Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

(I mean other than, "don’t", lol).

I’ve tried several in each section, but none of them really feel like they preserve the rhythm, save taking a quick gasp during middle eighth notes (sorry all, classical background showing there), which helps a little but then I end up gasping through a lot of those quick eighth note breaths?

Considering the humor in the irony of asthmatic me starting flute all those years ago! 🙂

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

I love that tune, i guess your taking about the 2 and 3 part?

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Try this:
https://youtu.be/HAN2BBZSCgo


The syncopation suggests good places to breathe. The extended boom-bada bits require a pretty good gulp, though.

Posted by .

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

High Sarah - Michael Clarkson from Belfast has a recording of it on flute on his "Podcast" which you can access through "iTunes", #142. He plays the tune slowly to begin with, then at full speed. His breathing points are very easy to discern from the slow version. No better man to learn from. Best of luck. Kenny.

Posted by .

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Thank you both for the suggestions! My cat was starting to look worried…

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

And Will, yes I was thinking of the 2nd and 3rd sections!

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

> save taking a quick gasp during middle eighth notes (sorry all, classical background showing there)

Well, may as well put your classical knowledge to good use - nothing wrong with grabbing a breath in the middle of a group of three, but notice how much easier it is if you play the first note staccato.

Posted by .

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Usually I don’t think about where to breathe but in that tune I had to figure out what worked for me.

It’s one of those things where I decided on where to put the breaths in, and if I forget to take them I get in trouble further on.

So in the 2nd part I take a breath after the 4th note in bars 1, 3, and 5, omitting the 5th note altogether and jumping back in on the 6th note of the bar.

In the 3rd part I take a breath after the 4th note in bars 1, 4, and 8, omitting the 5th note and jumping back in on the 6th note of the bar.

Those spots become for me "just the way my setting goes".

That’s how taking breaths in Irish jigs and reels goes, you just hit the attack on an eighthnote and leave off to take your breath, leaving out the following eighthnote completely, and jumping back in on the next eighthnote. That gives you nearly the space of a quarternote to take a breath.

The easiest spot to put those breathing-places, in jigs, is where the tune is doing a roll, which is three eighthnotes. You touch the first, leave out the second, and jump back in on the third.

You attack or touch the note right before the note you’re going to leave out, but you don’t play it staccato which implies attacking it in a detached way with tonguing. Rather, you approach that note legato, but it is indeed played very short. Remember staccato doesn’t mean "short" it means "detached" and you don’t want that note detached, just very short.

For sure Baroque recorder and flute players, when they see a long unbroken string of eighthnotes coming up, will take a huge breath to try to get through them all, or sneak in tiny breaths in between eighthnotes.

But that doesn’t work in Irish reels and jigs, which are often entirely a long unbroken string of eighthnotes!

So Irish players don’t try to hide the breathing-spots, they actually turn them into something that gives rhythm and drive to the music.

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

> (I mean other than, "don’t", lol).

*grin*. But that’s the problem I have with it - listening to it from someone who doesn’t have to breathe, or just trying to get to grips with the dots, what comes across, for me, is exactly that relentless quality, the piling-on of one note after another *without* any breaks. Which, for us, is just not achievable short of either circular breathing (which I’ve never been able to manage) or recording machinery (which in this context is cheating).

So, yes, "don’t try to hide the breathing-spots, they actually turn them into something that gives rhythm and drive to the music"; it has to be rethought, they have to become a feature, not a bug.

You can buy yourself some room in the first part by dropping more notes - "cBA AEA | A3 …", or even "cBA A3 | A3 …" if you’re pushed after a previous time through. It can work, if you can make it. (If you can believe it yourself, others probably will).

I now have to go off and remind myself of it & check out the details above … thanks.

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Oh, and I forgot - speed is also a relevant trade-off. The faster you play it, the less time you have for a quick gasp, but the more notes you can manage once you have it.

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Funny, I recall myself having trouble with this very jig. There is something in it that doesn’t agree with taking a note off for breathing…

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Maybe it’s also worth reminding oneself - as I have to do frequently - that using the diaphragm as the motor of breathing makes a lot of difference. Being conscious of what’s going on in the midriff department helps one take in more air per breath and control the flow once it’s in the lungs.

But you still have to sacrifice the occasional note from a tune like The Mooncoin to create space for air intake. As noted above, the trick is to make it part of your phrasing.

Posted by .

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

I don’t think this site allows posting of images, if so, I could write out how I’m playing it and post the sheet music.

Or…I could put breaths into a Setting and add it in Tunes. Is there a way to put in breaths in ABC?

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Richard - you could copy the abcs from a tune setting posted here, paste them in a "comment" in this thread and then insert something like {B} in the abcs where you take a breath. I might try it myself, although I admit that the "Mooncoin" jig has never appealed to me very much as a flute tune.

Posted by .

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

(I guess you mean Richard Cook, but …) {B} would print as a grace-note, which could be upsetting. In the classical world, an apostrophe would be the way to do it, "’" in ABC (or a tick, but that’s trickier to write). Both of which would probably be interpreted as a chord by midi translators, but maybe that’s less of a problem ?

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

I meant print it here, in comments for this particular discussion : eg

abc abc | def def |{B} gab gab | etc.
What’s the problem ?

Posted by .

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll give it a go.

I’m with you Kenny, I never was much on that tune on flute, but when I had to work up a whistle setting to play in a band I came to like it.

I read about how to notate rests in ABC, I will write in the gaps, the gaps will be enough without apostrophes. (Though I’m used to apostrophes from flute literature.)

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

All right I put my whistle/Low Whistle setting of Mooncoin Jig in Tunes

https://thesession.org/tunes/206#setting38709

Let the slagging begin!

Whatever the criticisms, I think it’s good for a whistle beginner, who doesn’t yet know how to fit breaths into a jig, to play through such a setting.

I purposefully moved all the breathing-spots around in the fully written-out first part to show the infinite variety possible.

Re: Breathing Suggestions for the Mooncoin Jig?

"What’s the problem ?"

For "print" I should have said (written!) "be read as". Using a standard notation for a completely different purpose is apt to confuse people. Okay, so it’s only here … are you confident no-one will ever find it useful enough to pass it on to a friend or copy it it elsewhere ? And there’s no need for it, it could be done in non-confusing ways. "It works for me, what’s your problem ?" *is* a problem when dealing with other peoples’ notation.