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Thread: rhythm problems when writing

  1. #1

    Default rhythm problems when writing

    https://thesession.org/discussions/204 A very useful discussion

    Anyone any contribution or interest in this ?

  2. #2
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    Good question, a good way to answer this is to make a list of all the different types of rhythm, and then Post a couple of YouTube videos for each type with comments on why your particular one, is a good example of an Irish Reel, and not an English or Scottish or Cajun or Cape Breton Reel,

    Reel, Hornpipe, Polka, single jig, slip jig, double jig, Strathspey…

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  4. #3
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    I see that the thread you have highlighted dates back twenty years, Werner, and has never been added to since then, as far as I can see. I would say that the responses to Marian's question are probably the answer she needed. The written notation (and I am a regular and happy user of standard notation) is the skeleton of the tune as far as our simple trad tunes go. We do not use the orchestrations and highly annotated scores that other genres might use, and generally work from a melody line or lead sheet, often with chord symbols attached for the guidance of the players. I work a lot with fiddle players and we use scores with harmony parts as well as melody, but again they are kept fairly simple as far as notation goes. I work too from Great Highland Bagpipe notation as I play a lot of pipe tunes on mandolin and octave and there the written notation is very specialised and specifically for pipers - no key signature, lots of pipe embellishments and grace notes written in, etc, but the basic melody is there to give the notes. The non-piper reading GHB notation must remember that the C and F notes are both played as sharps and the G is natural. Pipe scores do not go below the G on the treble clef as this is the lowest note the pipe chanter plays. Conventionally, non-pipers such as accordion or fiddle players will generally sharpen the G notes when interpreting a pipe score.

    The notation is a starting point but listening to experienced players of the particular tune types is an essential part of becoming good at playing our reels, jigs, etc. I listen often to midi playbacks of tunes in software such as Musescore (which I use) and they play back the tune exactly as it is notated, not as it would be played by a real live player - I am thinking particularly of the dot-and-cut combination (and its reverse) which feature so much in pipe tunes and the Scotch Snap (semi-quaver followed by dotted quaver) so beloved of our fiddlers and the pulse which makes our Strathspey unique in the musical world

    The point made by Steve to Marian's query is that to learn the different rhythms and styles a player is best served by listening to good performers of the various pieces. This can be via recordings or by attending sessions where there will often be quite subtle differences in how a tune is performed (and occasionally quite marked differences). Even in a country as small as Scotland there are quite marked regional styles in how tunes are interpreted.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    For historical purposes:

    Q: Can somebody post the rhythms for reels, vs. hornpipes. I know they are two different dances, that reels are like contras, and that hornpipes are couple dances. As I understand it, anyway. But I can’t "see" any differences in the notated versions I have of tunes which are called reels, and tunes which are called hornpipes.

    A: This strikes me as the kind of question that could only be asked by someone who relies on reading music - am I right? The best thing for you to do, in my opinion, is to listen to the way reels and hornpipes are played by experienced traditional players. That will tell you the whole story.

    The point is that the way that you’ll never understand the rhythms of traditional music by looking at music on paper. Attempts to notate the exact rhythm would tend to make the score look very complicated. The music is a kind of shorthand and requires that you know (by listening) what is an acceptable rhythm for a hornpipe, reel, jig or whatever. Then you just use the notation as a way to acquire the basic framework of the tune.
    Jim

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  8. #5

    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    Yes, John, you are right. Nothing beats a real acoustic instrument and gentle sensitiv pick operation with a pressure releasing sliding finger over the strings. Any attempt to bring that to the score exactly what I play, the way I play it, the articulations, slides, crescendo or diminuendo, the overtones etc- never the real thing. Sometimes I compose and arrange with my mandolin. It is perfect for creating a melody, the way the fretboard is arranged, fifths etc. The intervals are easy to follow. But for harmony and ofcourse for other instruments I use musescore. What else. I live in Germany. A long time ago in the southwest of Ireland. But I favour many scottish tunes because I find them just beautiful, many of them. And often I find more slowly played many them gain in this beauty. So I choose my own tempo. And arrange a bit. Old traditions hold many secrets, real treasures, hope they will survive this digital age. I think there is no need to be afraid this treasure might get lost , neither by digital nor by musescore notation programme. A score is like shorthand, only an assumption of or guidance for the real thing. Not useless but unless some real person plays the real thing with reai instruments it will not reach it's real inner potential capacity.. When the miracle of real music unfolds, vibration, overtones, harmonies etc. Nothing can ever beat that. I like to study the underlying basics how it is done, how to do it and how it works. A very old craft. Once more or less understood it is fun to play around with it. An intellectual challenge. a bit like chess playing. And then, of course , I want to apply rhythm. Melodies have rhythm, but sometimes I want a drumline.But with reels, hornpipes, polkas, single jigs, slip jigs, double jigs, strathspeys…and what have you--- a problem for me. From what I gather here for most people who are not origin. Lucky you. And thank you for your detailed reply. Stay safe, take care and best wishes. Werner

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    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    Thanks, Werner. I think growing up in a musical tradition gives a future player a somewhat unique advantage. I was so lucky to have my maternal grandmother (a fluent Gaelic speaker) who sang many of the beautiful Gaelic airs to me when I was very young - certainly pre-school in age, and I grew up in a household where the radio was always on (no Television in those days) and especially on a Saturday evening after tea we would listen to the Scottish Country Dance music. I can remember sitting at the table using my knife and fork to play along with the dance bands, pretending I was the drummer. We also had a local pipe band in my town and altough I never attempted the pipes both of my daughters are very fine pipers. My parents both played the harmonica and I learned this from them, completely by ear. I think the music somehow gets into you very early in your life and stays there, even when temporarily replaced with the pop music that filled my head in the late 1950s and through the 1960s when I was much more into the guitar and the pop tunes of the time.
    I am so glad I had this start in my life.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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  11. #7

    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    John, may I ask how I can find you on musescore?

  12. #8
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    Werner, I am not on Musescore. I use the software to produce standard notation (and occasional TAB for guitar or mandolin if someone asks me for it) of tunes I will be playing with fiddlers or other musicians locally here, and I also use it to convert abc notation to standard notation, usually for tunes I have heard or seen on The Session. I also use it when writing harmony parts or writing my own tunes, again for use with my local playing pals. I think I may once have posted a tune on Musescore, but I cannot remember what it was or when I posted it. My online presence is restricted to the Mandolin Cafe site and my YouTube channel - no Twitter or Facebook or Tik-Tok.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

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  14. #9

    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    https://thesession.org/discussions/24314
    Reels
    This is the most common type of dance tune played in Irish traditional music, originally heavily influenced by similar dances in Scotland.
    Usually it consists of two or more parts which are played twice.
    Each part up of eight segments known as bars,
    and the time signature is 4/4. This means that there are four beats to every bar (each beat is counted in even measure as 1-2-3-4 I 1-2-3-4).
    JigsThe jig (or double jig) is another common type of dance of English origin.
    Like the reel, the tune usually consists of two parts made of eight bars, but the time signature is 6/8.
    This means that there are six beats to every bar (each beat is counted in groups of three as 123-456 I 123-456).
    HornpipesHornpipes are dance tunes that appear to have originated in the maritime tradition.
    The most common type of hornpipe is similar to the reel in terms of time signature (4/4), but instead of counting four even beats per barthere is an emphasis on the first and third beats,
    which give the tune a kind of ‘swing’ or ‘bounce’ feel ( each beat is counted as 1-2-3-4 I 1-2-3-4*).*I was trying to make the 1 and 3 bold and slightly larger to emphasise them but can’t do it on this site.If you can say ‘carrots and cabbages, carrots and cabbages’ in time to the music its a jig
    .If you can say ‘double decker, double decker’ in time to the music it’s a reel
    .Hornpipes are harder, the rhythm is more flexible - many but not all go ‘Humpty dumpty, humpty dumpty’.
    But the real give away that it is a hornpipe is that each section ends with three even crochets (quarter notes).
    Strathspey (or in your case, hornpipe): "COC-a CO-la, COC-a CO-la (1e&-a 2e&-a 3e&-a 4e&-a),

    etc etc some help and easy to apply to a drumline for getting there

    blah dithery dump a doodle scattery idle fortunoodle

  15. #10

    Default Re: rhythm problems when writing

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Jaekel View Post
    blah dithery dump a doodle scattery idle fortunoodle
    This is all I can think about now.

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