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Susanne

Morris Music

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When out in front of the Saddleworth Rushcart you sometimes have to run to get out of the way! It weighs 2-3 tons and has up to 100 Morris men pulling it so they're not going to stop for you when they are attacking a hill. Also the route is measured in miles and you're playing from about 10:00 am until 5:00pm with dance spots on the way. Eventually you develop the muscles to cope with it all! -- Robin Madge

 

 

 

OMG!!! Any pics??

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OMG!!! Any pics??

 

How about this one of the cart en-route. Afraid I can't find any of the band at the front buut have included one of the Saddleworth Morris Men's Band (concertina content) and the forever weird Bacup Britannia Coconut Dancers

 

post-15-1134066472_thumb.jpgpost-15-1134066693_thumb.jpgpost-15-1134066736_thumb.jpg

Edited by Lester Bailey

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Any pics??
...I can't find any of the band at the front buut have included one of the Saddleworth Morris Men's Band (concertina content)....

And yet another English playing for Morris. :)

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Did Saddleworth this year with Rumford MM. I took turns helping to pull the cart and playing melodeon in the band. There are occasions when you have to pull (or push if you are the other end) at the run to get started up some of the hills. I found that you can't hear the boxes when you are pulling the cart, only the drums. Even playing in the band I felt overwhelmed by the drums and didn't always pick up a change of tune. Nevertheless it is an interesting experience and well worth attending either as participant or audience.

 

BTW the 'Nutters have two English concertina players

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Did Saddleworth this year with Rumford MM. I took turns helping to pull the cart and playing melodeon in the band. There are occasions when you have to pull (or push if you are the other end) at the run to get started up some of the hills. I found that you can't hear the boxes when you are pulling the cart, only the drums. Even playing in the band I felt overwhelmed by the drums and didn't always pick up a change of tune. Nevertheless it is an interesting experience and well worth attending either as participant or audience.

 

BTW the 'Nutters have two English concertina players

 

I have never seen anything that resembled the cart in the pics -- is that hay in the cart? Rushes? What kind??? Why do they pile it so high? Is it usually pulled by horses? Does the guy on top have some sort of special status or something? It's really interesting!

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I have never seen anything that resembled the cart in the pics -- is that hay in the cart?

No

Rushes?

Yes

What kind???

Collected from the moors that surround Saddleworth

Why do they pile it so high?

To get it all on the cart

Is it usually pulled by horses?

No

Does the guy on top have some sort of special status or something? It's really interesting!

The Jockey for the Rushcart is chosen from the Morris Men each year according to seniority amongst the members who have not yet "been up". The Jockey is responsible for naming his cart and making the banner for the front - no one else in the team knows what it will be called until the day.

 

For a more helpful :) and more complete answer look here

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post-15-1134066693_thumb.jpg

 

Why do all the box players look so grim, while everyone else appears to be smiling?

Edited by Theo

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And yet another English playing for Morris. :)

<irony on>I think you were mistaken. English concertinas are never used for Morris and cannot be played standing up<irony off>

 

post-15-1134139271_thumb.jpg

Bacup Brittania Coconut Dancers

 

post-15-1134139294_thumb.jpg post-15-1134139316_thumb.jpg

Thames valley Morris Men (all right one is an anglo but it is a Dipper!

 

post-15-1134139337_thumb.jpg

Aldbury and Bedford Morris Men (two anglos , two English)

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While I agree that anglo and duet concertinas make fine morris instruments, I know very few who can make it work on an english concertina

Possibly that's because you are in the States. In England, where there is more morris and more English concertinas, it is not unknown, and I have known a couple of good English concertina players of Cotswold morris tunes. I don't believe it's any different than any other melody instrument.

 

Chris

I think I can claim with some confidence that every single Morris musician in France or Switzerland plays English concertina.

 

Jonathan

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Bacup Brittania Coconut Dancers ...

Thames valley Morris Men (all right one is an anglo but it is a Dipper! ...

Aldbury and Bedford Morris Men (two anglos , two English) ...

 

 

This is great to have the pics to look at! Thanks for rounding them up and adding them. I was interested in how the fellas are holding their English concertina while standing. I can't see the details so well in the pics, but it seems to me as though the first two (but not the third) Coconut Dancers are both rotating the 'tina so that the buttons are at an angle to the ground (like Simon Thoumire), and the Thames Valley, Aldbury and Bedford guys are using "The Orthodox Hold," with the buttons horizontal to the ground. Do you by any chance have any clarification on this?

Edited by greenferry

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Thanks for rounding them up and adding them. I was interested in how the fellas are holding their English concertina while standing. I can't see the details so well in the pics, but it seems to me as though the first two (but not the third) Coconut Dancers are both rotating the 'tina so that the buttons are at an angle to the ground (like Simon Thoumire), and the Thames Valley, Aldbury and Bedford guys are using "The Orthodox Hold," with the buttons horizontal to the ground. Do you by any chance have any clarification on this?

I think its just what suits the individual player. I meant to add the picture beklow but forgot whaich shows one way round standing up if you find it difficult.

post-15-1134288177_thumb.jpg

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...it seems to me as though the first two (but not the third) Coconut Dancers are both rotating the 'tina so that the buttons are at an angle to the ground (like Simon Thoumire), and the Thames Valley, Aldbury and Bedford guys are using "The Orthodox Hold," with the buttons horizontal to the ground. Do you by any chance have any clarification on this?

Clarification: The significant difference between "The Orthodox Hold" and "The Thoumire Hold" is the orientation of the fingers to the buttons. In that respect the 'Nutters are all orthodox in Lester's second picture of them. In the first picture it looks like the guy with the neck strap has his hand rotated to the buttons. I suspect he's doing that just to reach for a particular sequence of notes, since the other picture shows that he doesn't do it all the time.

 

The orientation of the instrument to the ground is completely incidental to the Thoumire-vs-orthodox difference. In fact, holding the instrument at an upward angle is one of the things I recommended for playing while standing. Another thing I forgot to mention -- maybe because everyone seems to do it, anyway -- is to hold the instrument close to the body,with bent elbows, rather than with arms extended out in front. (Extended arms form a lever, which increases the amount of force needed to keep the instrument from falling.)

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post-15-1134288177_thumb.jpg

 

The guy with the neck strap is Allan Clarke who plays with the Manchester Morris Men and the Bacup Coconut Dancers. He is two weeks away from his 90th birthday and still playing strong.

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That picture is an excellent illustration of what one must do with one's arm position when supporting the instrument entirely in the hands. Contrast the one with the neck strap and the two without them.

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I can see the ergonomic point of holding the instrument up high, but having just tried it on my own - it's rather loud, so close to one's ears: can you actually hear anyone else play?

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post-15-1134288177_thumb.jpg

 

The guy with the neck strap is Allan Clarke who plays with the Manchester Morris Men and the Bacup Coconut Dancers. He is two weeks away from his 90th birthday and still playing strong.

 

 

Bravo! I notice that all three gentlemen are using the Jim Lucas thumb strap method. Just to the first join. Stout fellows.

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post-15-1134288177_thumb.jpg

 

The guy with the neck strap is Allan Clarke who plays with the Manchester Morris Men and the Bacup Coconut Dancers. He is two weeks away from his 90th birthday and still playing strong.

 

 

Bravo! I notice that all three gentlemen are using the Jim Lucas thumb strap method. Just to the first join. Stout fellows.

 

On boxing day the Manchester Morris Men will be at the Fox, Brook Bottom, near New Mills, Derbyshire as is their custom and this year they will be joined by The Bacup men in Allan's honour. I'll be there as will the other Manchester concertina player. There should be a fine array of instruments.

 

Howard Mitchell

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