Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Shall we call it Celtic music instead of Traditional Irish music?

Here are my reasons:
1. DEFINITION: Traditional is too vague a definition (see discussion here: https://thesession.org/discussions/34897#comment740430)
2. SONGS: Many Irish-American songs, typically sung in Boston, Holyoke, Springfield and elsewhere in the US are actually Anglo songs popularized in America during the 19th and 20th century and brought back to Ireland where they entered the lexicon in some tourist areas such as Dublin, the Dingle, etc. For example: "Danny Boy" (An English poem set to Londonderry Air).
3. DANCE FORMS: There’s evidence to prove that jigs, reels, and hornpipes came from Normandy originally and were popular in France and England well before they came to Ireland and America. Polkas came much later, as did waltzes and the other dance forms (from Bavaria, Eastern Europe). The original Irish dance form, the Carole, actually arrived from Crete with the Harp well before the Anglo invasion (see A History of Irish Music by William H. Grattan Flood). The only genuinely Irish dance form hypothesized by ethnomusicologists may be the Slip Jig, but there’s little written evidence (see again Flood).

To me, the definition of Celtic music fits better. From Wikipedia: "Celtic music is a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_music

If we call it Celtic music, we can include everything from Caroles in the middle ages (and a lot of Carolan’s works) to the present. We can include dance forms that evolved in Europe. We can include Irish-American songs and ballads. And we can include the rest of the Irish diaspora. For those of us who have read "White Cargo (http://www.amazon.com/White-Cargo-Forgotten-History-Britains/dp/0814742963), you may or may not realize that the Celtic people have scattered all over the world, bringing their traditions with them.

Are ye with me lads (and lassies)?

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I think most people understand "trad" to mean one thing, and "celtic" to generally be used by people from the outside of the music. They call those shows "Celtic Woman," "Celtic Thunder," etc not "Trad Woman" because as a marketing term, "Celtic" is friendlier.

So even if your reasons are well thought out, I don’t think it’ll fly.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

To me ‘trad’ means music played in the traditional way. ‘Celtic’ suggests electric guitars and bass, plugged in fiddles and probably a drum kit, even if they happen to be playing the same tunes.

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So "Celtic music" is less vague a definition than "Irish traditional music"? As you say, it may include Scottish music etc. as well. But it also includes Celtic Metal and Fusion and whatnot; so I think the term "Celtic music" is pretty useless whatsoever. If you want to imply that you mean *traditional* (as opposed to traditional-inspired or something) music, well, why not use the term.

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A huge part of my introduction to this music came in the early 1980s with the radio show, The Thistle & Shamrock. Host Fiona Ritchie called what she played "Music from the Celtic lands." So using the term "Celtic" is more than okay by me.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

You can refine it by saying Acoustic Celtic Dance, if you mean session music; or Celtic song if you mean vocals; or Celtic Rock/Punk if you mean plugged in.

Traditional is too vague

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Sometimes we call it "Ceilidh Music" if it’s for dancing or a session, or just Seisun Music. But outsiders don’t know those terms.

So if were’ trying to get people to come to a session or to a concert, we call it live acoustic Celtic music and they flock in by the droves

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

call it what you will, the terms are not interchangeable, so you are talking about something else. Irish Traditional music is the intersection of "Celtic", "traditional", and "Irish" musics. No one of these is the same as the others, so naming "it" determines what you are talking about. Celtic music is fine, but traditional Irish dance music is way more interesting to talk about, play, listen to, etc. Keep "Loch Lomond" and give me "Out on the Ocean".

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I don’t see any need to reinvent the wheel.
As has been mentioned above, "Celtic Music" already has its own definition, to me something like slow airs played on airy flutes with loads of echo and synths, reminiscent of some Tolkienesque landscape. Traditional Irish, or Irish Traditional Music is more like what is played in sessions.
I’m happy with things the way they are in that respect. Misnomer this may be but misnomers abound: think, in football terms: [Woolwich] Arsenal, Millwall, Queen’s Park Rangers, to name a few London clubs whose names are different to their present locations. Then there’s that book "Celtic Music: A Complete Guide" which includes Welsh, Galician, Breton Manx and Cornish music as well as Scottish and Irish.
https://thesession.org/discussions/31638

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Traditional Irish music is the secular dance music of the 18th century and beyond.

Celtic music includes everything else.

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Shall we call it Celtic music?

Please don’t. 🙁

Although Ireland, Scotand, Wales, Brittany etc. have *languages* that are derived from Celtic language, the traditional music that is played in these countries (and elsewhere) is definitely not derived from Celtic music.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Celtic_music#Woodwinds_and_similar_instruments

So it’s a nonesense to call Irish/Scottish jigs/reels etc "Celtic" music. Leave that to the record companies who don’t know any better!

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

You would totally give people the wrong impression if you’d advertize with "celtic music".

In Dutch we call the "Dutch Traditional Music" volksmuziek, which in Dutch means nothing else, but unfortunately Folk music is reserved for other things in English. However, Traditional Irish Folk music seems to encompass what we’re playing doesn’t it?

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

>Traditional Irish music is the secular dance music of the 18th century and beyond.

- Yeah, well, there ye go. That’s pretty much what I play and near enough every other half decent sessions player plays.


>Celtic music includes everything else.

- Which is NOT what is normally played at sessions. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

If you don’t know what you’re playing, thinking of another name for it won’t help.

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I thought the ancient Celts didn’t write their music down so there is no way we can know what kind of tunes they played.

I don’t know too much about this subject but like Danny I understood this music as being ~18th century western European dance music.

I also thought reels came from Scotland , not France.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"3 - DANCE FORMS: There’s evidence to prove that jigs, reels, and hornpipes came from Normandy originally …."
Oh, aye ? Where ?

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@ peter wsll
How far back do you want to go? I play stuff from the 17 century that’s pretty well confirmed as authentic.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@Gam, confirmed as authentic what? Can anyone draw a clear line from the music of ancient Celtic times to the music we play that some refer to as Celtic today? I would be interested to learn about this. As an aside didn’t the Celts come from Germany originally?

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

If celtic is used for all of it *instead of* Traditional Irish music what term would you use in discussion to distinguish between, say, the music of the Irish and Irish diaspora and that of the Scottish and Scottish diaspora. Or do you regard the all as ‘the same’ ?

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Sometimes I think people want to take away from the Irishness of this music by calling it Celtic, whatever, it just seems lazy though to use this term, though it is convenient for some marketing types, and doubtless it all sounds the same to the uninitiated.

I guess ‘Celtic music’ is an umbrella term that I prefer to avoid.

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Sometimes I think people want to take away the Irishness of this music by not caring whether other music that they play along with it is Irish or not but assuming that it is.

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To my mind "Celtic" is usually a term used by those who can’t be bothered to distinguish between Scottish or Irish (or Welsh.)

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I’m in agreement with TomB-R on this, I’d also like to point at the old saying "If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!" and the Phrase Traditional Irish music
is definately not Broken.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

” A Good Answer Tom ” .
But to me , Celtic Music, is music sung or played by a certain,
’ Glasgow Football Club ’ tee hee. Well that’s how I grew up to say that word.
And you got a cuff in the ear, if you ever tried to sing, ’ there ’ team’s Song’s 🙂
f4

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I think "Celtic" is also used by people who think that the traditional musics of Scotland, Ireland and some other places have something in common which sets them apart from others.

That could either be from the ‘inside’ for example http://www.footstompin.com/forum or from the ‘outside’ as in England during the 1970’s when some traditional dance musicians were highlighting differences between English and ‘celtic’ dance musics.

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Our session group calls it Traditional Irish Tunes & Songs, And Some Scottish - or T.I.T.S & A.S.S. for short.

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Jusa, I guess that beats: "Celtic Undefined, Non-Traditional Songs….

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Call me anything you want; just don’t call me late for dinner.

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Call it what you like - few people outside "our world" will know or care what it is.
As long as we all enjoy it and the players know something about the heritage that’s all that really matters to me.

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LOL Danny!

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I have no particular problem with anyone using the term ‘Celtic’. However, I can’t find anything in your ‘reasons’, celticagent, that supports its use to refer to this kind of music.

If you are talking about what we call ‘Irish Traditional Music’, then what is the specific relevance of *Irish American* songs (as opposed to just *Irish* ones)? If these are, as you say, ‘Anglo’ (by which I assume you mean ‘English’ - or ‘Anglo-Irish’?) songs, then how does that make ‘Celtic’ a more valid term? England is not generally regarded as one of the ‘Celtic Nations’.

"There’s evidence to prove that jigs, reels, and hornpipes came from Normandy originally and were popular in France and England well before they came to Ireland and America. Polkas came much later, as did waltzes and the other dance forms (from Bavaria, Eastern Europe)."

OK, but how is that relevant? Yes, Celts lived in many parts of Europe - so, should we therefore call all European traditional music ‘Celtic’?

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Really. Any band describing itself as Celtic is usually crap, there are no exceptions that I can think of. You will find very few musicians in Ireland and Scotland with a background of traditional music using the word Celtic in connection with our music. Some record labels and overseas people playing our traditional music may use the term but we don’t.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

OK, so maybe all these different tunes came to Ireland from lots of different places. But they’re played in Ireland now, in a distinctly Irish way.

For another example, what about me? My ancestors came from lots of different places - Ireland, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands (there’s Jewish back there too, so add in the Middle East if you go back far enough) - but fifteen of my sixteen great-great-grandparents were born in the United States. Do I not just get to say I’m an American?

I don’t see anything wrong with the term Irish traditional music, abbreviated ITM if desired, and I certainly don’t see any chance of people being unclear about what’s meant by it. "Celtic", on the other hand, is a word that, accurately or not, lots of people are going to associate with commercialized, poppy faux traditional *stuff*. I see no need for a change in terminology.

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If you call it "Celtic music" people will snicker at you. Maybe to your face, definitely behind your back. 🙂

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You’ll go a long, long way in Ireland before you hear the term ITM in Ireland either. Isn’t it just an internet abbreviation?

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I’ve also seen the term STM used on the internet for traditional music. That is also rubbish.

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As someone who lives in Ireland, I would see Irish traditional music as being the music that is traditionally played in Ireland or by Irish musicians,rather than tunes which originated in Ireland
Although the tunes may or may not have been composed by an "Irish" person or in the country they are often played in a style that is different to how they would be "traditionally" played in Scotland, Brittany etc.
Newer music types have come in and may or may not eventually become part of the tradition, e.g. some sessions have ballads or songs. I would not think it unusual for someone to sing Caledonia or play/sing Johnny cope for example.
Tradition reflects what people do. The banjo is not Irish but has become part of our tradition, It is also part of other traditions, Some tunes/instruments don’t suit our style or are difficult to fit with the existing repertoire. Others do and are used and if enough people do it becomes a traditional thing to do. In some areas these can become traditional, Not much mouth organ around here but I understand in parts of wexford it is not uncommon

Part of What I like about Irish traditional music is the fact that it is hard to define. it is flexible and can (despite the name)accommodate new interventions, It is not fixed in the 18th century but (in theory) through trial and error the best bits are incorporated and we have a new tradition.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Multiple cross posts as was typing at work between jobs

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I’d always assumed that ‘reel’ was a corruption of ‘quadrille.’ I can’t find any support for this though. According to Wikipedia: Quadrille —in the 17th century, within military parades, in which four horsemen made square-shaped figures. The word is probably from the Italian quadriglia-a small square. People copied these in dances—and by 1760 the dances were called quadrilles. Not a very Celtic origin—but who cares, so long as they are great tunes!
Celtic is problematic too: languages, archaeology and genetics don’t seem to map onto each other very well. And none of them give a clue as to what the music was. Freeeeedom!

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Actually, I rather resent the hijacking of the word by the marketing world, as it is a potentially useful word in an ethnological sense. ‘Celtic’ has a very definite meaning in a linguistic sense, as a sub-family of Indo-European languages, and there is considerable overlap between those people that come from Celtic-speaking* countries and those that play traditional music that might be termed ‘Celtic’ by some. Of course, most people in Scotland an Ireland speak English as their first or only language, but I think they would mostly prefer their music to be called ‘Celtic’ than ‘Teutonic’ - and much less ‘Anglo-Saxon’;-o.

*By ‘Celtic-speaking’, I mean, "speaking any one of the six extant Celtic languages" - I do not mean to suggest that there is a language called ‘Celtic’.

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This has been an interesting thread, but the majority of opinions validate my thoughts on the subject as well. I’m going to leave the word "Celtic" to the two places with which I am most comfortable - Hard "C" Celtic in the "world music" bin of the record store, and Soft "C" Celtic with the Scottish Football club.

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In Ireland I’ve heard it called ‘Irish music’ or just ‘the music’ or ‘the tunes’. I’ve only ever seen the abbreviation ITM on the internet, but I’ve seen it on this site often enough that I think it’s odd to be called out on this site for using it. No, I don’t say ‘eye tee em’ on the street or in the pub, but really, I’m not the first or the hundredth person to call it that here.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

The post starting this says: "The original Irish dance form, the Carole, actually arrived from Crete with the Harp well before the Anglo invasion (see A History of Irish Music by William H. Grattan Flood). The only genuinely Irish dance form hypothesized by ethnomusicologists may be the Slip Jig, but there’s little written evidence (see again Flood)." Flood was writing in the early 1900s, and most the the cultural migration ideas of that time have been discredited. So we can forget the ‘arrived from Crete with the Harp’ bit, for starters. And I gather that he was a bit lax with his sources, when these can be checked. But he did take Irish folk music seriously at a time when most people dismissed it as worthless, so credit for that. Thanks for an interesting, if unanswerable, question though.

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Jusa, you have actually reminded me of one reason why I like the word "Celtic." In the U.S., I had never heard the word pronounced with a hard C until the music became popular. BTW, I have never associated the word as being more about electrified or tarted-up trad than what we play in the pubs. Where I live, if I say I play Irish, it may or may not mean anything to the person I’m talking to, but like it or not, they understand Celtic. Don’t ask me why. To me, it’s useful, but doesn’t replace any other term (trad or Irish or both) that I’ve ever used. I use what will communicate.

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Agreed, I don’t say ITM in real life any more than I would say LOL.
Besides, I think ‘eye tee em’ is where an Australian draws out his cash.

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"If we call it Celtic music, we can include everything from Caroles in the middle ages (and a lot of Carolan’s works) to the present. We can include dance forms that evolved in Europe. We can include Irish-American songs and ballads. And we can include the rest of the Irish diaspora."

So what? Or, in other words: to whom is THAT helpful? The umbrella term "Irish traditional music" is already vague enough, and confuses people from outside the tradition who then get disappointed because nobody at the local session played pub ballads in English/the Titanic theme/Irish Washerwoman/the theme from Against the Wind/the latest Flogging Molly hit/anything by Mumford and Sons, nor did anyone play the harp or tap-dance. *cough*

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Its always been plain and simple ‘trad’ IME , but online it makes sense to differentiate a bit more as this can refer to trad jazz, trad Scotts or trad Irish and maybe more! After all, we have to call it something!
The term covers both the music played ; Irish and Scottish tunes mainly , in a ‘traditional’ / format . Here we have to, IMO, recognize that there are many styles of playing the tunes,Some of us favour a particular style/s such as exemplified by Bobby Casey or Paddy Canny some prefer More Northern approaches such as Johnny Doherty for fiddlers . Some prefer a Scottish style and there are many of those Im sure, some play in a Cape Breton style, some American…..Its a broad stream and who is to say that one approach is ‘better’ or ‘more traditional’ than another. Lets celebrate the things we hold in common rather than argue over the things that separate us .

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The only thing wrong with the term ‘Irish traditional music’ is that the adjectives are the wrong way round. It’s like saying ‘red big ball’.

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‘trad’ or ‘a few tunes’ - that good enough??

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Call it ‘diddly doo dah’ or ‘the music’. Someone once suggested TIM: trad Irish music.
You can call it wotteffah. We know what it is; that’s all that matters!

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I play folk music. I don’t play Irish folk, as many of the tunes spread well beyond the Irish tradition. In a country where even place names can’t be agreed upon, I see no need to make an issue of what the music is called or to let one side or the other claim ownership of it.

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Mustrad?

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I do like calling it This Music. A bit like Cosa Nostra. 🙂

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If you want to call what you play "Celtic" that’s fine. It’s not what I play.

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I like "This Music" too. A bit like "These Islands". 🙂

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I don’t think you want people "flocking" to a session if they’re impressed by the word Celtic.

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>Traditional Irish music is the secular dance music of the 18th century and beyond.

Because the Irish music tradition does not include songs?

>Celtic music includes everything else.

Is this because the Irish musical tradition does not include songs (see above)? Or because Irish is not included in the Celtic language* group?

*As you know, Bob,** this usage of "Celtic" is what has mutated into the use of "Celtic" as a collective, generic, marketing, convenient, or just easily-understood-by-the-general-public term for anything even remotely associated with the nations, tribes, or peoples associated with the Celtic language group. Including Irish.

**http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AsYouKnow
(My apologies/congratulations to anyone who gets lost for the first time in the amazing rabbit hole that is TV Tropes. If you’ve been there before, you know what you’re getting into.)

I too would be interested in any sources relating to the origin of those Irish dances in Normandy. The assertions of the writers you quoted are not supported in the historical record of continental and insular European dance. Fair warning: early dance history and performance is a specialty area of mine, and I’ve read pretty much all of the extant pre-18c European dance manuals and sources, and studied many in depth, over the last 40+ years. I know I’ve missed some of the recently discovered, not yet published minor ones, but not much. Flood’s statements about the Irish origin of the carole*** and the Irish importation of the harp from Crete are Celtic Twilight romantic fantasy.

***Nothing has survived to tell us how to dance a carole, or even if it was a particular dance or a type of dance, though we can and do speculate. Music, iconography, and written accounts have survived, but nothing from which the dancing can be reconstructed — very frustrating. I am currently of the "type of dance" school. Dances of this type,**** whether or not they were called "carole" very likely developed in what is now Ireland as they did [independently] elsewhere.

**** Line or circle, linked hands, social, singing, possibly call and response, possibly processional (line versions), commonly outdoors but probably indoors as well*****

***** okay okay, no more asterisks, I promise.

TL/DR: "Irish" and "Celtic" are not two parts of a dichotomy. "Celtic", as it is commonly used today, is with us to stay, like it or not. Musicology and dance studies, historical and ethno-, have greatly benefitted from wider availability and more rigorous study of the historical record than in the pioneering day of W.H. Grattan Flood. This has not stopped modern writers from quoting him and his contemporaries (*cough*Curt Sachs*cough*) uncritically. TV Tropes: you have been warned.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Shindigger, "reel" appears in 16c sources from or about as both a type of dance and a dance figure.
For example, "They … daunced this reill or short daunce." (Newes from Scotland, 1591.) There are earlier 16c uses, and some 16 or 17c Irish citations, but I’d have go digging for those.

And Eejit, don’t forget those other soft-C Celtics, the Boston Celtics basketball team.

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As a marketing industry professional, I find it offensive when people are offended by the use of ‘Celtic’ as a marketing term.

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Given it’s so popular around these parts, why not "pop music"?

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At some sessions you can barely call it music.

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[*At some sessions you can barely call it music.*]

Indeed - they serve as a reality check 🙂

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[*At some sessions you can barely call it music.*]
Ah, you’ve heard me play. 🙂

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Tracie - oh I’d never forget our soft-C friends up in Boston. I won a lot of cash betting on those Celtics back in the Bird/McHale days. However, it was once explained to me that the word "Celtics" ain’t exactly good grammar. It be like saying "The Englishes" or something along those lines - but as Joe Fidkid pointed out above, there’s no sense getting too worked up about marketing

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@gam The adjectives are only the wrong way round if you regard it as a ‘category’ of Irish music, rather than as ‘category’ of traditional music.

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Time for a Venn diagram David!

Does anyone know the rules for adjective order?
If I have a pot that is
Blue
Large
Cretan
Old
Decorated

Would we all put the words in the same order when describing it. How would we decide?

Anyway, back to Celtic Tim…..

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"So if were’ trying to get people to come to a session or to a concert, we call it live acoustic Celtic music and they flock in by the droves"

So there you have it OP; Call it Celtic music and the outside world will be interested, call it Irish traditional music the musicians playing it will be interested. 🙂

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"Call it Celtic music and the outside world will be interested, call it Irish traditional music the musicians playing it will be interested."

I would say (very subjectively) that pretty much sums it up. As an observation, since ASCI/BMI ownership doesn’t apply to music published before 1913 (here in the USA anyway), perhaps something like that separates the "traditional" from the tunes which are certainly played as ITM now. Thinking about it though, or even discussing it, pretty much buggers up the pleasure of just playing it.

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Thanks for the links tdrury,
Tom

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

A large old blue decorated Cretan pot. Adjectives are arranged in order of precision (relative to the subject).
There are many kinds of traditional music, and few kinds of Irish music, therefore the conventional order would be ‘traditional’ first, ‘Irish’ second. Mileage your vary may.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

You know gam ,you have a good point there, and if you think about,
all the World’s Traditional Music’s, ITM as good as it may be, is only a
Blot on the Landscape .
f4

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callison: < Call it Celtic music and the outside world will be interested, call it Irish traditional music the musicians playing it will be interested. >
f4
…And that pretty much sums it up to me too.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Celtic" if properly applied is far too broad and vague a term to be used for the music I hear played at ITM sessions.

It’s annoying to me to see "Celtic" used all the time here in the USA to refer to festivals, concerts, groups, etc that play Irish music exclusively, especially when posters, fliers, websites, etc prominently display flags from Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, the Isle of Man, Brittany, and even Galicia, and use verbiage like "music from the Celtic lands" etc.

I contacted the organisers of one such "Celtic Music Festival" here in California which had a web site which shows flags of and talked about all the above lands but the concert lineup of which was completely Irish. I asked them if they had any plans to feature Cornish, Welsh, Breton, or Scottish music. They talked in vague terms but the answer ended up being no.

Even more false are the various things named "Seven Nations" which of course use the various "Celtic" flags but only do one sort of music. There’s a "Seven Nations" Highland pipe band around here, fairly new. When they were just starting I asked one of the founders if they had any intention of playing more than just Scottish pipe music. Once again some vague lip service but I’ve only heard them play typical Scottish pipe band music.

"Celtic" itself is practically impossible to define.

Marcus Tanner begins his excellent book ‘The Last Of The Celts’ thus, giving a clear and limited definition of what ‘Celtic’ will mean in the confines of his book:

"This is a book about the disappearance of the non-English-speaking peoples of Britain and Ireland and the non-French-speaking people of northern France- those whom for the past couple of centuries we have called the Celts.

I have confined my attention to people who speak, or within relatively recent history spoke, one of the two branches of the Celtic language known as Goidelic or Brythonic. The former comprises the Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx languages and the latter comprises the Welsh, Cornish, and Breton tongues. I have not discussed where the Celts came from, or what their culture in central Europe was like many centuries ago, nor have I included all those in the world who might define themselves as Celtic in terms of their blood ancestry or sentimental allegiance. The book is about what happened quite recently to a certain group of communities who can be defined by language, what their position is now and what the future holds for them."

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@gam "There are many kinds of traditional music". There are indeed.

And you give an example of "traditional music" as compound noun, to which the adjective "Irish" can be applied.

😛

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

… a compound noun… (of the form adjective+noun)

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Thanks David. That’s been bugging me more than it should.

gam’s right too, of course, with his blue pot. More simply put than my links, too. I knew there were memory devices like that, I just couldn’t think of any. So Irish traditional music and traditional Irish music are both correct, in their own way. There’s the English language for you.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@gam: "Adjectives are arranged in order of precision (relative to the subject).
There are many kinds of traditional music, and few kinds of Irish music, therefore the conventional order would be ‘traditional’ first, ‘Irish’ second."

Generally speaking, yes. However, if you want to emphasize that you’re talking about *Irish* traditional music as opposed to, say, *Scottish* traditional music, you have to change the order (c.f. https://thesession.org/discussions/34906#comment740556). This kind of distinction might become particularly important in the context of someone proposing to eliminate the acknowledgement of certain cultural differences altogether. 😏

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

It might be instructive if you make the "Celtic music" term analogous to the term "Latin music", ie the music of Latin America from maybe Spanish-speakers in Texas through Cuba, Colombia, etc down to Argentinian tango…I presume it also includes Brazilian music? Anyway, there is a huge, huge range of styles. Yet the term is applied freely because the participants (players listeners etc) speak language(s) from one branch of the Indo-European language family, ie Latin. But to my knowledge "Latin Music" does not normally include Italian, French or Romanian music, other Latin language speaking nations.
So why use the term "Celtic music" to describe an equally disparate collection of nations’ musics, solely because the participants are similarly (Indo-European-) linguistically linked, and that link is rather tenuous? I mean, is there such a thing as "Germanic music", encompassing the musical traditions of Iceland, Scandinavia, England, Netherlands, Germany, Austria…USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc? 🙂

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Are the European countries excluded because it is an abbreviated form of "Latin American Music" and has an African influence.

To me Breton music seems as distinct from Irish music as does English music.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

and American influences too of course.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Ah, If we play Traditional Irish music, why not call it Traditional Irish music? that seems simple enough to me….. or is that too radical? 😎 If you use synth’s, drum kits etc then call it ‘celtic ’ whatever; funk /punk or rock etc

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I play music in the Irish idiom. I don’t play Scottish, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Galician, or Cape Breton music. So I don’t play Celtic music, I play Irish music. Talking about "celtic music" is like talking about "European food". Moreover, most people I’ve met who say the play "celtic" music often don’t actually play any of those idioms, being largely unaware of things like ornamentation that make the idioms. So to me, "celtic musician" is a red flag that means the person doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. Or at best, they get sick of explaining what they do to the punters.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

David50 - yes, except I’ve heard it called Latin music. But yes an abbreviation for "Latin-American music-some-of-it-with-African-influence". Similarly "Celtic Music" is an abbreviation for "Music-from-nations-which-have-residual-populations-of-Celtic-language-speakers"…..

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

BTW, where would Shetland Music fit into this? There are many Shetland tunes played in the Irish traditional repertoire, yet Shetlanders will claim their heritage is NOT Celtic, but Scandinavian, as Orkney and Shetland were once part of Norway, as The Faroes were to Denmark. So Shetland music is strictly speaking a Germanic tradition. Similarly what about all those lovely reels that came from the French Canadian tradition? Are they part of Latin music?

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Shetland is separated by a wee box as shown on the map! You can see the box if you fly there, or feel the bump as the ferry goes over it on the way from Aberdeen!

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"…if you want to emphasize that you’re talking about *Irish* traditional music as opposed to, say, *Scottish* traditional music, you have to change the order…"
Not so — if you want to talk about big balls, you don’t say ‘red big balls as opposed to blue big balls’.
The ‘traditional’ comes first, then the divisions / categories of ‘traditonal’.
Traditional music is not a compound noun — it is an adjective and a noun. Two distinct words.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

It is peculiar that some are attempting to define tunes as Celtic by the language of the folk playing the tunes. So what language is spoken in Scotland? English, Scots and/or Gaelic.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Picking up on Danny’s point, the Vikings invaded and settled coastal areas of Ireland and western Scotland. Did they bring their music with them, and if so, did it influence or replace the music already being played in those regions?

If so, maybe we should be calling it "Viking" music! 😉

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Hmm … maybe "celticagent" should consider changing his handle to "vikingagent" 😉

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Celticagent - still listening?

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Well, I can remember wee Spankie Flavin having a little dispute with someone about ‘The Music’, and he said, "Don’t talk to me about Irish Traditional Music. I play Irish Traditional music seven nights a week."

In his younger days he looked a lot like a Celtic football player whose name escapes me right now. He was wee, fiery and feisty too.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Fair enough, but in that article it also says that "[…] switching up the order of adjectives allows you to redistribute emphasis. (If you wish to buy the black small purse, not the gray one, for instance, you can communicate your priorities by placing color before size)". Well, admittedly you don’t *have* to change the order to add emphasis (you can use asterisks instead : )… sorry! Thanks for the link anyway. Rules are meant to be broken.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"the term ‘Latin music’, ie the music of Latin America from maybe Spanish-speakers in Texas through Cuba, Colombia, etc down to Argentinian tango… the term is applied freely because the participants speak language(s) from one branch of the Indo-European language family, ie Latin. But to my knowledge ‘Latin Music’ does not normally include Italian, French or Romanian music, other Latin language speaking nations."

Yes exactly, just as around here "Celtic" is used for exclusively Irish things, "Latin" is used around here for exclusively Spanish-language things. Were you to use "Latin" to refer to Romanian, Italian, Portuguese, or even more outrageously Latin, they would think you were crazy.

Ironically "Latin" is also used here to refer to people who are genetically Native Americans. Only once I did hear someone of Native American background object to this usage, which is practically universal.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I think a quote in Richard’s post yesterday on an other discusion (https://thesession.org/discussions/34897#comment740419) helps clarify the debate over terms.

Richard was quoting Tomas O Canainn in ‘Traditional Music in Ireland’ :

"It is difficult to define and analyse the basic elements of traditional music in Ireland. Clearly the adjective ‘traditional’ implies that something in the music is being passed from one generation of performers to the next. Most of them are aware of the traditional process to some extent, and of their place in it, but would find it difficult to define what exactly they mean by ‘traditional’. Nevertheless, without any knowledge of the history of a piece of music they are able to describe it as either traditional or not on first hearing.

This implies that the music has certain features of melody, rhythm, style, structure, or phrasing which put it, for them, into the traditional category…

Yes one must face the fact that some of the best-known pieces in the traditional musicians’ repertoire are of fairly recent origin. They are accepted because they conform in some way to the performers’ concept of what is traditional… They have, as it were, dispensed with the years of moulding and reshaping that are a part of oral transmission and have taken their place in the living tradition."

If you remove the words "in Ireland" from the first sentence then I think it would work as a definition of "traditional music" that could cover many geographic regions. It can be subdivided in different ways e.g. geographically ("Scottish traditional music") or functionally ("traditional dance music").

I think putting Irish between "traditional" and "music" in the OP introduces the wider term of "Irish Music" which includes Horselips and Enya but excludes Scottish and Manx music.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Shall WE call IT Celtic music instead of Traditional Irish music?"

Who is ‘we’ ? and what is ‘it’? Is there an official body that decides what things are called? and if there is, do we have to follow it?

I sometimes refer to a ‘Hoover’ when I mean a ‘vacuum cleaner’. Thats not ‘correct’, but it’s widely understood.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

All the following,
IMHO only.
Please pardon any redundancies to the above able posters,
there are likely many:

For better or worse, I play ITM.
It is not Scottish TM, nor Welsh, nor Galician, etc. etc. The differences are reasonably clear,
and aesthetically pleasing to my ear (and others here, apparently). I would hope that when I take up my fiddle and play "Fermoy Lasses" I am playing Irish music, composed by an Irishman, taught me by an Irishman, and performed in an Irish style. That should be what it is, and it is inaccurate and ignorant to try to categorize it as a part of anything else.

The fact that certain dances and the associated music were adopted from elsewhere does not deny the further fact that the Irish embraced them, developed them, and made them uniquely their own. Read this as: This Irish dance is just that - what it "originally" was has nothing to do with what it has evolved into, and in no way negates its own identity and, I will venture, personality. (For a human being, I might say: I am me, myself, and no one else - my great-great-great grandfather has not a whit to do with it. Grow up. Get over it.)

I, for one, would rather NOT minimize, water down, or deny the wonderful, amazing, vibrant variety of traditional musical styles which exist in the so-called "Celtic World".

I consider this attempt at imposing of a broad brush all-encompassing term to be inaccurate and lazy,
and the only place where I can find a positive swing to it is in the marketplace. If the purveyors of the stuff have a label that sounds right, more people will buy, many in ignorance. In the scholastic world, I can only suspect the idea might appeal to that equivalent of a musician who does "any style", and wants to be taken seriously, while he/she is only a dabbler in many. (There are those who think it takes a long long time to be knowledgeable or adept at any ONE thing to be valid, but hey, who am I to say? Let us attempt many…)

So.

"Celtic".
What nonsense, IMHO.

In trying to be all things, we end up being nothing. "Celtic" means nothing to me, because it says nothing, it defines nothing, but attempts to label many. Go ahead, buy a "Celtic" CD. Take a "Celtic Music" appreciation course. I doubt you have any assurance of what you will get under that banner. You will have your CD, though, and they will have your money. But that is all right, let the buyer beware, correct? The end justifies the means, correct?

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I think calling Irish traditional "Celtic" directly serves the purposes of the OP. He is a professional teacher of "Celtic" fiddle, among other things. But he has a blog that says "Irish" all over it. And he’s not at all qualified to teach ITM.

http://www.adamrsweet.com

So this thread was meant to be self-serving. But it was fun.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"And he’s not at all qualified to teach ITM….
So this thread was meant to be self-serving. But it was fun."

I do not know the gentleman, and my posting was not meant to be aggressive,
nor to judge or define anything, except for mine own personal point of view.
I do not expect anyone to agree or disagree on any of it, although I hope I am not alone.

[I try (and often fail) to simply raise questions, rather than expound from a particular POV.]

The OP invited comment, and I have done my honest best.
And, listening to his posts on Youtube, one could do much worse with the fiddle.
Anything concerning style or personal taste, I leave to you all.

Truly,

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Wenn ich "Celtic music" höre, entsichere ich meinen Browning.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

So my red flag remains raised. Good to know.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

[*And he’s not at all qualified to teach ITM.*]

@Ergo - what’s your criteria for being qualified to teach ITM? I find that’s an odd statement to make about this man.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Ironically "Latin" is also used here to refer to people who are genetically Native Americans. Only once I did hear someone of Native American background object to this usage, which is practically universal." (Richard D Cook)

Really? You mean, like a Navajo or Iroquois person is referred to as "Latin"? I’ve never encountered this.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@Jim — check his playing on his website.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Call it Celtic music and the outside world will be interested, call it Irish traditional music the musicians playing it will be interested"….
Not for me! I live in, or at least I live in near proximity to a cultural backwater, so the chances of this actually happening are about zilch;- but if I saw a local advertisement for a forthcoming concert of Traditional Irish music I would be compelled to drag myself out of my much valued solitude and witness it. If however (and far more likely), I saw an advertisement for a concert of Celtic music, well nothing could drag me’ there. Similarly, I enjoy a lot of other traditional (and other) music but the label ‘Celtic’ makes me cringe, as does so much of the music and groups so-labelled either out of general ignorance, or for the purpose of marketing.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@Gobby:
"If however (and far more likely), I saw an advertisement for a concert of Celtic music, well nothing could drag me’ there. Similarly, I enjoy a lot of other traditional (and other) music but the label ‘Celtic’ makes me cringe"

In fact, I could substitute Celtic with Irish. If anything is at all labeled "Irish" in my area, maybe one gig out of 100 will have a focus on the kind of music I play, and the remaining 99 acts play a mischmasch of pub ballads, American country songs, bluegrass stuff, and maybe the occasional polka.

Anyone is free to play anything, mix styles and what not, but don’t let people think what you’re playing is a good representatition of "Irish music". It isn’t.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I describe what I play as "Traditional Celtic Music" because I refuse to be confined by national borders; i.e., I mostly play "Irish" and some "Scottish" traditional music, but a bit of "Welsh", "Shetland Islands," "Isle of Man," etc, tunes as well.

I have (from time to time) run across what strikes me as an intolerant as well as a snobbish attitude by some who consider that any "other" music than theirs to be somehow wrong because its nationality is wrong. A good tune is a good tune as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t care where it might have originated—and origins can be murky. Scottish soldiers were used durning England’s attempt to subjugate Ireland. They most certainly brought music with them that remained in Ireland, and they also most certainly returned to Scotland with music learned while in Ireland.

I don’t have any disagreement with sessions being organized around a currently recognized form of traditional "national" music because the purpose of the session is the camaraderie of shared music and the enjoyment derived from it. I do disagree with those who would attempt to straightjacket traditional music based on some modern or personal notion of nationality, however.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"A good tune is a good tune as far as I’m concerned, …"
It’s not about the tunes really. There are plenty of tunes in common between, for instance, the Irish and Scottish repertoires. What makes one of these tunes distinctively ‘Irish’ is the manner in which they are played. For me "Irish Traditional Music" implies music played by players who have immersed themselves in the tradition and absorbed the stylistic features that make it special. "Celtic Music" by contrast suggests to me music played by someone who hasn’t bothered to do that.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I agree.

It touches on something that raised some controversy in a recent discussion - someone said that they would prefer a teacher "whose family, friends and neighbours have played the music for several generations" over one who "had taken up the music as an interest outside their native culture".

If I want to learn tune as played in the Irish, Scottish, Shetland or wherever tradition I will look out the playing of it by someone from, or well immersed in, those traditions. This is not particulary a matter of ‘respect’ for those traditions, more an aesthetic choice on the basis that current representatives of the community that moulded to tune to its way of playing seem to me to make a better job of playing them in that style.

I am not from a musical tradition. I also respect the viewpoint of a local musician who implied that I was being rather ‘academic’ about things and that if he heard a tune he liked he just got on and played it. But if I learned an Irish tune from his playing I wouldn’t expect it to sound ‘traditionally Irish’.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@jeff lindqvist. Yes, I guess it all varies depending on where one lives, and possibly what generation one belongs to.
@ Thomas Daly… Yes,I can go with ‘traditional Celtic’; that’s definitive enough for me. But for anyone to ask me if I like an insufficiently specified ‘Celtic’ music is about the same to asking me if I like unspecified junk food. I like both my food and my music to be healthy and properly labelled. Some so-called ‘Celtic’ music would no doubt be to my taste, but going only from the Celtic label alone I wouldn’t take the chance. I mean I had the horror of accidentally seeing Celtic Thunder on the telly one day and I’m still traumatised. And then there’s that awful you-tube video of the Celtic woman in the long blue dress, swaying around and playing the violin. The horror, the horror! I’d tell you her name but I’m still suffering post-traumatic shock and I’ve blocked it from my memory. But yes, in an analogy to insufficiently labelled food, I avoid the Celtic label because it’s likely to contain too many nuts and artificial ingredients.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

🙂 (Gobby’s last sentence)

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

I think Boyen was on the right track. When I (used to) go to "Folk" clubs I know what to expect - mainly acoustic instruments, finger-in-the-ear singers, euphemism-laden songs. But "Folk" is a lingua franca. You can define it more accurately with those useful things called adjectives. I think more people will know what you mean if you say you play folk music, as that term requires
very little musical listening experience beyond Enya. Celtic versus traditional would be looked upon by most people as irrelevant, introspective navel-gazing.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Celtic versus traditional would be looked upon by most people as irrelevant, introspective navel-gazing."
I think that’s true but misses the point. This site is for the community of people who play in sessions. Now your session might be predominantly Irish traditional in the sense that I used above. Or it might be a more generic "Celtic Music" affair. Given a choice, my personal preference is always going to be strongly for the former. So for me it’s an important distinction and I don’t care what the general public think about that.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@Thomas Daly: "I describe what I play as ‘Traditional Celtic Music’ because I refuse to be confined by national borders […]"

I don’t think there’s such a thing as "traditional Celtic music". The greatest common factor of all these musical traditions (i.e. played by ethnic groups speaking Celtic languages) is hardly large enough to justify lumping it all together. Denying cultural differences (which have nothing to do with national borders BTW) by inventing such a term would be similar to calling a mix-up of (say) Austrian, Dutch and Swedish music "traditional Germanic music" because although these have little in common, it’s played by Germanic peoples after all.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Let us compare "Celtic" as a label to attempting generic-labeling of,
"American Fiddle Music".

And, as a test, let us put a bluegrass fiddler, a Cape Breton fiddler, and a Cajun fiddler together,
and see what they think of that idea.

I will roll the bandages, who is on plasma?
😏

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Ironically ‘Latin’ is also used here to refer to people who are genetically Native Americans. Only once I did hear someone of Native American background object to this usage, which is practically universal." (Richard D Cook)

"Really? You mean, like a Navajo or Iroquois person is referred to as ‘Latin’? I’ve never encountered this."

When I said "here" I was referring to Southern California. We have a large population here of immigrants from Mexico. These people are entirely (or nearly entirely) of Native American blood. I can be standing in line at a Starbucks (or anywhere else) and be the only person in the building not of Native American blood. These immigrants nearly all speak Spanish and they refer to themselves as "Latino" (when speaking Spanish) or "Latin" (when speaking English).

A Mexican-American coworker was the only person I’ve talked to who resented the term "Latin" because in his opinion it should refer to the Romance languages, or people of European descent (Spanish, Italian, etc) but not to people like himself of Native descent.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Just looked it up, percentage of whites in Mexico estimated between 10% and 15%.

Offtopic of course but "Latin America" is an interesting ethnic mix with several countries being predominantly white and several others being predominantly Native and the rest in the middle.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Thanks, Richard. That makes sense. Well, maybe not ‘sense’ but I get it. 🙂

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That’s absolutely fascinating, Richard.

My wife is a lovely woman, with enough Native American from somewhere that you can tell it’s there. Thick black hair, high cheekbones, darker complexion, all of it. She’s from Texas, but her mother is from Oklahoma. Her dad will tell you the family is Scotch-Irish and "Black Dutch". He didn’t know what Black Dutch meant but I looked it up. Means there’s Native American back there people didn’t want to talk about.

She is mistaken for Hispanic (that’s what we call it here in Indiana) *all the time*. By Americans of all colors, and Mexicans, too. What’s the point? Just like you said - Hispanic or Latin are linguistic terms, not racial. Somebody white from Spain is considered Hispanic in the US, no more or less so than a full-blood Nahua who speaks Spanish as a second language. Definitely a misnomer, and almost certainly related to the American concept of the one-drop rule where anybody who might be even a touch non-white is just that - non-white.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

We’ve gone off on an interesting tangent, but one that loops back into the original OP. It’s really all about self-identification isn’t it. I’ve lived in either California or Arizona for the better part of 44 years. The Mexicans I know refer to themselves as "Mexican" because they don’t want to be confused with Guatemalans, Salvadorans or Hondurans who may be competing for the same jobs. The common phrase used by all three of these groups to describe white folks is "Anglo" which of course drives somebody who self-identifies as "Celtic" right round the bend. My Navajo friends self identify as "Dine’ Bizaad" which means "the people" because it differentiates them from their neighboring Hopi rivals and white folks - who are clearly not "people" in the sense that they are. If somebody chooses to play a music they like to call "Celtic" I suspect there might be a certain amount of imagery they would like to be associated with or identified with? I’m speculating here, but in my experience with hard-C Celtic references in the U.S. of A. there is unquestionably an identification with things like Celtic Woman, Enya, and dreamy-eyed mysticism, druids and Celtic body art. It’s as much a social uniform as a musical style.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Self-identification. That’s what this whole thread has been about. (Your experience with the hard-C Celtic crowd lines up with mine.)

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Well, it all depends what you mean by…………whatever.
I have my feet in several camps, personally.
The traditional tunes session I run will play anything it can from within the general repertoire of the individuals it comprises; while it was mainly originally Irish in repertoire we accommodate Scottish without dissent, various tunes from the North-East of England and other parts too, little bits of European repertoire that have crept in, and obviously bits of what has crossed the Atlantic and been absorbed and modified into the US genre.
Then there’s the Old-Timey band I was playing in, currently in abeyance till we find another fiddler who can accommodate the genre, as opposed to our session fiddler who is brilliant but doesn’t do genres.
Then there’s the various ceilidh/barn-dance bands I have played in, all of which would offer an Irish/Scottish/American flavour upon request.
Then there’s the CD of my wife’s songs we’ve just put out; modern songs,but heavily influenced by the areas we move in, including melodies from Old-Timey, Sacred Harp, and English Ritual.
But CELTIC ! ? ! Nononononooooooo…….

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

No

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

NO!

Celtic is a very famous football club founded in 1888!

When asked, I tell people I play IRISH music.

All the best

Brian x

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"I will roll the bandages, who is on plasma?"

Time for a new thread: Is plasma welcome at sessions?

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Brian x you don’t play Irish music actually. You play Anglo-Irish music that originated in Normandy (France) in the middle ages.

Nice try!

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

The Celts were Welsh, they brought their music and dance to Ireland in the 16th century.

My last name is Sweet, which is Welsh. The Sweets emigrated from Wales to Ireland in the 16th century, to Cork and Kilkenny. They brought with them their dance forms (mainly jigs, reels, hornpipes), song forms (aa/bb in diatonic scales), and traditions. The Sweets emigrated in the 17th century to Salem, MA where they eventually settled in New Bedford, bringing their Anglo-Irish dance forms and melodies and sharing them with their community.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@celticagent: "Brian x you don’t play Irish music actually. You play Anglo-Irish music that originated in Normandy (France) in the middle ages."

That’s ridiculous, and we’ve been there before. But anyway, the Normandy isn’t even considered "Celtic". So what exactly is your point?

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"My last name is Sweet, which is Welsh."

It’s pretty certain that the origin of the name is Germanic. Frisian examples being "Swet" and "Sweta".
You’ll find "van Swet" and "van der Swet" in the Low Countries. Thought to have come to England via Anglo-Saxons, and considerably more common in the West Country of England than Wales. German version - "Suess".
If it’s Welsh, then presumably it would have a literal Welsh meaning, and it doesn’t tally with the Welsh system of patronymics which would have been more common in the period mentioned (15th & 16th centuries).

Still, they like to elaborate across the pond.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

If the people are called "Welsh",
shouldn’t their language and culture be called "Welshish?

Or, perhaps, "traditional"?
😏

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"The Celts were Welsh, they brought their music and dance to Ireland in the 16th century."

That doesn’t sound right. For a start, Celts come from all over the place but not originally from Wales.

But I’m less interested in that than in the suggestion that Welsh people "brought their music and dance to Ireland in the 16th century." I’m pretty sure that’s not right. Did they supplant the dance music that was already there then, and that we know about? Where did you get that information from, celticagent?

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Given the waves of invasions and migrations that Ireland has experienced through the centuries then clearly the origins of its music will have been diverse.

However, that is irrelevant. It is in Ireland that these diverse sources came together and evolved into what we have today. It’s Irish music. To suggest otherwise is nonsensical.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

More accurately:
It is in Ireland and also more recently in the Irish diaspora that these diverse sources came together …

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@johndsamuels, actually it’s in AMERICA where these styles came together and evolved. They came back to Ireland after they had become popularized in the new world.

Nice try, bro

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"actually it’s in AMERICA where these styles came together and evolved. They came back to Ireland after they had become popularized in the new world."
Certainly the Irish American community had a big influence from the 20th century onwards. Hence my amendment. But would Michael Coleman or his contemporaries have described what they played as Celtic Music? No, not in a million years.

Adam, I’ve listened to some of the tracks on your Soundcloud account. I have absolutely no problem with you using the label of Celtic Music for that. It certainly isn’t Irish traditional music as I know it. But surely by now you will have got the message that the rest of us are not going to start using that particular term.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

@celticagent: "actually it’s in AMERICA where these styles came together and evolved. They came back to Ireland after they had become popularized in the new world"

So it wasn’t Irish music until it became popular in America? Sounds a bit paradox. And anyway, if Irish music actually wasn’t (or still isn’t?) even Irish, why would Irish *American* music be any Celtic then?

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

So "celticagent," or, as you recently became (in the space of this thread!) "Adamrsweet," what exactly do you teach in your Celtic Fiddle private lessons at the Celtic Music Academy of Massachusetts, for which you charge $3000 yearly? The most your website says is:

"Advanced Students will learn tunes within the particular repertoire for that instrument as well as appropriate ornamentation and playing patterns."

I’m hoping that Irish trad tunes are not included because your playing exhibits no indication that you know how to play an Irish trad ornament.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Another lively Celtic reel" — Music for a Found Harmonium. Right.

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Another lively Celtic reel" — Music for a Found Harmonium. Right."

Well, the tune HAS found its way into a few "Irish" sessions I have visited.

You know, like "Ashokan Farewell", by Jaymus MacUngar.
(faith and beggorah!)
😏

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Jaymus MacUngar"

LOLOL

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

""Jaymus MacUngar"

LOLOL"

Yeah, well.
My bad, and I will own it.

Let us not start anything here, Jay was a lovely fiddler
last time I listened to him.
Also, it was a bootleg tape of him they played daily at a restaurant
I tended bar in 30 years ago that was partly responsible for my taking
up the fiddle. So, thank you, Jay!

Not Irish at all, but lordy, I just HAD to learn to do that.
Then hearing the Chieftains got me on track…
🙂

(Might be an interesting post -
"Who inspired you, upon hearing them,
to actually take up this diddly stuff?"?)

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

From listening, I get the impression that the former celticagent is a decent violinist who learned a bunch of tunes from sheet music.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Yeah, I’m Irish-American, but classically trained, so not an traditional Irish fiddler.

And ALL of the music I learned was from sheet music

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"And ALL of the music I learned was from sheet music"

No problem at all with learning tunes from the dots on paper,
but I, for one, am curious - which "genres" (term taken from your
page defining your "Teaching Philosophy") do you teach?

You teach fiddle as well as violin (many here appreciate the difference between the two terms)
but saying you play fiddle I will liken to saying you cook Chinese food - there so are many
and varied approaches and styles, and mastery of even one to the level of being able to
transmit ability in it could be the study of many years, requiring a focus on the stylistic elements,
as opposed to the purely technical ones. This would include many hours of cooking in that style,
and grasping what makes it unique.

Which style/s of fiddle do you teach to your students?

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

"Yeah, I’m Irish-American, but classically trained, so not an traditional Irish fiddler."

Not sure how you’re defining trad Irish fiddler, but IMO classical training does not preclude a person from playing pretty fine Irish trad fiddle. One example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ4c9VIuJ2w&feature=related


(fiddle starts at 0:20)

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Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

One of the things I learned from a few years of living in Oklahoma is that "Y’all" is just the group of people close by and "All Y’All" is everybody. "Traditional" and "Celtic" have a similar relationship. Or you could draw a Venn diagram and Traditional would be the yolk in the celtic egg. Personally, I would have thought that "Traditional" would have been any tunes documented before 1913 when copyright laws came into effect and anything thereafter would be contemporary. I sort of doubt anyone else would ascribe to that notion though. I had one friend that deemed anything played on any other instrument than a tin whistle or flute as being not traditional. That particular definition is probably a bit tight.

Re: Calling it "Celtic" instead of "Traditional"

Hello, Jeremy and all at the Mustard.
It seems that I have been quite rude and have been rightly called on it,
and owe everyone an apology. The bad behavior being generally posted
for all of you, it seems appropriate to post the apology here.

Firstly, the points made about my remarks seem reasonable and I shall be sure to censor any future comments
I might make before posting, and delete any attempts at dry humor or wit. Clearly they have fallen very flat.
Upon review (although certainly no vendettas were intended on my part) I understand and will respect all
of your sensitivities and dignity. Specifically on this thread, in pursuing a subject I apparently turned it into a hunt.
That is neither fair nor polite.

I have in the past questioned others at The Session over turning the discussions
into personal attacks, and now seem to e guilty of doing it myself.
I am completely willing to admit, and own, that I have apparently crossed a line
(in my defense, there was no intention to be abusive or overly aggressive)
and, should I ever post a comment again at The Session at some future date,
I shall follow the rules that have been laid down.

Again, I was not trying to seriously attack anyone,
My choice of words and tone was obviously taken otherwise, so,
no excuses, only apologies.

Good Luck,
and Good Day.

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