Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

3325 tunes now attributed to a composer.

1027 named composers of which 634 are attributed to a single tune. 968 composers identified with less than 10 tunes. Which leaves a core of 59 composers who are responsible for 10 or more tunes. Jeremy said that if the list of composers got too long it might be time for a search feature 😉

And, if my data analysis is correct, here are the most prodigious composers on TheSessions.

105 Gian Marco Pietrasanta
92 Paddy O’Brien
72 Sean Ryan
67 Ed Reavy
58 James Scott Skinner
55 Phil Cunningham
51 Liz Carroll
50 Charlie Lennon
49 Colin Farrell
44 Paddy Fahey
42 Vincent Broderick
41 Carl Hession
40 Turlough O’Carolan

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

I added the search feature. It’s tucked away up in the corner on the list of composers:
https://thesession.org/tunes/composers

Typing into that form field will filter the list.

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

Just wondering - there are 2 Paddy O’Brien’s who compose tunes.

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Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

Hi Jeremy,

I’m not sure why, but typing o’brien doesn’t bring up any results, while brien does work to bring up all of the O’Briens.

Kenny/Creadur, one of the Paddy O’Briens is listed as Paddy (Offaly) O’Brien, so hopefully people are being careful when editing the tunes.

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Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

the second one is Paddy (Offaly) O’Brien on this site.

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

Nico, good catch with the apostrophes in search. I’ve fixed that now.

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

Good discussion. I didn’t know about the composer feature. Is it new? It made me go back and edit a tune I added years ago.

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

I just edited a few of my own additions.

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

AH! didn’t spot the filter and sort-by name/number composed. That would have saved me my little data analysis bit.

Wondering if unclaimed (known old) tunes should be Composer = "Traditional" e.g. any tunes around before 1900 collections.

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

"Wondering if unclaimed (known old) tunes should be Composer = "Traditional" e.g. any tunes around before 1900 collections."

probably best to avoid that rabbit hole…

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

Indeed.
There are plenty of tunes composed well before 1900 whose composers are known with a fair degree of certainty (for example, Niel Gow’s Lament for his Second Wife) and plenty of tunes composed well after 1900 whose composers are unknown or disputed (for example, Cooley’s). And why 1900? Why not October the 22nd 1873? Is it because 1900 is a nice round number?

There has also probably been a bit of over enthusiasm in attaching famous names as composers of well-known tunes here, when "associated with" or "attributed to" would be more accurate than "composed by".
In my opinion, if the composer is not known with 99% certainty then leave blank.

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

I had noticed that too, DonaldK. There are several tunes I looked at yesterday whom someone - maybe the same person - has attributed as "composed by", simply because someone’s name is attached to it. It detracts from the accuracy and reliability of the database.

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Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

All tunes were composed by somebody - and regardless of age - where that is KNOWN, with certainty, it benefits the historical record to attribute. If in doubt leave it out. Associated/Attributed/Popularised isn’t the same as composed.

Is it important or relevant to know the ‘era’ of a tune? As to whether it is traditional or newly composed/modern? Is ‘traditional’ by dint of style/idiom or age?

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

Traditional is such a poorly defined and ambiguous concept. I know one music festival who for the "traditional singing" said something along the lines of "if you’re not sure, don’t sing it". And then there’s "in the tradition" to confuse things even more. We kind of know it when we hear it but it’s very hard to say why.

Regarding composers, I suppose, like for other works of art, provenance is a great aid in ascertaining authorship. And it’s that lack of provenance that means there are some fairly recently composed tunes (i.e., 20th century) for which the composer is not known with any degree of certainty, if at all. This is not helped by numerous errors in attribution in various respected collections. And then, for some tunes, you have competing claims (e.g., https://thesession.org/tunes/4906#comment918912) to muddy the waters.

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

> Is it important or relevant to know the ‘era’ of a tune?

In order to bash the tune out in the pub? No. If you have any interest at all in the wider culture and the people who perpetuated it? Yes.

(As far as looking for this site to be a reliable source of information, well, we can try, but the structure makes it very difficult…)

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Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

"There has also probably been a bit of over enthusiasm in attaching famous names as composers of well-known tunes…"

Yes – Turlough O’Carolan, James Hill and Niel Gow, in particular, spring to mind. But it was also seemingly common practice for enterprising composers/musicians to publish collections with all the tunes in their own name, irrespective of actual authorship; according to The Fiddler’s Companion http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers , both Niel and Nathaniel Gow were ‘guilty’ of this practice (although at the time, it may not have been viewed as unethical – and if there was no expectation of ‘royalties’, either from their own compostions or tunes learned from others, then perhaps, conversely, it was modest of them not to differentiate their own compositions from the others.).

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

"As far as looking for this site to be a reliable source of information, well, we can try, but the structure makes it very difficult…"

But at least there is the facility to add information to this site which, in most cases, eventually gets things right.

And at least here Blair Douglas gets recognised as composer of Kate Martin’s (Waltz), unlike in Scots Guards III where it appears, unattributed, in 2/4 as a slow march "Arranged by 1st Battalion Scots Guards".

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

Ah, well, when it comes to the Scots Guards collections I wouldn’t trust a word! Or the notes, for that matter…

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Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

"There are several tunes I looked at yesterday whom someone - maybe the same person - has attributed as "composed by", simply because someone’s name is attached to it."
OK, I admit this is about as much as I have read on this thread. It’s a post from Kenny. While it’s (faulty attributions) disheartening, misleading and simply off I cannot say I’m surprised; not even a bit.
Question is are these type of failures an inevitable aspect of the composer feature?

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Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

They are an inevitable aspect of most of the features here: title, key, notes, rhythm, etc. Posts are not always 100% accurate but at least the living nature of this site means "mistakes" can be corrected and/or commented on.

Inevitably, after Jeremy’s recent introduction of the Composer feature, there was a rush of frantic activity which resulted in a few "false positives", as it were. These will be corrected over time. (Look how long it took this site to correctly identify the composer of Farewell to Chernobyl - but we got there in the end, with a little help from the composer himself.)

Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

"with a little help from the composer himself." I will never forget his timely input. 🙂
I realise it takes time but I still read comments. There is alot hidden there and I find good information if I take my time and pay attention.

C:Michel Ferry ~ https://thesession.org/tunes/composers/90
[Did I get everything right this time?]

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Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

The type of failure I was referring to is specific; specific in attempting to identify the composer of a tune. Aspects of the transcription and title vary. Accuracy there is less critical (by which I mean there is some wiggle room & variation & interpretation) than the accuracy required in naming a tune’s composer.
Fair play, DonaldK?

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At least the tunes database only has to get the tune composers right. In *song* databases there might be more than one composer ~ Lennon & McCartney, George & Ira Gershwin, Valerie Simpson & Nick Ashford https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC5PL0XImjw

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Re: Wow.. COMPOSER feature being well used

"Regarding composers, I suppose, like for other works of art, provenance is a great aid in ascertaining authorship."

In the world of paintings the water is just as muddy.

There are many paintings signed and dated by the artist, and there are many tunes which were published by the author.

Then there’s provenance as you mention, for example the Sistine Chapel paintings where the commission of the work and the process of doing the work are well documented. I don’t know what the music equivalent would be, perhaps a musician performing a tune onstage and announcing that it was self-composed.

Then things get murky! In the art world paintings which have clear stylistic similarities to known works of a particular painter will said to be "after the school of ______ ". A painting could be by that artist, a student of that artist, or somebody who seems to have been influenced by that artist.

I suppose the equivalent here would be if a preponderance of good players judged that a certain tune "sounds like it was written by _______" and becomes labelled as being in that composer’s style though there’s no actual provenance connecting that tune with that composer. That’s done with certain tunes which seem to be in the same style as known Carolan tunes. But is it ever done with Irish Dance Music?