Colloquialisms

Colloquialisms

Building on Llig’s earlier analogy, which I think went down a slightly wrong track with speech impediments. We have this language (ITM=english or french), and people with different instruments (banjo=queen’s english, box=somerset etc) can play it. WIthin each accent colloquialism’s develop like "wee bairn" or "howdy y’all" that are specific to that accent/instrument, and can sound very out of place if spoken in a different accent/on a different instrument.

Sometimes the colloquialisms work, sometimes they don’t.

Of course the electric guitar is the instrument capable of the greatest range of articulations. But it is not welcome at the session as no-one can stand it’s accent (=brummie?).

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I was making a specific distinction between accent and dialect. As my analogy goes, you can tell where a player on any instrument is from, and/or who they’ve been listening to by their style, their accent. And I’m likening dialect to the articulations specific to certain groupings of instruments.

It’s important to make the distinction. This is the whole point of the thread. You can change your style of playing, but you can’t change what articulations are available to you.

You are not building on my analogy, you misunderstand it.

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Mike (great name!): do you mean the sort of "musical motifs" that certain instruments play but which wouldn’t translate to others? I think that’s quite an interesting notion: that certain instruments impose not just a sound but also little motifs / sequences of notes which are specific to that instrument, and that by introducing new instruments we are changing the music…

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I think that is a legitimate statement, Mark. Some examples of these motifs are the triplets in banjo playing and some of the bowing ornamentation in fiddle playing. I have never thought about it like that

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is a fuzz tone a motif, ornament or embellishment?

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How you play = accent
What instrument you play = dialect

Just making notes out loud as we go along here…

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Yes, And some instruments that create sounds in very different ways (for example, pipes, flute, whistle and fiddle) share a great deal of their dialect.

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…which is why these instruments claim your top tier from your other thread, in regards to their similar dialects, I wager?

So in actuality, it’s a hierarchy of how they articulate, what the particular dialect is of the instrument in question. I think that perhaps this is really the only defining factor of a hierarchy of instrumentation, how closely the dialect of the particular instrument manages to jive with the sounds that top tier makes, like when the fiddle and pipes ‘disappear’ into each other.

Again, I’m not adding anything new here, nothing exciting, probably blathering on for no good reason, just making notes, summarizing, etc. Helps me to understand at least.

Mandatory disclaimer: Of course all the other instruments not in that top tier have their own dialects and sound wonderful, boxes, banjos, harmonicas, etc. and truly skilled players use these unique dialects to mesh with that top tier.

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yes

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My analogy was inspired by a fundamental misunderstanding of Llig’s argument. Using SWFL’s notation:

Music Genres(ITM, jazz, pop)=Languages (english,french etc)

Instruments (banjo, fiddle, didgeridoo)=accents (geordie,cockney)

Articulations/ornaments(triplets, rolls)=dialect/colloquialisms("alreet pet" "wee bairn")

My point is that articulations developed on one instrument may or may not be transferable to another another instrument, just as colloquialisms emerging from one regional accent may or may not be unacceptable in another.

In this schema the fuzz tone is an articulation of the electric guitar which does not translate well to any acoustic instrument (although you can emulate it to some extent e.g. with an acoustic guitar, hitting the strings so hard they start to buzz against the frets etc.). But the interesting thing about the electric guitar is the instrument (accent) itself is generally felt unacceptable at a session, rather than the articulations (colloquialisms) of which it is capable.

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My point is that a great deal of the articulations developed contemporaneously on the fiddle, flute and pipes, and are not merely tranferable, but identical.

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IMO Your point is mistaken. Firstly the music has a long history predating the uilleann pipes ,and the pastoral pipes, while the flute and whistle have been played in Ireland for many hundreds of years.
Secondly: The ornaments and articulations available are very different on the pipes compared to the fiddle, though the fiddle makes a fair job at imitating some of them.
I mean its possible to cut, roll, etc on the saxophone.!

You could be saying of course that the ornaments are a relatively recent addition to the music, but I think not.

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music in ireland certainly has a histoery which predates the uilleann and even passtoral pipes. But" The Music " , as it is called here, probably (for the most part) doesn’t…

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I t’s difficult to prove, of course, but I think there was an explosion of what we refer to as the diddley music, (as to be more specific than general Irish music and song) around about the time of the introduction of the boehm system flute into classical music. There was a glut of cheap, great quality simple system flutes available and I think this kick started a surge in the playing of the music. And I think this was the time that the articulations developed

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interesting.pipes are way older. The boehm system is only about 150 years old. Surely there was "diddley" at that time?!

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Yes, so are fiddles way older, and there was whistles and flutes from way older too. And a lot of the diddley tunes are way older too, but certainly no where near the majority. I’m talking about a time when the amount of people playing and the amount music tunes grew considerably.

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Bits of dialect can and do get translated into acceptable forms in other accents, even other languages.

So an appogiawotsit in classical becomes a roll in ITM.

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No it doesn’t, Your appogiawotsit might have the same notes, but not the characteristic rhythm.

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Three notes on something that you pluck is not the same as a roll on something that you blow even if the overall timing and pitch match. Correct ?

But why is that difference any more siginificant than the difference between a single plucked note and the ‘same’ note blown ?

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it’s the same difference, hehheh…

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The drift of these discussions seems to be that the colloquialism is part of the music, not the dialect, and that mandolins etc just can’t do it.

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I think I made it quite clear at the start of the orriginal discussion that while the likes of mandolins can play the luanguage of irish diddley music. But just not the was flutes fiddle and pipes can. And I’m passing no judgement on which mar or may not be better.

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It didn’t take heirachies (tiers) long to creep in and get people backs up.

I can’t quite square the fairly uncontroversal observation above to the effect that, in speech, colloquialisms often don’t work in the wrong accent with the neat analogy of:
How you play = accent
What instrument you play = dialect

I almost seems to be part of a different analogy. Whats the musical anologue of a colloquialism ? I think the problem is that the distinction between accent and dialect is clear, but that between language and dialect is less so (e.g. Scots caused a problem in the other discussion).

And whilst things are never the same in translation Shakespeare is read in most languages. Poetry is not just about ambiguity.

Is diddly music on a mandolin like Shakespeare in French ?

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To a Frenchman.

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In performance (the Shakespeare)

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Aesthetically

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Do we only ever hear it in translation ?

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In my analogy the accent is the instrument, in Llig’s it is (a closer analogy) the regional style of playing - sligo, clare etc.

In mine, the sound might be described as having a banjoshire accent, or broad fiddlish.

Llig and I propose the same analog for colloquialisms or dialect: the ornaments (aka articulations or embellishments).

The argument I am advancing with my analogy is that some colloquialisms can successfully transfer from one accent to another (and some can’t). "Giz a butcher’s" originated in Cockney, but would sound at home in a Yorkshire accent or many other’s. Cranning on the pipes translates very well to the fiddle.

Actually it’s not really an argument, just an observation, hopefully a thought-provoking one.

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Yes it is thought provoking. Amongst other things it has got me thinking that analogies are best not taken too far on either side of the analogy.

I like llig’s "you can tell where a player on any instrument is from, and/or who they’ve been listening to by their style, their accent". .

I like your "Sometimes the colloquialisms work, sometimes they don’t" as in "Cranning on the pipes translates very well to the fiddle".

On their own it is clear what is meant. Unfortunatly they are not quite compatible. On thinking about it I find dialect and language too close to use dialect for the instrument.

I may be wrong to say that "the music of Carolan has a something of a baroque dialect", but you would know what I meant. Maybe better to change the anology and say it has a baroque flavour. But then we might get into gastronomic details.

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ha ha, yeah, the pipes fiddle and flute are your meat and two veg. The guitar’s like a side sallad. And the feckin bodhran is like smothering the whole lot with heinz tomato sauce

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ha ha, I can’t wait to tell the OM player in our trio that he plays with meat and two veg. We don’t need salad and definitely have no need for sauce

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And the banjo a crisp glass of chablis to wash it all down.