How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Hello All,
I’m currently doing a PhD at UCC (University College Cork) on the learning experience of trad musicians. I’m interested on how or why people use online sources. If you would would like to contribute to the study I would really appreciate any and all opinions you have on the matter. Thanks a mil!

Here are just some questions to spark some thought, but feel free to add anything you feel interesting and important.
(For research sake, please include your name, instrument, age, and where you were born/grew up. I won’t use people’s names in my dissertation. Feel free email me directly at jessiecawley@yahoo.com if you wish to contribute your opinions but not wish them publicized on this discussion board).

What do you get out of websites like the session.org?

What do you like most about thesession.org (The discussion board, the tunes, the session search engine…)?

Do you consider the internet a primary source of learning?

Besides the internet, what do you consider the most important ways you learn Irish music (the tunes, skills, and other knowledge)?

Thank you all for your opinions!

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

ill bite, even though im a new-bee!

Chris,
Whistle,
24,
Belfast.

Thesession provides a league-table of popular tunes which gave me a ‘to learn’ list when i was starting out. It also serves as my tunebook as the intigration of midi/sheetmusic and tune tracking centralises the resources i need.

i also use michel eskins tradlessons.com and you-tube in general when i have doubts over the midi or want to hear a tune ‘in context’ - unusually, when i get stuck i find that the sheet music generally points me in the right direction where the videos and midi have failed to clarify a particular phrase. Aditionally you-tube has some aditional tutorial videos with breakdowns of some of the more specific techniques.

I also use the Chiff and Fipple forums for general information about instruments and etiquite, i find it easier to search and track discussions there then on the session.

I think, upbringing ascide, the internet is the thind step in picking up trad, to my mind this runs a bit like this:
1: hear a session
2: buy a fedog / find an instrument
3: THE INTERNET
4: profit! (or a really large instrument collection)

I believe the most important educational resource for instrumentelists is the session, which puts the music in a positive social environment, it makes the studants want to learn. The internet just runs parallell to the older system of tutage and slow sessions.

AVAST i have waffelled terrably, i appologiese

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Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Hi,
The internet is my main source for learning tunes.
After 25 years of being a ‘dot bound’ music reader I find the tunes search engine very useful.
The discussion board has lots of good advice from experienced players that I have found helpful.
For learning tunes by ear (something I find very challenging after being used to dots for so long) this is good…

http://irishflute.podbean.com/

I also use youtube tutorials quite often.

Neil Owen
Age 43
Classical clarinet 25 yrs
trad flute and whistle 2 yrs
Southern England

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Your the second one doing grad research on this. Mustard Board afficienados just finished helping out on one discussing the relative merits/value of Session and Mudcat. I have a link somewhere for the results and will post later if I find it. Very interesting data. Alot of statistics aimed right at your questions.

Personally, ITM musicians breathe ‘rarified air’ as it were. Many ‘normal musicians’ don’t understand us, the instuments, the technique the approach. And while it seems our number is growing a bit, we are still an obscure (thankfully notwithstanding the like of Michael Flatley, the Four pretty ladies in long dresses, The Three Operatic Priest, the guy who sings at ground zero and Irish Caribean cruise boats) minority, you can’t get the kind of advice Ilig, SWFL, the Reverend. Mtodd and others put out there.

Even if it is sometimes with a wink and a nod 😉

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Yeah didn’t we do this already?

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Oh yeah, we did, and there’s zippy with the links, good man zippy.

It’s a great resource, it allows folks to connect to the global community of musicians who love and play this music, it allows people to learn music from dots and ABC files, it allows people to find sessions when traveling, etc.

It’s also no substitute whatsoever for actually playing in sessions with real people and learning tunes the proper way, aurally from other musicians live and in person.

Re: How important are online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Auburn
Whistles ~ various keys
55
El Paso/Arlington, TX

What do you get out of websites like the session.org?
It’s a form of media. Newspapers & radio (locally) don’t often include the type of things you read & hear on music related sites.

What do you like most about thesession.org (The discussion board, the tunes, the session search engine…)?
Comments on individual tunes.

Do you consider the internet a primary source of learning?
2 parts:
- learning tunes: No
- learning about music: Yes

Besides the internet, what do you consider the most important ways you learn Irish music (the tunes, skills, and other knowledge)?
this is my short answer:
I always try to learn from anyone who is a better player than myself. In session, though, I try not to filter out the newer players. I still want to hear what each person is doing. I do listen to ( & learn from) recordings, as these provide me with some of my new tunes. There are always more tunes!

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Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

I’ve studied classical baroque on period instruments for quite a few years and have a degree in music. So I have a fairly traditional knowledge of how to learn. I learn ABOUT the philosophies, culture and musicians online. I learn about the myriad of diverse attitudes surrounding ITM from places like the Session. However, the lessons I take from a real master are THE main learning for me. ITM is all about people respecting traditions and creating new. I believe the nuances and heart of the music can be transferred best through a person. Then local groups are the setting to learn from people again so you can play together. So online is great for knowledge defined as information, tunes, history, opinions etc.
My teacher provides the knowledge needed to get into the music itself. Good luck!

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Nick,
56,
Whistle, DG melodeon,
Durham, England.

I’d learnt my instruments and a repertoire before finding The Session. To me it’s mostly a chat-room, interesting / amusing / diverting. I use the tunes section *mainly*, I think, to check up on tunes I’ve forgotten, to remind myself how they go. I’ve no hang-ups against learning or re-learning tunes from sheet music. I submit tunes if I come across suitable ones that are not already in, and now and then a self-composed one.

I dare say that if Internet resources had been available back in the 70s, I’d have made them part of my effort to learn the instruments. But I don’t use them in that way where I am now. Most of my learning has been by trial and error and hearing / watching other players. For all that, I did learn whistle principally from a printed tutor - after a lot of trial and error and listening, I might add.

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

steve
fiddle ( and guitar and banjo and mandolin; but not now )
56
usa wisconsin

I only use the internet to corroborate other
information that I have from real live musical
events.

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Laurence
piano and bass
49
Chicago, Illinois (but living in Arkansas now)
What do I get out of this web site? Some of the discussions are interesting and infomative; I can look up the "dots" for tunes; and I can find sessions in other states when we travel out-of-state.
No, I don’t consider the Internet to be a primary source of learning but I think it is an interesting place to visit.
I definitely believe that the best way to learn this or any other type or genre of music is by playing it with other musicians at a session.

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Thank you all for your replies. There a lot of good information and thanks for letting me know about other people interested in this. One last question, of the people who answered (or who still want to reply), how often do you play with other traditional musicians? Where you live is there a supportive music community?
Thanks again for all your help!

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

Janmarie
whistles
55

Right now I’m at the lesson stage weekly.
Can’t wait to play at a session. Lots of listening etc. to do first.
In Kansas City Missouri there are about 3 session opportunities around.

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

I play music with traditional musicians at least four times a month and yes there is a supportive musical community where I live in Arkansas.

Re: How important is online sources to your knowledge of Irish Music?

I play music with traditional musicians at least once
per week, with an audence and certain … refreshments.
There is a supportive musical community for this music
where I live in Florida. Having played with them initially
we rarely play with them now (last ten years or so).
Actually I grew up in Wisconsin and California.
And I should correct and say that I do find new material
on the internet: audio and, more and more, video that I
learn and use (not the corroborative material which is
mainly sheet music, abc, etc) to inject (infect) the
musical community. At least my little corner of the
community. However, this takes months ( typically
six months or so) to bring in a new piece of material,
whether I heard it on the net or heard it elsewhere and
researched it further on the net.