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Author Topic: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford  (Read 786 times)

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Bob Ellis

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Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« on: November 25, 2018, 09:12:26 PM »

The only thing I know about this tune, which was recorded in 1972, is that Jackie Beresford said that he played it for a barn dance. He played it on the fiddle in F major (a key in which he played frequently), so I have  included ABCs in that key and in G major. The 'A' music is very similar to Mountain Belle, The Old Black Guard and Reinlandar me Turar, but the 'B' music is unlike any of those tunes. Can anybody identify the name of the tune Jackie was playing?

X:7
T:Jackie's Barndance Tune No.1
T:(Jackie Beresford)
M:4/4
L:1/8
S:Jackie Beresford
O:Buckden, Wharfedale
R:Barn Dance
Z:Bob Ellis, 2018
K:F
c3/2d/2|f2A2c2d3/2c/2|B2D2G3F|E3/2F/2 G3/2A/2 B2B3/2d/2|d3/2c/2 =B3/2c/2A2c3/2d/2|!
f2A2c2d3/2c/2|B2D2G3F|E3/2F/2 G3/2A/2 B3/2c/2 d3/2e/2|f/2e3/2 gf/2e/2f2f2|]!
A/2c3/2c2A/2c3/2c2|f3/2g/2 ag/2f/2 A/2c3/2c2|A/2c3/2c2A/2c3/2 c3/2c/2|d3/2c/2 B3/2A/2G2G2|!
A3/2c/2 c3/2c/2 A3/2c/2 c3/2c/2|f3/2g/2 a3/2g/2 A/2c3/2c2|d3/2e/2 f3/2d/2 c3/2A/2A2|A2G2F2|]

X:7a
T:Jackie's Barndance Tune No.1
T:(Jackie Beresford)
M:4/4
L:1/8
S:Jackie Beresford
O:Buckden, Wharfedale
R:Barn Dance
Z:Bob Ellis, 2018
K:Gmaj
d3/2e/2|g2B2d2e3/2d/2|c2E2A3G|F3/2G/2 A3/2B/2 c2c3/2e/2|e3/2d/2 ^c3/2d/2B2d3/2e/2|!
g2B2d2e3/2d/2|c2E2A3G|F3/2G/2 A3/2B/2 c3/2d/2 e3/2f/2|g/2f3/2 ag/2f/2g2g2|]!
B/2d3/2d2B/2d3/2d2|g3/2a/2 ba/2g/2 B/2d3/2d2|B/2d3/2d2B/2d3/2 d3/2d/2|e3/2d/2 c3/2B/2A2A2|!
B3/2d/2 d3/2d/2 B3/2d/2 d3/2d/2|g3/2a/2 b3/2a/2 B/2d3/2d2|e3/2f/2 g3/2e/2 d3/2B/2B2|B2A2G2|]
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Rees

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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 12:02:14 AM »

I can't help with your request Bob, but it's a great tune which I have promptly adopted. Many thanks.
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Rees Wesson (accordion builder and mechanic)
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Bob Ellis

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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 12:06:00 AM »

Yes, Rees, it is a good tune. I've just started work on its companion, which has virtually the same 'A' music but a different 'B' music.
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Hugh Taylor

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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2018, 10:52:00 AM »

Can't help I'm afraid Bob, but an interesting tune. In particular, bar 10 is strange in that the tune goes back to the B/2d3/2d2 phrase before its expected, leading to the phrase being repeated three times in a row. I suppose it matches bar 14, but I wonder if that's what he intended.
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Bob Ellis

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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2018, 12:21:27 PM »

Yes, it is curious, Hugh, and it might well be an error. There are examples of hesitancy, mistakes and stumbles elsewhere in this hour-long recording of Jackie's playing, and it doesn't help that he plays each tune only once through, so there is no opportunity for him to correct any mistakes he may have made. There is a temptation to correct things for him, but that assumes I can guess correctly what he intended to play. I think it is probably better to transcribe the tunes precisely as he played them and to let people decide for themselves whether and how to alter them to fit a more recognisable pattern.

Another puzzle is why those making the recording (Louie Attebery and Tony Green from Leeds University) recorded Jackie playing the fiddle when, by his own admission, he was more proficient on the piano accordion.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2018, 02:02:04 PM »

Yes, it is curious, Hugh, and it might well be an error. There are examples of hesitancy, mistakes and stumbles elsewhere in this hour-long recording of Jackie's playing, and it doesn't help that he plays each tune only once through, so there is no opportunity for him to correct any mistakes he may have made. There is a temptation to correct things for him, but that assumes I can guess correctly what he intended to play. I think it is probably better to transcribe the tunes precisely as he played them and to let people decide for themselves whether and how to alter them to fit a more recognisable pattern.

This is exactly the approach we took when transcribing the playing of East Anglian musicians for the EATMT tunebook 'Before the Night Was Out'. We (I) transcribed the tunes as the musicians played them, potential 'warts and all', leaving it up to subsequent players to interpret the tunes in their own (hopefully sensitive!) way.

As transcribers, we cannot, and should not, do more than this.
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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2018, 04:30:54 AM »

I've spent hours transcribing a tune, and then spent days discussing where to place bar lines etc, but ultimately concluded that the original audio recording has to be the essential reference source for anyone wanting to learn the music. A transcription can only be an approximation of what was played. And even an audio recording loses much of the context of how the player would have approached their music.

But that's not to say it isn't worth doing one's utmost to accurately transcribe these wonderful old tunes. Good on you Bob and all the others doing this work for posterity.
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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2018, 07:26:18 AM »

I've spent hours transcribing a tune, and then spent days discussing where to place bar lines etc, but ultimately concluded that the original audio recording has to be the essential reference source for anyone wanting to learn the music. A transcription can only be an approximation of what was played. And even an audio recording loses much of the context of how the player would have approached their music.

But that's not to say it isn't worth doing one's utmost to accurately transcribe these wonderful old tunes. Good on you Bob and all the others doing this work for posterity.

Much depends on the reason for making the transcription in the first place. In the case of 'Before the Night Was Out', the aims were to produce something more than 'just another tunebook'. BTNWO contains the tunes, biographical details and photos of the traditonal musicians concerned, notes on how they played the tunes and the history of the tunes. Also a comprehensive discography. I think it was successful in bringing very many of the tunes traditionally played in East Anglia in the 1950s - 1970s all together in one place.

Some of the recordings used are available commercially on several CDs but other tunes were only available on unpublished archive recodings. Also, due to shortcomings in the sometimes primitive recording equipment, especially running at rather inaccurate speeds, the playback pitch of the recording was different from the original, which makes it almost impossible to play along to. Similarly, the musicians' instruments were not always tuned to standard pitch, notably the case when dealing with some fiddle and dulcimer players. Not the easiest setting for learning a tune just by listening to archive recordings!

Quote
A transcription can only be an approximation of what was played.
Sometimes this is true, but other times the transcription can be very good. So much depends on the player's consistency in performance. For example, transcribing the playing of Oscar Woods was usually relatively straightforward because his playing was mostly very consistent and rhythmically steady and accurate. Other musicians were not quite so easily followed, however!  ::)

I believe the transcriber's role is similar to a language translator. A literal word-for-word translation from one language into another does not necessarily convey the original meaning; the original needs to be understood and 'felt' with all its idiomatic nuances, and only then can it be meaningfully translated.

I think the best transcriptions attempt as far as possible to distill the essence of a traditional musician's performance (which can sometimes be highly variable) into a single 'representative' notated tune, and which can cover the 'variations' by notated addendums and footnotes, etc., where relevant.
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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2018, 11:32:42 AM »

I would echo Steve's comments. While I am not following the format of Before the Night Was Out precisely with my book on music from the Yorkshire Dales, 'There Was None of This Lazy Dancing!', I am taking a broadly similar approach, with contextual essays, a discussion of local styles of playing, a biography of each musician and notes on the origins and geographical distribution of each tune. As Steve said, some musicians have proved easy to transcribe - others fiendishly difficult.

Some of the musicians seem to indulge in what American fiddlers call 'crooked playing', in which there might be a deliberate non-standard number of bars or an irregular number of beats in some bars. At first, I thought this was due to them making mistakes, but in some cases there is enough of a pattern to it to suggest that it might be intentional. Rather than make assumptions, I think the job of the transcriber is to reproduce the historical record as faithfully as possible. This enables anybody reading the notation to interpret the tune the way they think fit rather than having to accept the transcriber's interpretation. In some cases, I will offer an interpolation that makes the tune more playable, but the original is also included, together with an indication of where the field recording can be heard, so that anyone who wants to do so can access the original source.
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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2018, 04:03:11 PM »

I agree with all the above. However, there is a case for attempting to interpret a tune during transcription as long as the alterations are clearly noted so that the original is clear. For instance, when I was transcribing the Matthew Betham mss for the Village Music Project I came across the following problems where I added comments explaining the mod -
1. Some notes were like blobs on the page, so I had to decide which notes they were.
2. Some bars didn't 'add up' and so I had to infer.
3. Some bar lines were missing, so I added them.
4. Some leading notes were outside the repeat when they should have been inside.
5. Some tunes had no key signatures, inferring 'C', but that sounded awful (and I mean awful) so I gave the one I thought sounded best.
6. Some tunes had no time signature, so I inferred one.
7. At least one tune had an incorrect time signature, so I changed it.
With more than one tune, I made similar comments to this - N:NB2-This bar is as written making an odd length bar. The B section has only 3 bars. I'm leaving it to the player to decide on a satisfying correction.
The critical aspect is to clearly indicate any changes or assumptions for later people to take a view on.
 
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Bob Ellis

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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2018, 05:23:08 PM »

I agree with almost all of that, Hugh, although I think care needs to be taken over Point 2.

Reading a couple of years ago Harry Bolick and Stephen T. Austen's Mississippi Fiddle Tunes (pub. 2015), pp. xi and 31-32, first brought the concept of 'crooked playing' as a deliberate technique to my attention. Since then, I have encountered it frequently in the playing of English folk dance musicians, especially, but not exclusively, fiddlers. Sometimes, it is unintentional due to hesitancy or forgetfulness, but not always. We seem to have become conditioned to expect music to fit into handy chunks consisting of sequences of 4-bar phrases that all conform to the time signature of the tune, but many traditional musicians just didn't play like that. Some phrases might comprise 3 or 5 bars, whilst some bars might have one more beat or one less than the time signature dictates.

I think it is important to recognise and understand crooked playing because it provides insights into the way some traditional musicians performed tunes, whereas forcing tunes into preconceived shapes risks diluting our understanding of how these musicians perceived the tunes and the dances for which they played them.
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Hugh Taylor

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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2018, 08:11:44 PM »

2. Some bars didn't 'add up' and so I had to infer.
What I meant by this was bars like these where the notes don't add up correctly - "B2 A2 A2 G2 A2" and "cdeg fde|gedc BGG|cdeg fde"
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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2018, 11:21:24 PM »

The first of your examples could be an instance of crooked playing and I have encountered similar examples elsewhere. The second one has the anomaly repeated over three bars, so seems to be deliberate, which might suggest it as an example of crooked playing, but I have never seen an instance like this, so I wouldn't like to be confident about it.
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Clément Guais 3-row D/G/acc.; Karntnerland Steirische 3-row G/C/F; Ellis Pariselle 2.6-row D/G/acc.; Gabbanelli Compact 2-row D/G with lots of bling, Acadian one-row in D; Junior Martin one-row in C.

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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2018, 12:10:12 AM »

... We seem to have become conditioned to expect music to fit into handy chunks consisting of sequences of 4-bar phrases that all conform to the time signature of the tune, but many traditional musicians just didn't play like that. ..


Crooked playing adds to the fun factor and brings music to life. What more do we need?
We are the traditional musicians of the future.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 12:12:34 AM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Re: Another nameless tune from Jackie Beresford
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2018, 12:59:48 PM »

It definitely has the A music of Mountain Belle, but I've not come across that B music before. The GHWatson MS has three parts, and it also is in F.
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