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Author Topic: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes  (Read 5344 times)

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Clive Williams

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Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« on: October 31, 2019, 10:32:07 PM »

Return of this simple theme this month folks; hornpipes. Any old kind; those English and Irish things in 4/4, those wonderful 3/2 things, whatever - there's loads of these waiting to be played - looking forward to hearing what you have!

Cheers,

Clive

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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 01:04:47 AM »

Hi Clive, for those of us (or maybe it's just me!) who couldn't tell a hornpipe from from a drainpipe, how about one or two sound files of the genre to help us on our way?
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Jesse Smith

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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 01:27:13 AM »

Hi Clive, for those of us (or maybe it's just me!) who couldn't tell a hornpipe from from a drainpipe, how about one or two sound files of the genre to help us on our way?

Now, there's a can of worms... ;D
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 03:36:34 AM »

Quote
Now, there's a can of worms...

Wormpipe  ??  >:E
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 07:24:31 AM »

Hi Clive, for those of us (or maybe it's just me!) who couldn't tell a hornpipe from from a drainpipe, how about one or two sound files of the genre to help us on our way?


Go HERE and search for Hornpipe, there are 13.

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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 08:11:19 AM »

Hi Clive, for those of us (or maybe it's just me!) who couldn't tell a hornpipe from from a drainpipe, how about one or two sound files of the genre to help us on our way?

Or just search for anything with 'hornpipe' in the name. That's usually a clue.
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 09:51:48 AM »

Hole in the Wall is a beautiful one (but hard), here is a version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTuIKt21ffw done on piano accordion and fiddle.
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2019, 11:20:20 AM »

Evening Star (Martha's Comet): why let a cracking hornpipe go to waste. We saw 'Martha Rhoden's...' dance this at Shrewsbury this year,  posted at https://youtu.be/EWh4mw_zZtE , the tune has been on the 'to do' pile since then. 

I was delighted to be motivated to have a knoodle pending this month's TotM, (sadly it was an 'also ran'). D/G, (with an A part inadvertantly added. Better left than obviously edited), and D four stop. Shared for fun pending a possible further post in this category later in the month. The B part has a fairly long stretch, which could be a 'jump', my fingers just made it. Played at rather slower hornpipe speed than the professionals!

https://youtu.be/reeotDV640M

All the best

Bill
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2019, 12:15:35 PM »

Hi Clive, for those of us (or maybe it's just me!) who couldn't tell a hornpipe from from a drainpipe, how about one or two sound files of the genre to help us on our way?

This is definitely a can of wriggly worms but I'll try a poke around.

There are two classes of hornpipe. Basically,  the 3/2 and the 4/4 (though both may be notated with other, related time signatures). Both types can be played slower, or faster. Both types, but especially 4/4, can be played with or without swing (de,de,de,de, as opposed to dumpty, dumpty, dumpty and anything in between).

An example of a fairly fast 3/2 hornpipe, which you might be familiar with, sung by Alan Price. Note that you can count 1...2...3 to it. Some might argue it's not really a hornpipe, but it's near enough to give an idea what a fastish 3/2 sounds like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzn-RrfsPgQ

Examples of 4/4 hornpipes are very common. Try these (they don't have to be played as fast as this. They're equally valid played a lot slower):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r-CACXJUi4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vXlxLRt2B8
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 12:18:11 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Jesse Smith

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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2019, 12:45:31 PM »

What (if anything) do you think is the defining feature of hornpipes? Setting aside the older 3/2 hornpipes, I would say the following about 4/4 hornpipes:
  • they often (but not always) use a dotted, swung rhythm
  • they often (but not always) have a part that ends with three staccato notes
  • they often (but not always) are played slower than reels or polkas
The thing is, I have seen hornpipes that disregard all of these rules, and I have also seen tunes with "hornpipe" in the name that I would not have categorized as hornpipes otherwise.
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2019, 12:47:13 PM »

Evening Star (Martha's Comet): why let a cracking hornpipe go to waste. We saw 'Martha Rhoden's...' dance this at Shrewsbury this year,  posted at https://youtu.be/EWh4mw_zZtE , the tune has been on the 'to do' pile since then.

I was glad to hear the dance announced in the video as "Martha's Comet". The liner notes of the Sheepskins album have it as "Martha's Cornet" (as in a horn), which I thought might be a typesetting error by someone misreading a handwritten list of titles. Glad to have it confirmed!
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2019, 12:51:05 PM »

fwiw, I have heard hornpipes described as tunes to trot a horse to.

... I have also seen tunes with "hornpipe" in the name that I would not have categorized as hornpipes otherwise.

Do you have anything in particular in mind, Jesse?
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2019, 01:49:17 PM »

... I have also seen tunes with "hornpipe" in the name that I would not have categorized as hornpipes otherwise.

Do you have anything in particular in mind, Jesse?

Perhaps the Whitefriars Hornpipe, which is not obviously 3/2 or 4/4?
(The 1st part is 6½ bars of 4/4 or possibly a mixture of 4/4 and 3/2; the 2nd half does fit into 8 bars of 4/4, but the phrasing goes across the bar lines.)
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2019, 02:07:22 PM »

..Perhaps the Whitefriars Hornpipe, which is not obviously 3/2 or 4/4?
(The 1st part is 6½ bars of 4/4 or possibly a mixture of 4/4 and 3/2; the 2nd half does fit into 8 bars of 4/4, but the phrasing goes across the bar lines.)

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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2019, 02:20:02 PM »

My head hurts, now...
One of the few tunes I recorded before Leveret did.
(JK was before that, though)
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2019, 03:15:33 PM »

Do you have anything in particular in mind, Jesse?

Here are a few that I would say are questionable hornpipes. Maybe the key is that they have phrases that end with three emphatic quarter note / crochets? That famous hornpipe rhythm that goes "He played his ukelele as the boat went down."

The Shepton Mallet Hornpipe
The Washington Hornpipe
The Tip-top Hornpipe
Waterman's Hornpipe
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2019, 04:14:00 PM »

Do you have anything in particular in mind, Jesse?

Here are a few that I would say are questionable hornpipes. Maybe the key is that they have phrases that end with three emphatic quarter note / crochets? That famous hornpipe rhythm that goes "He played his ukelele as the boat went down."

The Shepton Mallet Hornpipe
The Washington Hornpipe
The Tip-top Hornpipe
Waterman's Hornpipe
Don't understand what you're objecting to. All of those are real, proper, paid-up hornpipes. Perhaps there is a mis-match in understanding of what a hornpipe means, depending on which side of the mid-Atlantic Ridge you are on?  >:E
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2019, 04:30:59 PM »

Don't understand what you're objecting to. All of those are real, proper, paid-up hornpipes. Perhaps there is a mis-match in understanding of what a hornpipe means, depending on which side of the mid-Atlantic Ridge you are on?  >:E

Well, I don't know that it has anything to do with the Atlantic; I'm sure it's more just down to lack of experience. But take "Waterman's Hornpipe" for example. What makes this a "paid-up hornpipe"? (I'm sure it is, but I'm just not sure what exactly makes it so.) The time signature meanders around from 5/2 to 2/2 to 3/2, and the tune is played straight rather than swung. It doesn't really have the classic "tumpty tumpty tum tum tum" ending, although I guess it has a few "tum tum"s at the ends of several phrases.

It just seems like the definitive of "hornpipe" is a very loose, "I know it when I hear it" sort of thing.

I'd better start practicing a hornpipe to contribute to this thread instead of just filling it with all this theoretical waffle!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 05:25:13 PM by Jesse Smith »
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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2019, 05:13:56 PM »

But take "Waterman's Hornpipe" for example. What makes this a "paid-up Hornpipe"? (I'm sure it is, but I'm just not sure what exactly makes it so. The time signature meanders around from 5/2 to 2/2 to 3/2, and the tune is played straight rather than swung. It doesn't really have the classic "tumpty tumpty tum tum tum" ending, although I guess it has a few "tum tum"s at the ends of several phrases.

It just seems like the definitive of "hornpipe" is a very loose, "I know it when I hear it" sort of thing.

Yes - The Waterman's Hornpipe is unusual with its irregular time signatures. That might be partly due to the idiosyncratic playing of Shetland fiddler, John Stickle, from whom the tune was collected in 1947 (it says on the Brass Monkey CD sleeve notes). But I can't say for sure. Perhaps that's just how the tune goes. Rejoice in its weirdness!  (:)

Hornpipes don't have to be dotted/swung. I recall having read or been told that dotted hornpipes didn't really come into fashion until the 19th century. Prior to that, they were mainly straight. Two of my absolute favourites are the glorious Savage Hornpipe played here by Blozabella, and Stoney Steps Hornpipe, played here by our own Anahata. I must say I find the straight hornpipes far more satisfying than the dotted sort.

If you want a really good but succinct collection of English straight hornpipes I can heartily recommend the late Barry Callaghan's tunebook 'Hardcore English' where there are several pages of them together with notes about sources.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Theme of the Month for November 2019: Hornpipes
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2019, 05:57:44 PM »

Square time (4/4, 2/4 etc) Hornpipes can definitely be swung or not swung, or anywhere in between. Fast or slow and any speed in between. They can have flavours that come from the culture of whoever wrote it (national or local), or who is playing it. Many hornpipes are interpreted differently by different people and in different places.

What makes a tune a hornpipe? They have characteristic types of phrase (like the tum...tum...tum at the end), but they definitely don't have to have it. They often have triplets, but they don't have to have them. Just to complicate things further, reels can sometimes be played as hornpipes and hornpipes as reels. It's really a rhythmic thing

A mathematician, somewhere used  this guide, which works up to a point:
Jigs go "calculus calculus"
Reels go "logarithm logarithm"
Hornpipes go "cosine tangent secant angle"
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