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can accompanists lift the music

Stanron 11 Oct 12 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,michael gill 11 Oct 12 - 05:40 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Oct 12 - 03:33 PM
Stanron 11 Oct 12 - 03:31 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Oct 12 - 03:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 12 - 11:55 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 11 Oct 12 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Oct 12 - 09:27 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 12 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Oct 12 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Al 11 Oct 12 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Oct 12 - 08:40 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 11 Oct 12 - 08:27 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 12 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 11 Oct 12 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,michael gill 11 Oct 12 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Oct 12 - 06:15 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 11 Oct 12 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,michael gill 10 Oct 12 - 08:56 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Oct 12 - 08:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Oct 12 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,michael gill 10 Oct 12 - 08:12 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Oct 12 - 07:58 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Oct 12 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,michael gill 10 Oct 12 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,domnall 10 Oct 12 - 04:42 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Oct 12 - 03:24 PM
greg stephens 10 Oct 12 - 01:34 PM
GUEST 10 Oct 12 - 01:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Oct 12 - 01:16 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Oct 12 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,Domnall 10 Oct 12 - 12:36 PM
greg stephens 10 Oct 12 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,michael gill 10 Oct 12 - 11:35 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Oct 12 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,michael gill 10 Oct 12 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,michael gill 10 Oct 12 - 09:38 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Oct 12 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,michael gill 10 Oct 12 - 08:49 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Oct 12 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,michael gill 10 Oct 12 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,roderick warner 09 Oct 12 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,michael gill 09 Oct 12 - 12:44 PM
johncharles 09 Oct 12 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,michael gill 09 Oct 12 - 11:09 AM
johncharles 09 Oct 12 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 09 Oct 12 - 10:53 AM
johncharles 09 Oct 12 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 09 Oct 12 - 10:38 AM
GUEST 09 Oct 12 - 10:28 AM
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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Stanron
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 07:16 PM

Me too.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 05:40 PM

Stanron, I'm more than happy to chat about things we might disagree about. An I'm more than happy to change my mind about stuff. I do that often.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 03:33 PM

And, in my CD-buying days, I bought tons of Irish CDs made by people with brilliant technique that I played just once. Sometimes not even past about track 4.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Stanron
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 03:31 PM

It's rare for me to agree with anything GUEST micheal gill says but this business about technique is pretty straightforward.

The trad fiddle player is almost never required to play beyond first position. All those intonation skills needed to play in tune above B on the E string are not needed.

Flat keys are almost never used. This means that notes that would be on the first fret (if the fiddle were fretted) are not needed.

Vibrato is rarely used and not needed. Notes longer than a quarter note are decorated in a variety of ways, not rendered with vibrato.

There may well be other areas of technique which the traditional fiddler does not need. These came to mind first.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 03:29 PM

I've seen ten-year-old kids, not in Ireland either, who have played Irish tunes so well it brought tears to the eyes. Playing music well is not about "technique." I've seen people with brilliant technique who haven't got a bloody clue about how this music is played. At least one has been mentioned on this thread.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 11:55 AM

Michael, i'm sure you'd like dick Miles.

For what its worth, I think you'd work together very well as a duo.

Instrumentally - you're both very good, and you both are of a traddy cast of mind. If chaps like you can't get on together, how are you going to be fishers of men for the traddy cause.

Anyway, I've got to get ready to do my open mic. I would feel privileged to have either of you playing there, and I'm the sort Donovan/Dylan inspired scum who were expelled from the folk musc world in the 1970's.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 11:45 AM

ok lets agree to disagree, I think accompanists can on occasions lift the music i also think they can wreck the music, i think good technique is needed to play any music, but technique is not the be all and end all.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 09:27 AM

Extremely tiresome indeed. I'll step out and go back to reading again.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 09:05 AM

This is really tiresome.

What I meant was: that with regards to traditional Irish music, there is so little technique needed that it is common for amateurs to be exceptionally good.

What I didn't mean was: that with regards to traditional Irish music, technique is not important, so it is common for amateurs to be exceptionally good.

I would rather spike my eyes out with brambles drenched in the juices of Scotch bonnets and spike my ears out with the latest top ten pop charts on looped repeats (not that you'd notice it was looped) than be in the same room as Dick Miles. And for once, he might reciprocate.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 08:59 AM

The thoughts he expressed above, that, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't take a huge amount of technique to play Irish music well. And that for that reason dedicated amateurs can get very good at it.

Dick obviously dismisses this, in his own words, as 'talking nonsense'.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 08:45 AM

and these thoughts are, and how do they contradict Dick...


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 08:40 AM

Because to anyone who has given the matter some thought and to anyone aware of Michael's often stated thoughts on the matter it it patently clear what he meant?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 08:27 AM

Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill - PM
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:56 PM

Al, yes, (assuming you are referring to my post that begins "Right oh Big Al,") I was talking about every type of music and musician.

But with regards to traditional Irish music, there is so little technique needed that it is common for amateurs to be exceptionally good.
this is the statement I disagree with.
furthermore there is no mention of classical music whatsoever.
if Michael meant that why did he not write that?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 08:06 AM

I think they need to get a room for the weekend and get it all out of their systems, in which ever way that takes.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 07:44 AM

Ye-esss........?

Michael and Dick, could you just clarify what it is you disagree about?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 07:34 AM

For feck sake, read why can't you read what I write.? What is it with your brain that fails to hold the simplest bits of information?

I never said it doesn't require good technique. Sheesh


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 06:15 AM

The point, I believe, was not about having good or bad technique. It was about the relative amount of skill required to play Irish music well as opposed to that required to play say, a violin concerto.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 05:57 AM

But with regards to traditional Irish music, there is so little technique needed that it is common for amateurs to be exceptionally good.
neilidh boyle, a man with a lot of technique, referred to it as jungle music.
irish music requires good technique., the same as any other music, Brendan Power has good technique, Joe Burke has good technique,I could list hundreds of players with good technique, you are talking nonsense, if you have bad technique you are limited in what you can achieve.you cannot play any instrument well without practising and acheiving good technique.
and I am not referring to being able to move out of first position on the fiddle, some fiddlers can only play in first position, but the rest of their technique is good.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:56 PM

Al, yes, (assuming you are referring to my post that begins "Right oh Big Al,") I was talking about every type of music and musician.

But with regards to traditional Irish music, there is so little technique needed that it is common for amateurs to be exceptionally good.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:46 PM

Yeah, but who was the "we" he was referring to? Have you asked him?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:36 PM

surely you can say the same about every type of music.

Most musicians are amateurs and don't work hard enough to dedicate themselves to being really good. In fact you've got to have a few bits missing somewhere up top to surrender your life completely to the music.

You hear a lot of awful blues and jazz and classical players - and folk.... well the very title is an invitation to run mad with a banjo.

I think Martin Carthy has the right of it, when he says the worse thing we can do with the music that we love, is not play it


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:12 PM

My great granddad from Mayo called it diddley. And all my mates call it diddley. And, as you consistently fail to realise because it is beyond your intellectual reach, there's a big difference between people who like the music and people who can play it and really understand it - people who you obviously don't hang around with. And irreverence is a long standing tradition.

However, what you call is irrelevant really. And irrelevant that "ITM" riles me. Silly really. (though the abbreviation "TIM" is funnier")

Do you want to make a point worth making? After how many posts? Or do you want to change the subject every time you run into a dead end


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 07:58 PM

A rose by any other name...


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 07:43 PM

(ITM, as you put it. eeeeaaauughh what a hideous abbreviation that I've never once heard from anyone who was actually any good at playing traditional Irish music).
well, nobody in ireland calls it diddley music, its often just called trad music, but I suppose I picked up the term ITM, from www.session .org, other people call it that over there
however it is a correct description, it stands for irish trad music.   nobody here in ireland who like the music calls it diddley that would be regarded as putting the music down.
Michael, thats how it is if you start calling it diddley in ireland, it will be first met with bewilderment , and then it will be a look of who is this eedjit.nothing against you mate , but thats how it is


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 05:03 PM

Yes, a large amount of people the world over enjoy "ITM" (ITM, as you put it. eeeeaaauughh what a hideous abbreviation that I've never once heard from anyone who was actually any good at playing traditional Irish music).

Yes, a lot do come to it via Comhaltas. And a lot come to it via commercial recordings and Celtic Women and Riverdance etc, and a lot come to it through places like thesession.org. But non of these are good enough resources to enable players to become any good.

So, the astonishing thing about the robustness of traditional Irish music is that despite the vast majority of people the world over who do enjoy playing it, but play it deplorably badly, it still survives, nea thrives.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,domnall
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 04:42 PM

Thanks, Michael


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 03:24 PM

my point is that millions of people have enjoyed ITM as a result of the formation of Comhaltas, CCE WAS FORMED BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THE TRADITION DYING.
for the last 60 years the Fleadhs have acted as a gathering place for many musicians to make informal sessions, it is extremely unlikely this would have happened, unless Comhaltas was founded, the same goes for the willie clancy summer school


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 01:34 PM

I meant traditional folk as in the old definitions. Folk, as in "the folk scene" is obviously at the mercy of theorists, alas!


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 01:20 PM

Greg, I don't think "folk" music, as played by "folkies" is immune at all to the attention of theorists. English "folk" music and Cecil Sharp being the archetypal example. However, traditional musics are. Though I don't think it's luck, it has more to do with the essence of it.

Domnall, not sure really, a bit of both probably. I think it's the staccato mostly. And that it sounds like an 80s computer game.

Dick, yes, willie week and the comhaltas fleadhs are packed with musicians playing music and enjoying themselves, despite the competitions. And you'd be hard pressed to find anyone at these gatherings who thinks the best music is to be heard in the competitions. And your point is ... ?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 01:16 PM

Looks like you're splitting hairs now, Dick. And it sounds like the old preservation/conservation argument - not a lot different in the end, but it all has to do with bottling something up to save it or to keep using it at levels that keep it viable. Whether language, music, or wilderness.

SRS


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 12:48 PM

well Michael,
I can tell you that the willie clancy week and the comhaltas fleadhs are packed with musicians playing music and appearing to enjoy themselves, and i am not referring to competitions, i am talking about people playing in pubs in informal sessions.
So I and all those musicians do not understand?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Domnall
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 12:36 PM

"And I don't really care much for Northumbrian pipe music"
"My dislike for the things is entirely inconsequential."

Genuine question, Michael - is it the instrument or Northumbrian pipe music that you're not so keen on?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 12:13 PM

Luckily, for all practical purposes folk music is immune to the attention of theorists.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 11:35 AM

Nope, as usual, you don't understand.

Traditions are not things that just live or die, they are always in a constant state of flux. Sometimes they fizzle out, but mostly they evolve and/or get subsumed. And the definition of a living tradition is one that is constantly evolving. And there is only one way a tradition can stop evolving and that is if all of it's practitioners close their minds to other influences, either by becoming protectionist or by dying.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 10:46 AM

promotion is the antithesis of letting it die, so by promoting, a society is protecting it from disappearing or dying out, so to me it is the same thing you are preventing the disappearance of a tradition. imo without societes like the organisation behing the willie clancy week and the northumbrian pipers society, the traditional music scene would be worse off that is just my opinion.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 09:45 AM

And as I said, there's plenty of musicologists, archivists and historians around to preserve the traditions of northumbrian bagpipes and their tunes. And preserve it they will. My dislike for the things is entirely inconsequential.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 09:38 AM

I'd say that an organisation that "promotes" is different to one that "protects"


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 09:21 AM

alright,
here is another example the willie clancy summer school, this has many workshops in the memory of willie clancy, but it also exists to promote irish traditional music,it started in 1973.
another example of an organisation deciding to promote the music in order to strengthen it .
Would you really have wished the northumbrian pipe tradition, to have disappeared, even though you dont care for the music?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:49 AM

Yes, without a doubt, Irish diddley music has survived, nae thrived, despite CCE. An interesting quote on the nsleeve of MacDara Ó Raghallaigh's record says that one of tunes he plays on has "survived" his endless playing of it in competitions. The music itself is far stronger than the influences of CCE.

And I don't really care much for Northumbrian pipe music


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:29 AM

There comes a problem though, and that is one of protectionism. If a tradition requires it to be protected then it is, by definition, week. Should week traditions be protected? My opinion is that they shouldn't.
Interesting comment,in 1951 Comhaltas was formed to protect the Irish music tradition.
I am not trying to score points, and I have certain criticisms of CCE, However the statement is fact,I know you are interested in ITM,so do you think CCE has closed ITM to further enrichment., or do you think that it was actually stronger than CCE thought,and has somehow survived despite CCE..
My opinion is that CCE is a CURATES EGG, it has contributed to the tradtion because people meet up at the national and to a lesser extent regional fleadhs and play regardless of entering the competitions, however they would not have done so Initially if it had not been for CCE. cce has inadvertenly altered the music through its marking system, and unintentionally produced a competitive attitude that never used to exist in ITM.
OK how about the northumbrian small pipes society and its successor northumbrian pipers society.here is its history.it would have died in the 1920s.


The present Society is the successor to the 'Northumbrian Small Pipes Society' which was started in December 1893, - "to encourage the art of playing the Northumbrian Small Pipes; to preserve the melodies peculiar to the English border, and to exhibit the musical pastimes of Sword Dancing, and the other traditional accompaniments of our Folk Music". They published their proceedings until 1897, and continued competitions till 1899, but soon afterwards dissolved.

Interest in Northumbrian pipe playing had waxed and waned for at least a hundred and fifty years before this. Thomas Bewick, the engraver, at the end of the eighteenth century, wrote to a friend: "At one time I was afraid that these old tunes, and this ancient instrument, might from neglect of encouragement get out of use, and I did everything in my power to prevent this and to revive it, by urging Peacock to teach pupils to become masters of this kind of music; and I flatter myself my efforts were not lost." John Peacock was a small pipes player, and the last of the Newcastle waits. It was he who persuaded the pipmaker John Dunn to make a set with four keys to it. He also produced a tune book.

The early part of the nineteenth century was dominated by the Reids of North Shields, (father and son) who were making beautiful sets of pipes with increasing number of keys, up to seventeen. These are still much sought after. However the number of players declined throughout the century.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century Dr. J. Collingwood Bruce, the antiquarian, gave a series of lectures on the pipes and pipe music, because of the fear that they would die out completely. He also (with John Stokoe) compiled the 'Northumbrian Minstrelsy', published by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1882.

After the break-up of the 'Northumbrian Small Pipes Society', piping was kept alive by the Duke of Northumberland, who still retained a piper in his service, and by families in which small pipe playing was a traditional art, e.g. the Cloughs of Newsham, and by players in districts where the love of pipe music had not given way to the attractions of more modern tunes and instruments.

About 1920, G.V.B. Charlton of the Hesleyside family, who had been a member of the previous Society, wrote many articles for the press, chiefly about the half-long pipes, which were then his main concern and particular interest. He also kept lists of pipers, and where sets of pipes were known to be. W.A. Cocks of Ryton also wrote articles and started a collection of bagpipes. He also made pipes.

These two, together with Edward Merrick, revived competitions; in Newcastle at the North of England Musical Tournament, and at agricultural and other shows in the county. James Spencer gave a silver cup to be competed for at the Bellingham Show (1921), and dies from which medals could be produced were given by many leading Northumbrian families.

The first meeting of the present Society was held on 5th October 1928. There were five people present, viz., Basil Alderson, William Miller, Vivian Fairbairn, William Kirton and Gilbert Askew. They had received three encouraging letters, from A. Shield, J.T. Dunn and J. Armstrong, and two apologies for absence, from J.K. Stanger and R. Douglas. This resolution was put before the meeting and accepted:

'Resolved that a Society be here and now formed for the purpose of encouraging pipe playing, and the composition and collection of pipe music, with particular reference to the Northumbrian pipes; the policy of the Society to be directed on such lines as to be most encouraging and stimulating to the younger generation of pipers and beginners in pipe playing.'


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 08:00 AM

Right oh Big Al,

You say, "every music in the world has been bastardised in some form by people known as musicians."

Yes, this is a fundamental truth whether we like it or not. I think though, that this process comes in two not very subtly different forms and depends entirely on the musicians' own strength of tradition.

All musicians like to beg, steal and borrow. And all musicians have tradition, in some form or other. But if you are a musician with little sense of tradition, little actual tradition, or with a week, un-established or manufactured tradition, then what you beg, borrow and steal will swamp whatever tradition you have and while in the long run, it could possibly be the beginning of a new tradition, initially it is bound to merely create second hand, second rate music.

If, however your tradition is strong and well established, and your personal intimacy with it is strong and well established, then there is a much higher chance that what you beg, borrow and steal will enrich one's tradition rather than dilute it.


There comes a problem though, and that is one of protectionism. If a tradition requires it to be protected then it is, by definition, week. Should week traditions be protected? My opinion is that they shouldn't. There are enough musicologists archivists and historians around to preserve traditions in museums for posterity, but I for one am not interested in traditions that are being protected from outside influence. For they are, by definition, being artificially closed to further enrichment.


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 07:29 PM

Agree with Michael Gill, pretty much. But this thread is a hoot...


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 12:44 PM

I'm glad you liked that John, it is great isn't it. Here's some background:

http://www.thesession.org/discussions/display/29622/


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: johncharles
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 11:41 AM

I have tears of laughter running down my face. Crikey how much had the flute player had to drink


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,michael gill
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 11:09 AM

this one's better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPZ7FiXQeUU


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: johncharles
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 11:01 AM

never did get there but my mate goes to the festival every year so might make it next year. probably just listen they all look very good.
john


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 10:53 AM

Fair enough John, I had to ask before some people thought you were trying to stir ;-)


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: johncharles
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 10:50 AM

Peter I never looked at who was playing I found Sandys Bells videos when I was going to visit edinburgh and was looking for some sessions.
Apparently sandy bells is quite famous in those parts.
they sound good to me.
john


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 10:38 AM

John Charles, You do realise Michael is playing the fiddle there, don't you?


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Subject: RE: can accompanists lift the music
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 10:28 AM

Accompanists make a HUGE difference! In Cape Breton fiddle music, the pianist is virtually as important as the fiddler. As an example, the late Lila Hashem elevated the playing of everyone she accompanied. Study the old recordings, and you'll clearly see that Joe MacLean, Bill Lamey and Dan R. MacDonald played their best when Lila provided her strong rhythm and drive. Some of these selections are so exciting they'll blow the top of your head off, despite the low quality of the recordings.


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