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Author Topic: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?  (Read 10232 times)

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Andy in Vermont

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2011, 03:57:24 AM »

We seem to be the only ones who've (in many parts, thankfully not all) have abandoned the connection It's been a source of despond to me for years. 

I've really enjoyed reading this thread and don't want to bring it off track, but to this point: I'm not sure whether this is necessarily true, although I understand that the issue is sensitive for some.  Just from my brief journeys into ethnomusicology, I recall that in some cultures, individual musicians are paradoxically outsiders within a culture, somehow included in important social rituals yet excluded from dancing and joining in. There are also places where male musicians accompany female dancers, where it would be inappropriate for the men to learn a specific dance or for the women to learn the instruments and music.  I think that the notion of a "necessary" connection where musicians are also dancers might be a more modern creation, in an era in which we struggle to find a sufficient number of dancers.
However, I have also felt twangs of pain when I've heard dance music that was being dumped out with no regard to the rhythmical "purpose" of the tune.  I have no issues with people changing a tune beyond recognition, but when they seem to have no sense of what it was to begin with, I wonder why they are even bothering?  And I also believe that if we had more dancers (in the US and UK) we would have better listeners as well!

Anahata

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2011, 10:25:15 AM »

We seem to be the only ones who've (in many parts, thankfully not all) have abandoned the connection.

At a local tunes session last night, there were some rather inebriated pub customers "dancing" to our music and really enjoying it, but at one point when a couple were clowning around while we were playing some schottisches I kept wishing someone could have taught them how to schottische properly, even at the most basic level - it doesn't take long to learn and I'm sure they'd have enjoyed it far more.
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Andy in Vermont

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2011, 03:01:05 PM »

At a local tunes session last night, there were some rather inebriated pub customers "dancing" to our music and really enjoying it, but at one point when a couple were clowning around while we were playing some schottisches I kept wishing someone could have taught them how to schottische properly, even at the most basic level - it doesn't take long to learn and I'm sure they'd have enjoyed it far more.

That really is too bad -- there they were, eager to dance, without the background.
We have so many contradances here... it would be a nice custom if at every contradance, another kind of dance was taught/learned.

Gary Chapin

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2011, 06:44:38 PM »

Here's how not to play an Auvergne  3/8 bourrée. And to medley it with the Limousin mazurka is frank cultural vandalism
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0Ct9Ra2M2A  ???
That is ... blah.  Reminds me of the conversations that have been had in Irish circles about the frustration that any tune in 3 (specifically Carolan) gets turned into a waltz.  There's a difference between meter and rhythm ... the way you come at a 3 determines whether or not it suits the 3-beat bourree.
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Lyn

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2011, 11:14:38 PM »

Ah, watched and listened, all the while thinking what the heck IS that tune, then realised it was the Crested Hen, I play it on fiddle, but not to that rhythm.It all sounded a tad mechanical.
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jb

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2011, 08:57:46 AM »

Here's how not to play an Auvergne  3/8 bourrée. And to medley it with the Limousin mazurka is frank cultural vandalism
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0Ct9Ra2M2A  ???
That is ... blah.  Reminds me of the conversations that have been had in Irish circles about the frustration that any tune in 3 (specifically Carolan) gets turned into a waltz.  There's a difference between meter and rhythm ... the way you come at a 3 determines whether or not it suits the 3-beat bourree.

Give them a break. I can't see any indication from the youtube clip that they are claiming to be playing it as a bourrée. There's nothing wrong with playing one tune to the rhythm of another. Plenty of this on totm after all. And in principle this tune does make quite a nice waltz, as waltzman pointed out.
They seem to have a fairly eclectic repertoire with a ditto line-up. They're doing their thing. It doesn't do anything for me. But if it works for them and their audience then why not?
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jb

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2011, 09:54:43 AM »

We seem to be the only ones who've (in many parts, thankfully not all) have abandoned the connection.

At a local tunes session last night, there were some rather inebriated pub customers "dancing" to our music and really enjoying it, but at one point when a couple were clowning around while we were playing some schottisches I kept wishing someone could have taught them how to schottische properly, even at the most basic level - it doesn't take long to learn and I'm sure they'd have enjoyed it far more.


my view here is similar to that in my previous post. Of course it's important that people understand and maintain authentic traditions. But it's equally important that some people (maybe even the same people) can experiment, tweak, take liberties, mess about, and generally have fun with the music. After all without the latter, historically, we wouldn't have quite the same set of 'authentic traditions' for the former to be knowledgeable about. I reckon this dialectic can work without either party having to be sniffy about the other. Who knows, in 100 years time some people may be seriously explaining to others why authenticity requires that you lurch around in this particular way to that tune with a vaguely schottische feel to it?...
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Anahata

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2011, 10:36:23 AM »

But it's equally important that some people (maybe even the same people) can experiment, tweak, take liberties, mess about, and generally have fun with the music.
...
I reckon this dialectic can work without either party having to be sniffy about the other.

For the record, I wasn't being sniffy about the the people in the pub. I'm delighted when they get up and dance, all the more so when it's spontaneous like that. On that occasion, they were so nearly doing a schottische that I started regretting that they'd never had a chance to spend 10 minutes learning how to do it properly, because learning to dance simply isn't part of our culture any more. And when you've learned the basic steps, you can show off/mess about with it as much as you like...

As for the band playing Les Poules Huppées as a waltz - fair enough but I have to agree with Gary that turning anything in 3 time into a waltz with a lumpy Um-pa-pa accompaniment is desperately unimaginative.

Quote
Who knows, in 100 years time some people may be seriously explaining to others why authenticity requires that you lurch around in this particular way to that tune with a vaguely schottische feel to it?...
I expect people will still be lurching about drunkenly to music in 100 years time, and no doubt they were doing so 100 years ago, but I'm not fully convinced that it will be endorsed by scholarly clams of authenticity  ;)
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Martin J

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2011, 10:36:33 AM »

Type 'Bourree melodeon' into youtube and take your pick.
Our own Clive comes up first and I think it can be said, he plays most things well  :|||:
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Martin J

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2011, 10:42:06 AM »

Just viewed gpoutoux.  An interesting delivery, so much so that I'm now also wondering what makes a good bourree.  Perhaps a few votes on the youtube offerings will clarify the answer.

Added:-
Here's tune and dance.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 10:47:28 AM by No Strings Attached »
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Martin J

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2011, 01:09:17 PM »

Added:-
Here's tune and dance.

Aaaaaaarrrggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh.......
The dreaded folklore.
You liked it then  ;D
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Tufty

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2011, 07:21:46 PM »

I really like these dance videos for learning tunes - if I have only ever heard them in a dance setting I am more likely to play them that way, which is my aim. Here is a particular favorite - set in what appears to be a ** hotel entrance at Christmas, (or perhaps a care home :-\).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ATOup0fvRA&NR=1
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Simon W

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2011, 10:25:40 AM »


One of the things I've always loved about Andy Cutting's playing is that the spedd and lift are perfect for dancing whether he's with Chris Wood or Blowzabella. I love dancing schottiches and he always seems to get it just right.
I'm lucky enough to live within a short distance of Bath and so have had access to a lot of great French music and dance via the Grand Bal including Frederic Paris and Bruno Le Tron workshops. I remember Frederic saying once that you have to careful playing basses for bourees otherwise you end up sounding like a samba!
Interestingly I reckon over the years La Chavanee have become much looser and relaxed in their rhythms and feel. ( I think the double bass player has had an effect ). Last time I danced to them a few years ago they seemed to be much more fluid and less strict tempo if that makes sense.

Simon
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Tufty

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2011, 04:46:30 PM »

I would love to be able to make them sound like a samba!!! (But only when I wanted to).
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waltzman

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2011, 12:53:42 PM »

Gary,

You've probably seen this already but vol 2 of the Pignol and Milleret method books has a whole section addressing left hand rhythm techniques including two-time and three-time bourrees.

Michael
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Gary Chapin

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Re: What does it mean to play a bourrée well?
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2011, 03:55:09 PM »

 :o

Actually, Michael, I own the set but hadn't gotten to that bit!  Well, that's my plan for August, then.
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