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Corruption of the meaning of Session

Steve Parkes 13 May 04 - 04:36 AM
TS 12 May 04 - 11:00 PM
YorkshireYankee 12 May 04 - 10:56 PM
GUEST,fi in nz 12 May 04 - 09:13 PM
Strollin' Johnny 12 May 04 - 01:13 PM
erinmaidin 12 May 04 - 12:44 PM
jimmyt 12 May 04 - 12:42 PM
JWB 12 May 04 - 12:28 PM
Strollin' Johnny 12 May 04 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,JOHN of ELSIE`S BAND 12 May 04 - 10:29 AM
Pied Piper 12 May 04 - 09:58 AM
matai 12 May 04 - 09:56 AM
Pied Piper 12 May 04 - 09:50 AM
barrygeo 12 May 04 - 09:44 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 May 04 - 08:59 AM
JulieF 12 May 04 - 08:57 AM
Strollin' Johnny 12 May 04 - 08:41 AM
erinmaidin 12 May 04 - 05:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 May 04 - 08:35 PM
TS 11 May 04 - 06:59 PM
Lanfranc 11 May 04 - 06:46 PM
IanC 11 May 04 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,BDog 11 Jul 03 - 01:13 PM
Steve Parkes 11 Jul 03 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,orange utan 11 Jul 03 - 06:05 AM
My guru always said 11 Jul 03 - 05:33 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Jul 03 - 05:17 AM
Steve Parkes 11 Jul 03 - 05:13 AM
My guru always said 11 Jul 03 - 04:43 AM
clansfolk 10 Jul 03 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,Vince 10 Jul 03 - 04:12 PM
Noreen 10 Jul 03 - 02:08 PM
Pied Piper 10 Jul 03 - 11:39 AM
smallpiper 10 Jul 03 - 10:27 AM
greg stephens 10 Jul 03 - 10:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jul 03 - 10:12 AM
smallpiper 10 Jul 03 - 08:42 AM
8ch(pl) 10 Jul 03 - 08:32 AM
greg stephens 10 Jul 03 - 08:06 AM
treewind 10 Jul 03 - 07:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 03 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Jon 10 Jul 03 - 07:43 AM
smallpiper 10 Jul 03 - 06:47 AM
Gurney 10 Jul 03 - 06:42 AM
IanC 10 Jul 03 - 06:31 AM
Dave Bryant 10 Jul 03 - 06:19 AM
GUEST 10 Jul 03 - 05:59 AM
the lemonade lady 10 Jul 03 - 05:52 AM
clansfolk 10 Jul 03 - 05:44 AM
Pied Piper 10 Jul 03 - 05:37 AM
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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 May 04 - 04:36 AM

Every second Tuesday in the month you can drop in to the "a cappella" session at the Fox & Hounds, Stony Stratford, Bucks. (I use quotes because when I was growing up we called it "unaccompanied"!) Any kind of singing is acceptable, so long as it's unaccompanied (and preferably tuneful); choruses and well-known songs will draw the harmonies.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: TS
Date: 12 May 04 - 11:00 PM

YY..very good points there...quite valid...and if more people at sessions were as polite as you..what a grand time we could all have. Imagine it, a session where the "leaders" weren't flinging dirty looks or stopping to tell a novice musician the proper Key...ahhh..some day my friend, someday.....Slainte!


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 12 May 04 - 10:56 PM

Now if there were singing Sessions were every one joined in on most of the songs, or people sang cannons or part arrangements I'd love to attend, and sing, but that doesn't happen (well at least not yet).

Don't know where you live, PP, but if you ever get to Sheffield on a second Thursday evening, check out "Raise the Roof" at the Red Deer: every now & then someone does something that's not a singalong, but it's definitely the exception.

As for ego trips and lack of consideration/social skills... as has already been pointed out, singers don't have a monopoly on this behaviour. I have been to a "mixed session" where at least one fellow practiced ("quietly") the tune he was planning to play on his next turn -- while other people were singing and/or playing (and without moving from his spot in the session). I have also been in sessions where someone with an instrument decides to accompany a singer, can't manage it in the same key as the singer, but continues anyway. When this happens to me, I change key (if I can) to accommodate the player, even though I may end up singing lower/higher than I am comfortable with/sounds good -- but I still think it's a bit rude, to be honest.

Unfortunately, rudeness & ego can be found in just about any activity that involves more than one human being...

Cheers,

YY


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: GUEST,fi in nz
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:13 PM

Yep, there's a place called the Dogs Bollix. Not really a trad irish session, more an anything goes session - everyone singing and playing, tunes, one person singing (if they're loud or commanding enough).... etc. Main thing is though, everyone has a great time. If you were looking for a full on trad Irish session, you'd go somewhere else, maybe the Bog in Parnell on a Sunday night.

F


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 May 04 - 01:13 PM

Between the Dog's Legs!!
Johnny :0) :0) WHL


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: erinmaidin
Date: 12 May 04 - 12:44 PM

There's a place called the Dogs Bollix?!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: jimmyt
Date: 12 May 04 - 12:42 PM

Johnny, You beat me to it!!!   I have always thought the KEY change would pretty much set up the fact that you are in a new Key! just funnin' Mc Grath.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: JWB
Date: 12 May 04 - 12:28 PM

Here's what John Masefield has to say on the subject:

"Oh, some are fond of fiddles and a song well sung,
And some are all for music for to lilt upon the tongue.
But mouths were made for tankards and for sucking at the bung!"
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Have some fun,

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 May 04 - 11:54 AM

Have they stopped annotating keys on sheet music? They were still there the last time I looked (which was when I was studying classical music for 'A' level, and Grade 4 piano in 1964). Funny little squiggles, some like a noughts and crosses grid, some like a letter 'b'. To clever people they indicated the key the piece is in, but I wasn't sharp (no pun intended!) enough to understand them. Gave up Music and piano, and did Economics, Accountancy, Playing The Guitar By Ear, and Muckin' Around Wi' t'Lasses instead. Much easier (and more fun). LOL.
Johnny :0) :0)


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: GUEST,JOHN of ELSIE`S BAND
Date: 12 May 04 - 10:29 AM

Barrygeo,
         That`s the way we have run our "Sing and Play" nights over many years. A surefire recipe for success.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Pied Piper
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:58 AM

Sounds great to me.
PP


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: matai
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:56 AM

In Auckland, at the Dogs Bollix, on a Tuesday Night they have what they call a Traditional Irish session. It usually starts with a song, played on the banjo, or guitar by Swig (fear a'ti?), various instrumentalists join in, later swing off into tunes, reels , gigs. In the pauses there are unaccompanied singers, poets. Sometimes an American rock'n'roll set, a french set (voice and accordion)and when it quietens down the song-writers get a moment or 15.
The craic is great and the pub is always full to overflowing.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Pied Piper
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:50 AM

Julie you'll be very welcome with or without your mates.

Bishop; I would engage you in a battle of wits but I was brought up never to fight an un-armed man.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: barrygeo
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:44 AM

What you need to control your sessions is a good "fear a' ti" - man of the house. Irish music sessions or ceili (in irish) originated when groups in local communities came together in one house for mutual entertainment. The most successful sessions depended on a good fear an ti whose main job was to control the politics of the session. He would know when to call for a song or a particular singer. He would know if there was a very good singer or musician lurking in the shadows but too shy to come forward. He didn't try to totally control events but to gently move the session in a certain direction.
The fear an ti was often not a musician as they are too involved in the music to suss out whats going on in the room but he would probably have a song or two - or a story to tell.

If you need to control your session get yourself a good fear a'ti or bean a' ti (woman of the house.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 May 04 - 08:59 AM

How would being able to read music help in spotting the key changes?
Generally if you've played with people a few times you find you get a feeling for what the new keys are likely to be. If you can't, well there's got to be some times in the evening when it's good to be able to take a break and sit back and listen and finish your pint.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: JulieF
Date: 12 May 04 - 08:57 AM

I also find it strange having put so much effort into overcoming nerves to be branded an egotistical singer.

Saying that there is a point about balance and too many singers in a many 'tunes' session can cause problems. I'm inclined to think that one song every fourth or fifth set is probably as mixed as you should go. It is very difficult for a singer to jump in and sing before the collective musicians start up on yet another set. I am notorious for hanging round and not opening my mouth ( ok I do talk a bit) and tend to wait to be asked.   With people I know well I will jump in but that tends to be only in our own sessions. Even in these where I am the only singer , I would only do about 3 songs max in an evening

I attend sing-arounds but I get a different experience in the mixed/tune session.   I would actually say the the musicians can gain from singers - perhaps picking up a melodic line for the next set.

PP Will come to your Manchester Session if I can persuade our musicians but not on my own as I would dangerously swing the balance towards us egotistical singers.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 May 04 - 08:41 AM

I'm a singer who plays the guitar a bit, and I occasionally play at a session at the Blue Bell, Gringley. I strum along with the tune-players and, if they ask me, I sing a song (or two!). If they didn't ask me, I wouldn't force a song on them, but they invariably ask. Just seems like a happy setup there, with plenty of mutual respect being shown. It's a very nice session indeed.

My main grouse about some tune-players (and there's one of these at that session sometimes!!) are those who, apparently deliberately, play obscure tunes at breakneck speed, with several key-changes which, as a non-reader, I find almost impossible to follow, and then smirk in a very superior fashion at my discomfiture (and that of some of the others trying to join in!). I presume some of those who've posted on this thread would say it serves me right for being a sub-standard musician?

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: erinmaidin
Date: 12 May 04 - 05:24 AM

I have to admit that I scanned through most of the posts and probably didn't spend as much time as I should have , evaluating..measuring words...playing with semantics, etc. but I've only an average of 70 yrs. on this planet and who has time?!
I did get an impression that many believe that sessions in Ireland would not include singing. There is nothing more rewarding and exciting (to me) than someone from the village being coaxed into releasing an absolute jewel of a song into the session...it's tradition.
I will be the first to say I find "The Fields of Athenry" and "Wild Rover" etc. a bit redundant. If someone must sing, find one of those jewels,learn it well..accompanied or not...singing AS in playing, is something that should be practiced, polished and refined...otherwise it's just a noisy release of lung fuel.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 May 04 - 08:35 PM

"Many of the local Comhaltas members came out" ...

An excellent example of the way in which innovations in the way language is used can have tricky consequences. Which is what this strange thread was all about, really.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: TS
Date: 11 May 04 - 06:59 PM

I'm pretty certain that "Sessions", "Jams", "kitchen parties", and all the likes were created for fun, for the order of good times as Cartier put it well enough. Whatever happened that sessions had to become full of spites, jealousies, ignorances, and arrogances alike. Its about the simple little trait we learned long ago as children. Sharing. I used to partake in a regular weekly session at a pub. Many of the local Comhaltas members came out and it was great. Soon the session became a Comhaltas "practice" and those of us who were not members were almost shunned. I was invited to become a Comhaltas member but I couldnt because I was an "always on the road" musician. I was frowned upon after that and thus ended my desires to participate in Sessions and its unfortunate.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Lanfranc
Date: 11 May 04 - 06:46 PM

Missed this first time around.

Pied Piper = petty sessions judge!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: IanC
Date: 11 May 04 - 11:35 AM

There's an interesting use of the word session to describe a contest of poetic wit (possibly sung), in a song "A Sessions of Wit", Merry Drollery - 1st part - (1661) pp68-72

"A session was held the other day ..."

:-)


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: GUEST,BDog
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 01:13 PM

In the thirty something years I've been involved in folk music the word session when unqualified, has usually, but not exclusively, been used to indicate a music session. Throughout that time I've not noticed any shift in that loose interpretation. The word singaround either appears to be a far more recent term, or it's use has geographically spread. So what were we doing before we had singarounds?

What I didn't understand until now, was it's true meaning of singaraound:

'The "sing around", more accurately defined as a self-indulgent rotational Ego trip, is something completely different stressing as it does the, them and us/ performer audience, dichotomy.'

Thanks PP for clearing that up. I'll keep it in mind the next time a musician joins in with a song too loud, in the wrong key, at the wrong speed, and unable to cope with time signiture variates. It is, of course, the musician that is right, and all the singers fault for being on an ego trip.

Me forget the 7th verse for the last 20 years? Hell no! It's the 6th that I've consistantly forgotten! However, I do distinctly remember hearing a musicians session the other night where they missed the 7th verse out of every tune. I was obliged to hum one extra verse at the end of every tune (attemping to stay in the correct key of course) just to make things tally for the song/tune police.

You stick with your tight little pigeon holes if thats what makes you comfortable. Personnally, I like the fuzzy old world, where you don't know what you're getting until it happens. It's people like you who are buggering it up.

Brian


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 07:06 AM

Dave -- only if they sit down!


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: GUEST,orange utan
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 06:05 AM

well, its alright for them that have lots of sessions near 'em. Kind of been stuck with Folk Clubs in Exeter, so I've been trying to set one up.

So for anyone interested "Mostly Music Session" 25th July, North Bridge Inn.
(singing/dancing encouraged, depends on how the drinking's going)


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: My guru always said
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 05:33 AM

Steve - either Huntingdon or Surrey, not sure yet, but I'll definitely be asking around about 'venues' *giggle*


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 05:17 AM

If Linda and I have a Sex Session does it mean that we've got to let everyone else join in ?


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 05:13 AM

We were disussing this last night. When I first started singing, back in the late 60s, there weren't any sessions, and I don't remember singarounds either: you went to a folk club and asked for a floor spot. Non-singing solo musicians were a rarity, and there was no way you could join in a tune. In fact, I don't recall hearing of music sssions till I came down to Bucks about six years ago. Maybe they just don't have them in the Midlands? Maybe they do, but nobody told me!

"Session" does indeed come from a root that means "sitting"; "avocado" comes from a root that means "lawyer". Etymology is a two-edged weapon ...

Hil, where are you going? I'm sure you'll get plenty of feedback about ... let's call them "venues"!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: My guru always said
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 04:43 AM

I'm with Ian C & the drinking session *grin*

What a hot topic! As I'm moving to another area soon I'm hoping to seek and find acoustic music of all kinds and will be especially interested in how these events are described. Being unable to play an instrument I'll be mostly looking for 'singarounds' and 'mixed sessions', although I'll be glad to tap my feet at 'instrumental sessions' too.

While on my search I hope to find musicians (including singers) to enjoy music with in my new local area. If there are no 'singarounds' or 'mixed sessions' then perhaps a 'tune session' may evolve into a 'mixed session' & we can blend our skills and knowledge together. Although I mainly sing ballads (through years of singing in the privacy of my own home) I'll be concentratiing on finding good chorus songs to sing so that we can all make a good sound together.

May we always have music.....
Hil


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: clansfolk
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 04:13 PM

WARNING

I've just received the latest list for what's going on and where during the Fylde Folk Festival 2003:

It would appear the John and I (Penny Black) will be running a "session" at the Victoria on Saturday noon...... now anyone who know us will be aware that we don't do a lot of tunes!!! (maybe the odd dill pickers (sic) or Foggy Mountain/duelling banjos - with an Irish accent) - so If its still in the programme in August and you decide to "pop-in" don't expect music only!!!!!

NB anyone wishing to sue F.F.F. under the trade description act should contact Mr A Bell :-)


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 04:12 PM

I'll be at Saddleworth festival next weekend (18-20th)..where there's always some good sing-a-rounds or 'come-all-yehs' (especially the late Sat'day neet one in the C**///tive club and survivors session at the cross keys). I was at the Poyton festival where there were sing-a-rounds and (mostly instumental) music sessions. Noreen, again, is absolutely right. There's room for all. It's all about how individuals express the music and song as they feel and see it. As i've said previously, its all about tolerance, good manners and sharing. Maybe its a lack of those virtues in some people that has contributed to the apparent decline in folk clubs over the years. Its a great shame. Its 2003, are we ever going to grow up!


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Noreen
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 02:08 PM

Something approaching that does happen, PP, at some 'singarounds' eg the Middle Bar at Sidmouth and some pub singarounds at festivals, eg the White Lion at the recent Upton festival (and anywhere where Shellbacks gather!). At these singarounds, songs (with the odd exception) will be chorus songs, the choruses being joined in with vociferously(!) by all present. In this environment I would lead a chorus song when my turn comes, because I know that most people there want to join in and not just listen.

Other places I sing (eg the Arden Arms in Stockport tonight) I am happy to sing a ballad or a quiet lyrical song, with no chorus, because I know that the others there will enjoy listening to that sort of song, for the beauty of the song and its delivery (it is to be hoped) and NOT expect or wish to join in every song.

Perhaps it demands the suspension of ones own ego to be able to enjoy listening to somebody else performing and not have to join in? Please don't think that's a personal dig at you, more me thinking out loud, and leading on from a converstion about a related matter I had recently.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Pied Piper
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 11:39 AM

I advertise the two Sessions that we started recently in central Manchester as instrumental Sessions, which I think is quite clear. That doesn't mean that if someone turned up and sang a song I'd stop them, it just means that the balance is well on the tune side.
Now if there were singing Sessions were every one joined in on most of the songs, or people sang cannons or part arrangements I'd love to attend, and sing, but that doesn't happen (well at least not yet).

PP


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: smallpiper
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 10:27 AM

Take your own advice Greg isn't that what PP was complaining of in the first place? Or have I got bored and lost it?


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 10:21 AM

I dont think the meaning of the word has changed at all. Its just that some people seem to think it ought to mean "just tunes", even if it didnt mean that a while ago. Tell you what, if you mean "tune session" say "tune session". If you mean "poker session" say "poker session". then we'll all know what we're talking about.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 10:12 AM

"the meaning of the word has changed"

Strikes me if its changed its been a question of it cahnging back to its traditional meaning. Or maybe it never cahnged at all except in some people's patch.

"Fellowship is Life. Lack of fellowship is death" - William Morris wrote that. He wasn't talking about music and siomnging, but he might have been.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: smallpiper
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 08:42 AM

Thanks Greg. I do believe that I said we should accept the fact that the meaning of the word has changed (you seem to be ignoring that one).   And who said it was Irish music? I said tunes. I did not specify any ethnicity. And I wouldn't dream of turning up at anyones session and demand anything at all (other than good manners).


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: 8ch(pl)
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 08:32 AM

I play in a "Song Circle" with the Harbour Folk society at the ferry terminal in Dartmouth Nova Scotia each Wednesday evening. We have been there about 3 years and I started 2 years ago.

We need all of the musicians who show up. There have been times when there was just me and one other member. She doesn't play an instrument, I play mandolin. Last night we had a nice session with 7 participants. We also had an audience moving through during the 2 1/2 hous that we were there.

Since I started in this, my first public venue I have had to adapt my playing to accompany instrumental and voice presentation in virtually all keys. For my part I believe I have grown a great deal because of the times I have been out. Work has recently kept me from it, but for now I am back at it.

I would like to say that there is no problems with our group. There is some music which I do not try to accompany, but for the most part we all try to act as a session band no matter who's turn it is. We have become friends through this. If you like someone, you should overlook their little faults. I hope the others do so with mine.

Glen


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 08:06 AM

Well, if I have read this argument(??) right, because Pied Piper and Smallpiper's da use(d) the word "session" to mean a "tune session(Irish), this gives them the right to turn up at the Red Lion session in Market Drayton and demand that we stop singing and all play Banish Misfortune and the High Reel ensemble. Or have I missed the point somewhere?


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: treewind
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 07:49 AM

If I ever talk about a session to somebody who doesn't know about the particular event in question, I always qualify it by describing it. I've seen this confusion happen too many times.

As for decreeing that a session means a tune session - I'm sorry, but nobody gets to absolutely define what's what in folk music. Anyone with such a totally rigid idea of the meaning of the term "session" (whichever meaning that is) needs to get out more.

As to tunes-only sessions being described as elitist - no, that's not the point. There are many different kinds of sessions - from pure singarounds to tunes-only. Some are run by an MC, others are jump in when you feel like it. An English music session is different from an Irish session is different from a bluegrass session - not just the music, but the conventions like how many times a tune is played etc.
I welcome this variety, and reject the pleadings that it's all folk music and anyone should expect to be welcome to do anything anywhere. THAT's just another particular type of session: I've been to some like that and they have their limitations too.

Live and let live, that's what I say.

If you don't like the way a particular session runs itself, and enough people agree with you, start another one. And if not enough people agree with you... draw your own conclusions.

Anahata
(who has been to a regular monthly round-the-room that welcomed step dancing and story telling as well as songs and tunes but explicitly banned guitars and bodhrans. It takes all sorts. That one doesn't run any more, not suprisingly)


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 07:47 AM

I must agree with the sentiment if not the diplomatic way it was worded PP:-) As a participant in both, an attendee and an organiser of 20+ years standing I do believe we need to make these things clear. It always used to be session=communal music singaroung=individual singing and music. Makes my life easier if people stick to that!

Imaging the fuss if 500 kids turned up to a rave and found it was a school disco! Or if the Playford brigade went to a ceilidh to find it was line dancing...

I like to keep things simple. Like me. Anyway PP - don't worry about singers jumping in is sessions. Just make sure you have them huge war pipes with you to help them out;-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 07:43 AM

Interesting debate... For my part, I would consider "together" the key word for a session, i.e. that whether we are talking about songs or tunes, for the most part, people would be joining in at the same time. I would not consider a sing around where people take in turns to sing a song to be a session even if others did join in with choruses.

My preference in sessions is towards largely or even entirely instrumental sessions and take a different view to andymac. I'd like to think any session I go to is welcoming to all who wish to participate in whatever type of session is being run. I fail to see though why any session should be considered cliquish if they happen to focus on one area of music or on tunes as opposed to songs. My attitude with that is if you like what a session is about, great - enjoy it but if you don't, try elsewhere and don't protest.

McGrath, you said:

'And there are story-telling sessi0ns and dance sessions for that matter.

"Session" just means you're sitting down together...'

I'm intrigued by the idea of sitting down together to dance ;-)

Jeri, I think it was Cap't Bob who started the "Floating" thread.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: smallpiper
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 06:47 AM

I sure am PP.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Gurney
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 06:42 AM

Maybe the 'organisers' should provide venues for every artform. At my local festival, it has devolved that the session (PP's definition) lovers play a lot of Irish tunes, and fair play to them, but they always take over the most comfortable venue, by persistance and volume. The rest of the enthusiasts, be they blues, trad, dancers etc., have to make do with tents or tiny corners. If it rains, they will have to put up with it or invade the 'sessionist' comfort.
Most people seem to be able to enjoy a certain amount of instrumental, but they NEED songs.
I'd says PP is right, though, about a session being musical. The language changes constantly. We used to have unaccompanied songs, (only posh people had A Capella,) and singarounds, and cracks.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: IanC
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 06:31 AM

Well, the use of "session" to describe music is only fairly recent anyway. For most of my life, "session" by itself would have described a Drinking Session ... no music at all.

With reference to music, I have only ever understood "music session" or "session" to mean a period of time during which musical things happen.

Why try to narrow the meaning?

:-(


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 06:19 AM

Of course even if the default meaning of session is an instrumental one (I don't subscribe to the late Sir Thomas Beeching's snide categorisation of Musicians and Singers) then perhaps you still need further description. The English Country Danceband Music session at Southwark would not suit many Irish Style musicians at all. Neither would one which specialised in Playford tunes or one I know at Eastwick which is mainly Bluegrass. I hope that the word does not come to mean only Irish music as many of our local ones seem to.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 05:59 AM

If something is described as a session with no qualifier, I would assume it to be instrumental only. However I think it is perfectly proper to talk about a song session, or a mixed session as long as these qualifiers are included to show what to expect.


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 05:52 AM

My bit FWIW; a Session is for music (heads down and go for it) and a Singaround is exactly what it says on the tin.

Having been to a Session, sung a song and seen the expression on the faces and the volume of the sighs, I have learnt which is which. Nowadays, if I want to go to a session, I phone the organiser first and ask his opinion.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: clansfolk
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 05:44 AM

" this is my point, people need to know what the event is, and to use the word that has been used for years to mean an *instrumental get together in a Pub without qualification is not helping things.
PP


Having attended "music sessions" since the late 50's and my Father ran "session" way back from the 20's (various styles of music) - in all that time a session has meant what has been said previously by me (and others) simply a get together.

Now I agree with you PP that if and event is advertised it should include any provisos put on it by the organiser/s   e.g. Instrumentals only, No Singers allowed, No more than one Bodhran at any one time to be played, No eggs, etc. etc. ad nausea......

To me the word "session" being incorrectly used in the context of a Musical Instrument playing only session, came about with the influx of Irish Music Pubs and the crossing over of many local bands from Folk to Irish and the "in" use of the term "craic" - of course this was like the influx of American music and protest songs in the sixties along with pseudo American accents being adopted....

As for not being allowed to use a word in its original form because "others" have deemed it to be meaning something else well slang is slang! and I'm still happy to be Gay and heterosexual!

Use the English Language to describe your event properly or don't be so bigoted and insular



* I can't find this definition even in my slang dictionary..... please refer me to your source


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Subject: RE: Corruption of the meaning of Session
From: Pied Piper
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 05:37 AM

Thanks for your contributions folks.
I hope this has cleared a few things up.
I don't know why we've never met Smallpiper; are you a regular at the Ull Sessions?

And finally

I would rather have Sex than watch somebody doing it.

All the best PP


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