Intoducing new tunes

Intoducing new tunes

How are new tunes introduced at your session? Are only the "elders" allowed to do this? Or are there factions within the session who get new tunes ready at home to unleash on the remaining members?

How often do new tunes get introduced?


Greg

Posted by .

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Easy-peasy… We usually just start a petition, get signatures, have debates, submit our tune request form to whomever plays the loudest, wink and slip them a few bucks, threaten them with blackmail, sacrafice a virgin… that sort of thing.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Well, it’s a difficult process.

The tune may be introduced by any of the members to one of the Sub-Committees of the Session. Then, when it is agreed upon by the Committee, the Special Gathering is called so that all Sessioneers may cast their votes. After the first reading, the members decide (by simple majority voting) whether they like the tune in general or not; every member holds as many votes as years he has been playing in this session x dB he can produce with his instrument . Then, the public debate takes place, where the members decide about ornamentation, variations, which instruments are allowed to play a given tune and all other crucial details. Next, a second reading and second voting. If the draft tune is passed in second reading, it goes to the pub owner, who should sign it, but holds the right to veto. In an unlikely event of pub owner veto, the tune goes back to the member gathering, who may still enforce it, but this time need a two-thirds majority of the votes.

The tune enters into force when it is first published on the chalkboard menu of the pub. Any amendments to the tune are prepared in Sub-Committees and accepted through simple majority voting by the members.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Can’t find a virgin round here, so we don’t have new tunes any more.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Maybe this was serious question. 🙂 and none of you lot have given proper answers yet 🙂.

We’ve had this discussion before, I know, but I suppose there’s one or two ways in can be done, An obvious way is to stick an extra tune at the end of the set but some of these "elders" are crafty and will deliberately give their last tune a distinctive or drawn out ending to make this more awkward. Another possibility is to start a new set of your own during a "lull" in the proceedings but be sure to include one or two tunes that these "old f-rts" might know so that they’re not left out. Actually, if it’s a nice friendly session, you might even get invited to play start something, so be prepared.
If the session is in full swing, it’s probably better not to introduce anything too obscure or different. You don’t want to "kill it off".

John

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Usually when someone asks me to start a set at our session, I try to play one tune that most people don’t know. The way I introduce it is by playing the first bar or two and asking does anyone know it. Usually they say "No, but play it anyway". Always a good idea to know the name of that tune because you will invariably be asked for it after the set.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Brilliant, Janek. Remember, you’re in the European Union now, so is it still necessary to go through the Worker’s Soviets & collectives and subcommittees? Surely now things will be much easier with Brussels-style bureaucracy taking over?

:~}

I think we are fairly democratic - we just all play the same tunes week in week out.

OK OK. Really must try and get serious as it’s a good question. One of the good things about new people coming along and joining in a sesh is that they bring tunes in from *their* repertoire - there’s always someone in our sesh at the Blythe, or recently Shllelagh’s (usually me) who can join in with the person. THat sparks off the memory cells and maybe next sesh that "new" tune finds its own voice with us. Another good practice is to drop in on other people’s sessions, not least just to say hello to people, but again so the memory banks get recharged with tunes you forgot you knew. I sometimes do what Conan does also. Need to be sober for that though, so that’s quite a rare practice.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

I start off with a new tune, then make the second tune the start of a familiar set. Or, stick the new tune midway into a set they all know.

Some play a new tune, just the one, and nothing else. Then there’s an awkward silence afterwards, and everyone just sits and looks at each other. Don’t know why - it’s not as if the tune was played badly - it is just coz it "goes against the ways?"

Jim

Re: Intoducing new tunes

We never play any new tunes, so it isn’t a problem. We like the ones we know, and don’t see why people should come in playing these new-fangled things. Basically if it isn’t in O’Neill’s (n.b. the CORRECT edition) and/or been taught by at least two teachers at Willie Week, it just doesn’t count 🙂

And we have a subtle variation on Conán’s trick. We tell people we *do* know the tune, then realise we don’t, and stop playing one by one, leaving them to do an accidental solo. I suppose that counts as "introducing new tunes" 🙂

Re: Intoducing new tunes

With 67 verses, unaccompanied, of course 🙂

Trevor

Re: Intoducing new tunes

I’m quite new to ITM, so most of the tunes I play are "new" to ME.
Lets say then I turned up at a session and started to play the following tunes I really like and currently learning . . would I get out of the seesion room in one piece, or would the physical and mental abuse subjected upon me leave permanent and lasting damage - 🙂

Dancing Dog
Honeysuckle hornpipe
Alexanders
Athalone
Alberthouse
Blarney pilgrim
Kildare Hornpipe
Golden keyboard
Graham Townsend
Always Wellcome
Calipohouse
Going to the well for water
To name but a few, (thats not a song . . its a thingy)

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Come to think about it "To Name But A Few," would make a great tune title ! I hearby register the titles copyright , all rights reserved as they say.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

These are mostly good tunes. Some people here might say that "The Blarney Pilgrim" is overplayed but I still love it. It’s a great tune for the mandolin and/or guitar.Can you remember the Andy Irvine/Paul Brady version?

Re: Intoducing new tunes

No John, like I said i’m very new to ITM , and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do .

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Stewpot

Come over the hill and join us one friday nite.

We welcome anyone who comes and brings us a new tune.
If someone a little nervous and shy asks if they may have a go we welcome them too. If they’ve got the gumption to try and play for us we are honoured, and if they cock it up through nerves we don’t laugh or criticise - that would not be kind.
A few months back we had a little lass of about 8 summers who came along with her mum who comes regularly to our sesh, and she played the only tune she had learned - and we were priveleged to be the people she played it to.

Anyone who is unkind or offputting to newcomers should be strung up from the nearest lamppost (actually that’s quite a long way from our pub, so we might have to use a beam in the shippon).

Dave

Re: Intoducing new keys

I purposefully introduce at least one unknown tune a week, as much as from an educational point of view. If they like it, they ask for the name and go away and learn it.
I also try and change the key of a few tunes a week to get people to practise transposing. Judging by some comments on this site, this is tantamount to a new tune.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

What happens when you play them depends on whose session it is, and to large extent is governed by the E word. Search the discussions here for “etiquette” 🙂

Then there’s the whole tune snob thing to contend with; some people will think the same tunes are the dog’s b****x, other will think they’re just b****x. But to hell with the begrudgers.

There may also be threads on “When good tunes go bad”, “When bad tunes are played by good people” etc. … or words to that effect 🙂

Re: Introducing new tunes

Beware, changing the key of a tune may get you the hairy eyeball, depending on the norms of that particular session. You may in fact cause what is generally known as a train wreck 🙂

NB I’m not saying transposing tunes is *wrong*, it’s just not necessary in ITM … and may be deprecated in some sessions 🙂

Re: Intoducing new tunes

I was out playing and singing last night Dave last night in this pub, Not so much ITM mainly folk/country/singalong things . . so I’m not nervous that much about playing in public, and I’m a lot older than 8 summers … its just I get the impression rightly or wrongly that ITM can be a bit of a "closed shop" , and even more clickiyer than other music formats?

Re: Intoducing new tunes

It’s a mistake to generalise. Singarounds, "circle" arrangements, Scottish sessions, English "Morris p—f music" sessions (-Brian McNeill’s words, not mine-but a little tongue in cheek 🙂 )can all be cliquish too. So can some jazz and classical audiences. The world is full of cliques, unfortunately, because human beings are involved. 🙂

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Ooooh, I really hate that one where someone plays a tune that they know dam well nobody else knows and they go, "Oh, do you not know this one?", knowing full well that the polite reply will come back as, "come on now, play it anyway", and all because said person wants to show off. Aaargh!!!

Posted .

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Ermm, Stewpot, I believe I’m correct in saying that titles can’t be copyrighted - otherwise you’d only ever have one book titled "Introduction to Biology" (or whatever).

Trevor

Re: Intoducing new tunes

🙂 (I forgot to add!)
Trevor

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Hmm Michael I do that , not to show off but to get new tunes played at our session. Otherwise it’s the same old sets week in week out. I think it’s more rude just to launch into a set that you know no-one else knows.You’re stirring the sh*t as usual. Well, I refuse to be drawn into an argument on this website. Let’s just have a square go in the car-park!

Re: Intoducing new tunes

There’s no car park at Sandy Bells. You’ll have to take him up the lane at the side. 🙂

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Yeah, but you could say, "look, I’ve got this new tune, see what you think of it,it goes really well with such and such, if you like it I’ll give you the dots or show it you or whatever, if you don’t, I’ll never darken your brain with it again."

Posted .

Re: Intoducing new tunes

But let’s get this into perspective. Sessions are about playing tunes with people and that’s what 99.9% or your session should be. If you are in a situation where you are playing the same sets week in week out, then you maybe should be making a bit of an effort. But new tunes for the sake of it is counter productive. If I try to bring in a new tune, it really has to an absolute belter that everyone goes wow at. Otherwise, the ones we’ve got will do just fine thanks.

Posted .

Re: Intoducing new tunes

I find you if trot the new tune out when there’s a break in the flow, play it with verve, but not blindingly fast, and if it’s a good tune, others will start to pick up on it. I love new tunes- I may not get on to it as fast as I like, but I find sometimes they resurface in my memory at odd times, fully formed and the fingering already figured out. It may take a few rounds of session for the regulars to acquire it, but then, there it is!

Re: Intoducing new tunes

When your session is as nice as ours, you can say "I’ve got a new tune, would you like to hear it?" and everyone will say "Yes, please play it for us."

Etiquette is exclusive - manners are inclusive.

Dave

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Ah but you see Michael it all comes back to what is a "new" tune. I’ve been playing long enough to have a rake of tunes from different repertoires. There might be a tune that’s regarded as a standard, say, in Belfast or Clare but which is relatively unknown in the sessions I frequent in London. These are the tunes I’m trying to introduce - as much for other peoples benefit as for my own amusement; if my friends go to sessions in Ireland I would like to think they would have at least heard a smattering of the local tunes.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Wha?

My dictionary says:

etiquette - the form of conduct or behaviour prescribed by custom or authority to be observed in social, official or professional life.

manners - polite social behaviour.

I guess the etiquette here is about observing the form of conduct prescribed by the custom of playing tunes at a session, and specifically, when you should bring in a new tune.

I WOULDN’T want to do so, so "that everyone goes wow at" But I would want to do so in order to keep the session alive.

To paraphrase Woody Allen - though he was talking about relationships - a session, like a shark, needs to keep moving forwards to stay alive. So you don’t want to end up with a dead shark on your hands.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

yes Danny - to quote something someone once said here, I’d want peoples reaction to a new tune to be "That’s a nice tune" not "You’re a great player" or "That’s out of place".

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Always a good idea to make sure that if it’s a set where the others are more likely to be familiar with the last tune than the first. A few weeks ago I went to the Herschell with a friend, and played a set consisting of two jigs, which I thought would be reasonably well known. everyone (about twenty instruments including an alto sax) joined enthusiastically in the first (Seamus Cooley’s), an NOONE joined us in the second (This is my love do you like her?), leaving myself and a very worried looking girl on the whistle feeling a trifle exposed….

Re: Intoducing new tunes

showaddy you have it. It’s the tune that’s important. (though if you could only stretch a description of the tune to be "nice", I wouldn’t bother with it.)

Posted .

Re: Intoducing new tunes

I’ve noticed you apply the same criteria to people as well.

Miaow!

Re: Intoducing new tunes

…make that criterion

Re: Intoducing new tunes

I was the first to respond to this thread — and I took the piss out of it. I didn’t realize it would be such a big question because new tunes are a part of every session we have in our local. Purposely playing tunes that aren’t known by the others in order to show off is a different matter all together — and I have seen that once in a while. (Michael Gill’s scenario) Personally I enjoy hearing new tunes, and I enjoy hearing individual players here and there. (Like the scenario showaddydadito describes) The concept in this thread reminds me of a political discussion about US foreign policy, 9-11 etc. with my conservative sister. She stopped me at one point and demanded that no evidence or information that she doesn’t already know can be introduced into the discussion. All I could do after that was laugh… discussion over. If you don’t allow for the flow of new tunes into your session it might suffer the same fate, not for the same reasons of course, but it will wither and die eventually none-the-less.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Jack, I enjoyed your response and Janek’s, but I’m grateful for the prespective in the other serious responses as well.

The session I impose myself on is probably newer than many described here. The norms and etiquette are sorting themselves out over time, and so there are a variety of approaches to new tunes ranging from "don’t do them", to pass around photocopies of the dots and let’s give it a whirl.

It’s great to hear how more seasoned sessioneers like yourselves keep the shark moving forward! Thanks.

Greg

Posted by .

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Michael - the art of communication lies in making sure that the point of one’s message is perceived clearly by the intended recipient. I could have used a lot more flowery descriptions than "nice" - but that would have been beside the point, and possibly have suggested an inappropriate self aggrandisement wouldn’t it? The point was that the tune should be pleasing to the listeners, and that this should be what they remark upon, rather than upon the oddity of the tune or the skill of the player. As a consequence of this it seemed appropriate to use the adjective "nice" in the above correspondence as a way of summing up all that was needed …


… you old bugger.

;o)

Re: Intoducing new tunes

What, greg, there’s a new session in Calgary? And to think one of the reasons I moved was that I only got to play twice a month, and always the same tunes with the same people! Here’s my advice - FORCE new tunes on your session. Lure them into your home, drug their drinks, tie them up and when they wake up play it on repeat at top volume on your ghetto blaster until they can’t get it out of their heads. Sneak into their homes while they are sleeping and play it softly beside their ear so it sinks in subliminally. Do whatever you have to do, but get some new tunes happening in Cowtown.

Seriously, coming to the session with a few copies of the dots in your bag seems like the most graceful way to share your tunes. One of the flute players at the session I used to go to seemed to have some on hand at all times, and when he played something I didn’t know and I asked about it, he’d just hand me the sheet music or bring it the next week. With the tune staring up at me from my dining room table, I really had no excuse not to learn it.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Yes, Kerri. You can come back now. :>} However don’t bother showing up if there’s a Flames playoff in progress.

I think the weekly Joyce on 8th session has been going on for quite a while now, perhaps for several years. It’s a really nice friendly open session with a core of some great players. But I’m sure it’s nowhere near as old and established as the institutions Jack and Danny and others have been describing on this discussion board.

And don’t get me wrong .. more new tunes get added than I can possibly keep up with at my level. But I find it really interesting the different ways they are introduced, by who, which of them tend to take hold, and which don’t.

Posted by .

Etiquette = Manners = Norms?

“Etiquette is exclusive – manners are inclusive” I like that 🙂
I don’t much like the E word myself, but I introduced it to this discussions because anyone who’s new around here will find about eight times as many references to etiquette than to manners, so I’m just trying to use the language already used on this site. Maybe etiquette is what’s needed by people who have no manners? 🙂

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Etiquette always makes me think of little old ladies in white gloves and hats with net veils, drinking tea with their pinkies stuck out and the saucer held carefully under the cup to catch drips. Lots of such to be found at sessions, I’m sure! ;)
I think etiquette is mostly for those unfamiliar with the territory and its customs, whereas manners are what you naturally use in your own familiar society. The trick seems to be finding a way to stop worrying about etiquette and just be mannerly.
Maybe I’ll venture to attend a session or two after all…
Sara

Re: Intoducing new tunes

*gasp*… my pinky sticks out when I play flute. I guess I must be a little old lady then. I really must get a saucer to catch the drips. 😉

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Fair enough, greg. I never went to the session at the Joyce because somebody told me a few years ago (when I was very much a beginner) that it was a closed session and beginners weren’t welcome. Then I guess I kinda forgot about it. next time I’m in town I’ll be sure to check it out.

Anyway, here’s another good tip I thought of; get together with a couple players at your own level outside the session and learn tunes together. Then when you whip them out at the session you won’t be flying solo and the other players will be more inclined to learn your stuff, because a) they will be able to hear it better with more people playing it, and b) if they see a bunch of people playing a tune they don’t know they will be in more of a hurry to learn it. If it’s just you, they will all be thinking "why bother learning this tune nobody but greg knows?" If four of five of you play it, they will think "oh my goodness! How did I manage to miss learning this tune that everybody but me knows!"

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Jack, admittedly I’m not a flautist, but my impression is that if you get enough drips to need a saucer you’re drooling… On the other hand you’d look sweet in a nice little pillbox hat with a net veil. ;)
Sara

Re: Intoducing new tunes

It’s water condensation — not drool. hmph… (adjusts his leapord skin pillbox hat and net veil)

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Jack, the number of smart remarks that come to mind about that (condensation vs drool) depending on the comeliness of the ladies in the front row is beyond belief. But this is a family site so I shall leave them to your imagination. ;)
I think I’d better tell my boss I’ve been a bad girl and should be sent home an hour early.
Sara

Re: Intoducing new tunes

hahahaha

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Kerri wrote: "Anyway, here’s another good tip I thought of; get together with a couple players at your own level outside the session and learn tunes together. Then when you whip them out at the session you won’t be flying solo and the other players will be more inclined to learn your stuff,” I’ve done this Kerri, and I was accused of plotting secretly with co-conspirators to "take over the session." But that was back in the early days of sessioneering for me. One thing that put an end to it was the elimination of the hierarchy by introducing the concept of host sharing.

For 10 years it was just my fiddler buddy and I, but around 1998 I asked the publican if we could have different hosts from week to week. This worked beautifully because people who didn’t particularly like the way a session went could have a night where they were hosts and could play all of the tunes they like, new or otherwise. They could try out new tunes, play more jigs than reels, wear pajamas, or just promote total anarchy. It took the pressure off and opened up the possibilities. Some sessions are free-for-all read-my-mind-about-what-tune-is-next sort of affairs, and others were a little more about communicating and giving everyone a chance to suggest medleys. And if you didn’t like one – you could go to the other session. In other words, the concept of introducing new tunes became mute.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Here’s my new daydream. I move to San Francisco, study at the feet of Messr Gilder (he wears Jimmy Choos btw) & he calls me Grasshopper.

Re: Intoducing new tunes

LOL David — whatever are you moving to the middle of nowhere for, chappie? Wasted, totally wasted…*snort* Em, my bet is that Jack would let you, but let’s go shopping for cool looking pj’s first! *grin*

Re: Intoducing new tunes

BTW, Sara, you’ve picked one of my pet peeves! Etiquette is for everybody! Manners doesn’t help you much if the manners you know are only the ones that work within your own particular group of people. There’s an etiquette to inviting and accepting an invitation to your mate’s place for pizza, for instance — there’s usually no black tie involved, offering to bring a six pack is considered nice in most social circles, don’t bother sending flowers and thank you note afterwards, etc. — it’s just that it’s not a very formal etiquette.

Nice manners are great to have around, but etiquette tells you what to do with them.

zls

Re: Intoducing new tunes

Yeah, Zina, it’s like this - The first time you are invited to somebody’s house, you don’t go through their fridge and whip up an omelette, flop into the laz-e-boy and flip on the TV to your favorite show. Why? Because it’s rude, and everybody knows it. I have some close friends that I have learned over time don’t mind if I go to the fridge when I’m peckish. I don’t think I’m suddenly being "rude", but in the context of "manners" I’m behaving in a totally different way. To me, "etiquette" just means waiting for cues to tell you what kind of behavior is considered rude, and aknowleging you are in somebody else’s house when you attend a new session.

And Jack, your story gave me a chuckle. I can’t imagine that kind of anal retentiveness. I do this all the time and have never been accused of covert ops or a coup attempt. The rotating host thing is great, isn’t it? One of the sessions here has that (in theory).