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'Learned from the singing of...' ?

red max 02 Mar 05 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 02 Mar 05 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Russ 02 Mar 05 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Wolfgang 02 Mar 05 - 09:11 AM
Leadfingers 02 Mar 05 - 09:16 AM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Mar 05 - 09:24 AM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Mar 05 - 09:28 AM
Dani 02 Mar 05 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 02 Mar 05 - 09:49 AM
GUEST 02 Mar 05 - 11:11 AM
wysiwyg 02 Mar 05 - 11:36 AM
radriano 02 Mar 05 - 11:42 AM
Steve Parkes 02 Mar 05 - 11:56 AM
wysiwyg 02 Mar 05 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 02 Mar 05 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Russ 02 Mar 05 - 01:01 PM
radriano 02 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 02 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM
Marje 02 Mar 05 - 01:41 PM
Dani 02 Mar 05 - 02:38 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Mar 05 - 02:58 PM
wysiwyg 02 Mar 05 - 03:51 PM
radriano 02 Mar 05 - 04:14 PM
PoppaGator 02 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 05 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,WYSIWYG off on a Lark 02 Mar 05 - 04:53 PM
PoppaGator 02 Mar 05 - 05:02 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 05 - 05:10 PM
PoppaGator 02 Mar 05 - 06:30 PM
Dave Swan 02 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM
Joe Offer 02 Mar 05 - 09:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Mar 05 - 09:44 PM
wysiwyg 02 Mar 05 - 10:11 PM
LuteMonkey 02 Mar 05 - 11:48 PM
red max 03 Mar 05 - 04:25 AM
Snuffy 03 Mar 05 - 09:57 AM
Dani 03 Mar 05 - 10:43 AM
Liz the Squeak 03 Mar 05 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,t 03 Mar 05 - 06:08 PM
wysiwyg 03 Mar 05 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 03 Mar 05 - 06:20 PM
Chris Green 03 Mar 05 - 06:36 PM
PoppaGator 03 Mar 05 - 07:49 PM
Dani 03 Mar 05 - 08:17 PM
wysiwyg 07 Mar 05 - 06:44 AM
Flash Company 07 Mar 05 - 07:17 AM
kendall 07 Mar 05 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Russ 07 Mar 05 - 12:09 PM
PoppaGator 07 Mar 05 - 07:54 PM
Dave Earl 08 Mar 05 - 05:01 AM
Ferrara 08 Mar 05 - 11:19 AM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Mar 05 - 11:40 AM
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Subject: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: red max
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 08:43 AM

This is a phrase you often hear in connection with the oral tradition, but I just wondered, does it still apply when you learned it from a RECORDING of the singing of whoever?

Some would say that's splitting hairs, but others would say it's a little presumptious to say you learned something from a singer you've never met

Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:03 AM

As long as you don't try to make out that you were the bosom pal of say Sam Larner, I think it's OK. Wherever you learn the song from, that leaves its imprint on your singing- so, say, getting My Lagan Love from a record of Eliza Carthy (has she done it?) would probably result in a quite different interpretation from getting it from a record of Margaret Barry.

In any case, you'll add your own bit.... won't you?


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:11 AM

I prefer to specify whether I learned from a person or a recording. Purely a personal preference.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:11 AM

I do appreciate if the notes to the songs on recordings respect that difference.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:16 AM

In my opinion , the source of ones material is quite important , and
should be part of any rendition of a song (or tune) , wether it be a
composed piece , or a song from the tradition . If a song was 'collected' from a book or from a record , rather than from actually hearing the song from a source singer doesnt really matter as
far as I am concerned .


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:24 AM

As a general matter, I don't think it's too big a problem.

If I say I learned a song from Burl Ives, I think the natural assumption will be that it's from his recorded singing. ANd if I knew Burl Ives and learned it personally from him, believe me, I'm going to say so!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:28 AM

Another thought:

I think there's a clear difference in implication between "learned from" and "learned from the singing of". Sure, it's not absolute, because you can learn from the singing of Joe Blow, whom you know and hear on Saturday nights, but he took you aside after the session and sang it for you privately, but that's nit-picking. "Learned from the singing of", to me, clearly implies a more remote relationship than "learned from".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Dani
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:29 AM

I'm learning two songs from our Big Mick's Conklin Ceili Band's CD (wonderful, fabulous stuff by the way). The one I fell in love with when I heard him sing it at the Getaway, the other is on the CD, he recieved it from Dan Milner, and I'm on my way to find out more about it.

It's unlikely anyone would want to record anything I do, but in sharing the songs with others, I would definitely say I learned these songs 'from' Mick, and would explain to anyone who cares where HE got 'em.

Dani


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:49 AM

I believe that many folkies began saying where they learned songs in order to share the glory of field collectors who are required to name their traditional sources, partly as a guarantee of authenticity.

Hardly anyone says, "I learned this from a record." Too boring. But "from the (heh-heh) singing of Jeannie Robertson" - WOW!

A "sense of tradition" is far more to the front in "folk" music than in other genres. Without it, many songs lose their interest. So expect some people to fudge.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 11:11 AM

Since my goal-- as a songleader more than an interpretive performer-- is to let folks know how to go back to the sources I learned from, and hear them for themselves, I try to include what will help with that. The wording of the "learned from" citation depends on how much my version is like the one I heard.

I do use it to highlight that the material is rare, vintage, field-collected. Not to ride on Lomax glory but to shine a light back to the people whose songs he collected. To personalize the song's context.

Don't worry about letting people know you learned from a recording. Doc Watson's happy to say he did!!!!!!!!! (And aren't we all glad he did.) Minimize it if you wish by shifting the emphasis to a short and colorful description of the artist. ("Learned from the singing of xxx, a wonderful xxx from xxx in the [decade] who had a great interest in xxxx.....")

~Susan


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 11:36 AM

Oops, sorry that was me as Guest.

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: radriano
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 11:42 AM

I'd agree with Dave on this.

If you say, "I learned this song from David Jones" it implies you learned it from the man himself.

If you say, "I learned this song from the singing of David Jones" it implies that you heard him singing the song, either on a recording or in concert.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 11:56 AM

There aren't many people I learned songs from personally, and I always say "I had this song from ..." Only Sean Cannon rates as a celeb out of this modest number anyway; and he wasn't a Dubliner at the time.

But I occasionally point out when there are youngster about that the traditional, old-fashionedand well-respected ways of learning a song when I was a lad was from a book or a record -- we had none of this namby-pamby internet stuff then, we had to work hard for our songs!

Steve


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 12:17 PM

And don't forget, using this form of attribution lets people know the song was learned BY EAR thank you very much, and arranged for oneself, most likely-- without need for dots! I think we have to raise up the image of folkies as real professionals, even though we learn differently (better!!!)!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 12:35 PM


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 01:01 PM

I often use the expression "this comes from" when I don't want to imply that I learned it directly from that person.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: radriano
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM

Look, there's nothing wrong with "dots" or books. The crucial thing is putting back into the tune or song the elements of style that aren't or can't be written down. The internet is also just a tool - you certainly have to sift out the wheat from the chaff. I say use every resource available. Learning by ear is great and maybe even preferable but what if there's nobody in your area you can learn from?


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM

It's an in joke at my club to say "collected" if you learned it from an old boy in your local, and "researched" if you nicked it from someone's recording. As none of us know any famous singers personally, we don't get to worry about the fine distinction above.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Marje
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 01:41 PM

Radriano, I agree - I often acquire songs and tunes by hearing them performed somewhere and then going off to find the tune/words in a printed form so that I can learn them. You're unlikely to learn a whole song at one hearing, so unless you're in the habit of recording every club, concert etc you attend, this is often the only way to get it all.
I don't think it would be very helpful to describe this process routinely by way of introducing a song - it would be pretty boring and meaningless. And unless there's something very distinctive about a particular version and I'm trying to imitate that, I wouldn't normally say whose version I was most influenced by. Generally, I like to try to make the song my own and get away from the version I first heard. Sometimes, in fact, you need to do that explicitly: "This song is best known in X's recording, but it's a good song nonetheless, so here's my version!"


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Dani
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 02:38 PM

An analogy that occurred to me is cooking.

I learned how to make roast chicken (and many other things) from Laurie Colwin. Well, I didn't cook in her kitchen, but she wrote columns and published recipes so that a) more people would learn how to cook well (and easily), and b) she could make some money teaching us.

Have people made it before her? Sure. But she presented it in a way that caught my imagination and made me want to learn from her, enjoy it, and share it with others. So, I tell people I learned from Laurie Colwin, and lead them to her writing.

Dani


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 02:58 PM

If people ask, I tell them if I nicked it off a record or from the author. As most of the songs I do are either trad or written by people I know, this doesn't pose a problem.

I did have one person argue with me that I'd credited a song wrongly... we got into a full on, stand-up, finger wagging 'I'm going to sodding deck you' fight because the person wouldn't believe that it was a Les Barker poem that wasn't funny or a parody. (I did indeed write a tune to 'The Ship Hotel' and asked him if he'd mind me singing it, which he didn't... he might if he ever hears the tune!)

LTS


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 03:51 PM

Cripes, I didn't say you'd explain it all in an intro, just that maybe IF you learned a piece in your set list by ear, you might be PROUD to say you learned it from someone's singing, and then say who the heck that person WAS as an artist.

And of course dots can be very useful if you haven't a recording, but is this not a good thing, to let people know you are part of an oral tradition???!???

Sheeshe! :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: radriano
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 04:14 PM

It's really quite easy to misinterpret what another person is saying, isn't it, Susan? By the way, what does ???!??? mean?


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM

I believe that "???!???" means "@$%&*^()."


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 04:28 PM

I think it means more along the lines of "Huh? Huh? Dontcha think so? Huh?"


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,WYSIWYG off on a Lark
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 04:53 PM

LOL, all of the above?

It means I am having a rather sh*tty week and I seem to have taken it out on some nice people! :~)

Offtopic, I was thinking yesterday, Teejus would make a GREAT blues name. "Shingles" Teejus Spunk.

For the more formally trained musicians, that would be "Oh, TEEEEE-dee-ussss.......!

WTF anyhow! :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 05:02 PM

I never thought it was that much of a problem that I might imply a personal relationship with some artist whom I know only from his/her recordings.

My usual practice (when mentioning an attribution at all) has been to say something like "This is a Dylan song, in case you didn't know," or "I learned this from a Tom Rush album; the liner notes say that he picked it up from Cisco Houston," etc. So, I think I have usually been clear enough about this sort of thing.

However, now that I've read the above messages, I've become confused about how to deal with this problem in the future, since some of my repertoire has come to me via very complicated paths.

For example, consider "Lakes of Pontchartain":

I gradually became aware of this song after hearing several renditions by a number of performers, some of whose names I never learned.

When seeing it played on the guitar, I took note of several different arrangements, not all of which appealed to me nearly as strongly as one particular open-tuning approach.

Next, I searched the internet for tabs and lyrics. When I found the tabs for Paul Brady's version, I knew it was the way I wanted to play the song and proceeded to work it up ~ without ever having heard Brady's recording(s), let along having actually met the fellow and "learned" his arrangement from him personally.

(I have since heard Brady sing about one verse on a video; still haven't heard his rendition of the entire piece.)

I've gotten the guitar part down pretty well by now, but won't be singing it in public until my throat heals more thoroughly from last year's cancer and radiation ordeal. (There are songs I can sing now, in a number of different styles, but sweet-sounding ballads that require a substantial vocal range are still a bit out of my reach.) When I do start singing it, I may very well use a different set of lyrics than Paul Brady did, but the guitar part will have come straight from him (although I'm sure I won't be capo-ing all the way up at the fifth fret like him).

So, how am I supposed to introduce this song when I debut it? It's probably be best not to even try describing how I learned it; I'll just say "This is the only song I know in the Irish traditional repertoire that is set here in South Louisiana."


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 05:10 PM

Try "I've adapted this from xxxx." Or "This is a song a lot of people have done over the years, a lot of different ways. Here's my version."

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 06:30 PM

Thanks, Susan.

It was really just a rhetorical question, of course. As you have probably noticed by now, I just like the "sound" of my own voice and will go on at length about almost anything (at least when whatever I have to say might be even remotely interesting to anyone).

By the way, where's your cookie?


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Dave Swan
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM

We opened for the Coppers in 2000 and I had the chance to say this about the issue of "learned from"

It's pretty common to say that a song was learned from the singing of (fill in the blank), meaning I took this song off his record. When a Copper says I learned this from the singing of someone, that someone was named Copper too, and the song learned at his knee.

I still love that image.

D


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:36 PM

I do hear people solemnly say something like "I learned this from Barry Manilow," as if he learned the song at Barry's feet. It's a real letdown when I find out the song was learned from the radio. I think honesty is best - even a slight deception will make you end up with egg on your face. And then if you really do learn something direct from a legendary singer, nobody cares.
I have a friend who has sung with some legendary people, and she can rightly claim that she "learned this from Hazel Dickens," which is really cool. Trouble is, she says the same about songs she learned from records. So, it's hard to tell what's cool and what's not.
There's one song Big Mick sings, that he says he learned from Ed Trickett. That one is certifiably cool, because I was there when Ed taught it to Mick. Unfortunately, I didn't learn it.

Hey, I could say I learned "The Key of R" from Bill Day - except that I can't remember the tune he uses, so I had to make one up and use the lyrics in the Digital Tradition.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:44 PM

Exactly so. Why not just be honest instead of mealy-mouthed? If you learned a song from a record, or from a book, why not just say so? It's nothing to be ashamed of. "From the singing of" implies (by omission) a closer connection with the source than is truly the case. It's clearly calculated to create a false impression, whatever little excuses people may make to themselves for what is, essentially, deliberate misrepresentation.

I feel sure that there has been a previous discussion of the same question, but at the moment I don't seem able to find it.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 10:11 PM

PG, I was at the church office and didn't take the time to cookie up, (and (then crumble the cookie) is all.

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: LuteMonkey
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 11:48 PM

Recordings are a legit means of oral tradition. They are an essential part of our lives. We can't imagine a world without them. When I get the opportunity to learn something live, I end up writing in down, or if handy, record it on a tape recorder. We don't live in a oral society. If we did, I would not be typing on this laptop.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: red max
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 04:25 AM

Thanks for the responses. I reckon Uncle Dave summed it up very neatly:

'I think there's a clear difference in implication between "learned from" and "learned from the singing of"..."Learned from the singing of", to me, clearly implies a more remote relationship than "learned from".'

So whether you were sitting in the back row of a folk club or listening to a record, you have actually heard their rendition. Stressing it's "from THE SINGING of" doesn't seem to me to imply you were actually acquainted with them

Another phrase I've heard, and it's mentioned above, is "I had this from...", but that somehow stirs an awful echo of Julian and Sandy, "ooh, you had it from him, did you?"


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Snuffy
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 09:57 AM

There's a few songs I can truly say that I learned from the singing of .... me.

I found them in a book, or on the net. Worked out the tune, then sang it into my minidisk using a printout of the words. Then burned it onto a CD with other songs I wanted to learn.

Then I learned the words of the song from listening to the CD of me singing it. There's at least two of them I've never heard by anyone else, live or recorded.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Dani
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 10:43 AM

Maybe it would work (at least in my case) to say, "I learned this song because of _____" When my singing and style are so much different from the folks I learn from.

Dani


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 11:05 AM

It entirely depends on whether you say oral or aural.... both equally valid methods of learning, and if anyone challenges you, you can say 'I was saying ....., you misunderstood me!'.

Oral means someone sang it to you, aural means you listened to it.... you don't have to divulge HOW it was transmitted to you!!!

I believe Leadfingers has started many a set with 'here's one I stole from......'!

LTS


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,t
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 06:08 PM


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 06:15 PM

"Learned from the singing of..." at least beats "I scraped this off the floor after xxx left all his/her energy there one night at a club." :~)

Or maybe that would actually be BETTER?! :~) I'll pilot it at church and report back!

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 06:20 PM

I'm blessed with a near photo/phonographic memory for songs (don't ask me where the car keys are...), generally try to avoid lifting things off recordings and do quite a lot of research. And I've learned many songs from other singers, family and even the occasional old boy in a pub. It's no big thing, it's not prestigious - it's just the way it works for me and I've been doing it for a lot of years. So it really, really pisses me off when I do a song in a club and some pillock attempts to give me a complete discography of where he thinks I got it from...
That's my Mr Grumpy bit over for the day. Thank you for your indulgence.
KYBTTS


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Chris Green
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 06:36 PM

"Learned from the singing of a Mudcat Midi" is often the case for me!


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 07:49 PM

After reading the first day's worth of posts on this thread, and also later, after posting my own rather lengthy musings, I realized that the reason I found the subject so interesting is that I never really gave it any consideration before, and have very rarely had any reason to fret about how I might attribute a song.

Most of my solo-performance career was as a streetsinger, and I found it most effective to avoid patter and just keep pumping out music with as little "dead air" as possible. Sure, I would respond whenever people spoke to me first, but questions posed on the streetcorner rarely concerned the provenance of a particular version of a song.

In more recent years, I've done some singing with bands, doing backup vocals, duets, and occasional solos, but never took the role of full-time "frontman," so I still haven't had much occasion to deliver an introductory lecture for each number.

The biggest factor, though, is my complete innocence of involvement in the kind of folk-club environment where the audience is interested in this kind of semi-scholarly discourse, one where there would ever be any question of whether a performer was claiming more intimate knowledge of some forebearer than he/she should. The audiences I have encountered are generally unconcerned about anything except whether the music sounds good, makes them tap their feet, makes them want to dance, or want to laugh or cry, etc.

I'm not saying that one situation is better or worse than the other; I simply find it intriguing to imagine performing within a more musicologically-aware community, which seems to be the norm for many of you.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Dani
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 08:17 PM

Well, duellingbouzoukis and poppagator, you've hit the nail on the head for me. Sometimes, by the time I have learned a song (sometimes from midi, sometimes from memory) it would bear little resemblence to the version I was first inspired by, and then I live in fear of singing it in front of someone who really DOES care how or why it's sung, and that mine'll be all wrong.

Silly, isn't it? I'm not usually an insecure person, but there it is.

Dani


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 06:44 AM

CLICK HERE and search on these search terms:

learn

(talking)

... to hear (MP3) how others learned their stuff.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Flash Company
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 07:17 AM

As a non music reading singer, I suppose everything I sang was 'learned from the singing' of someone or other. Problem often used to be remembering who!
Don't sing it like a carbon copy of the other guy used to be my creed, but get the words right, I had a pal who would sing anything that fit, used to sing about Sam Hall 'Oh they took me up Boot Hill in a cart', drove me mad! He even taught it to other people.

FC


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: kendall
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 07:57 AM

I don't usually say where I got a song, because I don't assume that it's important. However, if someone asks,then it IS important, so, of course I'll tell all I know, and more.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 12:09 PM

How about looking at it this way?

When you give your source as a person or group, you are paying a small tribute and acknowledging your place in a string of transmission. You are repaying a debt of gratitude, as it were. You want your audience to hear that person's name to keep the memory alive. If they like what they hear maybe they'll ask you where they can get more.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 07:54 PM

Right on, Russ. Mentioning the name of someone who sang the song before you did is a tribute to that person, and may be some listener's first time hearing of that person.

Turning your audience on to your role models, or mentors, or whatever ~ to artists you admire enough to emulate ~ is a good thing, regardless of whether you ever met in person.

I think that's much more important than quibbling about whether a singer might be "misleading" someone about the closeness of his/hers relationship (if any) with the person being cited.


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 05:01 AM

I don't know how this is going to fit in with other peoples thoughts but one of the songs I sing ahs been recorded both by the writer and a friend of mine.

I learned the song from my friends cd but subsequently spoke to the writer who was quite happy for me to sing the song.

So I know announce the song saying it was written by X and has recently been recorded by Y on his cd.

Seem to me that I have "credited" the appropriate people and been honest abot how I came to be sing the song.

If you want to know the more about the song, singer, writer a PM is probably better than in public on this forum.

Dave


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Ferrara
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 11:19 AM

Breton Cap, that sounds perfect to me. You supplied information about the origins of the song in a perfectly straightforward way.

There are three reasons this comes up. Sometimes, as you just did, people want to be sure they credit another performer or songwriter. Sometimes , especially with a version of a trad song, the audience is interested in its history & origins. That's one place where I think it can be appropriate to say "I learned this from the singing of ...." but also to give the area where the song came from if possible. And the third situation is where people want to find someplace they can go to learn the song. Something like, "Bob Roberts sang this, it's in the Voices of the People collection." Or "Ian and Sylvia sang this, it's on their ... album."


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Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 11:40 AM

Someone brilliant once defined a folksinger as one who would spend five minutes introducing a song, and two and a half minutes singing it.

Well, under some circumstances that's okay, I guess. A singer who's a good storyteller can be every bit as entertaining with his introduction as with the song. And it gives a change of pace, and pads out the set so that the singer doesn't have to be singing every moment.

(Have patience, I'll get to the point of the thread eventually.)

I seldom if ever just jump into a song, especially with a general, non-folky audience. The songs I sing are usually story songs, and I want the full attention of the audience to the words. I find that an appropriate introduction gets them thinking in the right direction for the story, and I can (subtly or explicitly) define what might be a strange word or custom referred to in the song, without which the story would lose force or credibility.

I can, and sometimes find it appropriate, to work into that introduction where I learned the song, or who wrote it, but I cannot imagine the introduction (at least to a general audience) being nothing much more than, "Here's a song by Utah Phillips." I hear other singers doing that sort of thing, but it seems not much if any better than no introduction at all.

Dave Oesterreich


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