Down The Glen
Tim Collins - Dancing On Silver
This is a great hornpipe, thanks
Is this a schottische?
Why is it notated with the forced dotted rhythm? It sounds like it might be a schottische or a fling or something the way it’s written out. My understanding of hornpipes doesn’t include such an exaggerated lilt. I don’t yet have the recording; does Tim really play it like this?
Sorry! Lalalala, lalala, lalala.
Hhhh hhh hhh, I’m okay now. Geoff, it really is a great hornpipe.
Schottische? - - -
Thanks for drawing my attention to this one Jack. Yes, it definitely has the feel for dancing the Schottische, and 32 bars seems right. I’m a bit confused about how exaggerated notating tunes with the ‘greater than’ sign become under ‘hornpipes’, having just contributed one that wasn’t intended to be so exaggerated. I go for the way I’ve come to expect hornpipes to be notated, in that form, rather than the way many North American hornpipes are notated, straight. Anyway, that exaggeration in the skip definitely brings out the Schottische in this one, though I would also play it with more crotchet/quarter notes here and there. I’ll give it a go and return back with the way I’m hearing this for the dance. I like it.
Go raibh ma’agat Master Gilder
Hmmm, don’t know about youse, but the way Geoff plays it I can hear little clogged feet going clackety-clack :-p
Schottische: Dancin’ with ma baby around the house - - - Acuse me of graffitti -
|:A>F|D2 (3FGA B2 d2|A>DF>A d2 (3Bcd|e>Ac>e f2 f>a|(3efe (3dcB (3ABA (3GFE|
D2 F>A B2 (3Bcd|A>DF>A d2 (3Bcd|e>Ac>e f>a (3edc|d2 d>c d2:|
|:c>d|e>Ac>e f2 (3f^ga|e>Ac>e f2 f>a|e>a^g>f (3efe (3dcB|A>a^GF>a A2 A>G|
F>DF>A d2 f>a|g>dB>d g2 a>g|f>Ad>f e>Ac>e|d2 (3edc d2:|
Schottische: Part 2 bar 4 - oops, no ‘F’ there, except maybe a hidden ‘grade’:
|A>a^G>a A2 A>G|
Schottische - more dance - a bit about the stepping in the music:
You’ll often find the crotchet/quarter note use in Bars 1 & 2 and 5 & 6 of both parts A and B or any other 8 bar part. This is where you have the basic step occuring twice:
1 - 2 - 3 - hop X 2
While in Bars 3 & 4 and 6 & 8 of any 8 bar part are where the ‘doubling’/pivot/dreher occurs, the ‘step-hop’ X 4:
Musically you will often find runs of triplets here, though it is usual for the eight bar to end something like I’ve given above, the crotchets being present to emphasize the end to the dancing and preparing the dancers for the next phrase, musically and dancewise.
Here it is in one of it’s simplest form, a basic 4-bar dance - and there are various holds possible but we’ll go with the waltz/ballroom hold here:
Dancers in an open hold, side-by-side and facing the Line-Of-Direction (Anti-Clockwise), dance forward around the dance space for the two steps.
(M: LRLHop,RLRHop/W: RLRHop,LRLHop)
Dancers face taking a closed hold (waltz/ballroom - or - ‘barrel’/shoulder-shoulder) and turn as a couple twice round Clockwise while continueing to progress around the dance space Anti-Clockwise (ACW/CCW)
M: L-Hop,R-Hop,L-Hop,R-Hop/W: R-Hop,L-Hop,R-Hop,L-Hop
Ad infinitum - with many variations…
Just for a laugh :-)
"Down The Glen" as a barndance/schottische, complete with cliched whimsical melodic line (play slowly and smile blissfully):
|:D2F>A B2d2|(3ABA F>A d2c>d|
(3efe d>e f>de>d|c2A2 A>GF>E|
D2F>A B2d2|(3ABA F>A d2c>d|
(3efe d>e f>ed>c|d2f2 d4:|
|:(3efe d>e f2a2|(3efe d>e f2f>d|
e>a^g>f e>dc>B|c2A2 A>GF>E|
D2F>A B2B>^d|e>gB>d c>ba>^g|
a2A2 f>ed>c|d2f2 d4:|
"Down The Glen" as a fling/schottische complete with exaggerated Scotch snap denoted by "*" (jerk head backwards and forwards like a pigeon whilst playing):
|:D2F>A B>G (3Bcd|A*DF>A E2A>F|
D2F>A B>G (3ABc|1 d>ge>c d>BA>F:|2 d>ge>c d2c>d||
|:e>Ac>e f*dd>f|e>Ac>e d2d2|
e>Ac>e f*dB>^G|1 A>dB>^G A2c>d:|2 A>dB>^G A>=GF>E||
"Down The Glen" as a sailor’s hornpipe or naff American breakdown, complete with cliched cadences (show off how fast and robotically you can play):
|:AF|D2FA BAGB|AGFA d2cd|efge fedf|e2A2 AGFE|
D2FA BAGB|AGFA d2cd|efge aABc|d2f2 d2:|
|:cd|efge fga2|efge fga2|ea^gf edcB|c2A2 AGFE|
D2FA d2fa|gfef gbag|fafd egec|d2f2 d2:|
"Down The Glen" as a rant, complete with exaggerated hop rhythm (show that you are the only person in the world who can play the tune in this mysterious style):
|:AF|D2FA B2GB|AGFA d3d|efge f2df|edcB A2FE|
D2FA B2GB|AGFA d3d|efed cABc|e2d2 d2:|
|:cd|efge f2df|efge f2df|ea^gf edcB|c2A2 A2FE|
D2FA d2ef|gfef g3g|fdef geBc|e2d2 d2:|
Your demented Dow…but maybe we picked up the same bug somewhere…
Damn ‘Scotch’, I mean You ‘Are’ Demented -
No, not deranged, since you obviously haven’t lost mental faculties, they are just arranged a bit differently. You know that high point in the flu, when you don’t really hurt anymore but you’re kind of flying along feeling weirdly grand, and your brain seems to work a bit differently?
So, does anyone have a provenance for this tune? I’ve got a march somewhere by this name. Wouldn’t it be a kick if it were the same melody. No, I won’t go that ‘la-la’ and make it into a march. I’ll see if I can find it…
Other things came to mind, but while they might be appropriate amongst friends at a session, somehow not here, something along the tradition of ‘slagging’. I will say, the word ‘Schottische’ and all those other related things are a bit like shight to a fly for me…
Closer to a ‘fast’ Kerry hornpipe than ‘slow and smiling blissfully’
Damn Dow, I guess you aren’t a dancer? - or are you? Anyway, there’s nothing particularly sedate about the Schottische, at least not as it has been given to me. Hey, have you ever come across ‘Salty Dog Rag’? You might not believe it, but it is a kind of ‘Schottische’… Now I have seen that danced at sedate tempos with a kind of blissful smile to it, as if special brownies were part of the tea break, and worse yet, with folks in ‘Western attire’, questionably ‘cowboy’. Danced in the summer I can promise you the Schottische would bring a sweat to musician and dancer alike.
I’ve plans for the future to throw in a couple of ‘hornpipe’ specific dances from Eire. Some ‘hornpipes’, whatever their origin, fit the Schottische/Barndance/German really nicely in their phrasing and structure… They get my feet moving as well as the blood…
Now back to our regularly scheduled program…
Ewww-kay… but how does Tim play it?
Well Jack, I dunno - but I can see you are fond of a pint or more - SOOO -
Nice and easy, or as Dow puts it, slow and whimsically with that blissful smile - - - and narry a drop of sweat from exertion… I’ve played and danced this family, to be fully open, at a number of different tempos and ways from Guam to Eastern Europe the long way around. I too would be curious about how Tim plays it, what tempo, as from Dow’s comments and others it sounds a bit like a ‘rant’ tempo?
Wow, weird things are happening with the type, anyway, as I was going to condlude, RANT? - who me?
Tim Collins: Let the man and his concertina speak for themselves:
at 4 per bar, about 170 beats a minute…nice and very danceable, though on a warm night you would definitely break out in a bit of a sweat… Brilliant playing…
That’s all very good, but….
I don’t yet have his bloody CD yet. I have heard many tracks on Clare fm — and it’s brilliant! But my question is: Does he play that hornpipe with an exagerated lilt as indicated in the dots that Geoff posted?
Jack, stop whinging :-) and go to the link posted above to hear the rhythm for yourself - you don’t need the bloody CD.
By my calculations his swing ratio is almost exactly 2:1 for each heavy-light pair of eighths (same ratio as a slide or single jig). Geoff has this ratio at 3:1 in his transcription where he’s attempted to represent the swing, but he’d not actually be playing it that way, and that’s the important thing. You would have it as 1:1 in your (straight) transcription. Neither would represent the exact note values, which are halfway between the two. This is why I think hornpipes should be notated in 12/8 compound time, or maybe 12/16. Unfortunately people notate them in 2/2 or (even worse) 4/4, and that is where the confusion arises.
The tempo is a steady 85 bpm (there are 2 beats to the bar and you can tell this by tapping your foot). Lovely playing and an attempt at imitating the Newcastle style. Not a bad one for an Irish trad player ;-)
I wish that you were allowed to notate hornpipes like this - it would be much more representative of the fluid-sounding rhythm:
|:F2E|D3 F2A B2G B2d|A2D F2A d3 Bcd|
e2A c2e f2d f2a|efe dcB ABA GFE|
D3 F2A B2G B2d|A2D F2A d3 Bcd|
e2A c2e f2a e2c|d2g f2e d3:|
|:c2d|e2A c2e fed f2a|e2A c2e fed f2a|
e2a ^g2f e2d c2B|A2G F2G E3 A2G|
F2D F2A d2e f2a|g2d B2d g2b a2g|
f2A d2f e2A c2e|d3 edc d3:|
I didn’t realize the samples were up on his site; they weren’t there last time I stopped in. The rhythm is exactly what I thought it would be — almost dead even with only a hint of a lilt. With all due respect, the transcription Geoff posted is misleading in my opinion and should have been notated in a straightforward manner instead. But that’s just my opinion.
There’s plenty of lilt there Jack. A straight transcription would be just as misleading. Oh God who got me started on hornpipes?!
Put it this way, I’ve never in my life heard an Irish trad player who can play a hornpipe properly. But that’s just *my* opinion ;-)
Listen again Dow, and don’t read a dotted rhythm into it this time. Those notes are coming out with only a hint of lilt — just like what a lot of folks put into reels that are notated straight. It would be impossible to attempt to notate such a subtlety.
I am listening! :-) Try this: get your flute and play through the 12/8 transcription above, nice and smooth with no ornamentation, and at 85bpm.
I reckon whatever his degree of swing, there’s no way he’s playing a straight rhythm - that would sound robotic. Maybe for his playing a ratio of something like 1.5:1 or I suppose it would be 3:2 would best express it. But I think hornpipes need more than that, or the triplets start sounding out of place.
I also can’t stand how Irish players emphasize the backbeat. It means that hornpipes come off sounding like a sort of slow reel, or a reel that they’re struggling to play.
Mind you, there’s not much good material hornpipe-wise to work with in the Irish tradition - the way they’re written they’re more like slow reels. Really bad tunes, yech. This one’s alright, and another one that springs to mind as being a rare example of a good Irish hornpipe is "The Tailor’s Twist".
I must not talk about hornpipes I must not talk about hornpipes I must not talk about hornpipes I must not talk about hornpipes I must not talk about hornpipes I must not talk about hornpipes I must not talk about hornpipes I must not talk about hornpipes… la la la, deep breath think about something else, la la la, la-la…
I didn’t understand the whole hornpipe thing very well until I started playing for set dances, Dow. I have noticed a propensity to play hornpipes with a lilt by most of my cohorts locally though. I think there are a couple of different reasons for this:
1) When you’re learning it’s easier to play slow with a dotted rhythm and you get used to that
2) If you play for step dancers they often request the dotted style
3) Everyone else locally plays hornpipes that way.
I’ve noticed that Irish musicians are approaching hornpipes the way players like Tim Collins does — straight with a hint of lilt. I’m listening to the Irish players for clues instead of my local cohorts — it IS Irish music we’re playing here after all isn’t it? Most of the local musicians argue your points with me over this issue, but I still can’t deny what I’m hearing from the Irish players.
Well, I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve had with my mates over here about this issue. The fact is, the better hornpipes are based around the style that was used for clog dancing in the 1800s. That style of clog dancing is pretty much dying out or dead in most areas, but it’s still alive and well in some parts of England and North America. This clog dancing is the ancestor of tap dancing. My point is that this kind of hornpipe would have been written in Ireland too, when the craze for clog dancing and James Hill-style stage hornpipes was at its peak.
Therefore it makes sense to try and play them in the way they were meant to be played in the mind of whoever composed the tunes, rather than some modern Irish musician who has never seen clog dancing in his/her life.
The way most Irish musicians make my blood run cold. When they are played by people who know how to play them, they give me rushes and goose bumps and make me want to dance (even though I can’t dance!)
I swear, Irish musicians should be forced to see a proper clog dancing display or competition, or at least listen to the playing of someone who has, before they try and play this style of hornpipe. I really don’t want to sound critical here, but I think it’s a case of fantastic tunes going to waste cuz people don’t "get" what they’re about.
Eh? I meant "the way most Irish musicians play these tunes makes…"
In fact, I’d go so far as to say all Irish musicians who want to play hornpipes and put them on their albums should be forced *at gunpoint* to see some clog dancing, if they haven’t already.
But… they’re Irish players, Dow — they play in the Irish style. They play in a context related to set dancing — not clog dancing. Let the players in England and North America play hornpipes in the "clog" style, and leave the Irish in peace. Now… put down the gun and back slowly away from it.
In that case they should bloody well play hornpipes that are more suited to set dancing like "Off To California" instead of trying to play the real hornpipes like James Hill tunes and having the cheek to put them on their albums played all wrong. AAAAARRRGGGGGGH!!! Jack, I’m assuming you’re deliberately winding me up havin gread paragraph 5 of my profile at some point, or are you just good at finding people’s pet hates? :-) I’m putting the gun down…. la la la, laaa la-laa, la-la la deep breath hhh hhhHH hhh hhHHHH…
Did you remember to take your medication today, Dow? hmmm? :-D
LA LA LAAAAA, LAAAA LA LAAAAA
Dow, I just looked at your profile and the "paragragh 5" you referred to and it’s right under a heading that says, "SOME INFO ON THE MUSIC I PLAY WHEN I’M NOT PLAYING IRISH TUNES." So you’re clearly talking about something that isn’t Irish music. I don’t think you’re suggesting that Irish musicians have to reproduce perfectly Cape Breton tunes if they choose to play them are you. Or any other tune that’s origin is outside of Ireland… right?
Dow likes to clog up hornpipes!
But like I said, a lot of the hornpipes in the Irish repertoire would have been composed for clog dancing, so they sound best when they’re played in the original style. Whether that style has now become unfashionable in Ireland or not is neither here nor there. What they play now sounds pants, just musically as a tune - especially for a session - eugh. Like the Tailor’s Twist - it’s a lovely tune when played properly but I’ve heard it murdered so many times. Significantly, it’s a favourite of some of the best English players.
I don’t expect Irish players to get the phrasing right and all the proper staccato notes and stuff, but for god’s sake, they could at least make an effort to get the rhythm and ornamentation right :-)
It’s like dancing a jig to the tune of a slide. The melody’s going to sound okay but it’s gonna sound really lame to someone from Ireland who is familiar with slides - the dance and the tunes. I’m sure they would say: "um, there’s plenty of good jigs - why don’t you just play them and forget the slides".
Jack please leave me alone or I’m going to go into cardiac arrest here :-&
If over a few centuries French musicians wanted to incorporate slides into French trad music — and they choose to play it like a jig and make up their own dance to go with it — I don’t think Irish musicians would be holding a gun to their head now and demand that they play it just like like the Irish do. Are you sure you remembered your medication Dow?
If they were purist snobs like me they would tell them "c’est merde", especially if the French person played it at a session :-)
And especially if it were the case, say, that the slide dance used to be popular in the 19th century in France, but then it died a death, and modern French musicians were still trying to play the slide tunes but not paying enough heed to how they were originally meant to be played (and how they still are played in Ireland). Yes, I reckon they’d have a gun held up to their head alright.
Yea…. those pesky French musicians… I know… call em "Freedom Slides"
LOL or what about the US-style hornpipe - the "Democracy Hornpipe"
Of course it would also be the name of a special dance where the dancers mime slaughtering other dancers with guns :-)
That would be the "Haliburton-Style Democracy Hornpipe," Dow. ;-)
FIGHT! - FIGHT! - My money’s on Dow, Jack’s ears are showing his age - - -
I knew we’d eventually hit that ‘Hornpipe’ switch in Dow’s head - battle across the waves… However, would the real test be shots at the bar and after so many throw-backs who would still be able to pull off a steady beat?
Na it’s okay, it looks like Jack’s been sensible and backed down :-D
BTW I think Jack’s ears are okay, but maybe we should give his hair a trim - I’m sure it must muffle incoming soundwaves. Who’s got some shears?
I can poke your eyes out with my beard, Dow. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha
If that’s the case maybe it’s time for a good scrub up. I’m also sure I can get ahold of some sheep sheers this coming week, since we’ll be down in the land of sheep - Cymru/Wales and visiting at least one farmer friend. I could probably get a dull pair for a tune and ship them out to anyone brave enough to take Jack on - any comers?
You’ll also need one of those battery trimmers for nose and ear hair. With what’s on his face you could have nightmares imaginining what must be in his ears…
Thanks for the concern ceolachan, but the misses minds my ear and nose hairs for me with her handy Ronco™ Pocket Trimmer wilst I’m asleep.
A brave woman I’m sure, braver than me…
I’ll have to confess my sin here, before heading out for the wilds of Cymru, jelousy, as I’m as bald as an aubergine, eggplant to you… You must have powerful mojo as no one has come forward to request the blunt sheers yet… There was a nibble though, some woman from that area who wouldn’t give her name…? I guess I might not be all that short of bravery, since part of this trip is going to be teaching group of ladies Irish social dances, a church group. I’d better watch my Ps and Qs, eh? - and take a bit of the holy water in a bum flask too…
Hahaha how funny that these last few posts will stay on the internet forever!
Its a living tradition (allegedly)
I stand by my choice of putting dots in. It would have suggested a totally different tune if I hadn’t, and if Jack wants to put dots into tunes where they are not written, that is his perogative.
Tunes are not notated down in stone, the notation is how you used to play it - the definition of a living tradition!!!.
Must be one of the longest threads on one tune here, so just to add fuel to the fire, here’s the way Paul Brock plays this tune.
He hunted this hornpipe out of Allan’s "Irish Fiddler" which was first published in Glasgow, early last century & edited by Hugh McDermott.
T: Down By The Glen
D2 FA BGBd|(3DDD FA d2 cd|eAce fdfa|edcB AGFE|
D2 FA BGBd|(3DDD FA d2 cd|eAce fgec|d2 dc d2 (3DDD|
D2 FA BGBd|(3DDD FA d2 cd|eAce fdfa|(3efe (3dcB (3ABA (3GFE|
D2 FA BGBd|(3DDD FA d2 cd|eAce fgec|d2 dc d2 cd||
eAce fd f/^g/a|eAce fd f/^g/a|ea^gf edcB|A/B/A ^GB A2 A=G|
FDFA dfaf|g2 B2 b2 ag|(3fag (3fed (3cBA (3GFE|1 D2 F2 D2 cd:|2 D2 F2 D4||
Down by the Glen
P.S. Paul calls it "Down by the Glen".
Sorry, I think the triplets sound better when writen out like this:
D2 FA BGBd|D/D/D FA d2 cd|eAce fdfa|edcB AGFE|
D2 FA BGBd|D/D/D FA d2 cd|eAce fgec|d2 dc d2 D/D/D|
D2 FA BGBd|D/D/D FA d2 cd|eAce fdfa|(3efe (3dcB (3ABA (3GFE|
D2 FA BGBd|D/D/D FA d2 cd|eAce fgec|d2 dc d2 cd||
eAce fd f/^g/a|eAce fd f/^g/a|ea^gf edcB|A/B/A ^GB A2 A=G|
FDFA dfaf|g2 B2 b2 ag|(3fag (3fed (3cBA (3GFE|1 D2 F2 D2 cd:|2 D2 F2 D4||
How to write out tunes here?
As to this debate about how we should actually write the tunes out here. Don’t we go forward with the tradition by firstly passing on what we have heard, so that should be the version we actually post here.
When I post a tune, I go to my source & write it out as close as I possibly can to the way it is being played, not as I might play it, so I try, when able, to put in their rolls or triplets etc.
Then, if I wish to elaborate, I can do so in the comments section by displaying it as a barndance, or schottische, or reel, or fling or whatever, loads of extra ornamentation etc etc, but I believe the posting should be, as close as I can get to how I heard it.
Well, that’s how I see it anyway……………?
Well hells bells ~ 2005… Things haven’t much changed have they? :-)
Dot to Dot
5 years later, I have heard quite a bit of Tim Collins since and am really impressed at how many Northumbrian hornpipes he is playing nowadays (even if they have Irish names)
And yes, he still plays hornpipes like that (or as near as you can get with ABC).
Some people ought to listen to Clare FM a bit more, so they can hear how many people Northumbianise hornpipes.
X: 8 “Down the Glen”
B: "Allan’s Irish Fiddler", Mozart Allan, Glasgow, 1920-30?, page 20, tune #80