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Regional Influence of Old Time in North Carolina
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ELCB
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2 Excited Smileys SmileyThis is new to me (didn't see it at "Old Time Central"), so I wanted to expand the discussion of "Celtic Roots of Southern Music" to reflect early Old Time & Blue Grass influence Worldwide.  Alan Jabbour touched on it in some of his videos, but I'd like to share this documentary.  It features "Surry County" with interesting info on Tommy Jarrell - at 60+ years old... nice some of us "Young at Heart", older people can make that kind of impact. 

 

Smiley No Teeth Smiley- Emily

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GregW
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Emily @ELCB you are finding some good stuff! I havent seen that.  I enjoy watching these things.  Especially liked the tune around 22:00 before the fretless banjo section.  All these can be inspiring until I pick up the fiddle.  I think Ive determined my style is west crap county.  facepalm serenade violin-bang Its real off beat flatsharp stuff.  🙂 I get a kick out of the stories and history and they give a goal to work toward.  Thanks for sharing this!  

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AndrewH
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Can anyone explain how old time fiddle differs from other American fiddle styles? I can sort of identify larger overarching categories (Celtic, Scandinavian, Eastern European, American) when I hear them, but most of the time I honestly can't tell the difference between styles within those larger categories and the online resources I've found mostly seem to assume that people at least grew up hearing American folk music and are already able to hear the differences between styles.

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GregW
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@AndrewH Old time vs country or western swing..or cajun  yes.  but Individual regions lin old time like round peak vs say something from kentucky id select incorrectly unless lucky.  there some videos out there ive seen that do some side by side comparions.  better to hear it.

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GregW
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@AndrewH Theres round peak lessons available on pegheadnation.  I always thought it was more of a clawhammer thing more than fiddle.  

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GregW
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one thing off that subject..after i started learning fiddle I started listening to alot of different syles.  someone on here I cant remember who is from Finland and was linking some Finnish and Scandanavian tunes a year or two ago.  I really liked that.  The way they tuned and the instrument they played on sounded more like cross tuned appalachia stuff to me more than a bagpipe drone which is what Ive heard the drone strings in old time fiddle was suppose to be trying to mimic.  I couldnt ever find where someone likened old time to scandi tunes.  From what the videos call Donegal style Irish fiddle..that sounds more old timey to me than what people call Sligo or Clare.   Those 2 when pointed out this is that and the other sound similar to me.  Scottish sounds the most technical in my opinion..someone more versed would have to say.  Cajun reminds me of Quebecois.  Look for Andre Brunet on youtube for some fun Quebecois.  I like that people are out there trying to demonstrate the differences.  Doesnt help the practice except maybe give context on what stuff is supposed to sound like.

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ELCB
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GregW - Laughing So Hard SmileyMany days I feel I also play in the "West Crap County" style! 

Maybe you actually have a "Scandinavian Style"!  Here's an excerpt from the link below - "Like in Norway, Swedish fiddlers often use the natural or untempered scale. This means that some notes are played slightly sharp or flat to what you would expect, for example, from a conventionally tuned piano. This relates partly to the extensive use of open strings, to the historic link to sounds such as the willow-bark flute, and to the early tradition of fiddle as a solo instrument. As an example, the (normally) flattened seventh note of a minor scale, is often played slightly sharp, especially if it is leading up to the tonic. Sometimes the tuning will be different going up to coming down".  

"Fiddling Around the World"  

http://www.fiddlingaround.co.u.....andinavia/

I play several Scandinavian tunes (also, check out FM's Tune a Week #26).   I'm fascinated by the uneven Swedish Polskas & their Nyckelharpa, Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle with 26 tunings, and the influence of Russia on Finland's Fiddle music! 

Maybe I should start something new in "Genres"?

Another other type of music we haven't discussed is "Mazurka" & I really enjoy many of them!

Hmm Thinking Here SmileyThere's actually quite a few other areas of the World with interesting music we haven't touched upon, that could be played on the fiddle.

 

Woohoo Jump Emoticons- Emily
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GregW
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Emily @ELCB said..Maybe you actually have a "Scandinavian Style"!  Here's an excerpt from the link below - "Like in Norway, Swedish fiddlers often use the natural or untempered scale. This means that some notes are played slightly sharp or flat to what you would expect, for example, from a conventionally tuned piano.

HEY!  well whatta yah know 😂  and I never knew....  

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ELCB
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AndrewH - You are not the only one who can't tell these apart!

What What What Emoticons

It's only recently that I'm a little better at spotting "Blue Grass" because I learned they take breaks & give everyone a chance to shine with individual skill/improve!

Where I grew up (outside of "Motown") my Grandmother had a Baby Grand - she played mostly "Show Tunes" - she was involved with local theater.  I listened to the "Rock" radio stations!  These stations played all the subgenres and fringe genres (take a look at Wikipedia - staggering amount!) - but we called the "style" by the name of the Band or Musician & just knew almost all as "Rock"!

In Public school we learned a little about "Classical" & "American Folk".  Being a film/TV buff I'd hear what I thought was "Western" (Cowboys), "Country" (Hillbillies), "Big Band", 1920's "Jazz/Ragtime", "Beatnik" Jazz, "Folk" ballads and a little Gospel/Blues (the term "Soul" and "Funk" floated around).  I heard very little Irish music ("The Quiet Man", 1952) except around "St. Patrick's Day"!

When I joined the Air Force (later the Army) later 70's-80's - everyone listened to many forms of music, but you still either liked the name of the Band/musician, or you didn't - you really didn't hear an emphasis on a classification (like pertaining to this thread, you might think Tommy Jarrell "style").

So, I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around all these "Genres" and "Sub-genres", too!

Topsy Turvy Smiley Emoticons- Emily

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GregW
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@ elcb said..so, I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around all these "Genres" and "Sub-genres", too!

 

@ELCB thats my fault with all the cork sniffing type stuff.  just play!  🙂  I geek out too much for me own good.  

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ELCB
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GregW -

Realistic Dancing Cat EmoticonsNot too much prevents me from having fun with my 5-string, "Mortimer"!  

Wide Eyed And Sad SmileyI only wish I could describe tunes I find to play or have questions about, better/more accurately... I find some weird music.

 

- EmilyEye Alien Walking Caterpillar Monster Emoticons

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GregW
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Yeah me too.  I find myself in some deep rabbitt holes.  Organizing the playlist can be daunting!  My classical playlist has my favorite German classical composer Hans Zimmer mixed in with Bear McCreary..facepalmdevil-violin oh no here i go again 😋

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ELCB
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GregW - High Five Emoticons

1st time I heard "Skye Boat Song" was on the "Outlander" TV series - of course I had to learn it!  ...will we hear you play McCreary's version of "Godzilla" (great sense of humor)?

 

Back to this thread, this is a pretty heavy style of "Old Time" music. 

Are you thinking of learning any of the tunes from the video?

 

Hypnotizing Emoticon Emoticons- Emily
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GregW
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I always liked this.  

 

no on any of the video tunes I saw.  I cant find that kind of groove with the bow.  Doing good to work shuffle in.

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Mark
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Perhaps this will help,

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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GregW
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Theres an exchange between one of her old students and her daughter, I think it is, in the comments of the video.  The whole channel has a bunch of great videos..Theres also a documentary about her where she talks about her beginnings thats good to watch.  Thanks @Mark!

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ELCB
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Thanks, Mark!

I happened upon this video about a week ago, but couldn't fig where to share it.

Reminds me to tackle tunes next on my list. 

Just learned "Chanter's Song" as an intro into more Scottish pipe tunes & now that I'm getting up to speed on"Brenda Stubbert's Strathspey", I'm off to learn more Cape Breton!  Got my eye on "King George IV" (like in the video).

The one style I don't have a tune to play in is "Gypsy Jazz"!

Almost forgot - 1st thing I noticed was her interesting "neck support"!

 

Cat Firing Gun Emoticons- Emily

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GregW
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AndrewH said
Can anyone explain how old time fiddle differs from other American fiddle styles? I can sort of identify larger overarching categories (Celtic, Scandinavian, Eastern European, American) when I hear them, but most of the time I honestly can't tell the difference between styles within those larger categories and the online resources I've found mostly seem to assume that people at least grew up hearing American folk music and are already able to hear the differences between styles.

  

Ill try and give it anither go.  of course this is all gonna be general and maybe will help looking from a jam perspective.  Ive participated in old time jams...I dont/cant play bluegrass jams so theres that up front.

think of old time as being played in 1st position.  open drone strings used..unison 4th finger ( what im struggling with ) drones used alot.   Youll notice more alternate tunings here from what ive seen.  although not at the jam ive attended. 

what ive seen of bluegrass will have the fiddler shifting to 2nd and 3rd as desired.  I havent seen that in the old time jams any.  also the choice of double stops is more advanced and im not even going to attemot to explain what their doing...maybe 7ths and bluesy sounding stuff.  banjo wise in general think clawhammer for old time scruggs style for where you hear the fast rolling played with finger picks type stuff.  ( the bluegrass players chuckling out there at that one)

old time will have everyone playing the melody tight..or at least thats the desire in what ive seen.  you could have a bass..guitars could play melody with the fiddles mandolins or provide bum chuck at the least.  youll hear alot more walking bass type stuff from good old time guitar players almost mimicking a bass, especially if the bass isnt in the jam.  

bluegrass is more vocal songs than "fiddle tunes"  although there is alot of crossover.  angeline the baker, big sciota(scioty) , cheerokee shuffle, red wing...good crossover examples.  almost always the individual bluegrass player will be expected to take an improvised solo "break" based on the vocal melody.  you wont have that in old time..unless maybe in a performance string band thing butbto me thats getting more into bluegrass..  VOCAL songs are a big hint youre listening to bluegrass..or at least not whats USUALLY considered old time.  sometimes the fiddler will sing a tune he is llaying.

i suppose bluegrass can be said is way faster tempo.  it seems to be part of the genere unless its something like a waltz or whats supposed to be a slow ballad.

keys in old time are usually g,d,a some c ive seen a limited number of ones in Dm.   bluegrass will fit the key of singer alot.  youll see more varied key choices.. u nless theyre playing a fiddle tune such as big sciota which will revert to whats considered more standard for that tune.  maybe more liberal choices in "newgrass" but thats getting more splitting hairs.

i guess from a violin perspective bluegrass will be way more challenging from what i kniw about it.  the fact that position shifts and imorovisation are there leaves me out now.  speed is a problem in old time for me.  and the groove which i cant explain.

so if youd listen to The Stuart brothers, Erynn Marshall ( or galax bogtrotters) Matt Browns "Lone Prairie" album ( has some ragtime type stuff too) Megan Lynch Chowning..you get a better sense of old time.  those are REALLY good clean sounding players to me.  some old recordings of marcus martin, tommy jarrell are out there.  blasphamy but i prefer the ones i listed that are newer.  probably because of the recording quality in part.  maybe as a last example and this is more my opinion but bluegrass is more individual player focused and privides a chance to show chops..kinda like jazz maybe.  hope that helps more.  like i said still getting my own feet wet.  hopefully i didnt get to far out there..again 🙂

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ELCB
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Sorry AndrewH, I probably help confuse matters.

I think the key is "Folk Dances" - unless you saw/heard a broadcast typical to an area, been to a regional "Jam Session" or are familiar with the Folk Dance history of an area, you really won't know the music or know the differences.

"Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dancing, clogging, and buck dancing. It is played on acoustic instruments, generally centering on a combination of fiddle and plucked string instruments, most often the banjo, guitar, and mandolin." (Wikipedia) 

Btw, I have NO clue what the difference is between "Clogging" & "Buck" dancing!

I originally heard/saw some "Old Time" (Folk) music on radio & TV/film - later at a Banjo & Fiddle Festivals.  I had learned a few songs ( like "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain") & a Square Dance in public school (maybe only in private schools nowadays) but that's the extent of my "Old Time" (Folk Music) education.

 

...obviously only had an accordion player on hand for this one!

Does that help at all? 

(if I'm way off base, someone let me know)

 

- Emily

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AndrewH
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GregW said

AndrewH said

Can anyone explain how old time fiddle differs from other American fiddle styles? I can sort of identify larger overarching categories (Celtic, Scandinavian, Eastern European, American) when I hear them, but most of the time I honestly can't tell the difference between styles within those larger categories and the online resources I've found mostly seem to assume that people at least grew up hearing American folk music and are already able to hear the differences between styles.

  

Ill try and give it anither go.  of course this is all gonna be general and maybe will help looking from a jam perspective.  Ive participated in old time jams...I dont/cant play bluegrass jams so theres that up front.

think of old time as being played in 1st position.  open drone strings used..unison 4th finger ( what im struggling with ) drones used alot.   Youll notice more alternate tunings here from what ive seen.  although not at the jam ive attended. 

what ive seen of bluegrass will have the fiddler shifting to 2nd and 3rd as desired.  I havent seen that in the old time jams any.  also the choice of double stops is more advanced and im not even going to attemot to explain what their doing...maybe 7ths and bluesy sounding stuff.  banjo wise in general think clawhammer for old time scruggs style for where you hear the fast rolling played with finger picks type stuff.  ( the bluegrass players chuckling out there at that one)

old time will have everyone playing the melody tight..or at least thats the desire in what ive seen.  you could have a bass..guitars could play melody with the fiddles mandolins or provide bum chuck at the least.  youll hear alot more walking bass type stuff from good old time guitar players almost mimicking a bass, especially if the bass isnt in the jam.  

bluegrass is more vocal songs than "fiddle tunes"  although there is alot of crossover.  angeline the baker, big sciota(scioty) , cheerokee shuffle, red wing...good crossover examples.  almost always the individual bluegrass player will be expected to take an improvised solo "break" based on the vocal melody.  you wont have that in old time..unless maybe in a performance string band thing butbto me thats getting more into bluegrass..  VOCAL songs are a big hint youre listening to bluegrass..or at least not whats USUALLY considered old time.  sometimes the fiddler will sing a tune he is llaying.

i suppose bluegrass can be said is way faster tempo.  it seems to be part of the genere unless its something like a waltz or whats supposed to be a slow ballad.

keys in old time are usually g,d,a some c ive seen a limited number of ones in Dm.   bluegrass will fit the key of singer alot.  youll see more varied key choices.. u nless theyre playing a fiddle tune such as big sciota which will revert to whats considered more standard for that tune.  maybe more liberal choices in "newgrass" but thats getting more splitting hairs.

i guess from a violin perspective bluegrass will be way more challenging from what i kniw about it.  the fact that position shifts and imorovisation are there leaves me out now.  speed is a problem in old time for me.  and the groove which i cant explain.

so if youd listen to The Stuart brothers, Erynn Marshall ( or galax bogtrotters) Matt Browns "Lone Prairie" album ( has some ragtime type stuff too) Megan Lynch Chowning..you get a better sense of old time.  those are REALLY good clean sounding players to me.  some old recordings of marcus martin, tommy jarrell are out there.  blasphamy but i prefer the ones i listed that are newer.  probably because of the recording quality in part.  maybe as a last example and this is more my opinion but bluegrass is more individual player focused and privides a chance to show chops..kinda like jazz maybe.  hope that helps more.  like i said still getting my own feet wet.  hopefully i didnt get to far out there..again 🙂

  

 

Interesting. The impression I always got was that old time was more of the vocal tunes and bluegrass was faster and more rhythmic. I may have had it reversed, or maybe I was mostly paying attention to the solo breaks. Or maybe it's that most of the old time tunes I've heard have been played by beginner to intermediate level fiddlers.

But if I'm confused, it's mostly that my exposure to actual American folk music (as opposed to folk-inspired music) was zero until I was close to 30, and still not much more than zero until the last two or three years.

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