Melodeon.net Forums

Discussions => Tune of the Month => Topic started by: Clive Williams on April 01, 2010, 01:05:43 AM

Title: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 01, 2010, 01:05:43 AM
After a close well fought battle, this month's TOTM is...

Battle of the Somme

You can find a version of it here (the tune at the beginning, not the song) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS8oF1XxCmc

Bill Young provides the following info on this tune:

Quote
Any score I've seen for "The Battle of the Somme", even in pipe books, hasn't attributed the composer. After a bit of a search, I found this: "Composed shortly after the infamous battle by Pipe Major William Laurie of the 8th Battalion, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, The Battle Of The Somme was commonly regarded as the best composition of the First World War. Unfortunately Pipe Major Laurie died later that year of illness after being invalided home."

I also came across a discussion on Mudcat.org where someone had heard a song set to "The Battle of the Somme". Here are the lyrics:

"One Day We'll See Them" written by Alex Campbell

Darkness is fading, the day it is dawning
The fields they are empty, nae workers today.
Farmers and young men all have been going
To battles in lands that lie far away.

Yet one day we'll see them come by the hillside
Husbands and sons will return to their homes.
Yet still my heart bleeds; the price of their young pride
Their widows and sweethearts left sadly to mourn.

The call when it came found their menfolk aye ready,
Each knew the reasons or that's what they thought.
Then came the doubting but still they were steady
Slow dying in cold clay a'cursing their lot.

Yet one day we'll see them, there on the hillside
Though knowing in hearts they are but a gleam.
The grief in the long glen, the gloom at the fireside
Will pass like a Spring breeze that never has been.

This is a lovely tune; one of my favourites, and very playable as a lament or as a march as originally written (in slip jig time), or many other combinations. Looking forward to seeing what people do with it!

Good luck!

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 01, 2010, 06:55:09 AM
After a close well fought battle, this month's TOTM is...

Battle of the Somme

You can find a version of it here (the tune at the beginning, not the song) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS8oF1XxCmc


So that's where the idea that it's a dirge came from!  Here are more representative versions of the tune:

Concertina -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGjiVFYIgNk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGjiVFYIgNk)

A local Boy's Brigade band (1st tune) [[[ 2nd tune I think actually - Cheers, Clive ]]] - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P17LFIb0hcA&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P17LFIb0hcA&feature=related)

Clive, thanks; yes, you're right of course. I'm too used to hearing them played the other way round. Bill
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Lester on April 01, 2010, 06:57:25 AM
X: 1
T: Battle of the Somme
C: Pipe Major William Laurie (1882-1916)
B: "Army Manual of Bagpipe Tunes and Drum Beatings. Music for Massed Pipes and Drums, Book 2" 1934
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: G
d>c |\
BdB G3 GFG | AGE E3  D3 | EGE D3 G3 | BdB A3- Ad>c |\
BdB G3 GFG | AGE E3  D3 | EGE D3 B3 | ABA G3- G   :|
|: zG |\
GFG A3 D3  | AGA BdB G3 | GAB c3 D3 | BdB A3- Ad>c |\
BdB G3 GFG | AGE E3  D3 | EGE D3 B3 | ABA G3- G   :|
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ziachmusi/Louise on April 01, 2010, 07:46:57 AM
OK for all of us who have no idea about music -

whats a 9/8, and what should we do with the bass (I'm only up to Um Pah at the moment!)

Louise
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 01, 2010, 07:58:18 AM
OK for all of us who have no idea about music -

whats a 9/8, and what should we do with the bass (I'm only up to Um Pah at the moment!)

Louise
A time signature of 9/8 implies that there are 9 quavers (eighth notes) in each bar. They tend to be arranged in groups of three, so the the rhythm of the tune is based on a pulse of one-and-a two-and-a three-and-a | one-and-a two-and-a three-and-a | etc.

Basses - you could go Oom-pah-pah, but it wouldn't sound very good. With this tune, a good accompaniment style would be gentle sustained chords, almost like drones, with very sparing (if any) use of the actual bass notes.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ziachmusi/Louise on April 01, 2010, 08:24:19 AM
Quote
a good accompaniment style would be gentle sustained chords, almost like drones, with very sparing (if any) use of the actual bass notes.

Sorry for being a bit slow but are we taking about chords on the bass end or on the treble end?.
I think I'll have to wait for a few entries to get the gist.

Louise
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 01, 2010, 08:31:14 AM
Sorry for being a bit slow but are we taking about chords on the bass end or on the treble end?.
I think I'll have to wait for a few entries to get the gist.
I was referring to chords on the bass end.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 01, 2010, 08:49:52 AM
Lester's ABC does not translate to the right rhythm of semi-quavers and dotted quavers. I discovered I have a book of Lawrie family tunes edited for fiddle and accordion by Willie Lawrie of Ballachulish, William Lawrie's grandson, and himself a composer and accordion player. His accordion arrangement shows the rhythm and has a simple chord accompaniment (PDF attached). It's in the key of D, the normal key for this tune.

Also to show the rhythm, I've attached the score from the Scots Guards Standard Settings of Pipe Music (4th Ed. 1960). The setting in the Queen's Own Highlanders book is identical except for one note in the B part. (Pipe tunes are invariably printed in landscape format; you should be able to turn through 900 in your reader).

I've also attached a brief biographical note on William Lawrie from Willie Lawrie's book.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Ryall on April 01, 2010, 09:01:44 AM
First take - I'm hearing a chord run something like ...

  G Em Em | Em C C | C G C | G D D |
  D C/D C | C C C | C G G | D G G |   (C/D = C chord, on D bass)


  D  D  D  | G G G | C C C | D D D |
  D C/D C | C C C | C G G | D G G |

Sometimes chord sounds better, sometimes bass. You can get some texture when a chord repeats by fairly gentle moves between chord and bass -  whatever sounds better against left hand.  I'm trying to 'flow' a bass line. Somehow it doesn't seem to matter a low exactly where you change! And I think I agree with Steve - anything dum cha might sound a bit ugly.

Hanging the chords' toes into the next bar creates 'sus' effects - I suspect its all to easy to play a flat and dull left hand on this one. Or even try to sound like a bagpipe  :|bl  

Holding the C (bass or chord) in the second line also makes a nice 'sus'. Experimenting - I held it 5½ bars (!) but that's not to say 4 or 6 would be wrong. It's something Andy Cutting was well fond of about 15 years ago.  Subtler and more musical tension than a G drone? Well, I think so.

Last observation is that the tune likes the odd low C. Having got my little Liily back - don't have one on it. But when it does come up I can drop all sound apart from my C bass for just that single note - and it 'sounds' as if I have  :D. Classic bit of melodeonic prestigiitation. Need to practice it now.  doc3row
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 01, 2010, 09:30:26 AM
OK for all of us who have no idea about music -

whats a 9/8, and what should we do with the bass (I'm only up to Um Pah at the moment!)

Louise

9/8 is a slip jig, like Drops of Brandy or Foxhunters Jig - to a casual listener or player, this isn't actually radically different to a jig, except that a bar is made up of 3 sets of oom-pahs, rather than 2 sets of oom-pah per bar as would be the case in a standard jig... so, unless you're trying to follow written music, it really doesn't make much difference.  Watch Bill's concertina video link - this gives a pretty good idea of how a standard jig bass rhythm can work against this tune.

Cheers,

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Susi on April 01, 2010, 10:30:54 AM
There is some slow part, or at least with long notes (as it looks on the dots) in the middle, but in the concertina video he plays something else?! I think I rather would play it as the concertina guy does and skip the middle part (as I also did with Princess Royal). The middle part just seems out of place to me, and confusing. But I've never heard the tune before so I have no idea really. What do you think?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 01, 2010, 01:14:40 PM
Quote
what should we do with the bass

Louise, just give 'em a good thump every now and then to let  'em know you're there - that's what I do anyway. Not terribly musical - but then this is the melodeon we're talking about ;)
AL
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 01, 2010, 01:36:04 PM
There is some slow part, or at least with long notes (as it looks on the dots) in the middle, but in the concertina video he plays something else?! I think I rather would play it as the concertina guy does and skip the middle part (as I also did with Princess Royal). The middle part just seems out of place to me, and confusing. But I've never heard the tune before so I have no idea really. What do you think?

I'd say 'concertina guy' is pretty close to what I would consider the tune, although somewhat disconcertingly, he seems to drop the lead in note to the b music which disrupts the flow somewhat. Other than that, I'd go with concertina guy's version.

Cheers,

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 01, 2010, 04:47:18 PM
X: 1
T: Battle of the Somme
C: Pipe Major William Laurie (1882-1916)
B: "Army Manual of Bagpipe Tunes and Drum Beatings. Music for Massed Pipes and Drums, Book 2" 1934
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: G
 . . .
Lester,

I am not familiar with your source  "Army Manual of Bagpipe Tunes and Drum Beatings. Music for Massed Pipes and Drums, Book 2" 1934. Presumably this is a book of bagpipe scores, so I can't understand how you get a tune in the key of G out of it. Would it be possible for you to post the original score (or email me a copy)?

Bill
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Lester on April 01, 2010, 05:13:00 PM
X: 1
T: Battle of the Somme
C: Pipe Major William Laurie (1882-1916)
B: "Army Manual of Bagpipe Tunes and Drum Beatings. Music for Massed Pipes and Drums, Book 2" 1934
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: G
 . . .
Lester,

I am not familiar with your source  "Army Manual of Bagpipe Tunes and Drum Beatings. Music for Massed Pipes and Drums, Book 2" 1934. Presumably this is a book of bagpipe scores, so I can't understand how you get a tune in the key of G out of it. Would it be possible for you to post the original score (or email me a copy)?

Bill

Bill

Just a cut'n'paste from JCs Tune Finder so where it came from I know not! But after a bit of googling looks to be Merkin

http://scotpress.com/catalog/scottish-music-books-drum-music-c-44_57/army-manual-of-bagpipe-tunes-book-2-p-1364 (http://scotpress.com/catalog/scottish-music-books-drum-music-c-44_57/army-manual-of-bagpipe-tunes-book-2-p-1364)

Interesting line on the web page -  (Not for sale to the UK)  
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 01, 2010, 06:08:52 PM
X: 1
T: Battle of the Somme
C: Pipe Major William Laurie (1882-1916)
B: "Army Manual of Bagpipe Tunes and Drum Beatings. Music for Massed Pipes and Drums, Book 2" 1934
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: G
 . . .
Lester,

I am not familiar with your source  "Army Manual of Bagpipe Tunes and Drum Beatings. Music for Massed Pipes and Drums, Book 2" 1934. Presumably this is a book of bagpipe scores, so I can't understand how you get a tune in the key of G out of it. Would it be possible for you to post the original score (or email me a copy)?

Bill

Bill

Just a cut'n'paste from JCs Tune Finder so where it came from I know not! But after a bit of googling looks to be Merkin

http://scotpress.com/catalog/scottish-music-books-drum-music-c-44_57/army-manual-of-bagpipe-tunes-book-2-p-1364 (http://scotpress.com/catalog/scottish-music-books-drum-music-c-44_57/army-manual-of-bagpipe-tunes-book-2-p-1364)

Interesting line on the web page -  (Not for sale to the UK)  
Lester, thanks for that. Having listened to the midi of that version (via Montreal Tunebook), it doesn't have all the notes right e.g. bars 3 & 7; as well as the key and rhythm as I mentioned earlier. A better version is what came up as the first one in the search on JCs Tune Finder, tune no.36761. It's in D, has the right rhythm and sounds right via midi. I'd recommend that ABC'ers use this one:

X: 1
T:The Battle of the Somme
C:Willie Laurie
S:Forgotten
R:march
M:9/8
L:1/8
F:http://ecf-guest.mit.edu/~jc/music/abc/mirror/kirby98.fsnet.co.uk/ba/Battle_of_the_Somme_2.abc    2010-04-01 16:47:59 UT
K:D
A|f<af d3 d>cd|e>dG B3 A3| B<GB A3 d3|f<af e3 e2 A|f<af d3 d>cd|
e>dG B3 A3|B<GB A3 f3|e>fe d3 d2::z|d>cd e3 A3|e>fg f<af d3|\
f>ef g3 A3|
f<af e3 e2 A|f<af d3 d>cd|e>dG B3 A3|B<GB A3 f3|e>fe d3 d2:|]
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Howard Jones on April 01, 2010, 11:42:19 PM
Here's one I made earlier:

http://www.myspace.com/howardjcjones (http://www.myspace.com/howardjcjones)

Mostly on concertina (C/G anglo) I'm afraid, but there's a bit of melodeon (Hohner Club II C/F) in the background last time through, although it's hard to pick out as there's a G/D anglo playing as well.



Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: oggiesnr on April 02, 2010, 10:11:40 PM
This is Jack Campin's version in Dmajor (which seems to be the "standard" scottish session key).

X:6
T::The Battle of the Somme
Z:Jack Campin, 2006, http://www.campin.me.uk/
M:9/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=90
K:D
A|f<af d3 d>cd|e>dG B3 A3|B>GB A3 d3|f<af e3- e2
A|f<af d3 d>cd|e>dG B3 A3|B>GB A3 f3|e>fe d3- d2:|
A|d>cd e3 A2e |e>fg a3 d3|d>ef g3 A3|f<af e3- e2
A|f<af d3 d>cd|e>dG B3 A3|B>GB A3 f3|e>fe d3- d2:|

All the best

Steve
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Lester on April 03, 2010, 11:03:38 AM
My first go around thus particular buoy. A straight rendition on a Hohner 1 Row 4 Stop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlbsnRVn1dA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlbsnRVn1dA)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: DaveD on April 03, 2010, 05:26:16 PM
Lester

My first go around thus particular buoy. A straight rendition on a Hohner 1 Row 4 Stop.

Now I know where I've heard the tune before - Albion Band's 'Lark Rise to Candleford,  track ten. Similar rythem

Dave
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: gmatkin on April 04, 2010, 01:59:49 PM
Here's mine... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsrYrU16BrA

Hope you like it!

Gav
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Rob Phillips on April 04, 2010, 06:29:42 PM

Now I know where I've heard the tune before - Albion Band's 'Lark Rise to Candleford,  track ten. Similar rythem


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=330n4m8i1Ck

Here's the Albion Band playing Battle of the Somme in the 1978 National Theatre production. Pinch yourself if you remember it  --  it was 32 years ago! It's also on the Albion Country Band's "Battle of the Field". This came out a couple of years earlier. I bought the vinyl at the time and suddenly feel very old.  :(


Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ollie on April 04, 2010, 06:41:50 PM

Now I know where I've heard the tune before - Albion Band's 'Lark Rise to Candleford,  track ten. Similar rythem


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=330n4m8i1Ck

Here's the Albion Band playing Battle of the Somme in the 1978 National Theatre production. Pinch yourself if you remember it  --  it was 32 years ago! It's also on the Albion Country Band's "Battle of the Field". This came out a couple of years earlier. I bought the vinyl at the time and suddenly feel very old.  :(


The album version is sublime. The trumpet voluntry followed by the wailing electric guitar up an octave in the last time though always sends shivers down my spine.  Wish I'd been around to witness the shows in the late 70s. I'd pay good money to see Rise Up Like the Sun performed live again.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bryn Pinzgauer on April 05, 2010, 02:25:22 PM
OK, I voted for it so here's my first "Tune of the Month" attempt. Played on my Hohner Pokerwork. For me, the tune sounds a bit too happy. I prefer a more sombre take but can't yet play it that way. It's at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/4492677513/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/4492677513/)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Howard Jones on April 05, 2010, 05:26:31 PM
the tune sounds a bit too happy. I prefer a more sombre take but can't yet play it that way.

You appear to be playing just D maj and A maj chords, which is what's making it sound cheerful.  To give it a more sombre feel try playing a B min chord  - some boxes (mine included) have the top inner pair of buttons tuned to B min, but as yours is a Pokerwork they will probably be tuned to B maj, so you might have to play and hold just the bottom button of the pair.  Also try putting in a G chord, but you will have to cross onto the G row to get the melody notes.

These are the chords I would use (heavily influenced by the Albions):

"D"    "Bm"      "A"     "G"  "D"  "G"      "D"  "Bm"        "A"
f<af |d3 d>cd e>dG |B3  A3    B>GB |A3  d3   f<af |e3- e2

Mind you, I think the Albions' versions, which are stately and sombre, were the chief influences on introducing the tune to the folk scene, however whenever I hear army bands playing it, at the Trooping of the Colour for example, they seem to play it a bit faster, at normal marching pace, which makes it sound brighter and more cheerful.  Personally, given the subject of the tune, which Lloyd George described as ‘The most gigantic, tenacious, grim, futile and bloody fight ever waged in the history of war’, I prefer the sombre approach (the final casualties were: British 415,000, French 195,000, Germans perhaps 600,000)

Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: BCC#er on April 05, 2010, 06:29:02 PM
Personally, given the subject of the tune, which Lloyd George described as ‘The most gigantic, tenacious, grim, futile and bloody fight ever waged in the history of war’, I prefer the sombre approach (the final casualties were: British 415,000, French 195,000, Germans perhaps 600,000)

Yes, the title does seem to be a big impediment to playing it too jauntily.
But the melody itself, independently of its title or 'subject', is quite amenable to a lighter treatment imo.

I agree especially keeping in mind it's a most common tune for a Scottish Lilt.
I'd say it's a battle tune not a dirge so it could be played in aggressive way rather then mornfull.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bryn Pinzgauer on April 05, 2010, 07:50:57 PM
Thanks for the suggestions all. Will try saddening it.

My grandfather was one of the British (Welsh) casualties of the Somme. Shot in the face and head but not killed. Had a metal plate put in his head back then.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: oggiesnr on April 05, 2010, 11:12:44 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=330n4m8i1Ck

Here's the Albion Band playing Battle of the Somme in the 1978 National Theatre production. Pinch yourself if you remember it  --  it was 32 years ago! It's also on the Albion Country Band's "Battle of the Field". This came out a couple of years earlier. I bought the vinyl at the time and suddenly feel very old.  :(


Scary, I was there, working as a stagehand, so I also feel old!

There's a brass band version on Mike Harding's "Bombers' Moon" album, it's the coda to "The Accrington Pals"
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Pete Dunk on April 05, 2010, 11:26:56 PM
Thanks for the suggestions all. Will try saddening it.

My grandfather was one of the British (Welsh) casualties of the Somme. Shot in the face and head but not killed. Had a metal plate put in his head back then.

Play the tune as you feel it should be played Bryn, it's about you and the way the music makes you feel. Sometimes a tune speaks to you and demands to be played in a certain way. Mess with that and you're messing with your own creativity. You may not always be right in the view of others, in fact chances are that many will interpret the tune in a very different way but nothing in music is cast in stone. Pipe Major William Laurie wrote the Battle of the Somme as a retreat march to be played at a brisk pace on the highland great pipes, but that doesn't mean that I can't play it with the emotion the tune creates in me on a very different instrument in a very different world as a deeply respectful 'interpretation'.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 06, 2010, 12:17:08 AM
Here's my very quick stab at this tune, played as a lament/slow march:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnyLhVMUIkE

Going to be a busy month for me, so thought I'd get it in while I can!

Enjoy,

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bryn Pinzgauer on April 06, 2010, 08:20:37 AM
Nice - I liked that.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: BCC#er on April 06, 2010, 09:36:55 AM
Thanks Clive, I really like it! Great stuff.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Lester on April 06, 2010, 03:53:29 PM
A more droney version on my Connemara III

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAJ-xEvrX4E (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAJ-xEvrX4E)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: GuyWyatt on April 06, 2010, 05:33:05 PM
It maybe that I am just not finding the right way into this tune but so far (although the tune itself is growing on me) I just can't make it sound right with bases.  It sounds quite attractive right hand only, but on the other hand if you are only going to use the right hand there is in my view not much point in playing it on a melodeon and you might as well put it on a fiddle.
It looks like I am going to wait for all you folk out in melodeonspace to inspire and inform what I am playing.
Guy
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 06, 2010, 07:26:59 PM
It maybe that I am just not finding the right way into this tune but so far (although the tune itself is growing on me) I just can't make it sound right with bases.  It sounds quite attractive right hand only

I'm going for a 1-row version with RH chords and bass notes but not LH chords, and then only where they fit.
Coming later tonight with a bit of luck but I've got some other video editing to attend to first.

The tune's growing on me too - I'm really getting into it and I know how I want to play it.
Clive's version is a lovely example of a particular approach, but my take on the tune is that it's driven more by anger at the criminal and needless waste of life. And, as has been said, it's a march, not a lament. Those pipes and drums make the right noises for me...
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Brimley on April 06, 2010, 08:05:49 PM
Here's my version, hope you like it:

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18083

I agree with you about this tune, Anahata - I also wanted to try to say something about the way this tune must have been written as a stirring anthem about glory and honour, to cover up the reality, which was just a bloody mess.  I don't see it as a dirge.

'He's the Universal Soldier, and he really is to blame, his orders come from far away no more...', as the man said.

Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Noggin on April 06, 2010, 08:17:12 PM
This could do with a bit more practice but I think you can get the gist of what I was trying to do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYrcJPqKdCU
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: BCC#er on April 06, 2010, 09:02:25 PM
Chris Brimley: That's much more close to my vision of the tune. Suprerb! :|glug
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 06, 2010, 09:12:16 PM
I also wanted to try to say something about the way this tune must have been written as a stirring anthem about glory and honour, to cover up the reality, which was just a bloody mess.

I discovered it's not quite like that. I quote Jack Campin (who usually knows what he's talking about) on Mudcat a few years back:
Quote
"The Battle of the Somme" is a 9/8 slow march written by William Laurie during WW1. He was in the battle, wrote the tune in hospital after it, and died of his wounds a few months later; he lived long enough to see it adopted by every pipe band in the Army. (He was not the much better-known pipe tune composer Willie Lawrie, who outlived WW1 by a few decades)

Anyway I'll listen to yours with interest right after this  - meanwhile here's mine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu7QST0wCQA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu7QST0wCQA)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 06, 2010, 09:27:40 PM
Here's my version, hope you like it:
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18083
Oh yes! That's more like those Scottish country dance band recordings than anything else posted so far, especially some of the chord changes.
It sounds as if, like me, you've found a version with those Scottish 'snaps' in it, and made them very snappy!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Brimley on April 06, 2010, 09:49:08 PM
Yes, I have a score with the Scottish 'reversed dots', and the lovely major chords, attributed to 'Pipe Major William Lawrie'.  I'm trying to remember where it came from.  I've just read the discussion on thesession.org about it, and everyone's previous posts - my mistake about it being written in the thirties, that was just when it was published, wasn't it?

It seems all the more remarkable that the real author Laurie managed to write such a stirring tune and then name it after the battle where he was wounded so severely.  I suppose we forget nowadays just how strong many people's beliefs actually were about fighting 'for their country'.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 06, 2010, 10:20:14 PM
I discovered it's not quite like that. I quote Jack Campin (who usually knows what he's talking about) on Mudcat a few years back:
Quote
"The Battle of the Somme" is a 9/8 slow march written by William Laurie during WW1. He was in the battle, wrote the tune in hospital after it, and died of his wounds a few months later; he lived long enough to see it adopted by every pipe band in the Army. (He was not the much better-known pipe tune composer Willie Lawrie, who outlived WW1 by a few decades)

Jack Campin didn't get it right this time. In piping circles, it is always referred to as a retreat march, not a slow march. The tune was composed by the better-known pipe tune composer Willie Lawrie, who did not outlive WW1, but died of illness (not wounds as often reported) in 1916. There were not two men, William Lawrie and William Laurie, as Pipe Majors of the 8th Argylls at the same time in WW1. The different spellings used may account for some of the confusions found. These comments in Session.org (http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display/2923) illustrate some of the confusion about this tune.
I refer readers yet again to the attached short biography of PM William Lawrie included in the book of tunes by three generations of Lawries from Ballachulish, Scotland, arranged for fiddle and accordion by grandson Willie Lawrie. The section on tunes by grandfather William Lawrie, PM of the 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in WW1, includes many great pipe tunes, including "The Battle of the Somme", labelled "Retreat March", in the key of D. (music attached).

Edited to include PM William Lawrie tune list as well as biography.

Here's my version, hope you like it:

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18083

At last! A version approaching how this tune should be played! It could be even more brisk. Multiple World- and Scottish Pipe Band Champions, Shotts and Dykehead, play it at 99bpm (3 beats to the bar).
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: gmatkin on April 06, 2010, 10:33:03 PM
Nice work Anahata! I really like the idea of getting as much music as possible out of a one-row, and you've done it beautifully.

Utterly ignorant of the tune's origins as I was, I'm afraid I played it more at an amble than a march, or even a slow march. Every day I learn something, and then wonder what the chances are that I'll remember it...

Gav
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 06, 2010, 10:41:41 PM

Anyway I'll listen to yours with interest right after this  - meanwhile here's mine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu7QST0wCQA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu7QST0wCQA)


Just great! That's the version I like best so far.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Brimley on April 07, 2010, 07:56:45 AM
Yes, Anahata, I like your version too, which seems to capture the sort of sound that I imagine many of the one row melodeons around at the time would have had. 

I'm interested to know how the arrangement of this tune came about - I think my score comes from the same source as yours, Bill.  Was it written in that key, or has it been amended since the original?  I guess if it was written on the pipes (in hospital?), it would not have normally been in that key.  And the chords sound as if they were a rearrangement and embellishment of the original tune, perhaps by the 1934 book compiler?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 07, 2010, 08:10:05 AM
I'm interested to know how the arrangement of this tune came about - I think my score comes from the same source as yours, Bill.  Was it written in that key
That's the source I used too, though I found it on Folktunefinder (http://www.folktunefinder.com). And the key would be approximately right for highland pipes. I could have used my Castagnari Max in D, but for some reason I thought the tone of the Hohner would work well and I wasn't trying to get "authentic" key-wise.

Quote
And the chords sound as if they were a rearrangement and embellishment of the original tune, perhaps by the 1934 book compiler?
Undoubtedly. Those E7 - A7 changes are the ones that shout "Scottish-style piano accordion" at me!
Pipers have no use for chords anyway...
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Ryall on April 07, 2010, 08:40:48 AM
Pipers have no use for chords anyway...

Almost, but not quite. Improvising pipers actually use broken chords quite a lot. eg Anne-Marie Sutton or David Faulkner here; and Vincent Boniface particularly. He even runs chord extensions into the second octave.

There was also Hamish Moore's legendary performance in Beverley Minster. Noticing that his music bounced back at him from the west wall - he modified his musical line and 'started playing chords'.  I was child-minding and missed it, but there was much talk of this amongst the pipers afterwards.  :|glug
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 07, 2010, 08:45:52 AM
Improvising pipers actually use broken chords quite a lot ...
And of course there's all sorts of glorious harmony when two or three pipers (or more) are gathered together.

But I still think a piper/composer wouldn't actually write chords into a composition.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 07, 2010, 08:54:39 AM
. . . I'm interested to know how the arrangement of this tune came about - I think my score comes from the same source as yours, Bill.  Was it written in that key, or has it been amended since the original?  I guess if it was written on the pipes (in hospital?), it would not have normally been in that key.  And the chords sound as if they were a rearrangement and embellishment of the original tune, perhaps by the 1934 book compiler?
There's a convention in pipe tune music. No key signature is written on pipe music. If the music ends on the note D, it's said to be in "D". If it ends on the note A, it's in "A", or "Am", like the same composer's "Captain Carswell". About half of pipe tunes are in "D". The pipe chanter scale is fixed, nominally in the scale of A with a G natural (there's a fancy name for this scale which eludes me at the moment). Back in WW1, the pipes may have actually sounded in A or D. Over the years, the nominal A on the pipes has been gradually raised until now it sounds like Bb. The pipe score I posted a while ago shows the tune written out in "D", and there's no reason to suppose the pipe score was ever anything else (couldn't have been, as the tune goes from G up to A, the whole range of the pipes).

There are no chords in pipe music. The version with chords that I posted is an accordion arrangement by the composer's grandson, also Willie Lawrie of Ballachulish, himself a piano accordionist and composer.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: ladydetemps on April 07, 2010, 09:13:53 AM
hmmmm...I'm just not 'getting' this one maybe its all the discussions of different versions, I've just ended up confused. :( :-\
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 07, 2010, 09:20:11 AM
hmmmm...I'm just not 'getting' this one maybe its all the discussions of different versions, I've just ended up confused. :( :-\

Fear not my lady, just play it as you feel it.

 :||: :||: :||:
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: ladydetemps on April 07, 2010, 09:21:52 AM
hmmmm...I'm just not 'getting' this one maybe its all the discussions of different versions, I've just ended up confused. :( :-\

Fear not my lady, just play it as you feel it.

 :||: :||: :||:
But I don't 'feel' it that's the problem. :(
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Simon on April 07, 2010, 09:54:47 AM
Here's my first try (mp3) (http://simonplantinga.nl/totm/battle-of-the-somme-01.mp3) at this tune. Still needs a bit of polishing.  ;)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: **DTN** on April 07, 2010, 10:24:18 AM
Here's my first try (mp3) (http://simonplantinga.nl/totm/battle-of-the-somme-01.mp3) at this tune. Still needs a bit of polishing.  ;)

WOW!! ...Although I'm not going to bother with this tune myself (i simply don't like it)... but!! Simon your playing of it is simply brilliant! , I listen to it the whole way through and then again! ... A lovely melody ... its made me totally rethink what i thought of this tune! ... By the way what is the Melodeon thats playing?
Derek
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Simon on April 07, 2010, 10:42:56 AM
Thanks Derek. It's a Serenellini Gold98 G/C (with 'dutch' modification).
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 07, 2010, 10:55:59 AM
nominally in the scale of A with a G natural (there's a fancy name for this scale which eludes me at the moment)

Mixolydian.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: tiny on April 07, 2010, 06:35:32 PM
Here's my first try (mp3) (http://simonplantinga.nl/totm/battle-of-the-somme-01.mp3) at this tune. Still needs a bit of polishing.  ;)

I really like this version. thank you
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bryn Pinzgauer on April 07, 2010, 07:41:00 PM
Quote
Here's my first try (mp3) at this tune. Still needs a bit of polishing.

That really does it for me. It's great.

My own attempt at playing a more sombre version is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/4499972231/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/4499972231/) I'm trying to use the base line that Howard suggested (or close to anyway). What would the chords be for the B part?

Bryn
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 07, 2010, 07:49:38 PM
Here's my first try (mp3) (http://simonplantinga.nl/totm/battle-of-the-somme-01.mp3) at this tune.
Perfect arrangement, and beautifully played.
I loved that empty spacious sound of just melody and bass line at the beginning, and the RH harmony part when it came in was a real treat!  :|glug

Quote
Still needs a bit of polishing.  ;)
Getting perfect bellows control when you're playing three parts at once needs more than a little practice  ;D
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 08, 2010, 12:09:07 AM
Like a couple of others here, I didn't think this TOTM was my cup of tea, then I started playing around with it on the one-row, and came up with this. I see that William Laurie subtitled it a 'Retreat March' so I envisioned this as a dignified slow march.

Battle of the Somme (http://soundcloud.com/steve_freereeder/battle-of-the-somme).

This edited version (later than my original ToTM submission) was recorded and performed here in honour of my friend Mike Steel a few days after his untimely death from cancer on 16th July 2011. Played on a Wesson Clipper 1-row 4-stop melodeon in C; electronic drones generated in GarageBand.
 
Edited to update URL of sound file.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: tiny on April 08, 2010, 12:16:02 AM
Like a couple of others here, I didn't think this TOTM was my cup of tea, then I started playing around with it on the one-row, and came up with this. I see that William Laurie subtitled it a 'Retreat March' so I envisioned this as a dignified slow march.

Battle of the Somme (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18161)

Played on a Wesson Clipper one-row four-stop in C.


Very nice Steve, and that Wesson Clipper sounds gooood
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ellison on April 08, 2010, 10:16:27 AM
Here's my first try (mp3) (http://simonplantinga.nl/totm/battle-of-the-somme-01.mp3) at this tune. Still needs a bit of polishing.  ;)

That's lovely Simon
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 08, 2010, 11:31:08 AM
Here's my first try (mp3) (http://simonplantinga.nl/totm/battle-of-the-somme-01.mp3) at this tune. Still needs a bit of polishing.  ;)

That's lovely Simon
Hear, hear! That is really nice.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 08, 2010, 11:32:12 AM
Very nice Steve, and that Wesson Clipper sounds gooood
Thanks Lizzy! I'm very pleased with the Clipper  (:)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Gandy on April 09, 2010, 03:12:40 PM
I've not even tried this yet, but before I do so can I ask about time signatures?   Is everyone doing 9/8?   I only ask because there are versions on JC's tunefinder in 9/8, 6/8 and 3/4.  I don't read music well enough to glance at the scores and understand how these will differ.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 09, 2010, 03:42:24 PM
Quote
Like a couple of others here, I didn't think this TOTM was my cup of tea, then I started playing around with it on the one-row, and came up with this. I see that William Laurie subtitled it a 'Retreat March' so I envisioned this as a dignified slow march.

Battle of the Somme

Played on a Wesson Clipper one-row four-stop in C.

Great stuff Steve - very sensitively played as well (not something I personally associate with a one-row four-stop  ;)). I look forward to being able this weekend to having a few moments to muck around with my own version of this tune  >:E

Kind Regards

AL
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 11, 2010, 01:22:27 PM
[[[ quick edit to take some technical discussions into a separate thread ]]]
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Graham Collicutt on April 11, 2010, 10:25:59 PM
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18385

Here is my effort, C drone through out, played in C on G/D Beltuna Alex 3.

Graham
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 11, 2010, 11:58:39 PM
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18385

Here is my effort, C drone through out, played in C on G/D Beltuna Alex 3.

Graham
And very good it is too. At last we're getting near a decent tempo for this tune.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 12, 2010, 12:10:56 AM
I've not even tried this yet, but before I do so can I ask about time signatures?   Is everyone doing 9/8?   I only ask because there are versions on JC's tunefinder in 9/8, 6/8 and 3/4.  I don't read music well enough to glance at the scores and understand how these will differ.
You should play it as 9/8, because that's what the composer wrote. There are some not-so-good ABC transcriptions out there. Fortunately, bagpipe tunes are available as written scores, or electronically as Bagpipe Music Writer (.bmw or .bww) files. This is one area of music where ABC transcriptions are probably better avoided.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Simon on April 12, 2010, 07:22:21 AM
You should play it as 9/8, because that's what the composer wrote.
Only if you want to play it the way the composer intended  ;)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 12, 2010, 07:58:51 AM
This is one area of music where ABC transcriptions are probably better avoided.
I think that's a problem (as ever) with the human element of the transcription process, not the ABC.
ABC was invented by Chris Walshaw, who is a piper, and for that reason it has some provisions for pipe notation conventions, should one choose to use them, but I don't think it would help here.

You should play it as 9/8, because that's what the composer wrote.
Only if you want to play it the way the composer intended  ;)
Use the music as written by the composer. Play it how you like  (:)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Scallyanglo on April 12, 2010, 08:15:25 AM
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18385

Here is my effort, C drone through out, played in C on G/D Beltuna Alex 3.

Graham
And very good it is too. At last we're getting near a decent tempo for this tune.

Yes - I can really see those poor boys heading back for their tea with a bit of cockiness in their step. Great version - thanks!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Sandy on April 12, 2010, 08:32:05 AM
I think it was Dave Swarbrick (in conversation with Paul Scourfield) who said that he found it difficult to find the right speed of a retreat march. "Too fast and it's a bit undignified, too slow and the enemy might catch you up!"
 (:)

Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Brimley on April 12, 2010, 09:07:29 AM
Quote
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18385

Here is my effort, C drone through out, played in C on G/D Beltuna Alex 3.

Graham

Graham, I like this, too - the idea of playing it in C to get the drone is a great one, and it sounds very much like the effect of a set of pipes.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 12, 2010, 10:04:59 AM
This is one area of music where ABC transcriptions are probably better avoided.
I think that's a problem (as ever) with the human element of the transcription process, not the ABC.

You're right, of course. My comment re ABC in this case was unduly influenced by the version that Lester found, which might have been transcribed from a performance by Les Dawson. (:) (For non-Brits and the too-young, Les Dawson was an English comedian who . . . ach, too long an explanation).
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: boblsturm on April 12, 2010, 10:15:43 AM
Here is my contribution!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmjFWnS16LM

In general, I think this tune is really fun, and its 9/8 feel makes for a good vague rhythm.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: ladydetemps on April 14, 2010, 08:58:21 AM
Hmmm..had a go on the one row
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18509
think some of the marching soldiers may have got lost in the mud in the middle bit. lol! ;)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: ladydetemps on April 14, 2010, 09:23:21 AM
Here is my contribution!

We appear to have achieved Mazurka dansability :D Vary nice
lol! Wasn't even trying for that.

Found out.....
I had an ancestor in the 'Battle of the Somme' from what I gather he worked with the horses bringing the ammunition to the frontline. And -this is the bit I've got various descriptions of - I think he got a medal because the horse and cart carrying the ammunition slipped off the boards and overturned while under fire he reloaded the cart and continued on....or something like that.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 14, 2010, 09:24:50 AM
Hmmm..had a go on the one row
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18509
think some of the marching soldiers may have got lost in the mud in the middle bit. lol! ;)
Well done Sarah!
You're doing well on that Hohner one-row. Why don't you sell that Tommy and get a two row Pokerwork, and throw a party with the remaining £££s  ;)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: ladydetemps on April 14, 2010, 09:30:21 AM
Hmmm..had a go on the one row
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18509
think some of the marching soldiers may have got lost in the mud in the middle bit. lol! ;)
Well done Sarah!
Thanks.

Quote
You're doing well on that Hohner one-row.
I think its coz I feel I can concentrate on the tune instead of worrying about the left hand all the time.

Quote
Why don't you sell that Tommy and get a two row Pokerwork, and throw a party with the remaining £££s  ;)
OI! Hands off my Tommy!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Brimley on April 14, 2010, 09:48:57 AM
Quote
I think its coz I feel I can concentrate on the tune instead of worrying about the left hand all the time.

I like your version, too - the relaxed LH style really shows through, and it sounds like an upbeat march, which I guess is the way it was originally written. 
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Sandy on April 14, 2010, 06:42:31 PM
Really felt the tune should be left alone on this one but I wanted to experiment with texture and mood.
Recorded right hand separate to exaggerate the reverb on the tune but not on the drone. (Looking for a blurry/ghost effect!)
The stomp of the foot seemed more appropriate this time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPPlL1kR2sE

Sandy
 (:)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: GbH on April 14, 2010, 06:50:09 PM
Really felt the tune should be left alone on this one but I wanted to experiment with texture and mood.
Recorded right hand separate to exaggerate the reverb on the tune but not on the drone. (Looking for a blurry/ghost effect!)
The stomp of the foot seemed more appropriate this time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPPlL1kR2sE

Sandy
 (:)

Hey, that's pretty clever, not just because of the reverb, but also because the RH articulation doesn't affect the drone sound.  I started listening to it before reading your text and could tell there was something unusual about it straight away.  I'm not sure that I would have guessed what exactly you'd done, though, without being told.  Anyhow, I'm impressed.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: jb on April 14, 2010, 06:51:26 PM
Really felt the tune should be left alone on this one but I wanted to experiment with texture and mood.
Recorded right hand separate to exaggerate the reverb on the tune but not on the drone. (Looking for a blurry/ghost effect!)
The stomp of the foot seemed more appropriate this time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPPlL1kR2sE

Sandy
 (:)

sounds great. Lovely tempo and rhythm. I like some of your bass/chord choices, especially in the B section e.g. around 1:20-1:26. And the foot is doing a great job too. Is that on the bottom stair?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 14, 2010, 07:01:53 PM
Recorded right hand separate to exaggerate the reverb on the tune but not on the drone. (Looking for a blurry/ghost effect!)
Ah - I wondered how you managed to do that.
It certainly gets the effect, and enabled you to put some really snappy accents on the tune without disturbing the drone too.
Combined with the foot stomping, no doubt that' it's a march either. Nice one!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Rob Phillips on April 14, 2010, 08:11:36 PM
Really felt the tune should be left alone on this one but I wanted to experiment with texture and mood.
Recorded right hand separate to exaggerate the reverb on the tune but not on the drone. (Looking for a blurry/ghost effect!)
The stomp of the foot seemed more appropriate this time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPPlL1kR2sE

Sandy
 (:)

Thanks, Sandy. This really works. The blurry/ghost effect is very apparent!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Sandy on April 14, 2010, 11:30:23 PM
Thanks very much for the comments. I found this totm very tough.

JB, I tried to find a slight 'disjointedness'  in the B part without changing the style of the tune. As for the stomp, no bottom stair, just a floor made from an old squash court !

Cheers
Sandy
 (:)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 15, 2010, 07:54:46 AM
Really felt the tune should be left alone on this one but I wanted to experiment with texture and mood.
Recorded right hand separate to exaggerate the reverb on the tune but not on the drone. (Looking for a blurry/ghost effect!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPPlL1kR2sE
Very atmospheric and imaginative it was too, Sandy. Great stuff! It's good to experiment like this.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Ryall on April 15, 2010, 08:12:20 AM
I too listened to Sandy's interprettation without reading, and then found myself divided. Is separate tracking RH/LH cheating? Well it certainly wouldn't be if there were two musicians involved  - so why should it be with one? *Tho I still feel a niggle ...

The effect achieved - absolutely spellbinding! Most TOTM youtubes get just one listen, including the few I've put in. I've been looping this one. Sandy has put in exactly the right 'wrong chords' and moved the tune forwards by somehow elequently expressing that the Army involved is moving .. backwards. A true paradox in music.

[edit]  *Steve anwers this nicely below, and I certainly feel the end has justified the means here. Incidentally John K used mulit-tracked concerina for a classical piece on his first album. And said as much in his sleve notes.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 15, 2010, 08:23:10 AM
I too listened to Sandy's interprettation without reading, and then found myself divided. Is separate tracking RH/LH cheating? Well it certainly wouldn't be if there were two musicians involved  - so why should it be with one? Tho I still feel a niggle ...
Good question, definitely worth raising.
I have used multi-tracking in some of my TOTM submissions, mostly because there's only one of me (thank goodness, you all say  ;D) and yet I like the sound of multiple melodeons with different voices. I think a couple of other people have used multi-tracking too. In my opinion it is not cheating, so long as the use of such a technique is clearly stated, and that there is no intention to deceive. Used properly, it is all part of the creative process.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Susi on April 15, 2010, 12:45:24 PM
Nice work, everyone! I especially liked Graham's version, I just love that bass drone, and playing it a bit faster with that bass really makes it sound cool.
I haven't started yet, I'm very stressed and quite unwell, but will try to work on it...could be a good way to relax.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: johnm3487 on April 15, 2010, 09:30:32 PM
Sandy thought that was spot on. Can picture the retreat march through the mists of time
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Sandy on April 16, 2010, 10:19:16 AM
I too listened to Sandy's interpretation without reading, and then found myself divided. Is separate tracking RH/LH cheating? Well it certainly wouldn't be if there were two musicians involved  - so why should it be with one? Tho I still feel a niggle ...
Good question, definitely worth raising.
I have used multi-tracking in some of my TOTM submissions, mostly because there's only one of me (thank goodness, you all say  ;D) and yet I like the sound of multiple melodeons with different voices. I think a couple of other people have used multi-tracking too. In my opinion it is not cheating, so long as the use of such a technique is clearly stated, and that there is no intention to deceive. Used properly, it is all part of the creative process.

It is the first time that I have multi tracked anything for TOTM. Initially I thought of an arrangement for two melodeons. One just playing the slightly blurry tune and the other with drone and simple rh chording. I opted to drop the RH chords as it was too busy and I preferred the 'empty space' feel between the two. Second time through, I added a third melodeon or layer playing the tune in unison. Kept the voices exactly the same for a feeling of uniformity.

I too had a sort of niggle and did so first time I ever put reverb on a recording. Steve's answer has put my mind at ease.  :Ph

Just out of interest, The basses for the A part (second time through) involved a subtle chord pattern using all four fingers. (Andy Cutting would be proud  :D) on the G and D basses and Dpull and A basses. Wanted a marching effect but had to keep it fairly smooth otherwise it sounded like a didgeridoo !! (not that I have a problem with didgeridoos, just wasn't the effect I was looking for :|||:)

cheers
Sandy
 (:)

Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: nemethmik on April 16, 2010, 01:07:46 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9SFtEXHK20
from a beginner on a Hohner Club Victoria Bb/Eb.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: tiny on April 18, 2010, 08:46:47 PM
Hmmm..had a go on the one row
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18509
think some of the marching soldiers may have got lost in the mud in the middle bit. lol! ;)

Like it..... nice playing (:)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Kautilya on April 19, 2010, 12:36:58 AM

Just out of interest, The basses for the A part (second time through) involved a subtle chord pattern using all four fingers. (Andy Cutting would be proud  :D) on the G and D basses and Dpull and A basses. Wanted a marching effect but had to keep it fairly smooth otherwise it sounded like a didgeridoo !! (not that I have a problem with didgeridoos, just wasn't the effect I was looking for :|||:)

cheers
Sandy
 (:)
Whatever. ...
The fact is, that fearful deep drum-drone of death portrays how terrible it really was ; and the deathly swaylilt conjures up the coffins being carried and hints at  the terror and some of the awful canon fodder parts of Pink Floyd's The Wall). Superb to listen to and impossible not to  be moved.
tks. :( :(

Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: ladydetemps on April 19, 2010, 02:29:54 PM
Hmmm..had a go on the one row
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18509
think some of the marching soldiers may have got lost in the mud in the middle bit. lol! ;)

Like it..... nice playing (:)
thank you :D
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 20, 2010, 06:39:32 AM
Readers may be interested in this bio of the composer, including a reprint of his obituary as published in the Oban Times in 1916. It also touches on the two spellings of his name.

http://www.pipetunes.ca/composers.asp?pg=Details&composerID=16 (http://www.pipetunes.ca/composers.asp?pg=Details&composerID=16)

It is also possible to follow links to hear how his tune would be played by a piper. (The MP3 sample is played on the practice chanter).
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: DRUMKILBO on April 20, 2010, 11:07:39 AM
Thought you might like to hear how one of the Great Scottish dance bands of the past played this tune.
 The band is Ian Powrie's with Ian on fiddle, Jimmy Blue on Shand Morino button box, Mickie Ainsworth on Morino PA, Pam Brough on piano, Dave Barclay on double bass and Arthur Easson on drums. Parlophone single 45-R 4784 released in 1961.

[[[ The editorial fountain pen removes a link to a recording which I *assume* is under copyright. Sorry about that - let me know if it isn't! Cheers, Clive ]]]

Ian
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 20, 2010, 01:48:43 PM
Good to hear that old track, Ian. I was hoping that yourself or Graeme would post a version of how the great Scottish players of today play this Retreat March.

Bill
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 20, 2010, 03:18:26 PM
This recording is particularly recommended for those who obviously have no idea what a Retreat is or what speed it should be played at, and who may have been misled by earlier examples. Ditch the dirge by the Dubliners! and forget (please!) that travesty of the tune by the Albion Band, whoever they were.

Ahem. Personal opinion alert, I think. I would suggest and encourage people to play/see this tune however they like; I firmly believe there is absolutely no right/wrong when it comes to playing music, any music, and reinterpreting a piece often comes out with some great and unexpected music as we've seen in earlier months.

Personally I loved the Albion Band version... and Battle of the Fields which it comes from, is one of my favourite albums, ever.  ;D

Cheers,

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 20, 2010, 03:23:19 PM
... and please, don't post artist recording mp3's here - they're subject to copyright, even if they're just snatches. I personally don't have a problem with linking to recordings/videos that already exist on youtube/wherever (and you didn't upload it!), but uploading a copyright recording yourself and linking to it is on very dodgy ground.

Besides, TOTM is about *our* music, not about how Artist A or Artist B played a piece.

Thanks,

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 20, 2010, 03:33:49 PM
Fair enough. Offending post removed.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: DRUMKILBO on April 20, 2010, 03:38:33 PM
OK point taken Clive, probably another year before it's out of copyright.
Bill,
sadly there are no great players in the vicinity today so I've recorded it myself on the Shand Morino.

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18894
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 20, 2010, 03:47:40 PM
OK point taken Clive, probably another year before it's out of copyright.
Bill,
sadly there are no great players in the vicinity today so I've recorded it myself on the Shand Morino.

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18894
We both got a taste of the Lochgelly there, Ian! Well done on putting this up so quickly.

Others - this is how the tune is normally played. If you're going to give it your own "interpretation", start from here.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 20, 2010, 03:53:49 PM
Quote
sadly there are no great players in the vicinity today so I've recorded it myself on the Shand Morino.

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18894


Ian - you are fantastic - what a brilliant recording, and its precisely how I know this tune. It's almost exactly how I'd play this tune if I were as brilliant a box player as you - although I did miss the final chord!
 ;D

Bill, you're spot on as usual.

BTW way I was too slow to get the original Powrie recording that was taken down - can anyone help me  ;)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 20, 2010, 04:14:16 PM
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=18894

Bleedin' splendid!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 20, 2010, 04:25:20 PM
Others - this is how the tune is normally played. If you're going to give it your own "interpretation", start from here.
I'm probably out of order here, but I mean no disrespect to anyone.
However....
If this is the way the tune is normally played, it seems far too jaunty. To my mind it sounds more like 'Dr Finlay's stroll on a sunny morning to buy a newspaper in Tannochbrae', and has no business being entitled 'Battle of the Somme' which was a terrible, wicked affair, and one of humanity's lowest points ever. My grandfather was an ostler in the Battle of the Somme, in charge of horses which pulled supplies, artillery and ammunition, and which were often killed or maimed so badly he had to shoot them himself, which broke his heart.

I simply cannot reconcile what I hear with the title of the tune. But perhaps I'm missing the point. Like I said, I'm not trying to be disrespectful; I simply don't understand this one. Perhaps it's a culture thing.

Sandy's interpretation does it for me.
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,3770.msg47901.html#msg47901
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPPlL1kR2sE
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: ladydetemps on April 20, 2010, 04:53:52 PM
My grandfather was an ostler in the Battle of the Somme, in charge of horses which pulled supplies, artillery and ammunition
Maybe your grandfather and my great-grandfather knew each other?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Brimley on April 20, 2010, 05:53:49 PM
Steve and jb, I have a lot of sympathy with your comments, because there is such a glaring disparity between the reality of the awful battle and this cheerful-sounding tune (I wanted to try to show this clash in my version, by putting in the discords at the end.)  The tune is difficult to play slowly with meaning, and was clearly written as a march.  However, that's actually what interested me about it - how can it be that the composer, who must have been through the horror of this battle, could possibly choose to call it by this name? 

I think the answer is that the point of military music is presumably to provide some sort of stirring gung-ho encouragement to troops to carry on accepting horror as being normal, and not think of desertion or mutiny.  William Lawrie must have written this tune as a 'good soldier' in order to support the idea that the battle was some kind of glorious victory.  Nowadays we see the 'Great' War as a futile nightmare, but I'm pretty sure that just after it, the propaganda was very different, and the truth was kept pretty quiet.  (I wonder which clever propagandist decided to call it 'Great'?)

I think it's OK to see the tune in this historical perspective, and maybe it's an (unintended but meaningful) comment on how nations can be induced by their leaders to be so appallingly self-destructive.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 20, 2010, 06:40:12 PM
Well, here's my pathetic attempt. I make no apology for the fact that I only know this tune as a bright-ish' kind of march - not as a lament.

Here's my take anyway  ;D It has a certain - HallelujahAl 'twist' about two-thirds through  ;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OesLZqOXJI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OesLZqOXJI)

Regards to all!
AL
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 20, 2010, 07:18:43 PM
I simply cannot reconcile what I hear with the title of the tune. But perhaps I'm missing the point. Like I said, I'm not trying to be disrespectful; I simply don't understand this one. Perhaps it's a culture thing.
Steve,
I can understand your puzzlement at the apparent contradiction between the title of the tune and the way it is played, and I cannot explain it. It may well be a culture thing; best suggestion is to forget the title and concentrate on the music. It's only a supposition that the tune was written after the battle of the Somme. It's possible that it was already composed, as a Retreat March, just needing a title; and he picked an attention-grabbing one. As a "Retreat March" it falls into a very well-established category of military pipe band tunes, and there is no doubt that it should be played at a decent lick (about 100 bpm). "The Battle of the Somme" is not unique in this respect - two other Retreat Marches, which I play almost weekly, are "The Highland Brigade at Magersfontein" and "The Bloody Fields of Flanders". The battle of Magersfontein, in the Boer War, was terrible, not just for the Highland Brigade but for all the British Army involved, because of the casualties incurred; and the Bloody Fields of Flanders speaks for itself. The composer, John McLellan of Dunoon, was at, and survived both of these (d.1949), so there's no doubt that we know how he wanted his tunes played. These tunes are played at a similar pace to the "Battle of the Somme". We can't know why the composers chose the titles that they did, but there's no doubt about how they intended the tunes to be played, as Retreat Marches.

There are three categories of Marches in the military (and civilian) pipe band repertoire. Slow Marches - this includes funeral marches, laments, slow airs, Gaelic airs and actual slow marches. The tune "The Battle of the Somme" is not included in Slow Marches. Marches - this includes the 2/4, 4/4, 6/8 (and the odd 12/8) tunes used for marching (sometimes called Quicksteps - not the dance!), although some of them are really competition tunes. Then there are Retreat Marches, often, and perhaps better, simply called Retreats. These are almost all 3/4s; plus the 9/8s "The Battle of the Somme" and its usual stable companion "The Hills of Dargai" (there's at least one other 9/8, which I've never heard played). These are not marched to. They are "show tunes", attractive tunes to listen to, played at a certain point during the ceremony of Beating Retreat. There's an expected way of playing them; they are all good-going tunes, regardless of their titles.

What is surprising is how this tune won the TOTM poll, if so many people didn't understand what kind of tune it is. I've know it for years and voted for it in the full knowledge of what it should sound like. Was I in a minority in this, I wonder?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 20, 2010, 07:24:46 PM
Quote
"The Battle of the Somme" and its usual stable companion "The Hills of Dargai"


Cracking good combination - and they're definitely the two that I play together.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ollie on April 20, 2010, 07:36:21 PM
What is surprising is how this tune won the TOTM poll, if so many people didn't understand what kind of tune it is. I've know it for years and voted for it in the full knowledge of what it should sound like. Was I in a minority in this, I wonder?

As has been said before, it is all down to personal interpretation. I nominated this tune and then voted for it in the full knowledge of what I think it should sound like, just the same as you voted in full knowledge of what you think it should sound like. The original way of playing something is just one interpretation and is not the 'correct' way of playing it; there is no correct way!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 20, 2010, 07:58:09 PM
. . . just the same as you voted in full knowledge of what you think it should sound like. . .

Me, and 100,000 pipers an' a', an' a'!   ;D
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 20, 2010, 08:09:21 PM
I simply cannot reconcile what I hear with the title of the tune.
I'm not doing this months' totm, for several reasons but mainly for this one.
I think that intrinsically (i.e. as a sequence of notes) this tune is amenable to many different treatments. But its title is not.
As it happens I don't much like it anyway. But I would not be able to play it the way I want to without appearing to disrespect the title it happens to go under, and the context in which it was composed. I think this is regrettable, though no-one's fault.


That's a shame; I was rather looking forward to seeing what you were going to do with it! Perhaps you'll have a go at the theme of the month instead?

Cheers,

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 20, 2010, 08:20:36 PM
As has been said before, it is all down to personal interpretation. I nominated this tune and then voted for it in the full knowledge of what I think it should sound like, just the same as you voted in full knowledge of what you think it should sound like. The original way of playing something is just one interpretation and is not the 'correct' way of playing it; there is no correct way!

Agreed. I didn't vote for it, but if I had (!), it would have been on the basis of how I hear in the tune in my head by default, which is not as a stirring march, but a lament... and that is pretty much as I tried to play it in my video a week or two back. Not everyone's cup of tea, I understand, and not as originally written, but that's how I see it now, so I'm happy that my viewpoint has a right to co-exist with others.

It's interesting that this tune seems to stir up quite a lot of comment/emotion about 1) It's timing/phrasing; 2) The name of the tune; 3) How faithful to the original tune to be - to me, all that chat is a little offputting to those who are considering having a go for the first time. So, if you *are* considering having a go, please do - the more the merrier, and *all* approaches are valid.

On a side thought, it's also interesting just how few Theme of the Month entries there are this month - I had expected a *lot* more pickup on that, so if you're put off the TOTM this month, give the Theme a go instead.

Cheers,

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Pete Dunk on April 20, 2010, 08:48:34 PM
Despite saying I was going to give this tune a miss I have been working on it, and I'm another that likes the tune as a lament. This came about because I found the dots without ever having heard it played by anyone, I also played it straight without the dotted rhythm. I'm now playing it with a dotted rhythm but struggling to find enough air to play it the way I want to, not many days left in the month but I'll give it a shot at the weekend if at all possible. I also intend to put something up for ThOTM but time is my enemy at the moment!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 20, 2010, 09:24:14 PM
Aren't a few of you rather overdoing the "interpretation" thing?  I would expect that, for every hot-shot who wants to put their own interpretation on this, or any other, tune, there are probably more who would just like to play it in something like its normal, accepted, form. Now they can hear what that is for this TOTM.

I suppose many Morris dance tunes have a generally-accepted tempo. If one is selected as a future TOTM, and nearly every submission is played at half the usual pace, wouldn't that excite some comment? If a future TOTM is labelled "jig", and nearly every submission comes in at waltz time, wouldn't that similarly be commented on? I hope there are some out there who would want to know what this Scottish pipe retreat march normally sounds like. That said, play it however you like, or as best as you can. The more the merrier. At least this has given some exposure to a hitherto closed book (book of pipe tunes, that is).

Squeeze on.   :||:

Bill

Edit: Tallship, this is not a comment on your post. I didn't see it while typing mine.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ollie on April 20, 2010, 10:28:37 PM
I suppose many Morris dance tunes have a generally-accepted tempo. If one is selected as a future TOTM, and nearly every submission is played at half the usual pace, wouldn't that excite some comment? If a future TOTM is labelled "jig", and nearly every submission comes in at waltz time, wouldn't that similarly be commented on?

I would say we had exactly that with Orange in Bloom/Sherborne Waltz.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: GbH on April 20, 2010, 11:11:12 PM
Aren't a few of you rather overdoing the "interpretation" thing? .....

Wasn't that what was suggested from the start?  I don't really see the fun in watching 20 or so videos that are approached in the same way.  Personally, I'd rather see people trying lots of different things.  Even if it doesn't quite work out, it's still something to learn from.

Also, not all of us have the knowledge or experience to know how to play a tune in an authentically traditional manner.  I don't have any real background in any form of folk music and the only TOTM tune I'd previously heard at all was Princess Royal.  Thus, I've not had any preconceptions about how the end result might turn out, so have just gone with whatever seemed a good idea at the time.  Is that such a bad thing?  Would it be better to hold off from making contributions until I've learned to do it properly?

As it stands, I've no intention of trying this month's tune.  I don't dislike it exactly (I've certainly enjoyed some of the submissions) but the background to it and the subsquent comments regarding interpretation leave me with no appetite to get involved.  I'd happily do a ThOTM, but can't remember what tune I tried first (it could well be a tune from one of my earlier videos, so I may well have done it anyway).



 
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Kautilya on April 21, 2010, 02:27:13 AM
Aren't a few of you rather overdoing the "interpretation" thing? .....

Wasn't that what was suggested from the start?  I don't really see the fun in watching 20 or so videos that are approached in the same way.  Personally, I'd rather see people trying lots of different things.  Even if it doesn't quite work out, it's still something to learn from.

Also, not all of us have the knowledge or experience to know how to play a tune in an authentically traditional manner.  I don't have any real background in any form of folk music and the only TOTM tune I'd previously heard at all was Princess Royal.  Thus, I've not had any preconceptions about how the end result might turn out, so have just gone with whatever seemed a good idea at the time.  Is that such a bad thing?  Would it be better to hold off from making contributions until I've learned to do it properly?

As it stands, I've no intention of trying this month's tune.  I don't dislike it exactly (I've certainly enjoyed some of the submissions) but the background to it and the subsquent comments regarding interpretation leave me with no appetite to get involved.  I'd happily do a ThOTM, but can't remember what tune I tried first (it could well be a tune from one of my earlier videos, so I may well have done it anyway).
 
Going back to Sandy's moving version and then reading the "comments" tab  at * I would go with the lament, not a march even though some say of course if played faster it becomes like a jig. My coffin swaylilt comment is reflected inthe comment that it was played as a slow dance by a couple and that this is known as a "lilt"

A very fruitful discussion from all sides IMHO.  I wonder whether Lawrie ever wrote** about how he felt, wounded and so many of his peers dead and the futility - that might give a clue to whether he  meant it as a sunny parade march  and jig to show the 'glory' of war....  I would reckon not, but each to her/his own.

And read the comments beyond the ABC here.       http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display/2923

**Poems by Siegfried Sassoon : “The rank stench of those bodies haunts me still”
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-rank-stench-of-those-bodies-haunts-me-still/

Interesting also (I must find time to go and listen) that the tune is referred to in the BRitish Library Sound Archive in a collection of Nova Scotia music as *"Scottish lilt/the battle of the somme."
Maybe someone can find faster or slower versions there  - alas much is not 'online to hear'.

*http://cadensa.bl.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/uGLiIsfbOf/WORKS-FILE/298240220/9

andTally Ho!  there is a Reesference to Lark Rise and battle of the somme....and The Albion Band...
http://cadensa.bl.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/VJOdSimjIw/WORKS-FILE/298240220/9

There are 120+ refs to Battle of the Somme sound recordings.............. :( :(
 




Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: boblsturm on April 21, 2010, 08:10:01 AM
I simply cannot reconcile what I hear with the title of the tune.
I'm not doing this months' totm, for several reasons but mainly for this one.
I think that intrinsically (i.e. as a sequence of notes) this tune is amenable to many different treatments. But its title is not.
As it happens I don't much like it anyway. But I would not be able to play it the way I want to without appearing to disrespect the title it happens to go under, and the context in which it was composed. I think this is regrettable, though no-one's fault.


That's a shame; I was rather looking forward to seeing what you were going to do with it! Perhaps you'll have a go at the theme of the month instead?

Cheers,

Clive

I am with Clive about looking forward to what you, and DtN especially, were going to do with the tune. I think BOTS is a great tune with a nice bounce, and it can be treated in many interesting ways. It is unfortunate that something like the title or its circumstances are getting in its way, and I think the composer would be disappointed that his then popular tune is not popular now because of the title and not its notes. You might as well avoid playing any tune composed in Europe between 1914 and 1918 because the Great War was so tragic.

When I will play this tune for my folks I leave off the baggage. Otherwise it casts a gloom over the evening.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: jb on April 21, 2010, 08:42:39 AM
I simply cannot reconcile what I hear with the title of the tune.
I'm not doing this months' totm, for several reasons but mainly for this one.
I think that intrinsically (i.e. as a sequence of notes) this tune is amenable to many different treatments. But its title is not.
As it happens I don't much like it anyway. But I would not be able to play it the way I want to without appearing to disrespect the title it happens to go under, and the context in which it was composed. I think this is regrettable, though no-one's fault.


That's a shame; I was rather looking forward to seeing what you were going to do with it! Perhaps you'll have a go at the theme of the month instead?

Cheers,

Clive

Thanks Clive (and bob), for the nice compliment. On re-reading my previous comments above they look prissy, which wasn't intended. At the cost of adding to the already overlong debate on this, maybe I could clarify a bit.

With any tune it's entirely right and good that we explore, and even discuss, how the tune would normally or traditionally be played, along with alternative ways of treating it. And it's fine that some people incline to the experimental/loopy/irreverent, while others incline to the traditional. Both tendencies are important.

But with this tune there is another dimension. By virtue simply of its title, let alone the context in which it was written, it has baggage. Sensitivities about this will also vary. Personally I'd have no problem if someone were to play it as a flying jig* or whatever, and to do so under its given title. But my impression is that treating it as anything other than a march or lament could cause offence to some people, including beyond melnet given that youtube is public. I'm not complaining about this. That's just how it is, or seems to me. And that's the main reason I am leaving it alone. But I respect others' views on this, and I am certainly enjoying and learning from the versions people are posting.

As for ThOTM, like GbH I genuinely can't remember a first tune that I learned to play. I know what was the first tune I (ab)used when I started systematically learning the instrument. It was, of course, Lesson 1 in Mally's tutor (DG morris) books, i.e. Shepherd's Hey. Enough said.

* Actually I think a flying jig might be something to do with fishing gear. But the phrase seemed right for what I had in mind.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Chris Brimley on April 21, 2010, 09:55:58 AM
Some contributors may have found all this discussion a bit tedious or maybe even esoteric, but I must say have found it very interesting, and not just because there's clearly differences of view.  It seems to me that if you have an interest in traditional music, it must be partly because you're interested in social history.  This isn't just an academic exercise, it is really bringing the music to life, in quite an emotional way.

There were parallels to this in the jingoism at the time of the Napoleonic wars - there's a whole stack of rumbustuous naval songs around from this period, as I found when we were researching some material for a Trafalgar anniversary event our band played at in 2005.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Kautilya on April 21, 2010, 02:54:11 PM
Some contributors may have found all this discussion a bit tedious or maybe even esoteric, but I must say have found it very interesting, and not just because there's clearly differences of view.  It seems to me that if you have an interest in traditional music, it must be partly because you're interested in social history.  This isn't just an academic exercise, it is really bringing the music to life, in quite an emotional way.

There were parallels to this in the jingoism at the time of the Napoleonic wars - there's a whole stack of rumbustuous naval songs around from this period, as I found when we were researching some material for a Trafalgar anniversary event our band played at in 2005.
Hard work digging at funereal  >:E pace through the BL sound archive but although this hints at squaddies views on their sergeant majors at least there is a non-youtubey pic of a clearly talented young melodeon player - does anyone recognise themselves from their youth?
"When this bloody war is over"
http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=025M-C1009X0010XX-5600V0.xml
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: TonyRussell on April 22, 2010, 08:08:59 AM
Don't think the pic in the corner has anything to do with the song, though.
Bob Davenport (originally from Gateshead, like me) used to sing that song, often with had Jim Bainbridge on melodeon - Bob's voice was louder! BLT.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 22, 2010, 02:39:49 PM
It was, of course, Lesson 1 in Mally's tutor (DG morris) books, i.e. Shepherd's Hey. Enough said.

I dare you. Maybe it'd make a nice polska?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: DRUMKILBO on April 22, 2010, 02:55:05 PM
I've re-recorded this tune on a 1920s Wilkinson Excelsior Melodeon as I feel it is a more appropriate instrument for this forum

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19087

Ian
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 22, 2010, 03:31:46 PM
That's a great sounding instrument, Ian. Another one for the iPod!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 22, 2010, 03:44:58 PM
Quote
I've re-recorded this tune on a 1920s Wilkinson Excelsior Melodeon as I feel it is a more appropriate instrument for this forum

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19087

Ian

So good! What I love about this version are the grace notes - I just can't get anywhere near that on any of my boxes. Up in the high D as well - as Bill says, another one for the iPod! Thanks Ian for the masterclass on how this tune should be played!
AL
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Johnjo on April 22, 2010, 03:59:38 PM
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19091

I love the tune, but very much prefer it in march time to the dance versions.
Soz about the hesitancy and occasional duff notes.

Did anyone else spot it/hear it on the Monty Halls Hebridean programme on BBC 2 last night? In the Highland games bit?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 22, 2010, 04:48:11 PM
Quote
Did anyone else spot it/hear it on the Monty Halls Hebridean programme on BBC 2 last night? In the Highland games bit?

No - I watched the programme - but was too busy laughing  ;D
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: TonyRussell on April 22, 2010, 04:52:51 PM
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103)
Here's an experiment 'cos I don't know if I know what I'm doing yet! If it works - this is how I learned the tune years ago, tempo and all. A couple of notes are not exactly like anybody else's, dunno why ??? ???. Hohner 114D. BLT.
I used "Audacity" for this (for the first time) and it transposed into F - took me ages to find how to put that right!  :|bl T.

Later - It seems to be there, I may even be able to join in TOTM from now on (:) Tone.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: forrest on April 22, 2010, 04:59:25 PM
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103)
Here's an experiment 'cos I don't know if I know what I'm doing yet! If it works - this is how I learned the tune years ago, tempo and all. A couple of notes are not exactly like anybody else's, dunno why ??? ???. Hohner 114D. BLT.
I used "Audacity" for this (for the first time) and it transposed into F - took me ages to find how to put that right!  :|bl T.

   Tony........................The link's not working (for me anyway).
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Owen Woods on April 22, 2010, 05:20:57 PM
http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103)
Here's an experiment 'cos I don't know if I know what I'm doing yet! If it works - this is how I learned the tune years ago, tempo and all. A couple of notes are not exactly like anybody else's, dunno why ??? ???. Hohner 114D. BLT.
I used "Audacity" for this (for the first time) and it transposed into F - took me ages to find how to put that right!  :|bl T.

Later - It seems to be there, I may even be able to join in TOTM from now on (:) Tone.

Says "Audio Unavailable" to me :(
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: TonyRussell on April 22, 2010, 05:41:07 PM
Said I was new to this - I maybe have figured out what I did wrong. If so you might get it now, and this http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19107 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19107) which is the same thing on a Hohner Trichord (BCC#) in G. Let me know if you can access them both? BLT.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: forrest on April 22, 2010, 05:52:41 PM
Said I was new to this - I maybe have figured out what I did wrong. If so you might get it now, and this http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19107 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19107) which is the same thing on a Hohner Trichord (BCC#) in G. Let me know if you can access them both? BLT.

Getting both now. Thanks!!very nice playing!! ;D
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: TonyRussell on April 22, 2010, 05:58:33 PM
I went back into the "omthing" and found a privacy box to uncheck - silly me! Oh, and, thanks for you encouragement - I feel I should have practiced the tune a bit more first though, but I was impatient, trying something out. BLT.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Johnjo on April 22, 2010, 06:27:24 PM
Quote
Did anyone else spot it/hear it on the Monty Halls Hebridean programme on BBC 2 last night? In the Highland games bit?

No - I watched the programme - but was too busy laughing  ;D
I was laughing at his crazy dog, chasing that yellow float around the loch, but there was definitely a lone piper playing Battle of the Somme during the Highland games sequence.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 22, 2010, 06:33:48 PM
Quote
I was laughing at his crazy dog, chasing that yellow float around the loch, but there was definitely a lone piper playing Battle of the Somme during the Highland games sequence.

I was laughing at his useless attempts at fishing - yet again! The last series he did up in Applecross he never caught a single fish in 6 months! And I can't see him catching one while on the Hebrides. His attempts at integration (ingratiation more like) are also pretty stomach turning. But the dog is great fun to watch and I kind of feel sorry for the guy deep down. I didn't catch the tune they were playing at the games though - shame on me!
AL
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bryn Pinzgauer on April 22, 2010, 10:42:59 PM
My last take on this. More like how I really want to hear it sound.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/4544229246/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/4544229246/)

Apologies the video is so dark, although maybe that's a bonus.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 23, 2010, 12:00:56 AM
Quote
Did anyone else spot it/hear it on the Monty Halls Hebridean programme on BBC 2 last night? In the Highland games bit?

No - I watched the programme - but was too busy laughing  ;D
Yes, definitely "Battle of the Somme" at the start of the hammer throwing. I was out playing at our usual session last night and missed it. Luckily my wife recorded it and I've just watched it. What a great programme! A reminder of last year's holiday on Barra and Harris. Don't be too hard on the guy; he deserves A+ for enthusiasm and good intentions. And aren't those wee pigs just great? I'm definitely recording this series.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 23, 2010, 06:37:44 AM
Quote
Don't be too hard on the guy; he deserves A+ for enthusiasm and good intentions.

Aye!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: TonyRussell on April 23, 2010, 08:02:28 AM
My last take on this. More like how I really want to hear it sound.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/4544229246/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/12394349@N06/4544229246/)

Apologies the video is so dark, although maybe that's a bonus.
Nice chording, very nice. BLT
BTW - what seach engine do you use? Hotbot? Take care, Tone.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Keithypete. on April 23, 2010, 09:52:51 AM
Said I was new to this - I maybe have figured out what I did wrong. If so you might get it now, and this http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19107 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19107) which is the same thing on a Hohner Trichord (BCC#) in G. Let me know if you can access them both? BLT.


Just listened to both of your recordings - great stuff. Love the tempo/swing. It actually made me want to dance. All credit to everyone who has recorded stuff they're all Gr8, but I really like these two. FUN FUN FUN (:) :|glug
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bryn Pinzgauer on April 23, 2010, 11:17:50 PM
Quote
BTW - what seach engine do you use? Hotbot?

Couldn't figure what this was about until I got home and saw the video again.

Cheers

Bryn
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: TonyRussell on April 24, 2010, 08:38:18 AM
Just listened to both of your recordings - great stuff. Love the tempo/swing. It actually made me want to dance. All credit to everyone who has recorded stuff they're all Gr8, but I really like these two. FUN FUN FUN (:) :|glug
:M Gizza job :M? I really enjoyed the last time in Masham - that's when I won this name! BLT.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Keithypete. on April 24, 2010, 06:42:28 PM
:M Gizza job :M? I really enjoyed the last time in Masham - that's when I won this name! BLT.


The gig is yours if you want it BLT. I enjoy Masham too, its a good one.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: forrest on April 25, 2010, 03:05:53 AM
 Wasn't sure about this month's TotM. However, after hearing the other offerings, I had to learn it. And after trying it out, I decided to record. It's a tribute to Pipe Major Lawrie that he was able to compose such a fine tune after bearing the horrors of such a conflict. I hope it is not too out of whack with traditional expectations. Played on the Pistelli 2 row in A/D, one take, a bit of reverb for the mystery of it, and I stayed off of the bass buttons. I am thrilled that I was able to operate the switch on time and rather silently 8), although I think I reversed the dotted notes a couple of times :-\

                                   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwvJSw2sWWQ



Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 25, 2010, 09:48:26 AM
Wasn't sure about this month's TotM. However, after hearing the other offerings, I had to learn it. And after trying it out, I decided to record. It's a tribute to Pipe Major Lawrie that he was able to compose such a fine tune after bearing the horrors of such a conflict. I hope it is not too out of whack with traditional expectations. Played on the Pistelli 2 row in A/D, one take, a bit of reverb for the mystery of it, and I stayed off of the bass buttons. I am thrilled that I was able to operate the switch on time and rather silently 8), although I think I reversed the dotted notes a couple of times :-\

                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwvJSw2sWWQ

Very nicely played; a pleasure to listen to. Great picture!

The more I think about this tune, the more I incline towards the possibility that, though named (timewise) after the battle, the tune itself may have been composed before it. Roderick D. Cannon, in his book "The Highland Bagpipe and its Music", in the chapter on "Music in the Army", says:

"It is worth mentioning that there are very many tunes commemorating military events - well-known battles like the Siege of Delhi or the Battle of the Alma, or completely obscure troop movements such as "The 93rd's Welcome to Parkhurst". It should not be thought that these were in any sense commissioned pieces, still less that they were actually played at the time on the march or in the battle; nor yet that "Welcomes" are cheerful tunes and "Farewells" sad ones. It is purely a convention that continues in force to the present day. Pipers compose tunes, and name them after some place or person they know, or after some event in which (usually) they took part. A Pipe Major, however, might be asked to produce a tune in honour of some person or event, and he will often have something recently composed, waiting to be named." (my italics).

As has been observed frequently in this thread, you might expect a tune composed after such an horrendous event as this battle to be a more solemn one. It might well have been a case of "here's one I made earlier", and subsequently given this title. In different circumstances, this same tune might have ended up with a title like "Captain Campbell's Welcome to the Western Front", or "The 8th Argyll's Farewell to Flanders". Pure speculation, I know.

For anyone interested in the Highland bagpipe and all aspects of its music, I'd thoroughly recommend Prof. Cannon's book, available from Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1841586668/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0859765490&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=1G6B6W2RNAPSTF3PQAR4). This link has the "look inside" feature.
(The tune "The Battle of the Somme" is mentioned in the book, but only as an example of a 9/8 retreat march. Nothing about its history).
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: labradornl on April 25, 2010, 07:58:25 PM
Here's my attempt at Battle of the Somme - melody only.  I'm still working on the left hand  :Ph- hopefully will try it before the month is out.  I've really enjoyed listening to the various renditions posted so far...so many talented people!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frS6lJ_PFSE
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Kautilya on April 25, 2010, 08:05:11 PM
From the Somme to .....- just spotted the new Foyle's War opens with a two-row melodeon being played in................ Dresden.. too quick to see make or hear tune  ITV 1 20.00 April 25.....
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: ladydetemps on April 25, 2010, 08:06:19 PM
i just spotted it too.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 25, 2010, 10:45:22 PM
It's a tribute to Pipe Major Lawrie that he was able to compose such a fine tune after bearing the horrors of such a conflict.


I'm a bit confused here...weren't we saying earlier (Anahata?) that this wasn't written by the famous Pipe Major, but by another - just an ordinary bloke - who just also happened to be called William Laurie?

I'm not being pedantic for the sake of it, but, I have some thoughts of my own re. this tune - derived from experiences in my work - whose relevance would possibly be altered if we are not in fact talking about the composer as a guy who was wounded in the battle and died in hospital a few months later from his injuries.

Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 25, 2010, 11:06:50 PM
It's a tribute to Pipe Major Lawrie that he was able to compose such a fine tune after bearing the horrors of such a conflict.


I'm a bit confused here...weren't we saying earlier (Anahata?) that this wasn't written by the famous Pipe Major, but by another - just an ordinary bloke - who just also happened to be called William Laurie?

I'm not being pedantic for the sake of it, but, I have some thoughts of my own re. this tune - derived from experiences in my work - whose relevance would possibly be altered if we are not in fact talking about the composer as a guy who was wounded in the battle and died in hospital a few months later from his injuries.

Diane
Diane,
Not surprised you're confused here. You don't have the right story. There was an early post quoting Jack Campin on another website, who is usually a good source of historical information, but this time got it wrong. It was PM William Lawrie (or Laurie - same guy; they didn't seem too bothered by spelling back then). He didn't die of wounds, but of injuries. Best summary is the one I referred to a while back: http://www.pipetunes.ca/composers.asp?pg=Details&composerID=16 (http://www.pipetunes.ca/composers.asp?pg=Details&composerID=16).

Bill
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 25, 2010, 11:30:26 PM
Thanks for that clarification, Bill - same sort of scenario, then....

Will post when I can best think of how to express what I want to say.

Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: DRUMKILBO on April 26, 2010, 12:14:25 AM
As Bill Young pointed to those obituaries and background of P/M Willie Lawrie, I was reminded of a radio programme I heard and recorded roundabout 1976 about Lawrie by a piping legend of that time, Seamus McNiell, and it also reminds me of the albeit small but somehow immense contribution that Lawrie made to piping in Scotland and Scottish Dance Bands right up to the present day and I'm sure for centuries to come. Apart from 'The Battle of the Somme' we still have what have become 'classic' 2/4 pipe marches by him that are hugely popular; Mrs. MacDonald of Dunacht, John MacDonald of Glencoe, Capt. Carswell, Pap of Glencoe [a pap is something that fits in a bra and if you see the hill that's named the Pap of Glencoe you'll understand by the shape o' it] and the slightly lesser known 'Braes O' Brecklet' and 'Duncan Johnston'. The various piping composers in Scotland gave us a wealth of material which is hugely popular to this day. Lawrie, Willie Ross, John MacColl, G.S. MacLennan, Donald McLeod, JohnMcLellan, Donald Shaw Ramsay, Peter McLeod et al. They all went through the Army and in a way the military preserved the standard of piping and highland dancing through the bleaker periods of our culture.
The early pioneers of the melodeon in Scotland latched on to these pipe tunes and used them to great effect in their repertoire, the Wyper brothers, Will Hannah and of course Jimmy Shand, Will Starr etc.

Ian.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Lester on April 26, 2010, 07:38:32 AM
From the Somme to .....- just spotted the new Foyle's War opens with a two-row melodeon being played in................ Dresden.. too quick to see make or hear tune  ITV 1 20.00 April 25.....

It was Tim Van Eyken playing a Castagnari ??
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Anahata on April 26, 2010, 08:28:26 AM
I'm a bit confused here...weren't we saying earlier (Anahata?) that this wasn't written by the famous Pipe Major, but by another - just an ordinary bloke - who just also happened to be called William Laurie?

I was quoting Jack Campin, but Jack's story has been refuted. It seems that Will/William Laurie/Lawrie are all different spellings for the same person's name, if I've understood correctly.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Susi on April 26, 2010, 09:55:40 AM
I'm sorry I still haven't really participated in this thing.... too much stress here and last week i just hit the wall so I'm taking a break from my studies and will give myself melodeon and mandolin therapy  ;D. Enjoyed your videos though even if I couldn't find time or energy to even start with this tune myself.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: NeilA on April 26, 2010, 07:17:31 PM
Here's my contribution for April - played on a Beltuna Sara B/C which was recently returned to me after I gave up on it early on to move to D/G. A lot more difficult to play BotS than I thought it would be. The timing is a bit out but I tried to get the boys marching!

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19421 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19421)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 28, 2010, 12:00:01 AM
The timing is a bit out but I tried to get the boys marching!

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19421 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19421)

Nicely played, Neil - enjoyed the timing.

Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 28, 2010, 12:01:47 AM
Version of 'Battle of the Somme' played on an Eb/Bb Hohner Modell I:-

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19497

Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 28, 2010, 01:04:19 AM
Another version of BotS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_EzX4kBp5w

- this time on a 1930s C/F Hohner Erika.

Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: forrest on April 28, 2010, 07:04:20 PM
Another version of BotS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_EzX4kBp5w

- this time on a 1930s C/F Hohner Erika.
Diane

 You have a very lively left hand, interesting to watch. Very nice sound. Love the big fat sound that comes from those little Hohners. I am looking forward to retuning my old Erika. BTW, cheery wallpaper!! ;D
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 28, 2010, 10:47:05 PM
Another version of BotS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_EzX4kBp5w

- this time on a 1930s C/F Hohner Erika.
Diane

 You have a very lively left hand, interesting to watch. Very nice sound.

Is that because I managed to cut my right hand out of the video, J.W.? lol. No, seriously, this was my attempt at a more pared down left hand for this type of tune ie using longer notes, mainly on bass button only - so supposedly not as 'lively' IMO as my usual style, such as in Princess Royal or Speed the Plough, which are more akin to what I normally play.

Credit for internal refurb on this box goes to our Theo. This was one of the nicest one's I got from German eBay - not needing much external attention, and accompanied by a kindly note from the Seller (an antiques' dealer) plus a little packet of 'Gummi Bears' stuck to the top of the case! nice touch.

Wallpaper was choice of the 78 year old previous owner who lived here for 50 years until her death - and, yes, nice and bright and more liveable with than all the coloured blown vinyl I've removed... (though I do recall the man who came to build the bed saying that it wouldn't be his choice for a bedroom!).

Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: juker on April 29, 2010, 08:04:56 AM
Here's my contribution for April - played on a Beltuna Sara B/C which was recently returned to me after I gave up on it early on to move to D/G. A lot more difficult to play BotS than I thought it would be. The timing is a bit out but I tried to get the boys marching!

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19421 (http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19421)
I love this version Neil, great rhythm.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Simon on April 29, 2010, 08:11:17 AM
I've had another go at this tune. Not much improvement but at least I've managed a video this time.  (:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJUbqmvy6XA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJUbqmvy6XA)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 29, 2010, 11:26:56 AM
Well done, Simon - nice one.

Diane

PS your description cites 2 melodeons, but there appear to be 2 more sitting back to back on the shelf behind you...or, is that some sort of optical illusion?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Simon on April 29, 2010, 11:31:55 AM
Well done, Simon - nice one.

Diane

PS your description cites 2 melodeons, but there appear to be 2 more sitting back to back on the shelf behind you...or, is that some sort of optical illusion?
Thanks! The ones on the shelf are both CF Selli's, one for my wife.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ziachmusi/Louise on April 29, 2010, 11:35:41 AM
that was really great Simon. I'd decided to give up on this TOtM because it sounds awful with an Um Pah bass.I have a G/C are you playing in C or in G and could you give me i hint as to the drone Bass maybe I'll give it a go.

cheers Louise
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Simon on April 29, 2010, 11:58:17 AM
I have a G/C are you playing in C or in G and could you give me i hint as to the drone Bass maybe I'll give it a go.
It's in C with these chords I think:
Code: [Select]
|: C Am Am | F F C | F C C | C G7 G7 |
C Am Am | F F C | F C C | G7 C C :|
|: C G7 G7 | G7 C C | C/E F F | C G7 G7 |
C Am Am | F F C | F C C | G7 C C :|
You could shift the barlines around a bit  ;)
If you don't have the 'dutch modification' you should probably replace the G7's by G's (using the push-G instead of the pull-G).
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: juker on April 29, 2010, 01:03:31 PM
Another version of BotS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_EzX4kBp5w

- this time on a 1930s C/F Hohner Erika.

Diane

I enjoyed both your performances Diane, but particularly love the C/F, there is something raw about the sound of it that gives the tune a sad/brave feel.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: NeilA on April 29, 2010, 08:20:46 PM
Another version of BotS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_EzX4kBp5w

- this time on a 1930s C/F Hohner Erika.

Diane

I enjoyed both your performances Diane, but particularly love the C/F, there is something raw about the sound of it that gives the tune a sad/brave feel.


I agree. I think even played at a faster tempo, this tune can invoke a feeling of sadness and lost potential, especially when played on the pipes. To me, your C/F Erica version also hits the spot.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 29, 2010, 08:30:03 PM

I enjoyed both your performances Diane, but particularly love the C/F, there is something raw about the sound of it that gives the tune a sad/brave feel.
I agree. I think even played at a faster tempo, this tune can invoke a feeling of sadness and lost potential, especially when played on the pipes.

Thanks Juker and Neil: I'd not found a TOTM use for this particular box before, and originally tried the C/F Preciosa - but found the sound too harsh (hence, more rationale for MAD - a melodeon for every moment!). As for the emotion invoked, I'd been wanting to try and explain my feelings re. this tune - but will continue in a separate Reply box, as my computer doesn't like more than a certain no. of lines in this box, and 'rolls' violently!

Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: theSmoiler on April 29, 2010, 09:01:18 PM
I saw mention of Dave Swarbrick over on theSession, and perhaps first heard this tune as a slow lament, from him. Certainly, it was also wafting out across the muddy fields at Sidmouth last summer in similar form. Originally I made a slow recording - but backed up with a much faster one. which turned out to be very much akin to the speed advocated by Bill and Ian. Afterwards, I felt the faster version sounded so much more powerful - and deleted the slow one - which set me thinking...

In my work I get to see many poorly people - often with palliative conditions, in the last months, weeks, days of their lives. Invariably, what I see in them - and what I very much take away from the job - is not whining or mewling, but a strength, a determination, a courage (if you like) to stand up and fight against (what I know to be) the inevitable. OK, so this is often bolstered by a, perhaps necessary, large dose of denial (even if subconsciously they know but cannot afford to admit it). Lawrie was a young man - 35, married, 3 children...whilst I've never had the misfortune to be in his and others' position, I doubt that the human condition, when faced with extreme adversity, has changed much throughout time. I'm not a political person, so don't see nationalism or jingoism in Lawrie's response to his situation - only a human response, on an individual level. Am I to refuse to share a laugh and a joke with the hairless, the limbless, the breathless if the occasion arises - due to my own preconceived notions re. how awful their situation is, what a tragic and pointless waste of human life etc., etc. (which of course it is) so that we've all got to be solemn? would that help them? I think not - rather, I think that's the difference between empathy and genuineness, and sympathy (but I may be wrong, or have explained this badly).

Just my explanation as to why I chose a faster version - which I hope hasn't offended.

Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: NeilA on April 29, 2010, 10:21:38 PM
Diane - my view is that that someone in Lawrie's position would have looked at it in a similar way.

We now know a great deal about what happened on the Somme, and we look back in remembrance but at the time (and when the tune was written) it was maybe looked on by many soldiers as being another chapter of a very grim experience but better get on with it as best we can (jokes, rousing songs and all) and hopefully we can all go home soon.

Neil
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: DRUMKILBO on April 30, 2010, 09:39:51 AM
Very well put Diane. Thank you.

Ian
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Steve_freereeder on April 30, 2010, 10:23:20 AM
Very well put Diane. Thank you.

Ian
Indeed. Absolutely agree.
Thanks, Diane
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Bill Young on April 30, 2010, 10:38:28 AM
Very perceptive, Diane. Thank you.

This TotM has possibly engendered more discussion than most, and it has been very interesting delving into its history and touching on the emotions it gives rise to. I'll certainly not regard it as just another tune title in future.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: HallelujahAl on April 30, 2010, 11:12:41 AM
with you there bill
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: uofdoboe on April 30, 2010, 11:09:15 PM
And coming in just under the wire... here's mine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBaSaoUMprs

Can't say I was really inspired on this one.  But whatever, it's practice if nothing else, right?
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 30, 2010, 11:33:45 PM
It's time to move onto the next tune of the month, but please feel free to keep posting your recordings of Battle of the Somme here, even if it's a little late!

Cheers,

Clive
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Pete Dunk on May 01, 2010, 02:39:02 PM
A day late I'm afraid but here it is warts 'n' all. I had hoped to play it better and at least a couple of times through but nerves took their toll once again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNj-3Eve2hU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNj-3Eve2hU)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: juker on May 03, 2010, 05:47:47 PM
Thanks uofdoboe and Tallship for your lovely playing of BoTS. I wasn't really taken with this tune at the beginning of April but, listening to all the tunes this month, have developed a fondness for it and have particularly enjoyed the discussion around the origins and meaning of the tune.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: BCC#er on May 03, 2010, 09:02:59 PM
tallship:sounds triumphant (:)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: tjsmithdog5 on May 04, 2010, 03:00:59 AM

A day late I'm afraid but here it is warts 'n' all.


Pipe band in a box, that's what that is! Very evocative treatment. Thanks!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Pete Dunk on May 04, 2010, 08:54:31 PM
Many thanks for the positive comments!  ;D It's still a work in progress as I'm struggling to reserve enough air to start again from the top as it both starts and finishes on the push, starting with half bellows isn't an option as the first couple of phrases are quite long!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: GuyWyatt on May 23, 2010, 10:14:26 PM
This recording of the tune is by a friend of mine, David Dunham.  He is not a visitor here and when chatting about tunes generally he said that very shortly after he posted this youtube was suddenly full of renditions of this tune. Dave's approach to the basses on this tune is to ignore them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnzEK4Zu0sc
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ollie on June 16, 2012, 06:27:30 PM
Very late to the party on this one, but I've been playing around with this tune again recently, and decided to do a quick recording.

http://soundcloud.com/olliekingbox/battle-of-the-somme

Played on my Bb/Eb Erika. Enjoy. :)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Theo on June 16, 2012, 11:01:41 PM
Enjoy. :)

Certainly did enjoy!  It's great to hear a slow tune played so well that you don't want it to finish. (:)
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: smiley on June 17, 2012, 01:22:54 AM
Thanks Ollie. Played beautifully.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: jackson10 on June 17, 2012, 01:17:57 PM
That was certainly worth waiting for. Beautiful!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 17, 2012, 06:59:29 PM
when the basses come in ......gorgeous.  Class stuff.
nice one Ollie!
Q
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Mike Carney on April 21, 2014, 09:18:15 PM
Here's my very quick stab at this tune, played as a lament/slow march:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnyLhVMUIkE

Well, Clive, quick stab or not, it has certainly inspired me. Heard this played at Sheffield Sessions Festival a couple of nights ago by Richard Arrowsmith in a very noisy alehouse and was captivated by this melody.  Searching for it I came across the long debate about who wrote it and what time signature...! But in the midst of that found your recording from four years ago (before I joined Melnet) and have learned it from that. Terrific, haunting, evocative...thanks.
Mike
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: george garside on April 21, 2014, 10:11:55 PM
a lovely haunting tune. To me sounds particularly nice on concertina, single voice box ( or single voice of a box with couplers) and also goes well on a mouthie.

The dots are in the Northumbrian Pipers second tunebook  key G

george
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Clive Williams on April 21, 2014, 11:26:41 PM
Cheers Mike - glad you enjoyed my little version of it! It is a lovely tune, and certainly worthy of being a session standard.
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Ollie on April 22, 2014, 10:14:08 PM
Here's my very quick stab at this tune, played as a lament/slow march:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnyLhVMUIkE

Well, Clive, quick stab or not, it has certainly inspired me. Heard this played at Sheffield Sessions Festival a couple of nights ago by Richard Arrowsmith in a very noisy alehouse and was captivated by this melody. Searching for it I came across the long debate about who wrote it and what time signature...! But in the midst of that found your recording from four years ago (before I joined Melnet) and have learned it from that. Terrific, haunting, evocative...thanks.
Mike

I was there too! Didn't spot you though. It sounded phenomenal on Saturday afternoon in the Bb/Eb session with full horn section!
Title: Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
Post by: Mike Carney on May 08, 2014, 01:55:41 PM
Here's my very quick stab at this tune, played as a lament/slow march:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnyLhVMUIkE

Well, Clive, quick stab or not, it has certainly inspired me. Heard this played at Sheffield Sessions Festival a couple of nights ago by Richard Arrowsmith in a very noisy alehouse and was captivated by this melody. Searching for it I came across the long debate about who wrote it and what time signature...! But in the midst of that found your recording from four years ago (before I joined Melnet) and have learned it from that. Terrific, haunting, evocative...thanks.
Mike

I was there too! Didn't spot you though. It sounded phenomenal on Saturday afternoon in the Bb/Eb session with full horn section!
I was the grumpy old fellow sitting opposite the door, with a better looking young son in law. We were there 9 to about 10 30.  Worked out who you were eventually.  Have got the Battle of the Somme off now, after a rather shaky first try at a recent session.  Hope to see you at another session sometime.
Mike