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Author Topic: Session sets  (Read 3760 times)

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george garside

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2017, 09:11:34 PM »

absolutely agree as far as   'english' session players  playing Irish tunes at 100 mph ad infinitum. On the other hand Irish trad tunes played  at dance speed  as originally intended can be great and  as far as I am concerned would be welcome in so called English sessions  - in other words its often the players rather than the tunes that causes the problem!

george
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Steve Coombes

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2017, 11:30:29 PM »

I pair The Blarney Pilgrim and The Sweets of May, which I learned off a Woodpecker Band CD, a great dance band that used to do a lot of the Bath Ceilidhs. I think they fit really well in an English session.

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george garside

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2017, 12:17:13 AM »

   'Irish' sets I use for both ceilidhs and sessions .  ryans polka and egans polka,  roaring jelly and tripping up the stairs, rattling bog and a tune often played for the siege of ennis dance but which I can't remember the name of!. also peter street which I pair with soldiers joy or  speed the plough or both!

All at comfortable dance  speed whether for dancing or in session.

george
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lachenal74693

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2017, 06:45:34 AM »

Looking for suggestions for pairs or threes of tunes that go nicely together and for playing in English pub sessions....

I don't know about the suitability for 'pub sessions', but there are several PDF
'booklets' containing 'dance sets' on the Australian Bush Traditions site. See:

http://www.bushtraditions.org/music/books4free.htm

I don't know if they would fulfill your requirement, and I ain't tried any of them,
but some of them at least seem to contain tunes ordered as if they are intended
to be played as a 'medley'.

The Beech Band, based at The Dulcimer in Chorlton used to publish a Tune Book
organised in sets (at least, that's how I've seen them played by the band), but
their website seems to have disappeared to be replaced by a FaceBook page and
I can no longer see any reference to the Tune Book. Maybe you could track it
down?

I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, but this is something I haven't tried before:
when playing a couple of tunes as a medley, is one or other of them transposed
so that they are both in the same key, or are they simply played one after the
other with a change of key at the 'join' - I guess this is the way to do it? [Edited a
few minutes later: Now I have looked carefully at the posts in the thread, I see
that this is indeed the way to go.
]

Also is it OK to chain together tunes with different time signatures (not for dancing)?

Thank you.

Roger


« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 07:52:26 AM by lachenal74693 »
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2017, 08:37:45 AM »

As said, a key change can give a wonderful lift in the middle of a set.
Q
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I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2017, 08:56:53 AM »

You can put tunes together because they have things in common and you can put tunes together because they contrast. There are no rules. However, some things tend to work better than others.

I have heard it said that you shouldn't mix triple and square key signatures but that does happen and can work.

I like sets that start with a slow tune followed by something livelier. But, not all the time.

It seems to be quite common in Irish sessions to put together three tunes of increasing tempo, each in a different key. It also seems quite common to stick tunes of a similar key, rhythm and or tempo together. That is probably the norm in "English" sessions down here in the SW.
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george garside

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2017, 09:27:42 AM »

as has been said -'no rules' so you can play 4/4's as 3/4's if that's what floats your boat.

george
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2017, 10:25:26 AM »

as has been said -'no rules' so you can play 4/4's as 3/4's if that's what floats your boat.

george

And vice versa. That's a good game. The Beardown Jig is one of our favourites (aka Beardance).
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 10:33:16 AM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Hugh Taylor

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2017, 11:55:50 AM »

Hmm...some thoughts on what has been said before.
For me, an English session is a reaction to an Irish session, where it can be common to play 6 reels one after another. I've nothing against Irish tunes per se, and I play quite a few O'Carolan tunes which have a similar feel to Playford. I wouldn't be keen being in a session termed English listening to the likes of the Blarney Pilgrim. I don't want to be nationalistic about it, but aren't there enough sessions for those tunes.
I'd also rather pursue English music as that's the culture I came from and live in. Anyone remember dance bands in the 70's when the tunes played were mainly Irish and Scottish? 
The type of session that I prefer is one with a mixture of tunes I know and tunes I don't. I'm not keen on sitting through a whole evening playing the likes of Three Round Three and Walter Bulwers 5x. That why I tend towards 3x each tune, and in general pair tunes together. If I'm playing a tune that's not known in the session, people may start to pick it up after 2x or 3x, so another couple of times is worthwhile.
Mixing rhythms can be effective. One set we play is Trip to Pakistan and Rosbif Waltz, which is 4/4 to 3/4.
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george garside

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2017, 12:40:19 PM »

I think that the bottom line is probably that most 'regular' sessions/gatherings of the same group of players   settle naturally  to playing a relatively small repertoire considering the hundreds ?thousands of tunes there are out there. 

That is why  sometimes a regular session player visiting a particular session for the first time may   only be able to join in with two or three tunes or maybe  even none at all!

When I ran large sessions at festivals I  aimed to try to  get  at least a third of those present playing each particular tune with  hopefully more joining in on 3rd time through.   Which 'third' was playing would of of course depend on which tune was being played

george



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IanD

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2017, 04:59:39 PM »

absolutely agree as far as   'english' session players  playing Irish tunes at 100 mph ad infinitum. On the other hand Irish trad tunes played  at dance speed  as originally intended can be great and  as far as I am concerned would be welcome in so called English sessions  - in other words its often the players rather than the tunes that causes the problem!

george
Agreed 100%, the problem is that people playing Irish tunes like this (in England) are in a minority. A few years ago Smiffs got asked to dance at the (sadly defunct) London Irish Centre is Hammersmith -- we went down a storm, the Guinness flowed freely, music (not for us!) was provided by a few young high-class fiddle and box players who were superb -- lovely playing, obviously well used to playing for dancing which of course prompted some of the audience to get up and do just that.

None of this sounded anything like the "Oirish" music you often hear in sessions, nor did any of the dancing (including some fantastic stepping) look anything like the rigid-no-arms-hopping-in-curly-wigs-and-embroidered-dresses that people often think of. It was all a pleasure to listen to and watch, the atmosphere was fantastic -- and nobody mentioned the word "craic" once ;-)

Anything like this would be completely welcome in any English session as far as I'm concerned, because it's really the same kind of music that happens to come from a different country. The problem is letting this in while keeping the diddly-diddly brigade out... :-(
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RogerT

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2017, 05:16:53 PM »

I sort of equate English= tunes played at a speed I can replicate...Irish = super fast reels that I haven't a hope in hell of following on a DG box...  (:). But that is a massive oversimplication. It's just in my head.  :o

george garside

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2017, 05:26:43 PM »

probably not of any great relevance to this discussion but as a player of both DG and BC (and BCC#)  I find it much easier to play at shit off a shovel speed on the  semitone boxes - not that I do much of that myself and never in an 'english' session.

george
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RogerT

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2017, 05:49:57 PM »

probably not of any great relevance to this discussion but as a player of both DG and BC (and BCC#)  I find it much easier to play at shit off a shovel speed on the  semitone boxes - not that I do much of that myself and never in an 'english' session.

george
yes having tinkered with semitone boxes I can see why. Sadly I'm reverting to PA for faster tunes, which I can play v fast if required. I should persevere with the semitone box, but fluid playing seems so far away having invested years on the flippin 4th apart system ~sigh~

Jesse Smith

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2017, 06:14:07 PM »

This is an interesting discussion for me, as, living in the States, there's no ready access to any "English" sessions. There's a very long running Irish session in my city that I need to check out one of these days, but I'm so far unaware of anywhere to play any other kind of traditional folk music. I may need to start up my own "anything except Irish" session in a year or two once my playing is competent enough to imagine playing with others. I imagine there must be other players of fiddle, concertina, accordion, etc., around but so far I haven't figured out how to find them.
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Mike Carney

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2017, 06:47:35 PM »

I agree with a lot of the points made but do love Irish tunes played in an accessible way. Let's make sure we don't give the wrong message..
M
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2017, 07:32:44 PM »

I agree with Mike - in a nutshell on both counts.
Thanks Mike
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

george garside

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2017, 09:27:11 PM »

probably not of any great relevance to this discussion but as a player of both DG and BC (and BCC#)  I find it much easier to play at shit off a shovel speed on the  semitone boxes - not that I do much of that myself and never in an 'english' session.

george
yes having tinkered with semitone boxes I can see why. Sadly I'm reverting to PA for faster tunes, which I can play v fast if required. I should persevere with the semitone box, but fluid playing seems so far away having invested years on the flippin 4th apart system ~sigh~

the key to fast fingering on the semitone boxes is to ( just like on a piano box) practice scales until they can be played at speed with no conscious thought- you then have the 'routes'  along which tunes can only go back and forth on! 

the bcc#  has the advantage of needing only 5 scales to play in 12 keys but of course the trichord does not have bass for the flat keys but the larger ones do.

george

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lachenal74693

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2017, 07:08:42 AM »

OK, I like the idea of adding a couple of 'medleys' or 'sets' to my repertoire (I had been thinking
about this using tunes with 'Devil' in the title). I randomly picked Pakistan/Rosbif Waltz  from the
lists supplied in this thread and downloaded random ABC scores from t'Internet.
The end result:

Code: [Select]
X:1
T:Pakistan, Rosbif Waltz (M:4/4 > 3/4; K:Bm > Em)
N:For D/G 'tina
T:The Trip To Pakistan
R:reel
R:hornpipe
M:4/4
L:1/8
Q:130
K:Bmin
P:A
|:"Bm"BdfB d3f|"A"e3d cdec|"Bm"BdfB d3f|"Em"ecAB cB B2:|
|:"Em"BdfB g3e|"Bm"f3d edcd|"Em"BdfB g3e|"Em"fede fe e2:|
|:"Bm"cdfc dfcd|"G"BcdB cdBc|"A"AceA ceAc|"Em"edcd B4:|
|:"Bm"B,DFB B3c/2d/2|"A"edfd edcd|"Bm"B,DFB B3c/2d/2| "Em"edcd B4:|
T:Rosbif Waltz
R:waltz
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:Emin
P:B
|:"Em"G2EF GE|"Em"G2EF GE|"Bm"F2DE FD|"Em"E2E4|"Em"G2EF GE|
"Em"G2EF GE|"Bm"FE DE FD|"Em"B2B4|"Em"B2GA BG|"A"A2A4|"Em"G2EF GE|
"Bm"F2F4|"Em"G2EF GE|"Em"GF EF GE|"Bm"FE DE FD|  [1"Em"E2E2EF:|  [2"Em"E2E4||
|:"Em"BEcEBE|"Em"GEGEGE|"Em"BEcEBE|"A"AB,AB,AB,|"D"A2AF DF|"D"A2AF DF|"A"A4G2|"Em"E6:|
|:"Em"G2 F2 G2|"A"A4A2|"G"B2d2c2|"Em"B3A G2|"C"e3d c2|"Em"B3A G2|  [1"A"A4A2|"Em"B6:|  [2"A"A4G2|"Em"E6|]

This changes key, changes time signature, and I also transposed the 4th part of Pakistan down an octave
so it didn't sound too squeaky, got rid of an un-necessary start-up note in Rosbif Waltz, and added chords.
I also tried rendering Pakistan as a hornpipe rather than a reel.

I use ABC playback as an essential ear-based aid to learning, at the same time as trying to read the score
(because I don't sight-read).

Sounds sorta reasonable (or does it?). So, am I going about this the 'right' way?

Next problem - learning to play it...

Ta.

Roger
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 07:50:04 AM by lachenal74693 »
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george garside

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Re: Session sets
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2017, 10:24:33 AM »

For band work practicing tunes in sets  is essential but when playing at home or in sessions I don't with a few exeptions  have predetermined 'fixed' sets in mind. Its more about having an idea  as to what tunes  can  smoothly follow one another  with or without a key change  or if changing timing eg from a 4/4 to a 6/8 without it sounding as if you've missed a gear!  Personally I find that linking a temp change with a key change  usually fits the two together better than keeping in the same key.

george

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