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Getting "lift" Or "bounce" In Irish Tunes

Irish lift fingering bellows

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#19 JimLucas

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 01:02 PM

I was told by a teacher who is a seriously traditional player that this is because contemporary set dancers can not do the footwork one sees on "come west along the road." and they want the hyper-speed to keep them moving and in the air. . . .oh, and it's "exciting." it has "drive."


I don't believe that to be generally true. I posted a number of clips earlier that will show you people who have their steps. I have played many times for people like Aidan Vaughan and the West Clare sets, and they're not looking for drive or speed to mask poor footwork.

Well, he also said:

I live in a region where the beat-the-life-out-of-it style is considered the ne plus ultra of whether one is good.


I.e., he's not claiming that it's the same everywhere, and it sounds like his taste is closer to yours than to that of "his" locals, about whom he complains.

But I'm wondering why only "the sets" are being mentioned. Back in my New York City days, when I was involved -- although only peripherally -- in the local Irish communities, there were plenty of "ceilidh" dances (I remember the first time I was dragged through an 8-hand reel), as well as step dancing, including "set dances" (which are something quite different from "the sets"). In fact, it was several years before I first encountered the sets, though they gradually became more widespread/common. Yet another kind:  there were two separate occasions when I was doing a bit of Appalachian clogging in the background of an Irish session and old men approached me to ask where I had learned to dance "in the old style". (The one said, "I haven't seen dancing like that since the dances at the crossroads when I was a child.")

So when we talk about "playing for dancing", I think we should clarify what kinds of dancing. And not just a name, but a description, since it seems the sets are danced differently in Peter's locale than in ceemonster's.



#20 Peter Laban

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 01:21 PM

But I'm wondering why only "the sets" are being mentioned.



Because that's what people dance socially around here. If you want it more detailed, it's (a version of) the Caledonian set mostly with a few corners where the Plain set is also danced. There's some sean nós dancing and a bit of display dancing like the Brush dance. When playing for dancers comes up, that would be what we play for. I have never been in a situation where we were asked to play for ceili dances, nor have I ever come across those dances being danced here during all my years of playing.

Well, he also said:

I live in a region where the beat-the-life-out-of-it style is considered the ne plus ultra of whether one is good.


I.e., he's not claiming that it's the same everywhere, and it sounds like his taste is closer to yours than to that of "his" locals, about whom he complains.



I know ceemonster's, a 'she' rather than a 'he', taste is close to my own.

Edited by Peter Laban, 23 August 2015 - 02:03 PM.


#21 JimLucas

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 03:04 PM

But I'm wondering why only "the sets" are being mentioned.


Because that's what people dance socially around here. If you want it more detailed, it's (a version of) the Caledonian set mostly with a few corners where the Plain set is also danced. There's some sean nós dancing and a bit of display dancing like the Brush dance. When playing for dancers comes up, that would be what we play for. I have never been in a situation where we were asked to play for ceili dances, nor have I ever come across those dances being danced here during all my years of playing.

I thought this discussion was about Irish music in general, not just your liittle corner of it, particularly since it included "Irish" music in South England. And that's what my "wondering" was about.
 

...he's not claiming that it's the same everywhere, and it sounds like his taste is closer to yours than to that of "his" locals, about whom he complains.


I know ceemonster's, a 'she' rather than a 'he', taste is close to my own.

Oops! I thought I had seen ceemonster sign a few posts in the past with a male name. But with my legendary poor memory for names, I suppose my getting it confused/wrong should be no surprise.  My apologies, if they're desired.



#22 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 04:25 PM

Hah! Lovely to see traditional musicians in suits and ties, and dancers in normal attire! The good old days ...

 

John



#23 Peter Laban

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 03:24 AM

I thought this discussion was about Irish music in general, not just your little corner of it


That little corner called 'Ireland'?

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Edited by Peter Laban, 24 August 2015 - 07:07 AM.




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