What are cuts, rolls and crans

What are cuts, rolls and crans

Sorry to ask but what exactly are they. There are numerous references in different posts but none tell me what they are.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

things you can’t do on a guitar

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

They are percusive articulations

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

"things you can’t do on a guitar"

Try telling that to the likes of messrs Gaughan McGlynn and McManus. Cuts are certainly possible - and crans aren’t great on the fiddle.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

They are what leahcim said, they use different combinations of notes above and below the "main" note being articulated to give various effects. Different instruments may use different fingering combinations (e.g. flute different from fiddle), different players sometimes prefer particular combinations and the same player may use different combinations depending on the circumstances or at their discretion.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

You can easily do crans on the fiddle in exactly the same way as the pipes and the flute. But yes, you can do cuts on a guitar, but not rolls or crans

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

"You can easily do crans on the fiddle in exactly the same way as the pipes and the flute. "

They sound naff. I play both pipes anf fiddle, btw (and guitar). You may be confusing a cran and an open string roll. They are quite different.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

On flute or whistle there are six holes which can be covered or uncovered by six fingers. If a closed hole is represented by X & an open hole by 0 these are the diagrams for the following notes:
G
XXX 000

B
X00 000

E
XXX XX0

To do a cut while playing the G you open & close one of the Xs very rapidly.

Rolls combine cuts & taps.

To do a tap the hole directly below the lowest covered hole is closed & opened very rapidly.

The lowest note is represented by this diagram

D
XXX XXX

Without a finger hole to tap you cannot do a tap. Nor a roll. Crans use a series of cuts.

* The diagrams were shown in case you find discussions where these are used in explaining whistle articulation**

**Articulation is a term for cuts, taps, rolls, crans, etc. used while playing tunes. Other terms are commonly used such as grace notes, ornamentation, or twiddly bits.

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

You can’t roll an open string, obviously. And your fiddle crans might sound naff.

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

"You can’t roll an open string, obviously. And your fiddle crans might sound naff."

An "open roll" is a double cut - same way a piper’s cran is a double (or treble) cut. It’s common terminology in fiddling. Some call it a fiddle cran, but try listening to a "fiddle cran" and a real piper’s cran slowed down. Different things are happening. It’s the science man!

I couldn’t give a toss what you think about my open rolls on the fiddle. However, your superior tone (or written equivalent) when addressing a guitarist needed some sort of response.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

… slight tangent ~
Re: Trouble with triplets.
"I think of it less as a flick of the wrist than a tiny jiggle of the index finger. As Brian Conway says, keep the motion as close to the stick as possible—in other words, using your whole forearm or wrist to do the triplet will result in a large, hard-to-control motion. For crisp, tight triplets (of either the percussive "cat sneeze" kind or the more open, distinct note kind), the motion really is limited to the index and thumb."
January 12th 2006 by Will Harmon
http://www.thesession.org/discussions/8870/comments#comment189027

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

I do rolls on the guitar. It doesn’t work well on all strings in all positions, but it can be done. It takes a responsive instrument and a bit of practice. Still, I’d rather do them on the fiddle.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

"Re: Trouble with triplets."

I believe that the ace of trebling, Mr Peoples, plays them his way because he couldnae play them like everybody else!

Now there’s a man whou can cran on the fiddle - but it can’t really be described as "easy" - and he brings the bow into action, so it’s not the same as his windy counterparts.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

"I do rolls on the guitar. It doesn’t work well on all strings in all positions, but it can be done. It takes a responsive instrument and a bit of practice. Still, I’d rather do them on the fiddle. "

Perhaps an overdriven strat with plenty of sustain would assist? Perhaps I shouldn’t go down that road….

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

I’ve wondered whether that one would work. Maybe with one of those ebow things? It’s a thing that makes the string vibrate without touching it via a creation of a magnetic field … it creates infinate sustain.

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

Somebody gave me one of those things long ago. I never could make it do anything useful. Maybe it was busted.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

I reckon Paco de Lucía could manage it.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

Cuts are what George Osborne does.

I would say that wouldn’t I?

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

I’ve had good luck recently using a flick on the end of the bow
with my little finger. Doing it a split second after a downbow,
you get a very Peoples-like articulation. It works best when
you’re up in the top 1/3 or 1/4 of the bow. You get even stranger
sounds if you follow this up with a quick whack from your
right index finger, or combine it with a cut or some sort of
rolly-type thing. It gives a cran-like noise. This stuff doesn’t
sound good though unless you can find just the right spot in
the music.

I have not taken it out in public yet. I might just file it away as a
fun experiment.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

On the Irish wind instruments (whistle, flute, uilleann pipes) it’s like this:

Cut: a very short gracenote higher than the melody note being cut. It can be the next note up or can be rather distant, such as a thumb "back D" cut on lower-hand notes on the uilleann pipes. It’s common to cut all the lower-hand notes with A on whistle, flute, and pipes.

Pat: a very short gracenote lower than the melody note being patted. It can be the next note down or rather distant, such as Bottom D pats on upper-hand notes such as A and B on the uilleann pipes.

Roll: created from cuts and pats in a variety of combinations.
Most common is three melody notes seperated first with a cut and then with a pat:

note(cut)note(pat)note

but pipers often do

(cut)note(pat)note(pat)note

and you’ll hear just about every possible variation.

Crans, on the uilleann pipes, are a series of cuts played on Bottom D (and less often on Low E).

Usually the cuts include A, G, and F but the order of cuts varies from player to player and you’ll hear

FGA, AGF, FGF, GFA, etc.

Many old-time flute guys didn’t do a true piper’s cran per se but a triplet which up to speed sort of sounds like a cran:

DFED

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

I should point out that Bottom Ds are heard in between all the cuts of a cran on the pipes so when I wrote that a piper’s cran can use the cuts FGA the actual sound would be

DFDGDAD

and normally an A cut would be played on the initial D.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

Richard, you’re not actually sounding all those notes.
:-/

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

I think that depends on what you mean by "sounding". Richard indicates that we will hear the difference.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

I am not sure anyone clearly stated it above, but in cuts, taps and rolls, when played correctly, aren’t those ‘notes’ above and ‘notes’ below so short that they are not really notes, as much as an interruption of the flow of air (or its equivalent on other instruments)? Or more of an ‘articulation,’ as someone put it above? That is what I have been striving for in practice sessions.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

They are/can be pitched percussive ‘effects’ so each crann, Roll etc will have a different effect depending on the pitch and duration of the individual notes .
Different people play their cranns rolls etc in their own personal and distinctive style which varies considerably and therein lies a fundamental truth about the music. Standardisation is not something to aspire towards IMO.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

"the essential guide to irish flute and tin whistle", by Grey Larsen has several chapters devoted to describing cuts, strikes (I believe what has been called taps in this discussion), cranns, rolls, slides etc.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

What AlBrown said.
… not really notes …

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

Hmm, how short does a note have to be before its not a note? How does one define a ‘real’ note? interesting….

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

pitch

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

Not really note, but still pitched. When looking at the specturmof a solo pipes/flute/whistle recording you can almost always tell if its a cut or a tap and usually which finger is doing a cut. I would expect an experienced pipe/fluter/whistler to be able to hear the difference and recognise it. Try doing a roll "backwards" and see how you like it.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

Precisely!

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http://books.google.com/books?id=Q9iK1lhQyLYC&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq

An Inherited Legato Aesthetic

… "The music, in all its variety, springs forth from an underlying foundation of legato playing. The appropriate use of staccato playing exists in relation to that foundation, and takes on its meaning in contrast to it."

"This legato aesthetic is essentially different from that of modern classical music."

" … the traditional Irish musician has much more variety of articulation available to her than does the classical wind player. In classical wind instrument playing, notes are *either* articulated *or* slurred. In Irish traditional music notes can be both articulated *and* slurred, because of its fingered articulation: the cut and the strike." …

Grey Larsen
"The Essential Tin Whistle Toolbox" p.26
"The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle" p.40

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note: the google books link above shows me a preview of page 26, "The Essential Tin Whistle Toolbox". Depending on your location the link may not give you the same page.

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

I am sounding all those notes on crans, at least I always try to, and usually succeed. When Mick O Brien was giving a workshop here he was most definately sounding all those notes- Ds could be clearly heard between all the cuts.

It’s what gives crans their bubbly sound.

I have heard pipers play crans sloppily, where the cuts and Ds are slushed together in a vague blob of sound, but I don’t think that’s something to strive toward or be held up as the proper way to do things.

Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

So you’re also sounding F,G, & A? Certainly you can sound every pitch, but are you?

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On this one I’d say you are;
"Many old-time flute guys didn’t do a true piper’s cran per se but a triplet which up to speed sort of sounds like a cran:"

"DFED"

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Re: What are cuts, rolls and crans

Thanks all, I’m beginning to understanda that they are sort of instrument specific. I was aware that they meay not be possible on a guitar (though some may not agree)