Posting a tune

Posting a tune

Jeremy
I know, in your "freq. asked questions" you say tunes must be submited in ABC format, I am not very familiar with this, sheet music is what I use all the time. Is there a problem with posting a tune in sheet form. If there is I will just have to get to know the ABC system but it would be useful if I did’nt.
If you are ever coming back to visit Cobh, you are welcome to join the session in Wallis’s bar in Midleton on every tuesday night let us know if you are.

Re: Posting a tune

Hello, Northcregg,

i can’t really answer for Jeremy, but ABC is just a way to represent sheet music efficiently in a computer. It’s really easy to learn, and if you have sheet music, transcribing it to ABC is a breeze.

Re: Posting a tune

Northcregg, tunes have to be posted in ABC format. There’s no getting around that.

However, what some other people have done in the past when they wanted to submit a tune but didn’t want to learn ABC was to find some kind soul from The Session who would transcribe a tune from a .pdf or .gif file.

Obviously, this isn’t much good in the long run.

Personally, I’d recommend taking the time to learn ABC. It’s really very simple. You can download some software and read some tutorials by going to the "ABC Software" section of "Links".

As for the session in Midleton: I’d love to come along. Next time I’m back in Ireland, I’ll make sure to get there. But only on the condition that the next night (Wednesday), you come along to The Roaring Donkey in Cobh.

See you then.

Re: Posting a tune

Northcregg, I just taught a very quick and basic lesson in ABC to a player at our slow session on Sunday. Took less than five minutes — maybe even three — to explain enough for him to figure out the first ten notes of an ABC file — enough for him to remember the tune, and so not needing to take a whole book of sheet music along on his next trip. ABC is really easy and useful! Feel free to ask questions here at The Session, too — Will’s a soft touch and good at it. :)

Zina

Re: Posting a tune

I asked this same q a couple of days back and a person called "pibroch 14"kindly transcribed a pdf for me.
It’s an odd thing this writing tunes down anyway.
The’re never right and open to much interpritation, I’ve very rarely liked a tune I’ve never heard, only seen writen down. For example, it is impossible to write down the diferent forms of decoration used in Irish music, and yet this decoration is integral to the tunes.
I think at best, any form of notation can only be a helpful addition to the aural tradition

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Re: Posting a tune

It is odd, isn’t it, Michael? But since the ornaments will be unique to each player, once the bones of the tunes are there, you can go off and vary it all you like, and it’s better that the tunes get passed on, whatever form they take, ABC or what have you. I don’t think anyone thinks the tunes as they’re stored here for archival purposes are anything but references.

Zina

Re: Posting a tune

A lot of players do have unique ways of playing rolls, but there is still a right way, and this is part of the tune. If you want to play with other people, you’ve got to play it the same.
Trad music is all about unison playing

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Re: Posting a tune

Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree there, Michael — every teacher I’ve taken from has said that I can roll where ever the hell I like and it’ll usually be right, regardless of whether it’s where they’d roll the note. Certainly I’ve been in plenty of sessions where everyone is playing different settings of tunes that still play beautifully together, and no one thought anything of it.

When he was last in Denver, Eoin O’Riabhaigh told us that he thinks that playing is stultifyingly boring if every player plays exactly the same thing (at least in a session, and in Eoin’s case, even during performance), and I’ve always been taught that the variations used by players in tunes is partly what makes the tradition so endlessly fascinating. That’s why one is often told that there’s no such thing as a definitive setting.

Zina

Re: Posting a tune

You are right of course.
Playing variations and harmonies is great fun.
But listen to great unison playing (like James Kelly and Liam O’Flynn on Planxty’s Words and Music) and it really is another level. Nailing down tunes exactly, especially accross different instruments is very rewarding.
That’s not to say there is a definative setting, it’s just that its more fun if you all play the same setting. If you find you have different settings, then learn each others and play them back to back

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Re: Posting a tune

I have to agree with Zina that what makes a session special to me is that, for any given tune, the bones of the tune are almost in perfect unison but that there is a certain charming "mudiness" around the "non-bones" of the tune as well—-those "imperfections" make the music "alive" for me. I think it is the bones of the tune that enable it to survive, and that, because the tradition is living (and supposedly mainly aural), there will always be variation in the "non-bones". I enjoy the great players who can play in perfect unison (though I can find it a bit too "rich" in prolonged doses), but I think the magic of the tradition survives mostly with the multitude of "amateurs" who frequent the local sessions in "real life" and who each may have the tune just a little bit differently. It’s wonderful that folks from all over can get together and play the same recognizable tunes. I love the "ragged edges"!

Re: Posting a tune

I wouldn’t call variations between two good musicians "mudiness" but I would call it "Flesh" on "the bones" of the music. Two musicians playing the same exact setting in perfect unison can be nice, but it rarely hits the spot. Usualy all the concentration is spent on playing perfectly together while sacrificing the soul. It can leave the tune a little flatter than if you let two or more great musicians just have at it.

Re: Posting a tune

As far as unison hitting the spot, I refer back to James Kelly and Liam O’Flynn on Planxty’s Words and music.

I’m reminded of Boris Becker when he was asked about when he’s playing at his best.
He says there is a "zone" that his brain kicks into, where he can do no wrong. This zone he speaks of is not at all like auto pilot, but it is a space where concentration is errelevent. You are not thinking at all. All the skill ect that you have learned over the years just flows out of you with no effort.

Feel like this when you play in unison with someone you’ve been playing with for ages, and there is no concentration involved. Your mind is free just to listen to the sound of it all.

Great fun

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Re: Posting a tune

I once opened this little theatre production I was in with a fiddle solo. I played The Old Torn Petticoat slide very slow, medium speed, then flying. It was my first (and only) time in theatre, and I was so nervous. I must have driven the neighbours crazy practicing that piece over and over and over … and over and over. I did the ten times through without a mistake test, must have been at least a hundred times. I had to get it absolutely automatic, I was so worried I’d stuff up with nerves (as I usually do) and I’d be letting the others in the cast down.

On the day, as soon as I put my bow on the strings something happened. I could have sworn it was someone else playing the fiddle, not me, I was that detatched, and the music just flowed. It was the most incredible experience. I could look down at myself playing in the spotlight.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that you don’t have to be a ‘great’ or even a ‘good’ player to experience highs in the music - and it doesn’t have to be playing together either. The flow experience is there just waiting to happen to those who commit themselves.
Cheers

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Re: Posting a tune

That’s brill Jill, you get it

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