Genres

Genres

I was wondering if one can post Old-timey tunes or if posts should be limited to celtic?

Re: Genres

There are plenty of old-timey tunes that cross both ways, and despite the myth, jigs included… There are a number already on site here. The problem is only with ‘definition’, for which some have a very precious and narrow limitation to what they view as ‘old-timey’ or ‘Irish’…or ‘Scotch’, or ~… That’s enough examples. If you have an understanding of both ‘old-timey’ and ‘Irish’ then you should have the tools to know what goes both ways, or might work in a predominately Irish session… We also have Breton, French, various Scandinavian numbers, and a handful of Balkan bits on site here, not forgetting the general sweep of ‘Celtic’, but, ideally, and mostly realized, most of what is here and contributed is ‘Irish’, the original seed that spawned this site…

You could always consider a few and then share your choices and transcriptions with others here on site to get some feedback as to how they might fit. If you are going to do it, like with self-compostions or ‘Welsh’, make sure your greater contribution is ‘Irish’, to keep the balance.

Now what cats will be let loose in this thread ~ watch this space, eh… ๐Ÿ˜

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C, don’t forget the occasional "English" tune that has appeared!

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"English", or "British"? Plenty of both here, as far as I can see.

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Slip jigs are in 9/8. Not all that many are played in sessions (shame!) - but The Kid on the Mountain is one of the more likely ones you’ll hear. I believe I’m correct in saying that slip jigs aren’t used in set dancing, but are used in step dancing.
Regarding speed, I think of a slip jig as being a little slower than a jig or slide, but then it depends on the tune. Some tunes like speed; others like a slower pace. And it depends too on the player and perhaps the instrument; I’ve heard the magnificent An Fhis Phliuch played at a very slow and majestic pace (by a piper), and also at a fairly rollicking jig speed by a good fiddler.
Have a browse through the slip jigs listed in the Tunes section - there are over 200 entries.

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All the Irish ones I know are in there already - though I did manage The Ballybunion Jig, which wasn’t.
But I’m fascinated by the abc process, tapping it in, seeing the sheet music, and hearing the inane tinkling of the midi, usually demonstrating that I’ve c*cked it up again.
So I put in stuff that might just be ITM-compatible - some of the more digestible Northumbrian tunes, Scottish slow airs disguised as reels, etc.But if I put any Morris tunes in, I promise to leave out the slow parts…

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My rule of thumb has always been to post tunes that are played in Irish music sessions. Which is to say NOT tunes that mostly crop up at old timey, bluegrass, Texas swing, Cajun, etc., jams.

That said, these days (thanks largely to the ecletic tastes of some of the more popular Irish trad recording artists) you’ll occasionally hear some esoteric stuff played at the average Irish session. Literally "outlandish" tunes have been recorded on otherwise Irish music albums, and so spread to sessions. These include Mouth of the Tobique (French-Canadian), Jerusalem Ridge (bluegrass), Aires de Pontevedra (Galician), Pachabel’s Frolics (quasi-classical), Crested Hens (French), Smeceno Horo (Balkan), Itzikel (Klezmer), La Partida (Venezuelan), etc.

But if you want your tune postings to be of use to most of the members here, Jeremy’s guideline of 5 Irish trad tunes for every 1 original composition works well extended to tunes beyond the "normal" range of the tradition. People here (myself included) start complaining if you fill up the weekly list of new postings with stuff we’re unlikely to hear at our sessions.

Also, be aware that many American old timey tunes have older Irish or Scottish counterparts that are known by different names. It only confuses things and adds work for Jeremy to post, say, an old timey setting of "Stoney Point" (aka "Buck Creek Gals") when it’s already here as Pigtown Fling.

Posted .

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Oops! My post about slip jigs was posted here accidentally instead of in discussion 11925 in response to a specific question. I’ve now reposted it to its intended destination.

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When it comes to many "English" tunes the jury is often out as to whether they originated in Ireland, or vice versa.
I tend now to post tunes I’ve picked up at sessions or at tune-learning workshops. And, of course, what tune I may sometimes pick up at a session or learn at a workshop and then post here is quite another matter ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I think it’s fair to say that it is only to be expected that English tunes will be played sometimes in Irish sessions in England, especially in localities where there is a strong tradition of the indigenous music. Likewise, in some English sessions, such as the one I go to, Irish (and Scottish) tunes are not exactly conspicuous by their absence.

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Thanks for the advice.

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you won’t find many jigs or strathspeys in old time or bluegrass music!

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I remember back in 1965 or soThe Incredible String Band recorded a chirpy little number called Schaeffer’s Jig, in what I take to be Old Timey style (maybe to cover over the fact that Robin couldn’t play trad fiddle for toffee..). I’ve always wondered where the tune came from, and assumed it was American. Well, maybe not. One of life’s little mysteries.

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Jigs in old-time music, & swung tunes ~ sadly ‘celticagent’, that’s because jerks took it on themselves to purge them from the tradition, though not completely successful. The history, much more reliable than the gospel by the ill informed, is that more than just strings were used and more than just 4/4 breakdowns. Competition and folks wanting to exclude things have other ideas ~ jigs and swing were a part of that tradition ~ hell, that tradition was established in great part by the Scots and Irish and English that settled those areas ~ and they weren’t stuck in a straight 4/4 rut… But hey, if you like your gospel a certain way, I know better than argue with folks that already have all the answers… ๐Ÿ˜

There guys, I got the ‘English’ bit in. Am I forgiven?

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Is Northumbrian a sub-set of English?

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In responce to the post
Re: Genres
you won’t find many jigs or strathspeys in old time or bluegrass music!
# Posted on December 5th 2006 by celticagent

The old-time group I play with plays probably 10 jigs and even one strathspey.

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It’s distinct from other English traditions in having more complex instrumental dance and listening tunes - e.g., they have competitions for Northumbrian pipers and fiddlers to prove their cleverness in playing elaborate variations, and I don’t know of such things being of long standing in other English regions. And while tunes of universal or Southern English distribution turn up there, the tune base is shared to a large extent with Lowland Scotland, as is the form taken by many of the reels, jigs etc.
The revival of the Border Bagpipes has discovered a repertoire of tunes S. Scotland and N.England had in common. The developed Northumbrian Smallpipes, though, seem to have been practically confined to Northumberland before the postwar folk revival. They are the end product of a lot of experimentation with bellows-blown pipes in the area in c18/19. Along with the Highland Bagpipes and the Uilleann Pipes, they are the only bagpipes in UK / Ireland never to have died out. Maybe it’s because they became a respectable parlour instrument. They are quite unique - they have the extended range of the Irish pipes, but a totally different sound and fingering. The latter, plus the attempts of earlier pipers to maximise the possibilities of more limited instruments, has resulted in a body of tunes with large and sometimes strange interval jumps, and/or rather angular in nature. Some don’t transfer well to other instruments. But it’s a lovely, lyrical, expressive instrument, at the heart of what makes Northumbrian traditional music distinctive. Listen to recordings of the piper Billy Pigg, if you can.
The dotted 4/4 hornpipe form is sometimes claimed to have started in Newcastle - I wouldn’t know. But a young Scotsman, James Hill, a fiddler, composed many there in the c19, some of which stayed in the smallpipes repertoire.
These days lots of people in NE England play Irish, which the Northumbrian smallpipes can do adequately enough. (It is harder to imagine Irish players really taking to Northumbrian music; it’s recognisably akin, but has its peculiarities.)
I gather there weren’t many trad musicians still playing in Northumberland when the folk revival took off, but there were enough.

All this is possibly very patronising to trad players in other parts of England who may know traditions of which I’ve never heard. Please forgive me if this is so. Northumbrian music seems to compete with Cotswold Morris for the limelight, as far as English trad is concerned.

Northumbrian is Northumbrian, I think…the base population on both sides of the now Anglo-Scottish Border was Anglo-Saxon from the c7, later cut off from the South by Scandinavian settlement of the rest of N. England. Lowland Scotland has the closest trad music tradition, I think, but the Northumbrian Pipes separate out the Northumbrian tradition as something quite distinct.
Meanwhile, the Border Ballads were composed on both sides of the Border; Newcastle had its urban and music-hall song tradition; and mining songs were composed in places including County Durham to the South,more or less outside the area of continuous traditional music.

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Good on you and your group ‘litestikpilot’ (Jakob) ~ hey, if your group has a web presence, why not put the link in your details? It would be nice to hear a set or two too…

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R.P. Christenson’s "Old-Time Fiddler’s Repertory", an important 2 volume collection, & recommended, is only one of many that includes jigs and other things besides being stuck in a flat out 4/4 tunes rut…

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mehere - I’d say Northumbrian wasn’t a subset of English, but something different - musically. Northumberland is a county of England: nor is it Celtic. But the remote roots of its population are shared with that of the Scottish Borders - both places being part of the early Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, which once included all of N. England and S. Scotland.
The music as I hinted above is distinguished by the following:

N. Smallpipes - to whose capabilities I’ll add a good player’s ability to play very fast runs of notes; to make rapid jumps at will to notes far up and down the register; and, if the instruments have them, to go down to low C, and B, below bottom D (or the equivalent). Also to play staccato, if wished.

The seeming fact that in the past tunes have been borrowed, I think, more from Scotland, and to a lesser extent Ireland, than from other parts of England (South of the Humber, at any rate).

A well-developed and continuous fiddle style, with, I gather, its particular bowing techniques, etc.

Local peculiarities like the rant (dance) and the sword dance, though Yorkshire has versions of the latter;

The tenacity with which country players held onto tunes of the past (James Hill’s tunes were being played in the sticks a century after they were in fashion in Newcastle); also, the existence and consistent use of tunebooks.

- And so on.

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I don’t mind any tunes being posted, as there are tunes from other traditions that make quite nifty session tunes, and fit right in. Just identify their origins in the comment sections. And who knows, you might find out that the Old Timey tune WAS an old ITM or STM tune back in the day!