Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

A recent session in Killarney had this sign chalked under the main session advertisment .. I have suggested it to several regular sessions attended in Belfast and further afield, all of whom agreed and this was seconded by managment..Viva La Revolution..Buy a Whistle yiz b a s t a r d s

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Yeah yeah yeah, dont believe you. Christy Barry accompanied my fiddle playing quite recently on Spoons. Id rather play with him anyday than a bunch of Bodhran bashing w a n k e r s on th e internet!

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Oh yeah, he plays whistle and flute too!

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Everyone get your brooms!

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Yawn…..here we go again….

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Guess they’ll just bring their shaky eggs instead.

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Yeah, it is yawn time Al, and I’m as sick of it as anyone. But it’s important to keep up the drip drip. It’s important to keep them down. It’s important for the sake of that one person who might have that epiphany and put the bloody thing down and take the plunge and learn the tunes.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Djembes and snare drums too eh? youll be wishin they had just brought the Bodhran! 😉

Where does that leave the many folk like Christy then LLig, he knows the tunes right enough, yet he plays the spoons as well. Does it ever occur to you that some folk play the spoons etc because they enjoy it, and that plenty of other folk do to.? Of course Christy would not be welcome at your session I guess?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

yeah, that’s folk music for ya as it is now. Oen arm for anyone, just so long as they enjoy it.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

open

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Top of the morning to you Leachim, lovely day! How’s your mum’s chooks?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

very well thankyou.

But I’ll not chicken out of this debate

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Where does that leave the many folk like Christy then LLig, he knows the tunes right enough, yet he plays the spoons as well.

So, why do you think he plays the spoons, and would he be welcome in your session?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold plywood frame?
A smile from a flail?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool tune?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part with a drum for a lead role in a tune?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.

We’re just two lost souls swimming in a internet bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old beers.
Wish you were here.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

That sounds like a total cop out. You just said you weren’t chickening out of this debate … Come on answer the questions…😉

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

You asked one question, would the spoons be welcome where I play? No.

I asked eight.

Let’s start with the first:
Can you tell a green field from a cold plywood frame?

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Anyone who plays anything well should be welcome at any musical gathering. Music is an expression of the mind and soul. Why are you lot limiting its proper expression to a select group of instruments?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I enjoy playing with musicians who are in time and tune. Any sort of music will work if it’s played with passion, commitment, and a bit of understanding of, and resepct for, where it comes from. Playing ITM is no different, although sometimes I think it would help if the players had more on their minds than just a desire to repeat what they think is proper because they heard it on some ‘authentic’ CD. Bring me trhe sppons and bodhrans, as long as they are in tune/time/key. Play the music on plywood for all I care.

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Well said, Joel.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Music’s all well and good, but we’re talking about bodhrans and spoons. Where does music come in?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"christy barry accompanied me with spoons on the fiddle"
‘sounds like it more than fiddlin with his spoons ur after ye name droppin sonuvabitch..And yeh sum people r goin to get away with it..And yeh if ye play a proper instrument in addition to yer goats arse this is more likely.
The self played the Bore- ON for 10 years and was widely welcomed at sessions, public performances and competitions. before saying to the self..SELF its time to make the effort to learn tunes..It now hangs on my wall and thats where it stays unless the self gets nostalgic andbangs along to a CD when bored..Yes this is a personal experience and subsequent opinions are only relavant to my own interpretation of the tradition that is passed on.
.. Playing the Bodhran may me a good path to the music, but I cant understand those ancient Bodhran players who never pick up a whistle or Fiddle or whatever. Whers the Hunger for the Choons? How can you profess to be custodians of the rythem, at the epicentre, at the heart of the soul of ITM choons and not progress to playing them. Laziness?? just like smoking cannibis is a good intro drug b4 forming a PROPER crack habit..Why not just bypass the first and go staright to the Crack..At least then you dont have to be self concious about your drug/instrument cuz yer not hardcore enuf. Notice not many people give off about the Flute or the Fiddle or the Pipes on this site. Nor do Flute players Fiddlers Pipers etc ask others in the ITM community to regularly
recognise or legitimise their musical endevours. Why is that

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Call a man a w a n k e r in certain bars and ye will be wearing ur fiddle.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

‘Music’s all well and good, but we’re talking about bodhrans and spoons. Where does music come in?’
Surely that’s a bit silly Jon? Do you you really think that music would be complete without rhythm? Does it matter where ther rhythm comes from? Perhaps it’s implied by the briliiant multi-tasking of players such as yourself? Perhaps in other situations/contexts it’s suggested by percussion players. Why is this important to you?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Oh and it’s pretty musical too. A good percussion player can convey a range of emotions and musical articulations just as well as a ‘melody’ player can.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"Why is this important to you?"

Yes, it’s silly, it was meant as a flip response. We’re talking about bodhrans and spoons, how serious can we be?

But you do ask a serious question, which deserves an answer: no, of course don’t think music would be complete without the rhythm. But in the music we’re talking about now, the rhythm is explicitly and constantly stated by the melody player. If there’s ever a need for a drummer of any sort to keep track of the down beat, things have either gone horribly wrong, or else in some direction that ain’t Irish music.
So yes, it does matter where the rhythm comes from. It comes from the tune - all the bodhran player can do is ratify it, or get it wrong.

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"Oh and it’s pretty musical too. A good percussion player can convey a range of emotions and musical articulations just as well as a ‘melody’ player can."

I’ve heard a lot of good bodhran players - in fact, I am a pretty good bodhran player - but I’ve never heard one of them play an emotion. And if anyone ever told me "Boss, I wasn’t off time, I was expressing an emotion", they wouldn’t be hired for the next job…
As for musical articulations, I’ve never heard the spoons played legato, either. Mostly stacatto on them, and the drum as well.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I suggest that Jeremy add a new section to this site, so that the full tradition of this music can be passed on. Thesession.org clearly needs a section where bodhran, spoon, bone, egg, djembe, bongo, Lambeg, and euro-on-the-table players can post their various rhythm slashes and paradiddles.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

And the hard shoe dancers ?

Lazy - the last word.

Christy is a friend of mine. He’s a great player. He’s a professional musician doing a gig several nights a week and holding down a day job. He doesn’t drink and he’s probably done more gigs than this guy Ionannas has had hot meals.

He’s bored a lot of the time. If he can get somebody to play the fiddle while he sits back and clicks some spoons together, why, he’ll do it. He’s no fecking fool, is our Chrishty.

The gigs (in Doolin, anyway) are more like informal paid performances - not sessions in the true sense of the word. The tourists love seeing Christy welcome a punter into the scene. But seeing a guy like Christy play the spoons is like watching Tiger Woods swatting flies. It isn’t what you’ve paid your money for. If you’re any kind of even a half-assed fiddler you’d know what a waste of musical genius you’ve just witnessed.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

So can melody players just pick up spoons and play them well ? Without having to work out how to do it and practice ? No skill of hand required ?

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ha ha, priceless. Yeah, fancy being proud that a really good player clacked away you, instead of having a tune with you.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Perhaps the sign should be changed to read "BAD Spoon and bodhran players not welcome" 🙂

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

But then you are asking them to judge themselves. As I said on the other thread, It never ceases to amuse me that EVERY bodhran player shrugs off the hostility they get by blaming it on 97% of those who can’t play.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Last time this subject came up I reached the conclusion that we have to understand the different types of session in which different people like to participate; the ‘Tunes Only Session’ and the ‘Tunes Plus Accompaniment Session’.

The ‘musical ingredients’ of one type of session cannot be imposed on the other Each camp has to respect the views of the other and allow each to play the music as they see fit.

An ideal situation allows both approaches to the music to coexist and this does happen. Otherwise do we have alternate nights or venues?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"Oh and it’s pretty musical too. A good percussion player can convey a range of emotions and musical articulations just as well as a ‘melody’ player can."

And that, I think is where the problems start.
Bodhrans, spoons, shaky eggs, DO have a place in session music. But that place is in the accompaniment - discreetly keeping time in the background. Expressing emotion is the melody players’ job.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"Expressing emotion is the melody players’ job".

That comes over as a rather self-centred approach to playing tunes with other people.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Oh dont worry lig, we had a good few tunes as well. Yes Cocus i reckon he probably has. I brought Christy in as a real life example, just to make a point. That being that some of the best trad musicians in the world play bones and bodhran.
We weren’t in Doolin, and Christy was definitely not bored! . He had a great time. 🙂 We were playing for fun, not tourists!.

Jon, >>But in the music we’re talking about now, the rhythm is explicitly and constantly stated by the melody player>>

If only that were true! In the hands of good players then ok, but there are plenty of players, if they deserve that name, who cant play more than 4 notes in rhythm.
If the Bodhran is ‘irrelevant’ to ITM then why do so many top players play with a bodhran player? They obviously serve some purpose IMO.
I would suggest that in fact its the opinions the odd fiddlers opinion is irrelevant to

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

HUh? ….
ok…I would suggest that in fact its the opinions the odd fiddlers opinion is irrelevant to Traditional Irish music , and that they should just bet over there dislike of The bodhran!.
I have to wonder, llig, are you a reformed Bodhran p[layer? did you start trad as a lowly drummer? are you a reformed ‘accompanist”?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"It never ceases to amuse me that EVERY bodhran player shrugs off the hostility they get by blaming it on 97% of those who can’t play."

Llig, that is funny, but it is a chore!

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

It’s nothing to do with egos, it is the structure of the music. The accompanists are there to provide a ground - a platform upon which the melody players can dance. Their function is just as important as the melody players, but different. If everybody takes the lead, that is not music, it’s anarchy.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"If the Bodhran is ‘irrelevant’ to ITM then why do so many top players play with a bodhran player?"

Because they are recording artists:
- they have to sell cd’s and a bodhran makes the music much easier to understand to a wider audience
- they are able to attract the very best bodhran players
- their friendship with bodhran players does not allow them to deal with the cognitive friction that, while useful in a recording studio or at a concert, these bodhran players are as useless to the process of spontaneous irish music making as the guy at the pub who just agrees with everything everyone else is saying during a conversation.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

The stucture of the music has a lot to do with melody players being there so that dancers can dance. I thought anarchy was where no-one took a lead. A conversation is also a situation were often no-one takes a lead. Group expressions of emotion tend not to be very subtle.

But what I want to know is why some good melody players are also good at percussion. Don’t they have to put time in practising to get good ? Why would they want to do that if they could be playing tunes ?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Reminds me of a local session where they have been so nasty to wanabee goat-bashers that there are almost never any.

But there is a core who is paid by the pub so there is some aspect of "performance". Which is why they let some step dancers dance - and encourae their presence. Right bloody racket. It’s cognitive dissonance again - because we’ve been told that irish dance music is all about dancing, we tolerate even dancing that is completely disruptive to the core concept of the session.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

It’s nothing to do with egos, it is the structure of the music. The tunes are there to provide a ground - a platform upon which the tunes players can play. Percussionists have no function, other than to colour the music, as all the percussion needed is already in the tunes.

One of the great powers of this music is that everybody who’s playing the tune shares the lead. And the reason it’s not anarchy is because of the way the music is structured. The tunes are rhythmically very dense, and often, harmonically very open.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"Which is why they let some step dancers dance - and encourae their presence. Right bloody racket. It’s cognitive dissonance again - because we’ve been told that irish dance music is all about dancing, we tolerate even dancing that is completely disruptive to the core concept of the session."

Interesting comment there Tirno given your biog n’ all.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

It’s nothing to do with egos, it is the structure of the music.

Is it possible to dance a set to tunes without rhythm? No. Is it possible to dance to rhythm without tunes? Yes. The Primacy of rhythm in Traditional dance music is therefore established..

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I have this apparently weird position whereby music for dancing and music for the sake of music are two not-necessarily dependent entities.

And I also think that irish music in particular has reached a point where it is divorced from dancing: the "session"-side of the tradition (which is pretty middle-classy and "untraditionnal" in itself) isn’t primarily concerned with dancing, so why some people insist that it is dance music is beyond me.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"Is it possible to dance to rhythm without tunes?"

In some traditions, yes. I can’t think of a single traditional dance form in europe which can be done properly without melody.

Of course you can always "fake it" - imagine a melody, dance anyway - but it will be something else.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

It’s had the river danced out of it so, huh?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Phrased another way, anyone who thinks you can dance irish music exclusively to rhythm either
a) doesn’t know what they’re talking about
b) has lost it and has forgotten/doesn’t care about what makes irish dance different from other kinds of dance
c) is a the kind of step dancer who is clueless about the music

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Don’t they have to put time in practising to get good ?

No.

You can get "good" on the bodhran in about twenty minutes. Compared to the hours and hours it takes to nail down a tricky tune - like Tommy People’s Doorish, in Bb, on the D flute - talk about practicing a bodhran or spoons is laughable.

You can have very nice session without a bodhran. Can you imagine a session with *only* a bodhran?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

d) owns at least one of the following:: an expensive bodhran, a pair of bones or spoons, shaky egg.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"Is it possible to dance a set to tunes without rhythm?"

What a stupid thing to say. The tunes HAVE rhythm. Buckets and buckets of it, densely packed and bristling with energy. The rhythm IS the notes of the tune. You can’t divorce the notes from the rhythm because they are one and the same, it’s a stupid nonsensical concept.

What you can do though, and if there was ever a brunt of it this is it, you can divorce the rhythm from the notes. i.e., play the rhythm without the notes. But why the feck would you?

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Is one reason for disagreement here that some people are carrying elements of ceili band or ‘performance band’ aesthetics into sessions, where other people don’t like them.

The elements from the two types of band would not be the same - maybe a tendency to regular phrasing and accent in the ceili band, arrangement for the consumer in the other.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I would say spot on, david.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

a) doesn’t know what they’re talking about
b) has lost it and has forgotten/doesn’t care about what makes irish dance different from other kinds of dance
c) is a the kind of step dancer who is clueless about the music
d) owns at least one of the following:: an expensive bodhran, a pair of bones or spoons, shaky egg.

No, wrong on all counts.

lig, the tunes only have rhythm when they are played well, it is not intrinsic in their nature because they dont exist independently of the people playing them, unless you are talking about sheet music?

In case you hadn’t notices we are on a site dedicated to ” jigs, reels and other dance tunes”

Yes you can divorce the music from the culture it developed from, but IMO then you are dealing with only a part of a whole. which is like the blind man telling us about an elephant from feeling its ear!.

Im not saying trad is only dance music, thats clearly not the case, but it serves a social function in that regards as it does in sessions for folk to enjoy while having a pint etc.
Rhythm is not intrinsic to the tunes by any means, oh if only it were!

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

So you claim that it makes sense to dance irish dance just to a bodhran? Step? Ceili? Sean Nos? Set? All of them.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

If so, then how come people don’t?

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

>>Is it possible to dance a set to tunes without rhythm? No. Is it possible to dance to rhythm without tunes? Yes. ..<<

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I just wanted to be clear we were talking about *irish* dancing, as opposed to african, etc. in which it is clearly possible to dance to rhythm without tunes.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Of course the tunes exist independently of people playing them. They exist in the hearts and minds of the people who play and share them.

And Im not interested in tunes played badly.

And of course rhythm is intrinsic to the tunes. My dictioinary has intrinsic to mean, "relating to the essential nature of a thing."

If you don’t think that rhythm relates to the essential nature of the tunes, then all I can say is you musit be hanging around some pretty duff players.

The tunes aren’t the tunes any more without their "essential" nature. Me thinks often from your postiungs that you really find it hard to grasp the basics.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ok, so you think a tune isnt a tune when it is not played well? What is it then?IMO it is just a tune played badly.


So your saying that a tune without rhythm is therefore not a tune? I disagree, it is just a poorly played tune.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

<<Of course the tunes exist independently of people playing them. They exist in the hearts and minds of the people who play and share them.>>

Interesting proposition; they exist as a potential to be a tune, but a tune in itself? How can this be? You are saying that something exists if it exists as a concept, an idea? Really?! Surely the tunes exist as a potential in the hearts and mind, but not as an actuality?

The idea is only that, it is not the thing itself.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

The bulk of the problem is that so many rhythm players think they’re more clever than they are—they think they have "the music" when really the *only* thing they have is the beat (assuming they can play in time).

In contrast, any competent melody player (we’re not talking here about wannabes who can’t carry a tune) has the beat ***and*** the tune—"the music," complete and unabridged.

And based on the endless posts about all this on our esteemed mustard board, it seems that people who think they’re more clever than they really are have only half the argument as well….

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

It’s a tune lacking its essential nature.

I say "a" tune. I’m making the distinction between what is generally called mere "music" and what people who play diddley music call "the music".

"The tunes", as we refer to them, are not "The tunes" any more when not played in the style of "the music". i.e., if they don’t have the rhythm intrinsic to them. They are just dots. They still have rhythm, just the wrong rhythm.

If you’re a person who likes to play diddley music, you’d know this already. It’s one of those basics.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

You never sing tunes to yourself in your head? That’s how I learn them. You saying I’m only singing ideas, not tunes? You’re wrong. I’m singing tunes.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ionannas: while the question of whether your opinions regarding Irish music are or are not correct/relevant/informed is still open in my mind, I don’t think dragging the discussion to philosophical arguments which you are clearly not well equipped to make is counter productive.

Whether things exist when they are not embodied is a philosophical debate which goes back to the Greeks (and probably further back). To take a platonic stance, each tune must have its ideal otherwise we would be unable to recognize different versions of the same tune as being the same tune.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

(Of course I’m clearly not equipped for constructing sentences in English that make me appear more clever than I am :( )

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Trouble is llig, you will have to keep repeating the definition. Because quite a lot of people consider that, for example, one of these tunes being played by Richard Thomson as linked in that recent discussion is still the tune. Not just dots. And whether they still have the rhythm intrinsic in them is a matter of opinion as well.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

to sing; ” to utter words or sounds in succession with musical modulations of the voice; vocalize melodically.”

So no you are not singing according to the basic definition., your simply thinking.
The tune is an idea. It has no intrinsic rhythm, because it doesnt exist out side your mind, until you play/sing it. Once you do that it is more than an idea, but it still has no intrinsic rhythm, because it can be played with or without rhythm. It stops becoming dance music, because it has no rhythm, but it can still be music.

Until you can define these amorphous concepts; ‘the music’ and ‘the tunes’ to distinguish them from ,’ the tunes’ and ‘the music’ , then how can we discuss them as different things?


For example Kevin Burke does some strange things to the butterfly, is that ; the music, or ‘the music’. is it still a tune? is it still the butterfly?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I love playing the bodhran, I am welcomed at plenty sessions.
I do understand the animosity to badly played bodhrans - and the fact that they are more common than well-played bodhrans -, and, to an extent, the superior attitude of the melody player, but I really think we can get along together.
I’d love to play melody, and I’ve tried and failed. I am in awe of musicians who do, and feel privileged to be able to play in their company. Thanks again.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

LOL Tirno. 😉

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

>>To take a platonic stance, each tune must have its ideal otherwise we would be unable to recognize different versions of the same tune as being the same tune.<<

How can that apply to ITM as there are many different versions of tunes? Is one version ideal? No.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

This philosophy malarky is bloody pointless. And so is trying to pin down specific definitions of things. It’s not science. Another one of the basics you can’t seem to grasp

Of course I sing tunes in my head. Od course I have tunes in my head, (to many in fact). They are not merely ideas. They a real tangible things that happen in my head, and the heads of others. You can’t play them on instruments if they are not in your head first. The whole process of learning them, learning the music is the art of getting it in your head. Yet another one of those basics you’ve missed.

Rocky Roader, you’ve not tried hard enough. Start by singing tunes in your head. It’s the only place to start.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

To flog a dead horse yet again: the concept of a divorce between rhythm and melody comes from outside ITM…people who claim otherwise either do not understand this, refuse to understand it, or do understand it but are lazy or cynical or both. I have a deep vein of contempt for the cynical ones - I know your game, and it’s misleading the uninformed, usually for profit and self-aggrandizement. Get real jobs if you want to make money and quit ruining the music! A "rhythm section" is no more essential to any performance of ITM than barnacles to a ship.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

some sanity at last

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Well llig, if you the language in a different manner to the general definition then I guess it is impossible to debate with you. You can simply change your definitions to suit yourself, as you do.
>>You can’t play them on instruments if they are not in your head first<<
You cant llig, perhaps but others certainly do, from paper.

Now I guess you will come out with your floating definition of the music, its not ‘the music’ cos llig says so! LOL .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

do you sing tunes in your head?

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Every musician I know sings tunes in their head.

And as you obviously missed it ‘cause you can’t/won’t read:
"Trying to pin down specific definitions of things is bloody pointless. It’s not science. Another one of the basics you can’t seem to grasp"

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Hands up who doesn’t sing tunes in their head?

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"…but others certainly do, from paper."

That’s a brilliant example of circular reasoning gone awry: argue that the tunes don’t exist as tangible things, and then cite the inky dots on paper as proof that you don’t need the tune in your head.

I have to wonder if Ion was once a writer for Monty Python.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I hate when you can’t sleep cause there is a phrase that’s running all over your head. Every nook and cranny in your noggin.Pr

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

there’s worse though Hugo, it could be a feckin ABBA song.

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Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Thanks llig, the feckin’ winner takes it all is now in my head! dum de dum dum, about the something, something blah blah blah….

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ionannas do you ever listen to a familiar CD and know what track is coming next, and if so how does that knowledge seem to present itself to you ?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I vocalise ,I sing/hum it.
My contention is that llig does sing it, he vocalises subconsciously and inaudibly, but nonetheless he is actually bringing the stored information and expressing it in a physical manner. This is in line with modern scientific research by the way.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Curious Ionannas. Because what comes into my head is often something I could not possibly vocalise and whilst distinctive and unmistakeable must be very incomplete are imperfect.

But something similar happens with tunes. And the Sailors Hornpipe comes complete with the sound of clog dancers feet. I wonder whether that is how added percussion gets carried along with the tunes for some people.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"incomplete or imperfect" . (and the hornpipe is incomplete but includes with the feet)

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Shesh, more typos. I give up. I need fod or a drink.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

holy sh*t lads whats with all the rough feckin language

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Oh, another bodhran & bones bashing thread! ….. nevermind.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Try mentally singing a chord a chord david, cant be done, only arpegiated. Why? if it was just in your head then it would be no problem.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

No takers then for an acknowledgement of there being at least two approaches to making music with these tunes. The tunes, and the tunes alone don’t need any accompaniment. They have enough intrinsic points of interest of their own and can be considered whole and complete for those who like it that way.

Another approach is to add accompaniment to the tunes by means of harmonic and rhythmical colour. Some people like it this way, some the other, and some both. If we can learn to enjoy to the different approaches and understand, we might move away from a pointless quarrel in which we continue trying to bang square pegs into round holes.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

That’s the point Ionannas. I said "something I could not possibly vocalise". For the tune to have an existance in someones head they only have to "hear" it in their head. And it does not have to be to complete or accurate for a strong sense of it to come through.

What’s in your head when you are discussing the chords for a tune ?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

ok, well it takes all sorts, are you perhaps visualising the dancers?

I dont generally discuss chords for tunes but if i do I would be visualising them on the instrument.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

GC, there are as many approaches as there are musicians. What we have here is a few individuals who wish to impose their approach on others by insisting that the bodhran is inappropriate to ITM even when all the evidence points to the contrary. Now I can accept that for some people this is the case, the percussion is unwelcome but for them to extrapolate from that that therefore it is always inappropriate is egocentric to an extreme.
The fact is that the bodhran and bones have a place set aside for them in the world of ITM bar a few outlying pockets of dissenters.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ionnas"My contention is that llig does sing it, he vocalises subconsciously and inaudibly, but nonetheless he is actually bringing the stored information and expressing it in a physical manner. This is in line with modern scientific research by the way".. Hey Ionannas. Can you please cite this reasearch, as aspect of my thesis is cognitive recall function in relation to sound..Specifaccly relating to the Deafs ability to compose. You comment seems to contradict my endeavours up to this point. If you could cite the specific Research Paper/ Project team / consortium I would be much obliged. Quite often the "Modern Reasearch bypasses the European centre of exellence for cognitive and speech therapies where Im at. Thanks.. Perhaps it doesnt exist in a platonic or tangible format?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ionannas, my mind is beginning to boggle. I’m not visualisiing anything. Dancers feet go sort of clipitty clop, its a sound. And you were discussing the chords for Blarney Pilgrim a couple of days ago.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Amazingly I am going to Killarney for the first time in 33 years on the 23rd for a union conference in the Malton Hotel.

I shall soon sort this out.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ha, an expert. Buck_Alec, maybe you can help, I was just wondering what the auditory equivalent of ‘visualisation’ was. Is there a word for it ? Like, whats in my head when someone says ‘creaking door’.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Buck Alec was a legendary "hard man" from Belfast who used to parade about the town with a lion on a lease.

Given the posters liking for McSherry and Brendy Mulholland, thank God he didn’t say Stevie Mulholland ( the Unreliable one) I would suggest he is possibly from Belfast.

As he calls tunes "Choons" I would suggest he may belong to a sect in Belfast, who possibly should be avoided.

As someone who has played the bodhran hundreds of times with the Mulhollands, and a few times with McSherry in the White’s Tavern days, I can assure you all that they do not share his sentiments. Indeed you cannot keep the drum out of Brendy’s hands.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

So he is not likely to answer the question ?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I only being a c unt .) there was no such sign outside a session in Killarney. I just wanted to get llig and Ionanaananans on the go.
I actually enjoy playing the Bodhran meself. And do welcome a good player at a session a ther are many of in Belfasht. Good to see I not the only one who remembers Buck Alek..

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Glad we have some real experts around bliss.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Iv never seen Brendy playin the drum..As for my comment on research cognitive recall etc I was goin to wait to see if yer man went and pulled up a load of research before tellin him I have no clue what im talking about. Badness precipated goading. Know a deaf fella who is reasearching it though and will ask him about the creaking door thing..jaysus

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Methinks you are one of those folk who knowsthe awnser already
..

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

A crafty country Fella with funny ears

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

108 Replies! If this was a real Revolution I would well be drinking the Tsars Vodka by now

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

With your spelling buck it was pretty obvious you were chancing yr arm there. and Im glad i called you on my first post , I just knew it was bull…

<<And you were discussing the chords for Blarney Pilgrim a couple of days ago. >>
David, as far as discussing chords, yes I did but half a dozen times in a life time of playing music hardy counts as often does it now?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ha, I quite like the idea that my exasperations can be a spectator sport.

And I’d like to say that anyone who can’t hear music in their heads, including harmony etc will never be even a half decent musician.

If you can’t hear it, but have to visualise the shapes of fingers on an instrument instead, there is no hope for you.


And Gran, yes, I’m a taker for acknowledging there being at least two approaches to making music with these tunes. And that they are not mutually exclusive.

The tunes have enough intrinsic points of interest of their own and are whole and complete.

And you can add accompaniment to the tunes by means of harmonic and rhythmical colour. However, the harmonic additions are true additions to the music, inspired by the melody. The rhythmic ones are not, they mirror what is already there, all be it with an extra tonal colouring.

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Oh and llig, I asked 2 questions in one sentence : >>So, why do you think he plays the spoons, and would he be welcome in your session?>> and neither was the question you answered, which I didnt ask.;
>>You asked one question, would the spoons be welcome where I play? No.<<

As far as your ‘questions’ earlier yes is the answer to all of them, though i dont really understand this one; >>And did you exchange a walk on part with a drum for a lead role in a tune?>.

Are those the actual lyrics? I thought he exchanged a walk on part in a war, for a lead role in chains…

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Your brain only works on the literal doesn’t it.

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

No. wrong again llig, as usual 😉

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

It does..thats why he cannot look beyod my dyslexic spelling..
My work does have a viseral quality at times. Ionananas I fear we will never truly connect. Unless its you fiddle with the wall 🙂

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Nonetheless it is quite fufilling to witness you feign insight. I have done so on a number of occasions. You posses a marvellous Ego. It is simply magestic to behold. Its as if it Frolics

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

And the utter frustration your obscurity presents to a wider audience, in particular , Llig is MARVELLOUS and probably provides me with more amusment than is proper under the circumstances. Should we by chance meet at a session I will simply slag the ballz off you. You KNEW this thread was utter sh*te and still 108posts later , Viva La Revolution

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I dont think so buck 🙂 in fact, i have to wonder, from your spelling, if you are in fact lligs alter ego?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

ha ha, and I’ll deserve every bit of it. Just don’t bring your feckin bodhran.

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Of all the amusing misconceptions aired in this manic thread, the one that appeals to me most is the description of a guy going round Belfast with a lion on a lead being described as a "hard man." That’s no hard man. That’s just a man with a titchy willy. A real hard man would go round Belfast wearing a pink miniskirt with a Chihuahua on a lead.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

A description being described? Too much bloody Doom Bar again, Shaw…

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Kindly dont speak ill of the dead. Buck Aleck wud have send you home in a wheelbarrow or a box

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

My comment doesnt even do his memory justice.He was by all accounts a Gentleman and treated his old toothless lion with great care. Pity men cant walk up the Shankill from the New Lodge or vice versa these days and back again for Sport. A lot of people have fond memories of things like that. Your comment was funny but I assure you would not been seen in that context in the locality

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Rather than asking who he was..To which the awnser would be One of the Greatest Bare Knuckle Fighters Belfast ever served up.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Is this the bloke? fascinating. I don’t trust Wikipedia though, it’s riddled with as many errors as the tune section here. How much is correct from your rememberance of the bloke?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Robinson

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

The stories I have heard are from a time before sectarian divisions became acutely pronounced but thats another story.
Buck Alec was from sailortown and then moved to the shankill, which is now a loyalist paramilitary heartland. The Wikipedia entry suggest he was a R.U.C reservist. This is the first I heard.
I thought he was from the New Lodge but that must have been Silver Mc Kee. Its been a least ten years since I heard these stories. He was a prizefighter and was well documented to have made sure his opponents got home alright..Wheelbarrow or otherwise. Plenty of Old men Irish Nationalists recall fond memories of the man. That was an era before things were so black n white I guess. More of a workers identity rather than one centred around religion or nationality..There seems to be a book written

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

n his book Formations of Violence, Allen Feldman argues that Robinson was seen as a "hard man" who believed in a fair fight, rather than a common thug.[4] Despite his brutality and possible involvement in several murders, he is often viewed with nostalgia in a similar way as Ned Kelly. While there are other well-known characters with similar reputations such as Wetherall, McKee,Wetherall and McKee Bucksy Drummond and Nailer Clarke, Robinson remains the most remembered.[citation needed]

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Born into poverty in Belfast’s dockland area Buck Alec Robinson could neither read nor write and by 29th January 1913 at the age of eleven he made what was to be the first of many appearances before Belfast’s courtrooms. Before long he was implicated in murder and jailed many times. Robinson owned greyhounds and raced them at a local stadium but his fondness for animals didn’t end there. He owned vacant ground behind his home and let it out to travelling fairs every year. After one particular show the travelling fair left the show grounds minus one lion. How Buck Alec came to acquire the lion isn’t clear but it became his pride and joy and it wasn’t long before he was seen taking the king of the beasts for walks through the streets of Belfast.

An old uncle of mine who lived in Sailortown near to Buck Alec’s place told me that cats and dogs, but especially cats
began to mysteriously disappear not long after the lion moved in. It was widely assumed that Buck was supplementing his pet’s meals. He went on to tell me that on these walks with his lion, Buck would be seen bent over backward as the lion dragged him up the street on the end of a long rope. To some it resembled a tug-of- war event. Men would cross to the other side of the street or did an abrupt about turn. Screeching women and children sought out the nearest refuse, be it a complete stranger’s house, a shop doorway or the nearest Pub. People would peer out windows as he and his beast passed by and they would cautiously step back onto the street and watch as the lion plodded on with Buck alternatively straining or stumbling behind. Weary judges ordered Buck to have the lion de-clawed and its teeth removed. With all the fun taken out of his feline interests he was soon back to causing mayhem and was implicated in sectarian murders and before long was given £5 and told to leave
the country by authorities and he went to England then to Canada. But the lure of Belfast was too much and he returned to his native town and was promptly arrested. He lived out his days in street brawls, shootings and controversy.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

wtf is the matter w/you northern irish tub thumpers?! you’re at least as obnoxious as the worst all-hat-no-cattle Texan with your perpetual boastings of musical, pugilistic, alcoholic, and sexual accomplishments.

Don’ t you ever get tired of being genuine pains in the hole?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

The fact that Dr Ian went to his funeral is enough for me! 😀

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Gerry Adams and Martin Mc Guinness went to David Irvines Funeral. Not everything is black and white. What that yer on about there m8? no such thing as Northern Irish anyway ya di ck. at least get the terminology right.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Funeral..#so did Dr Ian..obviously

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

You appear to be lashing out at two different people in one two-line post there, old boy. Even I’ve never managed that in my long, illustrious history on this site. 😀

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

There’s a terrible ship wreck. And only three survivors. Ian Paisley, the pope and Daniel O’Donnell.

They crawl out of the ocean onto a desert island, you know the kind, just 30 feet round with a single palm tree in the middle.

Paisley is livid. He looks up to the sky and shakes his fist in anger, "Dear Lord, why have you forsaken me? You have abandoned me to torment for the rest of my days, what have I done to deserve this." etc etc. Daniel and the pope just sit chatting under the tree.

A few hours later, Paisley has worn a trench round the island as he paces round and round, occasionally stopping and shaking his fist at the sky … "Ouch!" he says as he stubs his toe on something. He bends down and he finds buried in the sand a colt 45 and two bullets. He picks up the gun and slowly puts in the bullets. He looks up again at they sky, "Oh my dear Lord, you have not forsaken me. How could I have ever doubted you?"

He walks up the tree. Points the gun and shoots Daniel O’Donnell …. twice.

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Funny story llig, thanks. Just to refine an understanding, as I see it, of what the bodhran does as regards the ‘tunes plus’ acc. session. I agree that the bodhran for the most part simply mirrors the rhythms already present in the melody but it need not do this all the time. The old ‘instruction’ meted out to bodhran players to ‘follow the tune’ is partly responsible for it being played this way. However it can be played by adding an ostinato rhythm created by adding notes or more effectively, by omitting notes. Either way a different rhythm can be formed. Furthermore (and admittedly this doesn’t happen as much as I’d like to hear) the drum is capable of playing at a pitch that fits the tonality of the tune and it can change to suit any modulation. Please note I’m not advocating pitch shifting ‘at will’ rather than find the correct pitch and stay there!

My point is that what the bodhran offers to the ‘Tunes + sess’. despite its limitations is no less a true addition to the music and certainly no less inspired by the melody than other accompanying instruments.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Buck Alek…you are a legendary windup merchant. Best poster I’ve seen on this board, ever. Rip er up!

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Yeah, the ostinato thing. Best recorded example I can think of of that is the first set of jigs in that planxty record Words and Music. I really like the bodhran on that.

Not sure about it in a session though. But I’ve never experienced it and although I’m an incurable cynic, I’m also a romantic optimist.

All the (so called) decent bodhran players I’ve ever heard in sessions have fallen into 3 categories:

The relentless bumperty bumperty buddlee bumperty. It’s like feckin Chinese water torture. I can tolerate it if it’s away away and I can’t hear it. (though I have to turn away and not look either, otherwise I end up imagining I can hear it, and that’s feckin worse.

The John Joe Kelly up and down and up and down all aver the feckin place. Aaaaaagh, it’s when they do that hi pitched pipperty plipperty pipperty plipperty pipperty plopperty plooperty right near the end of the tune then slide down pitch to a big bass thump for the last beat. Feck off. They have no clue, absolutly no clue as to how stupid and infantile it sounds bext to the tunes. I think these are the worst. People who play like this have to be deaf, I can think of no other explanation. I bet if you had Evelyn Glennie in your session she’d play like that.

The ostentatious loud show man who plays to the croud and expects everyone to follow them. These guys are great to do a gig with, and the best of them know not to play in the session.

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I have to leave the room whenever I hear that John Joe Kelly thing. It reminds me of that noise I used to do to make my kids laugh when they were little, patting my cheek repeatedly whilst gradually opening my mouth, making it sound like water glugging out of a bottle. It’s funny when it lasts 2.68 seconds, but a whole set of tunes full of it propels me to hell.

Not my arse cheek by the way.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ha, ha, yes Steve, or the ruler on the edge of the desk. I do like JJK’s playing but the problem is the bought a drum a couple of years ago and got into trad copycats.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I couldn’t agree more about the copy cats pitch shifting and the pippity popping ad nauseum and I’m not the only bodhran player who hates that. There maybe a time and place for that but not when accompanying a tune. The sooner we can get that message across to those who continue to perpetrate that style the better.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

copycats..is that not what all trad musicians are anyway?
anyone ever go to a session and play all tunes YE made up that week? Jfairly likes JK is a decent mandolin or banjo or one of those hillbilly stringed instruments player too. Bodhran players who cant emulate that syle usually say its sh*te because they CANT do it. After years of playing on the beat and leaving tonal variation until the shift in the tune itself, i can just about do it and not with much successs. Old timers like gran cassa shud just admit JJK makes them wet and they are frustrated cuz ther drum wont do the dirty favours that Johns does. Its like asking which leg ud prefer to be shot in, different styles same outcome..I have nothing against Bodhrans in a session and to some extent find them both condusive and cohesive to the tunes, I find it easier to play more difficult tunes with a good steady rythem in the background, for this purpose bodhrans a Grand job. A gutair does the same. Infact a session without a (htf do ye spel geetar) Geetar or Bodhran is a very dry affair. Gutair and whistle, flute and Fiddles being my ideal combination

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

well, guitar and whistle, flute and Fiddles just happens to be the norm where I play.

But the dryness of no guitar gets more appealing the older you get. I’f you’re an old c u n t like me, it can be pretty good. I suppose it’s the space that I like. But you’re obviously a restless young un.

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

And if you like the bodhran helping you out on your "difficult" tunes, you’ll grow out of that as the tunes become easier.

(he’s gonna murder me for that one)

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Its more by way of a reference point, but yeh i I leave off on a difficult tune and im the only whistle or flute player and theres a Bodhran there yeh It helpsme out , I just hope to Fu ck i didnt start the tune in the first place..
Il teel you this now, learn a couple of mazurkas for when the Bodhran player shows up, they try wee bit wher they think they have it then bang they dont and HA

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Flooks tunes especially…You start a Flook tune by jaysus u better be able to play it like the clappers cuz guaranteed most wont have it off

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

+I bet if you had Evelyn Glennie in your session she’d play like that+

We did have Evelyn Glennie in a session once, (she was filming for a German TV special) and she didn’t play like that at all. She kept a fairly light and simple rhythm on bodhran and then bones. However, there were at least two clueless "free beer for bringing a bodhran" types who insisted on playing along , out of time, out of touch, obsolete my baby etc etc
You’d think in the company of the Greatest Solo Percussionist In The World ™ they’d have at least backed off and listened a bit

Posted by .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Hey Buck, lay off the old timer with me son! I can get plenty of pitch variation out of my drum it’s choosing when and if it’s appropriate. JJK is a fantastic player but he doesn’t use all the pitch shifting in a session - he’s too good a musician and so am I!

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

im happy for ya

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

musicians play mucic..Are you perhaps a percussionist? son

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

that would be music# Cristy Brown plays mucic

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Funny that you have to assert that you are a good musician..
What qualities would you suggest a good musician like your self must posses? I hope to qualify someday

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

You dont want to be addressed as Old Timer, yet in the process of making that ear you call someone Son.Thats a complete contradiction. I bet you voted Bush..
I shall hearby refer to you as Old Timer from this point foward

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Open mindedness, sensitivity, intelligence, imagination, sensitivity , technical ability, sensitivity, dedication, did I mention sensitivity?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Percussionists are so funny

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Are you describing your perfect man Ionananananas. You are certainly a romantic..

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

If so, then technical ability in *what* precisely? :p

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Same question for dedidaction..Ionananananananas you are a dark horse

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

JJK does do the pitch shifting in sessions. Very well too…he, unlike most bodhrán players i’ve come across, actually knows the tunes.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I’ll tell ya, if someone showed up with a bodhran and a lion on a leash, I may feel inclined to let him sit in for a few tunes, even if he insists on playing with the aforementioned ‘poopety poopety plop plop BOOM!’ style. Hide yer housecats, tho. ‘Mr. Whiskers? Mr. Whiskers? Anyone seen Mr. Whiskers?’ ‘ROAR! [burp]’

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

John Joe is also a nice mandolin and banjo player. He definitely knows the tunes.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

But if someone turned up with a lion on a leash and no bodhran you could feed all the bodhran owners to the lion. Every bloody man Jack.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Aha! Mr. Shaw with the excellent solution!

"Well, kitty’s getting hungry…"

"Oh Jayzus, what now?"

"Oh hi guys, can I jam with you on my bad-ran?"

"…heh heh heh…"

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Hey Buck lighten up! You call me old timer I call you son - just a bit of fun. The rest of my post was in that vein, including the ‘assertion’. As for the qualities required for a good musician – use your ears and a good sense of humour helps. You may well qualify some day if you ain’t there already.,

As for JJK’s pitch shifting I wrote ‘all’ that pitch shifting meaning the continuous up and down you sometimes hear by lesser players in sessions. JJK does it a lot less in sessions than he does on stage. Agreed, bodhran players who play melody instruments and therefore know the tunes are often better than those who don’t. No argument with that.

Technical ability. Gained over time so that that you don’t sound like someone who can’t play the instrument I suppose.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Seems the stories I wuz told as a child wernt up to much.
This account is both comprehensive and shocking. I should be more careful before becoming nostalgic about a man who obviously persecuted my own community. Manipulated by the state, possibly. I had no idea the extent of his credentials as a Murderer. It was possibly Silver Mc Kee from the New Lodge I was confused with..I am going to print out the above account, Im sure theres a couple of folks wud be interested..
Cheers

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Now im sure of it..
two men who made their mark in local folklore through their street fighting abilities, "Stormy" Weather and "Silver" McKee. One a Protestant, one a Catholic, and you may think that their many fights were over religion, if both had been Protestant, or both Catholic they still would have fought, the title ‘hardest man in Belfast’ was at stake. "Stormy" came from the protestant Shankill and "Silver" from the Catholic Market district, and us kids held them in equal esteem ..but I have to be honest ..when ever these two met to fight, our cheers would have been for our co-religionist, for after all that old Orange and Green is never too far removed from any of us, don’t let anyone try to fool you on that, Scratch deep enough and the Orange or Green blood will flow, sure that’s what makes us different and unique. But I will always try to be fair and of "Stormy"(Left) I must speak as I have heard of him, a decent man and known for his religious tolerances, and a trade unionist activist when he worked at Isaac Andrews Flour Mill. One story I grew up with, about "Stormy", was that an Orange bully was slagging off a not too robust Catholic fellow worker at the mill, on hearing the sectarian insults "Stormy" slapped the Orangeman all over the place and said, "keep that crap out of here ,we are all brothers in here"..

Thanks for sending me the link for this magazine. It is a Gem

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Hey look! Llig and that illiterate Buck_Alec are squeezing the tradition into a tiny box again. THEN, as usual, stuffing their fat arses into right into the center so no one else can fit.

ROTFLMFAO 😀

Carry on.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

You grow up somwher and dont know half of what went on. Especially from round the 30s-50s. Anyone else with a token interest in Belfast folklore should check this out.
I stand educated.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Guess my spelling would suggest that I am illiterate at times. I hope this is not the case and will try to improve. Just for u Pal.
. To Jeremy - This is not facebook. It is an invaluable resource for keeping the tunes alive. Dont let my messing suggest I dont take the Tradition, or this website seriously..I will keep inane comments to a minimum. Apologies

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

My pleasure Belfast_Ceol86. I found it a fascinating read too. Some good work done there with local history. The gentleman’s book looks like a good one, I think the website is excerpts from it. Cheers.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

can hear it, and that’s feckin worse.

The John Joe Kelly up and down and up and down all aver the feckin place. Aaaaaagh, it’s when they do that hi pitched pipperty plipperty pipperty plipperty pipperty plopperty plooperty right near the end of the tune then slide down pitch to a big bass thump for the last beat. Feck off. They have no clue, absolutly no clue as to how stupid and infantile it sounds bext to the tunes. I think these are the worst. People who play like this have to be deaf, I can think of no other explanation. I bet if you had Evelyn Glennie in your session she’d play like that.



Excellent Llig. Now John Joe himself can play when he is away from Flook, but his imitators cannot, because they play a "Flook" rhythm at a session which doesn’t fit the tunes.

When I first said that I was accused of being a big head. Me?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Silver McKee was from the markets, alleged hard man and bully. But not too clever.

He used to bully people in the snooker club, play them for £5 which was a lot of money then, and the opponent was supposed to be too afraid to win.

However intelligence runs in my family. He did this with my father one night, who was duly "throwing" the match. As Silver settled down over a crucial black, my father hit him over the head with his cue, lifted the money, and walked out.

Now he never went back, but as they always say in my family, I hate stupidity.

Also sums up ideas of "hard men". The most cowardly usually wins by foul means.

The above by the way is actually true.

There was another night Silver upset a member of the "travelling" community. Now that was a mistake……….

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Who gives a monkey’s bloody mickey about "imitators of John Joe?" Can I think of anything more inane than wanting to be "an imitator of John Joe?"

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Ha ha ha ha ha.


"Memories"

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

obviously you really do care, Mr Shaw

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Reading through this debate reminds me of people who think there’s only one proper accent or one propper way to speak ‘the queens english’.

I’ve never banged billy goats borrox, but have heard many who can add masses to the overall feel of a good session by doing so. Rythm & subeltty & tuning by a decent bodhran player can be the only accompanyment you need for a good singer. They amy not be the tune but they can set the mood.

If you’re having a go and it’s working, keep going. If it’s not working then listen up and change it. If someone else has to tell you you’re making it worse, then shut up & next time listen closer. With an instument that can dominate so easily, it’s important to exercise even more restraint than the rest of us on strings and pipes.
I’ve noticed there is a tendency among many with the stick (the majority?) to keep on hitting whather it’s helping or no. That’s what really needs to be addressed. It’s not the instrument, it’s the nut on the back.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"If someone else has to tell you you’re making it worse, then shut up & next time listen closer. "

What if that someone is me?

Posted .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Just for future reference, the right colorful and hilarious representative from Belfast appears to now be Trucks_Mulligan.

I’d like more Belfast memories from Mr. Bliss. Fascinating!

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

"What if that someone is me?"

That means they’re in the wrong pub.

Posted by .

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Some of you seem to have missed the point.
Regarding Christy playing the spoons - this is a top-class musician, who arrives at the ssession with a melody instrument or three. What musician couldn’t tap out on the spoons or bang the goat in time.
What the article is about, is non-musicians turning up at a session carrying sundry pieces of junk, because they can’t play an instrument and don’t know anything about ITM.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Well thats a different matter entirely then Geoff. It has nothing to do with specific instruments, and everything to do with people who cant play, thinking they can! I can think of fiddlers and whistlers who fall into this class, but not bodhran or spoon players. though others will have different experiences.
Christy happens to play the spoons very well, he knows the tunes, and has mastered the required techniques.

My point in mentioning him was to make it clear that it is not the instrument, but the player. While llig has the opposite view, it wouldn’t matter to him if it WAS Christy, he still wouldn’t be welcome at ‘lligs session’. Actually Is it lligs session? or is it a communal event? Does llig attempt to dominate the session as he does here? with his ‘strange’ ideas about banjos concertinas, bodhrans, etc? I wonder…

Id say its a combination of both really; There is a general feeling that some instruments dont ‘fit’ with a trad session, Trombone, electric guitar, Trumpet, etc . Probably because the players of these instruments are unlikely to be adept at trad, and are loud.

But the bodhran and spoons dont fit in this category, because they ARE accepted as traditional and suitable, when played well[ apart from the odd character with a bee in his bonnet like llig].
Perhaps a trombonist who could actually blaze away at tunes well would be accepted? but I doubt it. They would likely have to start their own trombone led session! 🙂
The fact is the Bodhran is one of the oldest traditional instruments and I would assume the bones to be so too. It has a place reserved for it in the traditional’ lexicon’ and long may it do so.

For llig this doesnt matter he cares not a fig for tradition. He doesnt care if it Christy Barry playing the spoons, they are not welcome in ‘his session’

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Geoff, There is a point to this discussion?????
😉

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Is there a point to any discussion? perhaps many points…

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

ionas"Bodhran is one of the oldest traditional instruments and I would assume the bones to be so too"

I was under the impression Bodhrans were not widely used in trad until relatively recently ie - past hundred years or so? and that the Drum and is variants had only been used ritually, Mummers, Wren Boys etc. One of the oldest traditional instruments would suggest a lineage on a power with Pipes or Harp..Enlighten me..Never heard of travelling Bodhran players..And they get no mention in the Brehon laws. what makes you decide they are so ancient? Awaiting my Education

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

and if a trumpet player turned up at a session I was at and could play the tunes well..F uck me that would be an interesting spectacle. Can u even play trad on a trumpet

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

One of the best sessions I ever played at had a Double Bass player..Comhaltas heads look away now

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

I’ve seen a trad tune played on a trumpet, it won’t catch on.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Hm.
From that article:

Ó Dónaill (1977) separates the two chief meanings:

Bodhrán1, m, (gs. & npl. –áin, gpl. ~) 1. Deaf person. 2. Slow witted person, dullard.

Bodhrán2, m, (gs. & npl. –áin, gpl. ~) 1. Winnowing drum. 2. (Kind of) tambourine.


I’m not sure I see the separation…

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Well the auld Bodhrán players are fair game for a bashing, get it!!, but only those that have not yet mastered the instrument. Many great Bodhrán players out there and long may they live.
Anyway my real reason for commenting is by way of a short story.
Sometime over a year ago when on an unknown but life changing journey I texted an old friend, Timo, fiddle player with the band Legacy and informed him that I had given up tossing and had taken up the Bodhrán.
His reply: natural progression mate!.

Even in the pop world I hear that the drummer is not considered as a musician , so how are they defined?

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

This was an interesting discussion for me and I enjoyed the thoughts on the subject. I didn’t realize that there was an anti-bodhran movement over there (here, too, possibly).

Still, I have always wanted to play a bodhran and plan to buy one very, very soon.

And in time, I shall bring it, along with my pennywhistle and fiddle, to the Irish jam session in my neighborhood. But no fear, I will confine my racket to this side of the pond.

Re: Bodhrans and Spoons Not Welcome..Viva la Revolution

Over where, you mean lligs session in Edinburgh? I hope you dont think this actually reflects on TheTtraditional scene in Ireland in any way? because it does not at all. There is , a bias against domineering unskilled musicians of every sort, and against domineering skilled musicians for that matter!

If your crap at what you do, stay home and get better before venturing out IMO.Arrange sessions with folk at your level. Practice with CDs and stuff till you know a whole bunch of tunes. Ask politely to join in, then be sensitive to the looks and vibe you get, dont join in on every tune , etc, common session advice.

Trucks started this as a wind up, to spark a bit of action, he himself played for a decade, sure he’s moved on, but make no mistake, there is a lifetimes worth of learning on any instrument however good you are, you can get better, until age gets the better of us all.