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Thread: Hornpipe rhythm

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    There are a million hornpipes out there. And many are not from Ireland. By the name of this one, it is from England. But to me, it sounds very much like a French (Brittany) tune. Here is another version. (Very cool fiddle BTW).
    Hornpipes are generally regarded as having originated in England and spread from there to the rest of Britain and Ireland (and sporadically to continental Europe). I don't hear the similarity with Breton music myself - it sounds typically English to me - but we all hear things differently (and I am from England, so I probably have a more fully-formed idea of what English traditional music sounds like). English hornpipes too can be played 'straight' or 'dotted' ('swung'), but the difference tends to be quite categorical, not like the 'sliding scale' of swing that can be heard in Irish hornpipe playing.

    ...Then there are the English 3/2 hornpipes, which are a completely different animal (not really relevant to this thread, just an interesting aside - and they do have a certain similarity with the Breton hanter dro and a certain type of Swedish polska).

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    Her playing sounds quite classical to me, but I actually don’t know a lot of English Country Dance tunes so maybe it’s just the way I associate it.
    Again, you may be hearing something I am not, but her playing sounds quite typical of how English dance tunes are played 'in the tradition' at the present time.

  2. #27
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    is that really a fiddle?
    There are a handful of makers in the UK making 'pointless' fiddles. One of them, Tim Phillips (recently retired), lives near me - but I don't think this is one of his.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    For years I've said that the subtle lilt, or swing, or dotted feeling, takes a lot of careful listening. It is much like learning a language and getting it 'right' so that native speakers say that you are 'fluent' in the language.

    So many people want to have instant success. Mechanical methods of recording and analysis show accurate results, however the human side needs a lot of time to 'catch up'. My advice is much like a language instructors, study only one language at a time (if you are a beginner) and choose a good example.

    BTW that is a custom violin. Check out the strange peg box. (And it does sound like a Polska to me too.)
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  5. #29

    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Posted by Simon DS
    Her playing sounds quite classical to me, but I actually don’t know a lot of English Country Dance tunes so maybe it’s just the way I associate it.
    These forms, both overtly and otherwise, often show up in "classical" music. Composers have long drawn from folk sources, as well as synthesize stylized dances and melodies into their works. This may account for such associations.

    This is something I quite enjoy about European folk traditions - it often assuages the "genteel" quality of music to which I'm most familiar (as a former classical music student) in somewhat of an abstract or oblique way.

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  7. #30
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by whistler View Post
    There are a handful of makers in the UK making 'pointless' fiddles. One of them, Tim Phillips (recently retired), lives near me - but I don't think this is one of his.
    Actually, the lady playing said fiddle, Deb Chalmers, says in one of her videos that it was indeed made by Tim Phillips. His website is https://www.timsviolins.co.uk/ .
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    And to take the discussion further off course, I don't hear any polska rhythm in the video from Ms. Chalmers. The only polskas that are usually played straighter are slangpolskas or Finnish polskas and I've not heard that bounce in the Finnish version. We usually play them straight. To the point where a 3/4 tune sounds to many listeners (and musicians) like a 4/4 tune.
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  9. #32
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Eric is right about the Scandinavian accent being odd. Ha, ha. So let's 'pick on' classical players now. (I am one ya know...).

    When I started classical violin after playing Irish music for 20 years I learned that 'they' work on technique of playing very even notes. Meaning that a quarter note played fills up exactly the time it takes to make up a quarter note. The full amount of time for every darned note. And that includes rests too.

    Now as a folk fiddler who plays as one talks, you can imagine the trouble I had in behaving myself! Furthermore the tone of the note must be exact and beautifully played unless 'told otherwise'. I'm happy to report that I'm doing it, almost...and I can spot a violinist playing fiddle music right away.



    Now go back and listen to that guy from the Tulla Ceili Band playing slowly for the dancer. He was the guy that could control his playing. He has great concentration and I'm sure he worked with a metronome.

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  10. #33
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    the lady playing said fiddle, Deb Chalmers, says in one of her videos that it was indeed made by Tim Phillips
    Ah. Sorry, Tim!

  11. #34
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    I don't hear any polska rhythm in the video from Ms. Chalmers
    Sorry if I didn't express myself clearly enough. I did not mean to suggest that the hornpipe in the Deb Chalmers clip was in any way reminiscent of a polska. I was referring to 3/2 hornpipes, which can be somewhat similar to the 'semiquaver' polskas, which are played in an even 3/4 metre (not only slängpolskas or Finnish polskas - although perhaps the 'straight' kind are more common in the Finnish repertoire). Of course, there are stylistic and structural differences that mark them out as being either a 3/2 hornpipe or a polska. But I am reminded of this tune https://thesession.org/tunes/7962 , written by Northumbrian piper Andy May, who was playing in a band with Finnish musicians; he had set out to compose a 3/2 hornpipe (a staple of the Northumbrian piping repertoire) but his Finnish colleagues informed him that he had just composed a very nice Finnish polska!

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  13. #35
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by whistler View Post
    Sorry if I didn't express myself clearly enough. I did not mean to suggest that the hornpipe in the Deb Chalmers clip was in any way reminiscent of a polska. I was referring to 3/2 hornpipes, which can be somewhat similar to the 'semiquaver' polskas, which are played in an even 3/4 metre (not only slängpolskas or Finnish polskas - although perhaps the 'straight' kind are more common in the Finnish repertoire). Of course, there are stylistic and structural differences that mark them out as being either a 3/2 hornpipe or a polska. But I am reminded of this tune https://thesession.org/tunes/7962 , written by Northumbrian piper Andy May, who was playing in a band with Finnish musicians; he had set out to compose a 3/2 hornpipe (a staple of the Northumbrian piping repertoire) but his Finnish colleagues informed him that he had just composed a very nice Finnish polska!
    Okay. Thank you! That makes more sense. Yes. That tune definitely sounds more like a polska than a regular tune - here's Baltic Crossing playing it with Robbie Sherratt who also seems to be playing a similar fiddle to Deb Chalmers
    https://youtu.be/7UNLDht-XtE

    What I meant by a Finnish polska often being even is more like what Antti Jarvela plays in this video. Again, it's 3/4 time although one might not know it by the foot taps -
    https://youtu.be/Hm1tI5kBQLY

    Sorry that I've taken this way far afield from the actual hornpipes. I will now go sit in the corner and work on Vankarin Polska for penance.
    Last edited by Eric Platt; Nov-19-2020 at 5:37pm. Reason: Can't seem to link to the YouTube videos
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  15. #36
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    Default Re: Hornpipe rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    ... it's 3/4 time although one might not know it by the foot taps ...
    Yes, the 3-pulse is not immediately obvious without counting it. Traditions and conventions notwithstanding, there would be a case for notating a tune like this in 3/2, since each of the beats has quite a lot going on in it (But what is notation anyway? It's what it sounds like that matters). The phrase structure is certainly very different from any 3/2 hornpipe, though - in 3/2 hornpipes, the phrases tend to line up squarely with the barlines (allowing for anacruses).

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