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Ed Reavey Tunes


Lawrence Reeves
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There is a time to bridge the gap into playing the accidental row, and making it sound very much natural instead of labored. The fact is there are many great tunes that have an occaisional sharp, natural and flat thrown in, but some tunes really make you work. A tune like "The Bank of Ireland" has C#, and C Natural mixed. Paddy Fahy tunes are great modal, and minor tunes. Bobby Casey tunes, like 'The Porthole of Kelp" also sound great on the concertina, but for me it is Ed Reavey tunes. I have started to relearn the fiddle after a small 35 year break, and love listening to recordings of Reavey tunes. I decided to tackle a few on the concertina, and have to say they fit beatifully. These tunes are not likely to be played in sessions around the world as are so many of Paddy Fahy's tunes, but when you listen to a Fahy tune you have to wonder. There is a Fahy reel called "Reavey's", that is a version of the Reavey tune "Never was piping so gay". Amazing stuff, and recordings of the Kane Sisters from Conemarra showcase both Reavey and Fahy tunes. I mentioned in a different topic about my new fav reel as Red Tom Of The Hills by Reavey. but there are others. Collections of Reavey tunes are available on the web, and althoiugh I prefer learning my tunes by ear, these books are a great resource.

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Many of the irish tunes appear in different collections/recordings with the C's and the F's in a different way, sometimes sharp sometimes natural. I readed - don't remember where - that this notes are sort of chamaleonic in irish music.

 

Talking about fiddle, that is my main instrument, I like to 'play' with these notes trying to find different colour from the same tune. It works too - not always! - in certain tunes playing some D's and G's sharp instead of natural. They give the tune a sort of 'bluesy' sound, but I try not to abuse this resource for the sake of the tune.

 

Don't know - yet - how Reavy's tunes are on the 'tina, but most of them are freakin' difficult on fiddle... although very beatiful! :)

 

Cheers,

 

Fer

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Try looking for an album called "At Reavy's House" with Jim Eagan. Lot of well played Reavy tunes.

Fer: About the high/low third thing. I have heard that sometimes melodeon players would play minor tunes with high thirds because they only had one row. We do it occasionally in our session: try playing "Congress Reel" with C# all through. It's quite refreshing.

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Try looking for an album called "At Reavy's House" with Jim Eagan. Lot of well played Reavy tunes.

Fer: About the high/low third thing. I have heard that sometimes melodeon players would play minor tunes with high thirds because they only had one row. We do it occasionally in our session: try playing "Congress Reel" with C# all through. It's quite refreshing.

 

I did :lol: Lots of fun. Or playing 'Gravel Walks' with all the F's natural, instead of sharp, for to dispair whistle & flute players. Or to play 'The Girl that Broke my Heart' first part in major, then the repeat in minor... the possibilities are endless.

 

Not to be done very often at the session, tho... blowers get very easily upset <_<

 

Thanks,

 

Fer

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Guest Peter Laban

The problem with Fahey tunes and the concertina is that Fahey played his intervals very non equal tempered, the concertina's f naturals etc just don't quite convey his music. Even the Keane sisters lean away from his own sound.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The problem with Fahey tunes and the concertina is that Fahey played his intervals very non equal tempered, the concertina's f naturals etc just don't quite convey his music. Even the Keane sisters lean away from his own sound.

 

Norwegian music has quite a bit of these "quarter tones" (here we call them crooked). I know at least one good box player here, who has a retuned box to catch these.

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The problem with Fahey tunes and the concertina is that Fahey played his intervals very non equal tempered, the concertina's f naturals etc just don't quite convey his music. Even the Keane sisters lean away from his own sound.

 

Norwegian music has quite a bit of these "quarter tones" (here we call them crooked). I know at least one good box player here, who has a retuned box to catch these.

 

I know Mats Eden has a melodeon tuned in quarter tone intervals, but he is from Norway and there is Lillebror Vasaassen who uses a one row tuned in partials of a given scale.

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The problem with Fahey tunes and the concertina is that Fahey played his intervals very non equal tempered, the concertina's f naturals etc just don't quite convey his music. Even the Keane sisters lean away from his own sound.

 

Norwegian music has quite a bit of these "quarter tones" (here we call them crooked). I know at least one good box player here, who has a retuned box to catch these.

 

I know Mats Eden has a melodeon tuned in quarter tone intervals, but he is from Norway and there is Lillebror Vasaassen who uses a one row tuned in partials of a given scale.

I thought Mats Edèn was Swedish? There are probably many more than Lillebror an my pal that have retuned boxes:-) No retuned concertinas though in Norway, nearly no concertinas at all:-(

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The problem with Fahey tunes and the concertina is that Fahey played his intervals very non equal tempered, the concertina's f naturals etc just don't quite convey his music. Even the Keane sisters lean away from his own sound.

 

Norwegian music has quite a bit of these "quarter tones" (here we call them crooked). I know at least one good box player here, who has a retuned box to catch these.

 

 

Can you give any YouTube or web links please ?

Mike

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