Could ITM survive without the Tenor Banjo?

Could ITM survive without the Tenor Banjo?

I doubt it very much. It would all sound like Danu and Lunasa and lets face it, that pretty dire sounding stuff.

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Re: Could ITM survive without the Tenor Banjo?

Nice try. I’d say it’s the best tunes will decide the fate of traditional music.
Then the player. The actual instrument is important but without some really good tunes & the good players it’s just ain’t happening.
Don’t listen to me though. I love flute or pipes.

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Nice try? What are you suggesting? I mean it, bands without a banjo sound boring to me. Sessions always get a big lift when a banjo kicks in but most other instruments dont have the same impact.As for backing instruments, does anybody ever even listen to them. Admittedly they fill in the gaps of a tune but big deal. we can survive without them. After all we dont dancers at a session do we?

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Newty, tenor banjo is all important to yourself. That’s cool.
There are some excellent banjo players.

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*

Actually you can probably help me. Will Harmon posted a female banjo playing a solo. Probably YouTube. Thing is I cannot find the thread.
If you caught it I would love to hear it again.Sorry, I don’t know her name or remember the tune. Her playing is grand!

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**

… female banjo player …

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Missed that thread but it could possibly Angelina Carberry.

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That’s her! Thanks Newty. I still cannot find the clip.
The ones I did are grand. ;)

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Can’t help but disagree. To my mind the traditional music survives DESPITE the banjo. With the exception of a few great players it is a clumsy instrument with limited tonal variation and every tune sounds identical. Because of this I find it almost impossible to learn tunes from the banjo. Sessions with banjos can sound good simply because of the percussive effect and nothing to do with the musicality.

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Prouse - The great tune "The Roaring Barmaid" (one of the few Irish tunes in your tunebook) was written by BANJO player Anthony "Sully " Sullivan. Did you find this tune impossible to learn?

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What a strange question - the way you answer it depends completely and only on your musical and instrumental preferences. I basically agree with random_notes that the tunes survive, not the way they are arranged. It´s nice, for example, to have a box player together with a banjo player - as in Dreaming Up the Tunes by Brian McGrath and Johnny Og Connolly - but it would also sound nice if the teaming was box plus fiddle, and any other combination would be possible without hurting the tunes. Being into old time and some forms of bluegrass myself, I could also ask if bluegrass would survive if there weren´t any mandolins in it anymore; the answer is : of course it would, because the tunes… etc etc.
And: having no banjo in ITM would NOT make it sound like Lunasa et al.; there are so many possible alternatives, and ITM is much too vital to lose energy just because there is no banjo. By the way: could ITM survive without the bouzouki ? I think it could , and it should; this has always been the instrument that bothered me most in ITM. But this just goes to show that it´s all a matter of personal taste.

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Could ITM survive without the didjeridoo?

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The short answer to the question is ‘It use to’
I’ve been playing Trad since the early fifties. The first banjo player I came across playing ITM was in London in the early sixites, and that includes all the ceili bands that were around in my time.

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Im sure it did well before the banjo came on the scene but lets be honest, some of those old recordings sound dire. All that old fiddle stuff by the likes of Michael Coleman etc, is that really what you call good listening? would you encourage a newbie to the scene by playing them that stuff? I do agree that in the wrong hands the banjo sounds like a monotonous machine gun but can sound very musical in the right hands. And how on earth MrProuse can you say the banjo has limited tonal variation? Doesnt that apply to all acoustic instruments? A fiddles a bloody fiddle right?

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You might make a more convincing argument asking if the tenor banjo could survive without ITM. It’s use in jazz is pretty archaic, though a wonderful musical style and discipline in itself.

Asking if newbies to ITM should listen to Coleman is like asking if newbies to the blues should listen to Robert Johnson.

I also think that if the music sounds good partly because of the percussive effect of the banjo, that effect is musicality.

The music could certainly survive without the banjo, but I would really miss it. As a banjo player, I’d also have a lot more time on my hands.

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It could survive but would be poorer for it. It’s the mix of ‘melody’ instrumentsand the variations and nuances that each one brings to the individual tune that makes it all so perfect and interesting to me. I’ m addicted to tenor banjo but I think ITM couldn’t survive without pipes, fiddle or whistle and flute.

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oK i’ll hold my hands up - i have been deliberately provocative. Just wanted to have a dig at all those people who slag the banjo. i personally feel all instruments that are currently being used in ITM have equal importance as they all bring something unique to the table and that includes the banjo as well. Its not just banjos that upset people in sessions - i bet i could make any instrument sound sh*te ( not just the banjo )

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No, ITM would not survive.

It would all become too serious.

Every good act needs comic relief, sooner or later.

Plunk-plunk,
Rook

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Newty - Thank God for that. You had me worried for a while there. While you’re on the subject, what do think of the ‘Jews Harp’ aka ‘Jaws Harp aka ‘Thrump’ and its role in ITM then?

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Yes, yes, yes, ITM would most definitely and gloriously survive. OK, there it is, I don’t particularly like the banjo. I prefer the bands without banjo. It angers me that Seamus Egan plays too much banjo and guitar rather than flute. I’m not a big fan of bluegrass and old timey either, where the banjo belongs.

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You could take away all the instruments and people would go back to lilting the melodies - the stuff is just too good.

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Good man Newty but you could’ve held out a bit longer until reinforcements arrived

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Waiting for backup?
Didn’t know SWAT was using the Tenor Banjo.

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I just wish the tenor banjo HADN’T survived, or been left in the trad jazz bands where it belongs. There’ll be a few around Henley-on-Thames next week, for the Regatta. Best place for them, along with the straw boaters and ridiculous striped blazers.

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Oh, no, Pete, the banjo is an expressive and versatile instrument. You can play it fast, and faster, and…. well, I guess that’s it.

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Ah, the Tenor Banjo.

In the hands of a good player with impeccable rhythm, its raucous vinous contribution takes one into a larger-than-life, Dubliners-esque warp where heads are broken, coke is crushed under a door, and tunes growl their way down the conveyor belt into the masher as Brendan Behan lurches in and the Ginger Man prowls in an eternally and quintessentially insanitory corner of the space-time manifold.

This is kosher.

In the hands of an indifferent player, especially rhythm-wise, it sounds like a succession of pianos being rolled down a cliff by the Young Conservatives.

This is a drag.

The only remedy in the latter case is patience and fortitude. Either he’ll get the hang, or he’ll get the hump.

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"When its great , its good" K.B.

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let’s find out.

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Newty, I traced back through some threads & found the YouTube Will submitted. I was wrong. The player is not Angelina Carberry;
Banjo player Brona Graham played this selection of reels on the 2007 Comhaltas concert tour of Ireland.
Brona is from CCÉ Loughbeg, Co. Antrim.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPhe3bDJx1E&feature

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Ah, nicholas, the poetry, the poetry! You’ve left me with bated breath, waiting for your next contribution.

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"….raucous VINOUS contribution….." ?
Nicholas, please explain !

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Hey Nicholas,

Shouldn’t that read :

"rolled over a cliff onto some Young Conservatives!"

<tinkle tinkle, suspenfull pause, crash, screams!>

Or maybe I’m guilty of wishful thinking.

Otherwise: well said that man!

- Chris

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(Read this joke on here from Llig)

Man’s at the landfill, throwing some stuff away. Suddenly another fella pulls up in a big hurry with a big truck. He frantically jumps out of the truck and flings the cargo door open. The truck is full of bodhrans. He begins to fling them, Frisbee-style, into the landfill, one after the other, as fast as possible.

“Hey, that looks like fun.” Man 1 says.

“It’s great fun!” says Man 2.

“Mind if I try?”

“Sure!”

After a few minutes of frantically chucking bodhrans into the landfill, Man 1 says “Listen friend, this is great fun and all, but what’s the big hurry?”

“We’ve got to get rid of them all before they hatch into banjos!”

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Yeah, good joke. Not mine though. Can’t remember where I heard it

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… . it’s a joke?

d’oh

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"This is kosher."

Depends what kind of vellum it has on.

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@Guernsey Pete:

I chose "vinous" because I could think of no specifically beer- or whiskey-related word that could convey such a gamut of meanings to do with the relevant sort of drink environment.

The word seems (to me) to encapsulate everthing about it that could enrapture or overpower a devotee and repulse an abstainer to the nth degree, from the flushed complexions, fruity singing and befuddled delusions of omnipotence that characterise a night in full alcoholic flow to the baleful rancidity of drink flowing back up one’s nose and the horrible realisation that the infant stirrings of one’s gorge are going to get ineluctably bigger and stronger very soon. Not to mention the state of oneself and one’s clothes in the morning.

I hope this answers your query.

(I also misspelt "insanitary", btw…)

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There’s no clear way for me to tell if I’ve misspelt things, because my blessed computer ( or is it the website ? ) has an American spellcheck system, and continually flags up words like colour, for instance, to my repeated great irritation. Not that I have anything against America, or Americans, after all I married one, but some cultural variations still jar, despite the pleasantaries and their famed hospitality.
They can’t pronounce testosterone correctly either; it’s testo-sterone, folks, NOT testOST-erone. ( I blame Mr Webster and his dictionary ).
? Why am I ranting on this late hour ? It must be the heat.
Anyway, 5-string banjo GOOD ( even if not for ITM ).
Tenor banjo BAD ( except for trad jazz ).

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shift/apple/colon British English.
Macs are great

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My goodness, am I going senile ?
TWO things now I agree with llig about !

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Could the tenor banjo survive without ITM?

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Irish Traditional Music will survive without ‘all the instruments’ put together, except of course, the original precurser (and ancient instrument of pratically all musical forms globally), namely the ‘drum’

the voice will do the rest, and the rest are merely extensions of

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just been reading through this, and some one said the 1st time a banjo was really used in irish music was in the 60’s, wasnt the first recording of irish music on a banjo recorded in something like 1904 in america with some one playing a banjo with a melodion??? and i have an irish made banjo, made for a well respected irish musician which was made in 1932??? yeah, irish music could survive without the banjo, but would we want it to. who wouldnt have wanted to hear gerry o’connor and four men and a dog, even cathal hayden. who wouldnt want to have heard enda scahill, who wouldnt have wanted to hear john carty, brian kelly, mark conyard. the list is endless. there are some amazing banjo players about. people just hate the banjo because barney mckenna, the man who made ie infamous was absolutely sh*te!!!!