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Theme Of The Month 11-2013: "comfort" Tunes


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#1 Jim Besser

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:27 PM

Here's another good idea borrowed from the good people at  Melodeon.net: the Theme of the Month, a logical companion to the Tune of the Month.

 

Each month we'll have a different theme - a genre, like Morris tunes or Irish tunes, or something else - like "the most challenging tune you've learned," or "tunes not commonly played on concertina." You pick a tune that matches the theme, record it and share it.

To kick it off, let’s hear your all-time favorite tune - to play, not perform.

What’s the tune that gives you the greatest pleasure when you’re sitting in your music room, all alone, without an audience to please/impress?  What tune do you play when you just want to feel good - your musical version of comfort food?

You know what I mean? If so, record one, share it and let’s see what turns up!



#2 Jim Besser

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:37 PM

To start things rolling: I have a huge sentimental attachment to this tune, Orange in Bloom, and often find myself playing it for absolutely no good reason except that it makes me feel good.  It was one of the first Morris tunes I played, and I did it for years with a now-defunct group.  I miss playing it for dancers.

 

This is a rough take in a distinctly non-Morris style.

 

Played on a Morse hybrid G/D 30 button Anglo.

 

https://soundcloud.c...st/zoom0122-mp3



#3 Susanne

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:19 PM

I really like your way of playing that tune. So soft and beautiful.

#4 David Barnert

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 08:30 AM

Here's my all-time favorite "comfort tune." I first learned it 30 years ago (before I began playing the concertina). I had absorbed the tune from hearing it at contradances and then when I joined a contradance band as a hammered dulcimer player it became part of our repertoire. We knew it then as "Siege of Ennis." It was one of my favorite tunes to play, even on the hammered dulcimer.
 
I later became aware that most of the musicians I was playing with knew it as "Banks of Inverness" and this is the name I prefer to call it even now. However, in the intervening time, I have also heard it (or very similar tunes) called by many other names, as well: Andy Irvine's Polka, Salmon Tails Across the Water, Croppie's March, Shane's Favorite, ... (and, of course, the B section has a lot in common with the A section of "Buttered Peas").
 
When I was learning to play the (Hayden duet) concertina, about 25 years ago, this was one of the first tunes I learned on the right hand (melody only) and the first tune I became able to play with a fully worked-out left hand part (accompaniment). I have been playing it frequently ever since.
 


#5 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:59 AM

I'm very glad that this "theme of the month" idea finally came to life - recent TOTMs (as great as they were) were too far from my musical interests to spare even a small amount of time for them..

 

The tune I would like to present to you could easily fell into many categories, as this was the first tune I've tried to learn on a duet. It became something of a "progress bar" of my skills on a concertina (it took me couple of months to even try to play melody line with simultanous accompaniment) and is one of two pieces I play when I just have couple of minutes to grab concertina and play. It is a cover of a song called "Sunday smile" by band named "Beirut".

 

Trying to get this recording good enough to publish it showed me how much work it still needs, especially on steady timing and bellows controll (you can still hear that it "looses breath" sometimes and rhytm is very unstable and too fast...). As I don't want this "Theme of the month" idea became a sort of a showcase but still a learning aid, I'll try to overcome those problems in the following weeks and send another rendition at the end of month.

 

So, without further ado, here it is: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=S-bySYW3XVA



#6 Susanne

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 12:37 PM

David: Very interesting!!! Yet another tune that I thought was Irish, and then I hear it in another tradition and under another name. I know this tune as Siege of Ennis, and I'm just in the process of learning to play it on the concertina. We play it in the session I join sometimes. Very nice tune, and I like the little triplet you throw in there.

 

Lukasz: I think your playing sounds good in this video, I haven't heard the tune before but I didn't notice you got lost in the timing really. I have no idea how to categorise the tune either... what kind of music style does it come from, like with that band Beirut? I'm rather ignorant about music that isn't trad or country/bluegrass/oldtimey. And sometimes in those genres too...



#7 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 06:59 PM

Susi: Thank you for your compliments:) It fells under indie-rock genre, but is really a mix of influences from different buskers around Europe (mostly french and balkan music), done by one Zachary Condon, after his vagabonding for a year through different parts of "the old continent". It's a kind of music that really sounds great on accordions and was one of my target genres when I switched from playing simple shanties on an Anglo and undertaken "the path of duet". 

 

And about timing: the tempo throughout an entire tune is uneven… I have a great difficulty not going faster when the part that I'm playing requires complex fingering. It is a bit strange realy, that my fingers "remember" note sequences only with fast tempo and I often make mistakes when trying to play slowly… That is also the reason why the whole tune is played too fast.


Edited by Łukasz Martynowicz, 03 November 2013 - 07:04 PM.


#8 David Barnert

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:41 AM

David: Very interesting!!! Yet another tune that I thought was Irish, and then I hear it in another tradition and under another name. I know this tune as Siege of Ennis, and I'm just in the process of learning to play it on the concertina.

It may well be Irish, and "Siege of Ennis" its original name. But it doesn't sound Irish to me. I think it has more of a Scottish feel (note the pentatonic A section, except for one of the quick notes discussed below). Hence, my preference for "Banks of Inverness." Who knows. Maybe if someone more versed in ITM style than I played it, it would sound convincingly Irish.

Very nice tune, and I like the little triplet you throw in there.

Listen carefully. They are not triplets. If we call the third, fourth, fifth and sixth notes of the tune quarter notes (crotchets), the only notes quicker than them are eighth notes (quavers), four of them fill the same time as two of the quarter notes. They weren't my idea, either. They were in the tune as I learned it.



#9 JimLucas

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:08 AM

I later became aware that most of the musicians I was playing with knew it as "Banks of Inverness" and this is the name I prefer to call it even now. However, in the intervening time, I have also heard it (or very similar tunes) called by many other names, as well: Andy Irvine's Polka, Salmon Tails Across the Water, Croppie's March, Shane's Favorite, ... (and, of course, the B section has a lot in common with the A section of "Buttered Peas").

 

Similar to, but still somewhat different (particularly in the A part) from the old Northumbrian tune Salmon Tails Up In the Water.  Maybe not possible to determine which of the various names/variants was the original, if indeed there was only one "original".  It's simple enough that I think something very similar could have been composed independently more than once.



#10 Susanne

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 12:20 PM

David, I'm sorry but I don't know enough music theory or music theory lingo to know the difference between all that. I just hear that you play a little twiddle where I play a quarter note or similar. However, whether you made it up or not, it sounds good.
I think the tune sounds rather Irish. Many Irish tunes switch mode like that. Of course it could be Scottish as well, or English....what do we really know about a tune's origins?
This tune starts exactly like another Irish polka, by the way, but one goes in the key of D and stays in the major key. Confusing... sadly I can't remember the title of that one.

#11 gcoover

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:02 PM

And here's mine, also a Morris tune - "Lumps of Plum Pudding", learned from the playing of John Watcham:  http://www.youtube.c...h?v=mLg9mawZub4

 

Other big time favorites being Monck's March and Glorishears (Fieldtown).  Can't seem to put the concertina down without having a bash at these three at the very least. 

 

Good concept, Jim!  I'm guessing/hoping there might be other themes in the offing?



#12 Susanne

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:57 AM

Nice playing, I really like those cheerful Morris tunes, I'd like to learn more of them. 



#13 Jim Besser

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:04 PM

I'm very glad that this "theme of the month" idea finally came to life - recent TOTMs (as great as they were) were too far from my musical interests to spare even a small amount of time for them..

 

The tune I would like to present to you could easily fell into many categories, as this was the first tune I've tried to learn on a duet. It became something of a "progress bar" of my skills on a concertina (it took me couple of months to even try to play melody line with simultanous accompaniment) and is one of two pieces I play when I just have couple of minutes to grab concertina and play. It is a cover of a song called "Sunday smile" by band named "Beirut".

 

Trying to get this recording good enough to publish it showed me how much work it still needs, especially on steady timing and bellows controll (you can still hear that it "looses breath" sometimes and rhytm is very unstable and too fast...). As I don't want this "Theme of the month" idea became a sort of a showcase but still a learning aid, I'll try to overcome those problems in the following weeks and send another rendition at the end of month.

 

So, without further ado, here it is: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=S-bySYW3XVA

Nicely done, I like it!
 



#14 Jim Besser

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:05 PM

And here's mine, also a Morris tune - "Lumps of Plum Pudding", learned from the playing of John Watcham:  http://www.youtube.c...h?v=mLg9mawZub4

 

Other big time favorites being Monck's March and Glorishears (Fieldtown).  Can't seem to put the concertina down without having a bash at these three at the very least. 

 

Good concept, Jim!  I'm guessing/hoping there might be other themes in the offing?

 

That's always been a favorite of mine. My primary Morris group used to dance Lumps, but hasn't for years. Sad for me!



#15 Jim Besser

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:06 PM

 

Here's my all-time favorite "comfort tune." I first learned it 30 years ago (before I began playing the concertina). I had absorbed the tune from hearing it at contradances and then when I joined a contradance band as a hammered dulcimer player it became part of our repertoire. We knew it then as "Siege of Ennis." It was one of my favorite tunes to play, even on the hammered dulcimer.
 
I later became aware that most of the musicians I was playing with knew it as "Banks of Inverness" and this is the name I prefer to call it even now. However, in the intervening time, I have also heard it (or very similar tunes) called by many other names, as well: Andy Irvine's Polka, Salmon Tails Across the Water, Croppie's March, Shane's Favorite, ... (and, of course, the B section has a lot in common with the A section of "Buttered Peas").
 
When I was learning to play the (Hayden duet) concertina, about 25 years ago, this was one of the first tunes I learned on the right hand (melody only) and the first tune I became able to play with a fully worked-out left hand part (accompaniment). I have been playing it frequently ever since.
 

 

 

I think I've played that with yet another name.

 

The first half of the B part is almost identical to the version of Salmon Tails I play, but the second half diverges. Great playing, as always.



#16 Jim Besser

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:08 PM

And here's mine, also a Morris tune - "Lumps of Plum Pudding", learned from the playing of John Watcham:  http://www.youtube.c...h?v=mLg9mawZub4

 

Other big time favorites being Monck's March and Glorishears (Fieldtown).  Can't seem to put the concertina down without having a bash at these three at the very least. 

 

Good concept, Jim!  I'm guessing/hoping there might be other themes in the offing?

 

Oh yes, plenty of others coming up!  Suggestions for themes welcome.



#17 Robert Fisher

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:32 PM

Hi - great idea this.

 

The first year I had a concertina I played a lot of Christmas carols. They were the first tunes that I learned to play as more than just a melody and they are still some of the only tunes I play from memory (I'm usually glued to the sheet music - even when I'm not playing exactly what is written). So when I'm randomly asked for a tune, or get to try out someone else's instrument, something like the following is almost inevitable:

 

https://soundcloud.c...s-1/comfortfood

 

(yes I've signed up so no messing with ubuntu one needed!)



#18 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:52 PM

Thank you Jim :)






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