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hjcjones

Is Irish Concertina Music Boring?

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Umm...

I didn't say Irish Music is boring (too late, but since my name was mentioned...). I said "majority of concertina players of Irish music, as well as majority of players of any instruement in any style, (especially classical) - been excruciatingly boring".

Mainly because most players are simply not talented, like it or not.

Excuse me guys, but I have an impression, that some of us are not fully aware of the drastic and hopeless lack of talent on our part. Who cares how many years you or me have been attending what sessions, or, as some foolishly claim, how many years we have merely "listened" to some music? Jody is totally correct, when saying that Irish tunes are great fun to play, they are. They are more fun to play than anything else I have tried. But to be enjoyed by the listeners, you and me have to have natural TALENT, for Christ sake. Frankly, except for one or two players on Youtube, the rest is rubbish, if taken too seriously.'

The talent can't be learned, or developed, contrary to propaganda of "feel-good" new age punks, can't be nurtured, it can only be accepted. It makes it's own rules, whether it is about ITM been melodic, chordal or shmordal. Never underestimate the influence of extremely non-traditional, classical ballet and concervatory trained "Riverdance", that sparked world-wide popularity of Irish music.

So boredom from listening of amateurs on CD is predictable. Amateurs should not record CD's, they have to play it together and have fun.

I wish for existence of Talent-meter, with some grades.

By all means, everybody learn to play instruments, as different as possible and join in a party, but by all of those means, be reasonable and don't play for people, unless asked exactly three times. It includes CDs, Youtube, C.net tune page and the rest.

There is Russian proverb: "Measure 7 times to cut once".

P.S.

My 6 year old just told me the music is rhythm. Hmm. She strongly dislikes me playing my English, but jumps to dancing every time I pick up accordion or ukulele. There you have it. And who's to say that MY little one is wrong? Anyone to challenge her?

Be warned. ;)

 

According to m3838 the world is simple. But I will tell you it is not that simple. Talent is not needed at all in music, you should know that. You say that ''music to be enjoyed by the listeners, you and me have to have natural talent''. Most people like listening to singers/musicians with very little talent. These are the ones making big money and selling records. OK some will have talent no doubt, but there are enough with no talent (but great marketing) with enormous audiances that some of the very talented players I know dare not dream of. You (m3838) and I prefer Mischa Maisky playing his cello anytime, but the rest of the world?

God forbid the existence a Talent meter! For what purpose? Berufsverbot for those that fail the test? :angry:

If amateurs want to make their own records, why not? There is fun in there too. Hee I will make my own CD once and send one to you.

In the meantime relax, be less serious and put on a CD of someone talented of your liking. :)

Hermann

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According to m3838 the world is simple. But I will tell you it is not that simple. Talent is not needed at all in music, you should know that. You say that ''music to be enjoyed by the listeners, you and me have to have natural talent''. Most people like listening to singers/musicians with very little talent.

Unfortunately I have to disagree with you.

Most of those low lifes, that make big bucks selling records, do have talent. I have observed some practicing, I can compare the stage behaviour of, say, Madonna and Michael Jackson with behaviour of "amateurs" and unfortunately and unfortunately the two above-menioned empty head sluts demonstrate exceptional abilities. What they lack is the culture, education, wholsumness, decency, intelligence - not the talent. The talent is there, and a rare one. Another test to this is pop-stars' performance, when they sing (for various reasons) folk songs. There was a fashion, short lived, in post-soviet Russia, when most of the stars did it. The result is the raised level of acceptancy in folk circles. Now we know how these Kossak songs, and revolutionary songs and peasant songs CAN be performed, to be hip, to be popular, to break hearts, and not to sound outlandishly dated.

You (m3838) and I prefer Mischa Maisky playing his cello anytime, but the rest of the world?

But cello isn't traditional, at least in the context of what we are talking about. Again, you are talking about up-bringing, "culture", education, refinement - all the aristocratic values that became affordable for the formerly grey-unwashed, but not demanded yet.

God forbid the existence a Talent meter! For what purpose? Berufsverbot for those that fail the test? :angry:

Well, it can be used by folks to see what talent they do have. Why be so negative?

If amateurs want to make their own records, why not?

If they just want, I can't casre less, if they feel an overwelming need - OK with me. But then don't complain that such and such music is boring, and that Internet is full of demagoguery, graphomania and pornography. Amateurs use technology to express their creativity, it's a good thing, no?

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don't play for people, unless asked exactly three times. It includes CDs, Youtube, C.net tune page and the rest.

Henks page has been one of the successes of this site it is an absolute must for beginners.

I agree. It shouldn't be mistaken for a list of professional performances, it's a way for us to share the sound of our instruments, and the progress of our playing. I wish more people of all abilities would post to it, and YouTube too.

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are people who posit their own individual, personal, subjective experience of a given instrument's expression of a given genre of music, as sweeping, conclusive, objective statements-of-fact....BORING? why, oh my, yes, and provincial as well.

 

um....i personally find violin music BORING and saccharine-y in all genres but appalachian oldtime and traditional irish. but it wouldn't occur to me to make that a conclusive "objective" statement.

 

more to the point, i personally find english anglo-concertina music, particularly morris, with those gew-gaw-aw-shucks-me-hearty oompah chords, and that gag-me seafaring-old-salt chantey stuff, hideous and embarrassing to listen to, particularly when you have to watch people play it while hearing it, and be embarrassed for them as well as yourself. but that is my personal reaction. it is subjective, individual taste. and to make an objective, conclusive topic out of something that is merely taste, also embarrasses one on your behalf.

 

to express disdain that an instrument capable of playing chords would be used melodically in a given tradition shows some ignorance of ethnomusicology. the answer to that staggeringly obtuse question is, they play melodically because they choose to. because that is the unique beauty of the genre. traditional irish music is one of the genres of world roots music where, in the words of finnish accordion virtuoso maria kalaniemi speaking of her own traditional music, "the melody is the message." in kalaniemi's ravishing playing, you will hear very few chords, for good reason. irish music shares this trait with finnish and other scandinavian genres as well as eastern-european, middle-eastern and pakistani/indian music. all of these "melody-first" genres are played by many instruments, including instruments which "could" make a whacking great racket of chords and god-knows-what contrapuntal headache, but choose not to. case in point would be the accordion or the pipes, where loud chords are eschewed outside of a racous party or dance setting. to my personal taste, this was the one dismaying thing about the admirable "anglo international" project----that there were only 7 to ten tracks that were mainly melodic, namely, the irish stuff and niall vallely's gorgeous excursion into thelonius monk territory, with the rest of the thing stuffed with displays of the sort of concertina noise-making i find horrifying. the current trend among some irish players, to do morris-like crashing-great bass chords, is appalling to my ears, subjectively. the only way i find concertina beautiful or even bearable, is as a melody instrument. but again---this is personal taste. fair play to the fans & virtuosos of morris, chantey, marching band, and all the rest of the cacophony. i wouldn't dream of saying that the stuff i don't like is "objectively" ugly or boring. because that sort of rhetoric....is boring.

Edited by ceemonster

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gew-gaw-aw-shucks-me-hearty oompah chords

4.gif

 

Very subtle Martin. ;)

 

Of course, now the words Pigeons & Cat spring to mind! :D

 

But seriously Martin, your first para. actually mirrored much of what I said in my own earlier post, but then unfortunately I think you proceeded to fall into the same trap, yourself, when describing your dislike for that particular English style of playing! :(

 

Quite honestly, I am about as fond of that English style of playing as clearly you are, but although I personally can't stand listening to it, I would still defend their right to play like that.

 

For me, the beautiful clear single note of the Anglo, and those lovely simple melody lines are a thing of pure joy, in Co Clare music especially, & is actually what drew me to the Anglo in ITM, over 30 years ago, about the same time as I threw away my old red P.S. box, because I just could not stand the, to my ears, horrible WET sound they produced.

So for me, that style is absolutely right for Ireland & ITM but by the same token, I think it would be just as wrong to try & force that style of playing on English musicians as it is for them here, to try & force ITM players to destroy the Irish style of playing by adding those "gew-gaw-aw-shucks-me-hearty oompah chords" you love so much! :)

 

Would any of us seriously want ALL Concertina players around the World to be playing in exactly the same style? ...... of course not.

So let's just celebrate all those different styles shall we.

Of course we don't have to like them all, & we certainly don't have to listen to them all, but surely they are all valid, for their regions.

 

I rejoice in the fact that this instrument is so capable of producing all these wonderful styles of music & it would be a sin, if any of them were lost.

 

Just imagine if we were all Jews Harp players, .................... could we even be having this discussion about playing styles? ;)

 

Cheers

Dick

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There is Russian proverb: "Measure 7 times to cut once".

And yet you, Mischa, seem to make a habit of, "Measure once, then cut/stab/attack seven times."

 

My 6 year old just told me the music is rhythm. Hmm. She strongly dislikes me playing my English, but jumps to dancing every time I pick up accordion or ukulele.

Doesn't surprise me. Here in the C.net Forums you've repeatedly made it clear that you dislike -- I might even suspect "despise" -- the EC and many things about it, while you strongly prefer the accordion. I would be surprised if that was not reflected in your playing or perceived by your daughter.

.

There you have it. And who's to say that MY little one is wrong? Anyone to challenge her?

I won't say she's wrong... at least not about your playing. ;) But she's certainly no more right than me.

 

Be warned. ;)

Warned? Of what? Are you planning to attack me over the head with a large accordion? Or maybe just play your EC at me? :D

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Just imagine if we were all Jews Harp players, .................... could we even be having this discussion about playing styles? ;)

I take it you don't play jews harp? The answer is... yes!

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There is no need for mixed feelings. You do as you wish, but don't get surprized, when somebody says that Irish music or concertina is boring. It has become very difficult to find something different from that one Irish CD that you got 10 years ago.

 

???? Sounds like you just don't like Irish trad music at all, m3838. Methinks you should just avoid it ... each to their own. The best thing at the end of the day is to play your local music - the folk music and culture of that where you grew up and/or reside.

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are people who posit their own individual, personal, subjective experience of a given instrument's expression of a given genre of music, as sweeping, conclusive, objective statements-of-fact....BORING? why, oh my, yes, and provincial as well.

I freely admit that what I have posited is my own individual, personal, subjective experience, and I've never pretended otherwise. But I've also never put it forward as objective fact. I expressed an opinion, which I attempted to justify, and asked if anyone agreed with me. Some did, most didn't.

to express disdain that an instrument capable of playing chords would be used melodically in a given tradition shows some ignorance of ethnomusicology.

I hope I have never expressed disdain. I explained that personally I prefer a fuller sound from a concertina, and that was one of the reasons why I, personally, don't get excited by a purely melodic style. A number of people, yourself included, have explained quite eloquently while they feel the exact opposite. I have also expressed an opinion that playing only melody on anglo is to miss out on one of the strengths of the instrument, but that's from a "concertina point of view", not an "ITM point of view". There are good reasons why ITM is played that way, and several posters have responded that not only is it traditionally and culturally valid, but they prefer the sound.

I wouldn't dream of saying that the stuff i don't like is "objectively" ugly or boring. because that sort of rhetoric....is boring.

Neither would I. I admit that my original post was phrased a little provocatively, but that's the nature of these forums! My intention was to provoke a debate and perhaps to understand better why so many people believe that Irish music on concertina is not boring. I appear to have succeeded on both counts.

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According to m3838 the world is simple. But I will tell you it is not that simple. Talent is not needed at all in music, you should know that. You say that ''music to be enjoyed by the listeners, you and me have to have natural talent''. Most people like listening to singers/musicians with very little talent.

Unfortunately I have to disagree with you.

Most of those low lifes, that make big bucks selling records, do have talent. I have observed some practicing, I can compare the stage behaviour of, say, Madonna and Michael Jackson with behaviour of "amateurs" and unfortunately and unfortunately the two above-menioned empty head sluts demonstrate exceptional abilities. What they lack is the culture, education, wholsumness, decency, intelligence - not the talent. The talent is there, and a rare one. Another test to this is pop-stars' performance, when they sing (for various reasons) folk songs. There was a fashion, short lived, in post-soviet Russia, when most of the stars did it. The result is the raised level of acceptancy in folk circles. Now we know how these Kossak songs, and revolutionary songs and peasant songs CAN be performed, to be hip, to be popular, to break hearts, and not to sound outlandishly dated.

I heard Madonna sing live once and was not impressed by her singing capabilities, the show was great though. And to stay at ''trad'' music, one of the most popular traditional bands in The Netherlands with loads of fans, are playing simple Dubliner like music (but not as good). They dress in kilts and have beards. Musically it is utter rubbish. Do they have talent? Yes, but not for music, but for entertaining and marketing. I can give more exemples if needed, but I rest my case.

You (m3838) and I prefer Mischa Maisky playing his cello anytime, but the rest of the world?

But cello isn't traditional, at least in the context of what we are talking about. Again, you are talking about up-bringing, "culture", education, refinement - all the aristocratic values that became affordable for the formerly grey-unwashed, but not demanded yet.

I am talking music in general. But replace Mischa by Matt Molloy, Dick Coughan, Liz Carroll, Ross Daly, Jean Michel Veillon etc. For me to enjoy music talent is not enough, a certain taste, refinement, energy (admittedly partially subjective) is needed too. But that said I can enjoy amateurs lacking some of these abilities (but with good intentions) as well, not on CD perhaps, but live certainly. And I know some older Breton players which do not have overwelming technical capebilities but what they lack technically they make up by their energy and rhythm and they are joy to listen and dance to

God forbid the existence a Talent meter! For what purpose? Berufsverbot for those that fail the test? :angry:

Well, it can be used by folks to see what talent they do have. Why be so negative?

Perhaps it is the way you express yourself? First speaking of a strong preference of banning amateur recordings and than wanting a talent meter. Well adding things up it got me scared.

If amateurs want to make their own records, why not?

If they just want, I can't casre less, if they feel an overwelming need - OK with me. But then don't complain that such and such music is boring, and that Internet is full of demagoguery, graphomania and pornography. Amateurs use technology to express their creativity, it's a good thing, no?

YES Everybody should be able to express him/herself, no frontiers. People's creativity should be given wings and not be hindered, even if part of the result will be ''boring musical pornography''.

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Hi

I guess there is the potential to think that any music that you personally don't like is boring. But then so may everyone else (about your own favourite music). It's subjective and no argument or demonstration is likely to make someone 'like' a music that they find 'boring'. They mat appreciate 'technical' ability but thats not the same as liking it.

chris (happy with the diversity of people's tastes in music)

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Just imagine if we were all Jews Harp players, .................... could we even be having this discussion about playing styles? ;)

 

Cheers

Dick

 

Don't say that to these guys (below)! They might think you a wee insensitive. (jaw in cheek) :rolleyes: But then, I'm sure, they probably don't take themselves as seriously as some folks here.

[/color]

w.campbell

 

Austrian Jew´s Harp Association: http://www.stn.at/homes/maultrommel/

*

 

American Jew's Harp Guild: http://jewsharpguild.org

 

*

 

koukin Japan Jew's Harp Association: Nihon Koukin Kyoukai, edited by Tadagawa Leo (see gallery); mostly in Japanese. http://www.koukin.jp

 

*

 

Norwegian Jew's Harp Forum; edited by Einar Turtum: http://www.munnharpe.no/norsk_munnharpeforum.html

 

*

 

The small company Dan Moi: Clemens Voigt and Sven Otto (see gallery) sell a great number of CDs with jew's harp music and high-quality instruments from all parts of the world. http://www.danmoi.de/

 

*

 

Andreas Schlütter (see gallery) from Zella-Mehlis, Germany produces high-quality, tuned jew's harps over a wide range of pitches. http://www.schluetter-trump.de/

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I don't normally get worked up about threads on this forum. however....

 

If Irish music on concertina is considered boring because it does not use hormonics enough, frankly I think the argument is weak. There are lots of approaches to ITM. Lots of lovely styles. plenty of players enjoy the simplicity of the melody and its reflection on simpler times/tradition without the layering of harmonies etc. That's their choice. I appreciate and play a variety of styles (sometimes simple/sometimes complex) depending on my mood, environment, piece of music etc etc etc. It would be a boring musical landscape if we all engaged in one true style to appease folk who consider melody making to be boring. So I suggest you try to appreciate the merits and clarity of simple melody playing and enjoy the textures/complexities etc of those who play to the instruments full potential but don't generalise about irish music on concertina. There are many different species of concertina player out there. Dare I suggest that you do some more research before concluding that Irish concertina music is boring? :blink:

 

Ciaran O'Grady

Kildare

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Just imagine if we were all Jews Harp players, .................... could we even be having this discussion about playing styles? ;)

Don't say that to these guys (below)! They might think you a wee insensitive.

And there was that night at an Irish session in New York when John Wright (not the one of today's "John Wright Band") started playing his jews harp: Within seconds the place went dead quiet (except for him), everyone listening to him playing jigs and reels, with the melodies clear and ornamentation that many a fiddler would envy. In the right hands (and mouth) the little guimbarde (one of many names) is far more than a twanging drone.

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Funnily enough I do play the wee Jews Harp. :) Of course back home, north of the Border, we call it a Trump!

 

In fact, in the early 70s Aly Bain, who you might have heard of, gave me first place at the Kinross Festival! One of the few years Lindsay Porteous didn't win! ;)

 

So, yes I know there are different playing styles. I'm just surprised to see that there is so much interest in the wee Harp here.

 

By the way, can you picture Aly Bain actually judging that competition? Well I can assure you he did. In fact, I even remember seeing Tom Anderson on the judging panel for that competition, one year.

 

One of the strangest Sessions I ever attended at Miltown Malbay was, again back in the 70s, when myself & Tommy Hayes, a wonderful Jews Harp player, arranged to meet up one lunchtime to swop notes on, yes, playing styles. Anyway, to our surprise, at least three other Jews Harp players turned up too. I have to admit, the sound of 5 or 6 Jews Harps all twanging away together, would not be my favourite idea for a session!

 

I'm not sure what was worse though, that session, or the one later on that week, with no fewer than 6 Anglos all playing together! It sounded a bit like multi-tracked Whale song, all out of sync! :(

 

Cheers

Dick

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I don't normally get worked up about threads on this forum. however....

 

If Irish music on concertina is considered boring because it does not use hormonics enough, frankly I think the argument is weak......

This is the right answer in this time of the year (in the northern hemisphere). Temperature is rising, everything is growing, hormons are flowing...etc. etc. :lol:

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