Tune Type Transmogrification!

Tune Type Transmogrification!

I submitted a tune some weeks ago that I came across on the Comhaltas Archive site ( www.comhaltasarchive.ie ) that had me stumped. It was from an old recording of New York fiddle great Larry Redican. On the recording in question, he played a reel I had never heard before, so I posted my transcription as "Gan Ainm" until somebody could figure out what it was. Lo and behold, our own 52Paddy figured out that it was the jig "Gillian’s Apples" being played in reel time. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to look at it that way. My question is this:
is the practice of moving existing tunes into unrelated time signatures a new idea in ITM, or has it been going on forever? I’m aware of examples like "An Buachaill Dreoite" (hornpipe/jig)
as well as "The Colliers" (reel/jig) but not many others spring immediately to mind. Just for the hell of it, I’ve even taken a stab at it here (scroll to the bottom of the comments page):

https://thesession.org/tunes/1600

Anybody else try their hand at this? It’s a pretty interesting exercise, I think…

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

I think this has maybe gone on for some time - That < "The Colliers" (reel/jig) > you gave there is the one I use to explain it sometimes —
jim,,,

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

Plagiarism is and always has been rife in traditional music. Airs get turned into dance tunes, then people put words to dance tunes, so they become airs again - and they frequently get turned from one type of dance tune to another.

Yes, I have tired it, and it can be interesting. But I have never ‘kept’ any of my reworkings, since the chances are, it’s already been done and better - and if the results were any good, then they are probably still around if you look for them.

Here are a few examples (courtesy of the sleeve notes to The Pipering of Willie Clancy):

https://thesession.org/tunes/6524
https://thesession.org/tunes/2249
https://thesession.org/tunes/3456

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

do it all the time

Posted .

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

The pentatonic tune Traver’s Reel, sometimes played as a jig, notably by "The Lonely Stranded Band" as "Pat McMahon’s Jig". Also "The Maid In The Meadow" which is an "A" version of "Green Fields Of America". I’m not sure if it happens elsewhere but here in Melbourne I often hear 100 pipers played as a waltz and a jig.

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

There’s a popular jig here (which I can’t remember the name of) that resembles the Congress reel.

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

The Kane sisters play a version of The Broken Pledge in 6/8 on their album The Well Tempered Bow. They play Do You Want Any More? (The Colliers’ Jig) before it, which can be found in O’Neill’s.

On the whole I find it a lot easier to turn a reel into a jig than the other way round.

There are also quite a few slide and polka versions of the same tune, such as Nell O’Sulivan’s slide and the Gullane polka, for example. Sliabh Notes played it in both forms on their album Gleantánn.

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

Caber Feidh (Rakish Paddy) existed as a reel, a jig and a march fifty years ago. Recently I have been working on Carolan’s Concerto as a jig as an on-going exercise, and one day I’ll get the last bit right.

Posted by .

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

It’s on Cathal McConnel and Robin Morton’s album ‘An Irish Jubilee’.

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

Tomas O Canainn in Traditional Music In Ireland talks about the way that the same melody will shift between song-airs and dance tunes:

"The whole process of composition and transmission within the tradition makes an interesting study. In the past, and even yet, original composition as such is not the norm. One finds old material being reworked to provde the setting for a quite new song. The jig Tuirne Mhaire becomes the air for the song An Brianach Og… the well-known set dance The Blackbird is quite clearly related to the song A Spailpin a Ruin."

Also oftenimes jigs and reels are obviously related, such as
The Bucks Of Oranmore = Lark In The Morning.

It’s very common for people to shift things about, for example Cathal McConnel plays The Gravel Walk as a jig.

Here’s the Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band playing the jig The Atholl Highlanders in 4/4 time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qxvJ28W-7k&feature=related

Re: Tune Type Transmogrification!

Yellow Rose of Texas -> Patsy Geary’s