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

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


Why are some instruments slated?

Zany Mouse 22 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM
Cluin 22 Feb 03 - 01:51 PM
katlaughing 22 Feb 03 - 01:57 PM
Zany Mouse 22 Feb 03 - 02:02 PM
CarolC 22 Feb 03 - 02:07 PM
katlaughing 22 Feb 03 - 02:07 PM
Sorcha 22 Feb 03 - 02:11 PM
Cluin 22 Feb 03 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,LesB 22 Feb 03 - 02:36 PM
Jeri 22 Feb 03 - 02:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Feb 03 - 02:45 PM
chip a 22 Feb 03 - 03:14 PM
Dead Horse 22 Feb 03 - 03:29 PM
Ebbie 22 Feb 03 - 03:32 PM
Naemanson 22 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM
Les from Hull 22 Feb 03 - 03:45 PM
Amos 22 Feb 03 - 03:55 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Feb 03 - 04:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Feb 03 - 04:48 PM
Midchuck 22 Feb 03 - 05:00 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 22 Feb 03 - 05:24 PM
Liz the Squeak 22 Feb 03 - 05:29 PM
Roughyed 22 Feb 03 - 06:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Feb 03 - 06:30 PM
Bat Goddess 22 Feb 03 - 06:34 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 22 Feb 03 - 07:41 PM
CarolC 22 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM
Amos 22 Feb 03 - 08:01 PM
Cluin 22 Feb 03 - 09:34 PM
rangeroger 22 Feb 03 - 09:42 PM
Sam L 22 Feb 03 - 10:47 PM
Roger the Skiffler 23 Feb 03 - 03:41 AM
fiddler 23 Feb 03 - 04:02 AM
fiddler 23 Feb 03 - 04:02 AM
Mad Tom 23 Feb 03 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Banjoman 23 Feb 03 - 07:00 AM
Frankham 23 Feb 03 - 01:59 PM
Cluin 23 Feb 03 - 02:05 PM
Deni-C 23 Feb 03 - 02:23 PM
Liz the Squeak 23 Feb 03 - 04:07 PM
Don Firth 23 Feb 03 - 04:10 PM
pict 23 Feb 03 - 05:27 PM
Cluin 23 Feb 03 - 07:57 PM
artbrooks 23 Feb 03 - 08:41 PM
CarolC 23 Feb 03 - 09:47 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 24 Feb 03 - 01:31 AM
Sam L 24 Feb 03 - 08:54 AM
Brian Hoskin 24 Feb 03 - 12:00 PM
Brian Hoskin 24 Feb 03 - 12:02 PM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 24 Feb 03 - 01:16 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 25 Feb 03 - 07:04 AM
catspaw49 25 Feb 03 - 07:15 AM
Deni-C 25 Feb 03 - 07:18 AM
Brian Hoskin 25 Feb 03 - 08:26 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM

I am puzzled, to say the least. I read bits here and there, on Mudcat, which are obvious digs about certain instruments. Who decides which instruments are in and which are out? For explample: Why is it OK to play a guitar but not a banjo? The list is endless.

Zany Mouse (who plays an 'out' instrument!)
Eek


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 01:51 PM

Because some instruments are "played" while others are "endured". ;)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 01:57 PM

Truth to tell, many Mudcatters play "out" instruments, so I wouldn't take it too seriously, unless you are a bodhran player who can't keep a tempo and thinks you have to beat loudly no matter what!**bg**


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:02 PM

Cluin: Huh! Highly constructive!

Kat: Thanks Kat - much more encouraging. I was thinking about burying my 'out' instrument in the attic and forget about its existence! As to the bodhran - well I play that as well but I guess my sense of timing/tempo must be OK as I used to play in a dance band.

Zany Mouse


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:07 PM

Accordions (my instrument) are one of those, Zany Mouse. My answer (on this thread) to that, is this:

The following mightily cool musicians, musical groups, and musical contexts include accordions:

Bare Naked Ladies
The Band
The soundtrack to the film "The 12 Monkeys"
The soundtrack to the film "Amalie".
They Might Be Giants
Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers
Phil Cunningham

I may post more as I think of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:07 PM

No, no no! No burying of instruments in the attic!**BG** Instruments are nice. Instruments are our friends; we love instruments!:-)

Honestly, go take a look at some of the event photos, member photos, and profile pages...quite a few will have a banjo or two, plus bodhran, etc.

Also, if you have any CDs of particular Mudcatters, including the Mudcat CD set, you'll *hear* some of the ones which are so often maligned. Heck we've even got brave ones who actually have "Banjo" in their membership names!

I am sure someone will come along and set us straight, BUT the proof is in the pickin'!:-)

Welcome to the Mudcat, BTW!

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:11 PM

We just all have to make fun of something. I'm a fiddler. Know the diff between a fiddle and a viola? Viola burns longer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:19 PM

It's not the instrument. It's how they are played. A badly played guitar is as objectionable as a badly played set of bagpipes. A well-played instrument is a well-played instrument, no matter what variety.

The reason bodhrans (I play one of those too) come under such bad press is because so many festival-goers or music-lovers see them played, think they look easy, buy one and sit down at the first session they come across and start flailing away as loudly and insensitively as possible (or so it seems), all the way through every tune. Where there's smoke, there's fire.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: GUEST,LesB
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:36 PM

There are two reasons some people slag off certain instruments, Ignorance & Stupidity.
Cheers
Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:43 PM

LesB, "inorance and stupidity" - whose?

Sorry. Seriously, there are jokes about most every instrument, and most every joke fits every instrument. There's a certain type of power involved in being able to clear a room just by getting a whatsit out of its case. (I have a banjo and fiddle, but no bodhran or accordian ...yet.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:45 PM

Cluin has the explanation for bodhrans. Why anyone should make similar fun about banjos has always puzzled me. Perhaps it's because they look like bodhrans with strings? I think it's much more an 5-string American joke - people don't seem to make jokes about tenor banjos in Irish music. Not twice anyway.

Actrually the instruments that gets most groans (other than the newly bought bodhran with a bodhran basher to match) are the supernumerary guitars. One guitar, good, two ok. Three just about possible, but...Four or five and it's a din.

But then that goes for just about any instrument, except fiddles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: chip a
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:14 PM

watch out....I've got a banjo and I'm not afraid to use it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:29 PM

If you're bothered by it, then I would suggest that your sense of humour is sadly lacking. A good sense of humour is an almost indespensable aid to making good music, and a downright necessity for some instrumentalists..........(big grin inserted where you like)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:32 PM

McGrath, the other night I looked around and discovered that we had 4 guitars, 4 fiddles, 3 mandolins and one banjo going. It was a great sound. Of course, the guitar players differed in their approaches and one was capoed and one sat out quite a few of the tunes (although it's not a big deal, I don't like to join in when a singer accompanying him/herself on the guitar is playing- they almost always have a sound they're trying to accomplish, and I think it's more difficult for it to be heard when others join in.)

In our group when someone is doing a song, everyone backs way off. And sometimes when one person is presenting a new song s/he is still working on, he'll say something like, You might want not to play along on this, I don't know what the the chords will be yet. And everyone puts their instruments at rest and just listens. Did I mention that we have nice people?

Personally I think it's just as displeasing to pat/thump a bongo to practically every tune as having a bodhran rumbling. Neither one is appropriate for every kind of tune- and I know more talented bodhran players than I do drum thumpers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM

"In" and "out" are at the discretion of the crowd. Like "popular music" that means the least common denominator. If the majority of the crowd plys guitars then banjos get bashed. If they play fiddles then banjos get bashed. If they play whistles then banjos get bashed. If they play bodhrans then banjos are revered.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:45 PM

I'm just reinforcing Cluin's very wise comments here. Any instrument can be played well or badly. Perhaps the ones that people think that look 'easy' are the worse culprits. We put up with bad playing to a certain extent because we remember when we couldn't play very well ourselves.

My advice to people with a 'hated' instrument is - if you can't play well, play quietly. Talk to others about your playing. I've yet to meet the 'folkie' who won't pass on his/her knowledge and experience.

Perhaps the instruments that people want to play are possibly the ones that can often sound loud (bodhrans, accordians, melodeons, banjos, guitars). But you can play them all quietly.

Before I bought an acoustic bass guitar, I used to use an electric with a 12v battery amp in sessions. That's a scary combination to take into a session! But you control the volume, remember that. I can be so quiet that you can just about hear it.

We've had many threads about too many guitars, too many bodhrans, too many whatevers. They make sense. But the real problem is that the tune player (or the singer) should be in control. Don't let the accomanpaniment dominate.

The one instrument I play that I consider to be really easy is bouzouki (tuned GDAD) - not too loud, capable of playing tunes or accompaniment. I think it could be an ideal beginner instrument (except perhaps for the cost).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:55 PM

mouse,

I don't think anyone in this forum seriously subscribes to any notion of in-ness or out-ness of instruments except in a jocular vein. Music, around here, is pretty uniformly in. Handmade acoustic music. And that INCLUDES accordion music which has been known to greace the humble halls of my house when I am lucky enough that BBW gets her squeezebox out to play. Over the Christmas break BBW and Barky sat down and worked out duets for the first time and I gotta say, they were something wunnerful.

So as JtS is probably wont to say, just keep on squeezing there, CC! :>) I mean the instrument. But you knew that. No--the MUSICAL instrument. You guys are hopeless!
:>)

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 04:32 PM

The instruments that are often detested are those--banjos, bodhrans, accordians etc.--are those which are LOUD. Bad playing on any of them is particularly noticeable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 04:48 PM

I forgot about bongos. Well, the truth is I don't really like to think about them at all. I suppose it must be possible to play a bongo in a way that enhances some types of music. But it's a lot easier to play it in a way that destroys all the other sorts. Any time I feel irritated as an bodhran player whose a bit overenthusiastic I tell myself, thank God he hasn't got a pair of bongos anyway.

As I said Ebbie, three guitars is about possible, and that's what you had. And when you capo a guitar up high, it almost counts as a different instrument, and that's what I instinctively do in those circumstances if other guitarists in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Midchuck
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 05:00 PM

I tend to dump on banjos a lot, but I like a banjo. When it's played at a reasonable volume level so that it doesn't drown out other instruments, or singers, and when the player doesn't think he's in a race to get to the end of the song first. (And I use "he" intentionally. Female banjo players are much less likely to suffer testosterone poisoning while playing - which makes sense.)

Which means I like about one in five banjos that I hear played.

Just like a gun. There's nothing inherently evil about the machine. The problem is that the wrong kind of people are most likely to be attracted to them.

Peter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 05:24 PM

I am a convicted multi-instrumentalist and an equal-opportunity instrument basher. I love them all and demean them all without prejudice. The instruments don't seem to mind. None of my banjos have ever walked out of the room in a huff after I've told a banjo joke.

Having said that, there is the matter of spit valves.....

Bruce


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 05:29 PM

Maybe, like guns, some instruments should be licensed?

Most should be kept under lock and key and everyone should have to pass a competence exam in order to play it!

(One of those is a joke, choose for yourself which one I mean, bearing in mind, I share a house with 8+ melodeons, 2 piano accordions, a bombarde, a piano, 2 violins, 2 shaky eggs, 5 drums various, 12 recorders various, a krik krak and whistles without number!)

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Roughyed
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 06:11 PM

I love banjos, bodhrans and accordians and I love banjo jokes, bodhran jokes and accordian jokes. I wouldn't ever tell another though if I thought it would put someone off playing one. I think previous contributions are right that it is the volume is probably the reason that these instruments are particularly picked on. Banjos and accordions cut through the sound mix of an average session and bodhrans can throw a tune out completely if played badly. I have to say I have probably heard more bad guitar playing in my time than any other instrument but there are usually two or three (at least) others to smother it. I sometimes wonder whether we should rename folk music "middle aged bloke with guitar music".

One of the worst experiences I had was when my band was playing a set of reels in a pub in Barnsley and someone started banging a tin tray very loudly and out of time. The pub landlord then came round handing out tin trays to everyone who started bashing them at completely random intervals. We never went back.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 06:30 PM

Of course that might have been what the landlord's had in mind...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 06:34 PM

Who says certain instruments shouldn't not only be licensed, but should require a 2-week cooling off period?!?

I've been carrying around a newspaper clipping for about 10 years (circa 1990). I can't remember who gave it to me and it's not identified as to date or newspaper, but it was the written by the Cox News Service and took place in West Milton, Ohio.

Man accused of killing wife with banjos

Cox News Service

WEST MILTON, Ohio -- A 63-year-old man bludgeoned his wife to death Wednesday morning with a pair of banjos, deputies said.

"I've been an officer for 30 years, and that's the first banjo killing I've seen," said Miami County Chief Deputy Charles Price. "It's just kind of bizarre."

Edward Benson has been charged with aggravated murder and was being held in the Miami County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bond. Price said Benson beat his wife, Katie, with the musical instruments in their home around 5 a.m.

"She was beaten with a banjo in the head. When it was destroyed, a second banjo was used," Price said. "Pretty gruesome."

The woman died en route to Stouder memorial Hospital in Troy.

Authorities aren't sure what led to the beating. Price said deputies hadn't any other domestic violence complaints at the home in recent years.

Ralph Wolfe, whose house in front of the Bensons'. Said Benson had told him he played the banjo in a bluegrass band. "It's been some years back, but he asked me to listen to the radio to hear them play" on a local radio station, Wolfe recalled.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:41 PM

Must have been Gibsons to have needed two banjos to do the job. If he had used a Stelling, one would have been plenty.

Bruce


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM

I didn't know you had a squeezer in your house, Amos. You must be a cooler dude than I thought.

(*BG*)

...just kidding

;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 08:01 PM

Gee, Carol, I dunno if that would be possible! :>)

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 09:34 PM

What the fuck is a krik krak?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: rangeroger
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 09:42 PM

Hey Amos, if Barky and BBW are doing trumpet and accordion duets,are they going to form a Salvation Army Band?

rr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Sam L
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 10:47 PM

Damn it my post won't take, so I'll try again.

Zany Mouse please come to the Devil's AdvoCats thread and defend your unloved instrument. I play guitar, like everybody and his brother, and actually me and also my brother, and since it is so ridiculously popular I feel I have to defend it by loving it's faults instead of it's virtues.
   It's untunable and afflicted with redundant overlapping possibilities for playing the same notes. It's flawed like the scope of human endeavor, limited, confused, not sensible, imperfect. It's like Kafka's Great wall of China. Can be loved even when it doesn't love you back, and in spite of it's lack of innocence, and that it has known better lovers, however dirty it is, despite that it's a whore and a porn star, you dream idealistic dreams about it's purity. It's like Gogol's Nevsky Avenue, an illusion of something better than the truth. It's the best we can do, and that's good enough (trademark Gibson). Please for the love of god defend your unloved instrument.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 03:41 AM

I believe some people have even derided the humble kazoo and those who hate eggs at sessions no doubt dislike washboards, but both are a boon for the musically hopeless.

RtS
(still singin' in the trash can)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: fiddler
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 04:02 AM

I'ts owneers hwo are the problems NOT instruments!

Well played Irish drums (never could spell that one) sound great bu there are many owners.

Keep taking the tablets. I gibe at drummers and bass players in teh bands I work with.

As for Violas - What a violin that came out too big!!!!

Chill practice anjoy and never bury - I hate Instruments not getting played - that includes my highland pipes.

hugs


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: fiddler
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 04:02 AM

OOPS - I forgot Shaky eggs!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Mad Tom
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 04:16 AM

CarolC - add Valerio Longoria to your list of accordion players.

One of the most memorable performances (with accordian or anything) I've listened to was by this blind guy busking in an Edmonton shopping centre. It was one of those places where there's a big open space in the middle of several floors and you could look down from the railing into the food court area at the bottom. This guy was playing an odd mix of popular music, with a lot of show tunes and waltzes. You could hear it echoing all the way to the top balcony. The look on his face was what got me, he seemed so blissed out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: GUEST,Banjoman
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:00 AM

Most of the jokes are just a bit of fun. I tend to change the subject instrument according to where I'm playing. However, never knock humble instuments like the Kazoo as I once managed to get a band of severely disabled people together to play at a "concert" hosted by musicians from a well known orchestra. They were amazed and so was everyone else except one pratt who made one or two comments about mentally disabled people having no sense of music. They enjoyed it and so did I. I later threatened to use my banjo on his head.
The best "music " joke I ever heard was in the days of Idi Amin - remember him? - who was shown on TV forcing his government officials to listen to him "playing the melodeon" I heard someone remark " Well he wasn't all bad then"
Keep the jokes coming


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Frankham
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 01:59 PM

It's been said and I agree with: "It's not the musical instrument, it's the musicianship". Some instruments are louder such as bluegrass banjo or uillean pipes but they can be monitored by the player by muting or playing without regulators....all kinds of solutions can be found to keep the dynamic range from intruding excessively. I have heard tasteful electric guitar and keyboard played with accoustic instruments by excellent players who have added to the music. True with electric bass players too. Any instrument in the hands of a musical person can be made to contribute. Accordians can be modulated dynamically.
Musical expression is largely a matter of "attitude" IMHO.

Frank Hamilton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Cluin
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:05 PM

Another use for duct tape.... to "mute" the banjo skin.   ;)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Deni-C
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:23 PM

I have never taken this too seriously, imagining the comments were for people who played OUT instruments loud enough to drown everyone else OUT. At a session in the Shipwrights Arms, Plymouth, I sit opposite Brian, another mudcatter. He plays banjo, and I play accordion and occasionally bodrahn. I think we play pretty sensitively and he certainly is a fancy player.

We've never been kicked out yet, but who knows....the pub is very near the water...........

I can't think of any instrument I dread seeing arrive. The only time sound ever got to me was at a Celtic festival when I was in a room with around twenty highland pipers tuning up....THAT was noisy....
D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 04:07 PM

A krik krak = one of those instruments named for the sound it makes. Imagine about 20 dominoes lined up as if for a domino toppling game. Tie the bottoms of the 'dominoes' together and add a handle to each end. Take one end in each in hand and flick one hand up and down. The 'dominoes' click together, making the sound that gives it it's name.

It's a great instrument for cajun and jazz.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 04:10 PM

I think it has less to do with the instrument and more to do with the musician—or alleged musician. Back in ancient times (late Fifties, early Sixties) there was a woman who played the accordion who came to the Seattle hoots and songfests. She had a political agenda and a copy of the Peoples' Songbook, and she was determined to turn every hoot into a political rally. Once she got going, she would go from one song to another and drown out anyone who tried to slip a ballad or love song in edgewise. We stopped letting her know where the hoots were. It had nothing to do with her accordion, it had to do with her.

Another person who came a few times was a neophyte banjo player who insisted in joining in on everything, even when someone said they were going to sing a unaccompanied ballad and specifically and redundantly asked, "Please, no accompaniment!" And he played LOUDLY! With an open-back (no resonator) banjo, you can cut the volume down to manageable decibel levels by putting a rolled up pair of socks or a household sponge inside the head, but when this guy was told for the twentieth time to "stuff a sock in it!" he took offense and never showed up again. Nobody mourned his loss. Had he shown a little taste or had heeded the numerous polite requests, he might have been a welcome asset. Too bad.

Apparently the bodhran has replaced the bongos as the instrument of the clueless. There were a number of people floating around back then who wanted to participate, bought themselves a set of bongos because they thought they were easy to learn, and made pariahs of themselves by insisting on flogging the damned things on everything. A good bodrhan player (bodhranist?) can be a real asset. It's even possible for a good bongo player. But part of being an asset rather than a royal pain in keister is knowing when to play one's instrument—and when not to.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: pict
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:27 PM

A good musician can get good music from bricks and broken bottles,a bad musician will play bad music on the finest and most exquisitely crafted instruments.Any instrument can sound spectacular in the hands of an imaginative player but obviously people have preferences.In Denmark accordian music is very popular and a ceilidh without an accordian feels like something's missing,yet I personally wouldn't rate it very highly on the scale of instruments I would like to play.I think for the most part it is a case of one man's meat is another man's poison,who says green is better than red?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Cluin
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:57 PM

Liz, that's called a krik krak? I've seen and heard them but didn't know that's what it was called. Very onomatopoeic. But with the name krik krak, I guess it would have been.

I wondered if maybe it was something like a rasp(inator).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: artbrooks
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 08:41 PM

Well, I confess to owning (and occasionally playing) a bodhran. That being said, I think that the only truly objectionable instrument is the nose flute. This isn't necesarily because of its sound, which is certainly an inprovement over the kazoo or the tissue-and-comb, but as a matter of aesthetics. After all, playing it essentially involves a semi-controlled sneeze.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 09:47 PM

Thanks for the heads up, Mad Tom!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 01:31 AM

Got a ten dollar horse, and a fifty dollar saddle...

Or the modern version, 'got the charisma of a broken winged sparrow, but my thousand dollar guitar more than makes up for it... *BG* ttr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Sam L
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:54 AM

Well, I do feel that the omnipresent banjo puree's a lot of bluegrass into a monotonous baby-food consistency. And I tend to enjoy solo banjo, and especially frailed stuff more. I think the rolling ringing banjo could sometimes do an Elvis and stop! ...and start agin'. Just for dynamics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 12:00 PM

Deni,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 12:02 PM

Whoops, try that again!

Deni, that's why I sit with my back to the wall, if one of us ends up in the water, it'll be you and your accordian before me and my banjo!

Business before pleasure.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 01:16 PM

A lot has to do with the fatal attraction that some instruments seem to exert on certain personality types. The common strand in the dysfunctional types is the lack of a sense of respect for other people.

The saving grace is that sometimes you meet a bodhran player with a sense of rhythm, a box player with a standard-sized head or a banjo plucker who has discovered that the volume can be controlled.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 07:04 AM

In his book "Civilization and its Discontents" (1930) Sigmund Freud wrote :

"Men clearly do not find it easy to do weithout the satisfaction of this tendency to aggression that is in them; when deprived of satisfaction of it they feel ill at ease. There is an advantage, not to be undervalued, in the existence of smaller communities, through which the aggressive instinct can find an outlet in enmity towards those outside the group ...

I once interested myself in the peculiar fact that peoples whose territories are adjacent, and are otherwise closely related, are always at feud with and ridiculing each other, as, for instance, the Spaniards and the Portuguese, the North and South Germans, the English and the Scots, and so on. I gave it the name of 'narcissism in respect of minor differences' which does not do much to explain it. One can now see that it is a convenient and relatively harmless form of satisfaction for aggressive tendencies, through which cohesion amongst the members of a group is made easier."

Think about it!

Wassail!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 07:15 AM

I thought roofs were slated?

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Deni-C
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 07:18 AM

Brain, oh sorry, I meant Brian

Water is VERY bad for accordions, worse even than for banjos. If osmeone comes towards me with a ducking stool, I'm going to point to you and say. 'Him first......' this will give me time to hide the beloved accordion before I go for a swim.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why are some instruments slated?
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:26 AM

That's OK Deni, easy mistake to make.


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: 29 September 4:48 AM 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.