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Aug 21, 2020 - 5:33:30 PM
639 posts since 8/10/2017

In this video, Kevin Burk, an Irish fiddler, says that the bow isn't the rhythm-maker, the tune is the rhythm-maker.
youtu.be/1AMesSTGSd8?t=160

But obviously the bow is the rhythm-maker for American old-time music.
youtube.com/watch?v=_cJ4tE9rdkk Porter’s Reel - Spencer & Rains
Or here
youtube.com/watch?v=sIbyvsPZ7fI Jon Bekoff

I find that kind of interesting. I don't know if I have a point or question, but I guess I never realized this difference.

Aug 21, 2020 - 6:24:37 PM

Baileyb

USA

39 posts since 1/24/2019

Kevin explains how he gets rhythm ( pulse / lilt ) with the bow in this video. 

https://www.fiddlevideo.com/how-to-play-trad-irish-fiddle-lesson-kevin-burke/

Aug 21, 2020 - 7:25:55 PM
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1743 posts since 12/11/2008

I guess I just play my Irish tunes with an old time American accent. In other words I play Middle-of-the-Atlantic style!

Aug 21, 2020 - 7:54:50 PM
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2653 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

In this video, Kevin Burk, an Irish fiddler, says that the bow isn't the rhythm-maker, the tune is the rhythm-maker.
youtu.be/1AMesSTGSd8?t=160

But obviously the bow is the rhythm-maker for American old-time music.
youtube.com/watch?v=_cJ4tE9rdkk Porter’s Reel - Spencer & Rains
Or here
youtube.com/watch?v=sIbyvsPZ7fI Jon Bekoff

I find that kind of interesting. I don't know if I have a point or question, but I guess I never realized this difference.


To me that is a way over generalization... and false dichotomy of either/or. Rather a rhythmic quality of any fiddle tune type music is combination of melodic and bow, and many other aspects. The different styles might have different rhythmic feel, groove... accent, articulation, devices.

edit: you can observe some intermediate Irish session players... they are playing the melody, (much like a MIDI, abc player would)... and might note a bit lack of rhythmic groove, lift... certainly compared to a good player cranking out this strong rhythmic feel. Think it might have something to do with the bow?

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 08/21/2020 20:00:20

Aug 21, 2020 - 8:00:48 PM
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291 posts since 6/21/2007

I have thought for a while, that the isolation of the frontier fiddlers caused Them to have to emphasize the rhythm with the bow, compared to the small tightly knit villages of Ireland where the bodhran could supply the rhythm allowing the fiddle to be more ‘graceful’. Listening to a New English contra dance fiddler and and Appalachian fiddler is a good way to compare and contrast.

Aug 21, 2020 - 8:27:16 PM
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2653 posts since 9/13/2009

???

In my observation... it is far more common in traditional Irish fiddling to play without accompaniment of or dependent on something like a bodhran or rhythm guitar like instrument... the fiddle alone creating the rhythm. Even some aversion to those instruments, and questionable how common that ever was.

Certainly I've hear plenty of solo Irish fiddling recording and live... that demonstrates it is quite rhythmical dance music.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 08/21/2020 20:31:37

Aug 21, 2020 - 8:41:36 PM
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2653 posts since 9/13/2009

FWIW - New England Contra dance fiddling is not the same thing as Irish fiddling.

Aug 22, 2020 - 1:35:06 AM
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1472 posts since 4/6/2014

Mix em up and create your own style, like folk have obviously done in the past. Or go in search of what you consider to be "The pure drop". It's all good imo. music doesn't exist in a vacuum, literally as well as metaphorically speaking.

Aug 22, 2020 - 5:20:59 AM
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carlb

USA

2294 posts since 2/2/2008

I only play fiddle for old time. Now I started singing folk songs about the time I started talking and I think songs play an important part in my fiddling, i.e. I play tunes like their songs each phrase being the line of song. The rhythm might change in different phrases. I think that I also create some rhythm with my left hand as I often pop the finger back and forth from the note to the open string and back.

Now, as far as a comparison between old time and Irish, I only have one tune that I've that experience with. I play penny whistle in Irish sessions. However, the players eventually found out that I played old time fiddle and also that I had no interest in trying to play Irish fiddle (I felt no need to struggle to learn Irish fiddle style when my whistle playing is good and adds to the session). There is one tune that I play in both Irish and old time, Honeymoon (Crockett's Honeymoon); it's in O'Neill's 1001 (not in the 1850). My whistle version fits just fine with the Irish session. However, on a rare occasion, I was requested to play Honeymoon on the fiddle along with a button accordion player. For me, it just didn't fit; I can't explain the differences as I've never sat down to analyze the difference though the notes are just about identical; guess it must be the rhythm.

Aug 22, 2020 - 6:37:57 AM

89 posts since 6/8/2020

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

In this video, Kevin Burk, an Irish fiddler, says that the bow isn't the rhythm-maker, the tune is the rhythm-maker.
youtu.be/1AMesSTGSd8?t=160
 


That does seem an odd comment by Kevin Burke and one in which I struggle a bit to understand. I suppose he believes the rhythm is inherent within the structure of the tune itself, which has to be somewhat true but then obviously the bow is used to generate the accents which certainly aid in defining the rhythm. Yeah, I don’t get that one.

Edited by - Johnbow on 08/22/2020 06:39:02

Aug 22, 2020 - 6:41:45 AM

639 posts since 8/10/2017

I did not know Crockett's Honeymoon is so old. Thanks for that little tidbit.

Aug 22, 2020 - 6:51:33 AM

639 posts since 8/10/2017

Sadly I did not find Crockett's Honeymoon in O'Neills.

Aug 22, 2020 - 7:18:42 AM

5016 posts since 9/26/2008

To me, the feel of the reel rhythm is different in Irish music. I've tried for years to OT up the Irish reel "The Banshee" but the way the notes fall in the tune make it hard to not sound Irish, or to make it sound OT. As far as where that rhythm comes from, in this case it seems like from the tune.

Aug 22, 2020 - 7:38:36 AM

2653 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

Sadly I did not find Crockett's Honeymoon in O'Neills.


The Irish tune is just called Honeymoon Reel

I play both versions;  and another we made for contra dance.

I've played a lot of similar tunes that have versions in both. Not always easy to simplify explanation of  what all is different.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 08/22/2020 07:44:52

Aug 22, 2020 - 7:56:56 AM

2653 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

To me, the feel of the reel rhythm is different in Irish music. I've tried for years to OT up the Irish reel "The Banshee" but the way the notes fall in the tune make it hard to not sound Irish, or to make it sound OT. As far as where that rhythm comes from, in this case it seems like from the tune.


There are some tunes, that use composition elements, that seem inherent to certain styles, so can't easily cross to others. That said, for Irish players, it is easy to make the Banshee not sound quite like native Irish music.  What a foreigner might think still sounds Irish... they don't. Lot's of stories of Americans thinking they "got it" - going over to Irish pubs... and not so much. Some surmise it's like language, dialect, accent; native speakers can easily detect outsiders.

Aug 22, 2020 - 8:25:31 AM

639 posts since 8/10/2017

I found both PDFs and Honeymoon reel.

Aug 22, 2020 - 8:26:48 AM

639 posts since 8/10/2017

quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler
quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

To me, the feel of the reel rhythm is different in Irish music. I've tried for years to OT up the Irish reel "The Banshee" but the way the notes fall in the tune make it hard to not sound Irish, or to make it sound OT. As far as where that rhythm comes from, in this case it seems like from the tune.


There are some tunes, that use composition elements, that seem inherent to certain styles, so can't easily cross to others. That said, for Irish players, it is easy to make the Banshee not sound quite like native Irish music.  What a foreigner might think still sounds Irish... they don't. Lot's of stories of Americans thinking they "got it" - going over to Irish pubs... and not so much. Some surmise it's like language, dialect, accent; native speakers can easily detect outsiders.


The reverse is also true. I've heard Irish sessioners attempt old-time music. It sounds nice, but not quite right.

Aug 22, 2020 - 8:32:28 AM

DougD

USA

9976 posts since 12/2/2007

Diane, don't believe everything you read on the Internet. I suggest you look at the murky history of this tune in the Fiddlers Companion. The Irish tune is called "Honeymoon Reel," and its #791 in O'Neill's "Dance Music of Ireland" ("the 1001" not "the 1850") just as Carl said.
A similar tune was recorded in the 1920's by Crocketts Kentucky Mountaineers as part of a medley. In the 1970's the hippies decided to start calling it "Crockett's Honeymoon" or "George Ainsley's tune." I think the Fiddler's Companion said it was similar to another tune in "Ryan's."
None of these sources are exactly ancient.
PS - I'd say that at least some of the differences are the trills and triplets in the notation in "O'Neill's."

Edited by - DougD on 08/22/2020 08:36:00

Aug 22, 2020 - 9:01:54 AM
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DougD

USA

9976 posts since 12/2/2007

PPS - It's in "Ryan's" as "Honey-moon Reel." Not as ornamented as the notation in "O'Neill's."

Aug 22, 2020 - 9:19:21 AM

1472 posts since 4/6/2014

I can quite happily play along with "Twin Sisters" with "The Boys From Bluehill" or Waynesboro which is like "Over The Moor To Maggie" but without the third part.... And i like the American Irish players as much as the ITM purists. But wherever they originated they are obviously the same tunes. So mixing the styles or putting them into American or Irish settings isn't that difficult.......If you know what you are doing like these two obviously do

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klC5BAiznNc

yesyes

Aug 22, 2020 - 10:22:37 AM

639 posts since 8/10/2017

That Honeymoon reel is nothing like the Crockett's honeymoon played in our jam. The only similarity is key of G and ends on the A note. Other than that, I can't see a resemblance at all. But that could just be because I can't play it very well from the sheet music.

Aug 22, 2020 - 10:42:37 AM
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DougD

USA

9976 posts since 12/2/2007

Pete - Thanks for posting that video, Pete. John Duncan is a member here and occasionally posts his tunes. Good to see him in action. Surprised no one came along trying to sell them hair restoring tonic!
Interesting they got together on a relatively recent Canadian tune, of Metis origin I think. Kind of common ground in a way.

Aug 22, 2020 - 12:01:24 PM

DougD

USA

9976 posts since 12/2/2007

Diane, here is the Crockett Family record that the "modern" idea of that tune comes from: youtu.be/-cGdKtxYVB4
They only play it once, after "Old Molly Hare" and before they actually play "Wild Horse" (the tune list is incorrect). Some interesting comments on that clip.
There's also a clip from Clifftop 2011 that probably reflects the current jam session version.

Aug 22, 2020 - 3:04:55 PM
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1743 posts since 12/11/2008

Pete -- that Whisky Before Breakfast is absolutely wonderful! But I also gotta say that, unless I've lost every ounce of sanity, they begin their measures on the dreaded, now much scorned down bow.

Aug 22, 2020 - 3:09:05 PM
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DougD

USA

9976 posts since 12/2/2007

Well of course they do. They're fiddlers, aren't they?

Edited by - DougD on 08/22/2020 15:12:15

Aug 22, 2020 - 10:59:12 PM
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BR5-49

USA

208 posts since 1/3/2019

It makes sense to me in a way. Notice that after Burke makes an absolute statement about bowing not driving the tune, he details a bowing pattern he uses. But in his -beliefs-...the bottom line is that Burke is not ruled by his bowing habits. But has the ability to detail his bowing. For example "a move he uses a lot".

Conceptually Burke defers to the tune as the driving force for the music. It's like the music ends up telling him to bow like he does and because Burke has the capacity to decipher it and execute it consistently he can tell you what he does...some times.

But ultimately -- For Burke (and many traditional fiddlers), the tune-the spirit of it comes first, and the bowing is not imposed on the tune, but vice versa. The bowing is a result of submitting to the music.

I think old time fiddling is similar, though music school bowers-or pattern bowers are more likely to impose their bowing upon the tune instead of allowing the tune to speak to the bowing.

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