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Author Topic: Brimfield  (Read 804 times)

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Martin P

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Brimfield
« on: April 22, 2018, 09:58:12 PM »

For Border Morris afficiandos question re Brimfield dance. Any suggestions as to what tune was actually played in Brimfield when this dance performed there. Morris Ring website shows an interesting article based on Cecil Sharp’s notes pre WW1. This suggests that no specific tune existed pre-war. I have found a Brimfield Stick Dance tune that is very derivative of Not for Joe and rather leaden. Our side Otter Border Morris current dance Brimfield rather vigorously to The Sportsman’s Hornpipe. I only ask because I was “advised” at dance out today that we were not using the correct tune, but should be playing The Brimfield Hornpipe, which appears to be non-existent. And no, we do not wish to use Jenny Lind, thankyou.
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2018, 10:18:36 PM »

I did come across a Brimfield Hornpipe, although I suspect it's some way from any historical tune and seems to be based on another well known tune whose name presently escapes me. But perhaps your "advisor" was more familiar with it. 
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Henry Piper

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2018, 11:17:36 PM »

For Border Morris afficiandos question re Brimfield dance. Any suggestions as to what tune was actually played in Brimfield when this dance performed there. Morris Ring website shows an interesting article based on Cecil Sharp’s notes pre WW1. This suggests that no specific tune existed pre-war. I have found a Brimfield Stick Dance tune that is very derivative of Not for Joe and rather leaden. Our side Otter Border Morris current dance Brimfield rather vigorously to The Sportsman’s Hornpipe. I only ask because I was “advised” at dance out today that we were not using the correct tune, but should be playing The Brimfield Hornpipe, which appears to be non-existent. And no, we do not wish to use Jenny Lind, thankyou.

Martin,. .Far be it for me to "advise" you or anybody else  about "correct" tunes for border dances, as you quite correctly say very few of the known dances were allied to particular tunes !  I was simply informing you that there is a tune generally known as the Brimfield Hornpipe ,which may or may not be its actual title if indeed it has one !!, that was collected in the welsh borders. and is used by many teams who dance a variant of the Brimfield dance and agree that it fits the dance admirably. My comment was intended as information NOT advice. My philosophy when I danced border morris With Motley Morris In Maidstone of whom I was a founder member was "If there's a local tune use it, otherwise use a well known tune,. which seems to be what the Border Morris teams Did,
Any whatever tune you use, Otter morris danced excellently today, and contributed Mightily to the success of the whole event...... Cheers!!
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penn

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2018, 11:31:00 PM »

FWIW the Dave Jones book says "they used no special tunes but preferred polkas - "Any Polka makes a good tune, Schottisches rather too slow"" but in the appendix of tunes has a "Brimfield Stick" written by S Baldwin which I can't seem to find anywhere else, and a second "Brimfield Stick Dance tune which is This Old Man / Nick Nack Paddywhack.
Steve
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Martin P

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 10:21:47 AM »

I did come across a Brimfield Hornpipe, although I suspect it's some way from any historical tune and seems to be based on another well known tune whose name presently escapes me. But perhaps your "advisor" was more familiar with it.
Could you re-post this tune on another link that is NOT DEEZER. I have an aversion to Deezer as it takes over my PC. Ta.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 10:45:18 AM »

Interesting that Sharp didn't note a tune.
Within the Cotswold tradition, tunes 'moved' along with musicians who were sought after and bribed to play for 'your' team not the other one. Consequently tunes moved along with them and so your dance was often danced to the new tune....lo and behold a new dance evolved, though probably the old dance to the new tune!
I'm sure exactly the same happened within the Border tradition.
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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: Brimfield
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 11:38:32 AM »


Interesting that Sharp didn't note a tune.


Sharpe probably saw the whole thing as a corrupt vestige not worthy of serious consideration. He seems to have had a very low opinion of border morris.
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Greg Smith
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 01:26:58 PM »

Indeed he did.
I have a quote, possibly from Roy Dommett, that he viewed it as 'a bastardisation of the true Cotswold morris.....' ( *not* my view I hasten to add! ) and promptly ignored the old boys rather than collect from them and of course they died.
In my opinion that was unforgivable, to let a tradition die because of your prejudice.
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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

GPS

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 01:46:25 PM »

Indeed he did.
I have a quote, possibly from Roy Dommett, that he viewed it as 'a bastardisation of the true Cotswold morris.....' ( *not* my view I hasten to add! ) and promptly ignored the old boys rather than collect from them and of course they died.
In my opinion that was unforgivable, to let a tradition die because of your prejudice.
Q

He also wrote off a lot of Cotswold because it "was of little or no interest"; heaven knows how many village traditions were lost owing to his editorial "housekeeping".  Yes, there are a lot of reasons to be thankful for Sharp's work, but he's also responsible for consigning a lot of traditional music and dance to the scrapheap.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2018, 02:42:09 PM »

totally agree......
One of Roy Dommett's last instructionals with us was making the point about how difficult it was to record what you saw.
Sharpe's notes for Longborough didn't make sense when Sharpe taught it to the Travelling Maurice ( one of the Kennedy's? ) so Kennedy (?) went back to the old man and asked him to dance as he did for Sharpe. He took another set of notes that *did* make sense and danced it to the new team. It proves the point that it is extremely difficult to write down what you are seeing.
Some of the things Sharpe annotated were excellent and saved from extinction, some were probably not quite right but taken as gospel and some things he simply ignored!

Roy Dommett went back early in his collecting life looked up and met some of the sources still alive that Sharpe had used and checked them out.
His conclusions at times were interesting!
cheers
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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: Brimfield
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 03:54:01 PM »

What I know about Sharpe's selective attitude comes, mostly, from Roy's writings. Never met him though.
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Greg Smith
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Martin P

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 11:35:31 PM »

Apologies to Henry P, poor choice of words on my part. I should have said “politely informed” not “advised” in OP. I was being a bit too cocky in my OP. Useful comments always welcome. Sorry Henry.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2018, 11:47:00 PM »

Apologies to Henry P, poor choice of words on my part. I should have said “politely informed” not “advised” in OP. I was being a bit too cocky in my OP. Useful comments always welcome. Sorry Henry.

Never apologise. It denies people of the right to revenge (:)

I'm petty sure what has already been said is the truth of it, though. Border seems to have been danced to whatever vaguely suitable tune took the Musicman's fancy. If in doubt it's Not For Joe.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 11:50:38 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Greg Smith
Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows?
It is empty, but lacks nothing.
The more it moves, the more comes out of it.
Lao Tzu

Martin P

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2018, 10:24:16 AM »

Have discussed this with fellow musicians at dance practice last night. Considered opinion is that our existing tune of Sportsman’s Hornpipe is hard to better, especially as no “proper” tune appears to have ever existed for Brimfield dance. Especially as Otter Border Morris dance this with vigour  (unlike some I have seen!). Thanks for everybody’s contributions.
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Henry Piper

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2018, 11:47:40 AM »

Have discussed this with fellow musicians at dance practice last night. Considered opinion is that our existing tune of Sportsman’s Hornpipe is hard to better, especially as no “proper” tune appears to have ever existed for Brimfield dance. Especially as Otter Border Morris dance this with vigour  (unlike some I have seen!). Thanks for everybody’s contributions.

No Problems with Your Choice of Tunes Martin - Just offering an alternative !  No offence was taken so no need for apologies, Otters dancing was, as ever excellent !!!.
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From Ottery St Mary Devon. Currently Playing Dino Baffetti BP2 in D/G, Hohner Student 1 P.A conversion  in D/G,  Hohner 3515 Pre-Pokerwork in A/D,   2 row "Beaver Brand" in Bb/Eb, Hohner Pre- Erica in G/C .  Single row permanent 4 voice, 4 bass in C from old Hohner single row and bits of a cheap Cajun box !!,

penn

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Re: Brimfield
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2018, 12:44:22 PM »

This thread got me thinking about the Brimfield Stick tune in the Dave Jones book, and I did find more information about it aside from the Edward II link.

Mainly Norfolk has an entry https://mainlynorfolk.info/guvnor/records/rattleboneandploughjack.html. It's one of the tunes on Ashley Hutchings' Rattlebone & Ploughjack (entertaining record if you like a bit of border morris and/or molly), and although my sight reading is poor it looks to me like the tune in the Jones book.

That webpage and the book attribute the tune to Stephen Baldwin of Upton Bishop, and Musical Traditions has recordings of him playing fiddle (sadly neither the recordings nor the copious notes mention the Brimfield Stick tune, but there are a number of Border and other morris standards).
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/baldwin.htm

Stephen Baldwin was born 1873, died 1955, so this tune is not OLD old, but arguably it could have been what was playing for the Brimfield stick dance in the early part of the 20th century. It's a pretty jolly tune actually, I must try and learn it.

If anyone can be bothered I could abc it and upload a bit of the Rattlebone LP.

Steve
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