Week #412 ~ The Mouse in the Mug

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is The Mouse in the Mug, which was submitted as an Irish jig. Again I am posting from my phone, and am depending on a helpful member to link to some notation and videos! Thanks!
  2. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Here is the abc from The Session site, Barbara:

    X: 1
    T: The Mouse In The Mug
    R: jig
    M: 6/8
    L: 1/8
    K: Gmaj
    ~G3 EGD | ~G3 Bdg | fge dBG | ~A3 BAB |
    ~G3 EGD | ~G3 Bdg | ~e3 dBG | AGF GBA |
    ~G3 EGD | ~G3 Bdg | fge dBG | ~A3 BAB |
    ~G3 EGD | ~G3 Bdg | ~e3 dBG | AGF GBd |
    gab agf | fgd edB | deg edB | AGA BG/2B/2d |
    gab agf | fgd edB | deg edB | AGF GG/2B/2d |
    gab agf | fgd edB | deg edB | AGA BAB |
    ~G3 EGD | ~G3 Bdg | ~e3 dBG | AGF G3 ||
  3. Francis J
    Francis J
    A nice version here-

  4. luurtie
    luurtie
    That's lovely!
  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    And a clever bit of filming too! (or are they identical twins?)
  6. Frithjof
    Frithjof
    Quote from his YouTube channal:
    "I'll try to learn new tunes on the whistle and post my progress here. My twin brother Jean-Jacques is supporting my project by backing me up on the guitar."
  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Ah! That explains why I could not see the join in the film. Thanks for the info, Frithjof.
  8. JL277z
    JL277z
    Wow Francis that tinwhistle version is fantastic! Those guys are excellent. And that's cool what the guitar player does with his capo at 0:31

    Here's my try at transcribing the first minute or so of that video (just the melody part, I have no clue about how to transcribe guitar), also with some ideas for simplified mandolin tab and standard notation. CAUTION, no guarantee of accuracy, some of the notes I couldn't quite figure out (they're indicated by question marks), also I'm *guessing* at chords:

    Printable PDF (prints on 3 sheets of paper). I hope I did all the credits correctly on that. (Improvements/corrections welcome.)

    Here's what that notation sounds like when the notation app (MuseScore 2) plays it using its built-in midi 'instruments', I converted its output to mp3 so it should play in the browser (even with Chrome) from the Box page without having to download anything:
    mp3 audio file. I had the app's sounds set to "Flute" for the main lead with all the ornaments, and for the 'mandolin' part I used something called "Clavinova harp" (whatever that is, it's part of MuseScore's optional 3rd-party sound-font called "Timbres of Heaven", it sounds less tinny than the other options).

    TablEdit TEF tab and notation for use with TablEdit or TEFView. (click past the "sorry we can't preview" to get to the download part.) This is just the basic mandolin part, not the whole transcription with the ornaments 'n' stuff, because I couldn't figure out how to make TablEdit playback the "turns"/ornaments (it's automatic in MuseScore, huh) so for TablEdit I just left that part out.

    So anyway, then I set out trying to actually play the notes. Ha, I clearly haven't got the tune memorized yet, and I'm playing slower than 'normal' (I like slow), and as usual nowadays I sound more English (or something) than Irish (not sure what causes that, just playing-style I guess)... lots of my usual boo-boos and 'faking' it with standard "fill-in-the-gaps runs" in the parts where I lost my place while reading the music lol. But, all that aside, it's fun to play!


    (or direct link). Note: The backing I'm just kind of making up little easy 2-note 'chords' with 1st and 5th, I like the sort of ambiguous 'open' sound you get when the 3rd note of the scale is absent from the chord. Probably the wrong chords but oh well, I like them.
  9. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Lovely stuff there!
  10. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Cracking version there. Thanks too for the pdf and other bits you have provided.
  11. JL277z
    JL277z
    Thanks Jill and John!
  12. gortnamona
    gortnamona
    very nice Jl and i envy your right arm/hand position.

    just realised i havent changed the strings on this lovely cherry Shippey from i got it

  13. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Great bounce to that version Lawrence and such a sweet sounding mandolin as well!
  14. JL277z
    JL277z
    gortnamona, excellent! And I love the triplets.

    gortnamona wrote: " ... i envy your right arm/hand position."

    The arm nearly parallel to strings? Yeah I've been doing that for ages, it's unorthodox but it works for me. I like the pick to hit the strings pretty much straight on, not angled (probably backwards of normal lol), for me it's easier to play that way. So I position my mid-arm/elbow down low enough on the instrument (basically on top of the tailpiece) so that the arm is more-or-less aligned with the strings.

    I always play sitting down so it all lines up ok without any hunching over. I do have the mandolin strap set quite short though. The mandolin is the only instrument I currently use a strap for. When I play my GDAEB heavy solid-body electric guitar it rests on my leg at a comfortable position and stays put without scooting around.
  15. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Nice lift you've got in your playing here, G.
  16. Francis J
    Francis J
    Great versions there guys, here's mine. Twice through, not without issues!
  17. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Lovely stuff Francis!
  18. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    I had planned to pass this up, but JL277z's version gave me hope I could do it. So here's my quick and dirty rendition, paired with the Kerfunken Jig.



    I've looked for something to confirm the air of coziness and safety this tune has about it, and here it is:

  19. Francis J
    Francis J
    Well played Bertram, however your poor mouse looks like he's having his last supper.
  20. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Two different but equally enjoyable versions, Francis and Bertram.
  21. JL277z
    JL277z
    Well played, Francis & Bertram! Cool medley too, and I like the accent of tenor banjo and the synth drone. That's a thought-provoking pic...

    Francis, maybe cat & pet rodent are on friendly terms like this "cat and mouse friends forever" video (no mugs though, darn), it's in a foreign language so I don't know what they're saying but everything turns out good (peaceful).

    The part I found astounding was at 1:06-1:13 where the cat bends down low when walking under furniture, to keep from ditching the mouse.

    Opposite effect of, for instance, an equine I used to have when I was a kid, if he didn't like the rider (for instance one of my friends), that old mule would take off and run underneath the nearest low-hanging apple-tree branches to scrub the rider off his back. Animals are sometimes smarter than we typically give them credit for, or it seems that way. I suppose it's a learned behavior or maybe instinct to rid themselves of predators, but at first impression it was almost like he was using tools which (a teacher told us once) animals supposedly aren't able to do. Incidentally, and *completely* off topic lol, that same mule would seek out and bite onto a loose branch on the ground and use that to reach up into the aforementioned apple trees to dislodge apples so he could eat them. No one had ever trained him to do that, he figured it out on his own, or perhaps he saw someone do that once and imitated them, who knows... mules do have a reputation for being 'smart' or at least more so than horses... Anyway...
  22. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Oh, nowadays we know that animals use tools and have examples of crows and ravens using sticks to to open up things or access out of reach snacks. Lots of primates use tools to crack open things too, so I reckon your mule knew exactly what he was doing!
  23. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Surprising how a thread can be derailed with one picture. Cats with pets, mules with tools. There is only one way back on track:
  24. JL277z
    JL277z
    Jill, thanks! Guess science has changed considerably since my school days.

    Bertram, lol, not "derailed", it was just a temporary parallel track siding (more railroad terminology) for a couple of seconds, same destination either way.

    So... now, here are dancing mice, same lead but different backing, I *finally* discovered how to alter the bass notes in that backing app and I've been having fun with experimenting with it:


    (or direct link)

    I put the ChordPulse-format backing track online (just read past the "sorry can't preview" blurb to get to the Download) in case anyone wants to play around with it. Note that it sounds different in the free older "player" version, than in the latest regular paid version.
  25. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    This is strange, JL277z: I can smell cigar smoke in your latest version. The engines seem to have stopped. And is the deck slightly tilted or is the brandy playing tricks on me?...
  26. JL277z
    JL277z
    Bertram Henze wrote: "This is strange, JL277z: I can smell cigar smoke in your latest version. The engines seem to have stopped. And is the deck slightly tilted or is the brandy playing tricks on me?..."

    ???

    Anyway, the tune is really fun to play.
  27. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Jokes explained are no longer funny, but an Irish tune with a bass line below always has this early 20th century music hall feeling to me, and I'm back on the Titanic.
  28. JL277z
    JL277z
    Bertram Henze wrote: "... an Irish tune with a bass line below always has this early 20th century music hall feeling to me, and I'm back on the Titanic."

    Ah, ok now I get it, thanks! Haven't seen that movie (I'm not much of a movie-goer), but found this YouTube clip that might be what you were referring to? It's quite heavy on the drumming, didn't hear any bass except for pipe drones, I was surprised to see a mandolin there though. But that movie clip's heavy thumpy drum sound is somewhat reminiscent of some types of bass sounds, so I think I see where you're coming from.

    Fascinating 2015 discussion started by Dagger Gordon here at MandolinCafe, "Bass guitar in Celtic music". As with any instrument, of course, a lot depends on the player, as to whether it sounds acceptable.

    Myself, I like to hear bass (at least a subtle bass) in nearly all genres of music. Although in my own stuff I sometimes have it set too prominently in the mix, for my practice tunes that is.
  29. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Ah, ok now I get it, thanks!

    Um - not quite. But it's not easy to see through my associations, as I am the first to admit. The music I meant was played by paid musicians for well-to-do passengers in frock coats and tight corsets, not the peasants below the waterline. The bass part was often done with a piano, but there was an actual bass on the Titanic, and it was being played to the very end on the rear deck.


    The movie is misleading. That bawdy Irish dance scene features a session-like setting which came into operation decades later, when the church in Ireland finally loosened its grip on morale.
  30. JL277z
    JL277z
    Bertram, thanks for the clarification!

    "... The movie is misleading. That bawdy Irish dance scene features a session-like setting which came into operation decades later, when the church in Ireland finally loosened its grip on morale."

    Typical Hollywood. I did a little reading today on dance music in Ireland, the history is way more complicated than I'd ever imagined, with the later Public Dance Halls Act of 1935 etc.
  31. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    It might have been worse, JL - it might have been Disney...
  32. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Late to the party, but here 'tis:

  33. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Lightly and elegantly played, Jill. A mouse dancing round the mug.
  34. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Cheers sir! Here's hoping there's no mice dancing around the mugs of my new apartment!
  35. JL277z
    JL277z
    Sounds great, Jill!
  36. gortnamona
    gortnamona
    lovely Jill
  37. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Cheers folks - next time I'll try to have better lighting when I film - I'm in a basement/garden level flat now and it's not the brightest as regards natural light!
  38. Frithjof
    Frithjof
    Compared with other submissions my mouse is not really dancing.
    She is more fighting to get out of the mug. The poor little animal made it almost on the rim and is struggling not to fall back into the hot coffee.

  39. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    The coffee idea is interesting

    Perfect triplets. Whence comes the extra eighth note in the B part?
  40. Frithjof
    Frithjof
    Thanks, Bertram.

    Provided that the mouse successful get out of the mug and immediately stars dancing and in the hope to get a fresh and strong coffee myself Iíll do my very best to meet your desire.
    But I fear if I manage to build in the extra eighths you may call for trills, upper mordents, mordents, doubled appoggiaturas and tripled appoggiaturas Ö I guess that needs a lot of coffee.
    Probably I have to overcome some hurdles on my way and soon learn to understand how the mouse feels hanging on the rim of the mug.
  41. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Less coffee, Frith, not more. What I meant is there is one measure in your B part with 7 8ths in it, not 6.
    Andy Irvine would like that, but you can't dance to that.
  42. Frithjof
    Frithjof
    Oh, I didnít read your comment carefully enough.
    Of course there should be two semiquavers in the second measure of the B part. I know that I canít play them as short as necessary in a high (for me) tempo. But I like them and couldnít restrain to play them.
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