Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

This any good?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celtic-Music-A-Complete-Guide/dp/0306810077/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1364919515&sr=1-1-catcorr#reader_0306810077
- before I even consider paying to download it onto my Kindle I was just wondering if anyone else here has read it….except, there isn’t as yet a Kindle edition….
Worthwhile? Or is it more like “Celtic Music: A Complete Load of Shide” I get the feeling, from doing the Amazon “Look Inside” thing, there isn’t much to be gleaned that couldn’t have been got by regular reading of this here website.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Haven’t read it,but there are two red flags in the title- “Celtic” and “Complete”

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

“Celtic music means many things to many people. To some it recalls the Irish rebel songs of the Clancy Brothers, to others the ensemble playing of the Chieftains or Enya’s ethereal vocals. Yet Celtic music is much more than reels, jigs, and sentimental ballads. It is also unaccompanied singing, feverish fiddle tunes, the sweet strains of the Irish uileann pipes. It comes not just from Ireland and Scotland but from Wales, Brittany, the Isle of Man, and Cornwall. It informs the musical roots of Van Morrison and U2, the performances of Riverdance, and the scores for such films as Braveheart and Titanic. Celtic Music explores all aspects of this music—from its roots to the exciting developments on the contemporary scene. Sawyers profiles hundreds of artists, and compiles suggestions for recommended listening as well as the one hundred essential Celtic recordings. Lists of Celtic festivals and publications are also included, together with record outlets, record labels, and music schools, making this book essential for all lovers of the music.”

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Celtic_Music.html?id=Ho9DONbTpbwC

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

“one hundred essential Celtic recordings” - please say someone owns this book and can enlighten us on these! it might be interesting, and worthy of a whole discussion in itself, no?

Some reviews here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/849315.Celtic_Music

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

The author seems to be quite the Springsteen fan, p.187 of the book has a paragraph dedicated to him.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Building a Celtic Music Library:
100 Essential Recordings
http://books.google.com/books?id=mWZHwOShyyUC&q=appendix#v=snippet&q=appendix&f=false

Here are the first 5 if the link doesn’t work for anyone;

Solo, Duo, and Harmony Vocals

1. Mary Black. Collected (Dara)
2. Eric Bogle. Scraps of Paper (Flying Fish)
3. Paul Brady. Welcome Here, Kind Stranger (Mulligan)
4. Sandy Denny. Who Knows Where the Time Goes? (Hannibal)
5. Enya. (Atlantic)

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Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Bought it in the American bookshop in Amsterdam (I think). Read it. Wrote about it (in German):
http://www.celtic-rock.de/2011/03/june-skinner-sawyers-celtic-music/

Some of the classifications are a bit hair-raising. But she has done some detailed research on the historical matter. Even if you know a lot about the subject you’ll find things that are new to you. I look things up in it now and then.

Here’s a book I’d recommend to anyone:
Marc Slobin: folk music, a very short introduction, Oxford University Press 2011

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Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

No Clancy Brothers,no Dubliners,no Wolfe Tones,no Johnny Doran,no John Doherty,no Leo Rowsome, no Seamus Ennis,no Finbar Furey,no Bobby Casey,no Denis Murphy,no Vincent Broderick,no Jackie Daley, no Joe Burke, no Tony McMahon…Yeah. Complete.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

I think the book was probably written more for us over here in America

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

well, they can’t include everybody 5String! 🙂 …and to be fair, they did cover the “Boss” on page 187

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Sounds the sort of thing you’d riffle through in a library because it’s twenty-five minutes before your bus comes, looking for new titbits: there usually are some. And out of 100 Celtic recordings, they can’t *all* be dreadful. Not unless they’re ‘Celtic’, that is.

I feel inclined to set the author(ess?) a short exam along the following lines, to see how much of her material has, as it were, sunk in:

1. How are reels and jigs to be distinguished from ‘feverish fiddle tunes’? (N.B., actually being played on other instruments doesn’t count in this context.)

2. Name ONE Manx tune, unless you happen to live there, which I bet you don’t.

3. Name ONE Cornish tune, unless you happen to live there, which I bet you don’t.

4. Name ONE Breton tune which isn’t called An Dro, or Breton Tune.

4. “Every tune has two names. Every name has two tunes.” The person I heard this from is a trained mathematician, perhaps better able to cope with the complexity attendant on this state of affairs than many of us. Have you really grappled with this issue?

5. Is Bruce Springsteen in there to cover for Country n’ Irish?!

6. What was the name and life history of the starlet whose snapshot appears on the cover of De Danann’s album “The Star-Spangled Molly”?

7. What about the Galicians and The Beatles?

8. Other.

🙂

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Oh yes, the Celtic names Lennon and McCartney of course.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

I hear Springsteen’s crans are impeccable-or is it his pecs are incrannable?

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Mate forget Springsteen’s crans, it’s all that arpeggio and metronome practice as a child that’s paid off!

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Ha ha Nicholas!
I for one spotted your deliberate mistake: point 4, succeeded by point 4:

>4. “Every tune has two names. Every name has two tunes.” The person I heard this from is a trained mathematician, perhaps better able to cope with the complexity attendant on this state of affairs than many of us. Have you really grappled with this issue?

This perpetual doubling up ultimately means there are an infinite number of Irish tunes and tune names; more, in fact, than the universe and all multiverses that ever were, are and will be, can contain. Clearly the book in question is the Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

The number of tunes is countably infinite, whereas the number of names is uncountably infinite.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Most people these days just assume Celtic means Irish and Irish can mean Celtic. If the word is used properly in a book title (or anywhere else for that matter) I assume it to encompass the Celtic regions/people. Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, etc. Absolutely no reason why ‘Celtic’ should be a red flag in a book title, I think that’s just silly.

Whether or not you can name a Manx or Cornish tune is irrelevant. It doesn’t mean these regions should just be dismissed or are less important because you can’t name a tune that comes from there. I think it’s a safe bet to say that most people here play specifically Irish or Scottish tunes. That’s what’s popular and there’s a sh!tload of them going around.

Tunes from other Celtic regions are harder find and are a lot less abundant, with the exception of the fine work done by Polig Montjarret for Breton tunes. In some cases they’re harder to play too, simply because you’re not used to the style. A lot of Galician tunes sound super simple but the notation is dreadful for a lot of them…anyhow, these are some reasons why these other regions get knock aside most of the time.

So, is this book any good? From what I’ve seen it looks like light reading but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a go at it. The chronology seems pretty slim and probably overlooking quite a bit but hey, it’s not a textbook so…

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Mustard Book Reviews: A Complete Guide

The brave new discussions stand ready to fill each incipient void even before a single chapter has been read ..

;)

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Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Well there is a bodhran on the cover, so at least it has that going for it.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Malik, forget all the slapstick comments on this thread from me and some others. This is the Mustard Board after all, what do you expect? Remember what I asked, and this is the crux: “…I was just wondering if anyone else here has read it…”
I’m not quite sure the point you’re making wrt “Celtic” music. All I can say is that, Irish and Scottish (and maybe Manx, though I don’t know any Manx tunes) traditional music aside, I don’t hear much parallels with those 2 or 3 and the so-called other Celtic musics, ie Cornish, Welsh, Breton, Galician or Asturian. That’s not to say I don’t like those, but they seem very different to me, from what I’ve heard (of Welsh [hornpipes], Breton and Galician music anyway.) The red flag (or card) comment refers I suspect to lumping them all together. I’m sure an ancient Breton or Gallego would have felt no particular Celtic kinship to a Scotsman if he had met him. They may have had more in common as farmers or soldiers, but not as Celts; nor, I’d imagine, would they have been able to compare their local musical styles and say they had something in common. This notion of Celtic music is a made-up thing of the late 20th century, a marketing ploy, if you ask me.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

“Irish music is primarily modal, in contrast to the more harmonic characteristics of Western music; notes appear in clusters, as in chords or in harmony singing.”

This doesn’t make any sense. Evidently the writer doesn’t know what these various words mean.

Modes were laid down by the ancient Greeks, as “Western” as it can get. What is “harmonic characteristics” supposed to mean? A mode refers to the scale structure, which has nothing to do with harmony.

Yes Irish music is modal, and the Major mode is the most common, as it is in all Western music.

What is “notes appear in clusters” mean? I can’t imagine. If the tradition is primarily single-line/melodic (which it is) how can a cluster of notes appear? In chords and in harmony notes aren’t clustered but have gaps GDE etc.

Anyhow that one sentence reveals a world of ignorance.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

“Most people these days just assume Celtic means Irish and Irish can mean Celtic.”

This bothers me too. I see, all the time, so-called “Celtic Festivals” which use in their adverstising the flags of various “celtic lands” (Ireland, Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany, Wales) but when you see the lineup of performers it’s 100% Irish, as if Ireland has some kind of monopoly on celtic-ness.

There was one such festival here in California. I emailed the guy in charge of music and pointed out that they were using a Cornish flag in their advertising but no Cornish music was to be featured. I offered to show up with a small group to play Cornish music… he never got back to me.

Anyhow not only can I name several Cornish tunes, I can play them too.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Well, I bought a copy. May as well try it out, despite the above misgivings. There’s bound to be something in it worth learning about. Will keep youse posted.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Actually, Richard D C, modes were DEFINED by the Greeks. People sing and play in them naturally, unless their ears have been corrupted by modern western music or training.

Nevertheless, always distrust anything labelled Celtic with a capital Ka.

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I don’t see a contradiction between “laid down” and “defined” myself… it’s why I chose “laid down” rather than “invented”, because “laid down” can mean documented or recorded but also can mean systematized or organized, but does not necessarily imply creation or invention.

A Mode such as the Major Mode, at least in its Just Intonation form, wasn’t invented by anybody but is the product of the laws of acoustics.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

I think its a selection from some options that result from “the laws of acoustics”.

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Smash, Is that our own late and lamented Will Harmon?

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

Hehe well spotted Al

Re: Celtic Music: A Complete Guide

@5stringfool to your first comment, I second that.