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Folk music conducted and played by Classical musos

Posted by Irish Violin on Sunday, December 6, 2009

The conductor of one of the orchestras I'm in arranged a collection of folk music but now refuses to let us play it because we can't play it the way he wants it. I love the fact that we're playing folk music, but I hate that the conductor dislikes the way we play it. One of the main tunes in the arrangement is 'Drowsy Maggie'  (my favourite folk song) and  we  have to play it straight i.e. no slides, other ornatmentation that folk music uses. Still looking on the positive side...Yay folk music!!!  

5 comments on “Folk music conducted and played by Classical musos”

bj Says:
Sunday, December 6, 2009 @5:22:05 PM

Oh dear. Well, it is an orchestra, and not a funky ol' stringband, and he is the conductor.

Sounds like you might be wise to put a garage band together to play it the way you want to when you're not playing in orchestra. Be better for your spirit, and maybe allow you to be less contentious when you're in orchestra, since you'll be getting your "soul food" elsewhere. :-)

Irish Violin Says:
Sunday, December 6, 2009 @5:25:11 PM

Good point...I soooo need to create a garage band!!!

mudbug Says:
Monday, December 7, 2009 @1:37:29 AM

Remember, when you form your own band, YOU become the conductor! I imagine, getting a whole string section to ornament together , could be quite a daunting task.

fiddlecraver Says:
Monday, December 7, 2009 @11:02:12 AM

What does the conductor look to for the definitive version? A skeletal piece of sheet music that is nothing like the tune as it has been traditionally played? Why not create a notated version that does include ornaments, slides etc... classical music is full of such things. Im not a big proponent of playing "folk" tunes from notation but what I think hurts the music is when people play from poorly notated sheets... for example collector ALan Jabbours transcriptions are excellent. See this popular fiddle tune (that usually gets butchered by even "filk" players)

I have arranged trad tunes for classically trained folks and it is definitely possible to do it in creative and expressive ways.

fiddlecraver Says:
Monday, December 7, 2009 @11:04:58 AM

Id be interested in seeing his notation/arrangement of Drowsy Maggie for violin... any chance you could share it?

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