Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I think that there should be more scottish tunes on the session because right now there are only really well known scottish tunes on the session. I am a scotsman myself and that is 1 of the reasons that I want to have more scottish tunes on the session.Some good scottish tunes that aren’t on the session are "The Flooded Meadow" by Duncan Chisholm, "Seoras Beag" by Donald Riddel, "The Beauly" by Donald Ridel, "The honourable Mrs Rous" Also by Donald Riddel and "Maggie Cameron" and that is Traditional

If Anybody knows any of these tunes could they please (Please) put them up as they are some of my favourite tunes. And no,don’t suggest that I learn them by ear as I can not learn things by ear. At all. OK . Don’t laugh.I should probably learn to play things by ear though.But ,I just (erm) can’t.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Learn to play them by ear. I’m not being cheeky, you’re young and have all the time in the world. Take a tune, slow it down to 0.5x, play it over and over until you pick up a few notes, and slowly but surely you’ll eventually have the whole tune.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I have tried to play them by ear.With the flooded meadow I listned to it about 100 times but I couldn’t even get the first note

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Thanks for the reply so soon by the way.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I second this suggestion!

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Is this not a site for Irish music? Admittedly there is already a great number of non-Irish tunes here, but should we dilute the mix even more? Does this not call for a separate site, on the same lines as here? Answers on a plain post card please.

Chris B.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I’ll likely take a lot of heat for this, others have.

Don’t get me wrong here, I like a lot of Scottish music, even seek out a tune now and then. It’s a wonderful sound, fun to play, from a well respected tradition. That said, Scottish music is not Irish music. Ya gotta draw a line somewhere. Do we include American Old Time (which I also play…a lot), descending into blue-grass, jug-band, delta (or Chicago), blues, Hank Williams, Waylon and Willie? How about Scandi, Klezmer, and that apparently, evil of all evils, classical? All of these and more have a rich tradition, it’s just not the Irish session tradition. Here in the US you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a resource for , let’s say, country, blues, bluegrass, pop, but you have to drive a long, say it with me, long way to find a real Irish resource. (There are a couple of instructors that might lean to the Irish-ish in my area, but not really far enough.) I only suggest that we leave this Irish resource for Irish. Jeremy has gone a long way with the Session and deserves high praise for it. I sincerely hope that there are references for other traditions that are as useful.

My thoughts anyway. You may have others and I certainly respect them.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Jamie, take the tune and slow it down, to the point where you can hear each note clearly. That’s all I can say.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I agree with you ross but the only good website for getting music is the session.I know that the session is meant for traditional Irish music but I can’t find any good Scottish music websites.A lot of Scottish and Irish tunes have links with each other .

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

It would be nice to get a traditional scottish music like the session but that mght be asking to much as the session is such a good website.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I am quite surprised by the anti-Scottish tune sentiment here. I may be wrong, but I am unable to find anywhere on the site where it says that this is a site devoted to only Irish sessions, and there *is* a Scottish session tradition as well. That is not to mention that many Irish music sessions in Ireland frequently play "Scottish" tunes, whether they are aware of it or not, and they fit in because the two nations have been trading tunes for centuries — many of us are aware of the influences of Donegal, but Sliabh Luachra has as strong an influence, if not as visible. If we want to delete all Scottish tune types, we had better get used to 6/8, because we can’t claim reels, barndances, strathspeys, or even likely the 2/2 march.

I look forward to the addition of the above tunes, particularly the traditional one.
And I second the others above, at least try to be able to sing the tunes or whistle them before looking at the dots. The dots are a great help but it is very difficult to be able to add life to a tune that you have never heard.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Is there really a difference between Scottish and Irish traditions anymore?

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssss

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Yes

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Yes

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

If you want more Scottish tunes on thesession.org, transcribe them yourself and submit them to the database. That’s the only way any tune of any sort gets onto thesession. They don’t magically appear. Users submit them.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Actually, Thady… under House Rules in the session help pages (https://thesession.org/help), it states:

Please stay on topic:
Please keep discussion submissions relevant to Irish music.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I think the site works perfectly well as it is: nominally and ostensibly dedicated to Irish music, but with plenty of Scottish and English (and probably Welsh and even French, I wouldn’t know) tunes hidden within the Tunes section.

There’s certainly plenty of Scottish and English albums listed in the Recordings section.

That all seems consonant with a site dedicated to Irish music: after all, rules always have their exceptions. To my mind, this is exactly like an Irish session itself. Every so often someone might play a Scottish or English tune. It’s only when the exceptions risk making a nonsense of the rules that it becomes problematic.

It strikes me that there’s always room in the Tunes section and the Recordings section.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I agree with you Matt, and my post wasn’t necessarily saying don’t post more Scottish tunes. I was just pointing out to Thady that it has been specified as being primarily a site for Irish trad.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

There is so much overlap and cross-borrowing between the two traditions that I think Scottish tunes fit the "relevant to Irish music" description listed above. I don’t see how a firm line could be drawn. You can hold that line in an individual session, but tunes like to travel. You choose which tunes and which versions you want from the database.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Jamie check the tunes section! :)

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

No animosity, no anti Scottish. I am only wary of the slippery slope. Previous topics on this site have included stories of how just a _____________ tune or two have led to session takeovers. One local acoustic music organization has over time been hi-jacked by one sub-set or another. There is cause for being watchful, not disrespectful. I vote to keep this site more focused and I admittedly don’t know where to draw that line. There is, must be, some overlap in traditions, but not as much as some might believe (my opinion). Wanna ruin a good Irish tune? Teach it to a really good blue grass player. They might learn to play it well and with excitement, but it won’t be Irish. Too, a good Scottish tune just lays there when played as "Irish". I learned that the hard way! Heck, I’ve read some hard line comments to the effect of "No Trazz". Would "Irotish" or "Scotrish" be any different?

By the way, I think the suggested sites are excellent, already bookmarked them and expect to visit them regularly!

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Kellie: "Is there really a difference between Scottish and Irish traditions anymore?"

To the average English speaker, the Czech, Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian languages all sound very much alike, yet their speakers would have great difficulty understanding one another. To someone not familiar with either tradition, Scottish and Irish music may be hard to tell apart; to someone ‘in’ one of those traditions, the other is like a foreign language - closely related, maybe, but foreign. It is true that, nowadays, with the easy availability of recorded music, ease of travel and the mingling of the Irish and Scottish diasporas, there are examples of music that cannot be easily categorised as either one or the other. But distinct traditions certainly still exist.

Conical Bore: "There is so much overlap and cross-borrowing between the two traditions that I think Scottish tunes fit the "relevant to Irish music" description listed above."

Some do, some don’t. Most can be adapted to fit an Irish style of some kind (much to the disapproval of the Scottish music purist, no doubt). Yes, many, many tunes have crossed the Irish Sea in both directions over the centuries and some of them have decided to stay (whilst, in some cases, falling out of circulation in their place of origin). But does this mean we should make a decision to eschew any distinction between Irish and Scottish repertoire? And style? Or should we first wait for a tune to be taken up by some eminent (or not) Irish trad musician before assimilating it int our repertoires?

Perhaps the question should be: Should a webssite like The Session be regarded as a corrupting influence on the tradition or a part of the tradition?

Re: Getting more ___ ___ on the session

When a young member comes on the board with a desire to learn a specific genre of tunes & is convinced he or she cannot pick out the 1st note of a tune after listening to a recording several Xs over… my primary concern is not about the differences between Scottish & Irish anything.

see previous post, above ^

Jamie, keep listening & work on playing what you hear. It may take time but chances are good you can develop your ears. The percentage of people who cannot train their ears (i.e. ‘tone deaf’ ~ cannot play by ear) is extraordinarily minute.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

In the meanwhile, start composing tunes.

Re: Getting more salami on the session

Has there been an upsurge in cold cuts lately?

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Do you have a teacher? Is your teacher capable of teaching you common phrases and intervals so that you can recognize them easily and reproducing them when you hear them? You would progress much faster and be a much better musician if you laid a good foundation with a teacher or mentor before learning things from dots on a paper.

I seriously doubt anybody ever follows that advice when I give it, but it is sound advice regardless.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Jamie - Regarding playing by ear: If the tunes you want to learn are overwhelming to you at the moment, then you need to build up the basic skills for playing by ear.

A good place to start is to try playing from memory a very simple tune that is already in your head - a tune you know so well that you can sing it note perfect without thinking about it (Twinkle Twinkle, Three Blind Mice, Happy Birthday…). Since you already know how the tune goes, you have as much time as you need to search around for the right notes - and you know whether a note is right or wrong. Keep on doing that with whatever tunes are in your head, however silly (nursery rhymes, TV themes, advertising jingles..) and you’ll eventually reach a point where your fingers just know where to go.

Then you can move on to tunes that you don’t already know in your head. Listen to the whole tune through to get the overall shape of it - listen out for phrases that repeat themselves, ‘question’ and ‘answer’ phrases, where it goes up, where it goes down, where it get ‘busy’, where it comes to rest etc.

Then take it phrase by phrase. Start with a short snippet - say 4 notes - and listen to it until you can sing it back. (If the tune is played very fast on the recording, you might need to slow it down using the appropriate software. But the more you listen, the more the notes will come into focus, even at full speed.) Then let your fingers find the notes on your instrument. Keep repeating it until you can play it without mistakes - then another 4 times for luck. Once you are satisfied that the notes you are playing are the same as those in that phase of the tune, move onto the next bit. Then, when you’ve got the next bit, put the two bits together. Keep on in this way - learning a new bit, then playing it togeether with the previous bits you have learned. You will alost certainly find that there phrases that come up repeatedly in the tune, so when they come round again, you’ve already learned them.

Once you have learned the notes for the first half (or first *part*, the tune has more than two parts) of the tune, play it round and round as many times as you need to get it lodged in your head, and to get a feel for it. Then do the same for the next part. (You might find you can take it in longer phrases, as you get into the swing of it - and as you recognise bits that you already know from earlier in the tune. But if there’s any detail you are not quite sure about, don’t let it pass! Home in, note-by-note if necessary, until it comes into focus.)

Once you have the whole tune (or think you have), listen back to the recording to check that it matches what you are playing and make any adjustments necessary, then just keep playing the tune over and over, until it starts to feel like you own it (but stop before you get sick of it).

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Well this is exactly the point I have tried to make about thinning out ITM and it’s sessions. Traditional Scottish music is different to Irish traditional music, it’s the trad fusion movement, a free for all music, stage trad/pop and cermercial trad package that’s the same. It’s trad that could be from any tradition. That said, if you look at the house rules it states that this site is for Irish Traditional Music only and I think that’s they way it should remin. Should we also thin this out too. If you want a forum that mixes Scottish and Irish trad, go start one and leave this one alone. It’s already been thinned out so much with other genre references since its dawning. Sorry, but this is my opinion, not meant to offend anyone in any regard.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

So is Irish traditional music all just one tradition? From what I see the tradition and styles of Irish music are just as diverse and varied as Scottish traditional music, as are the different ways it is used and presented- for dancing, for listening, by bands and orchestras, the Pogues, Thin Lizzy etc. And even sometimes in sessions.

Think of music as whisky - you might decide that you will only ever drink pure Irish whiskey, but that is no reason to stop other people adding coke, making cocktails or even drinking Japanese whisky. Whatever they do, your whiskey will remain pure.

As for your understanding of Scottish music, it seems a bit superficial.Yes, we have fusion music, stage trad/pop and all the other fluff round the edges, just as you do in Ireland. But at the heart of it are local traditions every bit a strong and deep rooted as the Irish.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I like your comments, Mark. I have no problem with Scottish music appearing on the Session (this from an American who also likes Southern Old Time), and I would welcome it. But perhaps the better solution would be eventually to have a Scottish or perhaps a Scottish/Cape Breton equivalent of this website dedicated to that kind of music. Of course you’d have to have someone to design it, host it, perform whatever techie faerie magic makes this one work so well…. which opens up another whole can of worms, as we say over here….

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Hi Mark, was wondering if you’d be the man to reply to my comment. how you keeping? still don’t agree with your outlook on Irish Traditional Music, sorry.

Unfortunately, that they way Irish trad music is going, sad but true. As for your whiskey analegy the moment the whiskey is mixed with anything else it’s not whiskey or no longer just whiskey, it’s something else. I always have my whiskey pure.

I understand a lot about the difference between our two cultures, I played bagpipes in a marching band for years.

This is a forum is for Irish Traditional music only and should remain so. Go to Wordpress or some other free web forum builder and develop a site for Scottish traditions and other trad fusions.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Though an American, I had always thought that the raison d’etre of this site was to share and discuss the music typically played at Traditional Irish Sessions.

The defining thing seems to me to be not the origin of a particular tune but whether the tune is part of the Traditional Irish Session repertoire.

I’ve played Highland pipes in the Pipe Band and Solos world for over 40 years now, there are loads of wonderful tunes in that repertoire, but I wouldn’t expect to hear those tunes at an Irish Session, nor see them included on this site. There are sites for that.

So about the OP’s question, I see no reason to "get more Scottish tunes on The Session". I’m sure there must be sites dedicated to Scottish session repertoire, or if there isn’t, why not start one?

BTW I attended a session in Glasgow where, in the couple hours I was there, not a single tune that I recognised as an Irish Session tune was played, neither did they play any tunes which came out of the vast Highland pipe repertoire, at least not one I’d ever heard, and I’ve listened to a huge amount of Highland piping and thought I’d heard about everything. It was a distinct repertoire and one entirely new to me. If there isn’t a site for that music there should be.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Oh, well, someone better delete Atholl Highlanders and about a squillion other tunes from the database, including Rakish Paddy and probably the Tarbolton. Who cares what’s in the database? It’s not as if it will be running out of room.

It’s a website for sessions. The repertoire surely varies depending on where you are.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Perhaps we should build a wall round Ireland, and get the Scots to pay for it?

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

The Bucks of Oranmore will have to go too, since it’s clearly a descendant of Lucy Campbell. And the Lark in the morning too, since it’s pretty much a jig version of the aforementioned Bucks.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

People are pointing out that they are seperate traditions with many shared tunes and influences.
Many Scottish tunes were brought to Ireland (especially to Tyrone) by migrant workers who used to travel over to do the harvest then back for the later harvest back home, if they made it in time. They are played differently in different areas, because they are different traditions. A strathspey for example played in Ireland would never be accepted as right for the Scottish tradition. There’s no mileage in trying to pretend they are the same thing. Our diversity is a big part of what makes these traditions worth protecting from dumbing down and homogenising into some pap for all.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Well said Beanzy

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Originally, the ethos of the tune section according to Jeremy was to submit tunes "as played" in your local session. Jeremy’s musical background was mainly Irish and he was thinking mainly along the lines of Irish sessions. Of course, Scottish and other tunes even get played in Irish sessions and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be included here.

However, the key is "local session". So, this theoretically should exclude more obscure tunes (even Irish) if they don’t get played…although most will do at a session somewhere.

Having said that, it’s no big deal as SS says. The data base is big enough but this
site is still visited by mostly Irish players, so the tune database is bound to reflect this.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

>>"Jeremy’s musical background was mainly Irish and he was thinking mainly along the lines of Irish sessions. "

I wouldn’t persume to know what Jeremy thinks, but regardless of his roots I’m sure he has lived in Englandshire long enough to know that not every Irish session plays exclusively Irish tunes. Outside of Ireland ‘Irish session’ has come to mean an Irish STYLE session - i.e. one where players are free to join in if they know a tune, as opposed to other musical situations where a well defined band plays for a well defined audience, it doesn’t necessarily mean a session that plays exclusively Irish tunes.

Separate websites? Why? If you don’t like Scottish tunes, or discussions about Scottish music, just ignore them. I think the cross pollination from a site that embraces all the related traditions is far more productive that trying to stuff things into different categories and say ‘this is mine, keep your hands off’.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

He’s not Irish himself, of course, and I’m sure he realises that music from other genres gets played in most sessions…even in Ireland itself.
I’m also sure he uses the term "Irish session" fairly loosely too and based on his own experience. He probably never expected so many tunes to be submitted in the early days either.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Sorry. I stand corrected. Thought it was Brighton.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Another great source of Scottish tunes for various instruments is The Gathering, Nigel Gatherer’s website.
http://www.nigelgatherer.com. loads of material here and Nigel has the forum up and running again after a brief spell when it had developed a fault. Good chat and good tunes there.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

This is a complex and thorny issue, and one that I haven’t entirely sorted out for myself. On the one hand, I understand and believe deeply in the need for preserving local and regional traditions, especially those that gave rise to the music that helps save what’s left of my sanity in these deeply troubling times. On the other hand we have to recognize that the tradition we are fighting so hard to preserve is not the tradition that our forefathers would recognize. For example, 200 years ago no one in Sliabh Luachra would have known what a polka was. Denis O’Toole- is that an aspect of the tradition that you would wish preserved?
So I vote for inclusiveness. When I play through some of the tunes that manxygirl has posted here it gives me just a tiny taste of the traditions of Manx music. No enough to play them with any authority, certainly not enough to play them in public, but I might fool around with a few at one of my kitchen sessions. After all they are pleasant and charming tunes. Also learning a bit about Scottish, Manx, Welsh, etc. music gives me a bit more insight into what is unique about Irish music. Vive la difference!
One major caveat-it would be good if these tunes from different but related traditions were labelled as such, (when possible) so that someone perusing the data base would know if they are looking at a Scottish tune or a Welsh tune. And for the most part they are.
One last question to the naysayers- would you rather see a bunch more traditional Scottish tunes, or even new tunes composed in the Scottish tradition,( Duncan Chisholm, John McCuscker) or ten volumes of computer-generated "tunes" dumped into the data base?

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

And don’t forget that tune swapping has not been just confined to Ireland and Scotland; England and Wales have provided tunes for the rich mix as well!
I still think, despite being an English fiddler, that The Session would be best as a mainly Irish tune site. There is no real equivalent for us or the Scots, at present - but we could do with one (each!). The trouble is that skills and time are needed. Few of us have the time and even fewer have the skills (thank you Jeremy!) Are there people "out there" willing and able to take on such a job?

Chris B.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I think the inclusion of tunes from anywhere in your own repertoire is fair game, and seems to have been for a long long time. You only have to look at compendia of tunes such as Kerrs Merrie Melodies books to see that. Those have been great sources of new tunes for many Irish and Scottish players down the years. However you need to maintain the traditions as seperate to get the best of them as they grow through time. Traditions in playing styles are fine mesh sieves through which the material is refined and made something fitting that tradition. There is a danger that the whole lot melds into something generic and lacking the stylistic and taste influences inherent in passing them through that filter.

My personal approach following a trip to Glasgow last summer I picked up several cracking good sets which our hosts there very generously took us through before we assaulted the cèilidh with them that evening. The way we learned them could only be described as Scottish, I wouldn’t begin to try to make them fit with our Irish playing. But since then we often take time out in our session to "do some Scottish stuff". I’m always aware that it’ll never be the real deal, but there is mileage in taking time out as long as we let people know it’s no longer Irish trad were heading into.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Sure. Let’s include it all. We’ll bury the Irish trad among discussions of bass clarinet fingering, variations on themes by Ravel, Scruggs tuners, indigenous Peruvian folk tune discoveries. It’s all good. Let’s open sessions to Hank Williams, Elvis, Steve Vai, and Howling’ Wolf covers: pedal-steel, shaky-eggs, ubiquitous singer-songwriters, even bass solos. Pretty soon this Irish music resource (the best one around by far) will be so dilute, so homogeneous, that it’s not a resource at all. That’s just the way entropy works. I wouldn’t go to a Jazz or bluegrass site to discuss Roscommon flute players even though I do bristle a bit when I hear a clawhammer banjo player or classical violinist lay claim to their mastery of Irish trad. (Some really have it down so I have to be careful).

I firmly believe that every genre, tune, instrument, musical cultural has value and deserves a forum for it’s preservation. This one for the Irish. Yeah I know there has been some overlap. Other influences have crept in and the Irish influence has made itself felt maybe around the world. Point is, you have to draw a line somewhere. I have some notions about where that is, but I’m not, and don’t want to be King of the World here (I would, if asked , serve on the committee). Without an emphasis on Trad, and a strong one at that, there would not be a good reason to visit this site at all. All of this is not meant as a put-down of anybody’s musical choices. Rather I mean this as a celebration of the tradition that brought us here in the first place. Let’s leave this one for the Irish session.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I’m not too certain about putting up "tunes from your own repertoire". My repertoire includes stuff like "Coming Home on a Wing and a Prayer", "The Battle of The Somme", "Shufflin’ Samuel", "Jump at The Sun", "F**k The Tories" and "Ashokan Farewell." None of these are traditional or Irish, and some are so far away from what most people expect to find here, that I should be deservedly execrated should I upload them on the grounds that they are an essential part of my (own) repertoire.
No, Ross Faison has it right. Let’s keep this particular site well based on Irish traditions.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I think the man deliberately misquotes me?
"In" not "from". I’m talking about what people do in their own playing there, not what they post up here as Irish tunes.
Please refrain from doing that again

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Given that this board is already pretty cosmopolitan, if you feel there is a need for a purely Irish forum, why not start one yourself, rather than telling everyone else to go away and leave you this one as a gift? Like it or not, this site is called thesession.org, not thepuredropirishsession.org and as far as I can see it is aimed at anyone who plays in sessions, not just a small thoroughbred Irish elite.

There may well be a case for a pure Irish site, and if there is then it would be sensible for someone to start a new one, not hijack this site that is used and enjoyed by people of all styles and persuasions, all over the globe.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Ross Faiso, couldn’t agree with you more.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Mark M
we all agreed to abide by the house rules when we joined,
Quote;
"Please stay on topic
Please keep discussion submissions relevant to Irish music."

Now maybe things drift a bit, but that’s no reason to assume the place suddenly is not about Irish music or is about Scottish traditions, it is about Irish music. It’s a bit like speed limits, maybe everyone goes a bit over, but that doesn’t mean there’s a new speed limit in place.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I’m gonna go play some tunes at my local session. All welcome, if you’re in Cambridge drop by! Heck, we might even play an ENGLISH tune.

Though if you whip out one of your Welsh mazurkas without warning, we’ll call the police.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Mark you haven’t or mustn’t have read the house rules. Here is a quote from it :

"Please keep discussion submissions relevant to Irish music. I understand that it’s tempting to chat about sports or politics, but there are plenty of other places on the web for that."

This forum when started was meant to be for ITM and sessions involving ITM only. It’s not that hard to understand. There is no need to setup a site for purely ITM as this forum started out that way. However, This has changed over time due to other people’s music tastes mixed with an interest in ITM trying to influence their love for other genres and trying to make it fit into ITM.

If another site was setup just for troughbreds, elite and pure ITM musicians, (which I find a rediculas statement), what’s to stop people from joining and pushing their agenda to try and dilute the goal of the forum. There are many organisations, solcial groups and associations that have clocked members trying to undermine the value of the forum. I’m afraid that it may be happening to this one.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

"Oh, well, someone better delete Atholl Highlanders and about a squillion other tunes from the database, …"
https://thesession.org/tunes/107#comment105 ~ Posted by Jeremy June 2nd, 2001
;)

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Somewhere, Turlough O’Carolan is having a quiet pint with Neil Gow, while they wait for Barney Mckenna and Angus Grant to bring the popcorn………

Personally, I don’t care where the music comes from, if I enjoy playing or listening to it. Isn’t that part of the fun of a Session ? - when a visitor drops in, and plays some of their repertoire, and maybe leave a tune or two that then become incorporated, or go away with a tune or two that then gets passed on …..

Scottish Traditional Music doesn’t need to fit into the ITM genre - it exists alongside, and sometimes intertwined with it.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

What was that about The Battle of the Somme? It’s already in the database of course. This discussion about "pure" Irish music has been going on as long as I have been a member of the session - which is longer than I care to think - and it is pointless. There is a long list of well-known tunes with a disputed origin which make it pointless, even if it was otherwise sensible. Captain O’Kane or The Wounded Hussar is from which of the countries of these wet islands of ours? And Merrily Kiss the Quaker? The Princess Royal? Pigeon on a Gate? There is no prize for the answers because no-one can prove whether they are right or wrong. A good tune recognises no political boundaries.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Jamie, if you looking for a source of Scottish tunes i would suggest having a look at http://musichub.scot/

It’s run by Hands up for Trad and encourages composers to upload their tunes to it. It specialises in mostly contemporary Trad Tunes from young composers like Innes Watson (Treacherous Orchestra) and others too.

A few of the tunes you named above are in some of the Blazin’ Fiddles tunebooks. I’d recommend purchasing those!

However, I can’t stress enough, give playing by ear a bash. It’ll make you a far better player and you’ll pick up tunes you’ve never played before a lot quicker!

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Calm down everyone, surely it’s all Celtic music, no? :-P

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

"This discussion about "pure" Irish music has been going on as long as I have been a member of the session … and it is pointless."

The pursuit of ‘pure’ Irish music is indeed pointless - just as pointless as trying to find a person that speaks ‘pure’ English or has ‘pure’ Italian lineage etc. However, tedious and repetitive though these discussions may be, I don’t think they are entirely pointless - they serve to remind us of of the complex issue that is two* traditions that intersect yet are distinct. Any musical tradition that has any contact with other music traditions (or non-traditions) absorbs ‘foreign’ repertoire and stylistic elements, as languages assimilate words from their neighbours and from culturally or politically dominant languages. But it is pointless to deny that that tradition exists and has its own unique character, repertoire and style.

*Scottish and Irish music are not, of course, two monolithic entities, but both have numerous different traditions, genres and styles within them.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Is that Celtic with a ‘k’ or with an ‘s’?
People have been chibbed for less, in less salubrious areas of Glasgow :-)

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

>>"This forum when started was meant to be for ITM and sessions involving ITM only."

I’m not sure that it was, or at least not the very narrow definition of ITM that you seem to hold. As someone else has already pointed out, Jeremy himself was adding Scottish and other ‘foreign’ music in those early years.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Calliope House better go, nothing Irish about it, composed by a Geordie…… in Edinburgh…….people want to draw a line, so where should it be drawn? Like those lines drawn on the map of Eastern Europe after the war, so that ethnic groups end up on the wrong side of a border? thesession works well for most of us - if its not as ideologically pure as some would like, sorry people, c’est la vie

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

"Scottish need not apply"

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Mark, Jeremy obviously broke his own rule. Your assumption about a narrow definition you believe I have is wrong.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Nothing personal Denis, there are plenty of other people involved on both sides of the conversation, it’s just that your posts always seem to contain something that I think needs to be countered, and although I use your quotes as a launch-pad I’m not responding to you personally, very often I’m responding to ideas that have come across over several posts from several different people.

You’ve done it again with this one: "Jeremy obviously broke his own rule." - he’s only broken your interpretation of the rule, if you realize that perhaps his interpretation of what ITM means isn’t as narrow as yours, then you’ll realize that he hasn’t broken any rules. To me that makes a lot more sense - if he thought it was OK to post Scottish tunes (which he obviously does) why would he make a rule against them and then immediately break it?

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

This is what the homepage of this site used to say:
"The exchange of tunes is what keeps traditional Irish music alive. This website is one way of passing on jigs, reels and other dance tunes."

Does it matter if some Scottish tunes are in the Tunes section? i don’t think so, particularly if like Calliope House you find them played in Irish sessions.

Does that pave the way for this site to be as much about Scottish music as it is about Irish music? Not for me.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

When I made this comment it was based on what Jeremy said in the house rules, which is:
“Please keep discussion submissions relevant to Irish music”.
As you said yourself in an earlier post, you can’t assume what Jeremy is or was thinking. The tune in question, Atholl Highlanders is an original piping Scottish 6/8 march, but it has also been adopted into the Irish tradition and played as a 6/8 Jig in an Irish traditional jig style. Maybe it as the Irish jig version he was referencing as he does call it a jig and not a march, read it for yourself:
“This is a classic pipe tune, presumably Scottish in origin.
The four parts are basically variations on a theme. The end of each part is always the same, so the tune isn’t as hard to learn as it at first seems.
This jig has a range of just one octave all the way to the fourth part where it drops down to a G. The G is natural, although the tune is in the key of A major.
If you feel up to playing a marathon set, you can play this jig with that other four-part tune, the jig of slurs.
# Posted by Jeremy 15 years ago.”
So you can see his referencing the tune as an Irish jig with origins in Scotland.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

The Donald Riddell tunes are in the Clunes collection which you can get from Sarah-Jane Summers (google for her website).

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Is the tunes section not more indictative of real life sessions, where most people (in my experience) are not great givers of many farts about where the tunes came from?

Scottish and Irish traditional music are different, yet intertwined. More so than Irish music and other things.

Lastly, I’m mystified by why people are so wound up by what is and isn’t in the tunes section. It doesn’t matter! There’s weirder stuff than Scottish tunes, like people’s self-composed drivel.

I also think we should build a wall around Scotland and make the English pay for it.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Here’s a good rule of thumb if you’re thinking about submitting a tune to The Session:

Do you (or would you) play this tune in a session? If so, go ahead and submit the tune (with a comment). If not, maybe it’s not a good fit.

Of course this means that there’s the occasional tune from different traditions submitted, but if those tunes are actually being played at sessions, then the site is just reflecting the reality on the ground.

I don’t agree with the slippery slope argument: that by allowing the occasional non-Irish tune, then the whole site is somehow compromised. But that said, if the non-trad submissions ever get too much at any one time, I’d put the brakes on.

By the way, I think it would be *brilliant* if there were sites like this one but for Scottish music (or any other tradition). I’d be happy to share code if it would help anyone looking to set up a site like that.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

>>"Atholl Highlanders is an original piping Scottish 6/8 march, but it has also been adopted into the Irish tradition and played as a 6/8 Jig in an Irish traditional jig style. Maybe it as the Irish jig version he was referencing as he does call it a jig and not a march"

So you’re saying it’s alright to post Scottish tunes, as long as you think of them as being Irish while you do it?

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Isn’t most of this discussion entirely redundant? The way this site is set up is not really geared for ‘browsing’: the Tunes collection is ‘invisible’ in a sense, and only becomes visible when you type in words into a search box.

Let’s say I were to submit 500 Scottish, Welsh and American tunes to the Tunes database today. Would it make one jot of difference to the ‘nationality’ of this site? The only way people would even notice is via the Recent Activity feed on the Tunes section.

The way I use this site is mostly to:
1. Look up a tune someone’s played at a session that is new to me (I might not have heard the name correctly, and I might want to compare different transcriptions)
2. See who’s recorded a tune I want to play, to go listen to different versions, to get some ideas about how it’s done

To play devil’s advocate: if I were to tell you that right now there are several million Australian tunes in thesession’s database, how would you know I was lying? And would it make ONE SINGLE JOT of difference to you life or use of this site if there were or if there weren’t?

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

For me I don’t think this particular one is really a discussion about pure irish music or anything of the sort. It’s about traditions and how they are distinct, despite sharing some tunes. Some people care about traditions, others as they state here don’t and can’t be bothered to look at them in depth or make the effort to understand the different traditions. They just want to play a few tunes on a night and liven the place up.
For others there’s value in exploring the different traditions and getting beyond the superficial into a more involved understanding of the differences, maybe even why the differences exist. As others have said often enough there’s a definite distinction between the two traditions, but there are also distinctions within each of those traditions. By preserving the destinction they do us all a great service by enabling each to change in it’s own way under different influences going forward.
I think it is just a matter of respect to recognise the various traditions and do your bit to reveal them as such. So when including songs from other traditions when playing out I would much rather listen to people who take the time to highlight and reveal the distinctions to their fellow musicians. The other approach is just to jumble the whole thing into a rag bag of everything that grabs your fancy, but that fails to give the respect I would want to see people accord these traditions. If they can’t see the value or fail to understand the differences between the traditional styles, then theirs is not an opinion I would give much weight when they interpret a tune or set. They’re welcome to lash them out however they like, but they’re adding little or nothing of value to the continued growth of any of those traditions they dip in and out of.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

This site isn’t really about "preserving traditions" which isn’t quite the same thing as "keeping Irish music alive".

It’s all about what you might hear or play at an Irish session. Not even a typical Irish session as they vary so much. Personally, I have no objections to tunes of any genre here if they fall into that category.
However, as already stated, the database is big enough to cope with any number of more obscure tunes.

Of course, preserving regional styles etc is important and can and should be discussed here if wished but I don’t believe that’s the purpose of the tune section itself.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

"… if I were to tell you that right now there are several million Australian tunes in thesession’s database, how would you know I was lying? "
I can answer that. Because I [ and I’m sure several others ] look into this site every day, and look at the tunes which are posted. So I could categorically with 100% certainty say that you were lying.

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

"By the way, I think it would be *brilliant* if there were sites like this one but for Scottish music (or any other tradition). I’d be happy to share code if it would help anyone looking to set up a site like that."

Jeremy, just a suggestion - how easy would it be to make an "Other Tunes Links" button at this level : https://thesession.org/tunes (what you get when you click the "Tunes" link), then maybe a box for free-form text, where members could add in their own links to tunes from other genres? A mini-portal, type of thing.

From then on, it would be the responsibility of submitters to provide correctly working links.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Johhny Jay, but surely there’d be no need for a thread calling for more Scottish tunes so?
I think you’re right it does reflect roughly what gets played out there in all the mad variety we have, so there are a number of tunes of Scottish origin, but not masses of them, because that’s how it is.

Apart from that, (ie, not addressing you now) the confusion here seems to be thinking that highlighting and preserving boundaries of distinct traditions somehow seeks to control what people can do out there where they play. But what strikes me as wrongheaded are some of those posts where people try to pretend that the differences don’t matter or can be ignored. That just seems to show a lack of understanding of the music and a lack of respect for what gave rise to it.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

That would be a hassle, Jim. Sometimes you hear a tune at a session and learn it, then discover years later that it was composed by a Geordie guy living in Australia. I once spent about ten minutes convincing someone that "A Trip to Pakistan" wasn’t composed by an Irish guy in New York, but rather a Scotsman from Edinburgh (who I know, so I knew I was right).

Once you start doing that, it’s not only pointless in terms of what this website is for, but makes the database awkward and clunky.

Jeremy has made it clear that the website’s focus is cataloguing, effectively, what’s played in sessions all over the world. You need a different website for preserving whatever it is you think of as unsullied traditional tunes.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Thank you for contributing to this thread, Jeremy.

I agree that a Scottish trad counterpart to The Session would be good. No doubt, its tune database would contain a generous smattering of Irish, N. American and Scandinavian tunes (maybe even the odd £ngl!$h one). There would probably be discussions as to whether such tunes should be allowed - and perhaps even whether Shetland tunes belong there. There might also be a bit of healthy rivalry with this site, over which is the more conservative/permissive, which has the more friendly/polite/helpful members etc.

Actually, I think an equivalent Scottish trad site might end up being structured a bit differently, since Scottish Traditional Music is, to my mind, somewhat more compartmentalised, with mutually (almost) exclusive instrumental traditions and repertoires (pipe bands, solo pipes, fiddle, accordion, strathspey & reel societies, country dance). So pipers, for example, might want their own space to discuss piping matters exclusively. It would be very interesting to see how a site ike that might develop.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I actually think that having separate sites for each tradition would be detrimental to both. When you are looking for an obscure tune that someone brought to the session last night, the more tunes that are on the database, regardless of origin, the better your chances of success. But it would be nice to have more info on the origin (as on the ibiblio site) - possibly a separate ‘origin’ box on the submission form would do the trick rather than just hoping the submitter will mention it in the comments.

As for keeping the tradition ‘pure’ by ring-fencing a group of tunes, the whole idea has me stumped. To me the tradition lies in the way of playing, not the tunes themselves. A pipe band can march to Ashokan Farewell, a Scottish fiddler can play a Beatles medley and an Irish session can play the Star Wars theme, all without ever leaving the comfort of their own traditions.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

"The tradition lies in the way of playing…."

I agree and most of the tunes in the data base are displayed in their most basic form… i.e. without ornaments, suggested bowing styles, even tempos etc. How these are played will vary from region to region, player to player etc, and even the context in which they are perfomed. They will be played differently in a pub session as to a concert and actual dance sets will be different yet again.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Jeremy, you are right about the slippery slope argument. Not because there is some natural force at work, but because of your vigilance. Somebody has to draw a line somewhere and so far I think you’re doing a fine job. Thank you.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

"That would be a hassle, Jim"

Doc, I said just links, not tunes. Just like the "Sessions" section, where anyone can make an entry.

You can find links anywhere on the web if you look for them. This is just a proposed "one less step" idea.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

It would be good if it was possible write a tune tune on noteflight or sibalius or any other websites like them and then be able to copy it onto the session

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Jamie - I think you need to start a new topic for that one.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session.

Not all of us can afford Sibelius, but I know what you mean Jamie! :-)

Chris B.

PS. Beanzy - sorry I misread your post.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

It might be very useful to have the ability to paste muxic xml files here as well as abc (i think you can do this on mandolintab.net) as most music software can export music xml. re sibelius - yes very expensive, try musescore - its free and seems to work well enough for transcibing trad tunes. finally yes sorry i agree this topic probably should have its own thread.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I’ve just realised something. Some people say that the session should just be traditional Irish music but "Jingle Bells " is on the session…Jingle bells …Really. Aparently its traditional Irish.If thats the case, maybe Humptey Dumpty is North Korean .

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

I don’t think it’s a complicated or sticky issue at all. If a tune is being played at traditional Irish sessions it is part of the repertoire and belongs here.

It doesn’t matter what the origin (or presumed/imagined origin) of the tune is.

Then naturally comes the debate as to what a "traditional Irish session" is, and the argument becomes circular, if you get bogged down in splitting hairs and indulging in pointless argument for argument’s sake. I think anyone who has been around the traditional Irish session scene can tell what session is an Irish session and which session isn’t. Of course there are blended sessions too- I’ve heard sessions here that play both ITM and American Old-Time, and I’m sure the same thing happens in every country that Irish music has spread to. But at those sessions the players know when they’re playing an ITM tune and when they’re playing an OT tune; the fact that players might know tunes from both repertoires doesn’t necessarily mean that they confuse the two traditions.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Thanks Kenny: we play "Off she goes" in one our sets, and certainly the first half is "Humpty Dumpty"!

John Kelly beat me to it (2 days ago, scroll up) on recommending Nigel Gatherer’s tunes resource for Scottish tunes (and others, Irish, American, Old Timey, English). They come in a variety of formats: lots in ABC, others in mandolin tab, standard notation, whistle diagrammatic, etc. It really is a very valuable collection. (and there is a "donate" button if you feel so motivated.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

And P.S. The Atholl Highlanders: it does seem to get played almost everywhere as a fast jig, but if you heard played as a dotted 6/8 slow march (as I heard it at Blair Castle, played by the Vale of Atholl pipe band, just a year ago) - just so different, and also fantastic.

Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Trish - listen to track 5 here if you get a chance* - the "Atholl Highlanders" played, according to the sleeve notes,
"as a lament for the gradual disappearance of all tribal and native cultures" - over 10 mins long, and I love it.

https://thesession.org/recordings/1769

* [ - it’s on "iTunes" if you want to hear a sample without buying the CD or track ]

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Re: Getting more scottish tunes on the session

Just thought I’d pass this on. While I haven’t changed my mind about Scottish tunes on the Session, I have been prodded by this discussion to explore Scottish/Breton tunes and find them fascinating. Fun to play, a treat to listen to. I’ll just be looking for them in other places.

It speaks to the importance of discussions on this site. Thanks for bringing it up.