Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

I have spent the better part of the last 10 years learning nothing but Irish trad tunes. However, I am now interested in learning a few "common currency" tunes from other traditions - Scots, English, Wales, Cape Breton Etc. It would be nice if I had a few of these tunes under my belt in case I should ever run into a player well versed in one of those traditions. Is there a "Dow’s List" of such items? If anyone out there is experienced in any other these styles I would love to get a few recommendations.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

The book ‘Hardcore English’ gives about 300 tunes which are in general use in English sessions.

Good luck!

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Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Regretfully I lack the skill to read the dots (something I forgot to mention) - If anyone has specific tune suggestions, that’d be wonderful - I’ll hunt down the ABC’s or recording later. Thanks!

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Check out the Fiddler’s Fakebook. Has a lot of English, Irish, Scottish, various Canadian, New England, Texan, and Old Time fiddling tunes. You have to be a fiddler to use this book. 🙂

Sara

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

here’s your resource for Scottish abc when you’re ready

http://softflute.co.uk/music/abc/index.htm

this will get you started with some Scottish stuff:

Athole Brose
Balmoral Castle
Because He Was a Bonny Lad
Braes of Mar, The
Captain Campbell
Corn Rigs
Dainty Davie
Neil Gow’s Farewell to Whiskey (played as a slow air)
Flowers of Edinburgh
Haste to the Wedding
High Road to Linton
Jenny Dang the Weaver
King George IV’s Welcome
Lady Madelina Sinclair
Loch Ericht Side
Marquis of Huntly’s Highland Fling
Miller of Dron
Monymusk
Miss Lyall
Miss Sarah Drummond of Perth
Mr. Moray of Abercairny
Mrs. Garden of Troup
My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing
Neil Gow’s Wife
Off She Goes
Pease Strae
Petronella
Rachel Rae
Sheep Shanks
Sleepy Maggy
Speed the Plough
St. Kilda Wedding, The
Stool of Repentance, The
Stumpie
Tullochgorum
Whiskey Welcome Back Again
Whistle O’er the Lave O’t
Wind that Shakes the Barley

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Road To The Isles ( Cape Breton style - fast )
Jigger Of Whisky
Old Rustic Bridge (normally a slow march – sounds good faster)
Cameron’s Got His Wife Again (strathspey but expect it to be fairly “quick”)
Anderson’ Rant (Love this one but I need to work on ‘faster and smoother’)

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

A band called Blowzabella, active in the 80s and possibly still extant, played a lot of foreign material, especially French. I think they published one or more song and/or tune books; if you found one, it could well be of use - not least because there’d be other people around who’d know their tunes. They may have a website.

They were English-based and pioneered the use of the hurdy-gurdy and old-fashioned English and European bagpipes in their ceilidh and band work; also, maybe, the introduction of French tunes and approaches and contacts into the English trad scene.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

When you say "common currency" tunes I take it you mean tunes which are of eg Scottish origin, but have been subsumed into the common repertoire of what is *sometimes* erroneously described as Irish sessions?

The Scottish list above is really good and contains a number of such tunes, eg the High Road to Linton, amongst others.

What about the set:
The Jig o Slurs
Atholl Highlanders,
also:
Tarbolton
https://thesession.org/tunes/560
Miss Macleod’s
Paddy’s Trip to Scotland
https://thesession.org/discussions/15206
The Shetland Fiddler
https://thesession.org/tunes/97
New Rigged Ship
https://thesession.org/tunes/880
The Bonny Lass of Bon Accord - which isn’t on here!
The Hens March tae the Midden
https://thesession.org/tunes/3486

many others of course.
and of course

https://thesession.org/tunes/97

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Eh? Shetland fiddler got in there twice! Good tune right enough……

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

There’s a few that have become popular in Irish sessions, probably because of recordings:

Andy de Jarlis (in D)
Brenda Stubbert’s
Staten Island
Da Full Rigged Ship

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Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Key - crossover traditional tunes like the ones you mention are very useful and I have many of those listed above in my pocket already. I guess what I am looking for are common tunes that haven’t crossed cross over yet. Maybe a few tunes that everyone knows in say, East Durham, or Glasgow for example, but you wouldn’t probably hear in a common Irish session. Or perhaps tunes you play down in London?

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

There are plenty of English tunes played in English sessions here in London and in Suffolk where I’m to be found frequently. Unfortunately I know hardly any of those, as much as I wouldn’t mind learning them. The tunes at Irish sessions here are predominantly Irish tunes. So, sorry I can’t be of help. There are some mixed sessions around, but I don’t go.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

I know a couple of cracking Welsh tunes that are in the database here:

Morfa’r Frenhines (I’ve heard this as an air followed by the same tune played as a brisk 3/4);

Megan’s Grand-daughter (3/4).


For a very full list of Northumbrian tunes, find Dow’s details in the Members’ list, where he provides this.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

How about some Quebecois tunes like "Reel Beatrice, La Bastringue, Point Aux Pic, or Montreal Reel"

Rob

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Further information —

Blowzabella is apparently still around, and even has a recently new album to their credit. Also, a tune book, with over 100 of their own (members) tunes.

Also, there is, besides the, IMHO, rather good Fiddler’s Fake Book, a mandolin, guitar, and even a banjo version of the same collection. I believe the mando at least may be in tab, so be forewarned before buying these.

Reportedly, the fiddle, mando, and guitar collections are all similar in content (I do not know, I only have the fiddle version), and are apparently decent intros to a variety of styles and traditions IN DOT FORM, so they are not going to give you anything of real value in learning the styles, but they may at least access you to the symptoms of the melodies themselves.
The rest, well, you know — go listen if you want it right.

Plus, they will likely be some of the more popular session tunes (at least at time of publishing), so there may be a minimum of sorting and culling to get to the "Kesh"s and "Silver Spear"s of the lot, for lack of a better terminology.

Oops. I mentioned DOTS as a possible resource.

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Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

I get all my tunes from dots. I can’t be bothered to learn anything by ear any more - far too much like hard work. Besides, it’s all there in the dots, isn’t it? And all you have to do is read …

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Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Breton ~ just enter any of the following into the ‘search’ feature here, for starters, Breizh / Brittany first ~

Breton
An Dro / En Dro

Spain / Galicia ~

Galician
Muineira

Italy ~

Tarantella

~ just for a few things outside the box… The Balkan mixed meter stuff is all over the place, but mostly filed under ‘barndance’, but also under slip jig and within other categories. Weird eh? There are also a number of Klezmer pieces scattered about here…

Another way to find things is from the recordings, and then working your way from the track lists to the transcriptions and midi on site here, for example, Cymru / Wales ~ use these words for a search in ‘recordings’ ~

Welsh
Wales

The nature of the modern beast is that a lot of things become ‘common currency’ because of recordings, or, the recordings can also reflect what is currently in circulation, or what has stood the test of time. So, the old and the new. To use a cliche, the ‘new’ is as you might expect, mostly ‘here today, gone tomorrow’… 😉

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Despite the weird distortion on the recording that was an amazing tune and a wild street party going on there. Fantastic.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Hmmm … that tune on YouTube was a different tune …

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Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

The Music Room, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire (it’s on the net) has a lot of tunebooks for sale, some written/compiled by Dave Mallinson who was involved with this shop (may still be, for all I know). There ought to be a book of English standard tunes amongst them, and plenty else.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

"You have to be a fiddler to use this book."
Whoops! I meant to say, You DON’T have to be be a fiddler to use this book.

Sara

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

No worries Sara, I suspected that was what you meant - and you’re right it is a good book - I have a copy too…🙂

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

To add to Nicholas’ comment, Dave Mallinson (aka Mally) is indeed an excellent source of music books. He has his own website which has a section for English music: http://www.mally.com/results.asp?CategoryID=2

The books on that page subtitled "English Pub Session Series" are full of simple settings of some of the most common tunes to be found in English sessions. Many of the tunes are Irish, Scottish, Northumbrian, etc, but there is a lot of English stuff in there.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

If you want to play tunes frrom other related traditions in ITM style, then ABC will indeed help. if you want to play with musicians playing music from other traditions, you need to learn the style.

The traditions you mention are related, and it’s fascinating to see the similarities/differences, and the cross-over of repertoire. Just as there is not *one* Irish style, but many regional styles, so with English music, Northern is different to Southern, East Anglian is not the same as Yorkshire etc etc, and the core repertoire is different. Or try listening to musicians from the East and West coasts of Scotland!

The key, as with ITM, is listening.

Much as I like Mally, I’m going to take my life in my hands and say, I think he oversimplifies the tunes in the books he compiles himself. They are not representative of the way tunes are played, even in basic outline.

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Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

You’re probably right in general, c.g., but I can only speak for the few (English) sessions I go to and my own small repertoire. Based on my limited experience, those Mally books come pretty close to the settings that I hear in our local sessions. I may reassess that if/when I get to know my way around the music better.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

RE the The fiddlers fake book. The mandolin vsn has fewer tunes and is not as good by far. So be warned!

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Dont’ wish to show my ignorance but … What’s a fakebook ?

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Thanks NJE Makes sense I suppose.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

The Pete Cooper book 99 English fiddle tunes has a good selection, and CD with it if you can’t read the dots - the tunes have been listed in the recordings section here.- https://thesession.org/recordings/display.php/2521
But I prefer the Hardcore English book and a double CD is due out for that I think.
As c.g. says above, a northern English session can sound completely different to Southern English, in style as well as tunes - you don’t really pick this up from the book CD’s.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

"Muiñeira De Chantada"
Key signature: C - D - G major (and a little play in g minor)
Submitted on September 20th 2007 by ceolachan.
https://thesession.org/tunes/7738

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

The double CD to go with Hardcore English is already available, and very useful. Doesn’t have all 300 tunes though!

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Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

There is Lionel Bacon’s "A Handbook of Morris Dances", published (2nd edition) in 1986 by The Morris Ring. Typed and bound In ring-binder format, it’s a scholarly work clearly intended for those who are seriously into morris, and contains the dots of a large number of tunes associated with morris dances in the West of England. I haven’t counted the tunes, but they appear to run well into three figures. There are a number of morris tunes in Bacon that are versions of Irish tunes, as well as others that go back well into the 18th c and earlier.

Bacon’s "Handbook" should be obtainable from Hobgoblin, where I bought my copy. No CD or tape.

Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Lionel Bacon’s book is a great resource, but you don’t get that many morris tunes played in English sessions.

‘Hardcore English’ came out of a discussion on Tradtunes about - if you were going to recommend 20 tunes as a basic core repertoire, what would they be. The main conclusion was, it depends on which session you go to! The late Barry Callaghan took this on and compiled Hardcore English. Unfortunately he died a few weeks before it was published, but it’s a great memorial to him, and, as he wanted, as really useful book.

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Re: Common tunes worth learning from other traditions

Thanks to Lynn W and c.g for the recommendation of ‘Hardcore English’. That sounds great. It’s going onto my Xmas list. 🙂

Paddy’s Trip to Scotland (see above)

Irish (Donegal) tune, not Scottish, in spite of the name?