Plethen Peswar Luf hornpipe

Plethen Peswar Luf has been added to 10 tunebooks.

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Three settings

1
X: 1
T: Plethen Peswar Luf
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: (3GFE |D2 F>A d>AF>D | (3DDD G>B d>BG>E | D2 F>A d2 (3FAd | c2 (3ecB A>G (3GFE |
D>A (3FGA d>A F2 | D2 G>B d>B G2 | e>d (3dcB A>G (3GFE | D2 d>c d2 :|
|: (3FGA |d>AF>A D>AF>A | d>BG>B D>BG>B | d>AF>A d>A (3FGA | c>Ae>A f>Ae>a |
d>Af>A d>A (3FGA | d>Bg>B d>B (3GAB | e>dc>B A>GF>E | D2 (3ddd d2 :|
2
X: 2
T: Plethen Peswar Luf
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: FE |D2 FA dA F2 | D2 GB dB G2 | D2 FA dAFd | AdcB AGFE |
D2 FA dA F2 | D2 GB dB G2 | edcB AGFE | D2 D2 D2 :|
|: Ac |dAFA dAFA | dBGB dBGB | dAFA dAFA | cAEA cA E2 |
dAFA dAFA | dBGB dBGB | edcB AGFE | D2 d2 d2 :|
3
X: 3
T: Plethen Peswar Luf
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: c>B |(3AAA c>e a>ec>e | (3AAA d>f a>fd>f | (3AAA c>e a>ec>e | (3BBB c>e (3BBB c>e |
(3AAA c>e a>ec>e | (3AAA d>f a>fd>f | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|
|: c>e |a>ec>e a>ec>e | a>fd>f a>fd>f | a>ec>e a>ec>e | (3BBB c>e (3BBB c>e |
a>ec>e a>ec>e | a>fd>f a>fd>f | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|
|: c>B |(3AAA c>e (3AAA c>e | (3BBB d>f (3BBB d>f | (3AAA c>e (3AAA c>e | B>e (3ccc (3BBB c>e |
(3AAA c>e (3AAA c>e | (3BBB d>f (3BBB d>f | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|
|: c>e |(3aee (3cee (3aee (3cee | (3aff (3dff (3aff (3dff | (3aee (3cee (3aee (3cee | (3BBB c>e (3BBB c>e |
(3aee (3cee (3aee (3cee | (3aff (3dff (3aff (3dff | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|

Twenty-one comments

"Plethen Peswar Luf" ~ played straight or swung

Straight and basic:

K: D Major
|: FE |
D2 FA dA F2 | D2 GB dB G2 | D2 FA dAFd | AdcB AGFE |
D2 FA dA F2 | D2 GB dB G2 | edcB AGFE | D2 D2 D2 :|
|: Ac |
dAFA dAFA | dBGB dBGB | dAFA dAFA | cAEA cA E2 |
dAFA dAFA | dBGB dBGB | edcB AGFE | D2 d2 d2 :|

"The 4-Hand Reels" ~

Some do to this what Americans tend to do to hornpipes, flatten it and play it as a ‘reel’… This tune was used to accompany a "Four Hand Reel"… In this case ‘reel’ doesn’t refer to the tune but to the dance, and may account for why this hornpipe is sometimes played flat, without swing. It’s fun either way. Various ‘4-Hand Reels’ were danced all over these isles, Eire included, and also in North America. For more on these, from a Scottish perspective, I’m always ready to recommend:

"Traditional Dancing in Scotland"
Joan P. & Thomas M. Flett
Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, I964 / 1985
ISBN: 0-7100-1369-8
ISBN: 0-7102-0731-X

I highly recommend any work by the Fletts…

I am also sure I have come across this tune elsewhere, possibly in an English collection? I’ll do some more looking…

Nice tune

the combination of swing and triplets suits my (basic) banjo style very well.

thanks for posting this.

Thanks for the sound, I can hear it already. On banjo or any of the mandolin family, any pluckin’ ~ this would be a kick…

I forgot to add that other related members of the "4-Hand Reel" family of dances are also found elsewhere in Europe, in France, for an example, danced to bourees…

ceolachan writes: "Some do to this what Americans tend to do to hornpipes, flatten it and play it as a ‘reel’"

That’s interesting… my observation is that Americans tend to add the swing and play them slower. Then I started to listen closely to Irish players and the swing was almost undetectable along with the speed being significantly faster. In other words, just the opposite from what you’re saying here, ceol.

Hey, nice to see you Button… I was thinking of how a lot of ‘hornpipes’ are played for dances we attended in New England, Boston and elsewhere. They played tunes listed as hornpipes in the likes of Cole’s and other old collections straight, basically as reels and in some cases almost like polkas…

I am also aware that in the present sense, Irish-wise, and commercially and in concert, a lot of swung tunes, that varied family, tend to be as you say, faster than they used to be for dance, and with a very mild swing, sometimes almost undetectable…minus that lovely gentle roll… I think that is in a sense understandable, speed has that affect. It is also why so many flings ended up surviving and being recycled as reels…

I also don’t like the exaggeration of the midi ~ but I’ve also heard folks play it that way, almost 3-to-1. Some of the old set dance players used to empnasize the swing, but not quite as bad as that. Some did end up being notated as a jigs as a consequence. Roughly, I like it around 2-to-1, which takes and carries triplets well… Some styles are more about emphasis rather than note length, with a sharp stroke of the bow or tonguing before the > and a light touch following…more in the sound than the length…

I find that few hornpipes can be played successfully as reels even though I play them faster and with less swing. If you wanted to say I play them more like a slow reel I could go along with that, but they begin to come apart at the seams if you speed them up to a danceable reel speed. What I’ve observed in the way Irish musicians play hornpipes is more like a slow reel with very subtle swing. If you’re playing for step dancers they might ask you to play it really slow and exaggerate the swing, but set dancers prefer the former.

In the ‘modern’ revisionist sense…

Speed flattens everything…that is its nature…

I’ve played and danced to the family of swung tunes, all sorts, in a hell of a lot of places, in Eire from Rhatlin Island in Ulster to Clear Island in County Cork ~ and we’ll just have to disagree here, and yet not. Yes, some folks play it as you say, most folks who have come to set dancing since the 80’s probably also prefer it fast and flat too and bouncing around like worms on a hot rock. That isn’t the way it has been given to us, or the way we like it. In those instances we’d rather sit down and let them have at it, have their joy. I’d like to say I believe ‘each to his own’, and maybe in a way I do. I don’t mind that lovely tunes that once were swung and played as and for highland flings are now recycled as single reels, no problem. They are lovely enough however you take them. But I regret that sometimes sitting back and just letting it all go as it will, so much is becoming the mush that is ‘session playing’ ~ fast and flat out…

I know I’m not alone here. I’ve had similar moans with other folks… There is little finer than a nice paced lovingly swung tune from this family, to dance to, to step to, to listen to, to play…with that nice lilt, that humour, that difference. I like the variety. But hey, I’m not fond of the current breed or jack rabbits and kangaroos dominating the set dancing scene. All I can say, is that prior to the RISE in the 80’s, and the growth in competition, we didn’t bounce around like that and weren’t so damned heavy footed, and the tempos were more social, not manic…and that include slides… In general I find that the ‘session’ influence is away from the dance and lilt of the music, and basically sloppy, speed being more important than rhythm or dance…

" ~ what Americans tend to do to hornpipes, flatten it and play it as a ‘reel’"

~ just to clarify, I should have earlier, I was referring to old time and New England contra dance musicians…

Anyone noticed the similarity to this tune?

https://thesession.org/tunes/3993

What does the title mean? Something to to with naan bread?

Actually, I’ve established that ‘luf’ is a hand and ‘peswar’ is four, so presumably ‘plethen’ is a reel.

Yup! ~ just reference to the dance it accompanied…

"Banjo Breakdown" & "Plethen Peswar Luf"

"Banjo Breakdown’ ~ from jig to swing
R: hornpipe
K: A Major
|: c>B |
(3AAA c>e a>ec>e | (3AAA d>f a>fd>f | (3AAA c>e a>ec>e | (3BBB c>e (3BBB c>e |
(3AAA c>e a>ec>e | (3AAA d>f a>fd>f | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|
|: c>e |
a>ec>e a>ec>e | a>fd>f a>fd>f | a>ec>e a>ec>e | (3BBB c>e (3BBB c>e |
a>ec>e a>ec>e | a>fd>f a>fd>f | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|
|: c>B |
AAA c2 e AAA c2 e | BBB d2 f BBB d2 f | AAA c2 e AAA c2 e | B2 e ccc BBB c2 e |
AAA c2 e AAA c2 e | BBB d2 f BBB d2 f | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|
|: c>e |
(3aee (3cee (3aee (3cee | (3aff (3dff (3aff (3dff | (3aee (3cee (3aee (3cee | (3BBB c>e (3BBB c>e |
(3aee (3cee (3aee (3cee | (3aff (3dff (3aff (3dff | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|

There must be another two parts somewhere, this being as Kenny wants to say, an obvious piper’s tune? Also, the transcription of it as a jig was not only short two parts, but also missing measures…and that transcript did not have the repeats or the lead-in notes given above. 😏

Failing eyesight ~ the 3rd part, how did I miss that??? 🙁

P: 3
|: c>B |
(3AAA c>e (3AAA c>e | (3BBB d>f (3BBB d>f | (3AAA c>e (3AAA c>e | B>e (3ccc (3BBB c>e |
(3AAA c>e (3AAA c>e | (3BBB d>f (3BBB d>f | (3efg (3agf e>dc>B | (3Ace (3aec A2 :|
|: c>e | ~

Peshwari Naan ~ nice catch spoon…but put the utensil down and get your fingers greasy… It just happens to be one of my favourite breads… mmmmm!!!

Cornish

No one has said where this reel comnes from but by process of elimnination I guess the title is Cornish. Its Brythonic Celtic and its not Welsh or Breton. They certainly dance the foor-hand reel down there, so its appropriate.

my question would be is this a cornish tune or merely a borrow tune to which a Cornish title has been attached.
Noel
Angels of the North

I suspect the latter Noel. It happens all the time. The fact that a 4-hand is attached to the tune would suggest it dates from at least the mid 1800’s. Scots pipers got ahold of it and did one of those lengthy variations on a them things to it. It has held a couple of other names over time, "Yankee Breakdown" & "Banjo Breakdown"… This suggests that it might have had an American origin? I have a feeling I have seen it in one of the earlier collections from the U.S., but I lost my digitized copies of those, which weren’t catalogued yet anyway. It might be in Cole’s, but I haven’t that either.

The Welsh and the Cornish have taken on a number of tunes as their own, which might have wandered across borders from elsewhere. Fiddlers and musicians have that habit of wandering, sometimes aimlessly. 😉 While in some of their earliest collections you might find the names in English, there is a tendency in recent history to rename them in Cornish or Welsh. The same has happened in Eire, as with the Breandan Breathnach collections. I can sympathize with that want of ‘ownership’, claiming it for the mother tongue in a manner of speaking. Considering the English who collected things and gave them English equivalents or worse, even whole mountain ranges and valleys, a bit of a turn around ain’t so bad…