Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

With reels jigs etc it seems to be down to persoanl preference how much you put in but with hornpipes since its a ‘showboating piece’ is it considered improper to not have it bursting with ornaments or is it still ok just to add as much as you want?

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

A showboating piece?

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

yes i read the history of the hornpipe is to show off, since the marines used to do it to a dance and have ‘danceoff’s or something :P and the tradition has carried on as the hornpipe being the showpiece where one flaunts their skills on the instrument.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

Where have you got those ideas from, Arthur? They seem completely at odds with the way I have experienced things.

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Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

In the liner notes for Sean Maguire’s _The Masters Touch_ CD, it is written that in days of yore, *set dances* were the most cherished tunes by master fiddlers because they were said to be the tunes that allowed the fiddler to best show off their virtuosity.

That being said, there are only about fifty kazillion hornpipes played just beautifully, by about fifty kazillion wonderful musicians, without insanely over-the-top ornamentation. I can’t imagine anyone telling you, or any of those musicians, it is "incorrect" to play a hornpipe without. :-/ YMMV

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

I take it that in the old days it was the solo hornpipe *dancing* that was all about showing off and exhibiting prowess, and that the musician didn’t really have to. Unless he wanted to, of course.

If the muso cornered the admiration of the dancer’s mates and such lasses as were present, the dancer might have got a bit peed off :-( :-(.

It must have happened sometimes, though.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

If everyone showed off while playing hornpipes in sessions, the result would be cacophonous. The first thing with hornpipes, like any other dance tune, is to play with rock- solid rhythm. Then, if you *can* and wish to do so, add embellishments. It is perhaps true that hornpipes lend themselves to melodic embellishment, triplets in particular (rather than ‘articulations’ such as cuts and rolls - although there’s plenty of room for them too). But they work fine without them - or with just those that are built into the basic tune.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

ok, good cos i prefer playing tunes with very little ornamentation just wanted to make sure i would not be ridiculed down the road for doing so.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

It might depend on who the players are "down the road", and also where that particular road is. Arthur - play the tune the way YOU want to. As "CMD" says above, "rock-solid rhythm" is paramount. I’d add, don’t play faster than your ability allows. "Very little ornamentation" is fine.

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Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

yes ive realised recently ‘rock solid rhythm’ is one of the cornerstones to making a tune sound good :)

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

If you mean the triplet runs that go with certain hornpipes I would suggest you learn them as they are lots of fun. When played uber fast it’s a good idea to leave them out.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

Arthur, I suggest some field work. A visit to a pub to hear a session in its natural habitat is worth thousands of words hurled across the aether via the internet! ;-)

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

"… just wanted to make sure i would not be ridiculed down the road …"

No player should be ridiculed for playing a tune simply. Most deserving of ridicule is a player that persistently tries to be cleverer than their ability allows.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

Truer words hath scarce been scribed, CMO.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

As I understand it if you are playing a hornpipe for a dancer, especially a very good one, they are going to want a fairly slow tempo to fit in all the fancy footwork. That slower tempo, not too mention the fact that it’s a solo performance, would lend itself to a lot of embellishment. It’s a different story at a session.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

Music is not about showing off, it should be about expressing oneself.
The Folk Polis are looking for people who do not use enough ornamentation, they generally get punished with life membership of CCE.

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Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

well yes speaking of triplet runs, this part of what i meant since triplet runs seem to be a staple of hornpipes. so it was more about playing the tune completely, rather than fear of social ostracism.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

ie are triplet runs intrinsic to the tune or supplemental additions?

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

Depends on the tune. In many hornpipes they are an intrinsic part of the tune. But they can also be used as embellishments.

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Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

Try filling in intervals of a third with a passing note.

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Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

*Some* hornpipes are normally played with triplet runs in them - The Harvest Home, The Rights of Man, The Belfast… But there are usually alternatives. It can be nice to play the tune once through without any triplets, introduce some of them on the 2nd time round, then play full triplet runs on the 3rd time - and if you play it a 4th time, you could even add a few extra triplets for good measure. Or you can play the whole tune with minimal or no triplets.

As as example of a passage normally played as a triplet run, take bar 4 of The Harvest Home:
(3efe (3dcB (3ABA (3GFE
I have often heard it played:
ed cB AG FE
Not especially exciting on its own. But if you mix it up with variations such as:
ec dB AF GE
ef dB AF GE
ec (3dcB AF (3GFE
(3efe (3dcB AG FE
(3efe dB A2 (3GFE etc.
it begins to get more colourful without being a technical showpiece.

There are a few hornpipes that have triplet runs as their central feature - The Independent springs to mind - there wouldn’t be much left if you were to take the triplets out. I think you’d need to be a *very* good player to get away with playing that sort of tune for a dancer.

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

"As I understand it if you are playing a hornpipe for a dancer, especially a very good one, they are going to want a fairly slow tempo to fit in all the fancy footwork. That slower tempo, not too mention the fact that it’s a solo performance, would lend itself to a lot of embellishment. It’s a different story at a session."
# Posted by Cheeky Elf 13 hours ago.

Would it be an awful racket if the musicians "embellishment" didn’t match the sound of the "fancy footwork" ?
Is it "lend itself to embellishment" or "require a tight arrangement"?

Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

"Would it be an awful racket if the musicians "embellishment" didn’t match the sound of the "fancy footwork" ?

That would always be the dancer’s fault.

:)

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Re: Is it considered ‘incorrect’ to not use tonsof ornaments on hornpipes?

I couldn’t say, I’ve never attempted it, and that’s probably a good thing as I would hate to see anyone get hurt.