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Author Topic: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig  (Read 15119 times)

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Clive Williams

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Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« on: October 01, 2012, 12:45:18 AM »

ukebert's suggestion wins! it's the South Downs Jig, a lovely quirky English jig.

Here's ukebert's original piano version of the tune, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0OUmJg8uYo - no melodeon versions yet - and here's some ABC:

Code: [Select]
X:195
T:South Downs Jig
R:jig
S:Robert Harbron
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:G
|: d | dcA G3 | EFG AFE | DEF GAB | cde d2d |
dcA G3 | EFG AFE | DEF GAB | cAF G2 :|
B | Bcd e2c | d2B c2A | Bcd e2c | [M:9/8]d2B c2B A3 |
[M:6/8]DGF E3 | cBA FED | DEF GAB |1 cAF G2 :|2 cAF G3 |]


Owen learned it off Rob Harbron via Ed Rennie, and Rob says it was written by the late Jim Harding of Lewes in Sussex.

A quick play through of it, and it makes a nice little tune to fit on a D/G, and for me anyway changes row quite frequently rather than crosses it if you know what I mean.

It makes a lovely slow jig; perhaps it does other things too? Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

Cheers,

Clive

Owen Woods

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 01:22:26 AM »

Cool! I actually missed the poll for this one, so it's a nice surprise. I do have a D/G version, I might try recording it. IIRC it was Ollie's suggestion though (:)

I emailed Ed Rennie about this tune and he sent me two links to box versions. The first by him (from Banquet of Boxes): http://soundcloud.com/mrs-casey-records/banq-of-boxes-medley and the second by Pip Ives of this parish: http://www.pipives.co.uk/recordings.html

Jim Harding was a member of South Downs Morris, so this could be a tune for a Morris Jig. That would explain the title and perhaps that 9/8 bar.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 01:26:53 AM by ukebert »
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folkbluesnbeyond

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 06:39:38 AM »


http://youtu.be/iVmZYTZpxU8

A couple of times through twice, (not at morris speed)

All the best

Bill

PS Despite Howard's 'grumble' (post) it remains a cracking tune. I hope his intervention does not discourage others from playing the tune as they feel it deserves, or the point of TOTM would be lost, (from my perspective). 2nd month I have got it wrong for somebody!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 01:59:05 PM by folkbluesnbeyond »
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Howard Jones

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2012, 12:22:23 PM »

I love this tune, and I'm afraid my heart sank when I saw this was to be TOTM.  I first heard it played by anglo player Dave Prebble, who knew Jim Harding, and later learned it from John Percy (who I think may also have known him, but I can't swear to it).  In their hands the tune has a wonderful subtlety, especially the part in the B music where it slows down.  None of the recorded versions linked to, all fine in their own way, capture this, and the ABC (which isn't even dotted) misses the point completely, imo. 

Occasionally I hear the tune in sessions but it has always been from someone who learned it (directly or indirectly) from a source close to the composer.  I fear this tune will become popularised in sessions as an emasculated, smoothed-out version which loses all its character - rather as has happened with Oscar Woods' Jig, another fine tune which is usually ruined in sessions.

I realise this is the inevitable consequence of publishing tunes, especially where a "definitive" recording is not available (although even that doesn't seem to have saved Oscar's Jig), but I don't have to like it.

Grumble over.

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2012, 01:05:26 PM »

Well you know what you can do Howard! ;)

It seems that we have a choice according to you. Either a tune is played wrong or it is not played at all. Personally I'd prefer the former, but if you care about it then please record a version to show us all how it should be done.
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Howard Jones

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 02:41:29 PM »


I seem to be in a particularly curmudgeonly mood today >:(

I'd rather it was played "right", or rather that it gets passed on with the subtle touches which transform it from a merely good tune to a "glorious" one.  I fear that once this gets taken up as a session tune these touches will be ironed out and it will become just another rumpty-tumpty jig.  You only have to listen to the difference between Oscar Woods' playing of his jig and the way it is now treated in most sessions.

Somewhere I have a recording of Dave Prebble playing South Downs, although it seems to be on a hard drive which refuses to speak to my laptop so I'm not optimistic that I'll be able to find it.

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Clive Williams

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2012, 03:37:34 PM »

Definitely with Owen on this - let's hear it in all its forms, and then we can each judge which we like best (and I'm sure it won't be the same answer for everyone). I seem to remember someone famous saying to the effect of 'the only way you can damage folk music is not to play it' - and I think that's about right.

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2012, 03:43:50 PM »

... if you care about it then please record a version to show us all how it should be done.


Yes please record it the way you like it.
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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 04:10:34 PM »

I love this tune, and I'm afraid my heart sank when I saw this was to be TOTM.  I first heard it played by anglo player Dave Prebble, who knew Jim Harding, and later learned it from John Percy (who I think may also have known him, but I can't swear to it).  In their hands the tune has a wonderful subtlety, especially the part in the B music where it slows down.  None of the recorded versions linked to, all fine in their own way, capture this, and the ABC (which isn't even dotted) misses the point completely, imo. 

It's in Nick Barber's English Selection (of which I have a copy),  a bit different from the way most people play it.  Nick explained to me that he learned it from Jim Harding, and he thinks it's pretty much as Jim played it.

Perhaps I'll unlearn the "session" version I'm familiar with and play Nick's version, and you can see what you think. Or I could transcribe it to ABC...
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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 04:47:35 PM »

Here's mine. I make no claims to 'authenticity'...whatever that means. I've enjoyed playing this tune as much as any TOTM and more than some. (:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg315bnQqF0 
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pikey

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2012, 05:26:18 PM »

I love this tune, and I'm afraid my heart sank when I saw this was to be TOTM.  I first heard it played by anglo player Dave Prebble, who knew Jim Harding, and later learned it from John Percy (who I think may also have known him, but I can't swear to it).  In their hands the tune has a wonderful subtlety, especially the part in the B music where it slows down.  None of the recorded versions linked to, all fine in their own way, capture this, and the ABC (which isn't even dotted) misses the point completely, imo. 

Occasionally I hear the tune in sessions but it has always been from someone who learned it (directly or indirectly) from a source close to the composer.  I fear this tune will become popularised in sessions as an emasculated, smoothed-out version which loses all its character - rather as has happened with Oscar Woods' Jig, another fine tune which is usually ruined in sessions.

I realise this is the inevitable consequence of publishing tunes, especially where a "definitive" recording is not available (although even that doesn't seem to have saved Oscar's Jig), but I don't have to like it.

Grumble over.

Point of order, The tune now known as Oscar Woods Jig was never called that by Oscar!  I think we can thank Mr Stradling for that. Maybe it sounded better than 'Tiger Smiths Jig.'   ;D

Rant over........ 
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Anahata

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2012, 06:40:00 PM »

Here's an ABC transcription of the version in Nick Barber's book

X: 0
T: South Downs
C: Jim Harding
B: Nick Barber's English Selection
M: 6/8
K: G
d dcA | G3 EFG | A3 DEF | GAB cde | d3 dcA |
G3 EFG | A3 DEF | GAB cAF | G2 ::
B Bcd | e3 d3 | cBA Bcd | e3 d2B |
cdB A3- | A2D DGF | E2c cBA |F3 DEF |GAB cAF |G2 :|

And this is me playing it: http://youtu.be/UrMULw5AVh8

Note there is no 9/8 bar. The bar lines are perhaps half a bar out from where you'd expect, and there's an extra half-bar of held note in the middle of the B music. Also some detail is different from the version I've learned from other players.

Edit: corrected last bar of 1st line

I'd be interested to know if it's any closer to Jim Harding's own playing that the "standard session version", in the opinion of anyone with a claim to know the difference.

Here's the dots as a graphic:
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 11:27:30 PM by Anahata »
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Pete Dunk

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2012, 10:49:15 PM »

Here's mine. I make no claims to 'authenticity'...whatever that means. I've enjoyed playing this tune as much as any TOTM and more than some. (:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg315bnQqF0

Love it! Very different to Owen's remarkable interpretation, now licking my lips in anticipation of Anahata's offering. I think there are folk here capable of being very creative with this tune despite Howard's misgivings and I too would love to hear this played by someone who learned to play it from the playing of the composer himself.
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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2012, 11:01:09 PM »

And this is me playing it: http://youtu.be/UrMULw5AVh8

Note there is no 9/8 bar. The bar lines are perhaps half a bar out from where you'd expect, and there's an extra half-bar of held note in the middle of the B music. Also some detail is different from the version I've learned from other players.

I'd be interested to know if it's any closer to Jim Harding's own playing that the "standard session version", in the opinion of anyone with a claim to know the difference.

Hmm, perhaps the 9/8 bar is someone's attempt to rationalise a tune that is very rubato (variable tempo) in places. I love this version too, the tune is so full of possibilities!
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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2012, 11:05:43 PM »

Here's my version - http://soundcloud.com/olliekingbox/south-downs-jig

However!

I've now just looked in the Nick Barber book (didn't realise it was in there) - this is how I originally thought it should be notated, and I much prefer this version... so I'm now off to record another!

And here it is - http://soundcloud.com/olliekingbox/south-downs I think shifting the G to the first note of bar 1, and making the DDCA bit the anacrusis completely changes the feel of the tune, for the better.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 11:26:53 PM by Ollie »
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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2012, 11:31:55 PM »

Thanks to tjsmithdog5 for pointing out a small error in the last bar of the first line of my transcription from Nick's book. I've edited both ABC and graphic to correct this now.

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2012, 10:33:36 AM »

I disagree, I think that the change in emphasis makes it rather stodgy somehow, it doesn't have that wonderful asynchronicity that the other version has.
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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2012, 12:11:50 PM »

Whichever way you put the bar lines (and that's much more likely than anything else to be pure transcriber's whim, given that JH evidently didn't write anything down) there are other differences in Nick's version, notably the extra three quavers length on a note halfway though the B music which sounds like a pause, and which means you don't need the 9/8 bar.
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Owen Woods

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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2012, 12:14:08 PM »

Whichever way you put the bar lines (and that's much more likely than anything else to be pure transcriber's whim, given that JH evidently didn't write anything down) there are other differences in Nick's version, notably the extra three quavers length on a note halfway though the B music which sounds like a pause, and which means you don't need the 9/8 bar.

Aye, it just makes the B section 9 full bars long :P
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Re: Tune of the Month for October 2012 - South Downs Jig
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2012, 12:20:35 PM »

The Nick Barber transcription is closer to the version I know, although I've heard it played as a more dotted morris tune, with variations in timing which notation cannot quite capture.  It's the slightly "off-balance" nature of the tune played this way which I find particularly appealing.

If, as Anahata indicates, there is already a "session version" in circulation then perhaps I'm too late to voice my misgivings.  The only times I've heard it in sessions has been when it's played by Dave Prebble, John Percy, or me.

To be clear, I've no objection to people putting their own interpretation on tunes, and my own version now probably differs slightly from both Dave's and John's.  All the recorded versions here I've listened to have been fine in their own ways (I particularly like Ukebert's piano version).  However I think that some tunes are more robust than others, and while some can stand rough treatment in sessions, others are more delicate and can lose a lot of their character. 

I'm clearly going to have to put my money where my mouth is and record a version.  I usually play this on concertina so I'll have to learn to play it on melodeon first.
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