Set compositions

Set compositions

Is there a "right" way to put a set together. eg only specific dances, or a "Key" order ie A D E A? And is there somewhere I could find already put together sets?

Re: Set compositions

Scottish pipe tunes were typically arranged in sets thus: march, strathspey, reel, march. The transition between the tunes was in tempo rather than in key. Irish tunes are more typically arranged in groups of the same tempo, and key changes provide relief when they occur, but can be overdone. There is no "right" way to put sets together, but there is a wrong way, and that is painfully obvious when it happens, which is mercifully rare. Some tunes simply cry out to mate with another: others are bad bed-fellows.

Posted by .

Re: Set compositions

I believe that the best way to make a set is to leave it to your freely-easy-going mood while you are playing a tune and something else just comes after by itself, out of no-where.

Re: Set compositions

> And is there somewhere I could find already put together sets? <

I recommend that you listen to some CDs of Irish Traditional Music.

Re: Set compositions

I second the "bad bed-fellows" idea, gam! Obviously it’s a matter of taste (or lack thereof), but here’s a few examples. My "yeah, I know it’s traditional to play them together, BUT" award goes to the Tarbolton Set ( Tarbolton/Longford Collector/Sailor’s Bonnet) , also known as "The Curse of the Coleman Curse" set. They’re all wonderful tunes on their own, but just because Michael Coleman put them together doesn’t mean they GO together. On the flip side, one of my favorite traditional sets is "The Sailor On the Rock" / "The Lady On the Island". They just go together, like peanut butter & jelly, bangers & mash, John & Yoko (scratch that last one!) You get the idea…

Re: Set compositions

There’s no reason not to learn the old sets. Some of them are really inspired, and they’re all likely to be known, so you’ll have some company playing them.
But you should go ahead and try putting tunes together yourself - either as hykkoh suggests, by following the whim of the moment, or with a bit more intention.
Some people will tell you to move in rising fifths - G - D - A, that sort of thing - but I’m more drawn to melodic connections. If you find that you want to downshift into a flatter key, it can sound great, as long as the tunes go together.
I’m especially fond of non-intuitive links that turn out to be totally logical - Musical Priest/Star of Munster/Dick Gossip’s is a great set - starting the last tune with the high part, as about half of the people I’ve played it with do. They don’t seem like they’d fit, but they do.
After you spend some time putting them together, though, you’ll find that you’re able to come up with them on the fly, and you won’t be sitting around hoping that nobody uses the middle tune of your new set. There’s always another to fit in that slot, and once you know the tunes, you’ll be able to find it.

Re: Set compositions

"There’s no reason not to learn the old sets"

Could you list a few of these for me?

Thanks…!

Re: Set compositions

Don’t you like sets where the titles complement each other? The Girl that broke my Heart/ The Broken Pledge is one of my favourites and The one that was lost/ The Sheep in the boat another such.

Posted by .

Re: Set compositions

Thanks Joe.

Could anyone tell me what this tune is called?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpRFgBw-b9o


I’ve learnt it now, and I’d like to make it into a set. Any suggestions for suitable tunes that would go with it? Please excuse my lack of knowledge 🙂

Re: Set compositions

Oh, the thematic sets are great fun, and can suggest groupings that wouldn’t immediately leap to mind on the musical features alone. I played with a fellow who liked his "nautical set" - I don’t remember the order, but it was Ship in Full Sail, Out on the Ocean, and The Rolling Wave. I’ve been looking for a third reel for the misogyny set - Chase Her Through the Garder and Drag Her Along the Road. Then there’s the modified titles - Banish My Foreskin, the Cliffs of Mohel, and The Humors of Trim, for example.
But of course those sets should be abandoned immediately if the tunes don’t actually work together….

Re: Set compositions

> "nautical set" … Ship in Full Sail, Out on the Ocean
Hey! I play what I think of as a "nautical set" with those two in.
I also do "one end to the other" hornpipes": Bantry Bay, Belfast

Re: Set compositions

Lonesome Road to Dingle, Dingle Regatta, and Merrily Kiss the Quaker. The lust set.

Re: Set compositions

I have noticed that some sets seem designed for distinct contrasts between the tunes while others are made up so it’s almost difficult to hear the transitions. I like both kinds. Sometimes my sets happen because I finish a tune and the next is so strongly suggested by the previous. The name sets can be interesting: Lock the Door/Smash the Windows/Off She Goes: the party hearty jig set.

Re: Set compositions

Ther are 3 great books with accompanying CDs by the Monkstown branch of Comhaltas with over 100 tunes per book arranged in jig,reel, hornpipe and polka sets. Go to the CCE site and they’re named "Foinn Seisun" book 1 etc. You can get them on line from Custy’s in Ennis or from Ossian.USA
Slan

Posted by .

Re: Set compositions

I’ve recently become fond of Good Morning to Your nightcap going into Tuttle’s

Re: Set compositions

One interesting tidbit I found in the liner notes to Ben Lennon / Tony O’Connell’s new CD "Rossinver Braes"; Ben mentions that when he began playing tunes in the 1930’s, tunes were generally played one at a time, i.e. not in "sets" (medleys). It seems that the practice evolved out of the classic recordings of Coleman, Morrison & Killoran (to name but a few), where tunes were put together in medleys, presumably (I’m g,uessing) a move by the recording companies to give the people buying the 78’s more "bang for the buck" since, at most, one could fit roughly 5 minutes of music on a side, no more (maybe this is why they seem to be playing so fast!). So it would appear this whole business of "sets" is a relatively recent phenomenon…velly intellesting!