Background music

Background music

a few friends and myself are playing at a reception soon and i was wondering what pieces would work. in the past reels and more reels don’t go down as well as semi classical/trad pieces. anyone have any ideas what we should play this time? i’m not saying rule out reels and jigs though!!also a few songs wouldn’t go a miss either. cheers

Re: Background music

Your question sounds like: what’s good?

I think, anything you really like, you’ll play with a sense of fun. If you love a piece, whatever style it is, put it on your rehearsal list and make it great!

Have fun,

Helen

Re: Background music

I love playing background at wedding receptions, because you’re there only for one important social function: to fill in those awkward social gaps for people whose small talk skills have faded for a few seconds. O’Carolan is good for this sort of thing. But so are any of the tunes; your important function will not be impaired by playing whatever you like.

Re: Background music

Well,if semiclassical goes down better than reels and jigs in your experience, how about some Carolan? You could probably get good mileage out of any of his tunes, whether the well-known (ie the Concerto) or the less well-known (ie Loftus Jones). Also slow airs might be appreciated as background.
Good luck!
Sara

Re: Background music

Ah, the old cross-post! *grin* Zina hit "post" before I did.

Re: Background music

We’ve done a few black-tie art museum fundraisers, where rowdy dance music would seem out of place. So we work up some jigs and reels (and other tunes) that sound nice slowed way down, and it’s always gone over very well. Us players also enjoy playing whole sets at a less frenetic pace and focusing on the lyrical features of the tunes. When the mood suits, we also sneak in a few up-tempo sets.

Posted .

Re: Background music

so far we are thinking about ‘the king of the fairies’, ‘eleanor plunkett’, ‘morgan magan’, ‘give me your hand’ and ‘brian boru’s march’ and ‘the tour’. it’d be nice to slip in a few sets. any ideas?

Re: Background music

great minds lol. and sets come to mind?

Re: Background music

Waltzes are always good for that sort of thing (and it’s fun for impromptu dancing). The Fairy Queen, Far Away, Sourgrass and Granite, If Ever You Were Mine, An Gaoth Aneas, As the Sun Was Setting, Tommy Bhetty’s, etc. And Fanny Power and Miss Hamilton’s, of course. As for sets, Never Was Piping So Gay is kind of nice slowed down…oh, you mean sets of tunes?

Um…I like Miss McLeod’s slowed down, which we generally follow up with one of the Reidy Johnson’s, and we often do Father Kelly’s into one of the Garret Barry’s.

Re: Background music

First off I was trying to make my own post and I couldnt find out where If someone could tlel me where Id be sure then happy then to move my post…………………………………….

BAsically ive been playing saxophone for about 5 years played in a couple of honor bands. Im good i can play some tough licks. I have played some of the toughest pieces out there. MY problem is I cant count…I know how many beats each note is to get and stuff all that easy stuff you learn in the beggining. I play music in a wierd way i feel instead of counting in my head I kinda take a good guess that works for when to go to the next note….I also switch to the next note when someone who is playing same peice as me does….I should be counting in my head but I never do……I dont want to tell my private teachers cuz they cant even pick up on my fault and this is not time in my life I can tell em the truth so dont reccomend that please. I need to learn how to count myself. If someone were to give me a piece with like a few 16th notes eighth notes and quarter notes If i were to here how the tune went I would instantly pick up how to play it and would be able to play in time with out counting in my head. But if the piece had no apparent tune I would be scrwed and I would not be able to count for *#@! BAsically I want you all to help me out My main problem I htink is I Never count in my head instead I listen to my players sitting next to me and once Ihear how a tune is played then im good. I want to be able to look at music for first or second time and play it and i want to be able to count in my head for the music im playing now to ensure Im ALWAYS IN Time… I know how to count with pencil and paper now its just applying the concept to my head ANy reccomendations would greatly be apreciated and I posted this cuz I didnt see where there was "NEw topic button" ANy reccomendation I now have alot of free time to work on fixing this problem Recomendations would BE GREAT I need to learn how to count in my head and count for myself cuz My way of counting music is not working for me any longer. I think I should start from the very beggining but i play at a high level and I know i might have to go back to 1st level peices in order to achieve my goal and im willing to do this. Help me out guys!!! Thanks!

Re: Background music

Er…I answered your other post in the other thread. But to answer the question you *didn’t* ask, the link for posting a thread is found in the nav box at the top of the page on the right, down under where it says "you are logged in as sure1234". Click where it says "Submit a discussion".

Re: Background music

I played a reception last weekend with two bandmates. We set up the sound system at one end of the dance floor in the dining room of an inn. We would be playing for contra dancing after dinner, but they wanted us to just sit and play pretty before dinner. We played a lot of waltzes, but what we really enjoyed was playing a bunch of our reels at a much slower pace than we normally play at our regular dances. The guests were mingling outdoors while we sat, all alone, inside. Presumably they could hear us through the open door and windows. There were lots of Irish folks there, grinning and commenting on the Irish music we played.

Re: Background music

I play a fair amount of weddings and similar type situations. I never fret about it and play anything I want. I just play the regular tunes, and a few songs. Some slow, some faster, and of course loads of O’Carolan. People always think it’s pretty.

If the people really are strictly looking for classical, I tell them I don’t do that and give them a reccommendation of someone who does.

Posted by .

Re: Background music

We call it "playing to the furniture", although it does pay well, you have to be organised beforehand or it does get mega-boring.
Waltzes, O’Carolan (quite a lot of which is semi-classical anyway) and hornpipes are just the job. You can get away with one set of jigs or reels at the start and end of the spot, but you obviously need slower stuff in betweeen to allow conversation.
We also like turning daggy songs into something else - try Danny Boy, Bunch of Thyme and Maggie slowed down as a foxtrot.
There are loads of songs you can also tidy up and turn into sets - Irish Eyes, How Can You Buy Killarney, Peggy O’Neil. You might think they are horrid, hackneyed and hugely daggy (we do), but the if the punters know them and hum along, you are doing your job.
These daggy sets of songs are just as useful as "tear-jerkers" for dancing to as for wallpaper music, although tissues should be provided.

Re: Background music

Oh, and if you have someone who likes doing airs, an air into a few tunes is also nice. Women of Ireland into Slieve Russell into Garret Barry’s goes over nicely when our piper is playing.

Re: Background music

what about the mountain streams where the moorcock crows or the lament to fred finn?

Re: Background music

When my wife and I were married, of all the planning and decisions, etc, etc, etc, there was one imperative on which I would not compromise - the background music for our cocktail reception and dinner would be a "session". We also had an R&B band for the after dinner dancing, but one of the highlights of the reception for me was the playing of some of the best musicians in our area - a piper, a harpist/accordianist, a flutist, and a fiddler. They just sat down, in casual attire, and played, and played, and played.

When they first started playing, the wedding coordinator set them up in a far corner of the lawn - where they could barely be heard. I requested that she move them front-and-center, during the cocktail reception and during dinner.

It was FANTASTIC!!! The piper and harpist also played during our ceremony - "The South Wind" was the tune that was played as we walked up the lawn/aisle. (And I can’t count how many people asked me what that beautiful sounding instrument was on that guy’s lap - the pipes.)