Calling tunes “songs”

Calling tunes “songs”

I like it when people do that, especially non-musicians.

To me it means they have the tune speaking to them, and don’t just hear it as some type of background music.

I understand it’s not popular with some of you, but I like it.

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“I like it when people do that, especially non-musicians. “

It wouldn’t bother me what terminology people put on tunes if genuinely interested but Bren I’ve never heard a musician refer to a tune as a song. Isn’t a song a tune with lyrics or vice versa ?

A lot of our tunes have had lyrics set to them, especially marches and jigs. Maybe this is where some misconceptions arise ?

But as I said, it doesn’t bother me one bit if some people refer to a tune as a song but I’d be surprised to hear a musician do that !

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I hate it, and whenever I hear it I always think it’s a jolly good thing I don’t carry a shotgun with me on a daily basis 🙂

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I’m changing my tune/song here….I guess it does bother me to an extent 🙂

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Isn’t half the annoyance because they’re outsiders, and don’t belong to the club ? ( Not that we are in any way exclusive or narrow-minded. )

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Why don’t we just call all of the music ITS’s?

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Why don’t we all just get along?

Re: Jamaicans do it the other way round

It`s different in the Reggae-Scene. When Reggae-Artists sings a song to a riddim they call it a “tune”, though it does have words. Instrumentals are either called instrumentals or versions, if it is the pure non-vocal background to a “tune”. So if you sing a song, and someone in the audience calls it a “big tune” it is probably Sean Paul.

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Kjay, wasn’t the exact Jack Nicholson quote more like - “Why can’t we all just try to - get along!”

Course Jack also said - “I only take Viagra when I’m with more than one woman.” ……but that’s another story 😀

As for this particular debate Bren, I - “quite frankly my dear, don’t give a dam”.
Hey if folks are actually listening to me playing music, they can call it whatever they like, I’m certainly not going to lose any sleep over it!

But I sense a pedant revolt bubbling up here…………..

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This happens to me a lot and without exception the person is always astoundingly irritating. Tunes are NOT songs! Fact! People who have an interest in music know this. There for, people who wither your ear about songs when the really mean tunes, have no interest in music. They are either talking to you because they’re drunk or they feigning interest.

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So Dow, how long now you given up carrying the shotgun?

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“I’m changing my tune/song here” - you turncoat Strathfoyle!

Eeee by gum, you changed your mind very quickly there didn’t you!

Remember, Dow said he ‘didn’t’ carry his shotgun now!

You are not a politician by any chance, are you? 😀

Re: Calling tunes “songs”

In non-trad circles, plenty of musicians refer to non-vocal pieces of music as “songs.” I’ve heard jazz and even classical musicians do this, and also new converts to Irish trad who have great enthusiasm for the music, but haven’t yet picked up all the lingo. Doesn’t bother me.

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This distinction, like calling slow numbers without words, aires, is something that is more common in ITM circles than outside of ITM, at least here in the US. My wife, who has been playing ITM for years, still calls them songs, and I have given up trying to correct “she who must be obeyed.”

I think what Bren was saying is that it is nice when someonewho is not deeply into the tradition, at least not deeply enough to understand our working terminology, actually recognizes something special about a particular tune, and takes the time to complement it, and say that it struck their fancy.

Sometimes these people can be irritating folks who really don’t understand what is going on, but other times they can just be people who like what they hear, but don’t have the proper terminology to describe it yet. Just because they don’t use the same terms as us doesn’t mean that they are idiots.

And sometimes that person who called a tune a song, once they learn more about the music, might become a mighty session mate within a few years time!

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i really don’t see why people care. i sometimes mess up and call ’em songs too!

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I must admit, I would have a lot less bother with this song/tune phenomenon than I do with those folks here who seem to want to make our little music circle even more exclusive & seemingly elitist by going overboard on those trite little acronyms and initials!

If these bl**dy acronyms & initials are a little annoying for someone like myself, who floats in & out of here regularly, just imagine how totally, feckin annoying & off putting they must be for a stranger who wanders in off the street!

As jargon goes, they must surely be one of the lowest forms of human communication, somewhere between lazy slang & that infernal new ‘language’ ( 😀 ) of the Mobile phone!

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Amen, Ptarmigan.

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Wisick guys

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Ptarmie!
I thought you would have known by now I don’t like these initialised either - so my ITS thing was me being ever so slightly ironic.

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…………initialised *things*, that is.

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A song is a short musical composition WITH WORDS. (or as I like to call it, Music for the hard of understanding;)) It’s not musical illetisim to expect people to recognise this. If sombody called your bouzouki a guitar or your flute a whistle, you’d correct him.

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Sorry ment “elitism”

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Does this mean we can take over the “singers session” and play “songs” all night.

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Wanna know what’s worse? When you’re singing Appalachian ballads and playing old-time tunes and somebody comes up and says they really enjoyed your bluegrass music.

I can’t seem to help being a little annoyed when somebody refers to the tunes as songs, or thinks everything played with a fiddle or banjo is bluegrass, or uses “begs the question” to mean “raises the question,” or pronounces short-lived with a short i. But if I think about it, I’m not really proud of my reaction. I’m a bit of a pedant.

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Although I have had a life-long passion for ITM, I was only really a listener with no musical background which means I wasn’t part of a musician’s circle to pick up the ‘lingo’. Also, it didn’t help that I’m German and to me song/tune means the same. So, I remember when I posted my first discussion and got it all wrong and said ‘song’ instead of ‘tune’ but you were very kind not to hold it against me. Now I know better and the word ‘tune’ seems to make more sense although I must admit there are moments when I still catch myself making a mistake and call a ‘tune’ a ‘song’ out of force of habit and reminder of my ignorance:(.

Vanessa

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I’m learning to think in a more concise manner.

Dag Nabbit….GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!

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One song to the tune of another- we’re back at ISIHAC again!

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Of course the’re bloody songs, and just because you don’t know the words is no reason to get anoyed at others. To get you started, heres the words to a very common standard.
“Di, de Didddly idle diddly idle dum, idle diddly idle di didle I diddly dum.”

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To me a song is anything that grabs you. A tune is part of a song, perhaps. Simply because there aren’t words involved doesn’t make it any less soul-stirring. Who cares what you call it when it takes you away from having to pay your bills, feed your kids (dog in my case) and the daily grind.

Remember, simply because someone doesn’t know the correct terminology doesn’t make them any less interested in the music.

And fisarmonicha, was that a Kate Bush reference? (i.e. “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!”)

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My classical orchestra director nearly killed me for accidentally calling Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony a tune. “It’s a PIECE, not a tune. Don’t you fiddlers know anything?!?!” 🙂 Frankly, I don’t understand what the big deal was. He knew what I was referring to…

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Good one thedon, I think you have cracked the code! When you look at it that way, they ARE all songs!
😉

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Sorry about the spelling in the earlier thread, it was 3am here in the wonderful land of OZ, and my keyboard can’t spell. Anyway, I’m off to sing “the Lark in the morning “in the shower.

Dum de diddily-didle de diddily-didle de diddily-diddilya de diddily

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Will said `“ That which is called a rose by any other name would smell as sweet“

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Lesson #1 at Alaska whistle workshop for beginners:

1. Before class, leave shotguns in pickup truck. No really.
2. We are learning tunes, not songs. Tunes, not songs.
3. I have a shotgun in my fiddle case & I learned to shoot in Australia, from a very… very… opinionated tune advocate. I’ve been ordered to shoot upon hearing the word ‘song’ & ask questions later. 🙂

Dow, I got your email, & I miss youuuu!!!!!!! I’m getting internet at my house this week, so enough skulking about at work, like now!!!! More soon,

xo Emin

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I might be a bit of a pedant, but it kind of annoys me when people call tunes “songs.” A song in Irish music is something with words, a tune is a dance tune. They mean different things. Of course, the line gets someone blurry when you have tunes with words attached to them like “Kitty Lie Over,” or the “Frieze Britches,” but those are more the exception. At the end the day, they are not the same thing.

Of course, one of the best banjo players I know refers to “tunes” as “songs” all the time. I’ve not whacked him with a low whistle yet. 🙂

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I frequently listen to music streamed from the Naxos website, and in the little window on screen that tells you what is playing and how long it’s got to go they consistently call whatever is being streamed a “song”, irrespective of whether it is a real song with words, an operatic aria, a movement of a symphony, a jazz number by Art Tatum, a saxophone concerto, or a fiddle reel by Kieran Fahy. I can only conclude that the term “song” has been appropriated by Naxos and virtually everyone else in the commercial world of music to mean any piece of music, regardless of its genre or whether it is played or sung. Perhaps this appropriation has been because nobody has thought of a single word that covers everything.

However, that is no excuse in our world of ITM (a last bastion of good usage) for not calling tunes “tunes”. The Language Police is very active in this area - and I would have you all know they are completely independent of the British Home Office 🙂

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Are you implying that diddily isn’t a word? Bah humbug!

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I wrote a tune once, then I put some words to it, so now its a song as well. Plug, plug,plug . . it can by found on my publishers web site ie. www.thornesmusic.freeserve.co.uk look for new releases “Live in Peace”. If 0.0001% of the worlds internet populus bought the song I would be a rich man. PLEASE ! !

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Does it cost less if we only buy the tune?

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I’m not good with acronyms (no practice, we don’t use ’em over here), Ping– up,…er.. I mean KML. Finally got the clue I was looking for, Thanks.

It annoys me, & even tho’ I am an elitist*, it’s not for elitist reasons. A tune is one specific thing, a song is something else. A socket wrench is one thing, a Cresson wrench is something else. If one is working under the hood and I walk up; one sez “Hand me that 5/8s socket”, and I hand over a cresson wrench, or a phillips screwdriver, or a pair of pliers. One would not be elitist for getting annoyed. One *MIGHT* be childish for going ballistic about it. (wrench = spanner, you figger out the rest)
By extention, someone saying “We wanna dance, give us a song” is about as nonsensical as “We wanna eat, give us an anvil”.

Strangely, if we’re playing and I lean over to the boxplayer and say, “Hey, Bob, give us a tune!” He doesn’t lauch off on Langstrom’s Pony , but plays an extended A and waits for the next request (usually D)

*Nobody else will admit to it, I might be THE elitist.

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No its buy one, (the tune) and get one free,(the song). Or BOGOFF !

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Owell Mabee - If I am working under the car and ask my son to hand me “that spanner”, he hands me “ the spanner“ even if it’s really a 3/8“ 12-point socket, cos it’s obvious to him which one I mean.

Most of the time at sessions I’m in, we only play one tune at a time, not the whole socket set. Not all the time, I’ll admit.

If someone says they liked “that song” I’m pleased. How can you get upset at “wrong” words attempting to describe that which has no words?

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Ahh, an obedient child, you are blessed.

Actually you could play Soldier’s Joy, Wind that Shakes…etc, Liberty, and the Fairies Dance at the same time. Its sounds a bit disorganized, but fit’s harmonically. Not sure why you’d want to…….

Oh yes, forgot about “Boilem Cabbage Down”.

I take it you don’t go ballistic,then

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P.S> It annoys me a little bit, bit I take it in stride. Really I perfer to leave them speechless… 🙂

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Go ballistic - no. I suffer idiot bodhran-bashers and harmonically-challenged guitarists with equanimity. I respect the opinions of those who are outside the circle and hear things with unschooled ears.

I might mock them and treat them with withering scorn, but I respect them.

I go out to sessions to enjoy playing music with friends old and new and get away from the stress of workaday life for a while. Folk who have to create stress in sessions need to get a life. Music isn’t about music, music is about life.

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“Really I perfer to leave them speechless…” - just like your women eh Owell?

Or should I say breathless? 😉

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i agree with Bren

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Bren, IAWTC.