Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Help: Folksong jargon

Mrrzy 02 Apr 00 - 10:36 AM
wysiwyg 02 Apr 00 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,mrrzy-at-work 03 Apr 00 - 10:37 AM
Fortunato 03 Apr 00 - 10:41 AM
MMario 03 Apr 00 - 10:49 AM
Amos 03 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM
canoer 03 Apr 00 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Kathy Wallis 04 Apr 00 - 05:52 AM
Liz the Squeak 04 Apr 00 - 07:16 AM
Hollowfox 04 Apr 00 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Sian in Wales 04 Apr 00 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Mrrzy-at-work 04 Apr 00 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 04 Apr 00 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,mrrzy-at-work 10 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM
Mrrzy 02 Jan 16 - 11:48 AM
Mysha 02 Jan 16 - 10:46 PM
Richard Mellish 03 Jan 16 - 10:24 AM
Snuffy 03 Jan 16 - 11:19 AM
Mrrzy 03 Jan 16 - 01:00 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Folksong jargon
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 10:36 AM

Hi, I have been wondering this ever since I found out that skiers have more terms for snow than most Inuit. Now that I have joined your illustrious company, it occurred to me at in the middle of the night to ask you this (although I retained just enough sanity not to leap out of bed at 4 am and post this).

The question is, are there specific terms in folksinging for subsets of "challenge-response" types of songs for more than one singer that aren't simple duets? I can think of at least 2 types:

(1)The kind with straightforwardly 2 singers, so it IS a duet of sorts, but where one singer only repeats what the other one says rather than having lines of their own like a regular duet. Example: The Prettiest Girl (I Ever Saw)

I'm sure most of you know this one, but just in case, here is the pattern:

Singer 1: The prettiest girl / Singer 2: (repeats) / 1: I ever saw /2 repeats/ 1: was supping ci- /2 repeats/ 1: -der through a straw /2 repeats/ Both: The prettiest girl I ever saw was supping cider through a straw (and so on).

(2) The type with a main singer and an entire chorus that jumps in at regular intervals, like Wet Day In London or Big Strong Man. Sample pattern from WDIL:

Main Singer: I was feeling quite grand with the business at hand when this photo I saw on the dresser; 'twas Herself and this man, o what dirty great hands, for her husband was who... Chorus shouts: WAS WHO?? Main singer continues: ...was Wild Bill the Wrestler. (Aside: This one has a line that ought to have made the Best Lyrics thread but I didn't think of it then: the last line of the refrain is "Give the woman in the bed there more porter!" --can't argue with that one!. Also, this isn't in your db that I could find, do you want the rest of the lyrics?

Relatedly, is there a global, collective term for songs requiring more than one singer, which would include rounds or canons, duets and these choralic ones?

I thank all you experts and will check back later, I can't stay online or I have no phone (*gasp*) but look forward to much interesting reading as y'all work this one through.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 06:01 PM

be fresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: GUEST,mrrzy-at-work
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 10:37 AM

Beg pardon?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Fortunato
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 10:41 AM

don't know but it's a neat song and question, I'll watch with interest, cheers fortunato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: MMario
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 10:49 AM

?? The first type of call/response song example above I have always heard just called "Echo" songs. Seems appropriate, though I don't know if there is anything "official" about the term.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM

I know of no general terms for songs needing more than one voice. There are many variants on the kinds of songs you describe and "challenge-response" is as good a general term as any. Other descriptions are "sing-along", "lead and follow", and there may be some arcane terms used by Lomax or other collectors for particular areas where this type of structure serves a practical purposes, as in long-haul chanteys, track-lining, rock-breaking chain gang work, and some kinds of lumber work. Dunno of any official terms for them though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: canoer
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 01:22 PM

I've often heard the term "call-and-response" especially in regards to African - related songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: GUEST,Kathy Wallis
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 05:52 AM

There are the challenge songs that go with the Mari LLwyd in Wales or the Pen y Gwyn in Cornwall where to gain entry to the house on visiting night - usually around 6th January - the Mari throws a verse and the company on the other side of the door have to find a verse in response. When they are unable to do that they have to open the door and let the Mari in, providing her with ale and food. In case you don't know the Mari and the Pen are horses skulls with a person under the skirts. Hope this gives you more food for thought

Kathy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 07:16 AM

Call and response was often called 'lining' - there would usually only be one or two members of a church congregation who could read. They would sing the first line and the rest of the congregation would repeat it. This would go on through the verse until the chorus, which most church goers would know by heart, or could soon pick up. It is a great way to learn a tune and there is opportunity for harmonic drones under the verse.

The voice/echo song, like Jackie Boy, Master, were probably meant to be sung by two people or groups, as a sort of entertaining narrative. These songs tend to be a bit on the long side (especially if you can track down all 8 verses to Jackie Boy - I managed to get 7, with one obvious resolution missing, damn, damn, damn....) so are a bit less boring when done by a narrator and an answer.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Hollowfox
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 10:07 AM

The "formal" term I've heard for call-and-response songs is "antiphonal" music, although the dictionaries I checked say that this refers to call-and-response type music in Christian worship (that's not quite how they phrased it). I saw the term used in a chapter on The Hunting of the Wren songs in R.J. Stewart's book Where is Saint George?, and until now, I thought it was for all songs of this sort; maybe it should be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: GUEST,Sian in Wales
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 11:19 AM

Just as an add-on to Kathy Wallis' message re: the Mari Llwyd (et al.) singing in Wales. It's generically referred to as Ymryson Canu (ymryson = um RUH son, challenge, contention) and (canu = CA nee, to sing) - quite common at one time in community singing and special occasions such as Christmas (above) and weddings.

Sian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: GUEST,Mrrzy-at-work
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 01:12 PM

This was fun! I like the term "echo song" for when singer 2 just repeats (Supping Cider), and if call-and-response or challenge-response works for the one where a chorus chimes in, I feel I have answers. I got the term Challenge-Response from computers.

Lining, however, I think of as something different, as a subset of Echo. I read about lining in To Kill A Mockingbird (still the best book ever written in English, I think).

Next question: Is the distinction between a Refrain and a Chorus the number of people joining in? That is, is a set of lines repeated after each verse by a single singer a Refrain, whereas if the band joins in to sing those same lines, it's a Chorus?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 03:12 PM

From The All Music Guide/Glossary: (I hope this counts as "fair use.")

Call and Response

Call and response in essence is a colloquial jazz name for a type of antiphonal music. Extensive or abbreviated musical passages are played by one person, choir or group of musicians and then those passages are copied, mimicked, varied or answered by another person, choir or group of musicians. Call and responses can also occur between an individual and a group. Afro-American work songs, generated during the slave days and later, were often call and response pieces. A single individual would call out to the others as if demanding a response. The rest of the people would answer the call. Religious themes were often the dominant force behind the songs with calls for salvation and liberation. (Of course the apparent themes and the coded themes were related, but different regarding what the "crew-chief" heard and the singers meant. The familiar "Amen" is a call response song as are military marching cadences. In jazz, call and responses are most often used between two instrumentalists as they trade measures in riff passages. Call and response can also occur between a singer and an instrumentalist a practice often found in the practice of scat singing.

Antiphonal

From the Greek "anti" against and "phon" sound, this adjective describes any music in which two voices or groups are singing against one another, not in a competitive sense, but in response to one another. It was formerly rarely employed to describe instrumental music as its roots developed within the context of choral music. Choirs or ensembles were divided into two or more distinct groups in an antiphonal piece of music. They most often perform in sequences of music that are combined and then separated in an alternating fashion. One group will sing and then be echoed, mirrored, or responded to by the other group. Antiphon was first employed as a referent to octaves or double octaves where men's voices are alternated with women's voices and/or boy's voices. As music developed the term antiphonal was used to refer to any music alternation between two groups, vocal or not.

Chorus

The repeated section -- refrain -- of a song that follows each of the verses is referred to as the chorus of the song. The term is also used to refer to any group of singers, most often male and female, who perform together, either in unison or in parts. Though no clear distinction is made between a chorus and a choir, the latter term is most often used to refer to groups that sing sacred music and the former to refer to groups of singers that perform secular music. This is a useful distinction though not always clearly defined. In jazz, chorus is used to denote a solo statement of the main theme, which often includes a series of variations based on that theme. Chorus in jazz parlance has a number of other references. Normally a chorus means going through the entire number one time, whether that means as few as twelve bars (as in a standard twelve bar blues) or as many as thirty two bars (typical AABA pattern), or, any other number of measures. In the jazz lexicon the use of chorus dates back to the days when popular songs contained a verse that could be tossed or omitted, followed by "the chorus." It is often used in critical parlance to refer to an extended solo chorus; for example, on Paul Gonsalves' celebrated performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. Jazz bands will often play the chorus through once, as stated, and then improvise upon the chord changes and progressions of those opening bars, until they return home to play the original "straight" chorus once again to bring the piece of music to a close.

Refrain

Though refrains can refer to elements of instrumental music, they are more appropriately associated with vocal music. Refrains are regularly repeated sections of music that most often occur in larger forms of music. Typical strophic songs will contain a number of verses, often scored for soloists, each one of which is followed by a refrain sung by a chorus. Refrains are found in a wide variety of music including ballads, carols, madrigals, rondeaus and virelai.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: GUEST,mrrzy-at-work
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM

Hey, thanks! Cool info source. However, doesn't seem as if there ARE jargon terms with the kind of specificity I would think would have evolved by now (see for instance their definitions of Refrain and Chorus vs. my question about those terms). Wonder if the linguists should get in on this one...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Jan 16 - 11:48 AM

Refreshing a *fascinating* thread...

Also, does anybody but the Irish do songs performed to appear as if there were more and more people at the bar who were joining in the song as it got interesting, like Wet Day In London? Or where people just shout commentary like in Big Strong Man?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Mysha
Date: 02 Jan 16 - 10:46 PM

Well,

A comment I received when I sang From the Diary of Richard Riley, 1862 one time, was that it contained both a refrain and a chorus.

The refrain in this case is the line "Sunday: Went to church.", which comes at the end of each verse.

The chorus here is a separate structure sung between verses (after every second verse), that differs from the verses in that it stays mostly the same on every repetition:
"Another week has come and gone
Recount the things that I have done
Three days work, and three days none
Sunday: Went to church."

Maybe that helps.


Bye
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 03 Jan 16 - 10:24 AM

And then of course you can also have a "burden".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Snuffy
Date: 03 Jan 16 - 11:19 AM

I'm going to refrain and lay down my burden


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Folksong jargon
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Jan 16 - 01:00 PM

No lie!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 May 10:35 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.