Irish trad on CBA



Irish trad on CBA

Postby TomBR » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:04 pm

Can anyone point to a video of Irish Traditional Music on CBA?

I have in mind something of the quality of Alan Kelly's playing on PA in this clip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksi3Oliju8c

I've seen "non-idiomatic" playing of Irish trad on CBA, all the notes in the right order, but without the right shape to the rhythm and generally with bass that's unsympathetic to the tradition.

I'm certainly not "getting at" CBAs or their players, because I have no doubt it could be done, beautifully, I just haven't come across a clip of anyone doing it!
(Jimmy Shand Jr plays CBA in the Scottish tradition of course, but that's a different thing.)

Instrumental tradition is against it, of course, in the sense that the conventional boxes for Irish are first and foremost half-step diatonics, generally in B/C or C#/D, plus a fair few PAs. It might only happen on CBA where an established player from another genre becomes interested in Irish trad.

Thanks,
Tom
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby Stephen » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:38 pm

if you mean by idiomatic and non-idiomatic the specific bellows changing of the bisonoric melodeon dance style music of the irish traditional music, then all PA and CBA players will be excluded by your definition.
Because PA is as unisonoric as CBA.

In my view all systems can play some Irish trad music, PA, CBA, melodeons, concertinas, but bisonoric accordions have to change bellows direction making at a favorit instrument with folk music dancers.
The violinists likewise have to change bow direction all the time. Rhythm guitarists change upbeat and downbeat finger/plectrum strokes.

The question is, if Alan Kelly was playing on his own, solo, would he have the "correct" idiomatic playing style? Because I see in the video much of the rhythm bounce is made by aid of the violinist and guitarist, who make the bidirectional changes.
So this video gives a false idea of an idomatic correct style.

It would be a better comparison if Alan Kelly were to play on his own in a reel, like Tom Hardaker on the CBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjVJBrCfPr0

If Tom Hardaker were to play in trio (with violin and guitar) or quartet (with violin , guitar and flute, like Alan Kelly), you could get a whole different picture...

The definition of idiomatic needs to be refined, if used for comparison.

Defining idomatic playing styles of eg Irish traditional music, remind me of the controverse with the piano accordion in Irish trad music
http://jimmykeane.com/blather/blog/the-piano-accordion
quote: "Ó Riada had dogmatic opinions concerning the use of piano accordion within traditional music. "In his 1960s radio series Our Musical Heritage he claimed that all accordion players were affected, in some way, by laziness! The focus of his argument was that, unlike playing a fiddle or flute, for example, where the performer creates the sound they produce, an accordion player can simply press a key to produce a musical sound. This to him meant the accordion was an ‘inauthentic’ instrument. He openly stated his contempt for the so-called mechanical nature of the piano accordion, and described the instrument as ‘the greatest abomination of them all…’, concluding that ‘Nothing could be further from the spirit of Irish music.’

...
" At this point, I could remind readers that Ó Riada himself chose to play the harpsichord as his instrument within Ceoltóirí Cualann – his ‘ideal’ traditional ensemble. In a similar vein to the accordion, the harpsichord produces sound when the performer presses a key on the keyboard. In this way, the mechanical nature of the harpsichord is not unlike the accordion. It seems to me that, in this case, Ó Riada contradicted his theory of traditional music with his practice."

Musical styles and idiomatics change over the centuries, a normal practice, and so it does in Irish traditional music.
Harps, corns and bagpipes got the company of violins, guitars and accordions, ...
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby TomBR » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:26 pm

That's a long post Stephen, thanks for taking the time to write it.

Stephen wrote:if you mean by idiomatic and non-idiomatic the specific bellows changing of the bisonoric melodeon dance style music of the irish traditional music, then all PA and CBA players will be excluded by your definition.
Because PA is as unisonoric as CBA.

No I don't mean that by idiomatic because as you say, that makes the question pointless.

Stephen wrote:In my view all systems can play some Irish trad music, PA, CBA, melodeons, concertinas, but bisonoric accordions have to change bellows direction making at a favorit instrument with folk music dancers.
The violinists likewise have to change bow direction all the time. Rhythm guitarists change upbeat and downbeat finger/plectrum strokes.

Fair enough, for those instruments, but it's not crucial to the tradition. A unisonoric free reed instrument player might base their playing style more on wind players, Uillleann pipes, whistle and flute. One of the major differences between Irish flute and whistle on the one hand and classical flute and recorder on the other is that in Irish music there is far less tongue articulation.

I agree "all systems can play some Irish trad" - Yes, I'd like to hear CBA players doing so!

Stephen wrote:The question is, if Alan Kelly was playing on his own, solo, would he have the "correct" idiomatic playing style? Because I see in the video much of the rhythm bounce is made by aid of the violinist and guitarist, who make the bidirectional changes.
So this video gives a false idea of an idiomatic correct style.
It would be a better comparison if Alan Kelly were to play on his own in a reel, like Tom Hardaker on the CBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjVJBrCfPr0

I think you are wrong there. The very light accompaniment at the start of the Alan Kelly is no obstacle to hearing the style of playing. The other instruments join in in the same style, it is not dependant on them. I have Alan Kelly on CD playing equally idiomatically without backing.

Tom Hardaker's playing is impressive and enjoyable. He is playing Scottish reels so there is no point in saying that the style is not Irish. Compared with the Irish tradition Scottish accordion does use strong regular basses, as Tom is doing, so it is different.

Stephen wrote:The definition of idiomatic needs to be refined, if used for comparison.

No, there is very broad agreement on Irish style, it doesn't need to be tied down in words. If anyone needs definition, the answer is, "go listen."

Interesting thoughts re Sean O'Riada. Thanks.

Any other videos?

Tom
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby Stephen » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:50 pm

"No, there is very broad agreement on Irish style, it doesn't need to be tied down in words. If anyone needs definition, the answer is, "go listen." "

How can people agree on what is Irish style if they can't use words for this agreement? If you want to say or write what is the correct idiomatic style, you'll have to communicate it to others in some way.
Even if you say something as "go listen", listen to what exactly ? You would still have to tell someone in words what precisely in the music performance is the "Irish style".

When you analyse this "Irish style" to every element of the music, you will find Irish and all other musical styles have evolved in combination and comunication with other cultures and styles.
Eg the "jig", so "typical" in Irish, Scottish, Celtic and other musical styles, has a long history in music.
These jigs can be found in France , the gigue, or in Italian 6/8 dance pieces, all over Europe.

The Irish music style is a sum of multiple elements, and these elements are always adapted by players and musicians.
No living musical style is static, this is against the spirit of music and muse.
Ó Riada opinions on idiomatic traditional music were dogmatic opinions.

The CBA will only flourish in UK if the younger generations of accordion teachers will get to know the CBA systems. After that, you'll begin to see videos with CBA players in Irish traditional music.
The CBA system is perfectly suited for Irish traditional music, if talented young musicians can pick it up.
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby TomBR » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:48 pm

If the knowledge is in your head, you don't need a definition to access it. If someone reads this discussion they might well think, "ah yes, there's that lovely clip of ### ****** playing." You don't need other search criteria than"Irish" and "CBA."

If someone has no idea of the difference between a dog and a cat you don't need to go into deep levels of comparative anatomy, a few pictures and examples will do the job for most purposes.

I'm sure we can agree that examples are helpful. Here's some nice playing of jigs by Dean Warner on PA, solo.
http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_289_4_dean_warner
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby Stephen » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:12 pm

There is no broad agreement on what is the Irish style, I think this agreement is only in your head
This discussion on (trying to) definition(s) of traditional music styles, shows the point of uselessness in trying to say what is idiomatic and what non-idiomatic in a music style
https://thesession.org/discussions/4766

This discussion inevitably leads to a discussion about being inclusive or exclusive...

Are there no regional variations inside Ireland in Irish traditional music playing?

This article is also about the discussion and paradoxes in defining ITM and its regional variants:
http://www.ictm.ie/wp-content/uploads/2 ... Daithi.pdf

You see, even inside Ireland there is no broad agreement on what is ITM, Irish traditional music...
It's always about how far do we want to be inclusive or exclusive, also with music instruments, do we want the CBA to be included in ITM or excluded?
Do we include the PA in ITM, or exclude?

Cats don't care, and dogs will howl with anyone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eopg6clMTpA
Jessie is in an inclusive mood :-)
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby JonathanC » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:43 pm

Hi Tom

I have an interest in this too, Irish CBA players such as Jackie Hearst, Fintan Stanley and Brendan Shine (although not sure about trad) come to my mind. MIght be worth investigating.

Cheers
Jonathan
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby TomBR » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:53 pm

Stephen, you're just setting up irrelevant paper tigers then knocking them over.

How about posting a link to a video of Traditional Irish Music on CBA? ;)
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby Stephen » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:58 pm

Didn't I just do that? Posting a link to ITM music on the CBA?

Here it is again:

"It would be a better comparison if Alan Kelly were to play on his own in a reel, like Tom Hardaker on the CBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjVJBrCfPr0"
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Re: Irish trad on CBA

Postby TomBR » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:06 pm

Stephen wrote:Didn't I just do that? Posting a link to ITM music on the CBA?
Here it is again:
"It would be a better comparison if Alan Kelly were to play on his own in a reel, like Tom Hardaker on the CBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjVJBrCfPr0"


As commented above, I enjoyed that video, titled "Scottish Reels"
Tom
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