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Intrinsically Bound by Dance
A little reminder.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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ELCBK
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March 24, 2021 - 1:02 am
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Polishing up a few Irish and Cape Breton tunes, I realized I forget the importance of the tunes I pass over - the ones that don't quite have the unique melody or uneven rhythms I enjoy! 

Many tunes in this genre have the purpose to accompany DANCE. 

It's a week past Saint Patrick's Day, but here's a small example to help explain the importance of some of the overly fast-paced, somewhat repetitive music that's meant to help keep rhythm. 

"The Gardiner Brothers" (Michael and Matthew) - World Champion dancers, started learning traditional Irish dance in Denver, Colorado!  They now live in Galway and toured with "Riverdance" (until covid, so check out their many other creative endeavors).

  

 

We all have our ways of dealing with covid, so if you think you know your Irish tunes, have a go at the crazy game of "Charades" the Gardiner Brothers have started on their YouTube Channel... but beware, you have to guess by the rhythm of their dance steps!  😁

https://www.lanesboro.lib.mn.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/cat_fiddle.jpg

 

Human existence would be much too sad without music for dance!

- Emily

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GregW
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March 24, 2021 - 10:13 am
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looks like lyle lovett

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ELCBK
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Just found out about "FEIS the app"!

"The world's first music streaming app,

dedicated exclusively to Irish Dance Music"! 

Anyone up for fiddling a Treble Reel? 

 

Pretty sure I could find a way to play this on the fiddle, but really fun to watch/hear feet tap to it!

"Gardiner Brothers CLRG Irish Treble Reel Challenge 2020" - dancing to "Cissies". 

 

 

giphy.gif

 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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March 24, 2021 - 6:20 pm
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Here's a newer Treble Reel on the fiddle by Ellery Klein & Ryan Lacey. 

Those Maids Are “Treble!”, Treble Reels 117 - from their 2nd volume of Irish Dance Tunes.

 

 

From ceiliandcraic.com, here's "The Shore House" by Lúnasa & how to do "The Siege of Ennis", beginner Ceili Irish Dance. 

 

 

giphy.gif

 

...wish I wasn't knock-kneed. (lol)

- Emily

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Mouse
March 24, 2021 - 6:54 pm
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This was quite interesting to read and watch. Normally, getting too technical or breaking down music is not my thing, but, I was intrigued. This wasn’t breaking it down, exactly, but usually with this I watch the dancers and the music takes the back. This time, as well as watch the dancers and get sore ankles doing so, I paid more attention to the music. A different perspective.  Thanks.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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GregW
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March 24, 2021 - 11:39 pm
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I watched all of Elliery Kliens workshops in the November session.  I think she'll be in the April one. She had one on how to play for dancers and what they expect..the format and speeds and things like that..mainly how playing differs from say a session...I shouldve took notes but being able to do that ( play for ANY dance ) is far down the road.  sounds like fun, but being realistic.  BUT, if youve signed up for the April F.H.  then look for her classes...theyre really good.

I had to google what a treble reel is.  and no I dont remember her mentioning it and if she did..well it didnt stick.  I blame you for not starting this topic back earlier @elcbk...blink  she teaches in person AND has zoom classes.  contact info will be in the F.H. listings once it goes live.  

wiki on treble reels..

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik.....reble_reel

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ELCBK
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March 25, 2021 - 9:04 am
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@GregW -

Thanx, Greg- great info! 

Haven't I been hearing this dance music played in sessions, though?

We talk a lot about fast reels, playing up to speed and the question always arises, "is it necessary we need to play this fast?".  

I, myself, may not care to play these "Dance Reels", for more than one reason, but that doesn't mean I want people to forget their purpose or how to play them. 

Really in awe of the ability to not only play these fast - while also making sure the phrasing is recognizable, but how to even tell when some of these reels come to an end. (lol) 

Like to give credit to this dance music and the musicians who keep it alive. 

 

Who's been able to tackle some of this music up to speed?

giphy.gif

 

...the rhythm of these dance steps, or the music - which came 1st?

- Emily

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GregW
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March 25, 2021 - 10:52 am
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Haven't I been hearing this dance music played in sessions, though?  guess depends on what session you were at..  idk.  think the treble is a type of dance...not dancing to a tune called the treble reel.  could be wrong..thats what wiki said.

@elcbk there are some accepted reel/jig/hornpipe..whatever speeds established out there based on tradition but I cant hit those speeds.. and I accept that.  But, I try to get faster..as a goal..just like I work on intonation and ryhthm.  Most of these melodies sound great slow as well and there is alot to work on playing slowed down.  My teacher always introduces new tunes slow ( doesnt use Kevin B'd philosphy ).   We play together slow then build toward faster tempo as things start to click.  She runs a "slow" session for us.    I think the only time that I would be in the trouble is going to another established session somewhere and expecting the regulars to play at my speed or use my version of some tune.  Thats kinda why when i post my playing I usually feel  the need to state im playing this slow or whatever.  id hate for someone thats not familiar with all this to think thats the tune and how its played ( if that wasnt very apparent already ).  Im not saying that we should all say that..just explaining why I have in the past, which always seemed to get a response about whats fast or slow so I stopped even bothering...  There are alot of "slow" sessions out there now for beginners and if someone is reading this down the road, those are good to get involved with to get your feet wet if you ever want to play with a group.  which id recommend..its fun and totally a new experience.  .  But, nobody should feel bad about NOT joining a group or session or playing slow and to answer your question...in my opinion its not necessary to play stuff up to speed as long as youre either playing with a group that accepts that speed or youre by yourself.  Theres plenty on youtube of people (even pros) playing their own interpretations of trad tunes.. They may not translate to a session or be played as backing for a dance but theyre still outstanding listening performances.

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ELCBK
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March 25, 2021 - 1:42 pm
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@GregW -

TOTALLY agree.

I've mentioned before that I personally enjoy fiddle music at a moderate or slower pace, but speed IS required for these dances. 

Just curious - anyone on the forum regularly play some of these at dance speeds?

...and how many years did it take to get comfortable playing them? 

 

giphy.gif

 

Since I like playing reels so slowly, suppose I should be calling them something other than "reels"? (lol) 

- Emily

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GregW
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March 25, 2021 - 2:04 pm
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ELCBK said
@GregW -

TOTALLY agree.

I've mentioned before that I personally enjoy fiddle music at a moderate or slower pace, but speed IS required for these dances. 

Just curious - anyone on the forum regularly play some of these at dance speeds?

...and how many years did it take to get comfortable playing them? 

 

giphy.gif

 

Since I like playing reels so slowly, suppose I should be calling them something other than "reels"? (lol) 

- Emily

  

for what its worth...

SPEED

  • Dancers in beginners competitions have to dance to beginners speed.

  • The Reel and Slip Jig in primary and intermediate competitions are danced to open speed.

  • Participants in primary competitions can choose either beginners or open speed for the Treble Jig and the Hornpipe.

  1. Beginners Reel, Slip Jig, Single Jig: 121

  2. Light Jig: 116

  3. Beginners Treble Jig: 85

  4. Beginners Hornpipe: 138

  5. Open Reel, Slip Jig, Hornpipe: 113

  6. Open Treble Jig: 73

  7. Tradtional Sets:
    - St. Patrick’s Day, Jockey to the Fair: 92
    - Blackbird: 146
    - Job of Journeywork, Garden of Daisies: 138
    - King of the Fairies, The Hunt, White Blanket: 130
    - Three Sea Captains: 88

  8. Modern Sets:
    -Minimum Jig set speed: 66
    -Minimum Hornpipe set speed: 76

this copied from

https://www.irish.dance/compet.....tion-rules

so reel somewhere around 240 on a metronome set 4/4?  (turn off every other beat) is what im getting from that.  i think...

Since I like playing reels so slowly, suppose I should be calling them something other than "reels"? (lol) 

fun talk..just chatting not debating...but isnt the "feel" the main thing that determines say a hornpipe vs reel?  slow or fast where you emphasise the beat the important thing?  easy to state that vs demonstrate!! tongue

maybe we can get..like you stated... someone who either dances or plays for these to chime in sometime.  until then bouncing ideas is cool and thoughts/impressions.

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Mouse
March 25, 2021 - 3:15 pm
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@GregW How about “unreel”?m, “surreel”?

The Bumblebee Flies!

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GregW
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March 25, 2021 - 3:27 pm
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get real @mouse..

 

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ELCBK
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March 25, 2021 - 4:02 pm
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@GregW -

Thanx Greg! 

Hadn't seen that dance competition info

but figured there had to be beginner speeds. 

Did listen to several tunes from Sean Softley

- has them in ALL speeds!

@Mouse -

Both of those are fabulous! 

Can't decide which one to use, but leaning toward "unreel". 😁

Thanx a bunch! 

 

Yep, still hope there are some Fiddlerman forum members out there who will step up and tell us how they have mastered these flying fingered feats to accompany Dance... and how long it took to make them unforgettable!  

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d8/5f/e1/d85fe146b2c4ae87264f7dd3813582ee.jpg

- Emily

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GregW
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the how long it takes question is dangerous... and to me irrelevant in a way.  it sets people up to judge themselves by others progress...or get disheartened.

But ive asked it many times!

lumpy-2134

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ELCBK
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March 25, 2021 - 4:49 pm
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Yeah, was hoping someone would own up to not being really proficient at playing these reels just by learning overnight!   

But can imagine, at some point, we play enough of these Dance reels up to speed (and there's always tunes closely related) that it becomes much easier to pick up on new ones. 

Probably also makes a HUGE difference if you happen to grow up with this music around, played all the time!

Realistically, I suspect it does take a long time to get good at these - maybe no one remembers... cause they've been playing them for sooooo many years or most of their life. (lol) 

Might help beginner fiddlers to know like, "don't get discouraged, just keep at it - not unusual to take ___ amount of time, after ___ years of playing". 

...so, still hope there are some Fiddlerman forum members out there who will step up and tell us how they have mastered these flying fingered feats to accompany Dance... and how long it took to make them unforgettable!

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GregW
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March 25, 2021 - 5:39 pm
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I think @ClaireS stated ahe played contra dances..maybe she could shed some light on that experience and what it takes.  Mark @fiddlinsteudel plays or played gigs and is outstanding...of course fiddlerman and andrewh have years of time in on violin...

elcbk you are so on point about our...or at least my fiddle heros so to speak being at it since very young.  but also..the amount of work and practice and sacrifice they probably put up with to get there to..not just the time.  also..  sometimes the tune we pick to go afyer hurts to...  or makes it seem like progress has stopped.  tunes do become related though in a way..Ive picked up on that since starting in 2017.. Personally i think youve got a really good sound and expression so like ive said before if youre feeling discouraged dont!  

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ELCBK
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March 25, 2021 - 6:48 pm
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@GregW -

Funny, I was just thinking of ClaireS's playing! 

Just remarked on YouTube fairly recently that I missed her here on the forum! 

There's a certain speed where I feel I just can't hear all the notes - so it is less enjoyable for me, but I could change my mind down the rocky road to...  Not an issue listening to the percussive beats of the dancers, though. 

Guess I'll stick to "unreels". (lol) 

 

giphy.gif

 

 

- Emily

 

...any Fiddlerman forum members out there who will step up and tell us how they have mastered these flying fingered feats to accompany Dance... and how long it took to make them unforgettable?

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AndrewH
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I'm not a fiddler by any means, but I do have some thoughts on finger speed. There are really two components to this: the ability to move the fingers quickly, and the ability to sustain it.

Moving the fingers quickly is the easier part for most people. For that there just isn't any substitute for practice. The first Schradieck etude is often used to develop finger speed. I honestly don't know what other advice I'd offer. I think I had this part within two years at most, but I was still fairly young (in college) and had the benefit of 12 years of piano lessons first.

Keeping it going for a longer time is trickier, because it mostly boils down to staying relaxed while your fingers are moving quickly, and a big part of it is mental. For a long time I used to hit a wall after playing fast notes for about 30 seconds, and I still do sometimes if it's not a well-learned piece. For me, staying relaxed was mostly about finding ways to slow the mind down: thinking about notes in groups rather than one at a time. Learning common note patterns helps a lot. For me it took about 12 years, give or take a little, before I was able to play most fast passages I encountered without subconsciously tensing up. It's still something I'm working on after 20+ years.

By the way, the latter is not only useful for reading music or playing back someone else's music. John Coltrane's secret to improvising at speed was that he spent hours each day drilling a variety of four-note cells, and when improvising he would string together four-note cells that he had memorized. That way he rarely had to think about individual notes at all.

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ELCBK
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March 26, 2021 - 4:13 am
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@AndrewH -

YES! 

Thank you!  Thank you!  THANK YOU! 

For your sincere insight into this process of learning, Andrew - very helpful. 

I think you bring up another great point about the "mental" part. 

Makes me appreciate this music and the musicians who play it, even more! 

 

But probably why, for me, think learning these Dance tunes at speed is folly.🤔  Most are not only fast, but repetitious - dangerous for me because doesn't take much for my mind to start wandering & once I lose focus...🙄  It might be a little different if I was keying off another player, but not worth the chance I'd mess everyone up. 😖 

 

giphy.gif

 

I still love watching, listening and dancing (in my dreams). 😊 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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What about "Electronic Dance Music" (EDM)?  

giphy.gif

Lindsey Stirling is famous for her Violin EDM. 

Obviously, this music is intrinsically bound by dance!  

Was just thinking the other day about one of my favorite genres of EDM, "Dubstep" - guess I pretty much love everything syncopated. (lol) 

The 1st Irish tune I heard and watched done in Dubstep, with someone actually dancing to it (on YouTube) was the "King Of The Fairies".   

This E/V performance by Patrick Contreras, makes me want to give this style TOP PRIORITY - on "My List"! 

 

"Irish Dubstep" (Green Lads) - could be a lot of fun to play! 

 

I absolutely love "Reelin" (Jiggy) - the dancer is Marquese Scott. 

 

giphy.gif

 

Anyone on the forum playing Irish Dubstep or any EDM, or want to learn it? 

...this music might just give me the incentive I need to plug Mortimer in for a test drive. 🤭

- Emily 

 

@Sasha ?

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