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Question: Ashokan Farewell

DigiTrad:
ASHOKAN FAREWELL
HI FI, STEREO, COLOR TV


Related threads:
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Chord Req: Barenberg's Ashokan (33)
Lyr Req: Ashokan Farewell (61)
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason at Hurdy Gurdy 11 Sept NJ (5)
Tune Add: Ashokan Farewell (Jay Ungar) (7)
tune id: o shokuns farewell (Ashokan) (74)
Ashokan Farewell: lyrics and chord structure (42)
Tune Req: Ashokan Farewell (11)
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Lyr Req: Big Enough for Two (Jay Ungar, Lyn Hardy) (4)
Tune Req: Harvest Home (Ungar/Mason) (4)
Tune Req: Prairie Spring (Jay Ungar) (13)
Ashoken? / Ashokan Farewell known in England? (11)
Tune Req: a shoakin farewell? / Ashokan Farewell (5)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Ashokan Farewell


Helen 19 Feb 98 - 05:48 PM
Bruce O. 19 Feb 98 - 05:56 PM
Helen 19 Feb 98 - 09:47 PM
Helen 19 Feb 98 - 09:50 PM
myrtle 19 Feb 98 - 10:28 PM
Bruce O. 19 Feb 98 - 10:52 PM
Bruce O. 19 Feb 98 - 11:15 PM
Helen 20 Feb 98 - 04:44 AM
Sandy 20 Feb 98 - 08:17 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 21 Feb 98 - 06:30 PM
alison 22 Feb 98 - 04:49 PM
chet w 23 Feb 98 - 10:04 PM
Bob Landry 23 Feb 98 - 10:18 PM
Terry in San Diego 24 Feb 98 - 01:26 AM
Jerry Friedman 24 Feb 98 - 06:22 PM
Helen 24 Feb 98 - 07:13 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Feb 98 - 06:57 PM
chet w 25 Feb 98 - 11:04 PM
Helen 23 Apr 98 - 07:28 PM
Martha 26 Oct 98 - 08:45 AM
Jerry Friedman 26 Oct 98 - 11:36 AM
BSeed 26 Oct 98 - 09:21 PM
27 Oct 98 - 08:40 PM
Sarah 27 Jan 99 - 09:42 AM
Bill in Alabama 27 Jan 99 - 12:21 PM
Peter T. 27 Jan 99 - 12:32 PM
Sandy Paton 27 Jan 99 - 09:53 PM
John in Brisbane 27 Jan 99 - 10:16 PM
Barbara 28 Jan 99 - 12:48 AM
The Shambles 28 Jan 99 - 02:36 AM
Sandy Paton 28 Jan 99 - 03:08 AM
Angela Yelinek 29 Jan 99 - 12:08 AM
30 Jan 99 - 04:32 PM
katmuse 30 Jan 99 - 04:33 PM
Joel 11 Feb 99 - 11:13 PM
Peter T. 12 Feb 99 - 09:25 AM
Peter T. 12 Feb 99 - 09:27 AM
Barbara 12 Feb 99 - 10:07 AM
Peter T. 12 Feb 99 - 12:22 PM
Joel 12 Feb 99 - 04:16 PM
Easy Rider 27 May 99 - 06:10 PM
John in Brisbane 27 May 99 - 07:39 PM
katlaughing 27 May 99 - 11:56 PM
Easy Rider 28 May 99 - 09:51 AM
John in Brisbane 29 May 99 - 12:40 AM
John in Brisbane 31 May 99 - 12:09 AM
JOField 31 May 99 - 05:11 PM
Easy Rider 01 Jun 99 - 02:26 PM
Easy Rider 02 Jun 99 - 03:58 PM
Easy Rider 03 Jun 99 - 01:01 PM
Rincon Roy 03 Jun 99 - 09:48 PM
Easy Rider 04 Jun 99 - 09:04 AM
Hannah At H_fifer13nc@yahoo.com 13 Sep 99 - 07:20 PM
Dale Rose 13 Sep 99 - 08:56 PM
Peter MacLean 14 Sep 99 - 08:12 PM
Ole Bull 15 Sep 99 - 08:13 AM
jayhawk@feist.com 30 Nov 99 - 10:18 PM
stewrat 01 Dec 99 - 12:58 AM
Banjer 01 Dec 99 - 06:45 AM
Frankie 01 Dec 99 - 06:28 PM
Frankie 01 Dec 99 - 06:32 PM
The Shambles 29 Jul 04 - 01:11 PM
John Hardly 29 Jul 04 - 01:25 PM
Skipjack K8 29 Jul 04 - 07:28 PM
Rabbi-Sol 30 Jul 04 - 02:50 PM
Skipjack K8 30 Jul 04 - 03:38 PM
Rabbi-Sol 30 Jul 04 - 04:23 PM
The Shambles 30 Jul 04 - 06:18 PM
Blackcatter 30 Jul 04 - 06:53 PM
Leadfingers 30 Jul 04 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 30 Jul 04 - 10:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Jul 04 - 12:30 AM
Blackcatter 31 Jul 04 - 01:11 AM
The Shambles 31 Jul 04 - 06:08 AM
Blackcatter 31 Jul 04 - 12:15 PM
The Shambles 31 Jul 04 - 12:33 PM
freda underhill 31 Jul 04 - 12:40 PM
Skipjack K8 02 Aug 04 - 06:25 PM
Murray MacLeod 02 Aug 04 - 06:43 PM
Rabbi-Sol 02 Aug 04 - 06:44 PM
The Shambles 02 Aug 04 - 06:53 PM
snowbird 03 Aug 04 - 06:49 PM
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GUEST,mcsweeney_terry@yahoo.co.uk 30 Apr 05 - 01:17 PM
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Subject: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Helen
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 05:48 PM

Hi all

On the harp mailing list there is a discussion going on copyright and paying royalties for performing copyrighted music in public. Someone mentioned that they thought that Jay Ungar admitted on television once that Ashokan Farewell was actually an old Scottish tune that he had reworked.

Does anyone know the full story? Apparently the music publishing company is claiming copyright on Ungar's fiddle arrangement and being a little territorial.

Is this actually a folk tune?

Helen


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 05:56 PM

Folk tune? Not under that title in C. Gore's 'The Scottish Fiddle Music Index'. How about an ABC or theme code? We might be able to find it that way.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Helen
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 09:47 PM

Hi Bruce,

I knew I could rely on you to come to the rescue. I have found the midi file at this location if that helps.

http://ftp.sunet.se/pub/music/midi/mirror.filecity/u_s_songs/

I have to confess that I haven't downloaded or learnt how to use Alan of Oz's miditext system yet otherwise I would convert it and put it into this thread.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Helen
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 09:50 PM

I forgot to say that the tune and some information is - of course - in the DT database. I gather from that info that the name Ashokan Farewell comes from a place in the U.S. so if it is based on an older tune then it would have a different name altogether.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: myrtle
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 10:28 PM

Helen, Here's a direct quote from the album (yes, LP) cover I have of "Ashoken Farewell". The LP is titled "Waltz Of The Wind" and recorded by the group Fiddle Fever(includes Jay Ungar) in 1984 on Flying Fish Records. Ashoken Farewell: "Several of our band members have taught at Fiddle and Dance Workshop's music and dance weeks at Ashoken. Ashoken is a camp in New York's Catskill Mountains........Overcome with emotion shortly after the '82 season, Jay wrote this lament. He began playing it during an off moment in the studio. The rest of the band joined in, Evan(Strover)wrote string parts and an arrangement was born". And by the way, this tune is heard during the Ken Burns Civil War series that was Public TV a few years back.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 10:52 PM

Don't hold your breath. I've copied Allan of Oz's file, and will try to get the MIDI. But if the tune is altered a bit from some original I probably won't recognize it. I'm far from expert (or even reasonably good) at this sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Bruce O.
Date: 19 Feb 98 - 11:15 PM

Helen, I went to the site you gave, and could play the tune, but couldn't download it.

Jay Ungar claimed he composed the tune in 1982. See his comments at:

http://www.jayandmolly.com/ashokanfaq.html


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Helen
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 04:44 AM

Myrtle

Thanks for the site address. It answers my question.

Jay Ungar says: Ashokan Farewell is written in the style of a Scottish lament or Irish Air. I sometimes introduce it as, "a Scottish lament written by a Jewish guy from the Bronx." (I lived in the Bronx untiI the age of 16.)

So, in fact he wrote it and it was not based on any other tune.

Bruce

The DT database midi file will be simpler to translate into Alan's programme because it is only one line of music, but the other one I mentioned is a full arrangement with musltiple instruments. If you have downloaded RealAudio (a free piece of software)you can hear the tune and save it from DT. If you have downloaded a demo version of any music programme such as Noteworthy you can then see it in written format, and print it out if you want.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Sandy
Date: 20 Feb 98 - 08:17 AM

It is important to note that "The Ashoka" is (or was) a very famous Indian curry house in Glasgow. My own experience of this dates back to the years 1986/7. It was well known that it was the best curry house in Glasgow (and therefore the best curry house in the world).

It seems that this constitutes incontrovertable proof that the tune is indeed based on a Scottish air. It is of little surprise that the "Farewell to the Ashoka" (or "The Ashokan Farewell") is a lament.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 21 Feb 98 - 06:30 PM

LOL, Sandy, a hot tune indeed.:)


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: alison
Date: 22 Feb 98 - 04:49 PM

Hi sandy,

I know where it went. we've got the Ashoka Indian restaurant in Belfast!!!!

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: chet w
Date: 23 Feb 98 - 10:04 PM

There's lots of good copyright information here and elsewhere on the net, but I'm pretty sure that if you want to play "ashokan farewell" in public, even if you get paid for the performance, it is the responsibility of the venue or promoter to pay BMI or ASCAP licensing fees (or directly to Jay, if applicable). If you record it and make sellable copies available, then you have to make arrangements to pay royalties to one of the above. Check out the "copyrights" thread of a few weeks ago. It has links to authorities in this field. The real truth is, however, that no one, authorities included, can answer all questions concerning copyright. Even though I have a personal stake in protecting intellectual property, I think the copyright laws in this country are ridiculous. No one can really tell, in many situations, who owes what to whom(grammar check).

Good luck, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Bob Landry
Date: 23 Feb 98 - 10:18 PM

Sandy & Alison, Ashoka must be a franchised operation. We have one here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Terry in San Diego
Date: 24 Feb 98 - 01:26 AM

By the way, in my opinion, the definitive version of Ashokan Farewell is on Mark O'Connor's CD called "Heroes", where he plays a duet with Pinchas Zuckerman. Awesome!


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 24 Feb 98 - 06:22 PM

Helen, Jay Ungar's comments don't prove that he wrote the tune; they prove that he claims he wrote it.

Chet, aren't copyright laws largely controlled by treaties, so aren't they pretty much as ridiculous in every country as in this one? (Except maybe Taiwan.)


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Helen
Date: 24 Feb 98 - 07:13 PM

A good point, Jerry, and I don't disagree with your logic at all. But, if it doesn't *sound* like any other tune that anyone in here at Mudcat knows about, then chances are that Ungar did actually make it up ... in which case, I think he deserves some praise because it has that special quality that some really, really old trad. tunes have. The sort of tune which has been refined over decades or centuries.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Feb 98 - 06:57 PM

Copyrights on tunes are less often claimed than those on words. Woody Guthrie (whose songs are tied up tight by copyrights) lifted tunes from everyone in sight (sound?) and, as far as I know never credited anyone or paid a cent in royalties.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: chet w
Date: 25 Feb 98 - 11:04 PM

Jerry, again check with authorities, but I can tell you that you're right, pairs of countries do form treaties with regard to material from one country being used in another. The standard adopted is usually that of the country of origin of a particular piece. But, within other countries, the laws vary widely. For example, in the US you cannot deny permission to anyone to perform or record your music, even if you really hate the way they do it (think of Muzak---Now stop thinking of Muzak, you get the idea). In some other countries, such as Ireland and France, the owner of intellectual property, such as a song, has complete control, can deny permission to anyone, so my sensitive folk ballads would not come out in punk or rap versions. I had to write a paper on this very subject lately for a course I was taking; My feeling is that copyright law does not arise out of natural need or long tradition. Other laws, like "don't kill me" or "don't steal my horse", do have those origins. In other words, the intellectual property laws of a given country are either completely arbitrary, or a result of cultural factors (most likely). I guess I find it more attractive for a culture to revere it's artists enough to allow them control of their artistic output. Am I right or wrong; probably a matter of opinion.

Idealistically, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Helen
Date: 23 Apr 98 - 07:28 PM

I'm just bringing this thread to the top again to help out Ted's thread inquiry.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Martha
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 08:45 AM

In 1974 we received a recording of the tune now called Ashokan Farewell from an Australian exchange student. It was on an 8 track tape.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 11:36 AM

Do you by any chance remember the title, so people could look it up?

The people who've been paying Jay Unger royalties probably aren't reading this forum, but I'll bet they'd be interested if there's documentary proof that "Ashoken Farewell" isn't Unger's.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: BSeed
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 09:21 PM

I like the version of it that opens David Grissman and Daniel Kobialka's collaboration, Common Chord. Kobialka is a violinist with the San Francisco Symphony. Lots of other notable musicians on it: Tony Trischka, Norton Buffalo among them. Includes songs such as Blackberry Blossom, The Eighth of January, Omie Wise, Maiden's Prayer, Boston Boy... --seed


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From:
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 08:40 PM

The tune has always reminded me of the old fiddle tune, Swinging on a Gate, slowed down and played as a waltz. (Other people tell me they cannot hear the resemblance at all) For what it's worth.PETE


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Subject: Just what is "Ashokan"
From: Sarah
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 09:42 AM

Yes I know it's a song from a movie but is it an indian tribe or what?


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 12:21 PM

As I understand it, Ashokan is a place in the northeast--maybe upstate NY-- where Jay Unger and Molly Mason either conduct or attend an annual music camp. My source (whose name I can no longer recall) told me that the music, along with the originally authorized lyrics, were presented at the final campfire gathering/concert at the end of the camp period. I have worked with traditional old-time fiddlers for nigh onto forty years, and have not run across the song before I heard Ungar play it. There are now TWO authorized lyrics, the second having been written by Cleo Laine and approved by Ungar. Please understand that all the information given here is based in information from casual musician's conversation, and that I cannot (will not) provide documentation.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 12:32 PM

It probably has nothing to do with Ashokan, but the Indian restaurants are named after King Ashoka, the Buddhist king of India who renounced violence and banned hunting from his kingdom (roughly 200 B.C.). The world has been bidding farewell to Ashoka's ideas for at least 2000 years!

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 09:53 PM

George R. Stewart's excellent American Place Names (described as: a concise and selective dictionary for the continental United States of America) says "Ashokan NY Algonquian, probably meaning 'mouth-little,' i.e. the outlet of a small stream.

Stewart's is a paperback book that travels with us whenever we are on the road. We refer to it several times a day on most of our trips. Without it, how would we know, for example, that Assekonk CT is also Algonquian meaning grass-place? After all, it sounds... well, you know.

Jay and Molly have been conducting their fiddle camp at Ashokan, NY, for many successful years. Until I'm given real evidence of the 1974 8-track recording of an identical tune, I'll continue to believe that the "Farewell" is Jay's original. He's certainly capable of having written it.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 10:16 PM

BTW, I posted the tune to this in an independent thread before Christmas. Whoever wrote it, it's an absolute beauty. For me the latter modal part of the tune reminds me strongly of Give Me Your Hand, another stunning tune.

Regards
John


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Barbara
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 12:48 AM

And it always makes me think of "When You and I Were Young, Maggie". I like it too. I learned Grian McGregor's words, for it, but let me tell you, it has a greater range than I do, wherever the hey you put it! Priscilla Herdman has it on a CD, and she does a lovely job.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 02:36 AM

I'm sure that if Jay Ungar says that he wrote the tune, that he indeed did write it.

There will be tunes that influenced it and tunes that may sound a little like it but that does not mean that we should doubt his word. After all there are only so many combinations of notes that it is indeed possible that almost identical compositions are possible from two or more unrelated sources.

The small differences in tunes are lost on most people anyway. My sister-in-law thinks that every tune I play is 'Captain Pugwash', be hornpipe ,jig or reel. It could be the way I play them I suppose?


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 03:08 AM

John in Brisbane:

You're absolutely right! It does remind one of "Give Me Your Hand," which is another superb tune!

And, Shambles, you, too, are absolutely right. With talent of that nature, Jay has no need to prevaricate!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Angela Yelinek
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 12:08 AM

I am so thrilled that I'm not the only one that loves this song!! I was trying to find out info about it for my upcoming wedding. This website has been very helpful, although other ones seem to be a little confused about its origins(thinking it was from the Civil War era) Thanks for all the insights!! Love, Angela


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From:
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 04:32 PM

For what it's worth, I've heard Jay say that he had this tune running around in his head, and that it has similarities to other tunes that he'd been playing in similar idiom, so it's no wonder that it sounds like an old trad. tune. I believe he's also said that his creative imagination may have put the tune together [or maybe it put itself together in his creative ear] from bits of other, similar old-style waltzes running around in his head from his immersion in traditional music, but didn't lift the tune itself. (My paraphrase of his thought as I understood it.)

I'm sure he composed it himself -- the collective unconscious/subconscious ear is a powerful directing force when a musician doodles around a lot on his/her accustomed instrument in a particular familiar genre (it's part of the _play_ in "playing"), steeping like tea, seeping like -- oops, I'm getting tangled in a metaphor/simile swamp -- anyway, it's easy to think while doodling that one is coming up with a new tune and then later realize that it feels SO RIGHT! so resonant, because it's really _almost_ that other tune you loved so well, or contains partial phrases thereof that grab you and won't leave you alone.

In any case, Ash.F. is a gorgeous tune, one that can endure on its own and become part of the trad. body of Celtic-Anglo-Amer. music, as is happening quickly in this case. Yes, the Mark O'Connor/Pinchas Zuckerman rendition is interesting, awesome in its way, but I think the definitive versions are any of the varieties played by Jay Ungar himself, and by Jay and Molly together, and secondarily by any that he's played with other musicians. There's a straightforwardness in his playing of it that lets the beauty shine thru, that sometimes gets osbcured by overkill (or sometimes underkill) in other musicians' interpretations of it.

I think Jay's also said that he composed the tune (or it composed itself in him) before he used it at the final gathering of that particular week's camp at Ashokan, and then after he was inspired to play it as a final waltz for -- was it Northern Week? -- because of its poignancy, he began calling it Ashokan Farewell. And I think Ken Burns said, in interviews about the making of the Civil War series for PBS, that he'd attended Northern Week at Fiddle & Dance Camp, heard Jay play the tune, felt it fit perfectly with the spirit of the older style of music as he (Ken) was putting together the documentary, and asked Jay (and Molly, and Jacqueline Schwab) to play it in that series, for which it became a kind of theme song, being used in various places thruout the film when a particular degree of poignancy was in the forefront (again, my wording for their statements).

Incidentally, as a folklorist, I read the folklore of the folklore in this discussion with fascination and a touch of gentle amusement. (Like tracing the etymology of "sparrowgrass" for "asparagus.") I doubt that the Algonquian "Ashokan" in the name of the Ashokan Reservoir (near the Kingston/Woodstock area of NY State, sort of in the Catskills) -- and hence the Ashokan Field Campus of SUNY (State Univ. of NY), which is where I believe Jay and Molly hold the Fiddle & Dance Camps in the summer, and several weekends thruout the year (e.g., Hallowe'en and New Year's Eve) (all such occasions aka "Ashokan" for short among the folkie/contradance/swingdance-revival world) -- derives from the Buddhist King Ashoka. (Old-world Indian transmuted to New-world Indian?) (Or maybe we are all closer siblings than we usually think.) I know a couple of Hindu and/or Buddhist guys originally from India named Ashok . . . they claim connection with King Ashok or Ashoka, but not with the NY State Ashokan.

(Thanks, Sandy P., for supplying the Algonquian info.)

(Hey, Bob Clayton ["Folk Songs to Ditch" thread], your sentence structure has nothing on this English major's!)


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: katmuse
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 04:33 PM

For what it's worth, I've heard Jay say that he had this tune running around in his head, and that it has similarities to other tunes that he'd been playing in similar idiom, so it's no wonder that it sounds like an old trad. tune. I believe he's also said that his creative imagination may have put the tune together [or maybe it put itself together in his creative ear] from bits of other, similar old-style waltzes running around in his head from his immersion in traditional music, but didn't lift the tune itself. (My paraphrase of his thought as I understood it.)

I'm sure he composed it himself -- the collective unconscious/subconscious ear is a powerful directing force when a musician doodles around a lot on his/her accustomed instrument in a particular familiar genre (it's part of the _play_ in "playing"), steeping like tea, seeping like -- oops, I'm getting tangled in a metaphor/simile swamp -- anyway, it's easy to think while doodling that one is coming up with a new tune and then later realize that it feels SO RIGHT! so resonant, because it's really _almost_ that other tune you loved so well, or contains partial phrases thereof that grab you and won't leave you alone.

In any case, Ash.F. is a gorgeous tune, one that can endure on its own and become part of the trad. body of Celtic-Anglo-Amer. music, as is happening quickly in this case. Yes, the Mark O'Connor/Pinchas Zuckerman rendition is interesting, awesome in its way, but I think the definitive versions are any of the varieties played by Jay Ungar himself, and by Jay and Molly together, and secondarily by any that he's played with other musicians. There's a straightforwardness in his playing of it that lets the beauty shine thru, that sometimes gets osbcured by overkill (or sometimes underkill) in other musicians' interpretations of it.

I think Jay's also said that he composed the tune (or it composed itself in him) before he used it at the final gathering of that particular week's camp at Ashokan, and then after he was inspired to play it as a final waltz for -- was it Northern Week? -- because of its poignancy, he began calling it Ashokan Farewell. And I think Ken Burns said, in interviews about the making of the Civil War series for PBS, that he'd attended Northern Week at Fiddle & Dance Camp, heard Jay play the tune, felt it fit perfectly with the spirit of the older style of music as he (Ken) was putting together the documentary, and asked Jay (and Molly, and Jacqueline Schwab) to play it in that series, for which it became a kind of theme song, being used in various places thruout the film when a particular degree of poignancy was in the forefront (again, my wording for their statements).

Incidentally, as a folklorist, I read the folklore of the folklore in this discussion with fascination and a touch of gentle amusement. (Like tracing the etymology of "sparrowgrass" for "asparagus.") I doubt that the Algonquian "Ashokan" in the name of the Ashokan Reservoir (near the Kingston/Woodstock area of NY State, sort of in the Catskills) -- and hence the Ashokan Field Campus of SUNY (State Univ. of NY), which is where I believe Jay and Molly hold the Fiddle & Dance Camps in the summer, and several weekends thruout the year (e.g., Hallowe'en and New Year's Eve) (all such occasions aka "Ashokan" for short among the folkie/contradance/swingdance-revival world) -- derives from the Buddhist King Ashoka. (Old-world Indian transmuted to New-world Indian?) (Or maybe we are all closer siblings than we usually think.) I know a couple of Hindu and/or Buddhist guys originally from India named Ashok . . . they claim connection with King Ashok or Ashoka, but not with the NY State Ashokan.

(Thanks, Sandy P., for supplying the Algonquian info.)

(Hey, Bob Clayton ["Folk Songs to Ditch" thread], your sentence structure has nothing on this English major's!)


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Joel
Date: 11 Feb 99 - 11:13 PM

Does anyone know the guitar tableture for Ashoken farewell? I've been looking around and am not able to find it. Thanks.

Joel


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 09:25 AM

Dear Joel, Although I do not have it handy, it was translated (not tablatured) for guitar in Acoustic Guitar magazine sometime in 1993, I think. I will look it up next time I am in my closet (not a pretty sight).

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 09:27 AM

Sorry, my mind is going. It was done in tablature form as a translation to guitar! Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Barbara
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 10:07 AM

Going where, Peter? And will you get visiting privileges?


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 12:22 PM

Dear Barbara, More like an auction -- going, going, now what was that last word anyway....?

What it will be like when I am no longer a Mudcadet, I shudder to think. Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Joel
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 04:16 PM

Thanks Peter. I appreciate it. The challenge stands for anyone. If I can get the tabs for ashoken farewell, I would be much obliged. I first heard it on Ken Burn's Civil War documentary. It almost made me weep; it is so beautiful. So, I am dying to learn how to play it. I could probably figure out the melody for it, but it would be nice to play the harmonies along with it. So yeah, thanks Peter and anyone else.

If anyone finds it, they can send it to vex007@hotmail.com thanks again Joel


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Easy Rider
Date: 27 May 99 - 06:10 PM

The guitar Music/TAB for this beautiful song was published in the March/April, 1993 issue of ""Acoustic Guitar Magazine"". Unfortunately this issue is MISSING from the 1993 bound volume, at the New York Public Library. I would LOVE to see those pages.

If anybody has that back issue, could you FAX the relevant pages to me at 718-488-1752. Just post a message here, so I will know to go look for my fax.

Ashokan, accent on the "o", from the Algonquian, is a town in upstate NY not far from Woodstock. Unfortunately, most of the town has been at the bottom of the Ashokan reservoir since the 1920s. I have had friends living on the shores of the reservoir and spent many lovely weekends there over the last thirty years. Jay Ungar lives in Ashokan, in the hills overlooking the reservoir.

Thanx, Alex M


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 27 May 99 - 07:39 PM

Please forgive my unfamiliarity with TAB culture. Are you chasing:

(1) An exotic arrangement for guitar with lots of fal-de-lals?

(2) A straight transcription of the tune into TAB?

If the answer is (2) I have some sequencing software which prints TAB along with the standard notation. I haven't played with it because I haven't been a TAB person, but will gladly give it a whirl. The package is Power Tracks Pro, which is produced by the Band In A Box people.

Let me know and I'll fire it up!

Regards
John


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 May 99 - 11:56 PM

AlexM:When I went to the website for Acoustic Guitar, they had that issue listed as available for $7.50. The article itself was listed here

Either that or maybe somebody will have it available for you here, soon.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Easy Rider
Date: 28 May 99 - 09:51 AM

John in Brisbane:

Do you mean to say that you can play the CD into the software and it will print out the music and TAB?

That's pretty amazing! I would LOVE to see that.

Thanx

AND: Thanx to katlaughing for the AG Mag research. I didn't think to check their Web site for back issue availability. Of course, if somebody can FAX me the article, that would save me $7.50.

Thanx again, Easy Rider


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 29 May 99 - 12:40 AM

Easy Rider, with your enthusiastic response and partnership I'm sure that collectively we could make a killing. In the meantime I'll just see what my collection of software can produce for you using somewhat more circuitous methods,

It'll take me about 48 hours.
John


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 31 May 99 - 12:09 AM

Found this source for Flatpick TAB (2 versions), but haven't had the chance to try my gear just yet. I'll be away for a few days, but will try not to forget,

http://www.mbay.net/~darwin/FPLtab.html

Regards
John


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: JOField
Date: 31 May 99 - 05:11 PM

Personally, I would award +i/Ashokan Farewell/-i "Sappiest Fiddle Tune of the Century" and be done with it. I'll take +i/Maiden's Prayer/-i or anything with some blues in it any day.

James.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Easy Rider
Date: 01 Jun 99 - 02:26 PM

JO:

How does "Maiden's Prayer" go? Hum me a few bars.

ER


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Easy Rider
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 03:58 PM

Doesn't ANYBODY have the March/April, 1993 issue of ""Acoustic Guitar Magazine""?

If so, could you fax me the article and TAB/Music for "Ashokan Farewell""? 718-488-1752

Please? Alex M


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Easy Rider
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 01:01 PM

I got it, the March/April 1993 Acoustic Guitar #17 article on arranging Ashokan Farewell. The original recording is in D, but he plays it in A.

Thanx to all.

I still need to see a copy of Mark Hanson's arrangement, from his new book, "Great American Tablature". Anybody got that? 718-488-1752 (Fax)

Thanx, Alex M


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Rincon Roy
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 09:48 PM

A world-wide profiferation of curry restaurants suggests a potential influence upon the air of regions far removed from Old Scotland. Also, in some areas "Ashokan" serves as a casual statement of firm assent.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Easy Rider
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 09:04 AM

Maybe, but, as stated before, Ashokan, from the Algonquian Indian language, is a town and a reservoir, in the Catskill region of New York State. The song's author, Jay Ungar, lives there.

EZR


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Subject: I need help/tips
From: Hannah At H_fifer13nc@yahoo.com
Date: 13 Sep 99 - 07:20 PM

I play one of the arrangements of this tune for my civil War re-enacting. I was wondering where I could get some of the history of the piece. I enjoy hearing comments if anyone could tell me anything they know. I'm 14 and teaching myself to fiddle. I've been playing the violin for about 5 years now.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Dale Rose
Date: 13 Sep 99 - 08:56 PM

Hello, Hannah, good to see you here. It is a recent composition by Jay Unger ~~ 1982 in fact.

If you will go to this url, Ashokan Farewell FAQ you'll get the story as told by Jay Unger himself.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Peter MacLean
Date: 14 Sep 99 - 08:12 PM

Ashokan Farewell the second tune I learned on the violin is alive and well in Cape Breton CANADA. Performed by Fr. George MacInnis (on piano) on his tape "A Gift of Music" and accompanied on violin by Carl MacKenzie. A beautiful tune that is a tribute to the composer.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Ole Bull
Date: 15 Sep 99 - 08:13 AM

Dear Hannah This song Ashokan Farewell at a Civil War Reenactment would be somewhat "farby" (reenactment vernacular for unauthentic/anachronistic). There is so much wonderful and neglected music from the 19th century I have to ask why people (like Burns) insist on grafting modern facsimiles and give the impression that it is "authentic." For those who count on research input from TV, Radio and weekend folk festival you can count also on general misrepresentation. Sadly, now, everyone misses out; on the true richness of our own heritage.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: jayhawk@feist.com
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 10:18 PM

Has anyone seen banjo music for Ashokan?


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: stewrat
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 12:58 AM

I'm sure I remeber hearing an obscure recording of the tune we know as Ashokan Farewell being played by Sitars proving, as Sandy, suggested the tune is really Indian in origin. At least it sounded better than Ashokan Farewell played on a banjo!


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Banjer
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 06:45 AM

Hello Hannah, I am very glad to hear you are involved with CW reenacting. It is encouraging to see young people getting involved with learning and teaching others about our heritage! What part of the country are you in and are you affiliated with a particular unit or group? I formed an artillery unit representing the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, D Battery, U.S. and Rockbridge Light Artillery, Virginia, C.S.A. We have been in the hobby about 9 years now, my wife and two of my sons are also active. Music of the period is also of great interest to us. Click here to get to a wonderful site of Civil War era music. Many of the popular composers of the day are represented.

Perhaps one day our paths will cross at an event and I will have the privilege of hearing you play.

Right on Ole Bull!

And why not on the Banjo?? Hrrruuummmph!!


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Frankie
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 06:28 PM

I orginally learned the arrangement in Acoustic Guitar in A and then discovered that it lays a lot better for fingerstyle guitar in Malagasy tuning, CGDGBE low to high, for me anyway. It's not hard to transpose off the AG version and all the additonal open string notes add resonance and make it easier to add fiddle-like embellishments. Frankie


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Frankie
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 06:32 PM

Should have mentioned that I play it in G. Add capo at second fret to get A.

F


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 01:11 PM

Refresh.

As the tune was recently played on BBC Radio 2.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 01:25 PM

Here's a related thread that didn't get included in the associated links above. It's also useful because it contains (at least) three guitar arrangements for the tune.

ashokan


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 07:28 PM

Shamb, old love, this toon gets a fair old bashing on Classic FM, as one on the military bands has made a fair fist of it. Fair nearly drove off the motorway first time I heard it. Give 'em their jew, they call it 'Jay Ungar's Ashokan Farewell'.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 02:50 PM

Excuse me Skipjack, but what does Jay Ungar's religion have to do with his musical talents ? SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 03:38 PM

Even if I knew the great man's religion, Rabbi, even if he celebrates one, I doubt I would opine on its influence on his music.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 04:23 PM

Then why the use of the word Jew (Ungar is Jewish) ? From the context of that statement, it looks as if it was used in a pejorative manner; unless, of course, I am missing someting. If I am wrong, tell me how so. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 06:18 PM

Perhaps we can just stick to the music?

I must admit that the thought of a millitary band version does not immediately fill me with delight - but I would like to hear it first before passing judgement. Are there any more details of this version?


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Blackcatter
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 06:53 PM

Sol,

Contextually speaking, I think it was just a typo Give 'em their jew should be: Give 'em their due, but I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 07:54 PM

As a point of interest , if you want to play A. F. on Whistle in the original key (D) Without any Octave jumps you will need a G whistle and start on the A in the top octave . The melody runs through two octaves of G when played in D . If you hate people showing off as much as I do , PM me and we will discuss .


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 10:20 PM

I hope this is just another failure to communicate thing. I do think, as was said, that a typo happened. Otherwise the discussion makes no sense at all---other than to point out a military band version of Jay's song.

Long before there was a Watergate Scandal, I used to go down to the Watergate by the Potomac River in D.C., and twice a week there were glorious band concerts done by one or the other of the national military bands. They did things like "Sinple Gifts" and R. Vaughn-William's "English Folksong Suite" or various works by Aaron Copeland. These were rendered, to my ear at least as well as any performance by good symphony orchestras. (That was 1964.)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 12:30 AM

My grandfather played several instruments in a 'brass band', finally settling on the tuba. he said it allowed him to get a seat on the tram - just drop it on someones foot, and when they stood up, sit.

AF takes 3 octaves on the piano accordion - you would really need a Low G whistle, and need to cross-finger or half hole the G# as it is a dominant part of the whole piece. The C natural on which the whole second part hangs needs to be clear.

It really is in the mode of D plagal.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Blackcatter
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 01:11 AM

Hey,

I don't get the thing about "no octave jumps" on the whistle. Could you elaborate?

I play it all the time and and find it pretty easy to play. It's one of my favorite songs to play.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 06:08 AM

It only appears to be easy because you don't know how difficult it really is.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Blackcatter
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 12:15 PM

Zen and the Art of Tin Whistle?


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 12:33 PM

If you had to think about every message, muscle movement and subtle changes of balance that goes into every step - walking would appear so complicated a process that you may not even risk making the attempt?

Fine music was being made long before people thought in terms of octaves and keys. Technical examination of the notational structure of tunes or styles may sometimes be helpful - it may also lead some folk to think that the attempt is too difficult.

Ashokan Farewell is a fine tune because it sounds good to many ears, rather than how pretty (or complicated) the notes look when written down on paper.

This thread was refreshed as Ashokan Farewell looks in danger of becoming a hit pop record in the UK. See the following thread: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=72017&messages=19


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: freda underhill
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 12:40 PM

back to the Indian connection, Ashoka means free from grief and pain, in Hindi & Sanskrit.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:25 PM

Firstly, I must put the good Rabbi's fears to sleep. I am British, and am mercifully free (I think!) of most racial prejudice, least of all anti-semiticism. I was most careless in using the word 'jew' in my post, and it is only in such casual ways one finds that what one says in innocense is received with hurt (a favourite saying of mine used to be calling a spade a spade, until it was pointed out that I wasn't referring to a garden implement). My ignorance on this occasion was that Jay Ungar is Jewish. I am a fan of his work, and a performer of his music. I have seen him performing with Aly Bain on the excellent TV program the Transatlantic Sessions, and enjoyed his contribution immensely. Call me naive, but I just didn't realise he is Jewish, as that isn't one of the criteria on my scorecard. I heard and saw an American, and a great one at that. I think by now, unless you are blind to my innocence, that you would realise that I wouldn't deliberately make the faut pas I did if I thought of the composer as a Jew and me having a problem about that.

However, sir, I find your tone rather suggestive of over-sensitivity, sniffing out prejuduce where it genuinely does not exist. I thank you for correcting my ignorance, but dismissing it with humour is more constructive than suggesting that there are darker forces at work.

Shambles, I did some digging about the Classic FM version, and it seems that it slipped from Number 6 in the 2003 chart to No 18 in the 2004 version. The details are:-

track title
The Ashokan Farewell
composer
Jay Ungar
soloist
N/A
conductor
Major J R Perkins
orchestra
Band of her Majesty's Royal Marines
record label
Classic FM
catalogue number
CFMCD34

And it isn't junior bandsmen stamping up and down parade grounds, it really is quite sensitive!


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:43 PM

Robin, you are not, I hope, implying that the entire melody is in D plagal mode ?


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:44 PM

Sorry for the mis-understanding Skipjack. I was not familiar with the British lingo. With all that is happening in the world today, one does tend to get a little oversensitive at times. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:53 PM

If memory serves - there was some needless reference to Jay Ungar being jewish in one of the other threads, so perhaps the sensitivity or assumption that the humourously intended comment/pun was an intentional reference to this - was understandable? As as all of us are in agreement that one's religion, race or creed has nothing to do with musical talent, perhaps we can finally lay this issue to rest and all move on, a little wiser and a little more tolerant?

As the record is slipping down the chart, perhaps we do not have to worry about it becoming a big hit? Thanks for the deatails.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: snowbird
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 06:49 PM

I went to the Ashokan Camp last summer - its worth checking out on the website - just search for Ashokan Farwell - and up it pops. There is no doubt that Jay Ungar wrote the tune. It is used as the farewell dance at the end of each of the three summer camps. Jay wrote it at the end of one summer - after the last camp when he was devastated and exhausted at the end of it all. It was like an Auld Lang Syne - what the scottish sing at the new year.

Having been entrenched in folk music genre for the whole summer of course the tune shows the influence of it all.

I know that Jay and Molly are rather fond of food and would dearly love to visit the various Ashoka establishments that have been suggested throughout the northern hemisphere.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Uncle Jaque
Date: 04 Aug 04 - 02:02 PM

As a Civil War Reenactor and Field Musician, I had to check this out.

We still get requests for it at Reenactments and encampments.

I don't know, nor do I care as to Mr. UNGAR's religious tradition or heritage, and "ashoken" is about the only work of his that I'm familiar with.

But in regards to some of the recent discussion and somewhat aside, some years ago I was inspired to write a song titled "Night in Jerusalem" that sounds every bit like a Jewish person should have written it...

But I'm a Yankee Baptist. Go figure, eh?

"In my dreams the golden spires of your Temple meet the sun;
In your streets; the children dancing;
Hear them sing, and laugh, and run;
Your sweet flowers soothe my spirit
Though it's not time to come home -
Let me spend the night, Dear Lord...
In Jerusalem!"

(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: GUEST,mcsweeney_terry@yahoo.co.uk
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 01:17 PM

i would be most gratefull if anyone will supply me with fingerstyle guitar tab in any tuning for this bewitching melody.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: John Hardly
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 02:30 PM

I tried to email it to you. The email failed.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Cruiser
Date: 01 May 05 - 02:36 PM

This discussion of the origins of 'Ashokan Farewell' is interesting. I agree with John in Brisbane that the melody sometimes resembles 'Give Me Your Hand'. However, even more so, the melodic structure is closely similar to the opening bars of 'Sheebeg, Sheemore'. Change the notes a bit and the tunes are the same. I noticed this when I was learning all 3 tunes on the fiddle.

This in no way detracts from Ungar's composition, without which we would not have this beautiful, haunting melody. Jay likely subconsciously borrowed the melodies from the other 2 tunes since these are in his repertoire and both appear (along with Ashokan) on his great fiddle video "The Fiddler's Guide to Waltzes, Aires, and Haunting Melodies". Mr. Ungar is an excellent traditional fiddler and Ashokan Farewell is one of my favorites.

Cruiser
5/01/04


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 May 05 - 04:45 PM

Cruiser, you have just solved a gift problem for me. Thanks for the recommendation.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Cruiser
Date: 01 May 05 - 04:57 PM

Q:

The DVD is available from Homespun Tapes for $29.95. I paid $49.00 for the VHS tape years ago:

Homespun Tapes


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: GUEST,Julie
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:11 PM

RE: It is important to note that "The Ashoka" is (or was) a very famous Indian curry house in Glasgow. My own experience of this dates back to the years 1986/7. It was well known that it was the best curry house in Glasgow (and therefore the best curry house in the world).

It seems that this constitutes incontrovertable proof that the tune is indeed based on a Scottish air. It is of little surprise that the "Farewell to the Ashoka" (or "The Ashokan Farewell") is a lament.

Sandy

_____________________________________________________________________

That restaurant, according to its website, opened in 1984. The song was written in 1982.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:47 PM

Ashokan NY is easily located on the NY map, just a few miles east of Shokan.
Settled umpteen years before 1982. Supposedly it was named for an 'Indian chief.' There are several wineries nearby, so alcoholism rather than curry was a more likely cause of his demise.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:52 PM

Unger probably was referring to the place in the Catskills-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashokan_Field_Campus


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 10:58 PM

Most of it is very similar to the old gospel song "He Hideth My Soul".


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 11:13 PM

see what I mean?


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 11:19 PM

Actually, no.


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Subject: RE: Question: Ashokan Farewell
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:05 PM

try this one


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6p8WE6ZemY


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