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but I believe that the tradition has been strongest in Ireland, followed by Scotland, then Wales.

 

 

 

You know..........being a Cardiff boy, I've got to sort of disagree here.

 

There's a fantastic musical tradition here in Wales..........but it's quite different to Scotland and Ireland.

 

In Wales, the choral / chapel tradition was far more important than the sort of informal session / dance style folk music that we accept today as traditional music.

 

Yes........if you think of traditional folk music in that sort of definition, then I suppose Scotland and Ireland might be ahead..........but if you think of traditional music as a whole.......then you must also consider all of the beautiful Welsh hymns that were written over the last few hundred years...all of the wonderful stuff written for harp.........oh I could go on and on.

 

Yes, Welsh dance tunes might not go diddly dee quite as fast as the rest...and there might not be an awful lot of them either, but there's a wealth of musical tradition in these hills.....although sadly it's quite difficult to play most of it on a concertina.

 

All the best,

Phil Edwards

 

Oh and another thing.....yes, Mick Tems id suffer a serious stroke a few years ago. Most people would remember him playing melodeon I suppose, but he could also play Anglo rather well. I once heard him play "The Dam Busters March" on Anglo.....amazing.

There's a recording also of him and Pat Smith playing a really amazing two part round on Anglo...called

Y Gwr a'i farch.

.............although some people swear that its a Scottish tune

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Yes, Welsh dance tunes might not go diddly dee quite as fast as the rest...and there might not be an awful lot of them either, but there's a wealth of musical tradition in these hills.....although sadly it's quite difficult to play most of it on a concertina.

I have to agree, some of the stuff Robin Huw Bowen plays on the Welsh triple harp, it's difficult to imagine it being played on any other instument. What a superb musician!

 

Chris

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In any case, this is getting far and away removed from my original argument. At the very least there was never a Scottish or Welsh Diaspora that even approached the Irish one.

If you want Scots diaspora, go no further than Cape Breton, or many small towns in Canada or New Zealand (proably Oz too though I've less direct experience) which still maintain and cherish Highland pipe bands.

Brian

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There's a recording also of (Mick Tems) and Pat Smith playing a really amazing two part round on Anglo...called Y Gwr a'i farch.

.............although some people swear that its a Scottish tune

If you look at English musicians' manuscripts from 200 years ago, you can easily find overlap with Scotland, Ireland and Wales (Ap Shenkin was played by Joseph Kershaw of Oldham, for instance). Musicians moved around and took their tunes with them. Chris is right to say that at least some of the differences between, say, English and 'Celtic' music that are taken for granted now are stylistic rather than locked into the repertoire. Sometimes it's difficult or impossible to say for certain where a given tune originated; The Wild Rover, for instance, is well represented in English tradition by a large number of versions collected 100 years ago, and my understanding is that it only became an Irish 'standard' after Ewan MacColl passed Sam Larner's Norfolk version over to the Dubliners in the 1960s.

Brian

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Set dancing in Frisco?

http://pweb.jps.net/~jgilder/plough.html

 

It's very close to where I live. Too bad I can't take my little one with me, which leaves me no excuse to spend a time there alone. Will see, may be I'll take my mom. She loves things like this and I'll be a good son.

Thanks. So Jack Guilder is alive and well huh? Good for him. I asked once to take lessons from him, but he said I'd need a 30 button C/G (I had 20 button) and he only teaches Irish style. So we parted.

 

BTW, is there any other sessions in San Francisco that are worth coming to (at least to listen)? In other traditions?

Thanks.

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In any case, this is getting far and away removed from my original argument. At the very least there was never a Scottish or Welsh Diaspora that even approached the Irish one.

If you want Scots diaspora, go no further than Cape Breton, or many small towns in Canada or New Zealand (proably Oz too though I've less direct experience) which still maintain and cherish Highland pipe bands.

Brian

 

Brian, please don't get me wrong, I never meant to imply that there wasn't a Scottish or a Welsh diaspora, as indeed there was. The main difference is that neither reached the sheer size or sustained duration of the Irish Diaspora. If we omit the Scots-Irish for the moment, the Irish Diaspora started with the Famine and continued until late in the 20th century. Over a million Irish left Ireland during the famine and certainly at least that many more since. Also, in regards to American immigration, the Irish are almost unique in regards to the percentage of immigrants who stayed when they got here. The average European immigrant population saw about half of the immigrants ultimately return to their home countries, in some cases, such as the Greeks it was even higher. in contrast 90% of the Irish who came to America stayed. The number of Irish in America is remarkable when you consider that the number of people claiming Irish Descent probably equals the number claiming Italian, Polish or German descent despite the fact that all three of those countries have historically had much larger populations.

 

I think this is also demonstrated by the fact that if we look at Scottish fiddling and compare it to Cape Breton fiddling you will see a much greater divergence of styles than has occured in the Irish and Irish American Fiddlers. The reason is that the Cape Breton Scots mostly over a hundred years ago (probably closer to 200 if I remember my history right). The Irish and Irish Americans in contrast have maintained much closer contact in large part because of the fact that up until very recently a fair number of Irish Musicians would immigrate to this country and they would be the ones who taught the next generation of musicians in America.. it sort of reset the music.

 

--

Bill

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The Irish and Irish Americans in contrast have maintained much closer contact in large part because of the fact that up until very recently a fair number of Irish Musicians would immigrate to this country and they would be the ones who taught the next generation of musicians in America.. it sort of reset the music.

It went the other way, too. Take Ed Reavy's music, for example.

 

I think that even more important than repeated waves of immigration is the fact that there's been a lot of backing and forthing. In recent decades I've known a number of "Irish" -- both those born in Ireland and those born elsewhere -- who seem to alternate living in Ireland and living outside (e.g., England, America, even Denmark), anywhere from a few months to several years at a time. Some never migrate, some only once, some leave "home" and return, but a suprisingly large number (even half a percent could be considered "large" in this context) wind up not abandoning either end, and they form a conduit for keeping the culture connected. Some -- not just musicians -- even wander through the Irish communities of multiple countries.

 

Another thought: What percentage of Irish children grow up playing some sort of instrument -- e.g., at least the whistle, -- as opposed to other cultures? I've mentioned before that the fiddle is quite strong among Swedish youngsters (see my photos in this post); what about Scotland, Italy, or Russia?

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Brian, please don't get me wrong, I never meant to imply that there wasn't a Scottish or a Welsh diaspora, as indeed there was. The main difference is that neither reached the sheer size or sustained duration of the Irish Diaspora.

I don't disagree there - really I was referring back to the orignal question implying the invisibility of Scots music. There is of course a large Irish diaspora in England as well; for years, the only significant sessions in the Manchester area, where I live, were Irish, although I'm glad to report (and not through any dislike for Irish music, I should add) that some vibrant Northern English music sessions have sprung up over the last few years, where people like me feel more at home. Mind you, tonight I'll be heading for the old-time / country music session in Mossley, fiddle under my arm. Go figure, as you say over there.

I think this is also demonstrated by the fact that if we look at Scottish fiddling and compare it to Cape Breton fiddling you will see a much greater divergence of styles than has occured in the Irish and Irish American Fiddlers (snip) ... until very recently a fair number of Irish Musicians would immigrate to this country and they would be the ones who taught the next generation of musicians in America.. it sort of reset the music.

I'm sure the point you make about cultural reinforcement is correct as well. I'm not an expert on the subject, but some say that Cape Breton music is closer to what Scots music would have sounded like 200 years ago (although I'd guess it's evolved beyond that very quickly in recent years).

 

You also made an interesting point a page or too back about the influence of nationalism on maintaining musical and cultural tradition. I'd extend that to say that's one of the reasons why Scots music is on a roll at the moment. Not so much because of the Scottish Parliament per se, but because of a sense of complete alienation from England that arose during the Thatcher years (of course many people in England felt this too, but let's not get drawn too far into politics). You can see examples of the same thing in Quebec, Brittany and the Basque country, in all of which a sense of ethnic identity is defined through music, language, cuisine, etc., against the prevailing cultural norms of the larger countries that have absorbed them. I don't know of a nationalist political movement in Louisiana, but down there they certainly seem to feel a strong need to establish their own identity in the face of American cultural hegemony.

Brian

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Charlotte

 

An excellent source book for music from the British Isles is "English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Fiddle Tunes" by Robin Williamson (ex Incredible String Band). These all sound good on the English concertina, although some are fairly challenging (at least for me!). You get a good feel for some of the different traditions of the countries.

Brian

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If you google for "Richard Robinson's tunebook" you will find some fascinating material, including a selection from the Winder manuscripts of Lancashire/Cumbria (boundary changes over the centuries). He also likes Scandinavian music.

 

Also look out for Richard Mellish (never knowingly seen dressed in other than shorts) as an English player with a love of Scandinavian tunes.

 

I'm didn't know that anyone thought of "Wild Rover" as being Irish, I always assumed that it was English.

 

Robin Madge

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I'm didn't know that anyone thought of "Wild Rover" as being Irish, I always assumed that it was English.

No matter where it originated, by now that one's "universal". (Wasn't it inscribed in the plaque on the Voyager spacecraft? :D)

 

I think a great many of today's popular "Irish" songs are actually of English origin, but were brought to wider public attention by groups like the Clancy Brother, The Dubliners, etc.. England has a much deeper and broader tradition of sing-along and chorus songs, and the Irish don't mind borrowing a good song or tune (nor do the English, Scots, etc.). It all gets mixed together, anyway, especially with the sailors' songs, since so many of the British sailors in the tall ship days were from Ireland.

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If you google for "Richard Robinson's tunebook" you will find some fascinating material, including a selection from the Winder manuscripts of Lancashire/Cumbria.

I've used this source a lot. There's much great stuff in Winder, which demostrates (unsurprisingly given the geography) the overlap between Northern English and Lowland Scots music.

I didn't know that anyone thought of "Wild Rover" as being Irish, I always assumed that it was English.

You should try playing more gigs in Irish theme pubs, especially on the continent. There they (by which I mean ersatz rather than genuine Irish people) like to claim Dirty Old Town as an Irish standard as well, and they're often surprised and offended when it's explained to them that it's actually about Salford.

Brian

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You should try playing more gigs in Irish theme pubs, especially on the continent. There they (by which I mean ersatz rather than genuine Irish people) like to claim Dirty Old Town as an Irish standard as well, and they're often surprised and offended when it's explained to them that it's actually about Salford.

Are they offended that it's not Irish, or simply that anyone should deign to feel that they should need anything explained to them? :o

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As for the popularity of Irish music outside Ireland, a lot of that is because of Riverdance... and The Titanic.

 

I'm not sure this is so, at least from my own perspective and experience. I've lived in several U.S. cities over the last 30 years and in each area there was an Irish or celtic-culture core centered on a neighborhood or certain taverns. Irish music was always available to be heard in these. I'm not Irish-American, having Polish and Hungarian roots and lots of memories of eastern European music being played in my neighborhood, but I can remember always thinking that Irish and celtic music in general was something special. I don't recall being excited on way or another by Riverdance or the music in the Titanic. My attraction started when I was a kid. But its only now in my 50s that I'm taking the opportunity to learn to play some of this music. For years the concertina has always attracted me though I had never seen or held one in person. My references came from a few movies and cartoons. I did try to learn the PA when I was 13 as my Mom wanted someone in the house who could play polkas. All 7 of us children tried to learn, but got nowhere. I stuck with it for a year, but being 13 when rock was blooming I just wasn't to interested in practicing an instrument from the "old country." Still, my year of lessons did teach me the rudiments of music and a fondness for the free-reed sound. It took 40 more years for that seed to finally germinate.

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As for the popularity of Irish music outside Ireland, a lot of that is because of Riverdance... and The Titanic.
I'm not sure this is so, at least from my own perspective and experience. I've lived in several U.S. cities over the last 30 years and in each area there was an Irish or celtic-culture core centered on a neighborhood or certain taverns.

Yes, that sort of "core" has always been there. But after each of Riverdance and Titanic there was an explosive intrusion of interest-in-Irish into the "mainstream". I don't think that it's an exaggeration to say that the number of people seeking out "Irish" music and even trying to learn to play it multiplied ten times as a result of those two alone. If even 90% of those eventually lost interest again, the result would still be a doubling.

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Hi out there,

 

A lot of Dutch folk tunes are to be found behind this link

 

www.debaviaenvanschurhoff.nl/bladpier/papieremachochel.html

 

You'll endup on my site, the english translation of the dutch blabla there would be basicly this;

 

"In order to see, hear and print the tunes on the following pages you have to download and install the myriad-music plugin.

Just click on the icon that represents the operatingsystem of your computer and follow the instructions."

 

I play those tunes on my anglo mostly with de dutch folkdancegroup Pieremachochel.

 

Johan

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