Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SusanW

What Key Is This Played In? Na Ceanabháin Bhána-Kitty Hayes

Recommended Posts

Very nicely put Dan... Of course even those who aspire to the old styles will make their changes no matter how hard they try to preserve the original. As a friend puts it, we all put our music through "the whirring blades of the folk music process"!

 

I'd strongly confirm that. Fixation at "authenticity" can turn out to be quite tiring or stiffening. Nevertheless the effort of preserving and reviving traditional musicianship (in its liveliness!) is well worth it.

 

That Noel Hill thing is great to listen to at times, but I myself wouldn't want to participate in such a treadmill; and I am too deep in harmonies for that anyway...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have been seeking out old recordings, but often I will hear a piece by a contemporary ITM player (Edel Fox for example) that I especially like, and upon reflection find that it has an element of "old-school" playing.

 

 

I was more or less trying to say something similar when I said above it's all depending on the musician. It's well possible to play a 'modern' cross the row style and have the rhythm and lift of the old styles. Best example of this is maybe one of my great favourites Yvonne Griffin. There's great heart in her music. There would be other examples too ofcourse. On the other hand there were 'old' players that weren't very interesting. That's one thing about old music and tunes, the bad ones are long forgotten and the good ones best remembered. Can't beat the unstoppable energy of for example Mary Haren (recorded in 1962 by Séamus Ennis on a borrowed concertina after years of not playing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, It's me again. I posted the original question and now I'm even more confused (not that hard to do). The sheet music on Session.org has it written in G. Kitty is clearly playing it in something else. Ransom thought it was in C, David Barnert thought F (but later noted that she plays in the C row with no B flats). So does that mean that she IS playing in C?

I like the way it sounds in the recording that Kitty and Peter made. I prefer that sound to the version in G (from Session.org). As a neophyte I'm just not sure where to begin. It sounds like a simple enough tune that i SHOULD be able to figure it out by ear.

Thanks all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I forgot to mention that I am playing a 30 button C/G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Fixation at "authenticity" can turn out to be quite tiring or stiffening. Nevertheless the effort of preserving and reviving traditional musicianship (in its liveliness!) is well worth it.

This battle has been going on in the world of classical music for decades. Is it appropriate to play Mozart (for instance) in a way that is effective in a modern context but would have been impossible on the instruments available in Mozart's time 250 years ago? Is there value in trying to reconstruct music in a way that is consistent with what was (or could be) done at the time it was composed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, It's me again. I posted the original question and now I'm even more confused (not that hard to do). The sheet music on Session.org has it written in G. Kitty is clearly playing it in something else. Ransom thought it was in C, David Barnert thought F (but later noted that she plays in the C row with no B flats). So does that mean that she IS playing in C?

I like the way it sounds in the recording that Kitty and Peter made. I prefer that sound to the version in G (from Session.org). As a neophyte I'm just not sure where to begin. It sounds like a simple enough tune that i SHOULD be able to figure it out by ear.

Thanks all!

I repeat: it is in F. Even Peter, who is playing along in the video, says "Take it as a rule of thumb we played most of our tunes one tone flat of 'standard' pitch." It's in G on thesession.org, which we can take as "standard pitch," so one tone flat of that is F.

 

The notes in the key of F are F G A Bb C D and E. It happens that this tune uses only six of those seven notes. It doesn't use Bb. Note that in the G version you've found on thesession.org the note C does appear in the tune, but it is essentially an ornament that Kitty and Peter don't play. Take it down one tone and the missing C becomes a missing Bb.

 

Without a Bb, all the rest of the notes in the key of F also appear in the key of C and are playable on the C row of any C/G Anglo concertina (including yours). So that's what she's doing. Try it. You should be able to play along with her.

 

It is in the key of F because F is the tonal center (note that the tune ends convincingly on F), even though the notes the tune uses also appear in the key of C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Fixation at "authenticity" can turn out to be quite tiring or stiffening. Nevertheless the effort of preserving and reviving traditional musicianship (in its liveliness!) is well worth it.

This battle has been going on in the world of classical music for decades. Is it appropriate to play Mozart (for instance) in a way that is effective in a modern context but would have been impossible on the instruments available in Mozart's time 250 years ago? Is there value in trying to reconstruct music in a way that is consistent with what was (or could be) done at the time it was composed?

 

Well, IMO the early or "ancient" music movement has renewed and revived the performance..., the world of baroque, classical and romantic music in toto. Certainly there have occured temporary exaggerations, but at the end of the day we hear less vibrato (or a decisively meant one), more rhythm and speed (except were slowness or calmness is chosen in particular) a.s.f. nearly everywhere - the days of false pathos are gone (and we might even listen to some melodramatic "historic" recordings in newly arisen curiosity) - for some times at least.

 

All in all I strongly believe in tides, in heritage and in congenial understanding...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That's one thing about old music and tunes, the bad ones are long forgotten and the good ones best remembered.

 

 

Absolutely! I suppose you could call this built-in quality control, which ensures that traditional music is never dull or boring.

 

A lot of people talk about the "folk process," meaning the way tunes and lyrics get altered over the generations. But for me, this "folk quality-control process" is just as important. And if I don't like the way some modern musicians alter the traditional material, I just remind myself that their alterations are also subject to the "folk quality-control process!"

 

Cheers,

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of people talk about the "folk process," meaning the way tunes and lyrics get altered over the generations. But for me, this "folk quality-control process" is just as important. And if I don't like the way some modern musicians alter the traditional material, I just remind myself that their alterations are also subject to the "folk quality-control process!"

 

But critique may then occasionally take its part in that "folk quality-controll process"...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you David Barnert! Now I understand :-)

Nice meeting you at the Northeast Concertina Workshop, Susan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That's one thing about old music and tunes, the bad ones are long forgotten and the good ones best remembered.

I have no doubt that some great ones have been forgotten. John Roberts tells the story about how the song "The Leaving of Liverpool" would have died with the one old man who remembered it if not for an unlikely turn of events (I don't remember the particulars).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to meet you, too David Barnert! It was fun, enlightening and helpful weekend!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter, can you suggest anywhere else I could buy that book ("As we met ...") - Amazon has it as 'out of print' (which of course would be great if it's sold out within a month, but I guess it's their website not keeping up. I'd rather pay a tad more and buy it from e.g. an independent bookshop or publisher, if you know of one.

 

Pippa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just tried Googling the book again (previous attempts only brought up Amazon.com) and found the website, with a shop - it's on the way! Thanks very much for pointing us to it -

 

Pippa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone got the notes or ABCs for Kitty's playing of Galway Rambler/London Lasses set?

The Sessions settings don't seem the thing at all.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're not miles away from the common versions (for the Galway Rambler she by and large follows the same version Paddy Canny played on the 'Champions' recording). Try your ears, the tunes shouldn't give you much problems. And it's good practice.

Edited by Peter Laban

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[Has anyone got the notes or ABCs for Kitty's playing of Galway Rambler/London Lasses set?

The Sessions settings don't seem the thing at all.]

 

Yes, there's much to be said for trying to ear-learn in "weird" or unfamiliar keys. But yours truly had their hands too full with other basics to take that on for a long, long time..... :rolleyes: Not being tech-literate enough to to get the software to re-record in desired keys (which is certainly one option), what I did for dog's years was, find a recording of the desired tune(s) in keys my ear could handle, and in a version I really liked, usually an old-school, relaxed-tempo version, and learn that. Then I would transpose to the key I hadn't been able to handle learning in straight off. Finally, if the version in the flat key had little differences I really yearned to adopt, I would work on nailing those down. Roundabout, yes, but a good learning experience in a different way. Today, I can learn Kitty's "F" versions out of the gate, but that came only after a long time.

 

I got my own "Galway Rambler/London Lasses" set from this lovely East Galway flute-and-box record, "The Galway Rambler," by Ena O'Brien and Pat O'Gorman. It's a very traditional, classic setting; as Peter notes, Kitty's is very close. Lovely relaxed pace and swing, plus this CD is chock-full of tunes one who likes the Clare-ish, East-Galway-ish stuff would use over and over....Set list and samples at the first link. I note at the second link, that a used copy is currently available at Amazon....

 

http://www.allcelticmusic.com/music/0be2e9b8-f86f-102a-8020-000f1f67beb1/The_Galway_Rambler.html

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004RBFXKA/ref=sr_1_1_up_1_main_olp?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1376888881&sr=1-1&condition=used

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×