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Appalachian & American Fiddle Tunes


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#1 stevejay

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 09:46 AM

Hi

I obviously play the ones in the Levy book, and play quite a few from the Fiddlers Fakebook.
Sometimes a mix of playing across the rows & cross row style works out best. The across the row style gives that fiddle "bounce" sometimes, other times it is just too inconveneint. Simple songs like Soldiers Joy and Polly Put the Kettle On are great for a full chordal style

Your thoughts

Steve

#2 Susi

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 11:24 AM

Hi

I obviously play the ones in the Levy book, and play quite a few from the Fiddlers Fakebook.
Sometimes a mix of playing across the rows & cross row style works out best. The across the row style gives that fiddle "bounce" sometimes, other times it is just too inconveneint. Simple songs like Soldiers Joy and Polly Put the Kettle On are great for a full chordal style

Your thoughts

Steve


I am completely devoted to southern oldtime music, haven't played it much on the concertina, but I play a lot of oldtimey stuff on the fiddle. I've tried Soldier's joy and Liberty on the concertina, and it sounded nice. I've tried to "cajunize" oldtime on the concertina, real cool stuff.

#3 PeterT

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 11:24 AM

Hi

I obviously play the ones in the Levy book, and play quite a few from the Fiddlers Fakebook.
Sometimes a mix of playing across the rows & cross row style works out best. The across the row style gives that fiddle "bounce" sometimes, other times it is just too inconveneint. Simple songs like Soldiers Joy and Polly Put the Kettle On are great for a full chordal style

Your thoughts

Steve

Firstly, the Appalachian version of "Soldiers Joy" :) , which I learnt from Flos Headford; an interesting version which runs well into the "bog standard" version of "Soldiers Joy" (in D) as a set.

Secondly "Old Joe Clark" (in A), which goes well, and very fast, on a C/G box. Much is played "on the draw" which I find to be faster, and less strenuous, than playing on the push.

Regards,
Peter.

#4 Robert Booth

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 03:27 PM

"Bog Standard?"

What does that mean?

#5 PeterT

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:42 PM

"Bog Standard?"

What does that mean?

Hi Robert,

Here's about the best explanation, to avoid further confusion :blink: :

http://www.bbc.co.uk...te/page25.shtml

Regards,
Peter.

#6 stevejay

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:56 PM

I find it odd that Appalachian and American fiddle music get so much less exposure for the concertina. Is there really a history of the music on the instrument, and if so who is well known from the past?

I don't think the concertina found all that much favor here in the states historically, but I welcome being wrong :)

Steve

Edited by stevejay, 08 December 2006 - 09:52 PM.


#7 stuart estell

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 07:33 AM

I don't regularly play any Appalachian tunes per se - but as far as songs go, probably about half my repertoire consists of Appalachian material at the moment. Lots of them (presumably because of the prevalence of the mountain dulcimer) seem to lend themselves really well to being accompanied by minimal chord changes and drones.

I've just discovered Jean Ritchie and am resolved to get better at playing the mountain dulcimer...

Edited by stuart estell, 11 December 2006 - 07:34 AM.


#8 Mark Evans

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:47 AM

I find it odd that Appalachian and American fiddle music get so much less exposure for the concertina. Is there really a history of the music on the instrument, and if so who is well known from the past?

I don't think the concertina found all that much favor here in the states historically, but I welcome being wrong :)

Steve


Well certainly there were 20 button boxes around the Civil War. Pictures of troops from both blue and gray holding them, not to mention varrious civilians attest to that. One can only assume they were used.

As for English boxes, they had to be here amongst mostly upper class no doubt but certainly fiddle tunes were not just a working class affair....so maybe it's a woulda, coulda shoulda thing.

Bertram ploughed the road in our age and plenty of us are glad he did. I started playing old time on the EC back around 79' just because it seemed natural and ain't looked back. Uncle Dave Macon might not have approved (but I kinda think he would...maybe?).

#9 John Sylte

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 07:43 PM

I play a lot of old time / Appalachian music on fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and diatonic harmonica. When I started learning anglo concertina I experimentally substituted my harmonica playing with concertina at old time jams. All the tunes I could play on harmonica I was instantly able to play on concertina. It was a very straightforward switch. After I got through the "Wow I love my new instrument and have to play it all the time" phase, I went back to playing harmonica with old time music, and I like it much better. I think the difference is that the diatonic harmonica is exceptionally suitable for old time music. With note bending, vamping, and all the different dynamics that can be achieved on a harmonica, and these things being complementary with the old time style, I think the concertina takes second chair. Irish music on the other hand is much faster, rarely bluesy, and has lots of ornamentations. When I play a reel on a harmonica, I am totally winded by the end of the set. So, while the harmonica works for irish tunes (and sometimes quite well) I think the concertina is in general a more suitable instrument. Not sure if I've contributed anything useful to this conversation, but that's my $ .02.

#10 m3838

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:10 PM

I play a lot of old time / Appalachian music on fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and diatonic harmonica. When I started learning anglo concertina I experimentally substituted my harmonica playing with concertina at old time jams. All the tunes I could play on harmonica I was instantly able to play on concertina. It was a very straightforward switch. After I got through the "Wow I love my new instrument and have to play it all the time" phase, I went back to playing harmonica with old time music, and I like it much better. I think the difference is that the diatonic harmonica is exceptionally suitable for old time music. With note bending, vamping, and all the different dynamics that can be achieved on a harmonica, and these things being complementary with the old time style, I think the concertina takes second chair. Irish music on the other hand is much faster, rarely bluesy, and has lots of ornamentations. When I play a reel on a harmonica, I am totally winded by the end of the set. So, while the harmonica works for irish tunes (and sometimes quite well) I think the concertina is in general a more suitable instrument. Not sure if I've contributed anything useful to this conversation, but that's my $ .02.


I just have to emphasize that what we call "irish" or "Old time Appalachian" styles came to be quite accidentally regarding the instruments.
Perhabs concertina wasn't delivered en-masse to Appalachian mountains, because of either difficulty of transport, or lack of repairmen, or simply that Mathew Hohner's agents knew where Appalachian mountains were, but Stagis' of the time were lazy.
I'm sure Irish chepherds could use harmonica quite well in Irish style, and Appalachian lumberjacks could have used the concertina in very appalachian style. Which brings us to the regularly rotating topic of the style.
What we are talking here, is not the style per se, but simply it's emulation.
And this emulation is the reason I don't really like the Irish music of today, because it feels to me to be stuck.
There are few CDs out there, where the style approached creatively, but most folks are happy with cliches. (like the topic of whether or not to play chords or in Irish, or can you or cannot play blues on fixed pitch instruments).
I'd say, if you are a professional, wanting to sell to musically unrefined audiences - it's one thing. If you are an amateur, having fun - it's another.
If you are a native, playing native music - anything you do is going to be in your native style, unless you are exceptionally talentless <_< .
In all cases everything reasonable goes, and sometimes even unreasonable,
like percussion in cajun music :D

#11 Mark Evans

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:17 PM

In all cases everything reasonable goes, and sometimes even unreasonable,
like percussion in cajun music :D


I highly recomend "Schultz gets the Blues." Great movie.

#12 m3838

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:38 PM

In all cases everything reasonable goes, and sometimes even unreasonable,
like percussion in cajun music :D


I highly recomend "Schultz gets the Blues." Great movie.


Missed it. But I'll rent it out, seems like a good athmosphere.
On unrelated topic, there is premiere of "Charlotte's Web". I worked on that one, animating Templeton the Rat. My best scene is "... little bit of LOVE?"
Finally it's out, so I can hope to update my reel. B). I accept congratulations.
Shutting up...

#13 John Sylte

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:27 PM

I'm sure Irish chepherds could use harmonica quite well in Irish style, and Appalachian lumberjacks could have used the concertina in very appalachian style. Which brings us to the regularly rotating topic of the style.
[/quote]

I agree that much of irish music today sounds like it's been cooked from the same recipe. I think that reflects the musicians behind the instruments though, and their influences, not just the instrumentation standardized by precedent. Why is there no tuba in irish music? I'm sure it's been attempted. I think some tools are more suitable for some jobs than others. There are good reasons why lumberjacks don't use staffs and shepherds don't use axes. I don't think that makes the tools or the work cliche. If you could chop down a tree with a staff you'd have a marketable skill only if you could do it better than with an axe. And that wouldn't necessarily make you a better lumberjack either, just a bit odd. This is the lumberjack forum isn't it? :) Anyway... I guess I'm up to $ .04 now, unless someone has change for me.

#14 Mark Evans

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 10:29 AM

I play a lot of old time / Appalachian music on fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and diatonic harmonica.


Harmonica and old time, now that's a nice combination. I've been looking for an excuse to recommend a couple of CD's:

Thought I Heard It Blow

Fiddle Tunes, Blues, Rags, Traditional & Original Songs with Banjo & Harmonica

Mark Graham, harmonica and Tom Sauber, banjo.

This is a beautiful CD. I had the pleasure of having Skip Gorman and his Waddie Pals come to the college for a concert last year and Tom was playing banjo and fiddle for him. Tom gave me this CD and I have just been enthralled. Not a clinker on the thing. For you Irish only folks they do a version of The Star of Munster out of the c scale with a old banjo with a 12 inch pot and man oh man that reel sounds like a clipper ship tacking against the wind looks.

The second is:

Ways of the World fiddle tunes from Appalachia & Texas

with Ruthie Dornfeld, fiddle, JKoel Bernstein, harmonica and banjo, and Keith Murphy guitar and vocals.

Fine, fine music making as you'll ever want to hear. Ruthie was playing fiddle for Skip on that date and man, can she do it all....in tune.

#15 John Sylte

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 12:03 PM

I play a lot of old time / Appalachian music on fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and diatonic harmonica.


Harmonica and old time, now that's a nice combination. I've been looking for an excuse to recommend a couple of CD's:

Thought I Heard It Blow

Fiddle Tunes, Blues, Rags, Traditional & Original Songs with Banjo & Harmonica

Mark Graham, harmonica and Tom Sauber, banjo.

This is a beautiful CD. I had the pleasure of having Skip Gorman and his Waddie Pals come to the college for a concert last year and Tom was playing banjo and fiddle for him. Tom gave me this CD and I have just been enthralled. Not a clinker on the thing. For you Irish only folks they do a version of The Star of Munster out of the c scale with a old banjo with a 12 inch pot and man oh man that reel sounds like a clipper ship tacking against the wind looks.

The second is:

Ways of the World fiddle tunes from Appalachia & Texas

with Ruthie Dornfeld, fiddle, JKoel Bernstein, harmonica and banjo, and Keith Murphy guitar and vocals.

Fine, fine music making as you'll ever want to hear. Ruthie was playing fiddle for Skip on that date and man, can she do it all....in tune.


YES YES YES!!! I love both of these albums. Joel Bernstein is amazing on Ways of the World. And Ruthie Dornfeld is absolutely incredible. Their interpretations of American standards on this album are firmly grounded in the tunes, yet completely up in the stratosphere at times. I love their version of Breaking Up Christmas. Joel also recently played on an album called Pleasant Hill which is American tunes, another album where there's not a bad track on the whole thing. He recorded it with Andrea Cooper on banjo and Dave MArshall on fiddle. Great music, really fun people. The first album I heard of Joel Bernstein's was Pigtown Fling, which includes Randal Bays on fiddle. This is all irish tunes and Joel Bernstein is playing primarily chromatic harmonicas in the Eddie Clarke style. He's absolutely fantastic. There is one track where he plays English concertina too. I wish there was more. I think everyone on this board would love the playing of Joel Bernstein. I've got all his albums on my computer at work, great productivity music.

And Mark Graham and Tom Sauber - Thought I Heard it Blow... When I first heard this album I turned inside out. I love all of it, especially the track Going Back to Hamburg. I'm sure you've also heard "Southern Old Time Harmonica" and his recordings with Open House (Kevin Burke fiddling). Great Stuff!

#16 JohnEverist

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 03:25 PM

I just noticed this thread and thought I'd come out of "lurk mode" and throw in my 2 cents worth.

I got into traditional music several years ago via clawhammer banjo and an ensuing friendship with a local fiddle player. He was playing in an Irish band, but turned out his real passion was Old Time, and specifically Midwest tunes. He was learning most of his tunes from Onawa, Iowa, fiddler and single-row accordion player, Dwight Lamb. After I got up to speed on the reels, I started trying to figure how to play the Quadrilles (6/8 pieces) and Waltzes. I really didn't like how banjo sounded in 6 or 3 however. About that time I heard Bertram Levy playing concertina on a waltz or 2 on the "Henry Reed Reunion" recording and it occured to me that the concertina would be perfect for quadrilles as well as waltzes.

So I picked up a concertina and now play all quadrilles, waltzes, and polkas with that instrument. I also play the Nebraska "Irish Reel" on the concertina, but all other reels on banjo. One of the coolest things about the concertina (I have a C/G 3-row) is its ability to play in most all the fiddle keys. Most of the quadrilles are in A, but are found in all the other keys. E doesn't work too well, but isn't very common. I just transpose to F, which is easier for the fiddlers anyway.

So if you're looking for some fun tunes to play on your concertina, try the Midwestern Quadrilles. They can be found on Dwight's recordings (Rounder). Also both volumes of R.P. Christeson's "Old Time Fiddler's Repertoire" have quite a few transcriptions.

here's some of the ones I know:

Silver Lake Quadrille (A)
Art Wooten's Quadrille (Bb)
Grand Army Quadrille (F & Bb)
Oyster River Quadrille (A)
Sant Walter's Quadrille in C
Bob Walter's Quadrille in D
Dwight's Grandpa's Danish Tune in G
The Marching Quadrille (D)

There's lots more and they all play great on the concertina!

over and out,

John

#17 Orm

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 09:11 AM

Thought I Heard It Blow


Fiddle Tunes, Blues, Rags, Traditional & Original Songs with Banjo & Harmonica

Mark Graham, harmonica and Tom Sauber, banjo.

This is a beautiful CD. I had the pleasure of having Skip Gorman and his Waddie Pals come to the college for a concert last year and Tom was playing banjo and fiddle for him. Tom gave me this CD and I have just been enthralled. Not a clinker on the thing. For you Irish only folks they do a version of The Star of Munster out of the c scale with a old banjo with a 12 inch pot and man oh man that reel sounds like a clipper ship tacking against the wind looks.

 

 

Well, I thought I have all CDs with Mark Graham, thanks for that!

 

Do you know where to buy this one?


Edited by Orm, 02 October 2015 - 09:11 AM.


#18 Daniel Hersh

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 08:35 PM

 

Thought I Heard It Blow


Fiddle Tunes, Blues, Rags, Traditional & Original Songs with Banjo & Harmonica

Mark Graham, harmonica and Tom Sauber, banjo.

This is a beautiful CD. I had the pleasure of having Skip Gorman and his Waddie Pals come to the college for a concert last year and Tom was playing banjo and fiddle for him. Tom gave me this CD and I have just been enthralled. Not a clinker on the thing. For you Irish only folks they do a version of The Star of Munster out of the c scale with a old banjo with a 12 inch pot and man oh man that reel sounds like a clipper ship tacking against the wind looks.

 

 

Well, I thought I have all CDs with Mark Graham, thanks for that!

 

Do you know where to buy this one?

 

 

How about here: http://www.tricopoli...1&Referer=13465






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