Jump to content

Irish Sessiun Tune Books


Helen

Recommended Posts

Facinating series of comments about tune books and their use, and the Paddy O'Brien link is a gem.

 

Has anyone spared a thought for all those people who are driven away from sessions by the intolerant attitude of some of those gifted with the ability to play by ear?

 

Why should some be turned away, just because different people's minds work in different ways, we know that people learn in different fashions and not all people have all skills in equal measure. I think we need to try to be more inclusive in our approach to what are usually fairly public events.

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 59
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Has anyone spared a thought for all those people who are driven away from sessions by the intolerant attitude of some of those gifted with the ability to play by ear?

Is someone talking about moi? :rolleyes:

 

You haven't seen me at a session. Despite my feelings on the subject, fair game for discussion in a forum like this, I am very tolerant and patient at sessions. Yes, I am always challenging people to do something they thought they couldn't do, and sometimes it is a fruitless effort. But I will repeat a tune slowly dozens of times while saying encouraging things if I think it will help someone gain the confidence needed to realize the tadpoles aren't necessary.

 

I have more than once heard the words "You have the patience of a saint" directed at me in such circumstances.

Edited by David Barnert
Link to comment
Share on other sites

;) The session I have gone to, albeit very infrequently, uses tunebooks, mostly The Fiddler's Fakebook. This works very well for me because I have not been able to learn by ear.

 

I am going to work on learning by ear, but I am sure that I would not pick up a tune in the midst of a session. What I did last time I went was write down all the tunes we played, I was playing bodhran, to use later with concertina or piano accordion.

 

I think this was an excellent idea except that I misplaced the notebook. Ah well.

 

There are many sessions closer to my house which I want to try out, just to listen. I feel they are problably not as open to newbies and probably not as open to tunebooks. However that may not be so. I don't actually use the book during the session, but I feel more comfortable having it. Does that make any sense?

 

The other sessions may be open to using notes, who knows. I wouldn't offend anyone and use the improper method. I can see how someone would be aggravated by people asking for page numbers when all they wanted to do was play as many tunes as possible.

 

I see the best solution as having a number of different types of sessions available to accommodate different styles. Without judgment. But this is probably not a reality unless people are willing to start their own.

 

Helen

 

Ought we to refer to David as Saint David? I kinda like it. Oh boy, he's gonna get me now.

 

:ph34r: :blink: :rolleyes: :D :o :ph34r:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not a saint, but it's not this David your talking about!

 

Nor was I poking at any specific individual, simply putting in a plea on behalf of us dot spotters.

 

I have been trying learn by ear for about 8 years now, but a 10 hour working day plus concertina repair activity do not lend themselves to masses of opportunty for the 'learning by ear practise' disciplines. Perhaps too many years in heavy industry, melting stages and the like have also taken their toll.

 

I have attended sessions where any form of paper, other than a beer mat, has been a cause of jest, prompting an immediate speeding up to discourage 'lesser' mortals. Hence my sentitivity to statements about 'hating' people with sheet music etc.

 

Moderation please!

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have more than once heard the words "You have the patience of a saint" directed at me in such circumstances.
Ought we to refer to David as Saint David? I kinda like it. Oh boy, he's gonna get me now.
I am not a saint, but it's not this David your talking about!
I am not a saint either. A saint left his patience unattended for a moment and I grabbed it and ran. :ph34r:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

;) To Dave and David,

 

Ah well, no one has ever called me a saint. An angel, yes, a saint, no.

 

Dave, Dave, I am with you on the not yet able and probably never gonna be able to play by ear. The last may just be me, not you.

 

I know neither of you are speaking of any one in particular.

 

Hope everyone has super holidays.

 

Helen

 

:rolleyes: :D :o ;) :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

;) Hi Sharron,

 

See, that's why I wanted the tunebooks. To learn and memorize. I don't use them during the sessions, but I want them to start off with, a jumping off place. And no, I don't have to follow them faithfully, I can improvize and go with the flow. Play the tune as others are playing. I just need to get a start.

 

Helen

 

And speaking of old wounds, how are you doing? Healing any at all?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sharron,

 

Noting your location, you are in Ali Anderson Country, all he does is shake his instruments and the notes all fall out, at the right time, in right sequence, and of the right duration. I thought it was the air up there, specially refined for pipers and concertina players.

 

Don't tell me that that playing by autopilot can be a problem to people in Durham too!

 

Dave

(Sheffield)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can at least learn from the dots and commit to memory, then why worry as you then don't need the music anyway. Problem solved?

Is anything worthwile ever that easy?

 

Oh, boy am I going to lose what little goodwill I have left...

 

This (above) is a way to eliminate music stands, but the problem was never the music stands. They are just a symbol of it. The problem is that there's much more to music than the dots, and if you only play the dots (whether from the music stand or from memory) much of the music is getting lost.

 

Memorizing music is a worthy first step. It frees the musician up to be able to address the more important issues of making music. But I'd rather see a music stand in front of a musician who knows when not to pay too much attention to it than have no stand and a musician who plays nothing but the dots memorized from a piece of paper.

 

OK. Throw your darts. I'm hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away. I can take it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

;) Okay, I don't know how to make this any clearer. I DO NOT play note for note from music. I want music to get an idea where to start and sorta how the tune goes. In a session, I LISTEN and can improvise and follow others. I just need the music to give me an idea. A jumping off place.

 

That said, there are sessions where people do use music, it's accepted, and everyone is comfortable and happy playing this way. In those sessions, I probably would play differently.

 

Happy holidays all.

 

Helen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Dave, here in Durham you have a wide choice of genres. Me, I play only 99.999% irish, plus I play by ear when possible, only getting the dots out to check odd details. eg. key/settings/variations/ornamentation against what I am hearing off a cd/session to make sure I don't learn the wrong one. Done it too many times.

So I don't really mix with the English playing concertina players, I play Anglo. Have heard him play and yep the notes fall from the trees.

 

Sharron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>The problem is that there's much more to music than the dots,

> and if you only play the dots (whether from the music stand

> or from memory) much of the music is getting lost

 

Dave--

 

true.

 

It's all a continuum. Around here, the Irish sessions seem very rigid -- people don't use notation, but everybody plays pretty much the same thing. OTOH, I go to two regular contra dance jams where wild improvisation is the rule. Playing something note-for-note is frowned upon. We often play things in the "wrong" keys. Genres blur together. Irish tunes can, by the time we're done pounding away at them, can sound like Western Swing. Purists beware.

 

For me, that's the most fun, but maybe that's because I'm not good enough to be a purist!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[ snip] but the problem was never the music stands. They are just a symbol of it. The problem is that there's much more to music than the dots, and if you only play the dots (whether from the music stand or from memory) much of the music is getting lost ... [snip]

Just as there's much more to reading words than just spelling out the symbols. Reading a shopping list, the news and a romantic poem aloud all require you to know the "style" so that you can put the right emphasis on the words, but some people still find it helpful to have the words in front of them, and that does not prevent them from reading in the appropriate way. It is perfectly possible to play from music with the appropriate "feel" and not get in the way of other musicians. The simple act of reading music does not stop up your ears. That being said I know I am not a fluent enough reader *or* player to be anything other than a drag at a ferociously "hot" session. But I like play alongs, and round robins, and friendly stuff like that.

 

Samantha

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:rolleyes: Oh Samantha,

 

I think I love you!

 

Sharron,

 

I wanted to give you something to work on in the new year. Besides your husband threatened me with bodily harm if I said you were perfect.

 

Well, maybe THIS friday I will make it to the Irish session. You know, the one where people use tunebooks and I feel good for days after I go. (Not because they use tunebooks but because it is such a nice session.)

 

I'll get around to those other sessions closer to home that are probably perfectly lovely, but that I fear will be offputting. Those I'll just listen. Maybe I'll tell them that David B. told me to bring tunebooks. Hee hee hee.

 

Helen

Link to comment
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

×
×
  • Create New...