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Chris Drinkwater

Pirates Of The Caribbean

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I recently saw the latest Walt Disney film, Pirates of the Caribbean, featuring Johnny Depp. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's very funny from start to finish and worth seeing! Those who have already seen the film will know that, part the way through, there is a scene in which the pirates are on dry land in a pirate hang-out, or similar. There is a tune being played on the soundtrack and as the camera pans from left to right, two musicians can be seen. One is playing the guitar and the other, a wooden-ended concertina, possibly an anglo. Now, given that we're supposedly talking 18th century here, the concertina is a bit of a musical misnomer, though presumably included because it's an instrument often traditionally associated as being played by sailors. After the film finished, I decided to wait for the credits to come up and see if there was any reference to the music being played in that scene. And sure enough, half an later - yes, the credits are nearly as long as the film itself - I saw that a "Skip Henderson" is credited with two hornpipes. Later I did a bit of Googling on Skip, found an email address and emailed him for more info on the titles of the hornpipes. This is his very nice reply:

 

 

"RE: Pirates of the Caribbean Hornpipes

 

Hello and good day to you: Chris;

It's simply amazing what Hollywood can do to history in order to make a commercially rewarding screen play. The Wheatstone Symphonium (circ.1829) became the Anglo concertina when two employees (Crabb and Nickolds) formed a break-away company to produce the same. The "Golden Age" of piracy occurred roughly 1685 to 1735 about 125 -130 years before the advent of the instrument. There was a quiet period of about 100 years after the" Golden Age" and then a short recurrence of water-borne vermin after the end of the plague of wars (1812, Napoleonic, and Latin Colony Succession), so - by a real stretch of the imagination, a concertina might have been played in a pirate hang-out.

My album "Billy Bones and Other Ditties" has the track Two Hornpipes which excited official interest and it seems that my chording and arrangements are copyrightable; hence the screen credits. The two hornpipes are the "Fisher's" hornpipe (used in the film) and the "Sailor's or "College" hornpipe (which wasn't).

There is no lyrics or music book available at present.

Best Wishes;

Capt. H.B. Henderson

Schooner AIDA

Point Richmond, CA. July 19, 2006"

 

Are there any other films, ancient or modern, known to feature one or more concertina players, that Cnetters remember?

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Drinkwater

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Are there any other films, ancient or modern, known to feature one or more concertina players, that Cnetters remember?

How about Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film of Barry Lyndon, set in the middle of the 18th century, which features music played by the Chieftains on concertina and other anachronistic instruments.

 

I haven't seen it since 1975, but it made a strong impact on me, and one commentator has suggested that "Barry Lyndon may be the most visually beautiful film ever made. At once stylized and charged with immediacy, its evocations of the battlefields, gaming tables, festivals and spas of a vanished age have probably never been equaled as spectacles of life transformed by the camera into visions of aesthetic splendor; perhaps no selection of musical pieces has ever been so aptly and movingly integrated into the action of any film."

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/Capt. H.B. Henderson

Schooner AIDA

Point Richmond, CA. July 19, 2006"/

 

Wow!

Capt, Schooner! I used to work in Point Richmond, nice little hill on the outskirts of ruinous, crime and poverty stricken black ghetto of Richmond CA.

Headquarters of Chevron, too.

I probably should arrange a meeting with that Capt., sinse he is so close to me.

BTW.

I did some animation on Pirates II.

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I recently saw the latest Walt Disney film.........................

....................Are there any other films, ancient or modern, known to feature one or more concertina players, that Cnetters remember?

 

Chris

 

Chris:

Me being new, it's amazing what Google can come up with in the beginning. You never know what a search will uncover. I came accross this site recently. Although they primarily deal with accordions, they do list lots of concertinas in movies. Almost 300 combined. Each title is a link to more information. What a way to spend an evening looking through these. Better than tv.

 

http://www.mediarare.com/MRFilmSq.html

 

Thanks

Leo

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I know Skip Henderson slightly (he plays some Chemnitzer as well as Anglo) and have an e-mail address for him that I believe is current. If you do want to contact him, send me a pm and I will forward it to him.

 

Daniel

 

/Capt. H.B. Henderson

Schooner AIDA

Point Richmond, CA. July 19, 2006"/

 

Wow!

Capt, Schooner! I used to work in Point Richmond, nice little hill on the outskirts of ruinous, crime and poverty stricken black ghetto of Richmond CA.

Headquarters of Chevron, too.

I probably should arrange a meeting with that Capt., sinse he is so close to me.

BTW.

I did some animation on Pirates II.

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I heard what Skip calls the "Fisher's" hornpipe before, and I always loved that tune. I did not realize it was a hornpipe, I thought it was a reel, and maybe I heard it play as a reel. For some reason that tune has a "quebecois/french canadian" feel to it. Anyway thanks for the info, I will dig up the abc and see if it matches the tune I heard before and have recorded somewhere.

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Chris,

You've given me a reason to see the film! As Capt. Henderson points out, with the "Golden Age" of piracy being roughly in the early part of the 18th Century, it makes it highly anachronistic to use a concertina. Not having seen the film, I can't say as to what period the film is ostensibly set. However, I would suspect that their depiction of the guitar is also historically inaccurate. The guitar of the early 18th Century was most likely either a 10 or 12 string instrument with a very small waisted body, and gut strings. It also would likely have had tied gut frets and a fingerboard flush with the soundboard. The early 18th Century was the nascent period of the guitar's development as a popular instrument, its heyday being concomitant with the development of the concertina, i.e., the early part of the 19th century. I suspect that they merely used a classical guitar, maybe even a modern one. I'll post with my musicological findings after I've seen the film.

 

GAS

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I heard what Skip calls the "Fisher's" hornpipe before, and I always loved that tune. I did not realize it was a hornpipe, I thought it was a reel, and maybe I heard it play as a reel. For some reason that tune has a "quebecois/french canadian" feel to it. Anyway thanks for the info, I will dig up the abc and see if it matches the tune I heard before and have recorded somewhere.

 

I'm going to guess you incountered Fisher's in the old time tradition. It is my belief that hornpipes did not make the trans Atlanic crossing whole. Most like Fisher's, Devil's Dream and Red-haired boy "morphed" into reels. In the case of Devil's Dream it is often played by fiddlers at a tempo that is akin to a clip only managed on the Morpeth Rant.

 

I recall Chris Timson discribing a hornpipe as having 'swagger' and I agree. Once one has seen a young swain dance a hornpipe to a proper tempo, it is powerful and graceful all at the same time.

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The guitar of the early 18th Century was most likely either a 10 or 12 string instrument with a very small waisted body, and gut strings.

Greg,

 

In fact even a guitar with 12 gut strings would be an anachronism at the beginning of the 18th century, guitars with 6 courses of strings didn't generally appear until nearly 100 years later and I own an early Spanish-made one from around 1800 that was made for 11 strings. :blink:

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I heard what Skip calls the "Fisher's" hornpipe before, and I always loved that tune. I did not realize it was a hornpipe, I thought it was a reel, and maybe I heard it play as a reel. For some reason that tune has a "quebecois/french canadian" feel to it. Anyway thanks for the info, I will dig up the abc and see if it matches the tune I heard before and have recorded somewhere.

 

I'm sure that I have this on a CD somehwere .. I wonder if it has another name .. I can't find it under Fishers in my CD list. (It may well be from the US somewhere, I thought it was on a Liz Carroll CD - my memory cells are a dieing breed)

 

Anyway, a quick plug for a local fiddler - there's an mp3 of it at http://whistler.members.beeb.net/fiddle.htm

(Sorry about the lack on concertina related stuff in this post!)

 

Chris

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Are there any other films, ancient or modern, known to feature one or more concertina players, that Cnetters remember?

 

Moby Dick, the one with Gregory Peck directed by John Huston, features close ups of Alf Edwards playing.

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Are there any other films, ancient or modern, known to feature one or more concertina players, that Cnetters remember?

 

Moby Dick, the one with Gregory Peck directed by John Huston, features close ups of Alf Edwards playing.

 

I watched that version not long ago. The concertina played is an EC. There are some nice closeups, though short, of his fingerwork.

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Are there any other films, ancient or modern, known to feature one or more concertina players, that Cnetters remember?

 

Chris

 

 

There was a long thread on this topic on the old forum no longer accessible. The subject has been mentioned a number of times in these forums. In one of these, Ken Coles posted the following message:

 

 

Before you all start an endless new thread on concertinas in films, let me note that I painstakingly archived all the posts to a very long thread on the old bbs on this very topic. Could I ask that you let me post that here on the site before you start in on this yet again? Maybe I can even do it tonight, I am tired of the work I have to do every night for school! There were _dozens_ of films mentioned in these posts.

 

Thanks!

 

The Web assistant.

--------------------

Ken Coles

End-quote

 

I would add completion of this task to my wish list, but it is not something we can demand.

 

Regards

 

John :)

Edited by John Wild

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...and speaking of Pirates....

I just received two CD's by the "Toucan Pirates."

Very heavy on the concertina, and lots of fun - mainly Irish tunes with lots of 'pirate-y' sound effects.

Is anyone familiar with these guys? Specifically, does anyone know what kind of concertina they play - anglo (I suspect), english, make, etc. etc.

If you want to hear clips, go to "CDBaby" ...

-willie g

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Stephen,

You illustrate just how confusing the history of the guitar can be pre- 1800. There were Renaissance guitars, vihuelas, and chitarra battente which were converted from one to another. This was a transitional time during which there was no standard. Regional differences abound and even individual makers might make various types of guitar like instruments. While six course vihuela existed from at least 1500, the guitars didn't seem to gain the sixth course for more than 200 years. There were, however, likely many vihuelas converted to guitars, maybe even six course guitars. For a thorough discussion of the confusing and fascinating topic of the elusive history of the the 'Chambure' vihuela, see the link below. Looking at some of my instrument reference books, it looks like the earliest 6 course guitars date from the early 1770s, with both 12 and 6 string varieties being represented.

 

I guess the point is that Disney was not as concerned with the historical accuracy of having period appropriate instruments for Pirates II - either guitars or concertinas - as Milos Forman was for Amadeus.

 

 

Luthiers Barber & Harris webpage dealing with the history of the vihuela:

http://www.lutesandguitars.co.uk/htm/cat12.htm

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Are there any other films, ancient or modern, known to feature one or more concertina players, that Cnetters remember?

 

Chris

 

 

Hello Chris, I also love to see the concertina in movies, here are a few remembered sightings.

Mary Poppins- Burt plays an anglo in the beginning when he is the one man band.

Pinocchio(disney)- Gepetto plays a concertina and dances around with his cat.

The Nightmare before Christmas- there is a band that hangs around halloween town, a double bass, saxophone and a concertina, well it has a fish head and tail, but the bellows are most definitely those of a concertina's.

Ladies in Lavender- at the village dance there is a metal ended duet in the band.

Titanic- it has been a while since i saw this, but i seem to remember a concertina in the scene of the party in 3rd class.

Brazil- again i am not sure but i believe there was a Clown playing a concertina in this one, it was either before or after the woman had her face stretched and wrapped in cling film.

Also, I don't know if this was pointed out. Since you have been referring to Pirates of the Caribbean 2, there is also a concertina in the first one. One of those Anglos with tons of bellows. One of the Skeletal Pirates is playing it the moment Elizabeth Swann is shown them in their cursed form for the first time.

:) Juliette

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Are there any other films, ancient or modern, known to feature one or more concertina players, that Cnetters remember?
Although it's not an appearance, per se, it is an anachronism... Salieri, from Amadeus:

"On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse - bassoons and basset horns - like a rusty
squeezebox
. Then suddenly - high above it - an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I'd never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing a voice of God."

Even if they had something that could be called a squeezebox in Salieri's day (1750-1825), it probably wouldn't have been old enough to be rusty, and would probably have been perceived differently.

I did some animation on Pirates II.
Should have guessed... I haven't seen the film yet, but I always look for you in the credits of anything from Pixar.

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I did some animation on Pirates II.
Should have guessed... I haven't seen the film yet, but I always look for you in the credits of anything from Pixar.

 

Amazing! :)

 

The 'guy I buy coffee from' -- Dean's Beans -- was one of the pirates! I've yet to see the movie, but hope to do so, soon. (And, I have never ventured the few miles from here to actually meet anyone at the coffee business.)

 

Anyway, there's an article about Dean 'coffee guy' being a pirate HERE.

 

For the record, I recommend Birdwatcher's Blend, of the coffee beans. It's one of the medium roasts.

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