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Author Topic: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe  (Read 1313 times)

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Paul Young

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Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« on: October 09, 2015, 01:41:38 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl8bzD3RJu8

I've just uploaded this video as an example of the custom video lessons I offer. It's for D/G and the pupil it was made for had a stop for taking out their thirds, so that's assumed, but you can adapt the left hand if you're stuck with your thirds in (note that I say "D" a lot when I mean "D minor"). It's a fairly long and detailed one with a slow walk through of the basic melody, a standard left hand part and then some ornaments and variations and a bit about varying the left hand part.

If anybody would like a similar video making for them on any other tune then please get in touch.

Lessons can be simpler, or more detailed, with or without the spoken explanation, and can include annotated sheet music if you'd like some. Prices vary depending on how long it's going to take me to do what you want. The pupil I made this lesson for had a few other similar ones and I charged him £20 for each of them.

I'm also available for live lessons on Skype at £20 per hour. I've done some one-offs and now have one regular weekly Skype pupil and it seems to work quite well. If we're working with dots I can put music up on your screen and annotate it and e-mail printable copies at the end of lessons.

More about me at:
www.paulyoungfolk.co.uk
www.facebook.com/paulyoungfolk

Steve_freereeder

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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 02:45:50 PM »

Very good, very clear video.  (:)

Incidentally, I'm so very glad that you play the two halves of the B-music differently, just as Dave Shepherd wrote it. It is a popular tune with Border Morris musicians and I always feel saddened when I hear the B-music 'simplified' - one might almost say 'dumbed down' - into two identical halves, as so often happens. As you ably demonstrate, playing the two halves differently (i.e. as composed) is not difficult.
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Paul Young

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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 02:56:28 PM »

Yes, I know what you mean, Steve. A couple of my pupils play this in their team and have a simplified Em version. I suspect it's ended up being widely played that way partly because in Em you'd need a low C to play the B part exactly as written, but just as I do here with the Dm arpeggio, you can shift the C in the Am arpeggio up an octave for an acceptable substitute or just play the A and E to suggest the Am chord, or shove the whole tune up an octave.

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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 03:15:01 PM »

Yes, I know what you mean, Steve. A couple of my pupils play this in their team and have a simplified Em version. I suspect it's ended up being widely played that way partly because in Em you'd need a low C to play the B part exactly as written, but just as I do here with the Dm arpeggio, you can shift the C in the Am arpeggio up an octave for an acceptable substitute or just play the A and E to suggest the Am chord, or shove the whole tune up an octave.
You could also play the low C on the LH side bass note. It's surprising how well it blends in to the flow of the melody. Listeners who are more than a couple of metres away from the melodeon barely perceive the shift of sound from right to left.
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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 06:13:06 PM »

Amen.

Jack Campin

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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 09:36:22 PM »

Traditional transmission sometimes improves tunes and songs, and I think it's done that here.  The simplified version is a much stronger tune than the original.  It also works better played more slowly than the composer does it.  (No opinion on the key - whatever works on your instrument).
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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 09:37:28 PM »

Traditional transmission sometimes improves tunes and songs, and I think it's done that here.  The simplified version is a much stronger tune than the original.  It also works better played more slowly than the composer does it.  (No opinion on the key - whatever works on your instrument).

+1

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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2015, 01:23:42 AM »

Traditional transmission sometimes improves tunes and songs, and I think it's done that here.  The simplified version is a much stronger tune than the original.
Sorry, but I have to disagree in this instance. I believe the 'simplified version' has resulted from a combination of (a) mis-hearing the structure of the original and (b) possible laziness (especially by melodeon players) in not wanting to make the little bit of extra effort to play it as the composer intended. This has then got passed on via the folk process to umpteen Border Morris musicians who, to be fair to them, may well not be familiar with the original version.

We are not talking here about a tune in an 18th century collection which may have had a mixed provenance and hence an uncertain accuracy in its notation. On the contrary, the composer Dave Shepherd is a respected, contemporary folk musician and performer who has gone on record condemning this alteration of the B-music, and I think we have a certain duty to respect his wishes.

Here are a couple of Youtube videos with Dave Shepherd himself playing it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjZUmIw0sWk
(the tune starts at time = 1:50; also note Dave Shepherd's comments)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v2Wet7XzaA
(see -  it can be played on a melodeon; starts at time = 1:42)

Both recordings portray the tune as exciting and powerful, and made especially interesting by the B-music doing something just a little bit unexpected and out of the ordinary, which is all to the good in my opinion. It's like comparing a fine hand-drawn beer with a can of cheap supermarket fizz.

We have been here before though. See this thread:
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,7676.msg95389.html#msg95389

Finally, to paraphrase my colleague Nicky Stockman, lead musician for Ouse Washes Molly Dancers, 'our [Ouse Washes] music works because it is interesting and a bit unusual, even if that makes it slightly more tricky to play properly.'
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Jack Campin

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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2015, 08:41:33 AM »

This has happened with many other contemporary tunes - most of Gordon Duncan's tunes are played in multiple versions, and Grey Larsen's "Thunderhead" has been enormously improved since he wrote it (mainly by Old Blind Dogs, I think - their version is what everybody plays now). A tune doesn't need to have its origins lost in the mythic past for tradition to work on it.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Free video lesson - William Taylor's Tabletop Hornpipe
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2015, 09:12:32 AM »

This has happened with many other contemporary tunes - most of Gordon Duncan's tunes are played in multiple versions, and Grey Larsen's "Thunderhead" has been enormously improved since he wrote it (mainly by Old Blind Dogs, I think - their version is what everybody plays now). A tune doesn't need to have its origins lost in the mythic past for tradition to work on it.
Yes, I know, Jack. Even a couple of my own tunes have been altered as they 'mature' by doing the rounds, which is fine by me and I completely understand how the aural tradition process works. I even alter them myself!  ;)

What I do question though, is what constitutes an 'improvement'. It seems to me to be a very subjective thing, similar to how one person will like a particular tune whereas another person cannot stand it. Clearly you and I differ about WTTTH, which normally would be fine - each to our own ideas. But in this case the composer has strongly expressed his views about how he wants a tune to be played.

Of course, releasing a tune into the folk environment exposes it to the risks of being mangled, and we have to accept that. But I'm all for preserving quirkiness and originality, and I like to seek out original versions of tunes if possible.

The most undesirable thing for a tune to suffer is surely the steady erosion of its hills of creativity, reducing it to a flat peneplain of mediocrity.  :Ph
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