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Saint Anne's Reel
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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 13, 2019 - 9:22 am
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I did a forum search for this tune - it is mentioned in a few places, but not, as far as I can tell, notated anywhere.   There are several versions to be found on http://www.thesession.org and I've taken one I quite liked and transcribed it to Musescore

Attached you'll find the score pdf, a play-along synth mp3, and the MuseScore file itself if you want to work on it.

I modified the ending (which was originally just bar 17 - which would be fine as a lead-in to another tune, but on it's own, just didn't jive with me - so I changed the second repeat.   Oddly enough - during my search for St Annes Reel - I did find this by Mark ( Mark @fiddlinsteudel  that is ) - and even more oddly - he's addressing ways to end a tune in a set.....  LOL - you'll find his post here - https://fiddlerman.com/forum/p.....ne/#p70531

OK so - here's the beef - enjoy - 

St-Annes-Reel.mscz

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 13, 2019 - 12:17 pm
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@Robertnal - yup thanks for the message on FB (you can PM me here as well - it's easier) - I'll add the variant you mention to share with others on the forum - I know the one you mean.... it's "interesting"  🙂

Can't attend to it right now, but I'll get around to it in the next few days!

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mookje
The Netherlands
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January 16, 2019 - 9:05 am
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@BillyG That’s a beautiful reel and thanks for sharing Billy 😃 Are you going to play it on 26 January ?

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 16, 2019 - 11:19 am
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mookje said
@BillyG That’s a beautiful reel and thanks for sharing Billy 😃 Are you going to play it on 26 January ?  

... Glad you like it @mookje - I didn't actually plan to include it on 26th.  As usual I have about 4 or 5 different tunes I'm looking at and practicing at any one time - and I particularly like this one, so I took the time to score it up and share it. 

Even though that's just a "simple" version with no cuts/turns or other embellishments shown, some of the other pieces I'm working on are a lot more difficult even in their "basic form" and I'm working on them primarily...   So I guess my answer is - let's wait and see - I'm not sure right now !   🙂 

EDIT: But related to what I'll play come 26th - as regards Drowsy Maggie which we talked about  - yeah I have a "reasonable" take on the A and B parts ( some versions stop there) but - there appears to be a C part - sometimes played once having played AABB-then-C - and sometimes AABC AABC - and other variants - but really - is just doesn't matter - so right now I keep the C part out of it - I kind of think the C part is really there only as a bridge to the next tune in a set - and of course - that really depends on precisely what the "next tune" actually is.... LOLOL

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mookje
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January 17, 2019 - 4:11 am
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@BillyG I didn’t know there was a C part on Drowsy Maggie. Where did you found that C part? 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 17, 2019 - 4:31 am
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mookje said
@BillyG I didn’t know there was a C part on Drowsy Maggie. Where did you found that C part?   

This is one of the ones I found - I haven't seen sheet as such - but it's not difficult to figure out - really just a minor variation on the B - and becomes part of the overall tune.  I've heard others where a C "part" is played only once, having repeated AABB or ABAB several times, then a C part as a bridge to another piece - oh - like Swallowtail Jig for instance...

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mookje
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January 19, 2019 - 9:50 am
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Thanks for sharing @BillyG I hope I can figure out the C part smile

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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bocaholly
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January 19, 2019 - 10:02 am
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Wow, that's some pretty quick bowing! For those of you who are at or approaching that speed, what was your strategy to "get up to speed"? My teacher says, slow and precise and the speed will come. I don't quite see it. Is it just a question of patience or something else?

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BillyG
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January 19, 2019 - 3:28 pm
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@bocaholly - I hesitate to post this on the forum - it will be seen as "so wrong" by many players LOLOL - however - let me write about how it seems to me....

I don't (can't) play anything that cleanly at that speed (yet).  But I DO get a sense of what's happening (for me) in some of the tunes I can play fast.

It's a strange, almost zen-like if you get the analogy, state of playing without playing.

I have no tutor - but for starters I have to agree - play it slow, and importantly really, really cleanly and precise - timing, fingering, clean string crossings.  Get that bowing rhythm totally nailed - but let if EVOLVE to how you "feel" the tune.  For most fiddle tunes, simple sheet is but a guide, a suggestion. [ to me, that is - that's not a generic statement ]

When I start out on a new-to-me tune I will use sheet until I have it in  my head - the sheet (for me) then has to go.  I will take what the sheet has "suggested" both for tune and any embellishments and bow-direction changes etc, and modify them if necessary to get something TOTALLY repeatable - this takes a goodly number of play throughs and patience - and I'm STILL playing relatively slowly, paying attention to everything.

It's almost sensory overload - you're processing so may variables at once... 

Then gradually, just as I earlier discarded the sheet, I discard the "thought processes" (like accentuate HERE, make that SECOND triplet work on an up-down-up bowing-jiggle and not the down-up-down I had to use on the first earlier triplet to get the bow direction back to what I want, like REMEMBER to make that little 4-note run a flying-staccato and not slurred - and probably not what was indicated on the sheet I have now lost anyway, like remember just when I want to change bowing lanes and or change dynamics ) 

By then I have also long-since stopped thinking about the actual notes to play - they have become automatic...   the notes have no name in my mind...  eventually it ALL becomes wholly performed on auto-pilot.

And to return to my curious comment - if "normal playing" involves continually thinking about the notes, having the brain consciously multi-task by following sheet, actively thinking about all these earlier things I mentioned, then sure - you are "playing" and indeed, playing by a set of conscious rules and a thought-about sequence of operations.   

However, once you're in this autopilot / zen-like / trance-like mode - you are in this "playing without playing" mode - I know it sounds utterly crazy, but that's just exactly what it feels like to me......

And it's not just for fast pieces - for naturally slower pieces - in that state of playing you can automatically transfer the "feeling" you have in the moment directly into the dynamics of the piece - you have no other conscious thought process going on and you can put EVERYTHING at a conscious level into the dynamics - it is hugely satisfying....  

Disclaimer - I am not suggesting the ideas in my approach are in any way suitable for others - I was merely attempting to describe how this transition to "playing without playing" happens for me (on some of my tunes - each one has to be worked on to the same degree to get to that state- so - sure - I have MANY tunes that simply don't merit the effort, and on these - I'll "fail" sometimes - why - because I'm thinking too hard and haven't taken these extra steps and time.... 🙂 )

Again (to my mind) many disciplines can fall into either the arts or the sciences - a common split.   My personal background is one of science and engineering - and oddly I see math and physics in almost everything to do with the violin - perhaps what I was trying to say about it in that ramble is that if you're just "playing" - that is - "thinking (i.e analyzing and correcting in real-time)" about what you are doing - then your are in the "maths/physics" category (even if you know nothing about the subjects).  But once you have decoupled all that cr4p from your foreground consciousness and it becomes sub-conscious - it becomes an art form - my "playing without playing".   I see this in most of the truly great violinists - to my mind they are quite clearly elevated to a different plane of consciousness (or is it sub-consciousness).   I'll never be in that league - but the occasional attainment of such a state is truly rewarding.

Hahaha - bet there'll be a few TL:DR comments !  roflol

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bocaholly
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January 19, 2019 - 3:47 pm
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That's an amazing, looooong and terrific answer to my question. Lots of universally applicable stuff in there. 

As you know better than me, we're mostly a bunch of amateurs here with hypotheses that reflect personal experience. Often it's not exactly kosher but who cares. If someone insists that sheet music for folk tunes is allowed no interpretation or deviation... a) hope they have fun arguing their corner or b) hope they're kidding 🙂

I'm still pretty glued to the sheet music... somewhat out of laziness, somewhat out of not yet having internalized when the tone goes up or down or by how much. Comes from never having listened to much music, I guess. Nonetheless, it was pretty obvious to me that the less "words" intervening in my actions, the better. That was pretty easy for the notes. First step, which came kind of naturally was to just associate a dot on the page with with a finger placement (not thinking C# or G most of the time.) Decent start.

Some of you may remember my golf analogies. They mesh pretty well with what you describe above, @BillyG. On the practice range, it's only really useful to work on one swing thought at a time... you just have to put everything else, no matter how imperfect, on hold. Out on the golf course, you only get one thought and that's rhythm. If you walk around for 18 holes repeating "keep your head down, don't sway back, get that left shoulder over the right thigh, stay on plane", you're screwed.

About dynamics, yup, that's really fun when it goes from the markings on the page to something internalized... like a natural imperative to make a strong point or to be intimate. Have only experineced fleeting moments of that ... looking forward to that developing.

Another level of fun is meshing my "voice" with another (or a whole orchestra.) Much less tough to do that I expected once I'm reasonably on board with my part. 

Finally, thanks again for sharing your tips, Billy. Don't know if you remember but at some point, I posted a video and you diplomatically suggested I should consider relaxing my left hand. I started working on that immediately (still on going.) Hugely important! Really central to moving forward, so thanks again for that! Obviously a tense left hand precludes any chance for developing speed. Which brings us back to the start of this discussion.

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wtw
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January 19, 2019 - 5:10 pm
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@bocaholly I'm nowhere near approaching that speed... and I won't ever be, with a viola, probably… but I like lots of those irish tunes slower anyway, better actually 🙂 this Drowsy maggie version I find a bit too fast… but that's a matter of personal taste, of course.

 

But yes speed sort of comes naturally with practice. And it's actually tempting to me to play quicker (and messier) than I should, detrimentally to the precision and articulation.

 

BillyG said
@bocaholly - I hesitate to post this on the forum - it will be seen as "so wrong" by many players LOLOL - however - let me write about how it seems to me....
[...]
By then I have also long-since stopped thinking about the actual notes to play - they have become automatic...   the notes have no name in my mind...  eventually it ALL becomes wholly performed on auto-pilot.

Long post but glad you posted that. I totally get it, as I'm almost always in that "autopilot mode" (note names, I don't even know if I don't think very hard about them, but I don't care since I don't look at the sheets anyway ; bow strokes are not planned either).
This is actually a major part of what I like about playing. It can get very relaxing, emptying your head, being here and now playing and listening to the music. Well, there are those days when my mind wanders to other things - like work 😛 - which generally means I should be playing something different or even not at all.

The fun thing is I have a math/physics background too... but I'm totally the opposite in music. Can't get my brain to work efficiently at all, at least on a conscious level (so hoping it's not too lazy on a not-so-conscious level).

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bocaholly
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January 19, 2019 - 5:30 pm
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BillyG
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January 20, 2019 - 2:00 am
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Indeed @bocaholly - "internalization" largely sums it up, and I like the golfing analogy.  And @wtw - exactly - 

wtw said
........This is actually a major part of what I like about playing. It can get very relaxing, emptying your head, being here and now playing and listening to the music.

....The fun thing is I have a math/physics background too... but I'm totally the opposite in music. Can't get my brain to work efficiently at all, at least on a conscious level (so hoping it's not too lazy on a not-so-conscious level).  

Couldn't agree more !

Yes - this "auto-pilot mode" - I experience that on guitar as well - although over the last 4 years since I picked up violin - my poor guitars get very little attention !!!

A final tongue-in-cheek - and clearly false analogy to physics - a truly profound and exceptional performance is like the (impossible) breaking of the second law of thermodynamics - the reversal of entropy - we are making order out of chaos.....  🙂  🙂  🙂 - every scientist's dream....    roflol

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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