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Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht

Helen 15 Feb 19 - 03:21 PM
Helen 15 Feb 19 - 03:25 PM
Helen 16 Feb 19 - 02:08 PM
Iains 16 Feb 19 - 02:41 PM
Helen 16 Feb 19 - 05:07 PM
Iains 16 Feb 19 - 05:36 PM
Jack Campin 16 Feb 19 - 06:17 PM
Helen 16 Feb 19 - 09:38 PM
Helen 16 Feb 19 - 09:42 PM
Iains 17 Feb 19 - 03:17 AM
Helen 17 Feb 19 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,kenny 17 Feb 19 - 06:37 AM
leeneia 17 Feb 19 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,kenny 17 Feb 19 - 12:15 PM
Helen 17 Feb 19 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,kenny 17 Feb 19 - 02:46 PM
Jack Campin 17 Feb 19 - 03:06 PM
Helen 18 Feb 19 - 01:15 AM
Helen 18 Feb 19 - 03:58 AM
GUEST,kenny 18 Feb 19 - 04:39 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 19 - 12:35 PM
leeneia 18 Feb 19 - 12:44 PM
Helen 18 Feb 19 - 01:30 PM
Helen 18 Feb 19 - 01:33 PM
Gallus Moll 18 Feb 19 - 04:51 PM
leeneia 18 Feb 19 - 08:32 PM
Helen 19 Feb 19 - 04:50 AM
Gordon Jackson 20 Feb 19 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,kenny 20 Feb 19 - 04:45 AM
Helen 20 Feb 19 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,kenny 21 Feb 19 - 07:20 AM
Helen 21 Feb 19 - 08:49 PM
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Subject: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:21 PM

Hi all,

Someone at our regular session recently started playing a waltz called Stirling Waltz and I realised that I recognised the tune but not the name.

After some quiet brain-bashing and brow-beating, I finally realised that it is the waltz called Gaelic Waltz which is part of the long medley Gaeltacht on Alan Stivell's Renaissance of the Celtic Harp. I have owned this album since way back when on vinyl and then on CD. It starts at the beginning of this video before the strathspey.

Alan Stivell Renaissance of the Celtic Harp- 05 Gaeltacht Part 2

Part 1 is here.

I have tried searching for Stirling Waltz and also for Gaelic Waltz and I can find no reference to the original tune under those searches. Stivell would have used a Scottish tune because he refers to Scotland on the track information.

Does anyone know the origins or original name of the tune or any further information about it.

Just to clarify, I asked where my friends heard Stirling Waltz and it was most recently at a wake of a well known folkie from a nearby area, but also it is used in a Scottish dancing context and paired with Boda Waltz in the set.

I'll post the track info for all the tunes on the Gaeltacht track.

Thanks,
Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:25 PM

Gaeltacht- track listing

The Gaeltacht track took up the whole of side B of the vinyl record.

Side B
B1 Gaeltacht Folk themes. A journey across Gaelic countries (Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man)
B1a Caitlin Triall Irish Melody. (Traditional, arranged by A. Stivell)
B1b Port Ui Mhuirgheasa Irish Jig. (Traditional, arranged by A. Stivell)
B1c Airde Cuan Irish Melody. (Traditional, arranged by Jord Cochevelou)
B1d Na Reubairean Scottish Melody. (Traditional, arranged by D. Megevand)
B1e Manx Melody (Traditional, Arranged By A. Stivell)
B1f Heman Dubh Hebridean Work Song. (Traditional, arranged by A. Stivell)
B1g Gaelic Waltz Scottish Waltz. (Traditional, arranged by A. Stivell)
B1h Struan Robertson Strathspey. (Traditional, arranged by A. Stivell)
B1i The Little Cascade Scottish Dance (Reel). (Traditional, arranged by A. Stivell)
B1j Braigh Loch Lall Scottish Melody (Traditional, arranged by A. Stivell)
B1k Port An Deorai Suit of Irish Slip Jig. (Traditional, arranged by A. Stivell)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 02:08 PM

Anyone? Please? :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Iains
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 02:41 PM

Try Below:


http://alan-stivell.discuforum.info/index.php

He does say "ask questions"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 05:07 PM

Thanks Iains.

I'll have to ask in English. I can read some French, but not at a proficient level, and I definitely can't write in French. It's a few decades since I studied it at school.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Iains
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 05:36 PM

I hope your quest has a positive outcome.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 06:17 PM

Is it a real tune or just preludizing up and down the scale?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 09:38 PM

Aaaggghhh Jack! Just when I thought it was safe to go in the water!

No idea!

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 09:42 PM

It's a self-contained tune within a medley of other tunes. It is in the middle of the medley track on the vinyl album, so it isn't just a variation of that old Chinese tune called Tun-Ing. LOL.

Although there is the old joke about harp playing, 10% spent playing and 90% spent tuning up.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Iains
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 03:17 AM

Is this the same composition?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqaWbWbOWnY


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 04:18 AM

Yes, that's the same one, Iains.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 06:37 AM

I think I have it. The "Tannahill Weavers" recorded a tune on their very 1st LP record, "Are Ye Sleeping, Maggie". The tune was played as a slowish air, and is called "The Valley Of Lorne". I have no idea of its' history or origins.
It has been posted on "thesession.org"
https://thesession.org/tunes/12596
Or try this link : https://thesession.org/tunes/12596


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 09:50 AM

I listened to the link that Iains posted. I'm pretty sure that's in 2/4 time, not 3/4, so it's not a waltz. Nonetheless it's and exciting piece, worth knowing.

Thanks.

Later today I might make a MIDI of it. Right now it's cold, it's early, the world is covered with ice, and I'm going back to bed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 12:15 PM

Sorry - "The Galley Of Lorne", not "Valley".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 01:42 PM

Thanks kenny. I'll look at that one. I was surprised not to have found a reference to the tune on The Session, but maybe the connection to the Gaelic Waltz was not made yet.

Iains, I looked at Alan Stivell's forum and even registered for it, but I wanted to try to search for any reference to the tune, which will take a bit of time because the search came up with a lot of forum topics to look through.

Alan Stivell responds personally to questions. This idea is a bit overwhelming for me because I have been listening to his music for decades. I'm a bit star-struck, I have to admit, and if anyone asks me about my harp playing I'll have to confess that despite owning a harp for some decades I am still just an amateur with reasonable chord playing skills and limited melody-with-chord skills - mainly because I don't practise enough and I only had a teacher for a short time back in the late '80's. Not making excuses. But I'll be retiring in a few weeks and brushing up on harp skills is near the top of my to-do list.

leeneia, I agree. It never did sound like a waltz to me, but Stivell chose a number of melodies for the medley from different geographic areas and he may have named it incorrectly as a waltz.

Further research will be undertaken, I promise, when I get home from work this afternoon.

Thanks everyone.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 02:46 PM

Hi Helen - I'm 100% certain that the tune Stivell, and certainly the harp player in the link provided by "Iains" is the same tune as the "Tannahill Weavers" recorded as "Galley of Lorne". The difference is that both Stivell and the harp player have changed the rhythm, but take it from me, it is the same tune. I'd say that the "Tannahills"' version might be closer to the original.
I just heard from my brother that fiddler John Martin is going to be leaving the "Tannahills", and is doing his last gig with them near Dundee next Saturday. I'm very tempted to go to that, and if I do, I'll ask Roy and Phil - the 2 original members who played on the first album where they got the tune from, and what they know about it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 03:06 PM

It sounds a lot like the (Irish?) march "The Chanter's Tune".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 01:15 AM

Hi kenny,

I just listened to the midi file at The Session.

Galley Of Lorne

It's definitely the same tune, but the rhythm is slightly more waltz like, in a halting kind of way.

I just looked up the sheet music from Stivell's Renaissance of the Celtic Harp album and part one is shown as waltz time, and part 2 is shown as Common Time. Confusing!

leeneia, the midi file is available on The Session website. Click the Download button and there is the option for ABC & midi, and you can print the sheet music using the Print button on the right. It prints to screen so you can save the image.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 03:58 AM

So, this is what I have found out. Tannahill Weavers started in 1968 and their first album came out in 1976. Stivell's Renaissance of the Celtic Harp album came out in 1971 so it is possible that Stivell had heard TW performing live, and may have even had communication, conversations, and even jam sessions with them and that may be how Stivell picked up the tune prior to the TW album being released in 1976.

When I posed my question in this thread, I was simply curious to know more about the origins of the tune, but now the information on my quest has become much more interesting. Thanks everyone.

I still intend to post something on the Alan Stivell forum, but I want to spend some time making sure that the question hasn't already been answered.

I love Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 04:39 AM

Hi Helen - I've known the "Tannahill Weavers" since around 1970, and at that time they were playing more Irish music than Scottish. If Stivell recorded the tune in 1971, I'd be fairly certain that he did not get it from the "Tannahill Weavers". I'll ask Phil Smillie on Saturday if I get the chance.
You've got me interested in the history of the tune now. I can't find much by "Googling" except that there's a 17th century inn by that name in Lochgilphead on the west of Scotland. By one of these strange coincidences, I'll be passing through there next week. I'll go in and ask !
Regards, Kenny


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 12:35 PM

Thanks to all who brought up 'The Galley of Lorne'. I've processed it a little, and it will make a lovely waltz to play on accordion or to end an evening of country dance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 12:44 PM

As they said in the grammar book, that was I.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 01:30 PM

When I looked up the Tannahill Weavers, the name of one of the band members is Lorne MacDougall.

OMG, I just got the cold shivers.

I did a bit of quick research on Galley of Lorne and there is a lot of history relating to the place called Lorne in Scotland (Note: the article refers to the area as Lorne or Lorn.)

"By this point, Somerled's descendants had formed into three families - as well as Dougall's heirs (the MacDougalls), there were also the heirs of his nephew Donald (the MacDonalds), and those of Donald's brother (the MacRory)"

That's not what the cold shivers were about. I grew up in a small suburb called Lorn in a country town in NSW, Oz. Lorn NSW

"In 1823 Thomas McDougall received a land grant of 360 hectares on the banks of the Hunter River opposite the thriving village of West Maitland. This land was to become known as Lorn."

Thomas McDougall

I was wondering why I was interested in knowing the name of this tune. I was thinking it was just the coincidence of someone turning up at our session with a tune called Stirling Waltz which sounded familiar and ended up being a Stivell track that I have been listening to for over three decades.

Now I can see that there is an even more interesting connection to the name of the original tune, and possibly even a geographical and historical connection to one of the members of the Tannahill Weavers.

Amazing! :-)

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 01:33 PM

BTW, the Galley of Lorne refers to this:

"The traditional heraldic symbol of Lorn was the lymphad (a galley), so the coat of arms for the Lordship of Lorne became a black lymphad on a silver field, quartered with the Campbell family arms."

That quote is from the wiki article about Lorne in Scotland.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 04:51 PM

Helen - I love the spooky connections!

If you look on youtube there are several people/groups playing this tune.
(also a duo playing other tunes IN the Galley of Lorne Hotel cellars during a folk festival there!)

One example is a set of Gaelic waltzes by a Scottish country dance band

one is a French woman on a melodeon

one is John Kelly from the Cowal area of Argyll (Lorne is around the Oban area) playing mandolin. John often posts on Nigel Gatherer's music site (google Nigel Gatherer) so you could ask him about the tune?

There are probably more versions---you could check Graham Irvine's youtube posts, he is an amazing button box player and will certainly know the tune if he has not actually uploaded it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 08:32 PM

For those who want to play the piece: I've been playing it this afternoon, and I feel it just doesn't work as a waltz, even with some modifications. It gives a great feeling of being on the sea, or in a giant landscape, but it just doesn't sound like a waltz.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 04:50 AM

This is the original track on The Tannahill Weavers' album Are Ye Sleeping MaggieGalley of Lorne

I'm beginning to think that the tune is a bit of a chameleon. Its rhythm is changed slightly by everyone who plays it. It appears to be a true folk tune, bent and stretched by the folk process.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 04:23 AM

I, too, really like Renaissance of the Celtic Harp. In fact, I’d say it’s one of my top ten folk albums. I often wondered about ‘Gaelic Waltz’, as it, as least as played by Alan Stivell, is obviously not a waltz, being in a heavily-syncopated 2/4 or 4/4. I was pleased to find a ‘proper’ title for it, and the origins of the name (if not the actual tune). One thing that seems to have been missed is that Galley of Lorne was the name of a late-Victorian steamship (http://www.clydeships.co.uk/view.php?ref=18550), built on the Clyde.

A tune in 3/4 is not necessarily a waltz (or mazurka or minuet), just as a syncopated 4/4 is not necessarily ragtime. Personally, I prefer to play it in a loose 3/4, more as a slow air.

None of this, of course, throws any light on the origin of the tune itself: is it a Gaelic tune, with an original Gaelic name or words? If so, that would suggest The Galley of Lorne is either a translation or a later name. I suspect that’s not the case. It might even be a more recent tune (remember The Dark Island?).

This is a fascinating thread that, while throwing up good suggestions for the name, hasn’t managed so far to find the origin of the tune!

Gordon


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 04:45 AM

I'll email Phil Smillie [ "Tannahill Weavers" flute player ] and ask him if he remembers where the band got the tune from.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 03:39 PM

Thanks kenny. Without your knowledge of this tune, I think we would still be paddling around in the dark, throwing out hypotheses left, right and centre, hoping that one of them might catch a useful fish.

You said you would see Phil Smillie on Saturday, so we can wait until you have had a chat with him.

This has just been an intermittent curiosity of mine over the years and I finally thought to ask about it here, so there is no rush.

Gordon, I agree with everything you said.

I love Mudcat!! Did I say it before on this thread. Oh well, it doesn't hurt to say it more than once. :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 07:20 AM

Hi Helen - I emailed Phil, and got the following reply from him,

"Hi Kenny!
Good to hear from you.

I know the Galley of Lorne is the name of a restaurant up in Ardfern which in the old days was used by drovers.
The Tannies recorded it with Dougie [ MacLean ] in the 70s however I’m sure we registered it as Trad. Roy and I are not sure whether it was Dougie or myself that found it all those years ago. We may even have heard Alan Stivell playing it. Sorry I can’t be more specific about it at the moment".

Well, I suppose it was over 40 years ago, and the mention of Stivell may have been prompted by my saying that he recorded it, and that that was the source of the query. So no further forward really, but I have thanked Phil for taking the time to think about it and reply so promptly.
Regards, Kenny


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Subject: RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht
From: Helen
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 08:49 PM

Thanks for going ABCD (above & beyond the call of duty) on this question.

Stivell appears to have gathered a number of tunes from different Celtic regions for his Gaeltacht track so I would be very surprised if he threw in one of his own compositions and called it a Gaelic Waltz from Scotland.

As Phil said, it was 40 years ago. A lot of water under the bridge since then.

As I said earlier, this question was created out of curiosity and coincidence. The appearance at our session group of a piece of music called Stirling Waltz, which is the same music as the tune named Gaelic Waltz on Stivell's album, which you identified as a tune recorded by The Tannahill Weavers as The Galley of Lorne.

And then there is the chameleon nature of the tune. It appears to change time signature according to whichever musician is playing it. A tune is being acted on by the folk process and the transformations have been recorded and can be tracked and compared instead of simply evolving in isolation, as in pre-communications-technology times.

It's like a musicological/archaeological dig. Sorry. I'm getting a bit carried away by my own thoughts.

Sometimes I think of pre-comms-technology times and how musicians learned new tunes. They might have travelled to a dance or a ceilidh and heard a new tune, started playing it themselves, taken it back home and possibly mis-remembered the tune or even prefered to play it their own way, and then the tune evolves.

Like Darwin's studies on the evolution of animals. Or like the way that words from the Latin language have arrived into the English language either directly or through Roman, Italian or French or other linguistic influences, e.g the word "name" is related to the word "nominal". They arrived into English language through different languages, but originated in Latin.


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