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Author Topic: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel  (Read 1653 times)

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Clive Williams

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Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« on: May 31, 2018, 10:47:42 PM »

The irony of this tune winning in June! What a good tune though:

There's a couple of versions of May Reel I've found; this one nice and steady, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdzl73snAtM and this one played by Jim Sawyer with more swing than you would think humanly possible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIpZYznP1CY (first tune)

I've no idea how easy or hard this one is - never played it before; I guess we'll soon find out! Good luck everyone!

Cheers,

Clive

Helena Handcart

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2018, 07:45:43 AM »

I must admit I'd rather (lazily) assumed this one was traditional - a quick search of the interweb reveals it was written by Paul Sartin, that'll be why I can't find any abc then I suppose.
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Anahata

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2018, 08:06:15 AM »

Well Helena, your Google-fu is different from mine - I did find an ABC, but no mention of composer...
(it's on the other PC, will upload when I'm more awake)


PS found it: https://archive.folx.org/tune/reel/may-reel-1180

X:1
T:May Reel
C:trad.
O:England
S:Jim Sawyer (UK) on melodeon
S:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIpZYznP1CY
Z:Stephan "Stoney" Steiner
K:D
M:4/4
L:1/8
f2Af- ffgf |edcB AB (3ABG|FAdA GBdB |Aceg fdcd |
f2Af- ffgf |edcB AB (3ABG |FAd GBd Ac|1 gece dcde :|2 gece dcdf ||
e2Ae- ee f2-|fefg e3e|ffff gfed |c2 (3BcB ABcA |
e2Ae- ee f2-|fefg e3e |ffff gfed |1 cABc dF (3Adf :|2 cABc d2e2 ||
%%

I guess transcribed from Jim's playing, and that should be C: Paul Sartin ?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 08:09:33 AM by Anahata »
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baz parkes

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 12:52:11 PM »

The irony of this tune winning in June! What a good tune though:

There's a couple of versions of May Reel I've found; this one nice and steady, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdzl73snAtM

That made me all nostalgic for my stolen Saltarelle  :'(....best pick up the pre pokerwork presently...
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2018, 11:48:14 AM »

Hmmmm, don't think I've ever been first to record before!
It's a nod to Jimbo Sawyer's version as for me his YouTube video starting with this tune is one of the best out there.
I've learnt it a while back but not really played it much, as his swing in the tune eludes me.

Anyway, yer tiz.
https://soundcloud.com/thrupenny-bit/may-reel

cheers
Q
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Howard Mitchell-Borts (Mitch)

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2018, 03:33:48 PM »

I've not heard this tune before.
Interesting row-crossing possibilities and left-right coordination for the swing and the hemiola.

https://youtu.be/lYqHW12uR-8

Mitch
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folkbluesnbeyond

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2018, 04:34:46 PM »

Posted a while ago but I have been offline for a few days. (Some have already found it).

https://youtu.be/LzFun5mdWfo

I haven't checked the posted transcription against my own, but I went back to the Faustus version in the end to make sense of a couple of bits. Four stop one row and DG pokerwork.

All the best

Bill
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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2018, 07:39:43 AM »

I've not heard this tune before.
Interesting row-crossing possibilities and left-right coordination for the swing and the hemiola.

https://youtu.be/lYqHW12uR-8

Mitch
Yes I reckon you've about nailed that. I’ve been watching that Jimbo video for a few years and trying to get his 'swing', which is quite tricky (it must be the beer helping him). But you’ve captured that. Without it, the tune is a bit wooden/pedestrian, IMHO.

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2018, 11:40:36 AM »

Interesting row-crossing possibilities and left-right coordination for the swing and the hemiola.
Hemiola is not a term I've heard before.  Does this refer to the rhythmic differences between bars 3 and 7?
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Anahata

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2018, 12:13:23 PM »

I'd have just called it syncopation.

Hemiola is a particular type of syncopation where you subdivide a bar of three beats into two beats of 1.5 times the length or vice versa, which usually means usually switching between 3/4 and 6/8.

In the strict sense of half as much again or a ratio of 3:2 (OK, I did check with Wikipedia  :|bl ) I suppose that is happening with in this tune, as bar 7 starts with two beats of 1½ times the usual 4/4 beat.
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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 11:32:55 PM »

I think that either term is ok. For me a hemiola should really feel like a change of time signature where none exists, and here I feel the implication is to create a push-rhythm (as Anahata says creating a strong syncopation).
So, both ok in my book, but this one both needs a group of 4 at the end of the figure, so it doesn't lie quite right for a hemiola, and it also seems to have the intention of feeling the original pulse against the new figure.
I don't think we should be afraid of using technical terms even if we don't agree entirely.
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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2018, 07:25:18 AM »

I haven't been so confused by a tune since you all forced me to confront a real 3/2 hornpipe.  (I eventually came to term with those, and I really love them now, so thank you!) 

My first question is: can this actually be danced as a reel?  I'm no dancer, so I have to ask those who are.

After I wrassel with this a bit, I'll have other questions.  :||:  I'm still struggling to control the left hand, so the syncopation/hemiola is going to be a massive challenge.  But that's why we're all here, right?
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Anahata

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2018, 10:57:10 AM »

As played in all versions I've heard so far, it's not a reel. More of a Schottische-y sort of hornpipe. Would work for a step-hop too, I think.

I'm still struggling to control the left hand, so the syncopation/hemiola is going to be a massive challenge.

The question is whether to keep a regular rhythm on the LHS against the RH syncopation, or to emphasise the syncopation by doing it on both sides together.
My experiments so far suggest a mixture of the two will be effective. Persuading hands to actually do it, of course...

Incidentally, there was a really good (I thought, anyway) episode of "The Listening Service" on BBC radio 3 recently, on the topic of syncopation.
 Still available on Listen Again but only for another 11 days.
(Hemiola is mentioned, and instead of the usual and predictable example of Dvorak's Slavonic Dances for illustration, he uses the even better-known Bernstein's I Like To Be in America)
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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2018, 10:42:36 PM »

I dearly love this tune. No way my version will ever sound like Jimbo's, but here it is.
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Anahata

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2018, 11:50:09 PM »

I dearly love this tune. No way my version will ever sound like Jimbo's, but here it is.

Very nice, definitely got some good bounce and swing.
And clarity too: it would be easier to learn the tune from your version than Jimbo's.
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Mcgrooger

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2018, 09:33:16 PM »

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Mcgrooger

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2018, 04:20:48 PM »

I dearly love this tune. No way my version will ever sound like Jimbo's, but here it is.
Nice!! (:)
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playandteach

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2018, 09:17:31 PM »


I'm still struggling to control the left hand, so the syncopation/hemiola is going to be a massive challenge.



Incidentally, there was a really good (I thought, anyway) episode of "The Listening Service" on BBC radio 3 recently, on the topic of syncopation.
 Still available on Listen Again but only for another 11 days.
(Hemiola is mentioned, and instead of the usual and predictable example of Dvorak's Slavonic Dances for illustration, he uses the even better-known Bernstein's I Like To Be in America)
Actually, although I've used I like to be in America myself to demonstrate a hemiola to students, I don't really think it is. I think it's more of a regular switch between time signatures. It's something Bernstein did frequently - for example in the timpani ostinato in the film On the Waterfront.
I've sketched out that rhythm in an attachment, and it this case it is clearly not a hemiola because the 2 time signatures don't share the same number of quavers per bar.
And I've written a similar tune to illustrate the point - mine switches between 3/4 and 6/8 in a similar way but isn't a hemiola. I have included a hemiola later in the second time bar in the C section (that just reminded me of my children's births).
For an unambiguous hemiola the harmony should now change with the new implied time signature, and you should be able to see that there are now 3 chords in 2 bars. In America, and the rest of my piece the harmonies only change with the barline, which further undermines a hemiola.
Anahata, I hope that this is clear that it is only my opinion - and only then stated because I enjoy the debate. I'm not - despite what it might sometimes appear - trying to imply that I know best. I respect your playing and musicianship too much to take exception to your interpretation of the term. Hence the title of my piece: One Man's Beat...

EDIT - for some reason it won't allow the attachments. I'll see what I can do.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 09:20:02 PM by playandteach »
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playandteach

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2018, 09:21:50 PM »

Here is the On the Waterfront sketch - and had to take out punctuation to get my tune up.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 09:27:43 PM by playandteach »
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Anahata

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Re: Tune of the Month for June 2018: May Reel
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2018, 12:25:28 AM »

I'm certainly not about to be drawn into an argument over semantics here. The Wikipedia article mentions different textbooks having contrasting definitions of hemiola and sesquialtera, and then there's polyrhythm...

I take your point, though, that maybe there should be a distinction between a temporary change of rhythm against an unchanging time signature versus an explicit time signature change. I don't know what Bernstein actually wrote: do you?
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