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Thread: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

  1. #1

    Default A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    I came across this odd note (last note in second ending of the B part) in the Frieze Breeches in the new and revised O'Neill's:
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    It works fine if you assume this is supposed to be an A, but it seems like a weird typo in a fiddle book, an F# on an extra ledger line. While I am sure there are still typos in the revised O'Neill's, I was wondering if this was actually meant to be played with the G tuned down a half step.

  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    That is truly odd and probably a typo. I did not play this thru but I would guess that F# needs to be an octave higher.
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Most likely a typo, especially since this is a common tune for pipers. IIRC, the lowest note on a Uilleann pipe chanter is D4, the lowest note in this tune.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Aren't we talking about this low F#? I believe that D4 is the D above middle C on a piano.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Right, that was poorly phrased. "D4, the lowest note in this tune" meaning the lowest note if you ignore the low F#.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Ah, that makes sense.
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    An unlikely error to just write a note on the wrong octave. Much more likely is some fiddler liked beginning the C part with the low A, and O'Neill just wrote it messily and a copyist transcribed it wrong. Fiddler probably was looking for a chance to play at least one note on the G string.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    O'Neil didn't write it, it's Miles Krassens mistake [ if it is one ]

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  10. #9

    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Indeed, the note does not appear in the 1850 version of O'Neill's on imslp:
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    But among the differences in the 1850 and the Krassen revised are the numerous C#s on the G string in the 1850.

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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by vetus scotia View Post
    Indeed, the note does not appear in the 1850 version of O'Neill's on imslp:
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    But among the differences in the 1850 and the Krassen revised are the numerous C#s on the G string in the 1850.
    Noticed that too. But I don't have the revised version, just the Rock Chapel Press reproduction and the Waltons "Dance Music". Haven't tried to work it out, but it almost seems like they are now different tunes with all the changes.

    Oh, and the original poster is most likely correct, editing error for the low F#.
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    This is a very common and easily overlooked type of error in abc notation, which becomes glaringly obvious when converted to staff notation. Whatever system of music typesetting Krassen was using in 1976, it certainly didn't involve an abc-to-staff converter. But there could have been some stage in the process where the notes were written as letters and the intended octave was misread.

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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by whistler View Post
    This is a very common and easily overlooked type of error in abc notation, which becomes glaringly obvious when converted to staff notation. Whatever system of music typesetting Krassen was using in 1976, it certainly didn't involve an abc-to-staff converter. But there could have been some stage in the process where the notes were written as letters and the intended octave was misread.
    I am curious. Where did you get the info that Krassen's edition was published in 1976? I see his edition as published in 1992.
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    My edition of Krassens book is 1976

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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I am curious. Where did you get the info that Krassen's edition was published in 1976? I see his edition as published in 1992.
    Googled it! ;-)

    Apparently, the revised edition was published in 1992 though. I have no idea how professional music publishers did their typesetting and printing at that point (no doubt nowadays there is plenty of very user friendly software that does most of the work for you) but it is possible the tunes in this edition were converted from an abc text input, which would explain how the error occurred.

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    nigelgatherer
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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by whistler View Post
    ...I have no idea how professional music publishers did their typesetting...
    One method was to use a device called a musical typewriter with which it was possible to produce pretty good notation. Another method was Letraset dry transfer sheets which involved painstakingly matching dots with stems etc. It was quite difficult, but if you got it right, it could look really good. For my first music book in 1985, I started doing all the music with these Letraset sheets, but abandoned it in favour of hand-drawn notation, for the sake of expediency.

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  22. #16

    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by whistler View Post
    ... Apparently, the revised edition was published in 1992 though. I have no idea how professional music publishers did their typesetting and printing at that point ...
    There was stuff like Finale as early as 1988. The 1991 version of Finale looked like this on Mac:

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    Such programs would have run on things like the Mac SE/30 etc, which - despite its tiny screen - was actually a very advanced machine for its time. Here's a link to a YouTube video of an SE/30 which shows it doing something other than just booting up - they have it playing videos (a remarkable feat for that era) in some sort of educational program called "Space Adventure".

    There were other music notation apps as early as the mid-1980s, for Mac computers. Macs were used extensively in other types of commercial print book/magazine publishing. I had a friend who was an early-adopter of Mac-based music notation programs, but I don't remember the name of the program he was using initially. It wasn't Finale, it was before that.

    Some Wikipedia info about some different early Mac notation programs:

    "Mosaic (also called Composer's Mosaic) was a Macintosh score-writer application for producing music notation, developed by Mark of the Unicorn.

    "First released as Professional Composer among early Macintosh software in 1984, the application introduced a user interface similar to the word processor. The main features included entering musical notation, printing sheet music, and support for lyrics under the score with the font of choice. Notes could be selected from the user interface or entered from the keyboard. The user could also change or extend the tempo, key signature, meter, and other parameters.

    "The next major release, Professional Composer 2.0, supported writing on up to 40 staves ... allowing production of professional quality scores. Although the application demanded knowledge of music theory to use its rich features, it offered only rudimentary playback capabilities. A Macworld review also criticized the high price ($495 US in February 1986) and the lack of automatic scrolling when staves were filled (only via scroll bars)."

    So... I'm thinking that if commercial music-book publishers and/or their authors happened to be using one of those early score-writing programs, for instance one such as the aforementioned Composer's Mosaic which had "only rudimentary playback capabilities" (playback is handy for proofreading), it's understandable that a few typos (wrong notes) could go unnoticed during editing and proofreading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    My edition of Krassens book is 1976
    For those pre-1980s years, that'd have to be an entirely different set of score-writing tools...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Gatherer View Post
    One method was to use a device called a musical typewriter with which it was possible to produce pretty good notation. Another method was Letraset dry transfer sheets which involved painstakingly matching dots with stems etc. It was quite difficult, but if you got it right, it could look really good. ...
    Cool info, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Gatherer View Post
    ... For my first music book in 1985, I started doing all the music with these Letraset sheets, but abandoned it in favour of hand-drawn notation, for the sake of expediency.
    I understand. Good hand-drawn notation can look quite excellent.

    And what you said about expediency can still sometimes apply to other things - sometimes it's quicker to do stuff by hand, than to wrestle with steep learning curves in some over-complicated new machine or app, or just the time-consuming hassle of getting seldom-used machinery re-setup again so as to be operational. As an example, I had one of those consumer-level paper cutting machines that let me input my own designs (that I'd made from scratch in Adobe Photoshop), but on the rare occasions when I wanted to actually use the darn machine it almost always required yet another firmware update before it would even function at all... by the time I got the silly thing set up, including the requisite one or two system restarts, it actually took *more* time than simply cutting the design by hand with a good sharp Xacto knife like I'd always done previously - the results are the same anyway. (At least for small quantities and especially one-off things... but I don't think I'd be wanting to hand-cut dozens or hundreds of identical items, that's where machines and automation are useful.)

    Of course nowadays I do all my music writing on the computer, using the MuseScore music notation app - after I finally figured out the basics (I'm a slow learner these days), I decided that I like MuseScore so much I even made a tutorial about it, which shows how I use it for everyday basic music-writing stuff, including turning simple fiddle-tune sheet music etc into mandolin tab. I don't suppose that professionals in big commercial publishing firms use MuseScore (or maybe they do, who knows), but for the rest of us who can't justify $600 for non-student versions of Finale or Sibelius or whatever, the free open-source software MuseScore works pretty good.
    Last edited by JL277z; May-18-2018 at 9:19am. Reason: Clarity.

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  24. #17

    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    This typo got me thinking about the tunes in O'Neill's, so I scanned through this morning. I was a bit surprised that, with only one exception I could find, the highest note in any tune is a B5. The exception is a single E in O'Neill's Hornpipe. Boy, if you spend all of your time in first position, that is quite a cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best shift for one note!

    As far as other rarities in O'Neill's, from what I can tell there is a single tune that has a G# below middle C, The First Month of Summer. Gotta give that one a try today.

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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by vetus scotia View Post
    This typo got me thinking about the tunes in O'Neill's, so I scanned through this morning. I was a bit surprised that, with only one exception I could find, the highest note in any tune is a B5. The exception is a single E in O'Neill's Hornpipe. Boy, if you spend all of your time in first position, that is quite a cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best shift for one note!
    That's an almost universal characteristic of Irish trad, staying in first position on fiddle or mandolin with the rare exception. It allows all those nice drones and twiddly bits for ornamentation on open strings, and stays within the range of other core instruments in the tradition like the pipes.

    Of all the tunes I "know" (in the loose sense of the word) how to play in Irish trad, there are only two that go above B5, with a C5 in one setting of "O'Carolan's Welcome," and another C5 in "O'Connor's Farewell to Dublin." Everything else goes no higher than B5.

    If there is an E6 in O'Neill's Hornpipe, then yeah... that would be a leap of faith for most non-Classically trained trad players, at least on fiddle. It might indicate it was written on flute, since the third octave E on a simple system D flute is probably easier to reliably hit than on a fiddle E string.

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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by vetus scotia View Post
    I came across this odd note (last note in second ending of the B part) in the Frieze Breeches in the new and revised O'Neill's:
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    It works fine if you assume this is supposed to be an A, but it seems like a weird typo in a fiddle book, an F# on an extra ledger line. While I am sure there are still typos in the revised O'Neill's, I was wondering if this was actually meant to be played with the G tuned down a half step.
    NO!

    It's a printing error.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    O'Neil didn't write it, it's Miles Krassens mistake [ if it is one ]

    Dave H
    Which brings up the question?

    Why revise O'Neil at all?

  28. #20

    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Which brings up the question?

    Why revise O'Neil at all?
    Well, here is Krassen's reasoning:
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    He goes into more detail about the way the transcriptions were originally produced, and the challenge of key signatures.

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    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    Quote Originally Posted by vetus scotia View Post
    Well, here is Krassen's reasoning:
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    He goes into more detail about the way the transcriptions were originally produced, and the challenge of key signatures.
    Hmmmm

    Thanks for posting, but somehow I trust the original more than the revision.

  30. #22

    Default Re: A weird typo or weird tuning? Low F# in The Frieze Breeches

    So I was vaguely aware of the discussion surrounding Krassen's revised edition, but I have been doing some googling and have discovered something: I am even less interested in the inside baseball of ITM than I am in the endless hand-wringing that goes on among Bluegrass 'purists'! I really would not have thought that possible, but you know, you learn something new everyday.

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