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Thread: Italian music, getting started

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Stetson View Post
    I also play Italian style, but haven't yet chimed in because everyone else said it already, but do let us know how you make out at Ikegaku. I also play traditional Japanese music (shakuhachi, shinobue, a little shamisen), but my Shakuhachi sensei's first instrument was mandolin. He's way up in Sapporo, though! Have fun!
    Three 50 minute lessons per month cost 12,960 yen at Ikegaku. I'm between jobs at the moment, so that's a bit prohibitive. Are you in Tokyo too? I'm in Nerima, about 10 minutes west of Ikebukuro.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    No, not Tokyo, Western Massachusetts, USA. I visited Sapporo in 1993, but haven't been back since. I'd be interested to talk, though, I'll send a message.

  3. #28
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Tom....saluti a te for wanting to dive into the Italian music slipstream of mandolin music. Please, don't overthink it or worry to much about how "correct" your method or tremolo or choice of mandolins are. Learn to love the melodies, the harmonies and lovely ambience of this incredible alive tradition of music.
    The many folks' advice here can be maternal or paternalistic, however well intentioned. The beautiful melodies are alive and vital. They will be the key to opening your mandolin journey. Your "Italian" or "Olive Garden" technique will come to life in it's own time and own manner. The melodies are eternal.

    Mick
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  5. #29
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Please, don't overthink it or worry to much about how "correct" your method or tremolo or choice of mandolins are. Learn to love the melodies, the harmonies and lovely ambience of this incredible alive tradition of music.
    The many folks' advice here can be maternal or paternalistic, however well intentioned.
    I totally agree that the music is wonderful and it is more important to just get into playing and listening to Italian music.

    However once one is comfortable with the music, then it is time to really learn to sound Italian.

    Would you advise a beginner Bluegrass, Choro, Old Time or Irish mandolinist to not worry about sounding "correct"?

    "The melodies are eternal."

    That is very true; however if not played true to style, then something very important and essential is lost, shall we say, in translation.

    My extremely "paternalistic, however well intentioned" advice - and I'm stubbornly, Sicilianly, sticking to it

  6. #30
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Would you advise a beginner Bluegrass, Choro, Old Time or Irish mandolinist to not worry about sounding "correct"?
    While I do agree with you in general to achieve the nuances of a particular genre, there are some shade of meaning here. For instance, since you mention old time, there are many regional variants to that genre. Getting down to a granular level, it is likely that an old time fiddler from Kentucky might not appreciate a different bowing style of someone from Missouri or Texas or Virginia.

    As for Italian mandolin music, I would wager that a player from Sicily would not play mandolin in the same style as someone from Genoa or Rome. There are some universal style aspects in playing a genre however there may not be one absolutely correct way even, possibly the way that a player in Italy executes tremolo.
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  8. #31
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    While I do agree with you in general to achieve the nuances of a particular genre, there are some shade of meaning here. For instance, since you mention old time, there are many regional variants to that genre. Getting down to a granular level, it is likely that an old time fiddler from Kentucky might not appreciate a different bowing style of someone from Missouri or Texas or Virginia.

    As for Italian mandolin music, I would wager that a player from Sicily would not play mandolin in the same style as someone from Genoa or Rome. There are some universal style aspects in playing a genre however there may not be one absolutely correct way even, possibly the way that a player in Italy executes tremolo.
    Exactly!

    But there are some overall stylistic generalizations one can make about all genres of music.

    So before one even get into regional and personal styles within a genre, one has to deal with the overriding stylistic issues.

    "it is likely that an old time fiddler from Kentucky might not appreciate a different bowing style of someone from Missouri or Texas or Virginia"

    Just so - but they would all recognize each other as "American" and not Italian, Hungarian, or whatever else.

    So mandolinists from varying parts of Italy could identify local styles while still knowing all of them are some form of Italian music...and not American.

    Look, I am all for bands of any genre playing Italian tunes any way they like.

    Think of certain tunes that are played by Irish, Scottish, and American contra dance, Old time and Bluegrass bands.

    Same tune.

    What makes it the particular sub-genre? The way the tune is played.

    So I am in favor of playing Italian tunes in some form of Italian style. Fine.

    If you and your band want to play an Italian tune and go it any style possible, fine by me - but in terms of teaching the music, I'm very proud of the Italian and Sicilian ( and Greek) mandolin traditions and will push them over other styles.

    That said, in good humor, I leave you with the version of a tune by a Sicilian American home town boy from Hew Orleans:


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  10. #32
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    While we're at it....



    and for my Nonna




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  12. #33
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    I call Louis Prima the Italian Louis Jordan.
    Joe B

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