Week # 22 ~ Flowers of Edinburgh

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    It was a close one this week, but Flowers of Edinburgh was the eventual winner.


    X: 1
    T: Flowers Of Edinburgh, The
    M: 4/4
    L: 1/8
    R: barndance
    K: Gmaj
    D2DE G2GA|BGBd efge|dcBA GFGA|B2 G2 G2:|
    |:d2|g2g2 gbag|f2f2 fagf|edef gfed|B2e2 e2ge|
    dBGB d2 d2|edef g2fe|dcBA GFGA|B2 G2 G2:|
  2. Susanne
    Nice. I've played this years ago, when I first got the mandolin picker's fakebook.
  3. OldSausage
  4. Tom Tax
    Tom Tax
    Flowers of Edinburgh on an Eastman 815. Tom

  5. OldSausage
    Nice one, Tom. I haven't really learned this tune yet, but I didn't think I should let a little thing like that hold me back:

  6. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Very nice, both you guys! Thanks for starting these out at a do-able tempo.... I think from what I've heard, as fast reels with dancers, I know I can't play them at those fast tempos yet!

    Tom, thanks for always also saying what your instrument is. I know it probably seems redundant, but it's nice when listening to the videos, to be able to glance up at the text, and see what instrument we are listening to!
  7. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Can someone 'splain the difference between a barn dance and a reel? Is it tempo? Is it the beat on which the pulse falls?
  8. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I'll take a stab at it... a barn dance is a bunch of people dancing in a barn, and a reel is something you put on a rod to catch fish with, right?
  9. OldSausage
    I think Barbara has it more or less right, except that a reel could also be some film (perhaps of a barn dance).
  10. Eddie Sheehy
    A reel is also a spool - which might have some yarn or thread on it... and this place is full of yarns and threads.... just my take on it....
  11. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    FROM THE W.PEDIA: Reel music is notated in duple time, either as 2/2 or 4/4. For example the same reel Rakish Paddy is notated in 2/2 time with an alla breve (cut time) 𝄵 time signature in Miles Krassen, O'Neill's Music of Ireland, New & Revisited, p. 158, (1976), whereas in 4/4 time in Robin Williamson, English, Welsh, Scottish & Irish Fiddle Tunes, p. 69, (1976), each measure in both cases spanning the same part of the melody...

    FROM THE SESSION.ORG: Well, let's be loose about this. It is a tune in 4/4 time with a hornpipe skip throughout, and that lending itself well to triplets:
    |(3BcB A>B e2 d>B|
    It actually shares something with Varsoviennes, having a preponderance of longer notes, especially marking the end of phrases, defining the sort of dancing and steps that went along with the tune, usually couple dances:
    |d2 c>A E3 E| & |G2 g2 g4||
    |b2 d2 d3B| & |(3gag f>a g2 g2|
    These things tend to get swallowed up once they are divorced from the dance that also shares that name and category. Within this term and form are the also close relatives of the Schottische and German, here mainly a distinction of the steps/dance, and really, you could, since there's no category for it, include the 'Highland Fling'(also known merely as 'Highlands' or 'Flings'), which also share the skip of the hornpipe - all in the family... The Highlands are usually 16 bars, again defining the dances that they accompanied. So, barndances, schottisches, Germans are hornpipes with a pronounced bounce and strong phrase definition, usually two parts and 32 bars. As the dance was lost they tended to be molded to fit more of a hornpipe feel, or to even be called hornpipes because, well, they are damned close really, especially missing the clear distinction of dance forms once inseperable. Highlands suffered a worse fate, becoming a single reel. Well, some do a damned nice job of both. Try "Rolling in the Ryegrass" as a Fling, with that skip and bounce....


    Well, of course. Now the distinction is obvious.
  12. OldSausage
    Yes, I'm glad you've cleared that up - obviously Barbara had it right after all.
  13. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Ok, here's my pretty slow version... Played on my Collings MT2O mandolin...

    I've noticed that some of you (I'm thinking Chris Travers, especially) have a right hand/wrist technique that I think is what I should be aiming for. Forearm almost completely still, picking coming from the wrist. In my mind, that's what I do, but my videos appear otherwise.

    I've changed my grip on the pick, and am concentrating HARD on having my picking motion come from my wrist on this tune. That's why I've got the video angle the way it is.

    Am I coming close to what I'm aiming for?

  14. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    This song goes very well with "Temperance Reel". Makes a great medley. I think when I post it, I'll do a medley of the two tunes. I'd like to see others do it too!
  15. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    OK, this one's pretty sloppy, but after reading the definition of a barndance, I did this one, concentrating on putting some bounce into it...

  16. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Flowers of Edinburgh + Temperance Reel Medley played on my Michael Kelly Legacy FS. The "backing track" is my brother Graham, playing guitar. Unfortunately, I couldn't get him to show himself on camera.

  17. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Chris, very nice! I'll work on learning the 2nd tune and try to submit yet another video!
  18. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Nice set Chris. Here's my version played on my Sobell mandolin.

  19. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Nice David! Does that mando have only 15 frets?
  20. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    It actually has 16 frets which is fine by me, I never go past the 12th fret anyways.
  21. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    I like to go as high as the 17th fret. It ain't easy, but I like it because of the challenge. I would encourage others to do the same.
  22. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Well done everyone! Nice to hear Chris playing it in a set with the Temperance Reel. John Carty does a version of this followed by The Stack of Barley on his CD "The Cat That Ate The Candle".

    Barbara, you were definitely getting more of that barndance feel into it in your second version.

    For some reason barndances always have a vaudeville kind of feel to them to my ear. My banjo teacher taught me a few, and I've sadly neglected them. I'll have to give them a try on the mandolin - I'll post them if I can remember them!

    Ok, gotta go work on this one now!
  23. Eddie Sheehy
    That 2nd version is very Scottishy. I can see the girls giving a Highland Fling on that one. Very nice Barbara.
  24. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Now that I have a chance to look at this, it appears to be what I would label a hornpipe. Not that I know. But it does have a distinct hornpipe feel. At the risk of awakening everyone's inner Shecky Greene a second time, does anybody have a clue what makes something a barn dance instead of a hornpipe? Mr. Hansen? Joe?
  25. Susanne
    This is a nice tune, glad to hear someone else play it! As for the frets, I had a version of Arkansas Traveller that went up to the 14th fret but I never liked it, don't use those higher frets much either,I don't think it sounds nice to play up there. Sure you can do it just for the challenge
  26. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Mike, re: the hornpipe thing - it's interesting that John Carty plays Flowers of Edinburgh with The Stack of Barley, both listed as barndances, but generally you see The Stack of Barley as a hornpipe (though there is a entry for it over at thesession.org as "The Stack of Barley (The Barndance)" but even that version is still listed as a hornpipe! From my limited experience of barndances, I find them to be bouncier than hornpipes. You mention that you find this tune to have a distinct hornpipe feel - if you have the John Carty version and listen to it, to my ears it's distinctly barndance-y in his hands - I'm using other barndances I know (George Panby Dick's, The Carricknagavna Barndance) as the yardstick here, but again my repertoire of barndances is limited, so this is just my tuppence worth...
  27. Rando7
    Seems like the same tune can be played as a reel, hornpipe or barn dance. Most of the videos in this thread are playing it as a reel, while Barbara's second one sounds more hornpipey. The difference between a reel and hornpipe of course is the swing or dotted-eighth feel of the hornpipe while the reel is played straight.

    After my exhaustive research of a half hour the barndance seems kind of in between, with a little less swing and more speed than a hornpipe, but still bouncier than a reel. I found this link to a barndance set:

  28. CelticDude
    Here is my take on Flowers, with some Temperance at the end:

    These are tunes I've known for a couple decades now; pretty standard amongst the contra dance crowd. I'll confess to being agnostic about the whole hornpipe/barndance thing, as in, I can't tell the difference.
  29. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Nice! Great job CelticDude.
  30. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    In the spirit of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I redid this at lunchtime.

    For recording junkies (otherwise, igonre!): I moved into a room with wood floors, used a single mic (a KM 184) about six feet back. No compression, down-the-middle mono, enough EQ to remove bottom-end beyond the mandolin's range, recorded at 96 khz, bounced the track and put it in iMovie, with the movie exported at 48 khz. The mash fest in the first video has the KM 184 and a LD Rhode up close (waaaay too close, I think), compression, some EQ, recorded at 44 khz.

    And in on last bit of OCD frenzy, the same thing on Vimeo, just to see how, if at all, the quality differs from YouTube.

    To avoid the whole hornpipe-reel issue, I decided to make my version sound like a tired guy late on a Sunday night.

  31. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    well done, tired guy!
  32. Eddie Sheehy
    I went our local jam on Sat night and lo and behold we played Flowers. I , of course not knowing it, played backing chords.... I know it now.
  33. Susanne
    My very simple attempt. I'm having a cold and feeling generally lousy so I didn't have the energy to work on it anymore right now... my tempo is really bad, I started out too slow to begin with just because I thought I'd screw up otherwise, but it seems I can never keep a slow tempo. Sorry for the speeding up.

  34. Eddie Sheehy
    Flowers of Edinburgh - played on a Gypsy OM. Trying to get a Hornpipish/Stratpheyish feel to it...

  35. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Hey Eddie, seems to me you accomplished the feel! Loved the triplets! OM sounds great, too!
  36. KeithMcIsaac
    Ha! This is my first time actually posting the official tune of the week WITHIN that week.

  37. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Nice Keith! Tell us again what kind of mando that is!
  38. Susanne
    Very nice, Keith!!!!!!! And yah, Eddie, VERY Irish hornpipey sounding!
  39. KeithMcIsaac
    Thanks Barbara and Susi. I've been enjoying the different approaches people have been taking on this tune. I learned it from the Fiddler's Fakebook where it is listed as a Scottish reel so I tried to give it a bit of Scots snap. The mandolin is a Flood-Tone by Thomas Flood.
  40. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    here goes, a week late, played on my Pomeroy A4:

  41. KyleBerry
    I am late also. I worked on this one a lot last week and am still working on it. I just can't seem to get it to where it is supposed to be. I don't seem to like this one very much.

  42. KeithMcIsaac
    Nice, as always Jill. Kyle, seems to me like you've pretty much got it.
  43. CelticDude
    Jill - Nice arrangement, and as always, your triplets are amazing.

    Kyle - I agree; you've got the tune, and played it cleanly.
  44. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I'm still catching up with old tunes of the week, so here's my go at Flowers Of Edinburgh -- as with all tunes I've done today, it's on my 1925 waldzither tunes GDAEA. There are a number of versions of this tune, this one is from Nigel Gatherer's site here.

    Martin Jonas
  45. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Nice sound and playing.

    By the way, although I am from Germany, I had not known about the Waldzither before I took up the mandolin a few years ago.
    In my home state of Bavaria we are familiar with the Zither, which looks completely different. It lies on a table and has 5 melody and up to 37 accompaniment strings.
    Zithers are mostly played in the traditional folk music of the Alpine regions of Bavaria and Austria.
  46. KeithMcIsaac
    Nice, Martin. You're doing a great job of catching up on the backlist. I feel certain I'll never be able to make any headway at that.
  47. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Zither would actually be a misclassification of the Waldzither. The Waldzither is in the lute family by virtue of the fact that it has a neck that extends its string beyond the soundbox. Strictly speaking a zither is an instrument havimg the strings paralell and completely over the soundbox. A mountain dulcimer, for example, is a zither.
  48. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Keith, Martin & Manfred: thanks for the comments. "Waldzither" in this instance belongs to the "cittern" family (German: "Zister"), not what is referred to as "zither" in English. It's very close to English renaissance citterns, but no relation at all to the concert zither as described by Manfred. My grandmother used to play concert zither, and my aunt still does. Frightfully complex instrument!

  49. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Some interesting versions of the Flowers from all contributors so far. It's a great wee tune. Here is my mp3 recorded on my JK mando, tenor banjo and guitar, again using Reaper then rendering to an mp3 format.


    Must get back to trying to make video clips again - watch this space!
  50. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    John, it appears that with just three instruments you've cooked the feel of a SRS including 100 fiddles and a piano backing - nice rhythm!
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