’s very easy to play a Dorian scale in either E or A without even crossing the row." Since my original post is still here, people on this thread will be able to see that at no point did I state that the Dorian was not possible to play. This was, of course, deliberate on my part."

I did actually read your post very carefully. Curiously, you don't seem to remember that you wrote: "Attempt [sic] to play in aeolian would founder on the lack of a major 6th (c in Em; G# in Bm)” - when in fact there is an easily accessible C natural on the instrument, as I pointed out to you. I was certainly curious as to why you hadn't mentioned the Dorian since, having presumably made an exhaustive study of Walter Pardon's song melodies, you must know that he had several that were in that mode, and it would have been these (and others with a flat 3rd but no 6th) that would have been ‘bellows open’ tunes.

"A couple of simple question - how was Walter "mediated"?
People got to know WP. Then they wrote about him. Then they showed what they had written to other people. Simple and quick enough for you?


Trying to be patronising is unwise when you’re on such shaky ground to start with. The difference between Walter Pardon and the singers contacted by Edwardian collectors is that WP’s entire repertoire, unsullied by an editor, is available for examination. There are also verbatim transcriptions of interviews with him. People have written about him as well – but the source material is the heart of the evidence. It is a fantasy to compare that process to the kind of mediation that Harker complained about. I suspect that you do it to annoy, but you're just making yourself look silly.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:02 AM

More gems from Pseudonymous:

"Jim does not want to discuss the work of Harker, and is therefore deliberately introducing material about things he does want to talk about."

"I'm sure Steve will be familiar with the b3 b7 compared with ionian approach to modes I used a moment ago, but in case others are not, here is a link to a page also approaching modes starting with the major scale on the same root. I learned this approach on a jazz course..."


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:05 AM

One of the greatest gaps in our knowledge of the oral tradition is the lack of information we have from source singers themselves,
One the little we have gets undermined with accusations such as these we are left with nothing
It seems that the modern school of scholarship is based on destroying all other credible evidence to make room for their own pet theories and agendas
First time around Dave Harker failed miserably but it seems that his spectre has come back to haunt us
The technique appears to be to make unsubstantiated claims presented as facts and them move on. leaving them to hang

I don't bother too much with Wikipedia, but, having just looked up Walte Pardon there, I am appalled at the amount of misinformation has been put up there, even quotes by an old friend, Dave Hillary, are so off-beam as to be nonsensical
There seems to be an automatic assumption that, because singers from Walter's generation sang what they remembered, they regarded everything the same - they most certainly didn't - that's the approach adopted by today's revival - unfortunately
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:18 AM

@Pseudonymous: http://www.campin.me.uk/Music/Modes/


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:20 AM

A couple of simple question - how was Walter "mediated"?
People got to know WP. Then they wrote about him. Then they showed what they had written to other people.

The difference between Walter Pardon and the singers contacted by Edwardian collectors is that WP’s entire repertoire, unsullied by an editor, is available for examination.


So were the entire works of Nietzsche, when the Nazis tried to make him one of theirs.

It's quite possible to misrepresent what somebody said even when they're still around to say you've got it wrong, and if you have better access to the media there isn't a damn thing they can do about it.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 12:33 PM

"So were the entire works of Nietzsche, when the Nazis tried to make him one of theirs."
Then it should be equally possible to show where those "mediations" have taken place rather than allude to them Jack
So far, the repertoires of the singers and how they might have been affected by mediation have been avoided like the plague, and efforts have even been made to declare them 'off topic' and shuffled off to another thread, as has happened to inconvenient truths in the past - says much for the validity of such claims, don'cha think ?
I repeat - "mediations" - what mediations ?

Bringing the Nazis into this seems to have sunk the discussion to yet another level - ah well - going down !!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 12:37 PM

This is a longish part of an interview with Walter

Is theer ant evidence of manipulation of what he said here (which is basically what "mediation" implies

Jim Carroll

J C   If you had the choice Walter… if somebody said to you one night they were going to ask you to sing say half-a-dozen or a dozen songs even, of all your songs, what would be the choice, can you think offhand what you would choose to sing?

W P The Pretty Ploughboy would be one, that’s one; Rambling Blade would be another one, The Rambling Blade would be two, Van Dieman’s Land three, Let The Wind Blow High or Low, that’d be four, Broomfield Hill, that’s five, Trees The Do Grow High, six, that’d be six.

J C Do you think that when you started singing in the clubs and festivals, do you think you think you are singing any different than you were singing when you were younger?

W P Dash, yes, I think so.

J C Do you know in what way?

W P Oh, I don’t know, put more expression in probably, I think so. Well, but you see, you take these, what we call the old type… the old folk song, they’re not like the music hall song, are they, or a stage song, there’s a lot of difference in them. I mean a lot of these… some … it all depend what and how you’re singing. Some of them go to nice lively, quick tunes, and others are… you don’t do Van Dieman’s Land… If there’s a sad old song you don’t go through that very quick. Like Up to the Rigs is the opposite way about.

I mean, we must put expression in, you can’t sing them all alike. Well most of the stage songs you could, if you understand what I mean. According to what the song is you put the expression in or that’s not worth hearing, well that’s what I think anyhow.   And as I never did sing them, you see, there was no expression I could put in.


J C Alright; take another song; take something like Marble Arch and Maid of Australia, both of which are fairly amusing, anyway, would you see any difference in them?

W P Well yes, because there’s a difference in the types of the music, that’s another point.
You can tell Van Dieman’s Land is fairly old by the sound, the music, and Irish Molly and Marble Arch is shortened up, they shortened them in the Victorian times. And so they did more so in the Edwardian times. Some songs then, you’d hardly start before you’d finish, you see, you’d only a four line verse, two verses and a four line chorus and that’d finish. You’d get that done in half a minute, and the music wasn’t as good. Yeah, the style has altered. You can nearly tell by the old Broomfield Hill, that’s an old tune; The Trees They Do Grow High, you can tell, and Generals All.

Nine times out of ten I can get an old fashioned ten keyed accordion, German tuned, you can nearly tell an old… what is an old song. Of course that doesn’t matter what modern songs there is, the bellows always close when that finish, like that. And you go right back to the beginning of the nineteenth and eighteenth they finish this way, pulled out, look. You take notice how Generals All finish, that got an old style of finishing, so have The Trees They Do Grow High, so have The Gallant Sea Fight, in other words, A Ship To Old England Came, that is the title, The Gallant Sea Fight. You can tell they’re old, the way they how they… That drawn out note at finish.   You just study and see what they are., how they work., you’ll find that’s where the difference is.

And as that got further along; that’s where I slipped up with Black Eyed Susan; I thought that was probably William the Fourth by the music, but that go back about to 1730, that one do.

Well a lot of them you’ll find, what date back years and years, there’s a difference in the style of writing the music as that progressed along, that kept altering a lot. Like up into Victorian times, you’ve got Old Brown’s daughter, you see, that come into Victorian times; well that style started altering, they started shortening the songs up, everything shortened up, faster and quicker, and the more new they get, the more faster they get, the styles alter, I think you’ll find if you check on that, that’s right.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 12:37 PM

This is a longish part of an interview with Walter

Is theer ant evidence of manipulation of what he said here (which is basically what "mediation" implies

Jim Carroll

J C   If you had the choice Walter… if somebody said to you one night they were going to ask you to sing say half-a-dozen or a dozen songs even, of all your songs, what would be the choice, can you think offhand what you would choose to sing?

W P The Pretty Ploughboy would be one, that’s one; Rambling Blade would be another one, The Rambling Blade would be two, Van Dieman’s Land three, Let The Wind Blow High or Low, that’d be four, Broomfield Hill, that’s five, Trees The Do Grow High, six, that’d be six.

J C Do you think that when you started singing in the clubs and festivals, do you think you think you are singing any different than you were singing when you were younger?

W P Dash, yes, I think so.

J C Do you know in what way?

W P Oh, I don’t know, put more expression in probably, I think so. Well, but you see, you take these, what we call the old type… the old folk song, they’re not like the music hall song, are they, or a stage song, there’s a lot of difference in them. I mean a lot of these… some … it all depend what and how you’re singing. Some of them go to nice lively, quick tunes, and others are… you don’t do Van Dieman’s Land… If there’s a sad old song you don’t go through that very quick. Like Up to the Rigs is the opposite way about.

I mean, we must put expression in, you can’t sing them all alike. Well most of the stage songs you could, if you understand what I mean. According to what the song is you put the expression in or that’s not worth hearing, well that’s what I think anyhow.   And as I never did sing them, you see, there was no expression I could put in.


J C Alright; take another song; take something like Marble Arch and Maid of Australia, both of which are fairly amusing, anyway, would you see any difference in them?

W P Well yes, because there’s a difference in the types of the music, that’s another point.
You can tell Van Dieman’s Land is fairly old by the sound, the music, and Irish Molly and Marble Arch is shortened up, they shortened them in the Victorian times. And so they did more so in the Edwardian times. Some songs then, you’d hardly start before you’d finish, you see, you’d only a four line verse, two verses and a four line chorus and that’d finish. You’d get that done in half a minute, and the music wasn’t as good. Yeah, the style has altered. You can nearly tell by the old Broomfield Hill, that’s an old tune; The Trees They Do Grow High, you can tell, and Generals All.

Nine times out of ten I can get an old fashioned ten keyed accordion, German tuned, you can nearly tell an old… what is an old song. Of course that doesn’t matter what modern songs there is, the bellows always close when that finish, like that. And you go right back to the beginning of the nineteenth and eighteenth they finish this way, pulled out, look. You take notice how Generals All finish, that got an old style of finishing, so have The Trees They Do Grow High, so have The Gallant Sea Fight, in other words, A Ship To Old England Came, that is the title, The Gallant Sea Fight. You can tell they’re old, the way they how they… That drawn out note at finish.   You just study and see what they are., how they work., you’ll find that’s where the difference is.

And as that got further along; that’s where I slipped up with Black Eyed Susan; I thought that was probably William the Fourth by the music, but that go back about to 1730, that one do.

Well a lot of them you’ll find, what date back years and years, there’s a difference in the style of writing the music as that progressed along, that kept altering a lot. Like up into Victorian times, you’ve got Old Brown’s daughter, you see, that come into Victorian times; well that style started altering, they started shortening the songs up, everything shortened up, faster and quicker, and the more new they get, the more faster they get, the styles alter, I think you’ll find if you check on that, that’s right.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 12:40 PM

"So were the entire works of Nietzsche, when the Nazis tried to make him one of theirs."

I don't see the relevance of this, Jack. We are talking specifically about 'mediation' as described by Dave Harker in the context of folk song. His case was that Sharp et al misrepresented the singers' repertoire when they published their books of songs. He claimed editorial tampering (although he exaggerated both its extent and the degree of subterfuge), that 'unsuitable' songs were selected out, and that the singers were given no voice of their own.

In he case of Walter Pardon, the published material consists of commercially-released recordings covering all of his repertoire (including the music hall and union songs) and presenting it exactly as he sang it. In addition, we have the verbatim interviews we've already discussed. Since Jim Carroll and others who have written about WP invariably refer their readers to the recordings and the interview transcripts, the parallel of the Nazis feeling able to misinterpret Nietzsche because no-one had read him is inappropriate on more than one level.

As Lighter wrote yesterday: 'Everything that goes from one human mind to another is unavoidably "mediated."' But the argument here is over Harker's use of 'mediation', and whether it applies to he case of Walter Pardon. It doesn't.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 02:40 PM

Some more of Walter "mediating" himself
Jim Carroll

RECORDING HIMSELF
Anyhow, I set it up once and plugged in, I tell you, that was a good job; I was right nervous doing it.
I thought myself, I used to think I could manage to sing the old ‘Rambling Blade’; I put it on and it sound so blooming horrible I wiped it right out, oh, that did sound dreadful; I don’t think that was as bad perhaps as I thought it was, but that was a long while, I trying different things until, you know, I thought that was better as I kept hearing it, you see.
And I know that was about October, 1972 when I started it; Oh, I don’t know, it took about up to Christmas time to fill one side; I used to forget there was verses in the songs, you see, I used to keep wiping it out and putting them on again. That took a long time to get them up into the pitch I could sing them in, not having sung the things.
Well I got one side done somewhere from the October up to the Christmas1972 this was. And I know when it come over to the following New Year I was in here one Saturday night and that was bitterly cold; oh, that was a wind frost, wind coming everywhere. I was that cold I had a big fire going one side and that little stove the other.
So I thought then I’d do some more taping. Anyhow, so I got warmed up, I had a strong dose of rum and milk, and I had another one. And so I got the tape recorder going, I can remember well enough; that was Caroline And Her Young Sailor, and when I finished it was the best I ever did do.
Well, I found out I drank more than I should, I had to keep right still. Well, I switched it off; that was true, in fact I was drunk, and then of course I went to bed, I never did have any more, and the next morning when I got up and tried it I knew I was, how that was coming out with all then words all slurred, so I wiped it all out.
Well I found then as I kept going, that it wouldn’t pay to drink anything.
Anyhow, eventually that was filled up in the March, that was March 1973.


FOLK CLUBS
I had a vague idea they had folk clubs of some description, all these doctors, solicitors etcetera would go and sing in someone’s big house. I never realised you see, working people done that, never knew a single thing about it.

PICTURES WHILE SINGING
J C   Can I ask you something else then Walter. When you’re singing in a club or at a festival, who do you look at, what do you see when you’re singing?
W P   Well, I don’t see anything.
J C   You don’t look at the audience.
W P   No, that’s why I like a microphone; I’d rather stand up in front of a microphone and that sort of thing ‘cause it’s something to look at, that’s what I like, this sort of thing in front so you can shut the audience out, ‘cause I can shut the audience right away from everywhere.
J C   So what do you see then, when you’re…..?
W P   Well actually what I’m singing about, like reading a book; you always imagine you can see what is happening there, you might as well not read it.
P Mc   So you see what you’re singing about?
W P   Hmm
P Mc   And how do you see it; as a moving thing, as a still thing?
W P   That’s right.
P Mc   Moving?
W P   That’s right. The Pretty Ploughboy was always ploughing in the field over there, that’s where that was supposed to be.
J C    Over there?
W P Hmm.
J C    So it’s that field just across the way?
W P   That’s right.
J C    How about van Dieman’s Land?
W P   Well, that was sort of imagination what that was really like, in Warwickshire, going across, you know, to Australia; seeing them chained to the harrow and plough and that sort of thing; chained hand-to-hand, all that.
You must have imagination to see; I think so, that’s the same as reading a book, you must have imagination to see where that is, I think so, well I do anyhow.
P Mc   But you never shut your eyes when you’re singing, do you?
W P    No, no.
P Mc   But if you haven’t got a microphone to concentrate on, if you’re singing in front of an audience, where do you look?
W P   Down my nose, like that.
P Mc   Yes, you do, yeah.
W P   That is so. Have you noticed that?
P Mc   Yeah.
J C   Do the people in the songs that you sing, do they have their own identity or are they people you know or have known in the past?
W P   No, their own identity, I imagine what they look like.
J C   You imagine what they look like?
W P   That’s right, yeah.
J C   And when you sing the song they’re the same people every time, they look the same every time?
W P That’s right, yes, yes, that’s right. All depending what it’s about or the period, that’s right.
J C   And they were dressed in the period…?
W P   That’s right yeah, yeah.
J C   So where would you put The Pretty Ploughboy, what sort of period?
W P   Lord Nelson’s time.
J C   So they’d be wearing……?
W P   That’s right; the beginning of the last century.
P Mc   What about the song like The Trees They Do Grow High or Broomfield Hill?
W P    Oh, that’d go back really as far as…. Buckled shoes, that sort of thing. Well no, they wore buckled, but anyone ploughing would never wear buckled shoes but I mean they dressed in, you know, fairly smart clothes and a ring on their thumb sort of thing.
J C   And how about Dark Arches, what would be the type of…?
W P   Oh, myself; if you’re singing about yourself that must come in it (laughter).


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 03:12 PM

My thoughts are as follows:

1 I am happy to accept that WP believed that you could tell old songs from new songs by whether the bellows ended up in or out. This statements in itself seems to conflate the age of the tune with the age of the song. Plus I have been given no 'arguments' in support of the idea that he was right about this in relation to either the song or the melody. We got here via discussion of Sharp and his attitudes to 'modal' tunes. Harker does not go into much detail, but implies that Sharp preferred modal tunes over others. We have established to my satisfaction that at least there are grounds to question how useful the concept of 'modes' is when applied to non-classical music.


3 Re Interview Transcripts. There has been previous discussion about qualitative research methods and it did not get very far. I see no point in going over it now. But I will say that Jim Carroll's practice of treating discussions about the quality of his research methods as tantamount to treating either he and Pat or WP as 'liars' does not help at all.

The idea of finding out about people's lives and their whole musical experience is a good one, and it is one that Harker himself advances.

4 Once again, we are presented with a transcript of an undated interview. Am I the only one who noticed that more than one interviewer asked Pardon what his favourite songs were, and wondered how the different answers Pardon gave each time might be explained. It is clear that by this time P has been part of the revival scene for some time so who knows what ideas and so on he picked up after being discovered. I find it difficult to imagine a person being in the company of Jim Carroll without being on the receiving end of some fairly strongly expressed, and, if I may say so, not always uncontested views about the nature and origin of 'folk song'.

The post above reminds me of another transcript in which interviewers ask WP about the difference between the way he sung songs at the time of the interview and in the past, and he not once but twice reminds them of what they presumably knew at the outset, namely that he 'never did sing them'.

5 The issues with transcripts are multiplied when people write articles using selected extracts to support theoretical points.

I do not think we have ever been given a full account of Pardon's musical life and experience or his personality. It is as much what nobody seems to have asked him or what nobody has thought fit to publish about him as about what was published.

For me, it so obvious that Pardon has been mediated that it seems people who cannot are wearing blinkers. It's rather like people who deny speaking English with an accent.

Also for me, denials that any mediation of the sort outlined by Harker happened with WP may not reflect what Harker (pxiii) says (albeit in the context of gathering songs and print media):

'By mediation I mean not just simply the fact that people passed on songs … but that in the very process of so doing their own assumptions, attitudes, likes and dislikes may well have significantly determined what they looked for, accepted and rejected.' Harker aims to set those mediators he discusses in their historical contexts: one day somebody will come along and do the same in respect of the 2nd wave revivalists who found WP. For me, and this is a reasonable point of view, it is very odd to imagine that the body of material, in texts, images, tape recordings, commercial products etc etc created around Walter Pardon are free from the influence of the culture and ideology of those who mediated the man, his life, his work etc, and continue to do this.

For example, proudly proclaimed his 'trade unionism', or argued that his grandfather could not have got songs from broadsheets as he and his family were in the workhouse (this is on Mudcat: wrong grandfather: a different grandfather was in the workhouse).


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 03:32 PM

More gems from Pseudonymous. Well spotted. And not a subjunctive in sight:)


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 03:46 PM

In a post on 17th Feb Jim states WP only constructed a song using printed materials once. He accused me of 'making things up' when I said there was more than one such occasion. I cited Jim himself as the source of my information. I haven't finished searching through my notes, but I may as well share what I found so far, all quotations from Jim/Jim and Pat. The key words in the quotations are 'some' and 'several'. Also 'friends' which would indicate more than just Mike Yates. Also 'books and broadsheets'.

It is one of the ironies of Mudcat that one tends to get reprimanded by Jim for repeating what Jim has said.

I do make mistakes (nothing ventured, nothing gained) but I feel entitled to respond to that particular insult.

So here are the quotations, with dates:

Written 1996
‘he managed to complete from texts some half-known songs in later years…’

Posted 2007
Most of his songs were intact, but those that weren't he filled out from printed texts given to him by friends in the revival. This 'filling in' was done extremely tastefully; that's why, I believe, they are so good. Probably 'Dark Arches' is the best example of these, which he had as 2 verses and a chorus.

Posted Nov 2019
Walter had only fragments and tunes of several songs so he put them together from books and broadsheets, for example ‘Rakish Young Fellow’ and ‘Down by the Dark Arches’.

Not mediated? Not half!


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 04:48 PM

@Pseudonymous "Not mediated? Not half!" I think you are getting confused. Claiming Walter was mediated is one thing, claiming that Walter was 'mediating' his families songs is another kettle of fish altogether.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 10:36 PM

Hello Jag

The 'not mediated, not half!' exclamation referred to the way that it had been stated on this thread that WP produced precisely one piece from fragments using written texts. This, for me, was a piece of 'mediation'.

Sorry if this was not clear.

Also @ Jag. It seems to me that Walter and anybody else is entitled to do what they like with these old songs (barring I suppose where copyright may exist in some version for some reason). The idea that there is a 'right' way to sing them or 'right' interpretations or 'right' or 'wrong' ways to adapt their words has no force for me. If this is my culture, I think I should be able to do what I want with it, including critiquing it where I think it was racist/colonialist/sexist/and yes, even rubbish etc in the past.


I note that the missing section of part 3 of my post of 3.12 is now visible. I don't understand this. I am glad that it is now visible. Because I felt that it made a fair point about the way that posts about perfectly valid 'social science' methods can unfortunately be taken the wrong way. And have been.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 10:38 PM

@ Jag, sorry, tone may have been blunt in last post.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 10:49 PM

Just to make a point: I got a book about Knapton which informed me of the important biographical detail that WP attended a Methodist class in his youth, the info being based on reports from a local history project in the village. This would have been influential musically, and for me was interesting in terms of links with one specific local political figure involved with Methodism. Nobody said to me 'Well done, that's interesting'. It just goes to show something about some attitudes on Mudcat. It also goes to show, for me, that published 'research' into his musical experiences in life failed, for whatever reason, to produce and interesting fact about the person. For all we know, many more such examples may be mouldering away in the recesses of national sound archives or were simply never discovered.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:07 PM

here is a link to a page also approaching modes starting with the major scale on the same root.

Not sure why Brian found this a gem. It is an approach that is used, though maybe I could have described it a little less clumsily. It starts with the major scale and describes the modes in terms of how they vary from it. It starts with Lydian, approached as major scale with a sharp 4th.

I did indeed learn it on a jazz course, but it is found in other contexts. For me it makes more sense than starting with C and going up through the notes C Ionian, D Dorian etc. I think it's a much better way of thinking about them if you set out to be able to hear the different modes in your head, but that may just be a personal thing.

Happy to hear more about why this was selected as a 'gem' though, if politely phrased.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:32 PM

Prior to the jazz course I did an Edinburgh Uni course on the fundamentals of music theory, a course I recommended to Steve Gardham I think. That covered modes in a different manner the C Ionian, D Dorian manner. I passed with over 90%. So to whoever it was who thought I didn't have much grasp of modes, I found you patronising. Checked and it was Steve Shaw. Get your coat, Steve :)

True I am not au fait with the stuff critiquing the whole concept or with the various historical views of modes, but what I do know is adequate for this thread, even if not always perfectly applied.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:54 PM

1000-post threads are about all our system can handle easily. I think this is a pretty good time to bring this thread to a close. Feel free to continue this discussion on another thread if there's a need for it.
Thanks.
-Joe-


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