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Little John

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About Little John

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    Hampshire
  1. Little John

    Embedding Test

    That looks really useful. Now I'll have to work out how it's done!
  2. Little John

    Tricks To Cover Up Mistakes

    Of course not; any more than you could get away with stopping and repeating a phrase! I was only talking about practising. It works for me, but each to his own.
  3. Little John

    Tricks To Cover Up Mistakes

    Good advice. Keep going without breaking the rhythm. As regards practising there is a third way between these two: slowing down at the tricky section, but not hesitating. As you get better you eventually bring that section up to full speed. I read somewhere on this forum that this is what the best concert pianists do.
  4. I recently posted a video of this tune. (Well two videos actually, partly to experiment with different camera/microphone positions and partly to correct a phrase I'd mis-remembered.) It's pretty obviously a pipe tune. I learnt it by ear before eventually discovering the music as written for fiddle. Both my remembered version and the notated one have an interesting feature in the B music: the leading note of the key (fourth note of the bagpipe scale) occurs twice as a natural rather than a sharp. This is one of the notes which, on the bagpipe, is somewhere in between the two. So I guess, to answer the original question, the answer is "yes, but for the two ambiguous notes you have to decide whether the natural or the sharp makes most sense musically". Incidentally, I had always assumed that the bagpipe scale was deliberately ambiguous on these two notes so that they could serve for either purpose (in the absence of any accidentals.) But that may be somewhat naive!
  5. Way too complicated! But the right answer. The linear measurements are increased by a factor of 7/6.25 = 1.12; so the area measurement is increased by the square of this: 1.12^2 = 1.2544; or about 25%. That's all you need. But as I said in the thread where this was started, if the bellows folds are also deeper then the extension of the bellows will also be increased so the potential volume of air in the bellows will be even more than 25% greater.
  6. Little John

    Upgrading My Duet

    Another way is just to plan ahead and reverse bellows direction so that you are at one extreme or the other when you need it. This is an important consideration for me because I have a couple of anglo buttons on my Crane. I've never found it a problem and I've never used the air button.
  7. Little John

    Upgrading My Duet

    Yes, there's 25% more cross-sectional area in a 7-inch than a 6 1/4-inch. That might allow for deeper bellows folds too and hence greater extension, and thus an even greater increase in volume.
  8. SteveS - take a look at the attachment in post #4. If my analysis is correct, centring on A gives the least deviation from ET for playing in the keys you mention; plus Bb and A (and related modes). LJ
  9. Little John

    Playing By Ear

    Playing by ear is a skill which can be learnt, unlike perfect pitch which you either have or you don't. Like any skill, playing by ear takes practice. Playing by ear is copying something you've heard. First you need to be able to recognise what you're hearing. Rhythm and timing seem to come fairly naturally, but identifying the notes doesn't. Without perfect pitch we're always working in a relative way. I think you need two things: recognising intervals and recognising which degree (i.e. note) of the key you're hearing. Intervals: A diatonic scale is made up of tones and semitones. These intervals are called major and minor seconds. Arpeggios consist of minor thirds, major thirds and fourths. So if you familiarise yourself with scales and arpeggios you should be able to get familiar with intervals of up to a fourth. Most melodies consist of fragments of scales and arpeggios strung together. An alternative approach, especially for larger intervals, is to have a list of songs which start with a particular interval as a way of learning to recognise them. For example My Bonny Lies Over The Ocean starts with a major sixth and In The Bleak Midwinter starts with a minor second (traditional tune, not Darke's beautiful version). Which degree of the scale: More tricky, but essential since you need to know where to start the tune. You need to be able to identify the key note. One thing that will help is that almost all tunes end on the key note. From there you can use recognition of intervals to work out other notes; in particular the first note. Playing by ear is a combination of recognising which degree of the scale a note is, what the interval between two notes is, and recognising scale and arpeggio fragments; which is a sort of shorthand to encompass a small run of notes. Take Nellie The Elephant as an example. It starts on the third degree of the scale "Nellie the" is a scale fragment from the 3rd to the 5th degree, "elephant" is a scale fragment from the 3rd down to the 1st degree. "...ant", "lost her" and "trunk and" are the first three notes in an arpeggio. And so it goes on. In fact there is only one (or possibly two) intervals that are not part of a scale or arpeggio: between "trumpety trump" and "trump, trump, trump" (first occurrence). Adding accompaniment by ear, should you so wish, is similarly a matter of learning to recognise chords when you hear them. Not easy, but perfectly possible with practice. And all very much worth the effort, in my opinion. This could have been written for the thread "What is the point of scales"!
  10. Little John

    Scored A Miniature Lachenal

    Ask Andrew Norman. He's made eight-fold bellows in about 4 inch size. A friend of mine has such an instrument of his.
  11. OK, so I've discovered mistake no.1! In my previous table I gave the deviations from the notes given by true or "just" fifths. Since ET is itself twelfth comma mean tone, the difference between a 1/5 comma fifth and a ET (1/12 comma) fifth is 2.8 rather than 4.8 cents. Amended table attached. I also found an earlier thread on this subject which does give some people's experience of playing with others (which was generally reassuring). However, I found the various comments about which note to use as the centre or "root" (i.e. which of the notes should be perfectly in tune with its ET namesake) confusing. It still looks to me like A is the best choice if your main keys are G and D majors plus related modes and close keys. Fifth comma mean tone V2.pdf
  12. David - It's a Crane, so no duplicated accidentals. I don't see this as a big problem. About the only thing I can see is that I couldn't use a B major chord since the Eb is about 58 cents sharp of the missing D#. On the rare occasion that might happen I could use an open B or a B minor instead. This is likely to occur only in an E minor tune when the choice of B minor or B major is a stylistic one anyway. Others might prefer a D# to an Eb, but I do actually use Eb a few times, especially in the bass. This would also apply to a Maccann duet, which likewise doesn't have duplicated accidentals.
  13. Little John

    Totm Challenge: Old Meets Néw

    Strangely enough, yes. Shave the Monkey was new to me when I pointed it out. At first I paired it with the traditional English jig The Mallard. For various reasons I dropped that pairing and I'm now following Shave the Monkey with the traditional Scottish jig Drummond Castle. I think it will work well, but I haven't yet mastered the latter tune. Nice version of the Oyster Girl in your recording. I particularly likes the minor bit at the start of the B music. LJ
  14. I'm thinking of having one of my duets tuned to fifth comma mean tone. The two questions I've been thinking about are (1) what keys will I be able to play in and (2) how will it sound with other instruments? To help me understand these questions I've drawn up the table below. (1) I've opted for two flats and three sharps, putting the wolf fifth between G# and Eb; which is where the table breaks the "circle of fifths". Assuming one can use only scales that don't cross this break, that nevertheless leaves six keys for every likely mode. These are shown in the lower part of the table. They seem to cover all the keys I'm likely to want (for folk music, at any rate, which is 95% if what I do). (2) I've seen reference elsewhere to centring the mean tone tuning on G. This seems logical since, if one is playing with melodeons in particular, G maj is the most common key, and D maj the next. However, as the table shows, the notes of the scale are not equally distributed about the key note. The result is that deviations from equal temperament become quite large in these keys when centred on G. They are minimised by centring on A. Fifth comma mean tone.pdf So I have two questions for the community. Firstly, for those with more knowledge of temperaments than I, does this make sense or have I missed the point somewhere? Secondly, for those with experience of playing mean-tone tuned instruments alongside ET instruments, how noticeable are these deviations from ET? Is 19.2 cents tolerable? What about 28.8 or 33.6 cents? Apologies if this has been covered before. I have seen (and even contributed) to other discussions of mean tone tuning on this forum, but I don't recall these specific points being discussed. LJ [Edited to add the table as a pdf. It didn't work pasting it directly.] [Edited to remove a couple of erroneous minus signs in the table.]
  15. Little John

    Mr W. Ford, Esq

    Looks like Joseph Street. 9 Joseph Street? [Forget it. I should have read the previous posts more carefully!]
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