how to learn how to combine tunes for sets
I would like to know how you all combine tunes, making them into sets.
What should I look for when trying to learn to do this?
I would like to know how you all combine tunes, making them into sets.
What should I look for when trying to learn to do this?
I can’t give you as good an answer as zina or will could but similar phrases sometimes do the trick but there are sets which change from minor to major or major to minor.
Personally I like minor to major (or other way around) best as a change but It depends (if you’re playing on your own or small group) on your personnal preferences.
Oh how strange the change from major to minor … as Ella Fitzgerald used to sing rather wonderfully.
If you search for “sets”, you’ll find a lot of information on set construction. Others may have better references at their fingertips, but these seem to be relevant:
(Oh, and search for “piranha” for more on chocolate.)
A key-change up ( D-G, G-A, A-D ) is often good to liven up a set, and much used in the folk-dance world, but it’s the matching of tunes so that the rhythm and melodic/chordal patterns complement the previous one that makes it an art not a science.
There is also nothing wrong with only playing one tune at a time. I am sure there are sessions where they know and play tunes in recognised sets, but this is not compulsory.
untill you know really quite a lot of tunes, there is nothing wrong in simply playing the tunes you do know together.
Listen to Paddy Glackin’s Rabharta Cheoil CD - an object lesson in putting great sets together.
To sum up, Berti, everyone’s correct. Isn’t that nice? ;) Except that I wouldn’t term a set that someone likes to play as “dictatorial”, which as a word implies a negative. Every session that plays together regularly has certain sets that they like to play, for many reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all, so long as no one goes to ridiculous lengths about it: things like a stranger coming into the session and playing a tune out of a set and getting daggers for it is clearly not on.
Sam, that was a perfectly good answer. 🙂
And how very Grauniad of you to bring nationality into the discussion where it had no basis, Graham.
Glad for the warning that to you being a dictator or being dictatorial is NOT a negative…
Once again, two nations divided by a common language….
What is it with the hair-splitting and pinning labels on everything here lately? Tis the season to be brawly….
In case you’ve not noticed, Will, after this last week I’ve a very very low tolerance for idiots. Also bigots. And homophobics. And other stupid people. Sooner or later I’ll get patience back, I’m sure.
Speaking of Grauniad….
Yup Zeens, I backing you up on that last comment.
Oh, I was talking about Graham’s post, where he uses “dictatorial” in a political or governance context (as a bookend to “democratic”), but then coyly cites another (irrelevant) definition. As though all the meanings of a word apply simultaneously and with equal weight, regardless of context.
All under the strange assumption (a la Danny) that it’s helpful to label people and their session behavior….
LOL, Conán, thnaks for the aulgh!
Oh Will, MUST you be so even-handed when I’m in the middle of a snit-fit? *smirk*
Private Eye had a wonderful cartoon during one of the Provisional IRA bombing campaigns where a Fleet Street newspaper press room is alerted to a bombing outside the window - by a cartoon cloud and the word “BAGN!” - and one of the journalists in the room says “My God, they hit the Guardian!”
My hometown newspaper is notorious for its lack of proofreading and fact checking. The masthead reads “Independent Record,” but most call it the Incoherent Record.
Always the same with those local papers. You should read The Andersonstown News. I have never seen anything like it for wrongly labelling photographs.
“We congratulate Ms J Roberts on her recent engagement to Mr P Smith of Poleglass”, beside a picture of two hippos getting it on in Belfast Zoo. You ge the picture
I’ve lots of control, as you’ll find, Graham, even when I’m angry. You might wish to keep in mind that only the reader can infer, it’s the writer who implies. If you’re going to pick nits, you’ll find that there are plenty of people who can outpick you here.
Although this is a thrilling conversation can I just say one thing. you cannot go wrong putting a bm tune on the end of the set….I reckon anyways.
PS - Zeens how long have you been posting here? 5 years now? And in all that time Ive never seen you lose control with your posts, unlike many, many others who are no longer with us on this site🙂
If there’s no difference, then a dictatorial session would be the same as a dictatorial government, and so would be construed by most as a negative, unless you genuinely enjoy sessions led by musical Mussolinis.
(And I shudder to think of your sense of parenting. I’ve raised my two sons to think for themselves. Unless of course you *do* mean something different. In which case why not explain what you mean rather than slap an all-too-easily misconstued label on it.)
Graham, you might do better to acknowledge that the crack about Americans was out of line, perhaps even somewhat “out of control,” given that Zina didn’t attack you personally but merely disagreed with your choice of words.
Sigh…does the Guardian have a job opening?
do you play Paper Bird, bb? That’s a cool Bminor tune. And Flook’s Poon Hill too, though its fun to confuse backers by playing the latter in F#minor.
Back of the line, Will. Sorry… the lien 🙂
BTW, Beebs, what Bm tunes are on your hit list at the moment? I want to learn some of them in case it turns out I can manage Oz in April… 🙂
Wow - if you can play music as good as you post we’d all better watch out! 🙂
Q - I do play the paper bird - its a stellar tune, Zeens -thats on Calico ‘Songdogs’.
Other classic Bm that I play are;
Flooded Road to Glentis
man - I cant remeber any names - I’ll get Dow to post them for me🙂
My name is spelled with an “i”.
A state agency I once worked for (as a writer and editor) got in big trouble for leaving the fourth letter out of “public” in a newsletter article about “raising public awareness of drilling rules and regulations.” Lucky for me, that newsletter was someone else’s assignment.
Oh, and better check your examples, Graham.
songdogs is on the coffeetable even as we speak, Brides, how handy. 🙂
Oh that’s classic Will. Glad you weren’t in charge of that one, but it really is good for some laughs.
I don’t really play in sets unless I’m joining a band for a weekedn that plays in sets and then I just do my best to play along with them. I tend to just play tunes as they come to my head or as they are called in a circle. I’ve never been to a session with a set leader. We all tend to be very ‘democratic’ in that we do round-robin calling.
As to how to learn to combine tunes, just play tunes all the time, and feel out which ones fit together to you. Music is intensely personal after all, so how you feel the tunes fit together is probably a pretty good judge although closely related keys are probably best to keep from totally throwing people. Also, finding tunes with similar parts can also make for easy switching. . .though that can backfire and you might not always remember to switch all the way to the new tune. Just have fun and experiment.
Oh Cool Zeens, then learn ‘The snow leopard’ as well -thats a cool tune!
You’re trying to kill me, right, Brides? 🙂
So Brides, post some of these tunes here, puhleeze? I saw Calico back in 1999 and loved Tola Custy’s fiddling and taste in tunes.
Seen this one, Will? Was sent to me by a pal as the actual Oxford reference to imply/infer. Nice handy little ref site, I thought.
and then one of you can post it here, if you please.
Note that the UK and US illustrations are the same, if you click through. 🙂
Will, gotta get to the post office with that CD for you today, but do you want songdogs as well?
Paper Bird’s already in the database. Cool.
You’re too kind, Zina.
Oh Guys, I wish I could, but I still cant read ABCs or music. I feel I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and learn seeing as I want all you guys to learn these cool tunes! Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll let you know when I manage it! 🙂
I just learnt ‘The Silver Reel’ Which is on Three shouts from a Hill by Cian - dont know if thats in Bm - still cant tell keys unless someone tells me. Jeez - I’m useless!
OH, hao smart you all are. Do you guys ever answer the question or ar you too busy impressing each other?
Holy Cow AZjohnB - We were actually discussing music and tunes, after all this is a website based on Irish music……let me spell that for you m…u….s…. - whatever - tunes.
Ive never seen How spelt “Hoa” before - maybe its you thats the smart one???
I thought I proposed an answer to the question - experiment. Learning to arrange tunes is a lot like learning to play tunes. You just have to do it. Using closely related keys and relative majors or minors make transitions easier on other instrumentalists and using songs with similar phrases can make the set sound more cohesive but it all comes down to a matter of personal taste.
I believe that we did in fact answer the question. Did you read the answers or are you too busy being smart?
Oh and I did suggest ending on a Bm tune. I dont know why it works - it just does. But you have to have some level of tune smarts to get it - some people therefore will sadly not get it….no names mentioned of course🙂
Hi there AZJohnB. Welcome to TheSession. I believe we did in fact answer the original poster’s question. Have you got anything to add? Perhaps if you put some more information into your profile we could help you better.
It is refreshing when people put stuff in their profile isnt it? I noticed you said one of your favourite places is Newfoundland - thats where I live at the moment - in St.John’s - before that I was in Corner brook. Have you been to any sessions here? Do I know anyone you know?
I went to a couple of sessions in St John’s - sans fiddle - and they were great i.e. the people and the sessions. They leant me a fiddle. Everyone seemed to have at least two instruments anyway. The box players had tiny one-row melodeons (melodea? whatever) that they juggled when we changed key. It was a hoot. And icebergs too!
Oh yeah, and I was in Corner Brook too. Not *quite* the same as St John’s ;)
In fact, before the grammar police arrive, they “lent” me a fiddle :(
Oh yeah - I agree, St. John’s is much nicer. Some nice musicians around as well.
I have just caught up with this ….only just regained conciousness after a particularly strong curry.
Calm down everyone.
Life is too short for silly spats (let’s leave those to Dow and Danny) even if they are rather amusing.
Hi Geoff. I is (or was) Orson Carte. We meet at last. Be careful, the spats might not be as silly as they appear 😉
When I first looked at the title of this thread I thought it was putting together tunes for set dances. Now I see it’s just about combining tunes into medleys. Aside from the digressions, lots of good info is shared here and in the linked discussions. I might have said this in one of those discussions already, but I’d just like to add that for me the key to putting together good medleys is in the way the preceding tune ends. I listen to the phrases at the conclusion and see if I can find tunes that have some sort of rhyme, or a response to the last phrase of the preceding tune. Sometimes you can find tunes that are very similar to the last phrase but in a new key, but a key change isn’t necessary. Sometimes switching modes with a rhyming phrase is good, but sometimes just a contrasting phrase works as well.
Did somebody say something?
Well this interesting, so common a question that it comes up every few weeks. In my view, Berti, you’ve gotten great (and patient) advice here. Since the question was about how those here put sets together, the answers vary. My own answer is that I memorize various tunes and “replay” them in different orders, either (1) on an instrument, (2) in my head, or (3) singing them. I use (2) and (3) when I’m in my car, and (2) when there are other people around. My wife understandably got rather sick of me sining tunes when we were alone together. In my experience the first step is always to learn a pretty large number of tunes. There are no short cuts to this. Of course, you can always just copy the sets that others have put together (as discussed in another thread).
On another note, I am sorry eochrocha but Zina is correct. “Dictatorial” has an unavoidable negative connotation. As for the parent-child relationship, the correct term is “paternal” not “dictatorial.” Besides, it is a mistake to use dictionaries as normative documents, they are merely descriptive documents. It’s funny, at least to me, how a simple question about music can so quickly require delving into linguistics (specifically, pragmatics).
Actually, implication and inference are both elements of deductive logic. They are just different points of view on a logical statement, e.g., “If A, then B”. A implies B. B is inferred from A. Both involve a deductive conclusion.