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Thread: English fiddling essay (no mando)

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post

    One thing that seems to be a characteristic of English fiddle is that the fiddler often self-accompanies his/her vocals.

    Niles H
    Good point. The tradition continues with the likes of Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden, Hannah Martin, Seth Lakeman and several others. I note that many of these people also play other instruments such as tenor guitar . There is quite a lot of people who do this, but I'm not always that familiar with their music
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Our fiddle orchestra leader Hannah Cumming teaches this in her workshops https://hannahc-fiddlesing.weebly.com/teaching-etc.html
    You'll see it done a lot around the Sidmouth festival week in the sessions, but I get the sense that many rehearse their socks off so they can appear spontaneous & extraordinarily gifted at those sessions. Or maybe the rest of us are just a bit rubbish at it.
    I tend to just slip into rhythmic drones or double-stops (if they don't take too much brain power) and I'd rather do nothing than mess up the song, so often I'll just drop out on the fiddle or mandolin & leave the backer to do their stuff when I sense an awkward bit coming.
    Eoin



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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Good point. The tradition continues with the likes of Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden, Hannah Martin, Seth Lakeman and several others. I note that many of these people also play other instruments such as tenor guitar . There is quite a lot of people who do this, but I'm not always that familiar with their music
    And then there is this approach:

    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Shall we take up a collection to buy Lisa a mandolin?
    After 28 posts without the word "mandolin," it's about time to work it into the discussion!

    Added: My mistake, Eoin beat me to it in Post 3.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    Our fiddle orchestra leader Hannah Cumming teaches this in her workshops https://hannahc-fiddlesing.weebly.com/teaching-etc.html
    You'll see it done a lot around the Sidmouth festival week in the sessions, but I get the sense that many rehearse their socks off so they can appear spontaneous & extraordinarily gifted at those sessions. Or maybe the rest of us are just a bit rubbish at it.
    I tend to just slip into rhythmic drones or double-stops (if they don't take too much brain power) and I'd rather do nothing than mess up the song, so often I'll just drop out on the fiddle or mandolin & leave the backer to do their stuff when I sense an awkward bit coming.
    Yes...that was who I had seen doing the fiddle-singing workshop (much longer than this excerpt). Is the full class session video still up?



    Niles H

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post

    One thing that seems to be a characteristic of English fiddle is that the fiddler often self-accompanies his/her vocals. Dave Swarbrick would/could do it; there are three examples of it on his solo "Live At Jackson's Lane" cd: Jack Orion, The Bonny Black Hare and Two Magicians. And the complexity of the backup is such that it's hard to believe that it isn't two people onstage.
    My folksinging sweetheart walked into the room while I was listening to the Hannah Cumming video, and commented, "The English seem to do a lot more singing while playing fiddle than people in other countries," so she agrees with you on that point, Niles.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    I'm not sure as until lockdown we tended to have everything 'on the ground' and I never looked much at stuff on-line.
    Bless her Hannah took over the orchestra from Becki in January 2020 just the month before we went completely online in a mad scramble.
    She's been great, I can't believe how much she puts into it. So we're just getting back to the real world now.
    The current on-line stuff I see is within the wrenmusic.teachable.com site, so it's a bit like being behind a paywall, even though it's just our normal orchestra subs.

    There was talk of summer workshops, before the plague, so maybe we'll get more videos coming through now we're getting more normalised. I'll flag it up here if anything comes up.

    I think there are have been a few at Halsway Manor in the past https://halswaymanor.org.uk/events/ but I never seem to be free at the right time
    Eoin



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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Just as a contrast....Doug Kershaw


    But the ultimate, imo, in singing with an instrument are the B3 organ players who also kick the bass pedals. I suppose the lack of singing/playing on bowed stringed instruments is residue from classical, where it is either one or the other - never both. (How "lowbrow") Why are fiddlers given a free pass to drop out if they have to sing?

    NH

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post

    Carolanne Pegg (who was once in the group Mr. Fox) would also play/sing. Also Barry Dransfield, and Eliza Carthy. I once came across a workshop video from some English music camp where the class was self-fiddle-accompaniment of your singing. And the thing was...it was not for a bunch of advanced players, but for your average non-pro folk players.
    Barry Dransfield used the old-folky style of pressing the fiddle to the ribs instead of the neck -- makes singing a lot less awkard:





    Martin

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    About 30 years ago, I first heard Tim Obrien do his Workin on a Building live in the KGNU studio, which I summarily copied - it was part of my set bag for a while. I've since given up the singing, and the old timey. Nice thread Ranald.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    Barry Dransfield used the old-folky style of pressing the fiddle to the ribs instead of the neck -- makes singing a lot less awkard:
    I started playing in this position full time a few years ago (due to taking up hdgfl). It feels weird to put a violin under my chin now - I play cello instead.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    I suppose the lack of singing/playing on bowed stringed instruments is residue from classical, where it is either one or the other - never both. (How "lowbrow") Why are fiddlers given a free pass to drop out if they have to sing?NH
    There are practical reasons for this.

    First of all, most people hold the fiddle to their jaw. You can't sing without moving your jaw. Anyone who has learned to play this way will have difficulty adjusting to another position, classically-trained people, even more so.

    Playing the fiddle in different positions takes a certain level of skill and experience in order to produce a good sound, as the fiddler throws everything out of alignment (the angle of the instrument, the angle of the hands) when placing the fiddle in a second position.

    Most fiddlers play variations on the melody, rather than chording. In many traditions, the fiddle is the lead instrument, with guitars, pianos and such playing back-up (that's why across Canada, we often use the term, "fiddle music" for old time music). The fiddle has a similar role to the human voice, so the fiddler tends not to need to sing. Furthermore, singing while note playing is harder than singing while chording. Since I started playing mandolin, I watched mandolin, guitar, and banjo players more closely than I had. Even many highly-skilled musicians use simple chord patterns when they sing. Violinists have equivalent techniques to chording, e.g., playing arpeggio notes or simple repetitive doublestops, but most fiddlers aren't used to doing this, so would have to learn how. Even on mandolin, I find it difficult to sing while playing a complex melody. I've been playing "Alabama Jubilee," one note at a time, for a long time, but still have trouble fitting the words to the tune -- perhaps I'm giving my brain two similar complex tasks at once). I'll have to learn to chord the tune on mandolin, so that I can sing the verse, before playing the melody. This is a much more difficult option on fiddle.

    Switching from bowing to plucking, as Lisa Cumming, Doug Kershaw, and John Hartford do, is not an easy thing to do, and takes considerable practice. It's similar to putting down your mandolin, playing a few licks on a guitar, then returning to mandolin

    So there are good reasons why the fiddler gets a "free pass." (Of course none of the above limitations apply to those truly gifted musicians among us.)
    Last edited by Ranald; Oct-01-2021 at 1:36pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Interesting thread! I'll have to go through and read it all.

    Tommy Jarrell, of Toast, NC, playing and singing (no video on this - singing starts about 1:15, hiccups near the end):



    Singing and playing chin fiddle:

    Last edited by Dave Hicks; Oct-03-2021 at 6:42am. Reason: added another link

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    As someone who started fiddling because they wanted to sound just like David Swarbrick (I wish) and who can barely utter the words "last time through" while playing without the whole shebang coming to a screeching halt, this has been a great thread to read. I look for English tunes and try to get other folks to try them out so I'm not playing them solo all the time. Also, I'll continue to selflessly leave the singing while playing to all those far more talented people than me, plus a whole lot that aren't, but that ain't gonna stop 'em any time soon. It's all good if they let me keep playing.
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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Back in 1976, Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band compiled a tune collection, entitled English, Welsh, Scottish & Irish Fiddle Tunes, distributed by Oak Publications. It came with a little plastic record, which included two English tunes, that I'd put on top of a regular record and play on my turntable. It's a good tune book, from which I've learned a few pieces, and includes a short bibliography of recordings of fiddle music of the British Isles. I see that Oak is still around and publishing English...Fiddle Tunes, complete with one of them new-fangled CD things. Of course, fiddle tunes work can be played identically on mandolin, though Williamson's transcriptions use notation only and not tabs. As for Welsh fiddle tunes, I guess that'll be a thread for another day.

    Here's a link, but if the webpage gives Canadian prices and you're in another country, just google Oak Publications, then enter Robin Williamson into their search.

    https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title...bin+williamson
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    There are practical reasons for this.

    First of all, most people hold the fiddle to their jaw. You can't sing without moving your jaw. Anyone who has learned to play this way will have difficulty adjusting to another position, classically-trained people, even more so.

    Playing the fiddle in different positions takes a certain level of skill and experience in order to produce a good sound, as the fiddler throws everything out of alignment (the angle of the instrument, the angle of the hands) when placing the fiddle in a second position.

    Most fiddlers play variations on the melody, rather than chording. In many traditions, the fiddle is the lead instrument, with guitars, pianos and such playing back-up (that's why across Canada, we often use the term, "fiddle music" for old time music). The fiddle has a similar role to the human voice, so the fiddler tends not to need to sing. Furthermore, singing while note playing is harder than singing while chording. Since I started playing mandolin, I watched mandolin, guitar, and banjo players more closely than I had. Even many highly-skilled musicians use simple chord patterns when they sing. Violinists have equivalent techniques to chording, e.g., playing arpeggio notes or simple repetitive doublestops, but most fiddlers aren't used to doing this, so would have to learn how.

    So there are good reasons why the fiddler gets a "free pass."
    I have to disagree with you. Those "reasons" are more like "excuses". OK, hold a violin/fiddle with your chin can be problematic for singing. However it is not that big a deal to reposition it against your shoulder or chest. And as far as the classicals go... you won't be playing Paganini caprices. Playing doublestop drones, or bowing chords across 4-strings in open position is NOT THAT HARD.

    While there are strictly dance tune fiddlers who are always upfront, fiddlers in a group are pretty much expected to play backup behind the singer or other instruments. And we really aren't talking about whether the fiddler either wants or needs to sing, but whether they just hold their instrument when they do sing.

    Why do many players use simpler techniques for accompaniment while singing? It is because it is "accompaniment" and the vocal is the focal point for both the player and the listener. (Do you want to hear shredding behind the vocal on a ballad?)

    Are there unwritten/unspoken conventions about the job description with a genre? Country music usually prefers singers that do not play a lead instrument (Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Keith Urban being some exceptions). And how many fiddlers are actually fronting a band? Notice how most of the time Allison Krauss stands there holding her fiddle like a prop? (Don't git above yer raisin' lil gal, or it's back to the kitchen you go!) And that whole BG "law" about the mando must chop....."you're there for the percussion, boy...none of that Hendrix/Santana/Cooder stuff in this here music. and no Andy Irvine stuff."

    And being unable to play in unison (or an octave) with the melody you are playing....? You should be able to make your fingers go where your ear/voice tells them to!

    Your reasons really amount to something like "Well, that's the way we always dun it." Are English fiddlers so inherently more "talented" than others? Or is it because singing and playing is not an aberration and not discouraged. It's not that unusual so beginners can see it being done, and go learn the basics at a festival/camp workshop In fact for small (duo, trio) outfits, it is probably deemed a big plus; keep using all two/three of the instruments throughout the song(s).

    Niles H

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    I have to disagree with you. Those "reasons" are more like "excuses".
    I get your point, Niles. If a person wants to sing and accompany themselves on fiddle, they should work at it until they accomplish their goal. However, I'm not involved in the bluegrass scene where singing is a vital part of the music. In other cases, why would a person work at singing while playing fiddle unless they have a particular goal or enjoy musical challenges. Personally, I like to sing and I like to play fiddle, so sometimes I do both at once. However, I can go to a fiddle festival in Cape Breton or Prince Edward Island, with dozens of local fiddlers and accompanists playing, one after another, and none singing. What's their "excuse"? Many instrumental bands have no singers at all. I've seen the Chieftains play a lengthy concert in which only one musician, Paddy Maloney, sang one or two short ditties. The audience didn't complain. Similarly, I've heard a great many singers of traditional ballads perform unaccompanied, because they feel that's it's an effective way of presenting the songs, without accompaniment distracting listeners from the story being told -- I'm one of those singers myself. I've also observed that many bands that sing and play instruments have musicians who, for whatever reason, don't sing, and they are not necessarily fiddlers. Singing, like playing an instrument, is a skill that must be developed and honed. "Trick fiddlers" play while rolling over, with the fiddle over their heads, behind their backs, and between their legs. No one's ever asked me why I don't do this, though, if I spent enough time and effort, I might be able to pull off at least a third-rate version of a trick. I understand that singing while playing isn't a "trick" in the same way, but audiences love the flamboyant performances, and trick fiddlers might wonder why the rest of us don't learn their entertaining techniques.

    As musicians, we all love music, but don't share the same goals. If you enjoy a traditional style of music, what's wrong with "That's the way we always dun it"? As an old Irishman said, "I'd have a lot more respect for people who say that the tradition must change, if they understood the tradition in the first place."

    I suspect that we aren't as far apart on this as it might appear. Just out of curiosity, are you a fiddler yourself?
    Last edited by Ranald; Oct-03-2021 at 8:52pm. Reason: typos
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Talk of Dave Swarbrick reminds me of his contemporary, Steeleye Span's Peter Knight. In this recent video Peter takes the lead vocal while holding his fiddle in the normal position. Hannah Martin also sings and plays fiddle, but generally not at the same time, or she plays 5 string banjo. It is worth noting that everybody in the the band joins in the singing. I've got to say that Peter is still a damn good player.

    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Talk of Dave Swarbrick reminds me of his contemporary, Steeleye Span's Peter Knight. In this recent video Peter takes the lead vocal while holding his fiddle in the normal position. Hannah Martin also sings and plays fiddle, but generally not at the same time, or she plays 5 string banjo. It is worth noting that everybody in the the band joins in the singing. I've got to say that Peter is still a damn good player.

    Thanks for the link - I've listened to early Steeleye a lot, but haven't kept up with them or their exes lately. This was very interesting in the instrumentation and arrangements. Although I do love being blasted by a drum kit and electric bass, it's also nice not to be.

    D.H.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Thanks for sharing Dagger,
    I haven't listened to all of this but am really enjoying it. Apparently Peter Knight was classically trained which may help to explain his good technique which is still working well at age 70+.

    I commented much earlier in this thread that, in my albeit limited experience, it isn't uncommon for English Folk bands to have a fairly random collection of instruments, maybe the dobro and hand percussion sharing a stage here is an example of this. Of course, this really isn't important compared to say the musicianship of the players and is just a casual observation. New music within the constraints of fairly fixed instrumentation, such as bluegrass, can obviously be groundbreaking e.g. the new Bela Fleck album. Equally, using unorthodox instruments doesn’t guarantee interesting music.

    Anyhow, this thread has rekindled something of an interest in English folk music in me. I am English and a keen amateur folk musician but haven't really engaged with this scene over the last 20 years or so. As a young adult in the early to mid 90s, I got into "folk music" generally and was excited to get a range of cd's out of the library which were filed under folk. Albums I remember were by Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Pentangle and also Dick Gaughan, the Bothy Band, Planxty, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Mississippi John Hurt, Richard Thompson. I certainly wasn’t particularly bothered about the origin of folk music, just whether I enjoyed it. When I got involved in playing music with others, I ended up playing Irish music, some klezmer and Americana. I was lucky enough to meet people that played these styles, probably largely due to living in a city. I posted recently in the general mando topics how thrilled I was to discover that a Russian balalaika and domra orchestra rehearse at the end of my street.

    Anyhow, to get back on topic, my recent inextensive research into this has at least inspired me to watch a small number of documentaries on you-tube. I enjoyed this one about Eliza Carthy which has contributions by Stewart Lee and Billy Bragg amongst others. Interestingly, the first tune on this doc is the cobbler’s hornpipe which is the tune Tom Kitching plays on the clip which I shared earlier. This is a triple hornpipe in 3/2 which is perhaps a form peculiar to English traditional dance tunes? There is some quite wild but "funky" fiddling at 37:40 and some singing/fiddling at 37.35.

    There is also a trad English song at 39.00. Eliza's interpretation of this sounds like old jazz and/or music hall. She also plays a bit of the recording where she learnt this song from, and gives a little insight into her thought process of reinterpreting this.

    Last edited by Paul Cowham; Oct-04-2021 at 7:38pm.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    This is a triple hornpipe in 3/2 which is perhaps a form peculiar to English traditional dance tunes?
    The tunebook for these "Double Hornpipes" is John of the Greeny Cheshire Way, compiled by John Offord. A number of these tunes have been recorded by John Kirkpatrick. Probably the most familiar of these tunes to folks is "The Hole In The Wall".

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Came out in 1985. and though it went out of print for awhile, it's available and in its 3rd printing (with a slight change of the title).
    https://www.petecooper.com/johnofthegreen.htm

    (Did you ever listen to The High Level Ranters out of Northumbria? I really liked all four of their LPs on trailer, and learned a lot of their repertoire from their High Level Ranters Tunebook!)

    Niles H

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    [QUOTE=mandocrucian;1839240](Did you ever listen to The High Level Ranters out of Northumbria? I really liked all four of their LPs on trailer, and learned a lot of their repertoire from their High Level Ranters Tunebook!)

    I enjoy them. I have one of their LP's (yes, I've still got all my LP's, 45's, tapes, and CD's). High Level Ranters are one of the groups Robin Williamson included in his bibliography (post #39).
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    I think Sam Sweeney's fiddle playing is really beautiful. Sometimes it seems to have a Nordic influence, maybe?

    Yes a Nordic influence and probably Breton as well. Nice playing however.
    Funny how topics arise at certain times! Just yesterday George Erenberg (sp.?) stopped by for a conversation. He is a veteran English Country Dance instructor of 50 years or so. A neighbor and dear friend who worked with my wife, a fiddler in the local English Country Dance band. He told us that Tapestry Folkdance Center is again having 'live' dances after the Covid situation.

    The band had a concertina, an oboe and recorder player along with occasional piano, classical guitar and even an arpeggionie. The influence they have is from Contra Dance as well as Baroque Music. Fiddle and flute were from Lyra Baroque Orchestra here in Minnesota. It seems to make sense as the Baroque folks are always trying to figure out what Bach and the rest had in mind when they wrote the tunes based on dance styles.
    Last edited by DougC; Oct-05-2021 at 11:14am.
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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Yes a Nordic influence and probably Breton as well. Nice playing however.
    Funny how topics arise at certain times! Just yesterday George Erenberg (sp.?) stopped by for a conversation. He is a veteran English Country Dance instructor of 50 years or so. A neighbor and dear friend who worked with my wife, a fiddler in the local English Country Dance band. He told us that Tapestry Folkdance Center is again having 'live' dances after the Covid situation.

    The band had a concertina, an oboe and recorder player along with occasional piano, classical guitar and even an arpeggionie. The influence they have is from Contra Dance as well as Baroque Music. Fiddle and flute were from Lyra Baroque Orchestra here in Minnesota. It seems to make sense as the Baroque folks are always trying to figure out what Bach and the rest had in mind when they wrote the tunes based on dance styles.
    Perhaps the Country Dance Band was not far from the old village band tradition discussed in the essay. Baroque music had a major influence on what's called "Celtic music" these days. David Greenberg, who taught me fiddle for a while, was the concertmaster for the Tafelmusik Baroque orchestra, and is an excellent Cape Breton fiddler. He's done performances and CD's in which he illustrates the influences of European Baroque music on the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland. As Bach and his peers were making variations on traditional dance tunes, their musical stylings worked their way into traditional dance music. By the way, over the years, my Morris side had melodeon, fiddle, concertina, pipe and tabor, recorder, and bassoon. Most of these instrumental choices gave a nod to tradition. However, the bassoon came about because a music student, with broad musical tastes and Morris dancing friends, joined our Morris side. The general attitude of our members was that any instrument that gave more volume was welcome (see post #12). Playing recorder was a pastime of one of the dancers, but the instrument added little to the volume of the group.
    Last edited by Ranald; Oct-05-2021 at 12:06pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  42. #49
    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    The tunebook for these "Double Hornpipes" is John of the Greeny Cheshire Way, compiled by John Offord. A number of these tunes have been recorded by John Kirkpatrick. Probably the most familiar of these tunes to folks is "The Hole In The Wall".

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    Came out in 1985. and though it went out of print for awhile, it's available and in its 3rd printing (with a slight change of the title).
    https://www.petecooper.com/johnofthegreen.htm
    Thanks Niles,
    I wasn't aware of that book but will check it out. I live less than a mile from the traditional boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire (the river Mersey in South Manchester), so feel I ought to be more familiar with this music.

    There is a local fiddler called Jamie Knowles who I've met a few times at sessions. He has researched tunes from NW England and produced a book called Northern Frisk, although I don't know if this is still in print.

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    Anyhow, my lack of knowledge of local music has prompted me to contact Jamie, I'm going to try and speak to him to learn more about this, and will hopefully be able to add more to this interesting thread.
    Last edited by Paul Cowham; Oct-05-2021 at 7:12pm.

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  44. #50
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    Default Re: English fiddling essay (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cowham View Post

    There is a local fiddler called Jamie Knowles who I've met a few times at sessions. He has researched tunes from NW England and produced a book called Northern Frisk, although I don't know if this is still in print.
    Hi Paul,
    I thought I recognised Jamie's name - a quick Google reveals that he was in a band called Tom Shepley's Band in the seventies. My friend Duncan MacGillivray was in the Battlefield Band at the time, and these guys were friendly with them - indeed one of the band, Martin, was their roadie for a bit. I think they were quite influenced by the very early Battlefield sound, which featured a lot of Stefan Sobell citterns and mandolin (Hurray - got the thread back to mandolin stuff!). I never heard Tom Shepley's Band, but it sounds like they were worth hearing.

    This has been a good thread, I agree.

    https://www.fatea-records.co.uk/maga...omShepley.html
    David A. Gordon

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