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Author Topic: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme  (Read 48460 times)

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Ollie

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #120 on: April 20, 2010, 10:28:37 PM »

I suppose many Morris dance tunes have a generally-accepted tempo. If one is selected as a future TOTM, and nearly every submission is played at half the usual pace, wouldn't that excite some comment? If a future TOTM is labelled "jig", and nearly every submission comes in at waltz time, wouldn't that similarly be commented on?

I would say we had exactly that with Orange in Bloom/Sherborne Waltz.
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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #121 on: April 20, 2010, 11:11:12 PM »

Aren't a few of you rather overdoing the "interpretation" thing? .....

Wasn't that what was suggested from the start?  I don't really see the fun in watching 20 or so videos that are approached in the same way.  Personally, I'd rather see people trying lots of different things.  Even if it doesn't quite work out, it's still something to learn from.

Also, not all of us have the knowledge or experience to know how to play a tune in an authentically traditional manner.  I don't have any real background in any form of folk music and the only TOTM tune I'd previously heard at all was Princess Royal.  Thus, I've not had any preconceptions about how the end result might turn out, so have just gone with whatever seemed a good idea at the time.  Is that such a bad thing?  Would it be better to hold off from making contributions until I've learned to do it properly?

As it stands, I've no intention of trying this month's tune.  I don't dislike it exactly (I've certainly enjoyed some of the submissions) but the background to it and the subsquent comments regarding interpretation leave me with no appetite to get involved.  I'd happily do a ThOTM, but can't remember what tune I tried first (it could well be a tune from one of my earlier videos, so I may well have done it anyway).



 
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Kautilya

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #122 on: April 21, 2010, 02:27:13 AM »

Aren't a few of you rather overdoing the "interpretation" thing? .....

Wasn't that what was suggested from the start?  I don't really see the fun in watching 20 or so videos that are approached in the same way.  Personally, I'd rather see people trying lots of different things.  Even if it doesn't quite work out, it's still something to learn from.

Also, not all of us have the knowledge or experience to know how to play a tune in an authentically traditional manner.  I don't have any real background in any form of folk music and the only TOTM tune I'd previously heard at all was Princess Royal.  Thus, I've not had any preconceptions about how the end result might turn out, so have just gone with whatever seemed a good idea at the time.  Is that such a bad thing?  Would it be better to hold off from making contributions until I've learned to do it properly?

As it stands, I've no intention of trying this month's tune.  I don't dislike it exactly (I've certainly enjoyed some of the submissions) but the background to it and the subsquent comments regarding interpretation leave me with no appetite to get involved.  I'd happily do a ThOTM, but can't remember what tune I tried first (it could well be a tune from one of my earlier videos, so I may well have done it anyway).
 
Going back to Sandy's moving version and then reading the "comments" tab  at * I would go with the lament, not a march even though some say of course if played faster it becomes like a jig. My coffin swaylilt comment is reflected inthe comment that it was played as a slow dance by a couple and that this is known as a "lilt"

A very fruitful discussion from all sides IMHO.  I wonder whether Lawrie ever wrote** about how he felt, wounded and so many of his peers dead and the futility - that might give a clue to whether he  meant it as a sunny parade march  and jig to show the 'glory' of war....  I would reckon not, but each to her/his own.

And read the comments beyond the ABC here.       http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display/2923http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-rank-stench-of-those-bodies-haunts-me-still/

Interesting also (I must find time to go and listen) that the tune is referred to in the BRitish Library Sound Archive in a collection of Nova Scotia music as *"Scottish lilt/the battle of the somme."
Maybe someone can find faster or slower versions there  - alas much is not 'online to hear'.

*http://cadensa.bl.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/uGLiIsfbOf/WORKS-FILE/298240220/9

andTally Ho!  there is a Reesference to Lark Rise and battle of the somme....and The Albion Band...
http://cadensa.bl.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/VJOdSimjIw/WORKS-FILE/298240220/9

There are 120+ refs to Battle of the Somme sound recordings.............. :( :(
 




« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 02:50:49 AM by Kautilya »
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boblsturm

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #123 on: April 21, 2010, 08:10:01 AM »

I simply cannot reconcile what I hear with the title of the tune.
I'm not doing this months' totm, for several reasons but mainly for this one.
I think that intrinsically (i.e. as a sequence of notes) this tune is amenable to many different treatments. But its title is not.
As it happens I don't much like it anyway. But I would not be able to play it the way I want to without appearing to disrespect the title it happens to go under, and the context in which it was composed. I think this is regrettable, though no-one's fault.


That's a shame; I was rather looking forward to seeing what you were going to do with it! Perhaps you'll have a go at the theme of the month instead?

Cheers,

Clive

I am with Clive about looking forward to what you, and DtN especially, were going to do with the tune. I think BOTS is a great tune with a nice bounce, and it can be treated in many interesting ways. It is unfortunate that something like the title or its circumstances are getting in its way, and I think the composer would be disappointed that his then popular tune is not popular now because of the title and not its notes. You might as well avoid playing any tune composed in Europe between 1914 and 1918 because the Great War was so tragic.

When I will play this tune for my folks I leave off the baggage. Otherwise it casts a gloom over the evening.
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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #124 on: April 21, 2010, 08:42:39 AM »

I simply cannot reconcile what I hear with the title of the tune.
I'm not doing this months' totm, for several reasons but mainly for this one.
I think that intrinsically (i.e. as a sequence of notes) this tune is amenable to many different treatments. But its title is not.
As it happens I don't much like it anyway. But I would not be able to play it the way I want to without appearing to disrespect the title it happens to go under, and the context in which it was composed. I think this is regrettable, though no-one's fault.


That's a shame; I was rather looking forward to seeing what you were going to do with it! Perhaps you'll have a go at the theme of the month instead?

Cheers,

Clive

Thanks Clive (and bob), for the nice compliment. On re-reading my previous comments above they look prissy, which wasn't intended. At the cost of adding to the already overlong debate on this, maybe I could clarify a bit.

With any tune it's entirely right and good that we explore, and even discuss, how the tune would normally or traditionally be played, along with alternative ways of treating it. And it's fine that some people incline to the experimental/loopy/irreverent, while others incline to the traditional. Both tendencies are important.

But with this tune there is another dimension. By virtue simply of its title, let alone the context in which it was written, it has baggage. Sensitivities about this will also vary. Personally I'd have no problem if someone were to play it as a flying jig* or whatever, and to do so under its given title. But my impression is that treating it as anything other than a march or lament could cause offence to some people, including beyond melnet given that youtube is public. I'm not complaining about this. That's just how it is, or seems to me. And that's the main reason I am leaving it alone. But I respect others' views on this, and I am certainly enjoying and learning from the versions people are posting.

As for ThOTM, like GbH I genuinely can't remember a first tune that I learned to play. I know what was the first tune I (ab)used when I started systematically learning the instrument. It was, of course, Lesson 1 in Mally's tutor (DG morris) books, i.e. Shepherd's Hey. Enough said.

* Actually I think a flying jig might be something to do with fishing gear. But the phrase seemed right for what I had in mind.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 05:32:51 PM by jb »
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #125 on: April 21, 2010, 09:55:58 AM »

Some contributors may have found all this discussion a bit tedious or maybe even esoteric, but I must say have found it very interesting, and not just because there's clearly differences of view.  It seems to me that if you have an interest in traditional music, it must be partly because you're interested in social history.  This isn't just an academic exercise, it is really bringing the music to life, in quite an emotional way.

There were parallels to this in the jingoism at the time of the Napoleonic wars - there's a whole stack of rumbustuous naval songs around from this period, as I found when we were researching some material for a Trafalgar anniversary event our band played at in 2005.
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Kautilya

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #126 on: April 21, 2010, 02:54:11 PM »

Some contributors may have found all this discussion a bit tedious or maybe even esoteric, but I must say have found it very interesting, and not just because there's clearly differences of view.  It seems to me that if you have an interest in traditional music, it must be partly because you're interested in social history.  This isn't just an academic exercise, it is really bringing the music to life, in quite an emotional way.

There were parallels to this in the jingoism at the time of the Napoleonic wars - there's a whole stack of rumbustuous naval songs around from this period, as I found when we were researching some material for a Trafalgar anniversary event our band played at in 2005.
Hard work digging at funereal  >:E pace through the BL sound archive but although this hints at squaddies views on their sergeant majors at least there is a non-youtubey pic of a clearly talented young melodeon player - does anyone recognise themselves from their youth?
"When this bloody war is over"
http://sounds.bl.uk/View.aspx?item=025M-C1009X0010XX-5600V0.xml
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TonyRussell

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #127 on: April 22, 2010, 08:08:59 AM »

Don't think the pic in the corner has anything to do with the song, though.
Bob Davenport (originally from Gateshead, like me) used to sing that song, often with had Jim Bainbridge on melodeon - Bob's voice was louder! BLT.
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Clive Williams

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #128 on: April 22, 2010, 02:39:49 PM »

It was, of course, Lesson 1 in Mally's tutor (DG morris) books, i.e. Shepherd's Hey. Enough said.

I dare you. Maybe it'd make a nice polska?

DRUMKILBO

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #129 on: April 22, 2010, 02:55:05 PM »

I've re-recorded this tune on a 1920s Wilkinson Excelsior Melodeon as I feel it is a more appropriate instrument for this forum

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19087

Ian
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Bill Young

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #130 on: April 22, 2010, 03:31:46 PM »

That's a great sounding instrument, Ian. Another one for the iPod!

HallelujahAl

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #131 on: April 22, 2010, 03:44:58 PM »

Quote
I've re-recorded this tune on a 1920s Wilkinson Excelsior Melodeon as I feel it is a more appropriate instrument for this forum

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19087

Ian

So good! What I love about this version are the grace notes - I just can't get anywhere near that on any of my boxes. Up in the high D as well - as Bill says, another one for the iPod! Thanks Ian for the masterclass on how this tune should be played!
AL
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Johnjo

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #132 on: April 22, 2010, 03:59:38 PM »

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19091

I love the tune, but very much prefer it in march time to the dance versions.
Soz about the hesitancy and occasional duff notes.

Did anyone else spot it/hear it on the Monty Halls Hebridean programme on BBC 2 last night? In the Highland games bit?
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HallelujahAl

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #133 on: April 22, 2010, 04:48:11 PM »

Quote
Did anyone else spot it/hear it on the Monty Halls Hebridean programme on BBC 2 last night? In the Highland games bit?

No - I watched the programme - but was too busy laughing  ;D
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TonyRussell

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #134 on: April 22, 2010, 04:52:51 PM »

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103
Here's an experiment 'cos I don't know if I know what I'm doing yet! If it works - this is how I learned the tune years ago, tempo and all. A couple of notes are not exactly like anybody else's, dunno why ??? ???. Hohner 114D. BLT.
I used "Audacity" for this (for the first time) and it transposed into F - took me ages to find how to put that right!  :|bl T.

Later - It seems to be there, I may even be able to join in TOTM from now on (:) Tone.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 04:56:26 PM by TonyRussell »
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forrest

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #135 on: April 22, 2010, 04:59:25 PM »

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103
Here's an experiment 'cos I don't know if I know what I'm doing yet! If it works - this is how I learned the tune years ago, tempo and all. A couple of notes are not exactly like anybody else's, dunno why ??? ???. Hohner 114D. BLT.
I used "Audacity" for this (for the first time) and it transposed into F - took me ages to find how to put that right!  :|bl T.

   Tony........................The link's not working (for me anyway).
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Owen Woods

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #136 on: April 22, 2010, 05:20:57 PM »

http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19103
Here's an experiment 'cos I don't know if I know what I'm doing yet! If it works - this is how I learned the tune years ago, tempo and all. A couple of notes are not exactly like anybody else's, dunno why ??? ???. Hohner 114D. BLT.
I used "Audacity" for this (for the first time) and it transposed into F - took me ages to find how to put that right!  :|bl T.

Later - It seems to be there, I may even be able to join in TOTM from now on (:) Tone.

Says "Audio Unavailable" to me :(
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TonyRussell

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #137 on: April 22, 2010, 05:41:07 PM »

Said I was new to this - I maybe have figured out what I did wrong. If so you might get it now, and this http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19107 which is the same thing on a Hohner Trichord (BCC#) in G. Let me know if you can access them both? BLT.
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forrest

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #138 on: April 22, 2010, 05:52:41 PM »

Said I was new to this - I maybe have figured out what I did wrong. If so you might get it now, and this http://www.onmvoice.com/play.php?a=19107 which is the same thing on a Hohner Trichord (BCC#) in G. Let me know if you can access them both? BLT.

Getting both now. Thanks!!very nice playing!! ;D
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TonyRussell

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Re: Tune of the Month for April 2010 - Battle of the Somme
« Reply #139 on: April 22, 2010, 05:58:33 PM »

I went back into the "omthing" and found a privacy box to uncheck - silly me! Oh, and, thanks for you encouragement - I feel I should have practiced the tune a bit more first though, but I was impatient, trying something out. BLT.
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