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Morris music
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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stringy
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May 12, 2024 - 5:19 pm
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This is a link to morris dance music from England, very ancient form of dancing and tunes, ou may find this interesting and also find tunes you never heard of before. When going onto the site read down to where it says dots, click on that and it will give a history on the left and on the right a list of towns and their own traditional music which they use, click a town and at the bottom of the page there is a pdf to download music files, here are jigs reels hornpipes and all kinds on there,

https://themorrisring.org/music

Hope it works

Ps, some of the Morris rings don't publish their music, but most on there do

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ELCBK
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May 12, 2024 - 8:16 pm
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@stringy -

Thanks! 

Really appreciate the link - some GREAT history & music!  "similarities to Catalan and to Basque dancers" - quite relevant to me, at the moment!  I'll be checking out the whole site later.

I posted a bit about Fiddler Mat Green & his involvement with Morrison music & dancing in post #8 (Spring Flowers for Violin, Viola & Cello Thread) - for May Day.  Think I've posted about Morrison music & dancing around some other pagan holidays, too - very interesting. 

I like the music.

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ELCBK
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May 21, 2024 - 6:13 pm
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@stringy -

I had fun checking out the variations in tunes between the different area 'sides' shown in the Handbook of Morris Dances section (link to the Morris Ring site). 

There's even a 'side' here in the USA - Boston, Massachusetts!  ...going to tell my Brother. 

I've played a few of the tunes, but I have to say I'm a bit fascinated with the use of the bells - especially since I've seen videos of street musicians in Nepal, with bells attached to their bow, playing sarangi! 

...I feel another experiment's about to begin. 😁 

 

@Mouse -

Did you know your 'Sweet Jenny Jones' is also a Morris Dance? 

 

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Mouse
May 21, 2024 - 6:19 pm
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@ELCBK Yes, I did. I saw videos of it.

 

I keep waiting for a dancer to smash that stick on the other person's fingers in these videos. There are a lot of those videos out there. I was looking to see how it sounds and found oodles. I think I posted one or two in my blog, or somewhere. It is a fun song to play, still trying to smooth it out. 

Page 25 of my blog, post 499.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.

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ELCBK
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May 22, 2024 - 1:50 am
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I've become intrigued with this particular version of "The Cuckoo's Nest" & can't seem to get it out of my head, so I'm working on it.  

This is fairly close to the notation PDF & midi of the Bledington Dances & Tunes, listed in the Handbook on The Morris Ring.  A couple repeats of the 'A' part gets thrown in where I didn't expect it, but the Morris Ring midi does it too... anyway, I LOVE surprises! 

 

Adrian Brown says: 

In Bacon's "A Handbook of Morris Dances" (1974), this variation on the tune “Cuckoo’s Nest” has the annotation: Benfield (Rollo Woods) which I took to imply that it was collected from the Bledington fiddler Charles Benfield (1841-1929), who also played for several other Morris sides in the late 19th century. However Benfield died when the Morris dancer and researcher Rollo Woods was still a toddler, so either the tune was collected from a later generation of Benfields, or an earlier Rollo Woods.

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stringy
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May 22, 2024 - 7:39 pm
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Emily, I am glad you like the Morris, sometimes, it gets overlooked in England, which is disappointing. Its one of our real traditions and very ancient.

There is nothing like it in the  summertime when you go somewhere and there is Morris dancing on, it always makes people smile, which I love, the dancers themselves love a pint as well, :) they all carry their own tankards with them  there is a tradition at Easter time when they go pace egging from pub to pub.

The sides themselves take it very seriously, their headquarters are not far from the Royal college of music in london, where I have been many times.

I also think it's great that there is a side in the states, dance and music should be for everyone.

As for the sticks  one of the ideas of the history of the Morris is that it comes from the word Moorish, in other words the moors who dominated during the crusades  the moors used dance moves with sticks to train their fighters, the Knight templars copied the idea to train their  own soldiers here and in Europe, how much truth there is in that I don't know, but when I learned Escrima which is stick fighting we had drills very similar to Morris ones, so who knows.

I do know its very ancient, and very entertaining, and the people who perform are the nicest you could ever meet.

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ELCBK
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May 23, 2024 - 7:10 pm
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@stringy -

Thought it was interesting that some of the Morris folk also take on the traditions of Mummers plays (Morris and The Mummers). 

I read Mumming has stayed a part of Newfoundland tradition in Canada (at least in some areas), but I believe there is only a big 'Mummers Day' Parade in New Jersey, here in the USA. 

Are Mummers ever part of Samhain festivities in your neck of the woods? 

I always liked this tune by Loreena McKennitt, "The Mummers' Dance", but her lyrics are definitely about Samhain. 

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stringy
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May 24, 2024 - 6:34 am
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Morris dancing, and mummers, is part of the same thing, inasmuch as they usually appear together religious times like Easter even though the plays (if they can be called that) generally go back to pagan times and the old religions. There always used to be a play performed with st George and the dragon. Too be honest though the type of thing isn't really seen hardly at all anymore, it's fairly rare to even see Morris dancers.

At one time in the area I come from and others in Yorkshire, especially the mining towns, clog dancing was very popular, everyone wore wooden clogs, the mill workers and factory workers and such, they even  had fighting clogs which were steel tipped for kicking the shins. Clog dances had their own music, unfortunately though I don't have any of it.

This is the type of thing that you are talking about I think,

There are mummers type things and morris as well as other music at these sort of events, rush bearing is a very, very old tradition, unfortunately, the type of village we're these things go on is fast disappearing, most of England is covered in sprawling Council estates and is very overcrowded, summerset and Devon are relatively unspoiled, but most areas of the North have vanished under factories and concrete.

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ELCBK
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May 24, 2024 - 4:37 pm
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1683d18d25924ba07a6af48b0388eb45.jpg@stringy -

'Rushbearing' is a new one on me!  The 'rushcart'... guess creative folk can make a festival out of just about anything. 🤭  I LOVE any excuse to get together & have fun!

Glad folks still keep some of these old traditions alive. 

The nice thing about YouTube & the internet - helps spread ideas for revival. 

 

← painting, "The Grasmere Rushbearing" by Frank Bramley

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