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what is old-timey music?

balladeer 14 Nov 04 - 09:09 PM
Leadfingers 14 Nov 04 - 09:12 PM
Once Famous 14 Nov 04 - 09:17 PM
Peace 14 Nov 04 - 09:21 PM
Robin2 14 Nov 04 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Al 14 Nov 04 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 14 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM
Bill D 14 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 15 Nov 04 - 12:30 AM
Bassic 15 Nov 04 - 04:12 AM
greg stephens 15 Nov 04 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Jon 15 Nov 04 - 05:01 AM
Pauline L 15 Nov 04 - 05:27 AM
BanjoRay 15 Nov 04 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 15 Nov 04 - 10:33 AM
GLoux 15 Nov 04 - 11:08 AM
Fortunato 15 Nov 04 - 11:44 AM
SINSULL 15 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM
Once Famous 15 Nov 04 - 12:04 PM
black walnut 15 Nov 04 - 12:33 PM
GLoux 15 Nov 04 - 12:47 PM
Once Famous 15 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Nov 04 - 01:27 PM
GLoux 15 Nov 04 - 01:47 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Nov 04 - 09:11 PM
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GUEST,Kaleb 16 Nov 04 - 10:44 AM
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balladeer 19 Nov 04 - 12:42 PM
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Subject: what is old-timey music?
From: balladeer
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:09 PM

This topic is probably more suited for a country-music site, but I know there are many people here who know a lot about a lot. Why is there often antipathy between bluegrass players and old-time players? Isn't one just an earlier form of the other? How does singing fit in to either? Is stringband music something else again? Balladeer


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:12 PM

I personally dont see the point in antipathy to ANY form of music unless its not being well played !! Its like the silly thing we used to get between Contemporary and Traditional Folk !!


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Once Famous
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:17 PM

Great question. I love bluegrass music where there seems to be room for innovation, flashy picking, tight harmonies, and improvosation(sp).

Old-timey music usually chases the bluegrassers out of the room because it seems to lack all of these qualities and is not as structered with songs that have a definitive begining, middle, and end.

Some of the old-timey tunes just go on forever without any variation in their structure for great lengths of time.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:21 PM

google

old timey music

The second and third sites on the page may be helpful.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Robin2
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:03 PM

Interesting, Martin

I prefer old-time, because to me bluegrass seems more structured. I hear many variations in playing oldtime music in jams, but it is subtle. Also, oldtime players tend to play more in unison, and not take "breaks" as clearcut as bluegrass players do. Oldtime is more informal to my ear.

Here in Kentucky, there is a very real differance between oldtime and bluegrass. Of course, there's room for both!

Robin


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:36 PM

As an old time fiddler, I can say that the biggest difference, bigger even than the breaks vs no breaks thing, is the sense of rhythm. I cannot for the life of me play a bluegrass "break" that matches their rhythm, and by and large, bluegrass fiddlers bugger up old time tunes so badly that they seem kind of like a mockery of the tune. Al


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM

If you sit down to play, and tune your instruments (onstage), it's old-timey. If you stand up and never tune, it's bluegrass.

Actually, bluegrass is a specific outgrowth of old-timey, and one that was created specifically as a performance music. It was Bill Monroe's sound in 1946, a culmination of a musical direction he took looking for an identifiable -- and salable -- "sound." In fact, when Flatt and Scruggs each quit his band, then reformed as their own band, he was livid, since they were stealing his trademark sound. It took him a long time to admit that he had actually fostered a whole genre of music. But he grew to like the "father of bluegrass" label.

Old-time music is the tradition-based stringband music that preceded Monroe. The first recordings of old-time music were in 1924, as I recall, but the "industry" of "country music" started in 1926, in Bristol Tennessee/Virginia (it's a border town). Ralph Peer, of Columbia records, sent a crew down there in July & August, and recorded a whole plethora of folks, from Jimmie Rodgers to the Carter Family to Rev. Alfred Karns to Pop Stoneman.

Now, the modern version of old-time music has become the modern string band, despite that "old-time" music included all those folks I mentioned, none of whom played endless fiddle tunes with improbable names (a common generic title is "___ in the ____"). It's this kind of presentation that upset our poster above, and also drives the bluegrassers crazy, 'cause it's dance music. It's meant to be long (you have all those dance figures to complete, once for each couple in the set) and boring (it's dance music, as I said). Vocals are usually reserved for when the fiddler's arm needs a rest.

Bluegrass is meant for the stage. It's not dance music (though you can dance individually -- or "couple-y" -- to it, it won't do for a set dance, like a square dance). It's supposed to have a structure that includes intros, outros, breaks, turn-arounds, bridges, vamping, and suchlike. Fiddle tunes don't have these as such, unless a stage presentation is intended, like with bands like the Skillet Lickers or the North Carolina Ramblers. Those bands were closer to bluegrass than the typical fiddle-tune-playing band, in that they were stage bands (who also played dances, of course).

So some bluegrass players consider old-time players to be musical "throw-backs," because such players have rejected the more modern sound of bluegrass. And old-timey players consider bluegrassers to be followers of flashy fashion, looking for the "new" when the old is solidly sound and wholesome.

In jazz, this division was between the beboppers and the mouldy figs, and was fought out on the pages of Downbeat in the late 40s and early 50s.

But wasn't it Louis Armstrong* who said "It's all folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing?"


Bob Clayton


* Also attributed to Big Bill Broonzy, Will Rogers, Ben Franklin, and Atilla (the hun), so maybe it wasn't Satchmo who said it.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM

a VERY real difference... Bluegrass is analogous to Irish session music, with very precise tempos and structures (and usually/often, a strict protocol about who plays what and in what order)...I have seen Bluegrass groups in a campground 'de-tune' a half step in order to ummmm,,'suggest' that an autoharp is not welcome....where most Old-timey groups welcome an autoharp... The songs also are different in basic subject matter and 'feel' between the two areas... Lisyen to The New Lost City Ramblers for a few hours, then Bill Monroe for a few and you'll begin to absorb the difference.

Bluegrass kinda grew out of Old-Timey and some other things, and picked up a driving sound that usually isn't present in the older stuff.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:30 AM

To me, the rhythmic difference that Al alluded to above boils down to one thing. Old-time music is meant for dancing - bluegrass music is meant for listening. Sure, it's possible to dance to bluegrass, but you just about can't help but dance to a good old time band.

Bluegrassers complain about old-time players playing the same tune for fifteen minutes, but there's something very meditative about playing in that old-time groove. I'd like to see a scientific study comparing the brainwaves of an old-time band and a bluegrass band while they're playing. I'm sure the old-time players would exhibit brainwave patterns pretty similar to those of people in a meditative state while the 'grassers' brainwaves would be closer to those of someone actively performing a task.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Bassic
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 04:12 AM

Thanks for the information folks. I`m sure that I, like many non US`ers have found this very enlightening. Unless you were brought up with this music or have subsequently made some kind of a study of it, then much of the discussions and debates about the two styles go over your head.

Having the oportunity to listen to music on the web via Folk Alley has opened me up to lots of new styles and this thread has allowed me to feel that I can start to draw some slightly more educated comparisons with music styles that I come across here in the UK. I can certainly grasp the "its dance music" concept and how that dictates much of what makes "Old timey" seem long winded and repetative when it is listened to away from a dance context.

I have a question about Bluegrass, which maybe should be in another thread, but I will start it here for now..........Where does the improvisational influence come from in Bluegrass?..........those first players who developed what became Bluegrass after WWII, had they come from a Jazz background? Old Time?....where? If Jazz, then the influence and technical skills in Bluegrass have obvious roots, if elsewhere then it is not so obvious to me and would be interesting to know.

I will make a stap at guessing that, as the rootes of Jazz were African American, and then heavily developed and influenced by eastern european imigrants to the US, so Old Timey had its roots in English Traditional music of several hundred years ago........so where was the development source for Bluegrass? The impact of Celtic influences? From Jazz again?

Anyone care to enlighten me?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 04:33 AM

English traditional dance music was very improvised till at least 1750ish(for a guess, these things are not well documented). I would think that habit would certainly have crossed the Atlantic and probably lasted in the backwoods, ready to feed into the bluegrass concept. Not that I am suggesteing that improviation was distictly English, plenty of other cultures that added an element to the mix in the Appalachians were improvisers too.
   As to the difference between oldtime and bluegrass...they are both fantastic music forms, but they do tend to appeal to different temperaments in different ways. My music collection, for example, contains loads and loads of oldtime stuff, as compared to one Bill Monroe EP, one Bill Monroe tape, and one Flatt and Scruggs LP(subseequently lost). I just dont dind bluegraas(post Monrow) that exciting. And I just love all oldtime recordings. On the other hand, plenty of musicians, that I know, love and respect, have precisely the opposite view. And I would say there are not that many people who like both equally.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 05:01 AM

Bill. I would not say "a VERY real difference... Bluegrass is analogous to Irish session music...".

I mostly play in Irish sessions but have on occasion tried to play in both bluegrass and old-timey sessions and I have found the old-timey has got far more in common with Irish in terms of the music, the way it is played and I think in terms of the players themselves.

Irish tempos are strict in the sense that everyone try to play in time with each other but that's it. In a session I would argue there are limits either way but there are no strict rules as to how fast or slow a piece should be played or how the tune is expressed. Let's not forget, Irish music itself has a variety of styles - contrast a slow lilting Clare style with a fast Donegal style...

In an Irish session, a common etitquitte is to take the tune/set at the way the person who started it off did although there is sometimes a little bit of "settling in". In that respect and in my experience, I would suggest that old-timey sits in between Irish and bluegrass.

Jon


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Pauline L
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 05:27 AM

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread and, especially to Bob Clayton, for explaining things so well.

Speaking as a fiddler, I find that playing old time music is a lot easier than playing bluegrass music. Old time music resembles dance music of many genres, since there is a lot of repetion and improvisation to avoid boredom. Bluegrass is performance music, and some of its players are real virtuosos.

In the Irish and Scottish traditions, a given tune can be played in either dance style or performance style, and there is a big difference for the performer. The obvious difference is rhythm, which has to be strict and steady for dancing. You've got to hit the notes right on the beat, so that when the dancers jump up, you bring them down to the floor on time. For dance music, there is a lot of improv, but it's subtle rather than flashy.

Pauline


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:57 AM

I had a conversation two days ago at a Gainsborough workshop with Dwight Diller, the great West Virginia old time banjo instructor, when he described to me what he thought the differences were between Old Time and Bluegrass. He told me that Bluegrass was developed as a stage music by people like Bill Monroe and many others - Stanley Bros, Don Reno and many more so that people who'd been forced by economics to leave their old homes to work in the cities could pay for a taste of it. Old Time music was brought from the old country by the old settlers and stayed with the families in their new cultures, gradually being modified by the folk process and encounters with other cultures - blacks, Native Americans, different europeans. Many of the old recordings by people like the Skillet Lickers, Charlie Poole, The Hillbillies etc, now being counted as Old Time, were part of the polishing-up process leading to the development of Bluegrass. To me, Bluegrass is a thin, single direction offshoot from a huge many faced old musical family. Modern old time stringband music is another. They're all great.
I don't think you see much antagonism between Bluegrass and Old Time (I hate the expression old-timey) in the UK. People enjoy pretending there is some, but we get on well.
Cheers
Ray (Chairman of Foaotmad)


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 10:33 AM

Songster Bob

Just a little nit-picking. The Bristol sessions in 1927 were for Victor not Columbia. Amazing the amount of first class music recorded.

Re Monroe being uptight with Flatt & Scruggs when they left for "stealing his trade mark". If I'm not mistaken the term 'bluegrass'(assuming that that is the trade mark to which you refer) was not in general use then to describe the music, this came a few years later and F & S didn't use that term to describe their band at the time. I'm sure that Monroe realised that it was Scruggs's banjo (he having replaced Dave 'Stringbean' Akeman) that gave his group the distinctive sound that came to epitomise what we have come to term Bluegrass, and that is what pissed him off. When F & S formed their own group they did not use mandolin and subsequently introduced the Dobro. Their harmony singing style was also somewhat different.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:08 AM

There's a great band, Big Medicine, that I just saw in concert last week in West Chester, PA and their repertoire is such that the band "runs the fault line between old-time and bluegrass..." (from the notes of their 2nd CD, Fever in the South). If you're trying to understand differences between old-time and bluegrass, I think it is also important to understand the overlap.

IMHO, there is no antipathy here. Only constipation.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Fortunato
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:44 AM

Yes, yes, Greg. I've got free exlax in my guitar case for the music nazis of both camps.

I find that the better the musician and the more educated the less constipated the old time or bluegrass player is.

And I don't give a tinker's dam for anyone who cares to tell me our music don't fit with their notion of either one. The better players in both camps invite us in.

As Big Mick and Micca like to say, 1,2,3 BITE ME to the rest of them.
sincerely,
Chance


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM

Old Timey to me means the Blue Sky Boys and Dorsey Dixon et al. Simple tunes, tight harmony, old fashioned values in the lyrics. Songs and tunes handed down from one generation to the next.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Once Famous
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:04 PM

Sinsull, for sake of categorizing, what you have suggested is old style country music like the brother acts with the tight harmonies.

I feel that what is described as old-timey string band music is devoid of those harmonies.

I do totally agree that the old-timey string band music is more dancable whereas bluegrass is for listening and performance orientated.

This is what really separates the men from the boys, as the bluegrass audience and musicians is by far more discriminating and sophisticated musically due to the aforementioned structure (beginning, middle, and end), along with stronger talents needed for breaks, group dynamics (not everyone playing at the same volume all at once), not to mention smooth vocal abilities needed for solos and harmonys.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: black walnut
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:33 PM

I remember asking Raymond MacLain that very question up at The Woods, Balladeer. I remember that he gave a very thoughtful and unusual answer, though blimey if I can remember what it was. It shure as heck didn't have anything to do with talent or ability.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:47 PM

I feel that what is described as old-timey string band music is devoid of those harmonies.

????????

Except when they sing, of course...

earliest recordings...

Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers
Georgia Yellow Hammers
Leake County Revelers
(I'll leave out the Carter Family)

or later...

New Lost City Ramblers
Red Clay Ramblers
Highwoods Stringband

or contemporary...

Foghorn Stringband
Big Medicine
Freighthoppers

A major attraction to old-time music for me is the vocals with harmonies.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Once Famous
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM

Perhaps.

I wouldn't mind checking out the contemporary examples you mention.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 01:27 PM

"Structured." Yes, bluegrass does seem to have got stuck in a rut.

(oops! closing out fast. Here comes my son-in-law, the bluegrass nut)


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 01:47 PM

Foghorn sound clips here

Big Medicine sound clips

Freighthoppers broke up a while back...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:42 PM

http://traditionalmusic.co.uk/whatisoldtime/old-time-music-definition.htm


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:52 PM

Thanks Bill. Lots more reading to do. But isn't it odd that a UK site has to define it for us?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:11 PM

Old Time Music- another attempt at definition, from America: Old Time Music

And here: Old Time

.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Franz S.
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:23 PM

Bill D.,

"I have seen bluegrass groups in a campground 'detune'..."

I have also seen bluegrass groups in a campground welcome not only autoharps but pennywhistles and a sitar.

But then I live in California.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,polkfunkrocker
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:30 PM

clarity is often more effectively apparent
from a DISTANT PERSPECTIVE..

errrr.. or something else profound sounding..??

oldtimey = nice warm friendly communal rootsy amateurish mates music

bluegrass = showbiz virtuosity

bluetimey = underground gentlemens cinema club in soho..


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:37 PM

One of the first times I saw the term was the title "Old Time Music At Clarence Ashley's" Not surprisingly, when they put the album out on CD it was Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley. Watson will sell a lot more CDs..

If you look at the songs and combinations of singers and instrumentalists on Old Time Music At Clarence Ashley's they range from Lee Highway Blues and Humpbacked Mule to Rising Sun Blues and Amazing Grace. Through time, "old-timey" has become "old-time" and basically refers to string bands. Labels evolve through time, driven as much as anything by the desire to sell recordings. Rhythm and Blues in the fifties meant everything from slow ballads by street-corner groups like the Penguins and the Flamingos, to jump tunes by Little Richard and Joe Turner and rocking piano with Fats Domino. Now, the groups are called Doo wop.. a term that didn't appear until several years after the music became popular, and rhythm and blues now means slow, sensual make-out music, mostly, and the more upbeat stuff is likely to be labeled Hip Hop.

I consider old-time music to be Darby and Tarlton and Grayson and Whitter as much as Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers or Charlie Poole. I love it all, and a major reason why I love it all is that it is so indivudal... no rules to follow.

The rules and restrictions came later to reach a mass audience.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM

Old-Timey vs. Bluegrass? I wouldn't pay a dime to hear either style - 20 minutes and it starts repeating. Basically boring.
Old-Timey = bastardised Irish and Scotish tunes without the difficult bits. Not even a set (series of tunes) to brighten the monotony of the same tune played 50 times. Like the religious background of the Americas, where no-one is expected to be better than anyone else, no player or singer makes an attempt to play or sing at other than a basic level or sing other than adenoidal harmonies.
Blue grass = playing the same style tunes faster and in a different key where everyone in the group has to play a lead. Everyone is encouraged to show off their musical prowess, but the same structure in every tune tends to limit the possibilities of range and after a while it all sounds the same. Songs have the same nasal (and very annoying) adenoidal harmonies.   
Give me a person with an instrument played well and songs with a story or a statement any time over your Old-Timey or Bluegrass schlock.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:23 AM

We aren't trolling there, are we guest?

It is very hard for me to think of Doc Watson as playing anything "without the difficult bits." The same for Clark Kessinger or about a thousand other participants in one of the world's most arduous traditional art forms. These guys are old-time, though they both play (or played) bluegrass whenever they felt like it.

Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice are great musicians also, but their art form isn't really traditional- in their own minds or in the mind of their audience. Bluegrass claims healthy traditional roots, but values innovation and individual expression. Like old-time, the skills of bluegrass are so arduous that it is usually played to specialty audiences who have cultivated an appreciation of the virtuosity required for the particular pieces.

Of course, "arduous" doesn't mean "good" and you should certainly listen to stuff that is more to your taste.

Incidentally, old recordings of hillbilly music (the recorded root form of old-time, bluegrass, and country music) often include very strong blues elements. Most folks look back only a few years before modern records and radios and see a time when blues was part of the same root form.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:39 AM

Wow, guest is a grump.......Hmmm..Why don't you tell us what it is YOU DO like so we can reciprocate. And..........the "religous background of the America's where no one is expected to be better than anyone else??////// First off there is no ONE specific religious background for ALL americans, and secondly THAT certainly wasn't part of the stupid protestant work ethic movement in early America....Why it was just as categorical prejudical, arrogant, condescending and judgemental as YOU>


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:50 AM

Guest---[two up!] you must be a member of some symphony orchestra; either that or you lead a seriously music-starved existence.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:52 AM

By the time I posted I should have said "three up". Jeeze--pick a name ! "Cabbage" or " Blooter guts' or something......


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Fortunato
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 07:58 AM

Jerry Rasmussen speaks the truth, as always. I'm glad he has the patience to do it. If you see this, Jerry, my best to Ruth.

chance


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 09:44 AM

Incidentally, old recordings of hillbilly music (the recorded root form of old-time, bluegrass, and country music) often include very strong blues elements. Most folks look back only a few years before modern records and radios and see a time when blues was part of the same root form.

The Mississippi old-time duet, Narmour and Smith, brought John Hurt to the attention of the record company. I love that story...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Kaleb
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 10:44 AM

I completey agree with what Bee-dubya-ell said about the old-time groove being very meditative. In a really good session where everyone is in the same place rhythmically, you get into a kind of hypnotic state and there's no longer any separation between you and your instrument and the other people and the music. And once you're in that state the number of times you've played through the tune or the length of time you've been playing loses any meaning, you just don't want it to end.   

Here is a clip of the Freight Hoppers in their prime:
http://www.banjonews.com/PrtyLtlGrl.mp3


-Kaleb


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 11:55 AM

On Greg's note about the blues -there is an internet old time music program that is featuring blues influences in old time music at http://www.sugarinthegourd.com/ right now. A Great Listen!


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: balladeer
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 12:42 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your input and your links. Much as I like to read articles, I was most interested in the discussion. As people expressed differing points of view, I could see there are many shades of grey here, just as there are in the "what is folk music" debate that erupts in each new generation. Thanks for taking the time (and if anyone has more to add, here's the thread back again [for today anyway]).

Balladeer


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 11:42 AM

Somebody earlier in the thread said "......not to mention the Carter Family"

Aren't they one of the main links between old-time and bluegrass, especially repertoire?


I think Charlie Poole material may be another link.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:39 AM

Hey GLoux,

Just so's folks here know ..

The Freighthoppers Ride Again!
http://www.myspace.com/thefreighthoppers

By the way, great thread guys.

After all's said & done though, don't you think we all just ~ "Like what we listen to & listen to what we like." .. eh :-)

Cheers
Dick

The Old Time Music Forum (Europe)
http://oldtimehammer.proboards76.com/v45index.cgi?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:55 AM

what is old timey music?well different people will have different perceptions.
personally I prefer most of it to bluegrass.
in the same way I prefer The original Carter Family to the later versions,could it be that old timey is closer to its roots.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Stringsinger
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM

Bluegrass: Highly stylized performance music evolved from traditional string-band
sources but modified to exhibit technical proficiency on guitars, banjos, fiddles and bass.
Themes include contemporary songs ala country music (Nashville style) or religious themes.
Harmonies feature quartet or duo singing ala gospel groups.

Old Time: String-band dance music. The purpose originally to accompany dancing,
sets, squares etc.

Individual players I don't believe fall into the category. I would call them traditional folk singers such as Clarence Ashley, Doc Boggs, Buell Kazee, Roscoe Holcomb, Doc Watson, Jean Ritchie etc.

If you separate the old time string band from the dancers, it becomes kinda' repetitive.
The energy comes from accompanying dancers.

Stringsinger


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: topical tom
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 01:43 PM

I guess this has already been said but I like to put in my two cents worth anyway.
   To me, old time music is a descendant of primarily Celtic and English music of yore.It is much more basic, less intricate than the later bluegrass.The latter would appear to be inventive and varied both in lyrics and instrumentation.
   Having said all this, I love both styles.For old time some of my favourites are:
                The New Lost City Ramblers
                The Carolina Chocolate Drops
                Olabelle Reed

    Bluegrass: The Del Mccoury Band
                Flatt and Scruggs
                Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:06 PM

To give my 10 cents worth, I love both.
I can also distinguish between them but find it hard to describe to anyone else if they haven't been in touch with the music of America.
You will either know, or you won't.
They are both my favourite genres of music. They are great.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:30 PM

GUEST (Dick), looks like folks read the top of this old thread and missed your exciting news, so I've started a new thread for it on its own. Thanks for the hot tip!!

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Janie
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:26 PM

From the peanut gallery, I first became interested in Old-Time music in the late '60's when the West Virginia revival of the music began. At small festivals, private parties, and on front-porches we would gather nearly every Saturday night. The players played, and the rest of us danced. These weren't dances, they were music parties, but the dancing was part and parcel. We'd clog or flat-foot, and there was always a space left clear on the porch or in the living room with the rugs rolled back for the dancers. When the weather was fine and the yard was flat or the traffic in the street was light, we'd line up and do simple reels that most everyone knew, since we didn't use a caller. At the small festivals, (My personal favorite was BJ Hunter's Old-Time music festival, near Marlinton, WV - just 150 to 200 people in the early years, and like a family reunion of old-time music folks from throughout the state,) you could count on impromptu reels starting up in the evening, provided we weren't *ss deep in rain and mud:>)

In Morgantown, old-time and Irish music prevailed, and now that I think about, we did a lot more dancing up there. Down in Charleston, the gang was more diverse. Some leaned more toward old-time, some leaned more toward bluegrass/ but there was certainly no clear line drawn in the sand. I will say that we danced less at the parties in Charleston when bluegrass musicians were in the majority.

I participated in African Dance classes for several years after we moved to North Carolina. The dancers and the drummers are of a piece, make frequent eye-contact with one another, and riff off each other. Back when I was young and it was all informal and just 15 or 40 folks getting together on a Saturday night, it was similar with old time music and dance.

Janie


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 04:06 AM

from what I understand the fiddle bowing styles of old timey and bluegrass are quite different.
generally[there are probably examples, that are exceptions]old timey fiddle bowing uses a particular slurring pattern,whereas Bluegrass fiddle bowing,the fiddle slurring,has much more variety.,and and more vareied and different combinations of seperates and slurs.
old timey fiddlers would tend to bow eight quavers,slur 2, 2 seperate. slur 2 2 seperate,bluegrass fidlers appear to bow differently.
I apologise if I have oversimplified or generalised,as Iam sure someone can quote a minority of old timey fiddlers who dont bow like this.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:18 AM

Fascinating......nice to see it's not just the UK "what is folk" debate that can tie people in knots! Less vitriol than when the trad v contemporary crowds get started though!

To me (as a UK banjo player) the difference between Bluegrass and Old Timey is the banjo technique employed. Bluegrass is usually picked using "roll" patterns whereas, Old Time(y) is usually played either frailing or clawhammer style using down strokes rather than up picking....having said that some people do "up" frail (Pete Seeger included).

Love both genres anyway.

Paul


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:27 AM

I think you will find massive differences in banjo styles,too.
frailing,Two finger picking[[thumb lead double thumbing]and downpicking, up picking[seegers basic strum] are associated with old timey.
bluegrass tends to be based round scruggs style picking,involving backward ,forward rolls,three finger up picking.quite different.
of course there will be people whose styles crossover from one to the other.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 09:29 PM

Most people know the difference between bluegrass and old-timey, it's the explanations that they fight about.

The original bluegrassers modeled what they did after bebop--they wanted to be able to play modern jazz style solos that were more developed and individualized than the kind of breaks that you'd get in a Western Swing band, but very much an extension of them.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:23 PM

The original bluegrassers modeled what they did after bebop--they wanted to be able to play modern jazz style solos that were more developed and individualized than the kind of breaks that you'd get in a Western Swing band, but very much an extension of them.
    you must be joking,modern jazz style solos.
can you imagine thelonius monk and earl scruggs,chalk and cheese.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:54 PM

Old Crow Medicine Show are a brilliant young Old-Timey string band.

Just saying.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Janie
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 11:37 PM

Just in case somebody checks in here, wondering what old-timey string music is, here is a link to Roots and Branches website, featuring samples of (mostly) old-time music from many of my old pals in West Virginia.

Alice Gerrard, Gail Gillespie & Sharon Sandomirsky have recently put out a fine CD of old-time music, "The Road to Agate Hill" that is a sterling example, imho, of old time music, and is great example of what old time music is about - personal, neighborly, participatory.

Musically and scholarly, my humble opinion is exceedingly humble. I don't consider myself to be a musician. I am a folk. Reading through your posts is wonderfully educational. There is little interest here on Mudcat in old time music or bluegrass. I am always happy when either of these related genres get discussed and appreciate the information and insight I glean.

Thanks.

Janie


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 12:21 AM

" . . . you must be joking,modern jazz style solos . . ."

Captain -

Bluegrass was indeed strongly influenced by contemporary jazz, whether or not you personally hear the influence does not negate this fact.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Banjovey
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 12:26 AM

Come to Sweet Sunny South old time music festival, Hastings, Sussex and find out.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:07 AM

Bluegrass, emanated about late forties early fifties.[Hardly contemporary jazz]
Flatt and Scruggs described their music as folk music with an overdrive[circa 1965].
perhaps there are different styles within bluegrass,but BillMonroe,Flatt and Scruggs,were not in my opinion influenced by JAZZ.
Earl Scruggs may be more recently Showing JAZZ INFLUENCES.
All this might indicate that a music as boring as Bluegrass ,progresses,from three chord pyrotechnics,and changes over a period of fifty years,thank god for that.
I would still prefer to listen to Roscoe Holcomb,Frank Profitt,Clarence Ashley,than to BillMonroe,Flatt and Scruggs.To me that kind of Bluegrass,Lost all that was appealing about old timey music,replacing it with an obession with right hand technique[forward rolls, backward rolls, sideways rolls]at the expense of subtlety ,feeling,soul,.
musical mathematics,an obession with technique at the expense of soul.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:39 AM

There's something in what the Captain says but descriptions like 'boring' are pure subjectivity. Virtuosity is a much over-rated facet of music generally and right hand technique was what gave bluegrass its unique selling point, in modern jargon. Even so there's a lot of bluegrass that doesn't rely on speed for impact. Clawhammer and two finger playing lend themselves less to bravura technique but are still bluegrass. I like old timey too but feel no need to make a league table out of it.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:06 AM

yes I am being subjective,when Isay boring.
now I will try and say why its not very interesting,the continual use by lester flatt of his g run,really predictable.
the chord progressions used by Flatt and Scruggs in their tunes in randy lynn rag, flint hillspecial, etc are very similiar,the fact that many of the instrumentals are in the same key.
the fact they play in the same tunings,the fact that they play a lot of their tunes in the same tempo,rarely 6/8. its even worse than the wall to wall irish reel syndrome [irish reel players do play in different modes]
old timey banjo players have more variety in their sound, by using many unusual tunings,each tuning gives a different timbre.
Earl Scruggs was described in one of his books as the Paganini ,of the 5 string banjo.very apt.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM

Now you put it like that Captain I agree. Bluegrass is show music, straight forward for the band re tuning, etc, but relying on one man show pieces for the thrills, it's not experimental in any way. Given the origins of the banjo it's surprising it has lost so much of its soul. My own playing is best decribed as 'tries hard' but even I mix rolls, frailing, slide at modest tempos that would have bluegrass afficionados pulling hair out.
I can still see the pleasure in staccato overdrive, without wanting to play my Deering that way.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 09:58 AM

Bluegrass was commercial music, developed to give war/post-war audiences who wanted to see hot jazz soloing and hear tight vocal harmonies, really as much a business decision as a creative one, according to those who played it.

Jazz soloing was nothing new to Hillbilly music, Western Swing was, after all, swing--and Jimmy Rodgers recorded with jazz musicians and played blues--for that matter, the banjo itself was a jazz instrument, and the technique had evolved from 19th century rags--

I grew up in a Midwestern factory town, a lot of the folks had come from the South to work during WWII, and they brought their music with them. The old time Hillbilly musicians that I knew were much more sophisticated in their musical abilities than the folkies of the time who imitated them, and knew and played jazz/pop standards along with the old time stuff. Banjo pickers often played both tenor and 5-string--but tended to play guitar because banjo had gone out of fashion, and the "bluegrass revival" had not yet begun--

As to my preferences, I am listening to Grandpa Jones right now--make of that what you will--


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 10:34 AM

some of what you say is true,and while Jimmy rodgers used loius armstrong and Earl hines,and yodelled and used blues formats.
its not normally classified as JAZZ,in fact he is in the country music hall of fame.
I hear no modern jazz influence in the music ofLester Flatt EarlScruggs AND Bill monroe.
neither do I hear the influence of Ravi Shankar in the original Carter family,I do hear the influence of the blues,via Lesley Riddle.
Grandpa jones at least could entertain and while I prefer him marginally to Flatt and Scruggs.
they all pale into insignificance compared to Roscoe Holcomb Clarence Ashley ,Frank Profitt.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 10:51 AM

Nice clip here:
Roscoe Holcombe
From what I've seen of Holcombe previously he plays clawhammer and single left hand notes. Am I right in thinking that?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 11:37 AM

Long live eclecticism! The Boulder group I sometimes sit in with calls itself a Bluegrass Jam, but in a recent session you would have heard Soldier's Joy, followed by John Hardy, followed by Townes Van Zandt, followed by Whiskey Before Breakfast, followed by the Beatles. No one seemed to complain about any of it, because most of the participants are musical dilletanttes at heart. Beware Purism...that way lies anger and frustration!


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 11:51 AM

The "classifications" that you talk about are pretty artificial--and what stands out isn't necessarily the essence of what is there. I heard Bela Fleck explain and illustrate the be-bop elements in Earl Scruggs' banjo style twenty years or so ago, and given that he's built a fairly impressive career on it...well..

Grandpa Jones was probably one of the more widely listened to banjo pickers, owing to his recording career, and a great musician, as well--and, that aside, I am listening because of Merle. Your banjo guys are great, no doubt about it, and a lot more generally interesting to me--they are traditional players, after all--I listen old Uncle Dave more than all the BG guys put together, again, a matter of taste--


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 11:59 AM

Captain –

Bluegrass came together in the forties and fifties, "contemporary jazz" in this context would have been the jazz of those decades. Jazz was one of the many commercial and folk influences that worked upon bluegrass in those formative decades. Western Swing already had brought the jazz idiom into white country music, Monroe and others merely built upon this.

This really isn't a controversial point. Robert Cantwell, Bill Malone and other writers have noted this influence.

So you don't like bluegrass much. Neither do I, truth be told. But that's not really the point, is it?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM

with respect I hear no influence of modern jazz in the music of Flatt and Scruggs and Monroe.
I hear the influence of jazz in western swing.
lester flatt did not use jazz chords.nor do I hear much improvisation in Scruggs playing.so we will have to beg to differ.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 12:52 PM

This really isn't a controversial point. Robert Cantwell, Bill Malone and other writers have noted this influence.

So you don't like bluegrass much. Neither do I, truth be told. But that's not really the point, is it?
I dont care which writers noted this influence. I use and trust my own ears.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: deleuran
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 01:25 PM

I am a newcomer here in the mudcat cafe, and very new in this thread, and I haven't read half of it, but as a member of something as unusual as a danish old-time band, I feel like posting some of my favorite OT bands:

Foghorn Stringband
The Freighthoppers.
The Gilded Bats
The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
Boiled Buzzards
The Improbabillies
And lots more. You can find OT bands as far away as Japan.
And if I may take the liberty to mention our own little band you can hear us on MySpace on this adress:
http://www.myspace.com/hungryjoe


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:29 PM

Iwill listen.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:37 PM

Sounds great--"interesting" video, too!


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Fortunato
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 09:41 AM

deluran

great to hear there are old time bands in Denmark, how lively is the scene there?

Are there festivals, venues?
best
chance


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 10:02 AM

I couldnt find you on myspace,can someone put in a link.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Janie
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 10:12 AM

http://www.myspace.com/hungryjoe

Link to deleuran's band on Myspace.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 10:31 AM

Try this: Big Hungry Joe at MySpace

I had trouble with the link initially, but changed browsers(to Safari), and it worked fine.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM

Did most old-time music originate as fiddle tunes? Invariably, at sessions I attend, fiddle players will be the first ones to call for an old-time song.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM

The story as I heard it is that "old time music" was a category invented by the record companies in the 20s.

They discovered a target market and needed a general label to put on a new bin in the record stores. There were already bins for "opera," "classical," "tin-pan alley," etc.

The music was aimed at rural southererns, former rural southerners, and rural southern wannabes.

The epicenter of the "big bang" would be Ralph Peer's Bristol Session.

If you listen to the old 78s they are remarkably diverse. About all they have in common is the label "old time."

Russ (Permanent GUEST and old time musician)


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 12:19 PM

If the preceding sounds familiar think "World Music."

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,john f weldon
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 12:37 PM

I prefer defining musical categories broadly; the hair-splitting can make you squirm. I have an old folkways collection of "OTM" that includes both Jesse Fuller and Doc Watson.

I think of it as "music that sounds like it's always been around."

In those old Biblical movies they always have pretty heavy orchestral music on the sound track, but I suspect if you travelled back in time, you'd find they were listening to "Old Joe Clark."


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 12:56 PM

Or 'Cotton-Eyed Joe'!


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: deleuran
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM

"great to hear there are old time bands in Denmark, how lively is the scene there?
Are there festivals, venues?"


The scene is very limited. We are only few bands playing that kind of music. There are about 2000 people in square dance clubs, but the number of bands who actually play that kind of music is rather small. You can find a couple of bands among our top friends in the MySpace profile mentioned above.
Possum Whackers and The Barking Bulldogs and Big Hungry Joe

Once a year, the Danish Folkmusic Society, DAFF
have a gathering in september. A weekend with dancers and musicians from all over the country gather to play, dance, jam, drink beer and have a good time.
There's is a folk music festival in Tönder, with many kinds of folkmusic. Danish, irish, scottish, scandinavian and american folk music. And once a year a bluegrass festival in Fredericia. That's about it.

"Did most old-time music originate as fiddle tunes? Invariably, at sessions I attend, fiddle players will be the first ones to call for an old-time song."

My own entrance to Old-time music, started in the early sixties, when the american folk revival hit Denmark. Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete and Mike Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, inspired me to check out, the older stuff. And as mainly a guitarist and singer, became very interested in folks like Doc Watson, Clarence White, and many, many more.
Later I began to listen to bluegrass, and I admit, I am a sucker for the virtous players, like Doc, Tony Rice, Norman Blake.
And I found through the years, that a lot of the same songs and tunes could be found in both genres.
And now yet more years later, when I started playing in the band Big Hungry Joe, I find the same songs and tunes again, and learn, that it is called Old-time music.
But the basis is the same (New tunes are written off course, which only goes to show, that it is not museum music, but folk music very much alive).
If you go back and investigate the music gathered in the early and mid 60's by Folkway Smithsonian among others, you'll find, that Old-time music, found in the Appalachians, Kentucky, north Carolina, Virginia and surrounding areas, are a lot of different things.
It is a cappella songs, songs with solo banjo (mostly clawhammer or frailing), fiddle, guitar, mountain dulcimer, harmonica ("The poor man's fiddle") autoharp, bones,
jews harp.
So Old time music is a lot of other things, than just the fiddle/banjo/yeehaw/saturday night barn dance thing.
But with that said, a very central thing in OT is the fiddle and the banjo, as it is music made for dance. The pattern in the instrumentals is almost always the same: An A-part repeated two times, and a B-part repeated two times, and over again as many times as it takes to do the dance.
I think, that the "meditative" aspect mentioned above is very adequate.

But in the beginning was the song, and later the instruments came. The immigrants from mostly the british isles, came to these parts of America. As in Denmark, where I live, the fiddle was the main instrument, when there were dances out in the countryside.
Not everybody could play the fiddle, so what to do if you wanted music?
Songs! Songs were everywhere. Everybody could sing a song (this was before television and radio), and the lyrics often contained a story, that came from real life, and thus carried stories and folktales on to the next generations. This has been general for folk music everywhere I guess.

In the case of OT music, the fiddle came wih the immigrants from Europe, and in America it got into a happy marriage with the banjo that came with the black slaves from the south.
So, as someone mentioned above, it is a strong mix, between the folksongs and tunes
from europe, some of which goes back a couple of hundred years, and the influence from the black music, and the blues. And the fiddle and the banjo, is almost a lable on this kind of music.
If you try to chase some of the jug bands, and black stringbands from the 20's and 30's you will find that there's a thin line between the white bands and the black bands, they both took elements from each other. And inspired each other. So in music, so much for segregation :-)

If you have read so far, I thank you for your patience, and hope it makes some sense.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Fortunato
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:51 PM

thanks deleuran for the info, perhaps we can make it over some day.
we had loads of fun with the FOAOTMAD folks this year, and I'm sure it would be grand to be amongst Danes who do this music you have so accurately described as an amalgum of heritages and styles that Susette and I call Old Time Country Music.

I would add to your statement above that 'popular' songs from the 1800's, composed songs, have also found their way into the amalgum, Lorena being one notable example. Are you from Dixie is another.

all the best
chance


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: open mike
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 12:08 AM

so, old timey musicians sit down and their audiences stand up and dance?
and blue grass bands stand up and their audiences sit down?

In fiddle contests, most of the tunes will be "old-timey" music,
in fact the names of the organzations that produce the contests
often have the word old time in their name,such as,
California State Old Time Fiddlers Association.

I think of old time being mainly instrumental,
and blue grass has vocals.

they both are great!

Laurel


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: deleuran
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 04:55 AM

To Fortunato, I would like to add Stephen Foster as an example of a composer who's songs has gone into the Old-time repetoire. Such as "Oh, Susanna" and "Hard Times".

And to Laurel, your statement: so, old timey musicians sit down and their audiences stand up and dance? and blue grass bands stand up and their audiences sit down?
It is both true and at the same time, an oversimplification, that doesn't say anything about the music.

And: I think of old time being mainly instrumental, and blue grass has vocals.
Again an oversimplification. As I have tried to say in my comment above (two up) There are a lot of songs in OT music. And many of them has become part of the, so to speak, standard repetoire of bluegrass, so there's a lot of connections between the two styles.
The main differences is in the way the treat the instruments. In OT the fiddle is mostly tuned in different kinds of tunings, that allow the player to use an open string for droning.
Bluegrass uses mostly standardtunings. And the banjo is a big difference. In OT the style is clawhammer, and this instrument also have different tunings for different keys.
In bluegrass, it is allways three finger picking, as invented by Earl Scruggs. Scruggs style.
Almost every bluegrass banjo player play this style.
And a third difference. In bluegrass they take turns playing solos, just like in jazz music.
In OT there are no individual solos, it is more a collective thing, like in the early jazz music. And with this I don't say it SOUNDS like jazz. I only talk about the way the music is arranged.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: TinDor
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 02:24 PM

To me Old timey music and Bluegrass are pretty much the same but Bluegrass has more virtuoso playing in the instruments



Captain Birdseye wrote:

"you must be joking,modern jazz style solos.
can you imagine thelonius monk and earl scruggs,chalk and cheese"


The Jazz in Bluegrass was Bebopish Jazz (modern for that time period) while Western Swing had Swing Jazz. Something interesting...

    BIll Monroes own personal thoughts on what Bluegrass was:

            
"It's got a hard drive to it. It's Scotch bagpipes and old-time fiddlin'. It's Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz and it has a high lonesome sound. It's plain music that tells a story. It's played from my heart to your heart, and it will touch you." - Bill Monroe


Kentucky's State Bluegrass Song: "Blue Moon of Kentucky"

Probably the best technical but easy description of Bluegrass...

      "Monroe is most famous for creating bluegrass music (although it was not labeled as such until many years later). Despite the notion that bluegrass is a traditional style, Monroe mixed elements of old-time string bands with the blues, rural spiritual singing, and jazz solos. He abandoned the breakdowns and "hootin' and hollerin'" that characterized rural string band music for carefully rehearsed numbers that incorporated virtuoso solos by each player. Monroe also pushed the mandolin to the foreground where the fiddle usually dominated country string-bands.

Bill Monroe: Creating a Tradition


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 04:24 PM

To me Old timey music and Bluegrass are pretty much the same but Bluegrass has more virtuoso playing in the instruments.[quote]
1.there is aconsiderable difference in fiddle styles.
2.there is aconsiderable difference in banjo styles.
Bill monroes, thoughts dont interest me,my ears tell me what it think,I dont need Bill monroes spin.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 06:49 PM

while I pretty much agree with deleuran.
a few little points.
1.three finger style was first recorded and used by by Charlie Poole[Who by no stertch of the imagination was a bluegrass player].however you are absiolutely right that Bluegrass banjoists invariably use three fingerstyle,the only one who seems comfortable in more than one style, that I can think of is Ralph Stanley
2,old time fiddlers often use a system of bowing[pair and two seperate for four quavers]This is untypical for bluegrass.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: TinDor
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 12:00 PM

Captain Birdseye:


1.there is aconsiderable difference in fiddle styles.
2.there is aconsiderable difference in banjo styles.


I agree that the playing techniques are different, Im just saying that the musical sounds are the based on the same things.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 12:15 PM

Anyone who can't see much difference between Bluegrass and Old Time as they are usually played doesn't seem to have listened very closely to either.
Ray


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 12:24 PM

Bill Monroe, who pretty much invented Bluegrass, admitted to a jazz influence on his music. What more do you need, Captain?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 01:18 PM

Basically it is rural string band dance music though some singing ballads might come under that heading.

Bluegrass is essentially an extension of early string-band music. However, it's not necessarily meant to be danced to.

As to jazz influence, it's hard to escape it in American music. Monroe played patterns that resembled jump blues but would certainly have eschewed be-bop as Grissman has not.

It's best to look at the connectivity in folk music rather than the divisions to really understand it.

Franik


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: TinDor
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:02 AM

How would one classify this? Old Time? Jug Band? Blues/Jazz?


Blind James Campbell String Band "John Henry"


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:30 AM

If you listen to the music of the 1920s (for example), there's considerable crossover between: string bands of the time, jug bands, popular songs, country songs, vaudeville songs and early jazz. In one sense or another, it's all "old-time music" - it's all very much in the feel and the interpretation. What's also interesting is the crossover between black and white performances and performers. There are some fascinating compilations on some of the Roots label issues in the late 60s and early 70s - and I must now go and dig out some examples - songs like "Lindy", "Dallas Rag", etc.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for the Blind James Campbell String Band link. Great clip. Definitely old-time. Love the tuba.


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