Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

Periodically, some contributors to this site, particularly those apparently carrying out some kind of sentry role, appear to get fixated with the ratio of submitter composed tunes to total tunes submitted by the same member. Drawing on inscriptions from the sacred FAQ (apparently some sort of two thousand year old parchment embodying all the Laws of Traditional Music, much of which has which has sadly faded, thereby requiring its periodic reinvention) it has been divined that one ‘own’ tune offset by new five submissions of traditional tunes is harmonious and magical but anything greater than the ratio 0.166667 provokes extended periods of chanting and ritual postings to The Site.

Should any contributor exceed the ratio 0.5 then their pseudonym is ritually stripped from them and stones are thrown at their house. To regain their privileges such miscreants are forced to attend a meeting of the Full Membership of the Session and play all the 38 variations of the Mason’s Apron in under two minutes thirty seconds on a traditional instrument the type of which is only revealed to them five minutes before their examination begins (and which they must also tune, without resorting to the use of any electronic devices).

Finding the five authentically ‘Traditional’, but as yet unposted tunes, presents in effect five Holy Grail type quests. The Session now contains over 12,000 tune submissions. Every tune known to man has already been posted, sometimes more than once. I once set out on a field trip to locate an authentic but as yet unpublished traditional tune and after three months wandering around the backroads of Kerry, I thought I had finally found one: In exchange for several drinks to improve the memory I was allowed to sit and listen to one lilting through of an ‘authentic’ Kerry polka apparently not played anywhere since the 1950s which had been handed down to my informant by his Great Uncle Robert who had himself apparently travelled extensively to work in the construction industry. I carefully recorded and then meticulously transcribed this rarity and brought my ABC script, trembling to the ‘Submit a tune’ section of the website. I was stopped in my tracks, however, when my three year old grandson insisted that tune was in fact the theme tune to the children TV programme ‘Bob the Builder’

It seems therefore that there really are no more original traditional tunes left.

However this does not seem to stop some contributors to The Session posting a considerable volume of comments, some of which are even interesting.

To offset the fixation with ‘own’ submitted tunes, I have now officially launched the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’

This is constructed as follows:

For a given member, count the total number of comments submitted by them to the Session. Then subtract from this the total number of tunes, recordings and sessions they have submitted (this is on the basis that it is reasonable to submit one comment against any useful offering of a tune, recording or session details on site). Then divide this by the same total number of tunes, recordings and sessions they have submitted.

The result is a ratio of extra comments to useful submissions as an index.

Anybody with an index greater than 3 should probably be avoided when encountered sitting next to an empty seat in a pub.

Anybody with an index greater than 5 will probably start following you should you leave the pub

Be warned! Be prepared! Now check your own score on this site 🙂

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

I agree with you - I think. I didn’t read every word.
I think you have too much time on your hands.

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

Quiet day at the office, Ed?

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

Goodness! After reading this, I can see that someone certainly does like the sound of their own voice 🙂

In all seriousness, I agree (generally) with the point you’re making but perhaps people are complaining because of the sheer number of "vanity tunes" in the listings.

I’m guilty of submitting my own compositions in the past and now realise that most of them are a bit crap.

A cursory glance at the last 10 recordings submitted seems to suggest that there are plenty of traditional tunes which haven’t been submitted yet.

At the end of the day, there’s only one moderator (as far as I know) so it’s up to you whether you choose to listen to, or ignore, the self-appointed arbiters of tunes.

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

I agree - be patient, there are tunes out there that you’ll come across that aren’t here, for all that’s worth..

Anyway, the guidance ratio is geared towards ‘own compositions’, is it not? There’s no prescription on modern tunes, provided I assume, they sound traditional. So if you hear one of your mates play a tune, it may be relatively new, but this still counts as submitting a ‘trad tune’.

If you have your own compositions and are bent on recording your creative efforts, then stick them in your member profile, which is rather blank as it stands……….

Posted .

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

It might be a more profitable exercise to go to a member’s profile, click on the number of discussions submitted, subtract the ‘what is your favo(u)rite tune’ variety, divide by the number of years since joining, and calculate the words-worth-reading-per-day factor.

Posted by .

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

If you don’t know any trad tunes that aren’t in the database then just don’t submit tunes. What’s the problem?

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

I don’t understand the problem with submitting your own compositions? Surely it doesn’t affect people searching for tunes?

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

I don’t care in the slightest about the ‘own tunes’ ratio. However, the first three usernames that come to mind * for "those apparently carrying out some kind of sentry role" are amongst the half-dozen or so users who’s transcriptions I would most trust, who add interesting comments and who often sort out the mess in other peoples ABC.

* There may be bias in that those are the usernames who I would tend to notice.

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

Short attention sp..

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

…an

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

….am

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

lets see.

Integtal dx the age of HRM’s children times the height of Sears Towers divided by the square root of pi….

Sorry have not clue

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

TL; DR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Too_long;_didn’t_read

Was thinking about a tune generator. Can’t be that difficult to slap together, we have poetry generators, after all: http://www.jelks.nu/poetry/dom/

In the style of a hippy:

"The Grateful Dead’s Patterns
John Lennon gives shotguns with beautiful waterbeds.
A flower plays lead with Haight-Ashbury’s windowpane.
Bob Dylan jams with the drug busts of velvet bummers.
Oh, how Woodstock gets addicted to a pop festival’s blacklights!

Janis Joplin overdoses on strung out lava lamps.
Ah, yes!
Timothy Leary blows bubbles in the bellbottoms of luscious quaaludes.
Yea, the bellbottoms of luscious quaaludes!"

Other options include Clinton/Bush/Valley Girl/Jim Morrison

Mustard post generator is even less of a stretch.

My training bra’s agony!
Cool!
My earring goes steady with some pretty gnarly boobs.
Can you believe my curling iron erupts with soft deodorant?

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

I remember someone made a random tune generator in the 90’s (maybe Alan Ng??) - it was buggy as crap and if you could get it to work it turned out tunes that are about as good as that poetry. Maybe if it had a bigger database of licks and words to work with the novelty wouldn’t wear off after 2 or 3 tries.

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

There are plenty of traditional tunes that are not yet entered in the database.

In my opinion we have too many ‘original compositions’. I like to go through the newly submitted tunes to see if there are any worth learning. The high number of bad ‘original’ tunes make that somewhat painful.

I would much prefer there are fewer tunes submitted, but of higher quality or of a more traditional nature..

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

If a member has not posted any tunes, recordings and sessions, then according to the OP’s formula calculation of that member’s Index would seem to involve division by zero.

Calculation of my Index according to the formula gives 31.8, so on the OP’s reckoning I should be the sole occupant of every session I go to. Or is age-related cognitive impairment kicking in and I’ve missed something?

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

Perhaps the submission of (at least) 5 traditional tunes should be a kind of ‘key’ to unlock the ability to submit one’s own composition! I think that would dramatically reduce the number of ‘own tunes’ submitted.

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

I have an Index of INFINITY, so watch out!

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

17.9. I’m disappointed actually. Must try harder.

Anyway.

Maybe the FAQs need a slight rewrite, because those who have transgressed don’t quite understand the concept outlined in the oft-quoted phrase:

"Well… The Session isn’t really intended for that. If you do post one of your own compositions, then you must do your "penance", so to speak, by balancing each original composition with about five trad tunes."

One usually hears them cry "But Mike McGoldrick isn’t dead, and his tunes are on here, therefore mine should be too" or similar. They all fail to see the point. Does it read "The Session isn’t really intended for the submission of newly-composed tunes."?

No. It doesn’t. Your own compositions may well be excellent, and very much in the traditional vein, more so than even McGoldrick’s! But the FAQ is quite specific in referring to YOUR OWN COMPOSITIONS. SELF-PENNED TUNES. THINGS WOT YOU WROTE ON YOUR OWN.

When members comment on tunes referring you to the FAQs, it’s not because we don’t like the tune, or because it’s not "traditional" enough, it’s because you have failed to understand, respect and follow guidelines that most of the community here manage to follow perfectly happily.

OK, they’re not the easiest things to find, and it’s very easy to forgive the transgressions of a first-time poster who didn’t spot it and then apologised. It’s less easy to forgive repeat offenders, those who try to argue a case that "all trad tunes had a composer once" and so on. Yeah, they probably did, but given the nature of most musicians and composers over the years and the very people who have created and evolved the music, they didn’t go around shouting "Look at me, I wrote this awesome tune, you should all play it and look at the dots and see how great I am and how much better I am at Irish music than you because I wrote a tune that is just so great."

Maybe some of them did go out and shout that, I don’t know. But from being on here I’ve read some great stories and anecdotes from other members about how tunes came into being, how they are shared, how thing start small and get passed around and grow and develop.

Personally, I fail to see how dumping a self-penned tune on here really helps to develop the "tradition" and what not. But when I post a comment on a composition gently pointing out the FAQs, I do it because I don’t like people who think they are above the rest of a community. This music isn’t about one-upmanship. Like I said, first-time "offenders" are easily forgiven. But to be reminded repeatedly, and to continue to post, as if you don’t think guidelines apply to you because your tunes are just so good and secretly you want Kevin Burke to find it on here and record it and make you famous, is in my eyes rude and arrogant. Sometimes I think it’s like turning up to a session and playing the 12-part Mason’s Apron in Bb to show how great you are.

The idea of once a year going through member’s compositions, giving them an airing, trying them out, and then OTHER people posting them is great. I don’t see why some contributors don’t get it.

As for struggling for "trad" tunes, there are definitely more out there. And why not go to tunes already here and submit your own version? Or transcribe a Chieftains arrangement, or a Flook arrangement, or how it’s played locally at your session? It still counts, even if it doesn’t increase that golden number of "Tunes submitted". Comments like that are very very useful. And if you do that, and then *have to* post another one of your own compositions, you can remind anyone who ticks you off that you have submitted loads of useful information to the site, and they’ll forgive you, as you are helping the website to grow and become an even better resource.



Finally, about the FAQs, why not change it to:

"Well… The Session isn’t really intended for that. If you do post one of your own compositions, then you must do your "penance", so to speak, by balancing each original composition with about five tunes not written by yourself, or add your own versions in the comments of tunes already here."

Or words to that effect. Maybe members would actually understand then.

Re: Announcing the ‘Sound of Own Voice Index’ for contributors to The Session website

I looked at my on-site History (to find out who I am, I suppose…) and discovered that I have submitted 108 tunes altogether, 13 being own compositions.

That, my calculator tells me, is one own composition to 8.3076923 tunes from the wider world. My calculator is definitely a details person.

That allows me, acc. the FAQs, to submit another 7.6 own compositions without doing anything to add to my number of traditional or traditional-compatible tunes from elsewhere.

I have no plans to do this! 🙂 🙂 🙂.

So, I think I’m still on the well-behaved side of the boundary fence.

My tunes (from elsewhere) submissions are very rare now because the tunes I know these days seem to be:

In the base already;

Too recently released on albums etc. to put in the base without asking permission - something I’m afraid I’ve been too lazy to do, so I’ve waited until they’ve been out and about for some time;

Extraneous to the catchment area of the Tunes site.


I’ve found vanishingly few Irish tunes in the main genres which I’ve known and, for whatever reason, haven’t gone in. (I did ‘score’ the Ballybunion Jig…) Nearly all my entries have been Northumbrian, Scottish / Shetland, or worthwhile finds from such English corners as the Lake District.

But the self-composed tunes…the fact is, I do like submitting them! At the time, they strike me as good ones, though I think with aftersight that there are three or four that I would pull out. The ‘right’ to submit one now and again seems a kind of treat.

I certainly don’t want to over-use or abuse it. Least of all by scouring albums and tunebooks for tunes I’ve never heard or lived with or played in my life just to bang them in the database so as to up the number of self-compositions I can also put in…no way!

Anyway, I’m simply not prolific enough 🙂.