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Author Topic: Part A's and B's  (Read 1315 times)

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James Tobin

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Part A's and B's
« on: July 11, 2018, 01:29:00 PM »

Hi,

Not sure this is the right place for this question?

In relation to playing pieces for French folk dancing (Bourees) is there a standard number of part A's and B's that are played?

Thanks
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Fred

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 02:18:38 PM »

As far as I'm aware there's no set number of standard repetitions of A and B part. However, since often enough the first part (A) is half the length of the second part (B), I would recommend AAB or some multiplication of that (AAAABB for example). More generally, I would try to keep the added length of A repetitions at the same length than those of B repetitions (i.e. if A part is as long as B part, just play AB).
That's just my view on the topic and how I've played it in a trad/folk band playing mostly Renaissance music. Keep in mind that this is nothing to rely on and may very well differ from person to person, area to area, tradition to tradition, and so on. (:)
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Anahata

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 02:21:49 PM »

32 bars seems pretty standard. Usually that means AABB with A and B each being 8 bars long.
Sometimes you'll find a 16 bar A or B that doesn't repeat, making the overall length the same.

Same for Scottishes. In both cases the dance steps sequence is shorter than that, so I'm not sure it matters all that much.

Chapelloise = 16 bar jigs ideally. But if you play 32 you won't get lynched.

PS as Fred says.... your mileage may vary
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Julian S

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 02:59:35 PM »

Can't say I'm anything like an expert but the usual line bourree dance needs 32 bars music, so, yes,normally it's two As and 2Bs. Bound to be exceptions someone will point out, but all the bourrees I play are that length.
I've always wondered whether there are any 48 bar bourree dances/tunes...anyone know any ?

J
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Jackaspandy

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 03:04:25 PM »

I  know this is slightly off topic - but why are B parts - always harder to play than A parts ?
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Fred

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 04:59:28 PM »

I  know this is slightly off topic - but why are B parts - always harder to play than A parts ?

Care to give three examples for that statement?
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Jackaspandy

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 05:19:03 PM »

Well - it was  a bit of a sweeping statement - but Halsway Carol, La Marianne and Daniel O'Connell for starters. I have even thought in the past that I should learn the B part first and the A part second - that way at least I get the hard part over with. (:)
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 05:44:39 PM »

It is maybe a bit of a sweeping statement but often B parts to feel more difficult even if maybe they are not. Perhaps because we learn the A which usually has a certain amount of repetition and we'll have played it lots of times before moving on to learn the B. This makes the first half of the B seem more difficult simply because it is new territory - then (hopefully) the second half of the B will resolve to part of the A and we can all breathe a big sigh of relief. That's my theory anyway.
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Barlow

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 10:06:00 AM »

I  know this is slightly off topic - but why are B parts - always harder to play than A parts ?
This is a question I have always wondered but was too afraid to ask.
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Lester

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 10:54:20 AM »

I  know this is slightly off topic - but why are B parts - always harder to play than A parts ?
This is a question I have always wondered but was too afraid to ask.

But I find B parts easier to remember and often have to play through the B to get to the A

Winston Smith

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 11:18:27 AM »

I find this all rather strange, to say the least!
I'm constantly caught out when I (infrequently) play along with other people, as I want to just play the tune straight through. I find that others seem to be used to playing the first half (part A, I presume) more than once, and sometimes more than that, before going on to the rest of the tune.
Not being "musical" myself, could anyone confirm that the music is written this way? Or is this habit another example of folkie development; or interference?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 11:20:00 AM by Winston Smith »
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Steve C.

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 12:34:49 PM »

I'm with Lester.  I don't know a 1/00 th of the tunes he does, but I often cannot remember how to start a tune until I play through the B part, which takes one to the starting notes...
The B parts often seem to have more ornamentation to the melody?
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2018, 12:50:37 PM »

But I find B parts easier to remember and often have to play through the B to get to the A

This is true, and you're not the only one Lester.  Maybe more difficult to learn = easier to remember?
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Clive Williams

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 01:04:53 PM »

In relation to playing pieces for French folk dancing (Bourees) is there a standard number of part A's and B's that are played?

If we're talking French line bourrees, I've always gone with AABB, 32 bars. That gives 2 'in and outs' for each A music (so 4 in total) and 2 'cross overs' for each B music (so again, 4 in total).

george garside

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 01:09:38 PM »

like most of us I play AABB exept when I am playing  a 'singy' dance tune when I play ABAB to fit in with the verse and chorus of the song but still same number of bars for dancers.

george
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george garside

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2018, 01:15:14 PM »

I find this all rather strange, to say the least!
I'm constantly caught out when I (infrequently) play along with other people, as I want to just play the tune straight through. I find that others seem to be used to playing the first half (part A, I presume) more than once, and sometimes more than that, before going on to the rest of the tune.
Not being "musical" myself, could anyone confirm that the music is written this way? Or is this habit another example of folkie development; or interference?

If it is a tune that's played aa/bb  there is a repeat sign after the first A part and the first B part  .The A & B parts are in effect the verse and chorus particularly where the tune is not a song with words

george
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Jackaspandy

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2018, 01:16:36 PM »

Perhaps B parts quite often seem to be higher up the scale - and the further we get into that dusty end the less comfortable I am ?
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Winston Smith

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2018, 01:48:35 PM »

Thank you Mr Garside. But would that be original? Or, is it the case that many, if not most, of these tunes have been passed down in the oral (aural) tradition, without being written down anyway?
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2018, 02:44:24 PM »

Thank you Mr Garside. But would that be original? Or, is it the case that many, if not most, of these tunes have been passed down in the oral (aural) tradition, without being written down anyway?

The bulk of the old tunes were popularised as dance tunes. Most of what we know about them comes from the old tune books dating back to when the dance tunes they depict were relatively new and might be described as the pop tunes of their day. In these,  they are notated with repeats, as the transcriber felt appropriate. Most, though  by no means all, were notated twice through A, twice through B.

This, presumably, is how they were played for dancing.
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Winston Smith

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Re: Part A's and B's
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2018, 03:09:41 PM »

Thank you.
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