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Is "boring" boring?  

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Well, without seeing Peter's original post... I can only speculate ...An outsider ... couldn't, realistically determine if the person playing the music was actually particularly gifted or not; what might seem to be mistakes could in fact be ornaments or variations that are well recognized and regarded in the tradition.

 

Ever guessed why music is considered an international language?

 

So is English to; it doesn't mean that every english speaking person can understand every other english speaking person perfectly well. Get someone from the Orkney Islands and someone from Banglore India and see how easy it is for them to understand each other.

 

An outsider, who is mature enough to wipe his a...ss, can usually detect whether the musician is gifted or not to a certain degree. Since music is sequence of sounds, that by some weird chemistry perceived as harmonic by our brain, said outsider can usually detect if the played sequence is, indeed, harmonic or jarring, and therefore conclude if he detected a mistake.

 

With respect, I think much of what you are describing here is recognizing basic competence, not talent. I can write a computer program that will play a tune perfectly every time, but it doesn't mean the program has talent. Said talent shows up in what is done with a tune that is not written down.

 

A good mistake is never considered to be a "mistake" by anyone, listener or player.

There is no musical tradition where playing C and D together would be considered cherished tradition, at least among europeoids.

Topic of the past discussion was "variations". Peter defended point of view, that any deviation, no matter how small or irrelevant it is, would be valid variation, and such deviations, abundant in Irish music, make it unique and beautiful. But whoever considers them banal, un-asked for and over-the-forehead - is simply untrained and unable to grasp the true marvel of Irish music, that is, again, solely in endless variations and ornamentations.

I defended the position, that music doesn't depend on endless diddling, that a good Irish player can be as understood by Russian as by fellow Irishman. I also pointed that a "variation" is not just varying the tune uncontrollably, but is an art form, that has it's own arrangers, composers and theory, and that simply playing a different note from expected doesn't make it a variation, unless we lower the level of discussion to primitive banalities.

 

Personally I think Peter's point, even as you present it, is perfectly valid. From your description here, it sounds like Peter was talking about variation the way it is thought of in Irish Music, and it is considered not just a valid part of the Tradition, but almost an essential for truely talented musicians. We are not talking about variation in the same sense that Classical Music looks at it, and it is not fair to hold it to the same standard (or vice a versa for that matter). To claim that simple variations are "primitive banalities" or "un-asked" for suggests an unwillingness to accept the music as it is.

 

Sure music doesn't depend on ornamentation and variation, but its a legitimate part of Irish Traditional Music; if you don't care for it, that is your business, but respect the fact that those of us who actually are immersed in the tradition actually do want those variations and enjoy listening to them.

 

In the end though, the dominant idea was that Irish is good, whoever dislikes it is bad, and offering opinion is offensive.

 

Well, I would have to see the thread before I accept your particular interpretation. I will say this though, few people are impressed when someone tires to tell them that their music is banal and/or boring.

 

(I have to stress again the simple fact, often deliberately overlooked or trumpled: that we all more or less belong to the same musical tradition, Irish or Belurussian, and often the tunes are identical or very close in their core. There is no mistery in popularity of Irish music in, say, Voronezh county, Russia, or Crimean port-city of Alooshtah, Ukraine)

 

Yeah, and Russian and English both belong to the indo-european language family; it doesn't mean that a Russian speaker is automatically equipped to understand English. Shoot, even when the traditions are more closely linked, say between Irish and American Appalachian Old-Time music, the differences are great enough that old-time versions of tunes played in ireland don't sound right to my ear... I am not saying they sound bad, but they don't sound like how I expect them to.

 

Here is a nice sample of Irish music not been based on diddling, having no variations of any sort, one-two not pronounced ornaments, yet haunting, beautiful and clearly belonging to Medieval European musical tradition.

 

So, my question is, are you trying to suggest here that this is how Irish Music is suppose to be played?

 

--

Bill

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Ever guessed why music is considered an international language?

So is English to;

 

First of all, were it you, who suggested that language analogy is unfair?

Secondly, music is considered an international language, because it doesn't know the language boundaries, and easier understood by people around the Globe.

 

With respect, I think much of what you are describing here is recognizing basic competence, not talent.

 

Oh boy! Yes, I mean both, talent and competence. Competence consists of not making bad mistakes, and talent has to do with moving hearts. Both are not rocket science, don't need special education (usually) to be understood by fellow countrymen and close neighbors.

 

 

I can write a computer program that will play a tune perfectly every time, but it doesn't mean the program has talent. Said talent shows up in what is done with a tune that is not written down.

 

Well, of course. What this statement has to do with the topic of conversation though?

 

 

Personally I think Peter's point, even as you present it, is perfectly valid. From your description here, it sounds like Peter was talking about variation the way it is thought of in Irish Music,

 

Yes, absolutely. The sublet of this, that sparked reaction, was the assumption, that only those with enough listening training, could fairly understand it. That is utterly foolish and self-propulsing. Even funny.

We are not talking about variation in the same sense that Classical Music looks at it, and it is not fair to hold it to the same standard (or vice a versa for that matter).

 

That's a point. It means that what you call "variations" are actually "decorations". Nothing against them.

 

To claim that simple variations are "primitive banalities" or "un-asked" for suggests an unwillingness to accept the music as it is.

 

You are falling into ethno-centric trap here.

Nobody ever claimed that a good Irish musician's interpretation is banal per se. Quite contrary, the claim is that hordes of wannabes water the music scene down with their banalities, and it hurts reputation of those able to deliver what you are talking about.

 

Well, I would have to see the thread before I accept your particular interpretation.

 

You really don't , as the same idea showed up in this very thread as well. I guess it just means some have stronger sense of national or ethnic inferiority, and jump to defence when no offence is present.

 

I will say this though, few people are impressed when someone tires to tell them that their music is banal and/or boring.

 

Yea, look above.

You are making very broad salvos. You simply defending an idea, that Irish musician can be judged only by those with listening credentials in Irish music. Others have to be respectfully silent, untill they too, develope a "good ear", or simply put, just get used to it. I beg to differ. A good talented musician doesn't depend on Irishness or Frenchness. He's just good. Others may not be as good. The good diddling makes sense.

The bad one doesn't. You don't have to be Irish or submerged to detect this.

Yes, If you are into the sound of, say, accordion, you'll have more tolerance to bad accordion playing.

Are you saying you simply have more tolerance to badly played Irish music?

I can relate to this.

 

Yeah, and Russian and English both belong to the indo-european language family; it doesn't mean that a Russian speaker is automatically equipped to understand English.

 

You again make the language comparisons.

I thought we are talking particularly about some Irish musicians, who aren't that great.

 

Here is a nice sample of Irish music not been based on diddling, having no variations of any sort, one-two not pronounced ornaments, yet haunting, beautiful and clearly belonging to Medieval European musical tradition

So, my question is, are you trying to suggest here that this is how Irish Music is suppose to be played?

 

No, I'm trying to suggest that whoever claims that Irish music can't live without endless decorations is wrong.

A sublet of this idea is actually quite derogatory.

If Irish music is good only because of decorations, and French and English is good without, than Irish music is not as good as French or English.

Or it has sublime message that only that music is good that has abundant decorations, therefore French and English music is bad.

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No, I'm trying to suggest that whoever claims that Irish music can't live without endless decorations is wrong.

That isn't decoration you're hearing in Irish dance music, m. That's the music itself, just as leaves, fruit, and flowers aren't "decorations" on trees although they might appear to be "decorations" to someone who didn't know any better. :lol:

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Ever guessed why music is considered an international language?

So is English to;

 

First of all, were it you, who suggested that language analogy is unfair?

Secondly, music is considered an international language, because it doesn't know the language boundaries, and easier understood by people around the Globe.

 

Yes, I understand that, but I, unlike you, understand that ,while there is a basic vocabulary that might be shared in most western music, there are also many cultural specific aspects to individual genres of music that ae not immediately understood or perceived by outsiders to the genre.

 

With respect, I think much of what you are describing here is recognizing basic competence, not talent.

 

Oh boy! Yes, I mean both, talent and competence. Competence consists of not making bad mistakes, and talent has to do with moving hearts. Both are not rocket science, don't need special education (usually) to be understood by fellow countrymen and close neighbors.

 

See, and this is where the cultural aspects come in. Moving hearts is not just how the music is played but is accomplised by connecting to a common shared cultural heritage. A person from the West of Ireland who grew up listening to ITM when he was young might be moved by hearing any ITM tune regardless of how talented the musician is. The same reaction is not going happen with someone who doesn't have that cultural connection to the music.

 

Personally I think Peter's point, even as you present it, is perfectly valid. From your description here, it sounds like Peter was talking about variation the way it is thought of in Irish Music,

 

Yes, absolutely. The sublet of this, that sparked reaction, was the assumption, that only those with enough listening training, could fairly understand it. That is utterly foolish and self-propulsing. Even funny.

 

 

And yet I see so many people who don't really understand ITM.. and likewise, I know that I don't really understand Bluegrass or American Old Time music.

 

As far as I can tell, there are two types of people in the world; those who recognize that they don't understand every one elses culture and those who do.

 

We are not talking about variation in the same sense that Classical Music looks at it, and it is not fair to hold it to the same standard (or vice a versa for that matter).

 

That's a point. It means that what you call "variations" are actually "decorations". Nothing against them.

 

 

I am not talking about a decoration. I am talking about a variation. A decoration is a grace note, a roll, a crann, or the like. A variation is when I start replacing the notes.

 

The very fact that you are trying to tell Irish Traditional Musicians what the correct vocabulary is for their own music shows that you don't really get it! I am not suggesting that the terms I am using have any sort of universal musical applicability; they have specific definitions within the music tradition.

 

To claim that simple variations are "primitive banalities" or "un-asked" for suggests an unwillingness to accept the music as it is.

 

You are falling into ethno-centric trap here.

Nobody ever claimed that a good Irish musician's interpretation is banal per se. Quite contrary, the claim is that hordes of wannabes water the music scene down with their banalities, and it hurts reputation of those able to deliver what you are talking about.

 

 

Sigh... Ok, can I have a list of CD's that have been produced by these "wannabes"? After all, if they are so banal, I want to avoid them. They will also give the rest of us an idea of what your musical tastes so we can see if you really get it as much as you think? Oh, and please concentrate on Concertina CDs please.

 

Well, I would have to see the thread before I accept your particular interpretation.

 

You really don't , as the same idea showed up in this very thread as well. I guess it just means some have stronger sense of national or ethnic inferiority, and jump to defence when no offence is present.

 

 

Or maybe, it has less to do with a sense of ethnic inferiority and more to do with someone trying to explain Irish Music to an Irish Musician.

 

I will say this though, few people are impressed when someone tires to tell them that their music is banal and/or boring.

 

Yea, look above.

You are making very broad salvos. You simply defending an idea, that Irish musician can be judged only by those with listening credentials in Irish music. Others have to be respectfully silent, untill they too, develope a "good ear", or simply put, just get used to it. I beg to differ. A good talented musician doesn't depend on Irishness or Frenchness. He's just good. Others may not be as good. The good diddling makes sense.

The bad one doesn't. You don't have to be Irish or submerged to detect this.

Yes, If you are into the sound of, say, accordion, you'll have more tolerance to bad accordion playing.

Are you saying you simply have more tolerance to badly played Irish music?

I can relate to this.

 

No, in fact, I would say that those who are really into the music probably have a lower tolerance for bad playing than others. What I am saying is that what makes sense requires understanding the specific music vocabulary.

 

Yeah, and Russian and English both belong to the indo-european language family; it doesn't mean that a Russian speaker is automatically equipped to understand English.

 

You again make the language comparisons.

I thought we are talking particularly about some Irish musicians, who aren't that great.

 

Do you actually understand the concept of anology? My point was that just because two things spring from the same source, it doesn't mean they are the same or that knowing one equips you to know the other.

 

Here is a nice sample of Irish music not been based on diddling, having no variations of any sort, one-two not pronounced ornaments, yet haunting, beautiful and clearly belonging to Medieval European musical tradition

So, my question is, are you trying to suggest here that this is how Irish Music is suppose to be played?

 

No, I'm trying to suggest that whoever claims that Irish music can't live without endless decorations is wrong.

A sublet of this idea is actually quite derogatory.

If Irish music is good only because of decorations, and French and English is good without, than Irish music is not as good as French or English.

Or it has sublime message that only that music is good that has abundant decorations, therefore French and English music is bad.

 

With respect your logic is fundamentally flawed! What makes good music Irish Music is not the same as what makes good English or French Music. The fact that you fail to recognize this suggests that not only are you incapable of really understanding Irish Music, but you seem to be incapable of understanding music period! What makes good Irish Music is not what makes good English, or French or Rock music. Each musical tradition develops its own language and techniques.

 

With respect, if anything, each post you make only proves Peter's point.

 

--

Bill

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Hmm. With 19 voters, there have been 6 votes for "Something other than any of the above", but noone has yet volunteered what their "something other" might be.

 

Would you care to share? :unsure:

I'm with PeterT :(

 

Can understand why ITM has to have so many rule and regulations, allowed and disallowed instruments (see Can you play ITM on an English thread) etc??

Edited by Lester Bailey
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Yes, I understand that, but I, unlike you, understand that ,while there is a basic vocabulary that might be shared in most western music, there are also many cultural specific aspects to individual genres of music that ae not immediately understood or perceived by outsiders to the genre.

 

Your definition of an "outsider" then?

Why do you bring the word "Immediately"? How many times of listening to an Irish CD with concertina in it will pass the "immediately" point?

And what is Irish Traditional Music? Does this term also indclude cult and religious music, does it only consist of music of grey unwashed or it may include the music of upper classes?

 

Moving hearts is not just how the music is played but is accomplised by connecting to a common shared cultural heritage.

Good point.

There are some Russian CDs with folk songs on Accordions, that are redundant, hyper-patriotic and meant to move hearts of Sons and Daughters of Motherland.

 

And yet I see so many people who don't really understand ITM.. and likewise, I know that I don't really understand Bluegrass or American Old Time music.

 

Do you like it, but don't understand in depth, or you kind of understand what musicians are doing, but don't like it?

 

I personally like Irish music, played on pipes, fiddles, strings, but not concertina. I hear that much of embellishements and "chords" used by AC players, derive from emulating the pipes, and I like it, when played on pipes, Peter Laban's playing is a good example, but Noel Hill's playing sometimes makes me raise my browse, and he's one of the best.

 

I am not talking about a decoration. I am talking about a variation. A decoration is a grace note, a roll, a crann, or the like. A variation is when I start replacing the notes.

 

OK, fine. And I'm of the opinion that simply replacing the C for G in the tune in the of Cmaj is very weak attempt at variation. My personal opinion. You may revel in such - your business. Stating that I don't understand them, when I clearly hear them - is an underestimation. I hear them, understant them, I just don't cherish them.

 

The very fact that you are trying to tell Irish Traditional Musicians what the correct vocabulary is for their own music shows that you don't really get it!

 

We may use our terms within our local group. On the Interantional forum we may fiind our definitions not generally accepted. Call it "variation", I wouldn't, as the word implies more sophistication in my mind. You can claim that my ear is untrained to perceive all the subtleties but I may claim that your ear is untrained if you find such tricks exciting.

 

Sigh... Ok, can I have a list of CD's that have been produced by these "wannabes"?

 

That'd be great and I'd like to ask you to provide examples of Blue Grass that you don't get, but it's time consuming project.

 

Or maybe, it has less to do with a sense of ethnic inferiority and more to do with someone trying to explain Irish Music to an Irish Musician.

 

Perhaps, if such attempt was real. At present it's just an assumption on your part.

You decided to engage in discussion - thank you. But I'm not teaching you, I'm expressing my view and my conclusions.

 

No, in fact, I would say that those who are really into the music probably have a lower tolerance for bad playing than others.

 

It can be argued both ways, I see your point, as to total strangers anything unusual may be intolerant per se, or if they like it, they may not tell the difference early on.

We are not total strangers here.

May be I should repeat it and make it bold. OK

We are not total strangers here.

So you don't have the benefit of such simple dismissal of your opponents, as "you don't get it". We do get it for the most part.

 

I personally would avoid Noel Hill's solo, but would choose Niall Vallely and John Williams any time. I realize that Niall Vallely is not necessarily your "traditional" musician, but he puts lots of subleties in his playing and I do get them.

I don't like random honky chords on "off" and "on" beats, just because they fit the bellows directions, as Noel Hill demonstrates, as I find them confusing at best.

But I will never consider Noel Hill a wannabe, am I crazy?

 

What makes good music Irish Music is not the same as what makes good English or French Music.

The fact that you fail to recognize this suggests that not only are you incapable

 

I fail and incapable.

So tell us what is it, that makes Music good, and how it's different between Irish, English, and French?

With respect, if anything, each post you make only proves Peter's point.

 

It does to you, I realize. You have similar views with Peter, but I hope you don't have Peter's condescention (sorry Peter, you brought my name here) and lack of interest to opinions from the outside of Irish circle. Which to me indicates ethnic exclusiveness, that I, btw, don't have much admiration for.

Your personal taste, just like Peter's, doesn't prove any point on International Forum. I can't put any Irish CD on, when any of my friends present, as to them it's just an annoying, primitive, repetitive melody-less, random diddling without any resolution to the tonic, felt like having no breath. But I always object to them playing those Rock-an-Roll CDs, that I perceive as annoying, primitive, repetitive melody-less angry screeching without any breath.

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Can understand why ITM has to have so many rule and regulations, allowed and disallowed instruments (see Can you play ITM on an English thread) etc??

Strange, it seems to me, that as much as being a discussion of the thread which is the subject of this poll, this thread has become an extension of that other debate.

I think I may reply to Lester, but in another, more appropriate thread, not here.

Edited by JimLucas
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Re; Bill's complaint that we can't share a pint as we poll...

Well, if we all simply keep a pint handy at all moments while we're logged on, we can do it virtually; it's how we converse, why not let it be one way we imbibe? ;)

We could compare notes on which pints we were drinking, and debate the relative merits of America, British and European beers (a bit like the English, Anglo, Duet debate!). :)

There's even more variety in each of those beer categories than among 45-button anglo keyboards. :o

 

And you could start another bitter debate over 1) the exclusion of Britain from Europe, 2) the lumping of the rest of Europe together, or 3) whether English "bitter" or Danish "bitters" is more "traditional". ;)

 

But I got to sample a couple of excellent Swedish home brews in Skåne this last weekend (though they weren't part of the SSI itself). :)

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I'd say to Lester: If you read Anglo Irishman's post which has a ring of veracity about it, you might think that there is Irish folk music, which is straight forward enough to understand to a large degree, then there's the Tradition (note capital letter) which seems to be what Americans do, and this is the one with the rules. Is 'the Tradition' really American folk music?

 

Some of you ITM (ATM?) people insist on trying to take a holier than thou position; we are mostly competent musicians on this site and it is insulting to be told 'This is too subtle for you to understand'; we have all spotted that actually, this is folk music, not Shostakovich, and, ornaments or not, not that complex. It's something most of us do to a greater or less degree and in some cases very proficiently. This sort of attitude certainly puts my back up and undoubtedly was why I put it in print that I think ITM boring, as opposed to leaving it be. Time for a bit of give and take, do you think?

 

I genuinely do have a better understanding of ITM as a result of the recent barney (thank you those of you that explained rather than yelled) but the delicacies you value still leave me completely underwhelmed, even now that I am listening to the squeaks and twitches with more care and can appreciate that in some cases the execution involved is precise and clever. To me they seem technical rather than sublime; that's my choice.

 

My point is that if we could come to some mutual acceptance of competent musicianship Cnet life might be simpler. Usually we discuss things. It was a shock to be ranted at and added or changed nothing.

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actually, this is folk music, not Shostakovich, and, ornaments or not, not that complex.

It's worth bearing in mind that Irish traditional music is actually extremely accessible, which is why it is hugely popular around the world, even among people with no Irish connections, and even among people who don't usually like folk music. There's something about its rhythm and drive which many people find easy to relate to. Whereas with English music, and especially morris, the apparently simple rhythms are actually quite alien to many people brought up in a modern pop-music culture, who find it quite hard to understand how to move to the music.

 

That's not to say that there isn't considerable subtlety in Irish music when you listen to it more closely. Simply that it's an easy music to listen to and enjoy. And that's not a bad thing. But I'm inclined to agree with Dirge when he says that to say anyone who doesn't like it unreservedly isn't listening to it properly is a bit patronising.

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Yes, I understand that, but I, unlike you, understand that ,while there is a basic vocabulary that might be shared in most western music, there are also many cultural specific aspects to individual genres of music that ae not immediately understood or perceived by outsiders to the genre.

 

Your definition of an "outsider" then?

 

My definition of an outsider is mostly functional. It is essentially someone who does not actively listen to the music. Someone who attends a Chieftans concert once a year and has 3 Irish Music CDs in his collection would pretty much fall into the realm of being an outsider. I would say an insider is one for whom 1. Music makes up an important part of their life (i.e. They have to listen to music regularly (and not just in the car), may play an instrument and/or dance (If it is a genre where Dance is a part of it). 2. They particular genre in question makes up a significant fraction of the time they spend on music; say a minimum of 25-30% of their time.

 

Why do you bring the word "Immediately"? How many times of listening to an Irish CD with concertina in it will pass the "immediately" point?

And what is Irish Traditional Music? Does this term also indclude cult and religious music, does it only consist of music of grey unwashed or it may include the music of upper classes?

 

Generally, ITM is held to be the music of the common people; I think this in part was because for so long, the "upper classes" of Ireland were not actually Irish. Religious Music seems to have remained in its own tradition.

 

Moving hearts is not just how the music is played but is accomplised by connecting to a common shared cultural heritage.

Good point.

There are some Russian CDs with folk songs on Accordions, that are redundant, hyper-patriotic and meant to move hearts of Sons and Daughters of Motherland.

 

And yet I see so many people who don't really understand ITM.. and likewise, I know that I don't really understand Bluegrass or American Old Time music.

 

Do you like it, but don't understand in depth, or you kind of understand what musicians are doing, but don't like it?

 

In general, I like bluegrass and Old Time instrumental music quite a bit; I am not crazy about the singing, but as others have pointed out, that is a question of taste. I don't understand the music to any degree; I could figure out who is basically competent, but listening to two players, I couldn't reasonably tell the difference between who is basically competent and who is really a major talent.

 

I personally like Irish music, played on pipes, fiddles, strings, but not concertina. I hear that much of embellishements and "chords" used by AC players, derive from emulating the pipes, and I like it, when played on pipes, Peter Laban's playing is a good example, but Noel Hill's playing sometimes makes me raise my browse, and he's one of the best.

 

Well, I think it is fair to say that Noel Hill and a few other players are trying to move beyond the emulation of the pipes to make fuller use of the potential of the instrument.

 

I am not talking about a decoration. I am talking about a variation. A decoration is a grace note, a roll, a crann, or the like. A variation is when I start replacing the notes.

 

OK, fine. And I'm of the opinion that simply replacing the C for G in the tune in the of Cmaj is very weak attempt at variation. My personal opinion. You may revel in such - your business. Stating that I don't understand them, when I clearly hear them - is an underestimation. I hear them, understant them, I just don't cherish them.

 

 

And this is where, I imagine, we are going to have to disagree. What if that one note variation that you not only don't cherish but find banal, makes that phrase resemble the phrase from another tune? Someone immersed in the given tradition will likely understand that, someone outside the tradition, who had never heard the other tune would not.

 

Or what if that note variation reflects the way the tune would be played on a different traditional instrument? Lets say you replace the C natural because you are playing with a Melodeon player (note I am using the Irish definition of Melodeon here, not the English) who doesn't have a C natural on his instrument?

 

How about if a Galway musician plays a Claire version of the tune to honor a particular musician in the audience?

 

These are just examples of knowledge that an insider to the music will have that an outsider probably will not have. Without understanding the background, you can't really understand everything that is going on.

 

Music is about more than the notes. As you admitted above, there is a cultural component to it. Without at least attempting to immerse yourself in the culture, you don't fully understand what is going on. Shoot I have been listening to the stuff all my life, have eagerly absorbed the stores about the music that have been related to me by some of the best musicians in the music and there are still times where I don't fully understand what is going on.

 

The very fact that you are trying to tell Irish Traditional Musicians what the correct vocabulary is for their own music shows that you don't really get it!

 

We may use our terms within our local group. On the Interantional forum we may fiind our definitions not generally accepted. Call it "variation", I wouldn't, as the word implies more sophistication in my mind. You can claim that my ear is untrained to perceive all the subtleties but I may claim that your ear is untrained if you find such tricks exciting.

 

 

With respect, traditional music, any sort of traditional music, needs to be free to develop its own vocabulary and when discussing it, one needs to accept that vocabulary. The reason is simple, such music, almost by definition, developed without references to music theory and all of the "official" terminology. Often times the official definition of terms does not properly describe the music.

 

Sigh... Ok, can I have a list of CD's that have been produced by these "wannabes"?

 

That'd be great and I'd like to ask you to provide examples of Blue Grass that you don't get, but it's time consuming project.

 

 

Pick any bluegrass CD you want, I am sure I don't really get them, even if I enjoy them. I don't listen to bluegrass regularly so I am sure that the best ones will contain all sorts of inside references that I simply wouldn't get; even the "mediocre" ones will contain lots I don't understand. Unless my relationship to bluegrass changes, I would never dream of trying to critique it.

 

Mind you our positions on the music are different. I fully claim to not understand bluegrass, but I like it. You claim to understand Irish Music, but have decided that much of it is trivial or banal. Your list doesn't have to be comprehensive, just a few CD's... preferentially by concertina players please.

 

Or maybe, it has less to do with a sense of ethnic inferiority and more to do with someone trying to explain Irish Music to an Irish Musician.

 

Perhaps, if such attempt was real. At present it's just an assumption on your part.

You decided to engage in discussion - thank you. But I'm not teaching you, I'm expressing my view and my conclusions.

 

 

Yes, but you are not expressing them as merely opinion, you are expressing them as a fact. You were the one who claimed that you don't have to immerse oneself in a musical

genre to understand it. And more importantly, you have basically decided that you know who does and who doesn't have talent. You seem to want to pull all music out of its cultural background and judge it by standards that are universal when in fact such standards are almost by definition cultural and even individual.

 

No, in fact, I would say that those who are really into the music probably have a lower tolerance for bad playing than others.

 

It can be argued both ways, I see your point, as to total strangers anything unusual may be intolerant per se, or if they like it, they may not tell the difference early on.

We are not total strangers here.

May be I should repeat it and make it bold. OK

We are not total strangers here.

So you don't have the benefit of such simple dismissal of your opponents, as "you don't get it". We do get it for the most part.

 

Actually, it is your opinion that you get it, it is my opinion, that in fact, you may not get it. Remember, all those ornaments and variations that you find boring and banal might

make cultural references that you don't get. Music like literature often depends on a shared cultural heritage for relevance.

I personally would avoid Noel Hill's solo, but would choose Niall Vallely and John Williams any time. I realize that Niall Vallely is not necessarily your "traditional" musician, but he puts lots of subleties in his playing and I do get them.

I don't like random honky chords on "off" and "on" beats, just because they fit the bellows directions, as Noel Hill demonstrates, as I find them confusing at best.

But I will never consider Noel Hill a wannabe, am I crazy?

 

Are you saying that because you recognize Noel Hill's talent or is because everyone who really knows Irish Concertina Music really recognizes Noel as one of the defining musicians of the genre?

 

I fail and incapable.

So tell us what is it, that makes Music good, and how it's different between Irish, English, and French?

 

The point is, that music covers a wide of range of elements. Each musical genre, whether it be a traditional genre like ITM, or a modern one like Rock Music will take some of the elements and leave the others and will use the elements they do choose to a greater or lesser degree. Obviously the specific elements used do vary over time, but they tend to be stable enough that you can notice the major elements. If you get that balance wrong, you are not producing good Irish Music or good Rock; you might be producing something new that is good, but it is not a good representation of the chosen tradition. Good Irish Music is not Good English Music, nor is it good French Music.

 

It does to you, I realize. You have similar views with Peter, but I hope you don't have Peter's condescention (sorry Peter, you brought my name here) and lack of interest to opinions from the outside of Irish circle. Which to me indicates ethnic exclusiveness, that I, btw, don't have much admiration for.

Your personal taste, just like Peter's, doesn't prove any point on International Forum. I can't put any Irish CD on, when any of my friends present, as to them it's just an annoying, primitive, repetitive melody-less, random diddling without any resolution to the tonic, felt like having no breath. But I always object to them playing those Rock-an-Roll CDs, that I perceive as annoying, primitive, repetitive melody-less angry screeching without any breath.

 

I am not ethnic exclusive; some of the best Irish fiddlers I know personally are not Irish, but Asian. I don't and have never claimed that you have to be Irish to get the Music, but growing up in an environment where it is played frequently does give one a good start toward understanding the music. The rest of us have to learn it the hard way.

 

--

Bill

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Then I'm definitely an outsider, together with probably 80-90% of Ireland.

You may find yourself in a very small circle. So small, that the music you like to listen to and play may no longer be considered ITM by majority

 

I could figure out who is basically competent, but listening to two players, I couldn't reasonably tell the difference between who is basically competent and who is really a major talent.

 

A nice example of PC or onest realisation of your personal disability. Many can. The quality of presented music doesn't depend much on insider's familiarity with whether Tchaikovsky was homosexual or not, and how it's expressed in the "Nutcracker".

 

Well, I think it is fair to say that Noel Hill and a few other players are trying to move beyond the emulation of the pipes to make fuller use of the potential of the instrument.

 

I said sometimes. "Sometimes" is the key word here.

 

What if that one note variation that you not only don't cherish but find banal

, makes that phrase resemble the phrase from another tune?

 

Valid point towards the idea that mediocre musician can move hearts, if he has talent to move hearts with what he has, or to choose right moment, right crowd and right allusion. But what it has to do with the quality of playing, I don't know.

 

Or what if that note variation reflects the way the tune would be played on a different traditional instrument? Lets say you replace the C natural because you are playing with a Melodeon player (note I am using the Irish definition of Melodeon here, not the English) who doesn't have a C natural on his instrument?

 

Now you are talking about Bohemia of sorts. Those who understand inside's joke.

 

We are not talking about the music, to which defense you don't tire to jump.

We are talking about rows of CDs cut, that don't offer anything to the listener, but repetitiveness.

And yes, music is not only the notes, it's

a. dynamics, expressiveness

b. Composition

c. Variations

d. decorations

?. what else?

but more than anything, it's a mean to convey emotion, felt by the artist in the moment of creating. As such, music doesn't differ from any other "art form", and just as we, europeans, can revel in awe, looking at African sculpture or listening to African drum beats, we can perceive Irish music with at least the same ease.

 

As you admitted above, there is a cultural component to it. Without at least attempting to immerse yourself in the culture, you don't fully understand what is going on.

 

I lost you. Why do I have to know if Nail Durkin played this tune after demobilisation and had only one hand? The tune is the tune, and simple at that.

 

Shoot I have been listening to the stuff all my life, have eagerly absorbed the stores about the music that have been related to me by some of the best musicians in the music and there are still times where I don't fully understand what is going on.

 

And never will. It's impossible and not even needed. You just want to be part of ITM bohemia, that's all. And there is always bigger than big.

 

With respect, traditional music, any sort of traditional music, needs to be free to develop its own vocabulary

 

And how it differs from any other music or Art or activity? Doesn't everything?

 

such music, almost by definition, developed without references to music theory and all of the "official" terminology. Often times the official definition of terms does not properly describe the music.

 

Really? I think you got it the other way around.

Any "official" terminology developed from traditional music, and any and every classical or what have you music is simply an off-set of simple folk. They are not the antagonists, and the terminology works just as well, as they can be played on same instruments.

You may not know it, I may not be trained enough in my vocabulary - sure. But that's all.

Pick any bluegrass CD you want, I am sure I don't really get them, even if I enjoy them

 

The whole idea of the music is to make people enjoy it. If you enjoy it, you get it.

 

You claim to understand Irish Music, but have decided that much of it is trivial or banal.

 

I did?

 

I really like playing of Tom Lawrence, John Williams and Niall Vallely.

I like Mary MacNamara's style too.

 

you are not expressing them as merely opinion, you are expressing them as a fact.

Every stated fact is an opinion, if to be anal. And I don't understand "merely". I cherish my opinions, they are not "merely" opinions, they are results of my life and thinking.

I woudln't dismiss them as "merely". If your opinion was considered by me as "merely", I wouldn't care to discuss it.

 

standards that are universal

 

Untill we keep animals in cages, there will be common agreemens between us, or "standards". European music has it's standards, want it or not. Musical instruments are produced because these standards are kept in mind. You seem to believe that ITM has it's standards, but only perceivable by insiders. I believe you exclude too many people from the circle.

 

Remember, all those ornaments and variations that you find boring and banal might

make cultural references that you don't get.

 

I didn't. I dismissed the statement that simple variation is what makes Irish music tick.

Banality has it's place, just don't put it on pedestal.

 

Music like literature often depends on a shared cultural heritage for relevance.

 

Either you claim I never read Lord Byron, or don't get Victor Hugo, or you never attemtped to read Tolstoy or Bulgakov.

 

Are you saying that because you recognize Noel Hill's talent or is because everyone who really knows Irish Concertina Music really recognizes Noel as one of the defining musicians of the genre?

 

Whoever "really knows Irish Concertina Music" can generally speaking take a walk, my opinions are not formed by them.

Hmm, you probably should have guessed it by now :blink:

 

The point is, that music covers a wide of range of elements. Each musical genre, ..... Good Irish Music is not Good English Music, nor is it good French Music.

 

You produced the whole abzatz that I didn't get a word of.

If to loose some unimportant elements from you final conclusion, it will sound like this:

"Good ...Music is not Good .... Music, nor it is good....Music"

I think you are lost in petty matters.

Good French Muzette player will play Irish reel way better than not so good Irish pipes player. Good French accordion player will play circles around bad Irish melodeon player, no matter how much he shmoozed with famous Irish players.

I am not ethnic exclusive; some of the best Irish fiddlers I know personally are not Irish, but Asian.

 

Awesome! Do they speak Gaelic? If not, can we safely assume they don't understand the songs, and it makes them mis-interpret those? Which makes them outsiders, and understanding of ITM be denied.

And just why such opinon is wrong and your is right?

I don't and have never claimed that you have to be Irish to get the Music, but growing up in an environment

 

So the Asian fiddlers grew up in the enviroment? In Asia? Or they are actually Irish of Asian descent?

Look, I agree with you that to better understand something you have to be immersed.

I just disagree that the plank is so high. As been said by other poster, we are talking about folk music, simple and accessable, not modern post-jazz compositions for cultural overfed bohemia. Simple music by simple folks, not even for simple folks.

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Pick any bluegrass CD you want, I am sure I don't really get them, even if I enjoy them

 

The whole idea of the music is to make people enjoy it. If you enjoy it, you get it.

 

 

This makes some sense to me. For Bill I think it is not enough to just enjoy it/get it and that is a valid point of view. For myself the research into a musical tradition is at least half the fun.

 

I heard a Tuvan Throat singing band a few years back on NPR. They were mixing in Rock n' Roll instruments with their tradition. Made the hair stand right up on the back of my neck. I think I got it, but have on my to do list a little research as to how these cats came to the place they stand today.

 

When a musical tradition is a part of your culture, it is very special indeed. There is a resonance that needs no real explanation. For me when I heard it, even without academic research or a deep immersion in culture, I somehow knew I was home. It was that way for me with Bluegrass which led me to Old Time, Western Swing, black and white Southern church music, Blues, Jazz and Celtic music. My mother made sure I was exposed to only "learned Western European musical culture." All of her efforts (goal-turning me into an opera/classical singer) were in vain for on first hearing of the first cut on the Will The Circle Be Unbroken Album, I literally shook with emotion. While persuing opera as a profession, my heart was taking a journey into the roots that make up my multi-cultural heritage. My two cents worth...and most likely not worth a damn.

Edited by Mark Evans
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My two cents worth...and most likely not worth a damn.

 

Hear an Outsider speak!

Your opinion can only be worthy if you spend 20% of your listening time to specific genre.

I hope you keep your notebook handy.

 

Ouf! I don't know percentages, but my music listening is kinda nutty. I've been known to go on a benge listening to one band or artist until my thirst slaked, move on to something else. My music performing is Irish session once a week, Obi's Boys, twice a month and sadly Applachian Travelers only once in a blue moon. They are all dear to me with much cross pollenation (at lest in my head).

 

With both Obi's and Travelers I've last time round on both Red Haired Boy and St. Ann's reel played the Irish version against bluegrass and old time respectively. Sounds a bit like counterpoint. Even the sessionistas are not safe. If the moon is right and enough libations have been consumed, I've subjected them to some West Virginia shouts and a Georgia Sea Islands inspired version of Oh Death. The shouts they are followed by an American version of the Devils Dream or Rye Straw. They enjoy it, put up with it and even join in.

Edited by Mark Evans
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