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Author Topic: Dartmoor style - what is it?  (Read 4644 times)

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paulq

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Dartmoor style - what is it?
« on: January 25, 2011, 02:00:19 PM »

What makes Dartmoor-style, Dartmoor-style? I'm listening to a lot of Bob Cann at the moment and working on the "family tunes" a bit. I can hear how driving his playing is, but is there anything specifically I might be missing in the way the basses and chords work that's distinctively "Dartmoor"? Any help gratefully received....
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EeeJay

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 02:59:04 PM »

The only readily available YouTube snippet of Bob in action is here (starting @ 4:53)... not entirely typical of the average Dartmoor knees-up I grant you, but useful in its own way... both straps... double foot stomping technique... a few clues...

Ed J
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george garside

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 04:14:47 PM »

?? mostly 'on the row' with plenty of ins & outs. steady bass rhythm with plenty of lift
.played with dancing in mind

george
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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 04:27:44 PM »

I went to a 'Dartmoor Style' workshop with Moor music, organised by the Lewes folk club, a few months ago. I think as well as the points that George has raised, there was an emphasis on pulsing in the rhythm. The strict tempo and choice of tunes was important as well; Cann was greatly influenced by the playing of Jimmy Shand.

sqwzboxstudent

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 04:45:51 PM »

ive been trying to master dartmoor style for a few years and have done some researh into it, heres the key points to playing it....

play trebble and bass very staccatto ,

play omm pahs for bass, keeping a short omm and slightly longer  pah, but keep the 2 seperate (keep the gap inbetween them )

keep the bellows action close

play with pace but not too fast

play straight up and down the row

also check out CDs by the dartmoor pixie band, the rice family , mark bazeley and jason rice (moor music )
and the orchard family

heres a few tunes that are different to the ones on his proper job album

http://www.we7.com/#/album/Bob-Cann/West-Country-Melodeon
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paulq

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 05:33:12 PM »

That's really helpful. It's very even isn't it? All the notes have the same value and the same volume. Almost machine-like.
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Anahata

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 05:35:24 PM »

heres a few tunes that are different to the ones on his proper job album

http://www.we7.com/#/album/Bob-Cann/West-Country-Melodeon

Oh, that brings back memories!
Sounds so easy until you try to imitate it...
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sqwzboxstudent

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 05:41:40 PM »

if you think i can help in anyway just message me, im no expert tho!
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Alan Morley

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 05:43:19 PM »

heres a few tunes that are different to the ones on his proper job album

http://www.we7.com/#/album/Bob-Cann/West-Country-Melodeon

Oh, that brings back memories!
Sounds so easy until you try to imitate it...


I heard Bob Cann tunes ages ago and the version of 'Primrose Polka' that I play is based on his version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua-NWNl5o9M

« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 05:50:11 PM by Almo2504 »
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Alan Morley

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 05:49:41 PM »

Another CD worth a listen is Melodeon Greats - full of tunes from prior to 1923.

http://www.sainsburysentertainment.co.uk/en/Music/CD/Various-Artists/Melodeon-Greats/product.html?product=E10257130

A lot of early melodeon playing seem to be based on pipe band music, marches, waltzs etc.

Melodeon playing in it's infancy....

Almo
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Anahata

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 05:54:19 PM »

I heard Bob Cann tunes ages ago and the version of 'Primrose Polka' that I play is based on his version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua-NWNl5o9M

Primrose Polka is an insanely great tune.
Ollie also posted a Nice version of Primrose Polka recently.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 11:26:06 PM by Anahata »
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2011, 10:20:00 PM »

Bob was a huge influence in bringing back the 'Dartmoor stepping', and I've seen archive films of him playing whilst the steppers got on top of a butt cart and stepped in the competition. He kept playing with his back to them and simply churned out the same beat and tempo, a 50's version of an organic ipod I suppose! Therefore it had to be constant, metronomic, so each dancer had exactly the same music to step to. This must surely have been a huge influence in his general playing.
In reality, the stepping was probably all over the county originally. Although I'm from East Devon, we used to have it there. My gran remembered the men coming out of the pub and going round someone's house, one night singing all night, another step dancing.  After the First War those lads never came back..... it happened all over as we all know.
I have very fond memories of Bob, and dealt with him as Bagman when he booked us to dance at the Dartimoor Festival. His letter of invitation is a total hoot and written in broad Deb'n!!!
I only ever played with him once in the Drewe Arms at Drewesteignton, our morris side's 'ancestral home' whilst Auntie Mabel ran it ( she ran it for over 75 years and died at 101, and that's a whole massive set of totally mad stories in itself, bless her!)
I was vaulting a gate at Doccombe when a car went by tooting his horn....that's the last time I saw Bob, and I smile when I think of it.
Ahhh well... fond memories here....
Q
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I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Anahata

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 11:36:08 PM »

Bob was a huge influence in bringing back the 'Dartmoor stepping', and I've seen archive films of him playing whilst the steppers got on top of a butt cart and stepped in the competition. He kept playing with his back to them and simply churned out the same beat and tempo, a 50's version of an organic ipod I suppose! Therefore it had to be constant, metronomic, so each dancer had exactly the same music to step to.

They still do it just like that at the Dartmoor Festival. Mark Bazeley sits on the front of the cart and plays concertina, and is the only person unable to see the stepping contestant behind him.

See also this posting on keeping a steady tempo for dance competitions.
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Alan Morley

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 11:01:08 AM »

I heard Bob Cann tunes ages ago and the version of 'Primrose Polka' that I play is based on his version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua-NWNl5o9M

Primrose Polka is an insanely great tune.
Ollie also posted a Nice version of Primrose Polka recently.


I'm never sure if there should be a key change on the third part, which we melodeon players can't do.
Brass Monkey / JK play a set of tunes starting with 'Tip-Top Hornpipe' then into 'Primrose Polka' played in 'C' but the third part is in 'G'...

Almo
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Anahata

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 11:26:09 AM »

I'm never sure if there should be a key change on the third part, which we melodeon players can't do.
Brass Monkey / JK play a set of tunes starting with 'Tip-Top Hornpipe' then into 'Primrose Polka' played in 'C' but the third part is in 'G'...

That's certainly true of the Jimmy Shand recording of the Bluebell Polka, which goes from D to A to D to G (and that can be done on a two row D-G with a little effort)

I've never heard the JS version of Primrose Polka (which I think is where it came from) but I shouldn't be surprised if it was written that way, as it seems to have been a common custom at the time. Cf. Sousa marches and Scott Joplin's rags, all of which typically have key changes per section.

You could start in G and do the third section in D, or something...

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Theo

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 11:57:45 AM »

You can also do the Bluebell Polka with the third part in C.   Its playable on a D/G with standard accidentals.
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george garside

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2011, 12:13:29 PM »

I have not come accross a Jimmy Shand  recording of bluebell polka in DADG , all those I have are A part in G, B part in D & C part in C & thias is the way its usually written. O have the 1953 sheeet music for primrose polka "as recorded by Jimmy Shand" and its in F.  I ;have a recording of him playing it & will dig it out to see what key it was done in.

george
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Anahata

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 12:31:57 PM »

I have not come accross a Jimmy Shand  recording of bluebell polka in DADG , all those I have are A part in G, B part in D & C part in C & thias is the way its usually written.

I'm sure you're right. Same relative key changes. I first learned the tune from Colin Cater playing it on a 3 row ADG box.

Bluebell in G-D-C is also not too hard on a D/G box.
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george garside

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 12:36:46 PM »

and dead easy on a DG with half row of accidentals with F natural in the right place!

george
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Alan Morley

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Re: Dartmoor style - what is it?
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2011, 12:38:08 PM »

and dead easy on a DG with half row of accidentals with F natural in the right place!

george

I'll just pop out and get a new box then.....
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