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instruments and political stereotypes

Jack Campin 28 Mar 17 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 28 Mar 17 - 02:01 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Mar 17 - 02:42 PM
Crowhugger 28 Mar 17 - 04:09 PM
Greg F. 28 Mar 17 - 04:12 PM
punkfolkrocker 28 Mar 17 - 05:50 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Mar 17 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,Grishkas 28 Mar 17 - 07:10 PM
Mr Red 29 Mar 17 - 10:18 AM
Marje 29 Mar 17 - 11:16 AM
mayomick 29 Mar 17 - 11:27 AM
mayomick 29 Mar 17 - 11:31 AM
Allan Conn 29 Mar 17 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,gOOD sHEEP sQUEAK 29 Mar 17 - 08:46 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Mar 17 - 08:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Mar 17 - 09:29 PM
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Subject: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 01:55 PM

I have recently acquired a Turkish tanbur (inconveniently enormous microtonally fretted banjo-like thing), so I've had a rummage round Facebook finding players of that and other Turkish instruments. Many of them belong to discussion groups for political alignments. The big issue in Turkey at the moment is the upcoming constitutional referendum, for which a Yes vote ("evet") would give Erdoğan something like the powers Trump thinks he's got, and a No vote ("hayır") would leave things they way they are. It isn't quite such a drastic polarization between knuckle-dragging atavistic idiocy and common sense as the Brexit/Trump vote, but it's along the same lines.

Correlation: ud (fretless lute) players tend to advocate HAYIR, tanbur players tend to go for EVET. I have been somewhat surprised by how strong and unexpected the opinions are from players whose work I knew quite well. Both instruments are central to the Turkish art music tradition; the main difference is that the tanbur is rarely played by non-Turks, whereas the ud is a major part of Greek, Arabic, Persian, Armenian and Israeli musical life as well. Seems odd that there should be political repercussions to that.

I guess there aren't many Highland or uilleann pipers with St George's Cross flags on their pipe cases. Is there any instrument favoured by Brexiteers? (I doubt if many Trump supporters even know what a trump is).


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 02:01 PM

I think the remainers either play the harmonica or don't play any thing at all.


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 02:42 PM

Brexiteers tend to play the xenophonium but both sides tend to blow their own trumpets loudly.


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 04:09 PM

Jack, that's interesting. Thank you for sharing your experience...it's a view of the musical world that was previously unknown to me as well.

After reading your OP I find myself wondering, is there anything in Great Britain's history that might have paralleled that ud/tanbur divide? For example in some era past, was a certain type of pipes or whistle or concertina originally played only by people from a certain culture, and was that also connected to political views/control? Or did those instruments get absorbed widely quickly? If that much detail is even known.

CH.


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 04:12 PM

Trump supporters generally tend to favor the double-belled xenophonium - particularly the mid 19th century variety they can play over their shoulders.


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 05:50 PM

welll... in Great Britain.. from the 1950s to some time in the 1980s
the electric guitar was viewed dismissively by the conservative established ruling order as an instrument / weapon
of working class expression, resentment, and rebellion...

... then in more recent decades, silver spoon fed public school kids
wanted to grab all that decadent sexy rock 'n' roll glamour and pop star fame for themselves...

Which is why so much modern rock and pop is even blander & more shite now than it was back in the early 1960s... 😜


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 07:09 PM

Don't know if it's relevant to this, but a friend studying Irish music came up with the conclusion that, in the Six Counties, traditional music was much favoured by republicans while Country and Western was the music of the Loyalists.
Very difficult to generalise.
I very much doubt if the guitar/left analogy would hold water as the instrument became popular because of its American association - most of my generation came into folk music via C and W, the blues, jazz and Guthrie and co.
I understand from Peggy that Ewan once ventured his hand at the instrument but was rubbish
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: GUEST,Grishkas
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 07:10 PM

I think instruments associated with a single ethnicity should not count, because virtually all such instruments will be considered political in cases of ethnic conflicts. As we all know, the referendum in Turkey has an ethnic aspect, largely fueled by government propaganda.

The electric guitar is more to the point, but it stands as a symbol for rock music. Similarly, the saxophone is often seen as iconic for Jazz and thus for African-American culture - although invented by a Belgian.

The most "political" instrument I know of is an instrument called Martinstrompete or Schalmei, which in Germany of the earlier 20th century stood for socialism. The criteria were: 1. loud, 2. very easy to learn and play, 3. not permitting any sophisticated - and thus bourgeois - music. The Nazi youth activists, proletarians as well, chose bugles, and were very ambitious in terms of technical mastery (- not of musical sophistication, of course). The Nazis scored in this contest. -

Brexiters cannot have a symbolic instrument because they do not have a sufficiently homogeneous cultural image. What united the voters for Brexit seems to be that they wanted to get rid of Cameron. That was a success, at least.

As for Trump supporters, I tend to associate them with Country music, but this is certainly not the full picture (- even if we disregard the brave attempts at "liberal" Country music).


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 10:18 AM

Bodhran players don't care what you say. We can drown you out.
:]


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Marje
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 11:16 AM

In Northern Ireland, a flute band is often regarded as a Loyalist ensemble (as played on 12 July parades). I remember footballer Paul Gascoigne being reprimanded for miming the playing of a flute in a triumphalist gesture (must have been against a mainly Catholic team, I can't remember).



Marje


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: mayomick
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 11:27 AM

maybe the celtic harp at one time ? The Minstrel Boy saw it being made for the brave and free and couldn't stand the idea of it being "played in slavery"


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: mayomick
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 11:31 AM

flute bands cross the sectarian line in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Allan Conn
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 12:39 PM

Marje the incident with Gascoigne was when he as playing for Glasgow Rangers against Glasgow Celtic.


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: GUEST,gOOD sHEEP sQUEAK
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 08:46 PM

Remainers are chickens that like european house music


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 08:53 PM

Brexiteers are virtuoso bellend players.


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Subject: RE: instruments and political stereotypes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 09:29 PM

I remember when the bicentenary of the French Revolution was being organised I read that efforts to set up a mass troupe of musicians playing traditional instruments, particularly in Brittany, came up against a problem because many of the best players still held to the view of the revolution responsible for waging ferocious war against their community at that time, and wouldn't consider celebrating it. Rather in the same way that efforts to commemorate Oliver Cromwell wouldn't go down too well in some parts of these islands.


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