What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Partly because of lockdown, I haven’t managed to find a convenient local session since we moved in 2019. I know of one in York that I mean to try once I’ve cracked the parking problem.

My only ‘outlet’ at present is a hobby group of acoustic musicians where they use a book of tunes from a local pub session plus tunes they’ve found and liked themselves. Their ‘repertoire’ includes lots of recent compositions (several made up by group members) that are a bit jazzy, or are pieced together out of dreamy riffs, or include eccentric changes of time. There are also quite a few ‘rags’, music hall tunes, and themes from medieval music. There are also far too many tunes introduced, so that one rarely plays the same tune twice. I do find playing there enjoyable, but also a little sad, since I’m a traditionalist at heart.

Just out of interest, what’s it like in your local session (if you’re lucky enough to have one)?

Is the core repertoire changing? Is there even a core repertoire?

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

For what it’s worth, I was in Bradford about a month ago on a training course and there was a really good session in Otley, think it was Tuesday night at the Old Cock. Not sure how far that is from you!

There do seem to be a fair few sessions about, folk tune calendar is a good place to find them.

Most I go to tend to focus on English folk tunes, with some Irish and other stuff thrown in. Plenty of Galopedes, Harper’s Frolics, Three Around Three etc! It seems more common now then a few years ago for people to play a tune they’ve written themselves in a session, but usually one or two per evening. I rarely hear music hall or similar, so I’d say the core repertoire is still there.

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

That’s good news. I must keep looking!

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Mostly standard Irish jigs and reels with a few hornpipes. If I’m playing I try to put in as many sets of slides and Sliabh Luachra polkas as I can get away with……………I’d like to play a lot more Northumbrian, Shetland and Cape Breton music but they just don’t seem to be in general currency down here in the deep South of England.

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Dark tunes in minor keys. The flatter the better.

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Jolly old Connaught standards like the Duke of Leinster and Miss Monaghan. Mainly reels plus a number of jigs and usually a couple of hornpipes. Suits me down to the ground!

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Pretty standard rep. If a stranger happened into our session, he or she would have little trouble joining in if they have been playing for awhile.

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Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Living in Scotland, not surprisingly a lot of Scottish tunes get played: reels, jigs, strathspeys, hornpipes, slow airs (lots of Phil Cunningham tunes as well as older composers such as the Gows and Scott Skinner). Pipe marches are popular with players of instruments other than pipes, not just pipers.
But there are also are plenty of Irish tunes, some Northumbrian, other English, Scandi, American, Canadian. There are specialist sessions for Scandi only, Klezmer, Shetland tunes too.

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

In my travels, most of the Irish sessions I’ve sat in on seem to favor reels and jigs, with a smattering of slip jigs and hornpipes, and maybe one or two marches. I’ve really enjoyed some sessions that also included a fair share of polkas, slides, hop jigs, mazurkas, flings, highlands, and slow tunes (i.e., slow reels, treble jigs, etc.), even an air or two. Waltzes are rarer yet, but they’re lovely to play and often easy to pick up on the fly (quietly, until I have them). The frequent change of pace and meter keeps things fresh and makes the reels and jigs jump out more than they would in a marathon of nothing but.

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Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Trish has already mentioned that it can be quite varied "here in Scotland".

You’ll also find some sessions which are F &A/Dance band influenced too although they often tend to be a little more organised.

There’s also a difference depending on the area too.

Glasgow seems to have quite a few sessions dominated by the younger, more innovative musicians who play many of their own tunes or those within their peer group. There are also a few "old school" trad Scottish and Irish sessions too.

In the Edinburgh area, the scene seems to be more eclectic with lots of specialist genres as well as the more standard sessions. In the rural areas nearby, they seem to like their "Americana"/bluegrass but each to their own. The rest of Scotland tends to be slightly less adventurous and, arguably, more standard but this obviously varies from place to place too with local influences etc e.g. East V West Coast styles.

In most places though, it seems to be obligatory to know a few Phil Cunningham and also Gordon Duncan tunes. 🙂

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

gimpy yes couldnt agree more!

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

I go to a wide variety of sessions where I encounter many of the standards but I play a lot of Welsh tunes. Of course, given the dominance of all the other Celtic nations, they aren’t well represented outside of Wales even though we have brilliant jigs, reels, slow airs, etc. For anyone interested, the Clera website contains a lot of tunes, some of which will be recognised under other names - tunes cross borders! http://www.sesiwn.com/

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Mike, thanks - I don’t know as many Welsh tunes as I’d like, but love most of the ones I’ve come across, so this website is very welcome.

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Slow Airs

Re: What are the favourite type of tunes in your session?

Mainly jigs and reels with a few hornpipes, slip jigs and waltzes thrown in to change things up.

Works for me…and matches most of the sessions I’ve played in other cities across the USA. I played a Scottish session in Knoxville once, and that was a nice change of pace…but the tune makeup was similar.

Eric