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Instr. Medleys: How to?

Sorcha 31 Jul 06 - 10:55 PM
Vixen 31 Jul 06 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Ian Pittaway 31 Jul 06 - 04:39 PM
Tootler 31 Jul 06 - 04:34 PM
Geoff the Duck 31 Jul 06 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Ian Pittaway 31 Jul 06 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 31 Jul 06 - 03:43 PM
Leadfingers 31 Jul 06 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Jul 06 - 03:23 PM
Sorcha 31 Jul 06 - 03:00 PM
Lester 31 Jul 06 - 01:59 PM
katlaughing 31 Jul 06 - 01:58 PM
Sorcha 31 Jul 06 - 01:05 PM
Lester 31 Jul 06 - 12:59 PM
Sorcha 31 Jul 06 - 12:49 PM
Scrump 31 Jul 06 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Ian Pittaway 31 Jul 06 - 11:48 AM
Geoff the Duck 31 Jul 06 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Jul 06 - 11:14 AM
Vixen 31 Jul 06 - 10:02 AM
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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 10:55 PM

True, Ian, but I never play for dances....just listeners, so I apologize.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Vixen
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 07:36 PM

Wow! I *knew* this was the place to ask the question!

First, thank you to all with advice!
Second, I'm playing both for listening audiences and dancing audiences, so I'm clearly going to need to keep my audience in mind.
Third, I'm learning the material by ear while having the dots in front of me. I can't read at the tempo I can listen at.
Fourth, I'm playing whistle, so I'm the one whose keys/ranges are limited.
Finally, I'm playing rhythm guitar while learning the tunes, and then switching to whistle when I "get" the melodies.

Kat's "one tune reminded me of another, that one reminded me of another, etc" is where my urge to make medleys comes from. Sorcha's "2nd tune starts on last note of 1st" is very helpful, as is Scrump's "If the 2nd tune (B) starts on the 4th note, but the first (A) finishes on the 4th, you could drop the 1st note of B so you can continue with B from the start of the next bar. Alternatively you could possibly drop the 4th note of the last bar of A instead," and Leeneia's modulation suggestion of "You play some extra chords between the pieces, either block chords or arpeggios ending with (memorize this phrase)the five-seven chord of the new piece".

Thank you for all these ideas I can play around with!!!

As for Mr. Kirkpatrick, I can sympathize with his dislike of gratuitous medlification, and I have experienced "the hypnotic or trance-like state" induced by "exploring a dance tune played over and over again". I found the article interesting!

Thanks again for all the good input! Mudcats are THE BEST!

V


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: GUEST,Ian Pittaway
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 04:39 PM

Back to the topic and Vixen's question. You don't say if you're playing by ear or learning tunes from a book (or both). If from a book, and the book has the tunes organised by type - jigs, strathspeys, single jigs, slip jigs, etc. - and there's, let's say, three tunes of the same type on a page, why not just play those three tunes as a set. I've tried this myself and it works more often than you might imagine.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Tootler
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 04:34 PM

Jon Kirkpatrick is both very knowledgeable and a fine musician and he has a valid point to make in the article, but it is not the first time in his writings I have found him sounding dogmatic. It may be that he comes over much better in person.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 04:22 PM

I was writing something in support of Jon Kirkpatrick's article, but my computer has eaten my post and I can't be bothered to sit and try to recreate it.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: GUEST,Ian Pittaway
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 04:14 PM

Sorcha, I think rather than just shouting 'balls' it might be more interesting to understand JK's motivation and then argue a case for or against it. As I understand it, JK is arguing the case here for music to dance to, rather than sessions that I think Vixen is asking about. Also, I've heard JK talk elsewhere of the hypnotic or trance-like state exploring a dance tune played over and over again can bring, and by so doing new dimensions present themselves - as he says in this article.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 03:43 PM

If you are playing with other people, consider what their instruments can do, so you don't find yourself left on your own. Some instruments have limited range, others can only play in a few keys.

In particular, it usually isn't a good idea to follow tunes originally for the Highland pipes (2 sharps, range G to a) with anything else in a session situation - somebody's bound to be forced to drop out.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 03:33 PM

One VERY simple way to 'do' a medley is to play the same tune , but in a differnt key ! One of 'my' medleys is 'Irish Washerwoman' twice in G , then twice in A and into 'Father O'Flynn' in D twice , then twice in G . Even more fun is doing that set on one whistle !


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 03:23 PM

Amazingly dogmatic, wasn't he, Sorcha?

I suspect he had a column to get out in a hurry, so he just put his mouth on automatic pilot.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 03:00 PM

Yes, it was. :)


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Lester
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 01:59 PM

"Balls, Mr. Kirkpatrick!" That's a point of view I suppose??


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 01:58 PM

2nd tune starts on last note of 1st. That's what I was going to say, Sorcha.

When I started picking out tunes on my lap dulcimer, one tune reminded me of another, that one reminded me of another, etc. and OFTEN it was because the next tune started with the last note of the previous.

I go by what SOUNDS good...no matter the tempo, key, etc. and folks seem to like it.:-) Trust yourself and your ears.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 01:05 PM

Balls, Mr. Kirkpatrick!


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Lester
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:59 PM

Worth reading John Kirkpatrick's view of Medleys


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:49 PM

Doesn't necessarily have to be in the same key....2nd tune starts on last note of 1st....and if you go from fast to slow it's easier...for instance, Road to Lisdoonvara, Logan Water, Swallowtail Jig. All Em by the way.

Maggie and the Woods/Rakes of Mallow/Maggie again


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Scrump
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:11 PM

Sometimes a tune starts part-way through a bar, so unless the previous tune finishes in the 'right' place, you may need to adapt one or other tune slightly to fit into the same rhythm (this assumes both adjoining tunes have the same time signature, as for dancing). For example, let's assume you are playing 2 tunes A and B, both in 4/4 time. If the 2nd tune (B) starts on the 4th note, but the first (A) finishes on the 4th, you could drop the 1st note of B so you can continue with B from the start of the next bar. Alternatively you could possibly drop the 4th note of the last bar of A instead. You would need to experiment and see which sounds best - this would also depend on the key of each tune.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: GUEST,Ian Pittaway
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 11:48 AM

Lots of good advice above. Much of it is trial and error - if it sounds right then it's right - and you get better at knowing what'll work with practise. As said above, it is easier to put just reels together or just jigs, etc., rather than mixing them, though mixing them can work really well. A sudden key change can sound odd, but it can also be a welcome musical jolt that makes you sit up and listen - it depends on the keys and modes in question. Many people have sets that pick up speed as they head towards the finale, i.e. slow tune / medium paced tune / fast tune. Sometimes sets are all at the same pace, whatever that might be. I wonder from what you've indicated if this is partly a question of confidence and just getting into the swing of changing tunes. If so, just practise, and notice what other people do and how they change tunes in your local session. If you don't have a local session, try to find one.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 11:38 AM

Like most things in music one of the best ways to learn what works is listen to players who are already doing it. Listen to sets of tunes played by artistes you admire or respect. You can get a feel for how they make transitions between similar tunes or between different types of tune.
If you are playing within a particular musical tradition it might dictate the format of changes, for instance in certain Scottish traditions a set of tune might contain a reel, a strathspey and something else (not my tradition) which jigsaw in a particular order.
If a set of tunes is played for dancing you will need to keep them within a compatible tempo or it upsets (the rhythm of) the dancers.
You may wish to have changes of tempo or key if a set is for an audience to listen to. A lot depends on the reason you are playing the tunes.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 11:14 AM

1. Consider the timing of the pieces. It's harder to move from a piece that's in one time (say 4/4) to a piece in another time (say 3/4.) It can be done, but takes more effort.

If I were doing it, I would enter a few bars of each song into my music program, which happens to be Noteworthy Composer, and play along with my computer until I had it down.

2. Are the pieces in the same key? If not, then you modulate. How is that done? You play some extra chords between the pieces, either block chords or arpeggios ending with (memorize this phrase)

the five-seven chord of the new piece.

What does that mean? Suppose the new piece is in G. The #5 note of the G scale is D. (GABCD) So take a D chord and "seven" it, i.e. play a D7 chord. Then start your new tune.

Since folk tunes offer a lot of variety (modal tunes, strange tunes), this might not work every time, but it will usually work.


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Subject: Instr. Medleys: How to?
From: Vixen
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 10:02 AM

Hi all--

I've just gotten to a point of musical competence where I can start playing one tune and switch to another without a perceptible train wreck. Consequently, I'm now interested in putting together "my own" medleys...and I'm finding that, like playing them, creating them is much more difficult than it might appear!

For example, my first attempt was "Annie's Apotheosis Medley" which had, in order, Ragtime Annie, Lady Anne Montgomery, St. Anne's Reel. Well, that doesn't seem to flow very well. I tried it the other way (call it Annie's Fall!) going from St Anne, through Lady Anne to Ragtime Annie, but that doesn't seem to work either.

It could be my inexperience in hearing a logical transition, or it could be that these tunes "just don't fit together"...

SOOOOO, how do you go about making medleys???

All thanks in advance!

V


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