UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Tradition and innovation in Irish instrumental folk music Hillhouse, Andrew Neil 2005

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_2005-0476.pdf [ 4.33MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0092099.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0092099-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0092099-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0092099-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0092099-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0092099-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0092099-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0092099-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0092099.ris

Full Text

TRADITION AND INNOVATION IN IRISH INSTRUMENTAL FOLK MUSIC by ANDREW NEIL fflLLHOUSE B.Mus., The University of British Columbia, 1990 B.Ed., The University of British Columbia, 2002 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Music) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 2005 © Andrew Neil Hillhouse, 2005 11 ABSTRACT In the late twentieth century, many new melodies were composed in the genre of traditional Irish instrumental music. In the oral tradition of this music, these new tunes go through a selection process, ultimately decided on by a large, transnational, and loosely connected community of musicians, before entering the common-practice repertoire. This thesis examines a representative group of tunes that are being accepted into the common-practice repertoire, and through analysis of motivic structure, harmony, mode and other elements, identifies the shifting boundaries of traditional music. Through an identification of these boundaries, observations can be made on the changing tastes of the people playing Irish music today. Chapter One both establishes the historical and contemporary context for the study of Irish traditional music, and reviews literature on the melodic analysis of Irish traditional music, particularly regarding the concept of "tune-families". Chapter Two offers an analysis of traditional tunes in the common-practice repertoire, in order to establish an analytical means for identifying traditional tune structure. Chapter Three is an analysis of five tunes that have entered the common-practice repertoire since 1980. This analysis utilizes the techniques introduced in Chapter Two, and discusses the idea of the melodic "hook", the memorable element that is necessary for a tune to become popular. Through structural analysis, observations are made on the boundaries of tradition and innovation. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract u Table of Contents List of Figures Acknowledgements 111 vn CHAPTER ONE P E R F O R M A N C E CONTEXTS A N D O R A L TRADITION The Contemporary Context of Irish Traditional Music Performance New Tunes in the Irish Tradition The "Tune-Family" Concept The Growth of "Tune-Family" Theory Criticism and Expansion of the "Tune-Family" Concept Melodic Analysis in Irish Traditional Music 1 1 8 10 11 13 16 CHAPTER TWO STRUCTURE IN THE C O M M O N - P R A C T I C E REPERTOIRE A Brief Overview of Tune-Types Phrases, Motifs and Motivic Fragments Implied Harmony 23 23 25 29 Note Occurrence as an Index to Melodic Distinctiveness 33 Comparative Structures 35 Variation in Performance 42 iv CHAPTER THREE HOOKS A N D BUILDING B L O C K S : N E W TUNES IN IRISH TRADITIONAL MUSIC 48 Problems in Defining "Common-Practice Repertoire" 48 The Hook in ITM 51 Change in Function and it's Effect on Tune Structure 54 The Tunes 55 Conclusions 74 Glossary A Results of New Tunes Survey 77 Glossary B Transcriptions 78 Bibliography 85 r V LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1.1 George White's Favourite (Transcription) 5 Figure 1.2 Branson's "Mode Star" 15 Figure 2.1 Phrase and Motivic Structure of Luighseach Nic Cionnaith 26 Figure 2.2 Motivic Structure of My Darling Asleep 28 Figure 2.3 Implied Harmony in Miss Thornton's Reel 30 Figure 2.4 . Implied Harmony in The Scholar 30 Figure 2.5 Implied Harmony in You 're Right My Love 31 Figure 2.6 Non-chord Tones in Dr. Gilbert 32 Figure 2.7 Star ofMunster with Weighted Scale 33 Figure 2.8 Cabin Hunter 36 Figure 2.9 The Tailor's Thimble 36 Figure 2.10 The Upper Room 36 Figure 2.11 Weighted Scale Examples 40 Figure 2.11a Cabin Hunter (Section A) 40 Figure 2.1 lb Cabin Hunter (Section B) 40 Figure 2.11c The Upper Room 40 Figure 2.1 Id The Tailor's Thimble (Section A) 40 Figure 2.1 le The Tailor's Thimble (Section B) 40 Figure 2.12 Variants on The Old Grey Goose 42 Figure 2.13 Variants on Star ofMunster 44 Figure 2.13a Hugh Gillespie 44 vi Figure 2.13b Kathleen Collins 44 Figure 2.13c Frankie Gavin 44 Figure 2.13d From The Dance Music of Ireland 44 Figure 2.14 Further Variations of Star of Munster 46 Figure 2.14a Kathleen Collins 46 Figure 2.14b Frankie Gavin 46 Figure 2.15 Consistent Pitch Combinations in Variations on Star of Munster 47 Figure 2.15a Hugh Gillespie 47 Figure 2.15b Kathleen Collins 47 Figure 2.15c Frankie Gavin ' 47 Figure 3.1 The Torn Jacket 56 Figure 3.2 Ascending Arpeggiated Opening Motifs 58 Figure 3.2a The Torn Jacket 58 Figure 3.2b Don't Bother Me 58 Figure 3.2 c The Mother-In-Law 58 Figure 3.2d The Rose in the Garden 58 Figure 3.3 Beare Island 59 Figure 3.4 Padraic Reice 60 , Figure 3.5 Ta Mo Chleamhnas Deanta as performed by Dolores Keane 61 Figure 3.6 , Motif from Beare Island and Related Contours 61 Figure 3.6a Beare Island motif c 61 Figure 3.6b Excerpt from Gan Ainm 61 Figure 3.6c Excerpt from Johnstown Reel 61 Vl l Figure 3.7 Sport ' 63 Figure 3.8 The Hag with the Money as performed by Mairead N i Mhaonaigh65 i Figure 3.9 Opening Phrase of Sport and Related Tunes 66 Figure 3.9a Sport 66 Figure 3.9b Jenny Picking Cockles • 66 Figure 3.9c The Old Slipper Shoe 66 Figure 3.10 The Roaring Barmaid 68 Figure 3.11 Opening Phrase of The Roaring Barmaid and Related Tunes 69 Figure 3.11a The Roaring Barmaid 69 Figure 3.11b Off to California 69 Figure 3.11c Sweet Flowers of Milltown 69 Figure 3 . l i d Doctor Taylor 69 Figure 3. l ie The Mouse in the Mug 69 Figure 3.12 Re-barring of The Roaring Barmaid, Section B 70 Figure 3.13 Dusty Windowsills 72 Figure 3.14 Fragment from The Mug of Brown Ale 74 Figure 3.15 Dusty Windowsills Motif g Without Accented Weak Beats 74 Vll l ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Alan Thrasher (Professor, School of Music), for his mentorship throughout the past three years, and his guidance on this thesis. His experience and knowledge have been greatly influential to my academic growth. I would also like to thank Dr. Michael Tenzer for his work on my thesis committee. Special thanks to Emmett Gi l l of Spiddal, County Galway, Ireland. As well as being a masterful Uilleann piper who is widely recognized in the Irish music community in Ireland and the United Kingdom, Mr. Gil l is an avid collector of 78 rpm recordings of Irish music. His willingness to share his knowledge with me was essential to the completion of this project. Special thanks as well to Randy Vic of Vancouver, British Columbia. Mr. Vic is a fine banjo player and fiddler, and I appreciated his enthusiastic responses to my many phone calls. Also, thanks to Dave Marshall, a Vancouver fiddler who contributed to this project, and whose deep knowledge of Irish music has inspired my own interest over the years. Finally, I would like to thank all the musicians who offered their time to speak with me or play for me over the course of my research. Many have thought deeply about this music for many years and they care passionately about the very issues I discuss in this thesis. 1 Chapter One Irish Traditional Music: Performance Contexts and Oral Tradition The Contemporary Context of Irish Traditional Music Performance Irish traditional dance music is a tradition of both centuries-old and recently composed tunes.1 New tunes are being written and assimilated into the common-practice repertoire on a regular basis (Dowling 1999: 81). These are disseminated in several ways: through oral transmission, commercial recordings of popular performers, publication of tune books and most recently through internet websites, on which musicians can post and display notation. The assimilation of tunes into the living tradition has been the subject of some study, but there is little contemporary scholarly examination of the subject. On the other hand, emerging literature analyzing the recent growth in the global visibility of and markets for Irish and other "Celtic" musics has revived old debates about tradition and innovation. Scholars are considering the impact of globalization, and the influence of commercialization upon these once local, rural musics.3 These concerns come about as a 1 the terms "Irish traditional music" and "traditional dance music" are used throughout this thesis to connote the broad genre of Irish dance tunes, including recent compositions. The acronym used to identify this genre is ITM. Although "traditional" is a contested term, it is used here because it is in common use in Ireland, amongst musicians and non-musicians. In common usage, the term refers to music ranging from received tunes from the oral tradition, to the solo fiddle compositions of musicians such as Paddy Fahey, to the highly arranged and produced music of contemporary touring bands such as Lunasa and Altan. 2 Three websites that have tune notation are www.thesession.org, www.madfortrad.com and www.irishtune.info. These websites give musicians the opportunity to submit new tunes and also to comment on tunes that are on the site. Some musicians post tune lists online for participants. In Vancouver, the fiddler Dave Marshall's site www.fiddletech.com has a list of tunes played at the session, including several recently composed tunes. 3 See Philip V. Bohlman and Martin Stokes, Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe, (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2003). This book is a collection of ten articles by different authors commenting on musics that are associated with Celtic identity and globalization. All of the articles discuss issues of authenticity, commercialization and hybridity. 2 result of several significant changes in the contexts of the performance of Irish Traditional Music (ITM). Firstly, there is the transnational commodification of Irish expressive culture that reached new levels with the Broadway show Riverdance (Foley 1999: 319-320), and the creation in the late 1980s and early 1990s of the marketing category known as "World Music", with the subsection of "Celtic" (Vallely 2003: 209) 4 ITM can now be said to be part of the financescape and technoscape of the World Music industry (Appadurai 1996: 31-33).5 Recordings of Irish Music are being promoted at the global level with the machinery of business (small and large) behind them. Regional and individual diversity of playing styles is harder to promote in this commercial atmosphere than the often smooth and technically proficient band style of professional groups. Since individual musicians potentially receive more money in publishing royalties from recording their own compositions than from traditional compositions, this motivates the creation of new tunes. As a result of this process, traditional notions of collectivity are replaced by the concept of private property. A notion of individual intellectual property rights has challenged the embedded cultural practice of treating tunes as common property that are "gifted" to fellow musicians. The private property concept is legally expressed in copyright law (McCann 2001: 89-106). Hand-in-hand with the growth in the 4 Vallely pinpoints the beginning of "World Music" as a marketing category to September 1986, when ten International-Folk record-label owners met in London and entered into a discussion that would lead to the standardization of the term "World Music" in the music industry. 1988 saw the release of the record Irish Heartbeat, a collaboration between the traditional Irish group The Chieftains and the Belfast-born singer-songwriter Van Morrison. This album was a huge commercial success. 5 The terms ethnoscape, mediascape, technoscape, financescape and ideoscape are proposed by anthropologist Arjun Appadurai as a framework to describe the "complexity of the current global economy". He writes, "The suffix -scape allows us to point to the fluid, irregular shapes of these landscapes, shapes that characterize international capital as deeply as they do international clothing styles". Technoscapes refer to the "global configuration of technology and the fact that technology, both mechanical and informational, moves at high speeds across various kinds of impervious boundaries". Financescapes refer to "currency markets, stock exchanges and commodity speculation". 3 commercialization of traditional music, new technologies such as the minidisk recorder and the internet are changing the manner and speed of tune transmission, disseminating these newly composed tunes at a faster rate than ever before. Secondly, the rapid economic growth that took place in Ireland in the early 1990s— the so-called "Celtic Tiger" (O'Toole 1997: 12)6— has given Ireland a more visible cultural presence on the global stage, and at the same time fueled a debate in Irish music circles about outside cultural influences (Reiss 2003: 152-158). A nation once on the periphery of Europe, Ireland is experiencing both an outward and an inward flow of culture that is characteristic of globalization (Hannerz 1989: 66—75). Thus, new tune composition is potentially open to greater non-Irish influence. Finally, as ITM becomes more popular in North America and other parts of Europe, people of various ethnic and class backgrounds find affinity with it, and the practice of it becomes, to use Slobin's term, "intercultural" (1992: 42-49). My personal observation, as someone involved in the performance of ITM at the community level, is that, in cities such as Vancouver, Seattle and Portland, the practice of Irish music is thriving, but ethnic "Irishness" is not an important factor. People tend to participate mostly out of love for the music and for socialization. As Irish music becomes less associated with nationalism and ethnic identity, it is more broadly accessible to the non-Irish, and thus is gaining global adherents. As a cursory example, responses to a questionnaire on Irish music that I sent to both the IRTrad Listserv and The Session Internet bulletin board came back from several cities in North America and continental In the 1990s Ireland experienced an unprecedented economic boom, a benefit from membership in the EU, and also a result of an expanding high tech industry. The GDP per head in Ireland, once half that of the UK in the early 1970s, went to a ratio of 100.7 for Ireland to 98.9 for the UK in 1996. 4 Europe, as well as from Ireland and England, and from people of varying ethnic backgrounds including Chinese, Japanese and German.7 This time of change in Irish expressive culture calls for a fresh look at tune assimilation and creativity in the practice of Irish music today. While the community of Irish musicians is expanding and negotiating this complex intersection of globalization, commercialization and individualism, are these changes affecting the structure of ITM? Are commercialization and globalization affecting the tastes of traditional musicians? Is it possible to track changing taste and aesthetic judgment in traditional music through tune analysis? These are questions that wil l be addressed in this thesis. 1 In Irish music, the anonymity of traditional composers has until recently remained the norm. A major exception is Turlough O'Carolan, the celebrated eighteenth-century blind harpist, who wrote a large number of compositions, seventy-five of which appear in The Music of Ireland (O'Neill 1903), a major source of tunes for Irish traditional musicians. In general, though, older tunes are not attributed to individuals. In the course of my research, most of the musicians with whom I spoke did not identify composers, or sometimes attributed tunes to the wrong composers. Even when a composer is identified, the acknowledgment of a lineage of reception is considered as being of equal importance to identification of the composer.8 With growth in the popularity of traditional music among the North American Irish diaspora in the twentieth century, supported by a record industry that promoted popular performers such as the 7 See Glossary A for the results of this questionnaire. 8 Examples of musicians citing lineage of reception can be found on liner notes for recordings. A typical example is from the liner notes for Seattle fiddler Randal Bays 2000 recording The Salmon 's'Leap. Referring to a set of tunes entitled Mary Claflin 's/The Noon Lasses, Bays writes "I learned these tunes from the playing of one of my favourite fiddlers, James Cullinan, who lives near Doolin, Co. Clare. The first is a composition of Larry Redican, and the second is associated with the Fermanagh fiddler Tommy Gunn." fiddlers Michael Coleman and James Morrison, and the pipers Leo Rowsome and Tommy Reck, traditional musicians began to imitate recordings, and with them, particular versions or "settings" (the folk term) of older tunes as they were recorded by popular performers. Some 78 rpm recordings included new tunes attributed to individual composers, several of which are now part of the common practice repertoire (Hamilton 1996). A n example of this is a 1934 recording by the Sligo fiddler Paddy Sweeney of his two compositions George White's Favorite (Fig. 1.1) and The Lass of Carracastle. George White's Favorite remains in the common-practice repertoire today. Fig. 1.1: George White's Favourite (transcription of 1934 Paddy Sweeney recording) r- 5~-> mm < L - 7 r Following the period of 78 rpm recordings in the 1920s and 1930s, the rise of the ceili dance bands led to more tune composition (McCullough 1978 and Gedutis 2004). This generation of Irish musicians included several composers, such as Ed Reavy, Paddy Fahey and Vincent Broderick, whose tunes are still widely played today, although to some musicians they are thought to be traditional and the composers' names forgotten (Dowling 1999: 81). In the late 1960s, a generation of musicians raised on rock and the folk revival rediscovered traditional music, and members of bands like De Danaan and The Bothy Band popularized tunes by composers such as Martin Wynne and Micho Russell. These bands were among the first to be promoted on major labels, and to tour the folk festival and theatre circuits in North America and Europe, a practice which is carried on today by several new bands. Some of the newly introduced tunes live on in oral tradition, but many more do not. In this process of selection, the locus of decision making is often the session, a non-commercial venue for the performance of Irish music. A session is a gathering of musicians for the purposes of playing music and socializing. It is primarily for the enjoyment of the musicians involved, and not for the accompaniment of dance. The session is a recent development in Irish traditional music, starting in London in the 1940s (Hamilton 1999: 345-346). Before this time, Irish dance music in the twentieth century was played either by Ceili dance bands, small groups of musicians to accompany dance or solo musicians, or it was performed by melody instrument players accompanied by a chordal instrument such as piano or guitar. In rural Ireland in the nineteenth century and earlier, the music was performed primarily for dancing, by itinerant musicians. A session is non-commercial in that most of the players involved perform without getting paid. 7 However, the practice of paying a "core" of three musicians in order to ensure committed and regular sessions in pubs is commonplace in Ireland, the U K and North America. An article on composition in The Companion to Irish Traditional Music (1999) states: Communities of traditional musicians tend to vote collectively with their fingers. In a largely unspoken process of selection, a minority of tunes possessed of that special combination of playability and aesthetic interest gradually unfold themselves into the traditional repertoire, while the vast majority of new compositions languish in printed collections, on commercial CD's, or in the repertoire of isolated practitioners (my italics). (Dowling 1999: 82) The above quote touches on the two tensions that are at the heart of assimilation in oral transmission: tradition and innovation, a dialectic that is at the core of this study. "Playability" can refer not only to a tune's technical accessibility, but also to that which is easily familiar, to structural elements in the melody and rhythm that can be picked up quickly due to their recognizability as formulaic signifiers of Irish traditional music. These elements of tradition or continuity, discussed in Chapter Two of this thesis, fall easily under the fingers of experienced instrumentalists. "Aesthetic interest" in new tunes comes from the unique elements that make a tune stand out from the vast numbers of similar sounding melodies. These elements represent innovation. As one fiddler told me, "there has to be some kind of a 'hook' for the tune to catch on". The Newfoundland fiddler and composer Emile Benoit has likewise acknowledged the importance of such a unique "catch" (Quigley 1995: 66). The notion of a "hook", borrowed from popular music terminology, will be discussed in Chapter Three, as I identify the innovative elements of contemporary tune composition. 8 New Tunes in the Irish Tradition The new tunes analyzed in Chapter Three have come into common practice since 1986. Since, as mentioned above, this date marks the beginning of "World Music" as an industry, it can be considered a turning point in the global visibility of Irish music performance. It is of interest to consider in particular those tunes that have made their way into the tradition and have remained there. Which tunes are being played and are starting to show an enduring popularity? I have observed at sessions that musicians are purchasing recordings of Irish music promoted either by multinational record companies or successful independent labels, and are learning tunes from these recordings.9 Of course, opinions of traditional musicians vary as to the value of such commercial recordings, but as my research will show, tunes are making their way into the tradition from these sources, despite controversy amongst musicians. However, as Dowling's quote above indicates, musicians are active agents in the process of selecting repertoire and are often highly critical of new tunes. Since the tunes I have chosen for analysis are so new, it must be conceded that only time will tell whether they are destined to be included in common-practice repertoire for the long term. Nonetheless, the representative tunes selected for this study are played in a wide number of communities and have been commonly played for more than five years, showing a clear popularity. This study is not an attempt to establish an exhaustive canon based on majority taste. Instead, through melodic analysis, it will shed light on the boundaries of tradition and innovation in ITM today and Some of the most successful Irish traditional bands touring internationally are Altan (signed to Virgin Records in 1996), Solas and Dervish. All these bands began their international careers in the early 1990's. 9 comment on the nature of creativity and aesthetics in a tradition that is increasingly mediated and transnational in scope. The combination of individual and communal involvement in the folk process can be seen to reflect the tension between individualism and communalism inherent in the culture producing the music, bringing broader cultural concerns to the study of the music itself. While the values of individualism encouraged by global capitalism have affected the production of ITM, it is important to note that communal involvement in the process of traditional creativity has long co-existed with individual innovation. The assimilation of new tunes has always occurred in ITM and it is not an either/or dichotomy with regards to individual or communal contribution. The study of traditional composition historically has tended to focus on "communal recreation", or the role of community in shaping a folk piece (Barry 1933: 4-6). However, individuals traditionally play a role in the creation of new tunes. Bruno Nettl notes that the initial impetus for creativity in folk music comes from individuals, but is then "handed over" to the community and transformed through variation in performance (Nettl 1990: 5). Indeed, variation is an ideal in the performance of ITM, and the effective application of the conventions of ornamentation and improvisation are considered by traditional musicians to be a large part of the art of performance. Some folklorists and ethnomusicologists have given attention to the compositional processes of individual musicians (O'Suilleabhain 1978 and Quigley 1995). Others have stressed the community in shaping music (Burman-Hall 1978 and Cowdery 1990). This study wil l not focus on the composers, but instead on the tunes themselves as they are performed. The points of view of performers, with respect to aesthetics and 10 playability of the tunes, will be taken into account. But this thesis is primarily analytical in the musicological sense, and secondarily ethnographic. The "Tune-Family" Concept The concept of "tune-families" was originally developed to analyze and classify tune variants in oral tradition. Over the course of its development, useful observations have been made about both the classification of folk melodies and creativity in folk composition, which, as shall be demonstrated, have been the two driving inquiries behind the application of this theory. Methods developed in tune-family theory and later expanded upon and revised by other folk music scholars are useful when studying new tunes composed in the style of traditional music. By identifying elements of tunes embedded in the tradition, it shall in turn be possible to highlight newer melodic influences and characteristics. In order to establish a context for study, a brief review of the history of traditional tune analysis follows. Since the late nineteenth century, folk music scholars have analyzed the repertoires of traditional musicians in order to make observations about oral transmission and reception. In 1907, the English folksong collector Cecil Sharp (1859-1924) proposed an early definition of folk music that identified "continuity", "variation" and "community selection" as the defining components. In addition, he noted that anonymous composition and oral transmission were essential elements as well. A definition of "folk music" put forth by the International Folk Music Council in 1955 in Sao Paulo kept Sharp's first three elements, but revised the definition to include individual composition (Pegg 2001: 64). However, the interplay of continuity and variation expressed in Sharp's definition of 11 folk music has remained at the root of folklore studies. Recent studies acknowledge this "dialectic" as being central to the study of folk music (Bohlman 1988 and Nettl 1990). The collection of tunes in the early days of folk music scholarship led to the notion that British and Irish folk music consist of multiple variants of a limited number of tunes (Nettl 1990: 6-10). Collectors of traditional melodies as early as the Scottish scholar Patrick McDonald in 1784 noted variation among similar sounding tunes (McLucas 2001: 883). With respect to the study of Irish music in particular, George Petrie (1789— 1866) made this important observation in the introduction to The Ancient Music of Ireland (1855): In many instances, indeed, I have found the difference between one version of an air and another to have been so great, that it was only by a careful analysis of their structure, aided perhaps by a knowledge of their history and the progress of their mutations, that they could be recognized as being essentially the one air (Petrie and Cooper 2002: 34-35). Petrie proceeds to criticize earlier collectors Edward Bunting (1773-1843) and Thomas Moore (1779-1882) for their classifications. In Petrie's opinion, these early classification systems mistakenly separated melodies that were simply variations of a single tune. Samuel Bayard, in the article that first gave a definition of the tune-family concept, acknowledges a further twelve scholars from the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who had made observations similar to Petrie's, with respect to the existence of multiple tune variants (Bayard 1950: 2). Growth of "Tune-Family" Theory Early observations about the relatedness of folk tunes led to a focus on the underlying correspondences between tunes by several twentieth century scholars. 12 Expanding on some earlier observations made by Phillips Barry (Barry 1910: 440^145), Samuel Bayard and his contemporary George P. Jackson were the first scholars to consistently use the term "tune-family". Jackson, in his study of American spirituals, distinguished it from the terms "variants" and "versions". According to him, these three terms indicate progressive levels of confluence between tunes: "variants" being the most obviously related melodies, often sharing common titles, "versions" showing more t distinction on the surface, and "families" as groups of tunes showing a deep structural similarity while having marked surface differences (and different titles) (Jackson 1937: 14).10 Bayard is the scholar most closely associated with the concept of tune-families. He comprehensively formulated the tune-family theory, and wrote on it extensively over the course of three decades. A thorough exploration of the theory was given in 1950 in " A Prolegomena to a Study of British-American Folk Song". In this article, Bayard does not analyze a particular tune-family, but instead discusses the potential usefulness of the concept and offers a set of characteristics that can be analyzed for the comparison of tunes. These are: tonal range, rhythm, melodic line (contour of the melody), the order or recurrence of phrases and the order or recurrence of what he refers to as "stressed tones", or key structural pitches. Among all these factors, Bayard considers melodic contour and the "place and succession of the stressed tones" to be the most consistent identifiers within a tune family. According to Bayard, "Range, rhythm and phrase order are all variable" (Bayard 1950: 6). The importance of melodic contour and key structural pitches in identifying tune confluence remained uncontested points through the work of later folk 1 0 Another term that has been used for the concept of an "ancestral" melody is "melodic model". This term has been applied to the analytic study of non-western musics as well. (Thrasher 1988: 1). 13 music scholars such as Cowdery (1990) and Shapiro (1975). However, as I shall explain in my review of recent literature, the priority given to these two characteristics of melody differs greatly among these scholars. This has resulted in two theoretically divergent approaches to tune analysis: one that searches primarily for similarities in melodic contour and the other that considers melodic contour of equal importance to other factors such as smaller melodic motifs and the ways in which these motifs are combined. In the same article, Bayard also discusses at length the idea of "formulae" in traditional melodies — melodic and rhythmic motifs that are found in large numbers of tunes, and referred to by Bartok as "stereotyped features" (Bayard 1950: 7-9). This idea of interchangeable smaller melodic fragments also remained a common theme in traditional music analysis, and is applicable to this study. Criticism and Expansion of the "Tune Family" Concept The folklorist Bertrand Harris Bronson made two major contributions to the melodic analysis of folk tunes. While he was famous for theorizing on the fluidity of mode, he further developed the idea of tune-families, in his collection Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads (1972), by grouping tunes according to melodic contour. Bronson's interest in tune-families began two decades before he applied the concept to his collection. In a 1950 article, he referred to tune-families in a study that proposed a method for identifying the "ideal melodic contour" and "archetypal image" of a large number of related variants (Bronson 1950: 54). This method involved the comparison of I B M computer cards, with holes punched out in patterns that corresponded with the pitch organization of the melodies. Bronson compared hundreds of tune variants in this 14 manner. The notion of identifying "archetypal" tunes intrigued Bronson (Bronson 1969: 111), his idea being to develop a canon of related traditional tunes, a goal he never achieved. This idea of establishing urtexts of traditional music has been challenged (Bohlman 1988: 30-32), particularly in light of postmodern and poststructural emphases on the value of multiple interpretations, but also based upon the fact that, due to the non-recordable nature of oral transmission, it is impossible to firmly establish a true original picture of a tune before it was subject to variation. Bronson further endorsed the primacy of melodic contour over other factors (such as mode) in grouping tunes, since tunes often change mode in the transmission process while maintaining a basic melodic contour. His "mode star" (Fig. 1.2) is a schemata that represents his analysis of modes in oral transmission. Moving clockwise around the star, each heptatonic mode (represented by the letters at the points of the star) differs from the adjacent mode in only one degree (the degree that is altered between modes is shown between the points of the star). Bronson's main argument is that the pentatonic scale (represented on the mode star by TC) is the "common denominator" between different modes, and is the means by which "any of the (modes) could pass into another of that cluster" (Bronson 1962: xiii). For example, a version of a previously ionian tune (I) that omits the fourth and seventh degree might appear in the "neutral" pentatonic mode (7t), and can easily become mixolydian (M), with the addition of a flattened seventh, or lydian (Ly), with a sharpened fourth degree. Through this process, tunes change modes "almost imperceptibly". In Chapter Two of this thesis, four variants of the reel Star of Munster are shown in transcription (Fig. 2.14), one in mixolydian mode and three in dorian mode. These examples demonstrate that these modal shifts occur in ITM. 15 Fig. 1.2: Bronson's "Mode Star" 1 1 1 M D 2 p Anne Dhu Shapiro put forth a revision of the tune-family concept, as developed by Barry, Jackson and Bayard, in her 1975 dissertation. Her aim was to develop an applicable way to classify large numbers of tunes by assigning number values to particular correspondences in phrase length, pitch range, overall contour, diagnostic tones (the single tones in a melodic line that are essential to the identity of the tune), melodic correspondences ("a series of stressed and unstressed tones that are identical with or similar to those of another tune") and formulae ("fixed groups of tones recurring in many tunes") (Shapiro 1975: 187-222). Shapiro rejects the idea of identifying "ancestral tunes", claiming that the notion is too simplistic. However, she supports the idea of 1 1 The letters at the points of the star represent the modes. Letters in between the points represent the process that transforms one mode into another. For example, for ionian (I) to become mixolydian (M), the seventh degree must be lowered (-7). The numbers in the center of the star refer to the process that will create the "neutral" pentatonic scale from the other modes. For example, removing the fourth and seventh degrees (-4,7) of an ionian mode with a C finalis results in the same pitches as removing the third and seventh degrees (-3,7) of a mixolydian mode with a G finalis. The resulting five tones will be C,D,E,G and A. 16 developing tune "family trees" as a means of organizing tunes for ease of indexing (Shapiro 1975: 188). In this respect, her approach, like that of Bronson, utilizes the tune-family concept as an archival tool. As her ultimate goal is to demonstrate levels of similarity among tunes in a "family tree", however useful that may be for grouping tunes together in an accessible way, the actual processes of creativity used in oral tradition are not the focus of her study. In Shapiro's work, the overall melodic contour of a tune is emphasized above all other factors. Melodic Analysis in Irish Traditional Music The recent writings of O'Sulleabhain (1990) and Cowdery (1990) address the creative processes of traditional musicians. There is actually common ground between the tune-family approach and the approaches of O'Suilleabhain and Cowdery. The identification of similarities of melodic contour, melodic formulae and common structural tones between variants and versions, important to tune-family scholarship, are techniques also useful to the study of traditional creativity. For scholars interested in identifying tune-families, melodic contour is the most important clue to similarity of origins among tunes. However, in the emic approach of Cowdery and O'Suilleabhain, smaller units of melody, and the ways in which they appear throughout the common-practice repertoire, are the foci of analyses. In recent decades, the movement to catalogue ancestral tunes and create tune "family trees" has been abandoned. However, concepts first developed in tune-family scholarship, such as Bayard's conception of formulaic melodic ideas within a common-practice repertoire, have been shown to be useful in theorizing aspects of traditional 17 composition and making observations on the oral process. ITM has proved to be a potentially fruitful area for this field of study. James Cowdery proposes three principles in identification of relationships between tunes, and thus shedding light on the processes of traditional composition. He calls these three principles "outlining", "conjoining" and "recombining". In his analysis, Cowdery acknowledges the importance of melodic contour in determining tune confluence, while equally considering similarities in smaller melodic units among tunes. "Outlining" refers to the overall relationships in melodic contour between tunes, and the process by which a whole tune is based on another whole tune; "conjoining", to the practice of bringing together a new segment of melody with.an older one, or the bringing together of two segments from older tunes; and "recombining", to the varying combinations of smaller motives that are common in the repertoire (Cowdery 1990: 40-46). Cowdery does not use the term formulae, in order to avoid the impression that tunes are put together in a formulaic manner. Instead, he suggests that through the process of combining familiar segments of melody, new tunes are "composed and developed in relation to other tunes in flexible ways, creating a changing repertory of tunes which all sound right" (1990: 123). Only by viewing the repertory through these three principles—one at a time perhaps, but never losing sight of all three—can we hope to understand something about the process of folk composition and evaluation.. .Ultimately, folk composition can seldom be studied directly, nor can diachronic speculation provide any real satisfaction for the interested student; but the synchronic study of tunes in a repertory, organized by these principles, has much to offer—both as a metaphor for a folk process, and as a way of understanding how and why a very large repertory, such as that of the sean-nos songs and dance tunes of Ireland, can be seen as melodically coherent. (Cowdery 1990: 93) 18 In Cowdery's conception, traditional musicians work with an existing body of melodic elements of various length and shape, which are "conjoined" and "recombined" in a seemingly infinite number of ways to create new tunes. Chapter Three will expand on this notion by demonstrating that the manipulation of such standard melodic material through various types of alteration and repetition creates distinct, memorable melodic "hooks" in contemporary tune composition. While Cowdery drew his own ideas from the work of Bayard and others, he acknowledged that there is a problem with the concept of archetypal ancestral tunes. Most ethnomusicologists analyze music in order to further understand culture, and therefore they value the perspective of participants in a tradition: A traditional musician will not evaluate a new tune or version by comparing it to some faceless archetype, but by comparing it to other tunes and versions. If we wish to understand the process, we must look for principles—the overlapping and flexible ways in which musicians work with their materials—rather than looking for categories to impose from the outside (Cowdery 1990: 88). Cowdery is clearly proposing an emic system of analysis. In his rejection of the "diachronic" comparison of tune variants, Cowdery is most critical of the positivist orientation of Bronson. According to Cowdery, Bronson was not "interested in qualitatively discussing variants; he was interested in reducing them to quantifiable data which could then generate statistics and averages." Bayard, on the other hand, "immersed himself in thousands of tunes so that his musical sensitivities could ferret out the important correspondences" (Cowdery 1990: 86). While Cowdery is critical of Bronson, it is my opinion that Bronson's work, particularly his theoretical approach to modes, was an important contribution. 19 What is most important for Cowdery is the observation of traditional music as a living practice, not as historic progression. The dialectic between Shapiro's historic emphasis and Cowdery's synchronic approach is indicative of an inherent tension in folk music study. Bohlman also notes that there is a synchronic and diachronic dialectic existing in folk music performance. The performance of an individual musician is "the correct one, and therefore it epitomizes the entire tradition", while for the community "the entire history of a folk music repertory, whether known to the community members or not, comprises the tradition" (Bohlman 1988: 26). Tradition is at once historical and contemporary; therefore synchronic and diachronic approaches are both necessary. In his study of the creative process in ITM, Michael O'Suilleabhain's concern is similar to Cowdery's with regard to the folk conception of traditional creativity. In O'Suilleabhain's analysis, melodic contour, "set accented tones" (structurally important tones oh accented beats),12 motor rhythm related to the idiomatic features of the instrument, and "natural phrasing" (the conventions of phrase length internalized by the musicians) all form the structural basis around which musicians can introduce individual musical ideas. Variation in performance is achieved through the flexibility of "interchangeable segments" of melody and rhythmic variation. O'Suilleabhain considers "set accented tones" to be of more importance to Irish traditional musicians than the contour of the melody. These key structural pitches establish "reference points" around which variation can occur. In his observation, Irish musicians perceive tunes as being different from one another based on the inclusion or omission of these important tones. Two tunes can have strikingly similar contour, yet musicians will perceive them as distinctly different tunes. According to O'Suileabhain, this changed perception of the 1 2 See Figure 2.12 in Chapter 2 for examples of set accented tones. 20 tune is because "the set accented tones are disturbed through the alteration in the tone/semitone intervallic relationship which typifies each mode" (1990: 124). O'Suilleabhain, like Cowdery, is emphasizing the importance of understanding creativity from the perspective of the musicians within the tradition. While he acknowledges the insights that can be gained from a consideration of melodic contour, he claims that for musicians, contour is of secondary importance to set accented tones, and by consequence, mode, i f set accented tones are "disturbed through the alteration in the tone/semitone intervallic relationship".13 In this respect, O'Suilleabhain is moving even farther from the tune-family concept. Whereas Bayard and Bronson consider mode to be secondary in the classification of traditional tunes, according to O'Suilleabhain, the traditional player considers it to be a defining feature. I will challenge O'Suilleabhain's argument in Chapter Two, citing the variants of the reel Star of Munster in the mixolydian mode (the commonly practiced variant being in the dorian mode). In this example, the tune is still identified by the performer as Star of Munster despite being in a different mode. This supports the notion that performers may consciously use change in mode as a type of variation, well aware that they are playing "the same tune". As an alternative to the line of thinking developed by Barry, Bayard and Jackson, and further expanded by Shapiro and Cowdery, Linda Burman-Hall takes a reductive approach to traditional tune analysis, by applying Schenkerian theory to American traditional fiddle tunes. Stating that Schenker had developed a means of identifying 1 3 The term "mode" in this instance refers to the tone/semitone sequence of pitches included in a tune, and could refer to a pentatonic scale, or any of the so-called "church modes" (ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian and locrian). Often in ITM, musicians refer to the finalis and the mode when describing a tune. "A dorian" would mean the same tone/semitone sequence to be found when playing the white keys of a piano from d 1 to d 2, yet beginning on A. 21 background, middle and foreground layers of composition thirty years before a similar reductive theory was brought to linguistics by Noam Chomsky, Burman-Hall claims that reductive analysis serves to delineate regional styles from deeper common structural elements (1978: 81). According to Burman-Hall, the three "levels" of Schenkerian analysis — background, middle and foreground — are analogous to Jackson's tune-families, versions, and variants. Other scholars have not taken up this method of analysis in folk music. As the stated purpose of her technique is to reveal the creativity of traditional performers, rather than the classification of tunes, an analytical approach that draws heavily from Western art music could be seen as problematic. Since Schenker was primarily interested in uncovering underlying structures in prescriptively notated music, the application of his analytical technique to an oral tradition could be misleading. It could be argued that since traditional musicians do not think in terms of "layers" of music, but instead simply find flexible ways to conjoin and recombine melodic ideas that "sound right", a system of reductive analysis does little to illuminate the actual processes of oral transmission. However, Burman-Hall's approach is not intended as a means of describing the oral process, but rather as a way to find the urtext of a tune. Although a strictly Schenkerian analysis may be problematic, other reductive approaches may prove useful. As will be discussed in Chapter Three, the growth in chordal accompaniment in Irish music may now be affecting compositional approaches. With this change in how the music is conceived, a reductive approach based on identifying implied chord structure may be increasingly relevant to the study of new Irish / dance tunes. 22 Having reviewed the major literature, I will now explore structural elements through the analysis of a representative sample of traditional dance tunes. 23 Chapter Two Structure in the Common-Practice Repertoire The purpose of this chapter is to identify structural characteristics of Irish traditional melody, specifically in dance music, and to expand upon observations made by O'Suilleabhain (1990) on the nature of oral transmission in ITM. In the course of this discussion, the techniques used for the melodic and harmonic analysis shall be described and then applied in a comparative study of three tunes from the common-practice repertoire, Cabin Hunter, The Upper Room and The Tailor's Thimble. In addition, some observations shall be made regarding the consistency of motivic material throughout variations in oral transmission. The tunes analyzed in this chapter are well-established tunes in the common-practice repertoire. A Brief Overview of Tune-types The common-practice repertoire of Irish dance music consists of a large number of reels (in duple meter) and a smaller number of jigs (in compound duple meter). Jigs are divided into single and double jigs, slip jigs and slides. The main distinction between a single jig and a double jig (both in 6/8) is rhythmic: the single j ig is characterized by the rhythmic figure of a quarter note followed by an eighth QJ?,1)'), whereas the double j ig has eighth note triplets throughout (/JJjTJ). Within the general structure of the double jig, there is variation, however, which will be discussed below. Many jigs are believed to be native to Ireland, composed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Doherty 1999b: 201, Dean-Smith 2001a: 118). Slip jigs are in 9/8. Slides are 6/8 tunes from the counties 24 of Kerry and West Limerick, played at a fast tempo, usually with a strong accent on the first beat of each measure. Reels are overwhelmingly the most popular form of dance tune. Some musicians perform only reels (Gershen and Shields 2000: 382). The rhythmic form of the reel is considered by some to be indigenous to Scotland, while others have speculated it derives from a dance music form known as the haye, popular in France in the early sixteenth century (Doherty 1999: 308, Collinson 2001: 72). Performance of the reel is first found in written records in Scotland in the late sixteenth century.1 The reel was presumably introduced to Ireland in the late eighteenth century. Many of the older reels in Irish common practice repertoire come from the Scottish tradition. Common harmonic progressions that formed the basis of many Scottish reels can be found in the Irish repertoire. These progressions will be discussed later in this chapter. In addition to jigs and reels, there are other less frequently played rhythmic forms. Hornpipes are slow duple meter tunes, which usually contain dotted rhythms and are played for solo dancing. The form is believed to have come to Ireland from England in the late eighteenth century (Doherty 1999a: 190, Dean-Smith 2001b: 736) 2 The standard Irish dance tune is sixteen measures in length, consisting of two eight-measure sections that are usually, although not always, repeated. The folk terms for these two sections are the "tune" (or A section) and the "turn" (the B section). Thus, the most common form for dance tunes is A A B B . The turn is usually higher in range than the 1 Collinson (2001: 71) writes, "one of the earliest specific references to the reel as a dance is in the report of the trial of the witches at North Berwick in 1590 at which Geilles Duncan, a servant girl, was stated to have played the reel Commer Goeye Before on the Jew's harp for the witches dance." Polkas are another common tune-type, and are mostly associated with the county of Kerry and the distinctive style known as Sliabh Luachra, from the County Cork/County Kerry border region. The polka, a dance form that emerged in Bohemia in the early nineteenth century, came to Ireland later in the same century (Vallely 1999: 301). 2 5 tune. In this paper, in order to avoid confusion between the sectional term "tune", as used in folk parlance, and the same term used in reference to a specific melody (also called "tune" in folk terminology), I will refer to the sections by letter names, A , B , C and so on. Another reason for the use of letters is that there are a number of tunes in the common-practice repertoire that are structured in more than two sections. Dance tunes are most often performed in "sets", that is, two or more tunes played consecutively, without a break. A set commonly consists of one type of tune, such as a set of reels, a set of jigs, and so on. Phrases, Motifs and Motivic Fragments The two eight-measure sections of Irish.dance tunes are each divided into two four measure phrases. As can be seen with the following example, the jig Luighseach Nic Cionnaith (Breathnach 1963a: 11, Fig. 2.1), these four measure phrases often have identical opening motifs (motif a), but differ in their cadential patterns (motifs a 1 and b in the first phrase and motifs c and d in the second). Phrases can be further divided into two measure segments. Breathnach identifies these segments as "half-phrases" (1972: 58):3 v 3 Breathnach describes the phrase patterns of Irish tunes as follows: "in the vast majority of tunes each part is made up of two phrases. The common pattern is a single phrase repeated with some slight modification, with the phrases falling naturally into half-phrases of two bars each. A basic element present alike in song and dance music is exhibited in these half-phrases; the first making, as it were, an assertion to which the second phrase is a response. This principle of contrast is present to some extent even between the two phrases of a strain, although as suggested, the melodic differences, if any, may be only slight" (1972: 58). 26 Fig 2.1: Phrase and Motivic Structure of Luighseach Nic Cionnaith Luighseach Nic Cionnaith is a double jig, and can be identified as such by the eighth-note triplet rhythm. However, in section A , a caesura4 breaks the continuous eighth notes. This caesura consists of a quarter note followed by an eighth note, and is on the fourth dotted quarter-note beat of the tune (end of motif a), in the middle of the first four-measure phrase. At the end of this phrase (motif b), there is no caesura, but rather a continuous eighth note rhythm that leads into the second four-measure phrase. My observation of the repertoire of Irish double jigs revealed five common types of caesura patterns: type 1, with the caesura only at the end of the eight measure section; type 2, at the end of both the fourth and eighth measures; type 3, at the end of the second, sixth and eighth measures (as in Luighseach Nic Cionnaith); type 4, at the end of the second, fourth, sixth and eighth measures; and type 5, with no caesura. Type 5 often, appears in what Breathnach refers to as "circular tunes" (1972: 9), tunes that do not end 4 The term "caesura" is used here to connote a rhythmic point of rest in a phrase. It need not be at the end of a phrase, but can be an internal caesura at the end of a motif. The system of caesura identification used in this thesis will be an adaptation of the system used by Bela Bartok in his study of Balkan folk music (Bartok 1951: 28). Caesuras are identified by either the sign for an internal caesura, or for the final caesura of a section. Numbers represent the degree of the scale relative to the finalis. Roman numerals indicate that the caesura is below the finalis. For example, in a mixolydian tune with a finalis of gl, a caesura on a1 would be shown as[2], and a caesura on f1 would be shown asTjfJ. 27 on the finalis.5 A common feature of double jigs that contain caesuras in either measures two, four, six or eight of section A is the absence of internal caesuras in section B. This pattern pertains to Luighseach Nic Cionnaith. A majority of Irish dance tunes are organized with an||:a aifcb bllphrase structure. Greater variety occurs at the motivic level than at the phrase level; therefore, analysis of motifs is useful in description of the unique character of tunes. Drabkin (2001: 27) defines a motif as "the shortest subdivision of a theme or phrase that still maintains its identity as an idea". This definition is subjective, as a precise definition of "idea" is difficult. In this thesis, a figure is given the designation of "motif' i f it is at least one measure in length and contrasts in contour and intervallic structure to other figures in the melody. A figure of this length that repeats is also given the designation of "motif'. Many tunes have distinct one-measure motifs; others contain two-measure motifs, particularly i f there is a caesura in the second measure. Fragmentation,6 repetition and sequencing of motifs7 can be identified to describe the deeper structural elements of a tune. In Luighseach Nic Cionnaith there is a high degree of repetition among motifs. Motif b, first appearing in the middle of section A , forms the opening figure of section B , in which it appears four times. The motif c 1 appears three times in section B. In Luighseach Nic Cionnaith, it is evident there is a higher degree of repetition at the level of the motivic fragment than at the level of the full motif. The descending three-5 An examination of all the double jigs represented in the first two volumes of Brendan Breathnach's collection Ceol Rince Na H'Eirrean reveals that thirty-two are type 1, twenty-four are type 2, twenty are type 3, seventeen are type 4, and nine are type 5. 6 "Fragmentation" is defined here as the division of motifs into segments (Caplin 1998: 11). 7 Drabkin (2001: 107) defines a sequence as "a melodic or polyphonic idea consisting of a short figure or motif stated successively at different pitch levels, so that it moves up or down a scale by equidistant intervals". 28 note fragment g 2-e 2-d 2 in motif b is repeated in motif cl, and appears seven times in section B. When melodic material from the A section is repeated and fragmented in the B section, it gives the tune a high degree of unity between sections. Sequencing and inversion of motivic fragments is also a feature in some dance tunes. In My Darling Asleep (O'Neill 1903: 42, Fig. 2.2), the opening motivic fragment of motif a, a descending major third from f#2 to a repeated d 2 , is followed by two other descending major third fragments, first c#2 to a1, then b 1 to g 1 . This descending third is inverted in motif b, which contains an ascending minor third, f#' to a 1, a fragment that is repeated in motifs b2 and b3- Like Luighseach Nic Cionnaith, My Darling Asleep contains a type 3 caesura pattern in section A (caesuras in measures two, four and eight), with no internal caesuras in section B . F ig . 2.2: Mot iv ic Structure of M y Dar l ing As leep 8 Further treatment of motivic organization in ITM wil l appear later in this chapter, j in a comparative analysis of Cabin Hunter, The Tailor's Thimble and The Upper Room. 8 A further feature of My Darling Asleep is the repetition of the opening four-measure phrase at the end of section B. This "rhyming" aaba phrase structure, along with the aabb structure seen in Luighseach Nic Cionnaith, is common. Cooke (1986: 104) points out that the aaba phrase structure is the most common structure of Shetland Reels. 29 Implied Harmony Irish music was performed without harmonic accompaniment until the early twentieth century. The use of harmonic accompaniment, and a general harmonic conception, is still controversial among musicians. 9 Breathnach expressed a common 1 viewpoint among Irish musicians that I T M is "essentially melodic" (1963: 98). Yet with the growth in accompaniment in recent decades, many traditional musicians have developed a harmonic awareness. I have found this to be true with the Irish music scene in Vancouver, and at some of the sessions I visited in Ireland. Some melody players w i l l make suggestions for chord choices to accompanists before commencing with a set o f tunes. The following harmonic interpretations are those of the author, based on over ten years of playing the guitar in I T M . In contemporary accompaniment, because of the repetition of tunes in sets, alternate chords are applied on the second and third times through the tune. The following chord suggestions are commonly heard in sessions as basic harmonic accompaniment the first time through tunes. Despite controversy regarding the harmonic conception o f tunes, it is evident that certain implied harmonic progressions are prominent in the repertoire. There is an historical argument to be made for the harmonic conception o f I T M , reels in particular, many of which contain certain progressions that seem to derive from other harmonically accompanied musics in Europe. 9 Since many of the melodies are in modes other than aeolian and ionian (the two prominent modes of tonal harmony), tonic-dominant chord progressions are not always appropriate. Accompanists used to playing other styles of tonal music are not always aware of the mode of the melody. This is especially evident in some of the early recordings of ITM in the United States. There are several examples of piano players choosing chords unrelated to the melodic line, and sometimes in an entirely different key. For example, see track five, disc one of Michael Coleman, Michael Coleman 1891-1945, (Gael Linn, 1992). On this reel the piano player plays the entire A section of the tune in the key of D Major while Coleman plays in G Major. 30 Johnson (1984: 19), in his study of Scottish fiddle music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, noted that several tunes in the repertoire of that time were based on two chord progressions that were used in figured bass in Italian dance music, the passamezzo moderno and passamezzo antico. Some reels in the Irish common-practice repertoire contain the passamezzo moderno harmonic progression (I-IV-I-V-I-V-I). These tunes show a strong possibility of having origins in Scotland. A popular example is Miss Thorntons Reel (O'Neill 1903: 108, Fig. 2.3): Figure 2.3: Implied Harmony in Miss Thornton's Reel A particularly common progression in ITM, also identified by Johnson (1984: 18) is the alternation between the supertonic and the tonic chord, or between the tonic and the subtonic chord. This progression can be observed in the B section of The Scholar (O'Neill 1903: 91, Fig. 2.4): Fig. 2.4: Implied Harmony in The Scholar 31 This implied harmonic progression is also very common in the Scottish pipe repertoire, in which whole tunes are based upon only these two chords. This is due to the nine-note scale (g1 to a2) produced by the Scottish bagpipe chanter, which contains a flat seventh degree in A major (mixolydian). The notes for the I chord (a, c#, e) and the VII chord (g, b, d) are all found on the chanter. Tunes that alternate between I and i i , I and VII or i and VII are sometimes called "double tonic tunes". The term "double tonic" can be misleading, as it implies that both chords in the progression somehow function as the tonic. In fact, the II or VII chords create a harmonic tension that is released with a return to the I chord. Reinforcing the tonicization of the A in Scottish bagpipe music are the drones, which are tuned to A . The double tonic progression was also popular in the English dance music repertoire of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, although less popular than in Scotland (Johnson 1984: 16). Progressions that contain a strong tonic-dominant harmonization such as can be found in the passamezzo moderno and progressions based on two chords are complemented in the common-practice repertoire by a third type of chord progression which does not have a strong dominant harmonization. These tunes often contain internal cadences on the submediant chord. A n example of such a tune is You 're Right My Love (Breathnach 1963: 51): Fig. 2.5: Implied Harmony in You 're Right My Love \ 1 " „ V I I vi I vi I vi n i i i vi I vi I Vi ' I " v I 32 You 're Right My Love alternates between the tonic and submediant chords in the key of C major (an unusual key for Irish instrumental music). A clearly outlined dominant triad (G major) is avoided through the lack of appearance of the pitch b in the melodic line (the V chord in measures four and eight is commonly played, although not clearly outlined in the melody). There is only one b pitch in the entire melody, in measure four of section B, where b 2 appears as part of the mediant chord. While the chordal structure of some tunes is made obvious through simple arpeggiation, most tunes have many non-chord tones.10 By isolating these non-chord tones, the basic harmonic structure of the tune becomes evident. In Dr. Gilbert (Breathnach 1963: 71, Fig. 2.6), a double tonic tune, the non-chord tones are circled: Fig. 2.6: Non-chord Tones in Dr. Gilbert 1 0 The topic of non-chord tones in ITM is complex and is worthy of further study. Non-chord tone terminology in Western art music theory (such as passing tones, neighboring tones, escape tones and appoggiaturas) is not entirely relevant to the study of traditional instrumental music. In practice, due to the fast tempo at which jigs and reels are played, chords are rarely changed more than twice in a measure. Often, chords only change every few measures. Thus, many notes in the melody are not consonant with the accompanying chords, and some non-chord tones are not easily explained by existing music theory terminology. The author intends to research this issue at a future date. 33 Note Occurrence as an Index to Melodic Distinctiveness Irish melodies, which are not always heptatonic but can be hexatonic or pentatonic, gain part of their distinction from emphasis of particular pitches and de-emphasis or exclusion of other pitches. Much of the time the importance of a pitch in a melodic line can be explained through occurrence of appearance, weak or strong position in the measure, length, place within the range of melody, and whether or not it is approached by a large leap in the melody. Frequency of appearance can be represented by a weighted scale. This schemata gives artificial rhythmic values to important pitches in the tune, according to their number of appearances in the melody. It also shows where there are gaps in the scale. The following example applies the weighted scale concept to The Star of Munster (O'Neill 1903: 99, Fig. 2.7) as the tune appears in O'Neill 's Music of Ireland: Fig. 2.7: Star of Munster with Weighted Scale ft tf* 1 < c 34 Frequency of appearance is only one way of determining the importance of pitches within a melody. In his brief analysis of ITM, O'Canainn (1978) proposes a more comprehensive method for evaluating pitch importance. This system employs an application of points for certain characteristics of the placement of pitches within a melody. These are as follows: 1) a note-frequency count giving a point for each appearance of the note; 2) the addition of a former point (a) to a note which occurs on a strong beat, (b) to the highest note on its first appearance of the note, (c) to the lowest note on its first appearance, (d) to a note proceeded to by a leap greater than a fifth, (e) to the first stressed note, (f) to a long note (eg. a dotted quarter note in a jig) (O'Canainn 1978: 28). This system allows for the consideration of the function of pitch within the melodic line. O'Canainn's observations are useful, as they point out characteristics of melodic lines that are unusual, such as large leaps. Pitch occurrence alone cannot explain the importance of a pitch. For example, a pitch may appear a number of times within a melody, but primarily as. a passing tone between other pitches, which is less important to the character of the melody than notes occurring on strong beats. Applying this point system to The Scholar (Fig. 2.4, in D Ionian), f# is the pitch with the highest number of points (35), followed by g (32) and d and a (21 each). The fft appears six times in a stressed position in the measure, while g appears only three times in stressed position; however g appears twice after an octave leap in the melody. At the lowest degree of importance are the b (7) and c (9), which both appear infrequently in the melody. It is notable that neither the finalis d nor the fifth degree of the scale a receives the most points, but rather the third and fourth degrees of the scale are the most important pitches. Applying the same process to Star of Munster (in A Dorian) yields different results. In this case, the finalis a receives the most points (37), followed by the seventh degree of the 35 scale g; d receives the least points (10), usually occurring as a passing tone. The importance of g and a reflect the implied double tonic harmony, which alternates between A minor (i) and G major (VII) throughout the tune. It is important to note that while the last pitch in Star of Munster, a circular tune, is written as d, usually the performers would play a as the final note. O'Canainn's system can be applied to the useful weighted scale format to further enhance understanding of pitch importance and it's relationship to melodic distinction. Comparative Structures Three tunes, Cabin Hunter (Breathnach 1963a: 74, Fig. 2.8), The Tailors Thimble (Breathnach 1963a: 51, Fig. 2.9) and The Upper Room (Breathnach 1963a: 53, Fig. 2.10), will now be analyzed and compared for structure, using the analytical techniques described above. While The Tailors Thimble and The Upper Room show no close resemblance to one another, both tunes are very closely related to Cabin Hunter. 3 6 Fig. 2.8: Cabin Hunter (Al a Fig. 2.9: The Tailor's Thimble Fig. 2.10: The Upper Room 0a b V I V A) Motivic Structure As shown above in Figs.2.1 and 2.2, a high level of motivic repetition between sections exists in dance tunes in ITM. However, another less common structural type involves almost no repetition of A section motifs in the B section, such as can be seen in 37 The Cabin Hunter. Breathnach (1963a: 97) thought that this tune was a composite of two other tunes: The Tailor's Thimble (A section) and The Upper Room (B section). Composite or "conjoined" tunes combine section A of one tune with section B of another tune. ' Analysis of repetition in Cabin Hunter supports the notion that it is a "conjoined" tune. Comparing the A section of The Tailor's Thimble with the A section of Cabin Hunter, it is apparent that motifs a and a l of both tunes are very closely related in contour, despite being in different keys and modes (Cabin Hunter is in dorian mode, with an e finalis, while The Tailor's Thimble is in mixolydian mode, with an a finalis). The two tunes differ in their cadential motifs b, however.11 The same observation can be made when comparing the B sections of The Upper Room and Cabin Hunter. Motifs c l and dl of The Upper Room are very similar in contour to motifs c and d of Cabin Hunter, while the cadential motifs e in both tunes differ greatly in contour. While there is little motivic repetition between the A and B sections of Cabin Hunter, the D major arpeggio, stated arid repeated once in the cadential motif b (A section), returns again as a fragment of cadential motif e (B section). This fragment is the only repetition from A to be found in B. This low occurrence of motivic repetition between sections is evidence that Cabin Hunter is a "conjoined" tune. Repetition within the section occurs in the A sections of both Cabin Hunter and Tailor's Thimble. In the A section of Cabin Hunter, the opening motifs a and aS are identified by a motivic fragment, the interval of a descending minor third (g1 to e1, with an f#' passing tone in motif a). This fragment is repeated six times in section A . Motifs a 1 1 Differing cadential patterns between otherwise similar tunes indicate that cadential motifs are more fluid in oral transmission than other motivic material. 38 and ax of The Tailor's Thimble contain a descending major third (c#2 to a1) with the same frequency of repetition. The Upper Room contains a high frequency of motivic repetition. One motif is varied and repeated through the octave transposition of a motivic fragment (c and c1)- Another aspect is the asymmetrical repetition of fragments. For example, the fragment that begins motif.d3 is repeated one measure later as the end of motif g. Also, the ascending five-note scale from d 2 to a 2 in motif /repeats at the end of motif d}. Cabin Hunter and The Tailor's Thimble contain a type 3 caesura structure, in their A sections, while The Upper Room contains a type 1 pattern in it's A section. B) Implied Harmony While sections B of Cabin Hunter and The Upper Room show a similarity in contour, slight differences in intervallic structure create a different implied harmonic progression. Cabin Hunter is based on a double tonic progression, alternating between the minor tonic and the subtonic chords. The first two motifs of section B (c and d) are based around the tonic (e minor) triad, while section B of The Upper Room begins with an alternation of a tonic triad (g major) and dominant triad (d major). The strong sense of tonic/dominant harmonization is reinforced by the use of the secondary dominant in motifs dl, d3 and g. A l l three tunes are circular tunes; therefore the musicians would finish on the note indicated at the beginning of each transcription, the finalis. The identification of the finalis in double-tonic tunes can sometimes be ambiguous, and affects whether a progression is interpreted as II-I or I-bVII. This problem is encountered in the comparative harmonic analysis of Cabin Hunter and The Tailor's Thimble. While the 39 opening motifs a of both tunes are very similar, it is possible to interpret The Tailors Thimble as having a different tonal center in section A than in section B. Section B has a strong sense of g major, as the g major triad is outlined in motifs c and d (although in practice musicians would return to a1 as the finalis). The Cabin Hunter, on the other hand, maintains a strong orientation on e minor throughout Section B, thus giving the opening e minor harmony an implied tonic function. C) Melodic Distinctiveness The following weighted scales represent the three examples for comparison. These take into account not only note-frequency, but also O'Canainn's system for identifying relative pitch importance: Fig. 2.11: Weighted Scale Examples a) Cabin Hunter (Section A) b) Cabin Hunter (Section B) c) The Upper Room 1 4 f j J . f f t ° d) The Tailor's Thimble (section A) e) The Tailor's Thimble (section B) 1—j r ~ f — > — d ' ^ 0 41 Sections A and B of both Cabin Hunter (Figs. 2.11a and 2.1 lb) and The Tailor's Thimble (Figs. 2.1 Id and 2.1 le) are given separate weighted scales, as both tunes vary significantly in pitch behavior and pitch occurrence between sections. The Tailor's Thimble and Cabin Hunter contain some pitches that are very infrequent and inconsequential: f# appears only three times in The Tailor's Thimble, always as a passing tone in cadential motif b. C# does not appear at all in section B, resulting in a hexatonic melody (with an absence of the fourth degree). In Cabin Hunter, c# appears only twice, both times in section B, and there is also no appearance of the pitch b in section A. Thus, section A is a pentatonic melody (with the absence of degrees five and six). The pitch b appears seven times in section B however, five times on a strong beat, giving the melody a different character from section A. This difference between sections is further evidence of a conjoined tune. In the weighted scale interpretation of Cabin Hunter, pitches e (the finalis) and d (the flat seventh degree), receive the most weight. In contrast, when the weighted scale format is applied to The Tailors Thimble, pitch b, the second degree of the scale, receives the most weight in section B . This is due not only to the frequency of appearance of b, but to its emphatic importance, as it frequently occurs on a strong beat, as part of the g major triad. The hierarchy in the weighted scale of The Upper Room reflects the I-V-I-V implied harmonization and the frequent strong beat emphasis of the roots of the tonic and dominant triads: the two most important notes in the weighted scale are the dominant (d) and the tonic (g). 42 Variation in Performance Part of the art of ITM performance involves techniques of variation through ornamentation and melodic improvisation. O'Suilleabhain (1990) has observed that such variation occurs around stable pitches on strong beats, which serve as essential structural elements of the tune. O'Suilleabhain calls these "set accented tones" (O'Suilleabhain 1990: 123). While these tones remain consistent between variations, a great deal of intervallic and rhythmic variation is possible on the other tones. In his study, O'Suilleabhain compares versions of different musicians playing the j ig The Old Grey Goose, in which he circles the common accented tones (O'Suilleabhain 1990: 124): Fig. 2.12: Versions of The Old Grey Goose lfTlj i 01 I' I Ifrhr 11 il i i l r > J ^ I ^ | f J ^ j ^ - , . 43 As can be seen from these versions of The Old Grey Goose, accented tones are quite consistent between examples a through c, but the opening figure is significantly transformed in examples d through/ O'Suilleabhain makes the point that a significant alteration in the set accented tones, such as occur in the first measure in examples d through/, ultimately leads to a different title for the tune as the tune becomes altered through variation. O'Suilleabhain's technique can be applied to other common repertoire tunes. My own transcriptions of Star ofMunster in Glossary B, with excerpts in Fig. 2.13, exhibit some of the possible variations on this tune. Star of Munster is a very well known session tune, and an example of a tune that has stayed in the common-practice repertoire since the early twentieth century, when the Chicago police captain Francis O'Neill transcribed it. As such, the familiarity musicians have with the tune allows for a high level of variation. The three fiddlers represented in these transcriptions are all from different eras in the twentieth century, and from different regions. The earliest transcription is that of the New Yorker, Hugh Gillespie (1906-1986), originally from Ballybofey, Donegal (Fig. 2.13a). Gillespie was a protege of Michael Coleman, the highly celebrated and prolifically recorded Sligo fiddler, whom Gillespie met in 1928 (Varlet and Spottswood: 1996). The next transcription is that of Kathleen Collins, from County Galway (Fig. 2.13b). Collins was a champion competition fiddler in the 1960's, and now teaches Irish dancing in New York. The Frankie Gavin (b. 1956) version transcribed here (Fig. 2.13c) is from a recording made with bouzouki player Alec Finn, when Mr. Gavin was twenty years old. This recording was very influential on young musicians in the 1970s in Ireland, 44 and is today regarded by many as a classic recording of ITM. These examples are shown together with the popular notation of the tune by Francis O'Neill (Fig. 2.13d). As can be seen with the following excerpts, in which the "set accented tones" are circled, the settings of Star of Munster consistently include the same structural pitches. However, Gillespie's setting is in an entirely different mixed modality of mixolydian and ionian, despite the similarity in melodic contour with the Gavin and Collins settings:13 Fig. 2.13: Variants on Star of Munster (transcriptions by the author) a) Hugh Gillespie b) Kathleen Collins *v fey : /jjN tf / ' f V - T i — r ±V—U N \\\ c) Frankie Gavin 1 (:/; r (jf; /ifl / i <1h tfl -4> i A.J > ^t-t ' -d) From The Dance Music oj JJ ' W /ft^z: 7re/<wu/ (O'Neill 1903: (j 7 ' M i 1 99) SA M 1 / _ \ 1 1 i * / B l | ^ W ^ j T~J v i ' ~ n *. r if ACT vPr-'—^ y r l. r i > •* M LT i 1 2 O'Neill (1910: 21)) writes that he learned The Star of Munster from the playing of the Mayo piper Jimmy O'Brien (then living in Chicago). 1 3 Another tune that appears in different modes is The Broken Pledge. This reel appears in Mixolydian mode in O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903), yet it is commonly performed today (as it appears in Tweed 1994: 25) in Dorian mode. 45 Ernrnett Gi l l comments on the Hugh Gillespie recording and on the tendency for playing in recent decades to move towards uniformity, particularly with respect to mode: This is something we see increasingly in Irish music over the century: there seems to be demands for more definite stating of the mode. The elusive qualities are disappearing, sadly, I think. I would put this down to the prevalence of accompaniment, the rise of the accordion and the increase in group playing (Gill 2005, personal correspondence). In Gill 's opinion, the rise of accompaniment (which utilizes harmonic progressions, therefore inhibiting the spontaneous alteration of mode among melody players) and group playing (which standardizes versions of tunes) have been contributing factors to decreasing stylistic diversity over the course of the twentieth century. According to Gi l l , modal fluidity in the interpretation of a tune is one of the "elusive qualities" that identifies individual style. This observation is in contradiction to that made by O'Suilleabhain, who notes that musicians perceive modal change in oral tradition as a change in the fundamental identity of the tune itself (O'Suilleabhain 1990: 124). In studying tune variants, the distinction should be made between variations performed by a single performer over the course of several repetitions, and variations played by different performers in a tradition. Musicians perform variations based on their own their preferred setting of the tune (Gill 2005, personal correspondence). The form of ITM performance is not analogous to the theme and variations form of Western art music, however. The initial performance of the tune in a set (usually containing two or more repetitions) is one possible variation among many, unlike the theme and variation form, in which the initial theme is considered a pure statement of the melody. What is important to the Irish musician is to keep a conception of a preferred setting as tfie base 46 around which he or she improvises, and to which reference is regularly made throughout the course of two or more repetitions of the tune. As can be seen when comparing the examples in Fig. 2.14, O'Suilleabhain's observations regarding "set accented tones" hold true. The performer varies r "interchangeable segments" of melody around these structural pitches. O'Suilleabhain's examples, however, do not show progressive variations by single performers. While one setting by a player may keep the set accented tones intact, it can be seen that second variations by the same performers (Kathleen Collins and Frankie Gavin) alter the "set accented tones" to a greater degree (Fig. 2.14). Fig. 2.14: Further Variations on Star of Munster •i a) Kathleen Collins b) Frankie Gavin While O'Suilleabhain's observations point out consistency of individual pitches between variations, it is also important to note that certain pitch combinations can show consistency as well. Often, in a group of four pitches, just one pitch will differ between variations, as in this motif from Star ofMunster (Fig. 2.15, differing pitch is circled): 47 Fig. 2.15: Consistent Pitch Combinations in Variations on Star ofMunster a) Hugh Gillespie b) Kathleen Collins 0 O f f If ft c) Frankie Gavin These small melodic ideas can be considered as identifiable signatures of the tune. They need not be unique to the particular tune, but in combination with other elements such as individual "set accented tones", as identified by O'Suilleabhain (1990), overall melodic contour, as identified by Bayard (1950), Shapiro (1975) and Cowdery (1990), and harmonic and melodic distinctiveness, they form the unique character of the traditional melody. It is problematic to focus on any one of these features in assessing the structure of tunes. Instead, tune distinctiveness is identified by a complex combination of these elements; thus a multileveled approach to analysis can be revealing. 48 Chapter Three Hooks and Building Blocks: New Tunes in Irish Traditional Music Problems in Defining "Common-Practice Repertoire" The final chapter of this thesis is devoted to the analysis of recently-composed tunes that have made their way into the ITM common-practice repertoire. Before continuing with this analysis, it is necessary to discuss the challenges of determining a definition of "common-practice repertoire", particularly with relevance to the assimilation of new tunes. After talking with traditional musicians in both Ireland and North America, it has become clear to me that the question of whether or not a tune can be classified as "common-practice repertoire" is a controversial issue. According to several of the musicians with whom I spoke, tunes have a tendency to rise and fall in popularity. Some tunes have a temporary appeal, and are played extensively for a brief period before being dropped from the repertoire. As the piper Emmett Gi l l told me, "These new tunes haven't been through the mill. They need to stand the test of time" (Gill 2005). It should be acknowledged that every session is, as one musician told me, "a different animal," whether it is a consistent community of musicians or an ad hoc event, and repertoire varies from gathering to gathering (Gothard 2002). While one group of musicians may consider a tune to be boring and passe, at many other gatherings it may be a first choice. 49 Since I am focusing in this chapter on tunes that have entered the repertoire only in the last twenty years, it must be acknowledged that only time can tell whether the tradition will truly absorb these tunes. Older tunes have obtained such acceptance, particularly some composed by important figures of the 1930s through the 1950s. These composers include the fiddlers James Morrison (The Skylark), Ed Reavy (Reel of Rio and The Hunters House), Paddy Killoran (The Maid I ne 'er Forgot and Maids of Mt. Cisco) and Paddy Fahey (a number of tunes usually referred to as Paddy Fahey's). Every new tune is subject to some challenge from various segments of the broader Irish music community. Based upon my research, I believe that the tunes specifically chosen for this project have the likely potential of becoming part of the common repertoire. M y justification for the inclusion of these tunes is the breadth of their appeal. Three methods of gathering information have been used to determine the success of the sample tunes: an online survey disseminated through the IRTrad listserv.and www,session.org,1 personal communications with other musicians, and field observations in Ireland, Vancouver and Seattle. I have come to the conclusion that the tunes analyzed in this study are considered to be common session tunes in many parts of the United Kingdom, Ireland and North America. As I am also commenting on the influence of commodification of Irish music, I have also chosen tunes that appear on a number of commercially available recordings as well. It is important to mention that there is disagreement in the ITM community over the value of the session as a milieu for the performance of Irish music. Therefore, my use of the session as a barometer of tune popularity is not an idea with which the musicians to whom I spoke all agreed. Some musicians speak of the "tyranny of the session" (Gill 1 Responses to the survey came from Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Idaho, Ottawa, Manchester, London, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Cork, Dublin, Co. Clare and Galway. ! • 50 2005), an environment in which the majority subsumes individual and local style. Sessions can be very large, and factors such as the number of rhythm instrument players (bodhran frame drum and guitar in particular) and choice of tunes are points of controversy. There is a movement among some musicians to play only in smaller groups, or even individually, harkening back to an earlier period in traditional music, before the early twentieth century, when musicians began to form groups (Gill 2005 and Vic 2005). Among these musicians, repertoire can be more select and idiosyncratic. Nonetheless, it is a fact of Irish music today that the session is pervasive, and considerable exchange of knowledge is taking place within that environment (Hamilton 1999: 345). Each of the tunes analyzed for this project balances tradition and innovation in different ways, to different degrees and at different levels within their melodic and rhythmic structures. In analyzing the structures of these tunes, I borrow terms from Cowdery's analysis of traditional composition, the three principles of "outlining", "recombining" and "conjoining" (described in Chapter One), but also apply the analytical techniques introduced in Chapter Two. Cowdery's principles are applied in order to identify melodic characteristics present in tunes already popular in the tradition. Cowdery (1990) demonstrated that the breaking down of traditional tunes into a series of different building blocks is useful in the analysis of this music, since, as I have supported in Chapter Two, musicians have at their disposal numerous formulaic elements that they can reorder in an impressive array of combinations. O'Suilleabhain (1990) reinforced this notion, and also discussed aspects of variation and the influence of live performance on the formation of new tunes. However, scholars such as Cowdery and O'Suilleabhain have not directed much of their attention to such aspects as the repetition and frequency of 51 motifs, and the importance of the placement of these motifs to the distinctive character of a tune. This is a major focus of my analysis. In order to make observations about innovative characteristics, I shall borrow the concept of the "hook" from popular music terminology. The Hook in I T M As the object of tune-family study has been either the identification of archetypal tunes (Bronson 1950), the creation of tune "family trees" for archival use (Shapiro 1975), or the understanding of how formulaic material is used in traditional composition (Bayard 1950, Cowdery 1990, O'Suillebhain 1990), previous research has not focused on the distinctive characteristics of particular tunes. In a sense, with many tunes being composed and few making it into the common practice repertoire, tunes must compete to gain acceptance in the community. In order for new compositions to stand out from the large body of tunes written in the form and structure of ITM, they must contain a unique element that is instantly recognizable and memorable. Popular music studies offer some definitions of the concept of "hook". Gary Burns writes: The word hook connotes being caught or trapped, as when a fish is hooked, and also addiction, as when one is hooked on a drug (Burns 1987,1). The Songwriter's Market, a music industry journal, defines a "hook" as "a memorable catch phrase or melody line which is repeated in a song" (Kuroff 1982: 397). Monaco and Riordan offer a definition that excludes the necessity for repetition: "a musical or lyrical phrase that stands out and is easily remembered" (Monaco and Riordan 1980: 178). 52 Gary Burns, in attempting to create a typology for pop music "hooks", breaks songs into elements that can be analyzed. While many of the elements he identifies are not applicable to Irish instrumental dance music, such as those that relate to riffs or electronically generated sounds created in the studio, the idea of a melodic "hook", in particular, is relevant to ITM. The definition of "hook" used by Burns is similar to that offered by Monaco and Riordan: an element of the tune that is easily remembered. "Hooks" are often achieved in modern Irish music by the reversal or change of the expectation of standard patterns of rhythmic phrasing, modality, harmonic implications and/or melodic contour. The existence of these unexpected melodic characteristics, alongside more traditional elements, expresses the tradition/innovation dialectic at work in the culture. Several tunes that are successful in the tradition balance this duality. Tunes such as The Roaring Barmaid (Fig. 3.9) and Dusty Windowsills (Fig. 3.12) have particularly distinctive characteristics as well as standard elements. Beyond the most basic definitions of the "hook" concept, the process of identifying "hooks" in music is not easily achieved by analysis. There is an aesthetic, subjective aspect to the identification of phrases that, to use Monaco and Riordan's definition, "stand out and are easily remembered". While some type of "hook" is necessary to popularize a tune within the community of musicians, the distinction between traditional and innovative elements can be quite subtle, and radically unusual innovation need not always define what can be thought of as a "hook." After all, as was argued in Chapter Two, older tunes also have elements that are melodically distinct. For example, the motif from Star of Munster shown in Fig. 2.15 can be thought of as a 2 Burns' typology divides hooks into textual and non-textual elements. Textual elements include the musical elements of rhythm, melody and harmony, and the "non-musical" element of lyrics. Non-textual elements include the performance elements of instrumentation, tempo, dynamics and improvisation, and the production elements of sound effects, editing, mix, channel balance and signal distortion. 1 53 "hook" in that it is essential to the character of the tune. Deciding on whether to classify an element as a "hook" is to some extent a subjective, aesthetic choice. For this reason, I have asked musicians to identify the parts of tunes that make them distinct, in order to get a sense of the aesthetic choices made by the community. Some traditional musicians use the term "hook", conscious of the fact that it is borrowed from popular music terminology. For example, Colin (Hammy) Hamilton, a flute player and builder, and composer of the popular tunes Kerfunten and The Woodcock, writes:. You know that every Irish tune can be pointed out as being like some other one, but apart from that I normally base tunes around what pop composers would call a "hook"...i.e. a sequence of notes, (or intervals actually, I tend to think in intervals) which catches my fancy. I've several times tried to , make a tune out of a song, or a nontrad piece of melody...but so far without success. But what attracts me to those things in the first place is the potential "hook" (Hamilton 2005).3 The Vancouver fiddler Dave Marshall also uses the term "hook" (Marshall 2005). The term, however, is not widespread in the traditional music scene, but the use of it by these musicians indicates that, with regard to contemporary ITM, the "hook" is not a completely etic concept. In the age of the commodification of traditional culture, "hook" is a useful term.4 This is because modern compositions can be simultaneously subject to both the folk process and popular music style commodification. While new tunes may not always start out as commodities, they eventually become so when recorded by well-known performers, with the royalties going to the composer (if they are registered with a performing rights organization) (McCann 2001). Such is the case with the reel The 3 Hamilton holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from Queens University Belfast, where he studied under John Blacking. 4 The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines "Commodity" as "An article that can be bought or sold, especially a product as opposed to a service". Tunes become products when the composer receives royalties for their inclusion on a commercial recording. 54 Roaring Barmaid (Fig. 3.9), a very popular newly composed session tune recorded byseveral well-known performers. The English banjo player Tony Sullivan, who composed The Roaring Barmaid, says: The Roaring Barmaid was composed so long ago that I have forgotten the occasion of its composition. This tune was going around long before Lunasa played it. The Comhaltas children played it around 20 years before. But of course, after Michael McGoldrick and Lunasa recorded it, it became much more widely known (Sullivan 2005).5 As can be seen with The Roaring Barmaid, recent compositions can live a dual life as both commercially marketed and received cultural objects. Before The Roaring Barmaid existed on commercial recordings, it was already in free exchange in oral tradition. The success of recordings only increased its popularity. The use of "hooks" exemplifies the dual nature of newly composed tunes in the Irish dance music traditionas both popular and folk music, subject to both folk and commercial processes. Change in Function and its Effect on Tune Structure The designation of this genre as "Irish dance music", while in common use among musicians today, is technically a misnomer in terms of its most common contemporary function. Step dance and set dance, the social dancing practices that this music once accompanied at crossroads gatherings in rural Ireland, continues to exist (Corcoran 1999: 380-384). However, the profusion of traditional sessions in pubs and touring professional bands have in recent decades changed the function of the music. The move in ITM away from its use as dance music and toward concert-oriented listening music has allowed for greater innovation in tune composition than in the past. 5 Michael McGoldrick is a very well known virtuoso flute player and uillean piper from Manchester. He is known for being involved in fusion projects as well as being well respected for his traditional playing. He was a founder of Lunasa, the fusion band Flook and recorded the CD Fused, which consists largely of traditional tunes accompanied by funk and dance grooves, in 2002. 55 The regularity of rhythmic accent necessary for predictable dance steps is unnecessary in listening music. With this change of function, the only remaining reasons for sustaining traditional forms are aesthetic taste and adherence to tradition. As the following examples will demonstrate, composers "play" with the listeners' expectations of traditional structures. The Tunes The new tunes I have chosen to analyze are the reels The Torn Jacket by Connie O'Connell and Beare Island by Finbar O'Dwyer; and the jigs Sport by Peader O'Riada, The Roaring Barmaid by Tony ("Sully") Sullivan and Dusty Windowsills by Johnny Harling. i 56 Fig. 3.1: The Torn Jacket6 Form; Two-part Reel Mode: Ionian Caesura Pattern Type: 4 (see Chapter Two) Finalis: D 0 a y U d i ) ' \- \ * -b u /TTI J f f 1 a , J + M> 2\ }.' 1 t— D: I ;h4—|—\> , y— — u i V V n , f, I a' 7 , V I ' ' & . £1 /f "n—F—;—-• V jctf- t ^ = = . ' • - H e r : — " r - i - U V e L U - 1 U I b 2 >>\ ?\ \ " f .. r • *• a7~ + * \ \ > v-4-U—Wf, v f y • 1 = -' M l i t : IV -MA i "i n J-II V I 6 Unless otherwise indicated, the versions of new tunes analyzed in this chapter are taken from Vancouver fiddler Dave Marshall's website www.fiddletech.com (accessed March-June 2005)). Marshall, who reads music and skillfully transcribed these versions, says that these are commonly played settings of these tunes. 57 The West County Cork fiddler Connie O'Connell composed The Torn Jacket (Fig. 3.1) in the 1980s. This tune contains two distinctive melodic characteristics that can be classified as "hooks". The first is achieved through simple repetition. The phrase structure of section A is based on a repeating pattern, in which motif a is stated and repeated twice, every eight quarter-note beats. This symmetrical repeating pattern is similar to that found in Cabin Hunter (Fig. 2.8). Motif a consists of an ascending d major arpeggio beginning on f#' and ending on d 2, followed by a whole step to e2 and a descent in conjunct motion to c#2. This motif also repeats rhythmically: the rhythmic figure of a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth, then a quarter note followed by two eighths (this is often embellished in variation, as is shown in measure five of the example). This melodic and rhythmic motif begins the tune and repeats, always starting on beat one, in measures three and five. In measure seven, this rhythmic idea is repeated on different pitches. This regular repetition can be thought of as a "hook" in the sense that such repetition of a motif reinforces its importance. As the research in Chapter Two indicates, the repetition of motifs is an important element in the structure of Irish dance music, and one of the features that distinguishes tunes from one another, depending on how the repetition occurs. With The Torn Jacket, the very regularity of the repetition stands out, as it does in traditional tunes such as Cabin Hunter. The second "hook" is achieved through an unusual use of melodic range within a phrase. When I asked one traditional musician to identify a distinctive feature of The Torn Jacket, he replied, "the second part starts with a phrase that traverses a wide swath of notes - you don't see that much in older tunes" (Marshall 2005). The B section begins with an ascending motivic shape, which is a common way to begin either section of a dance tune. Again, the first measure, motif a 2, outlines a d major arpeggio starting on fP 58 In this instance, it is an ascending eighth-note arpeggio up to the range of a tenth, ending on a quarter note a 2. This ascending four-note shape is employed in a number of tunes, and has the effect of giving impetus to the melody. In The Torn Jacket, the range of a tenth gives the arpeggio an extra sense of momentum towards the higher octave. Normally, this shape as an opening figure in Irish dance music is contained in a smaller range. Below is the figure from section B of The Torn Jacket, followed by examples from either sections A or B of some older traditional tunes: Fig. 3.2: Ascending Arpeggiated Opening Motifs a) The Torn Jacket b) Don't Bother Me (O'Neill 1903: 122) c) The Mother-in Law (O'Neill 1903: 120) d) The Rose in the Garden (O'Neill 1903: 116) 59 As the above examples demonstrate, the ascending arpeggiated motif in the traditional tunes does not extend beyond an octave. The composer of The Tom Jacket draws upon a previously established and common melodic shape in Irish music, but by expanding the range, surprises the listener by altering the traditional melodic pattern. Fig. 3.3: Beare Island Form: Two-part reel Mode: Mixolydian/Dorian Caesura Pattern Type: 1 Finalis: E JD ft V i l l 1 1 ^ UT~T IT! vii 111 VCI.I 2-. JJJ $ v I ' , / *} o 11 « . • - ' — — 60 Finbar O'Dwyer, a button accordion player, composed the reel Beare Island (Fig. 3.3) in the early 1980s, and this tune is especially idiomatic for the accordion. The modern Irish button accordion utilizes two rows of buttons. One row is a diatonic scale in B major and the other a C major scale (or less frequently one row in C and the other in C#). This allows access to the full chromatic scale. Beare Island displays this quasi-chromaticism through the means of mixed modality. The tune starts with an arpeggiated E major chord in the first measure, leading to a d 2 on the first beat of the second measure. This gives the first two measures a mixolydian modality. Then, in the fourth measure, the melody contains a g natural, and for the remainder of the tune there is an E dorian modality. E minor modalities (particularly dorian) are very common in ITM. This mixed modality reveals the quasi-chromatic origins of the tune, idiomatic to the B/C accordion.7 Although mixed modality is not particularly unusual, it frequently does not involve a change of the third degree of the mode, but rather of the seventh, as exemplified by the reel Padraic Reice (Breathnach 1963a: 145, Fig. 3.4), which alternates between Dionian and D mixolydian: Fig. 3.4: Padraic Reice I'f I M fllflrJllM I ait i f f j ^ T L ^ 7 The use of g# in a mode starting on e is not common in Irish fiddle or flute tunes. E major is more common in Scottish music. This most likely has to do with the popularity of the flute in Ireland. The Irish flute is not fully chromatic, and is usually in D. In addition, a g# on the non-keyed flute would involve cross-fingering, which is awkward. 61 Fluidity of the third degree is found in the sean nos singing tradition. Here is an excerpt of a song, Ta Mo Chleamhnas Deanta (Fig. 3.5), performed by Dolores Keane of County Galway, in which the third of the mode (with a g finalis) is either b or bb: Fig. 3.5: Ta Mo Chleamhnas Deanta as performed by Dolores Keane The fluidity of mode in vocal music is due to the absence of the kind of limitations imposed by the physical structures of particular instruments. In Beare Island, the most identifiable "hook" is the fluidity of the third degree, due its rarely occurrence in instrumental tunes. With respect to motivic structure, Beare Island consists of common motifs and phrases that can be found in numerous other tunes. The following melodic motif c is here shown with examples from other tunes with similar motivic contour: Fig. 3.6: Motif from Beare Island and Related Contours a) Beare Island Motif c "7—k( J r i — b)i Excei rpt from Gan Ainm (Br i-..-rT—' r" t til Ui-1 sathnach 1963b: 116) - f c)l Cxcei j JJ) "pt from Johnstown Ret >i - r i m l - r ^ ' ^ h ?/(Breathnach 1963a: 63) _j , /, .^ f 62 There is only one instance of motivic repetition in Beare Island, motive c, which is stated and repeated twice in slight variation and octave transposition in section B (motifs e and el). The lack of phrase or motif repetition in the first section of the tune allows for a broad, undulating melodic contour. In this sense, Beare Island has a "song-like" quality to its melodic shape. This type of low repetition phrase structure is reminiscent of the reel Dr. GUbert (see Fig. 2.7, Chapter Two). The majority of tunes in the O'Neill and Breathnach collections involve repetition of small melodic segments that range in length from half a measure to four measures. For this reason, tunes that are melodically through-composed stand out from the larger body of tunes. This is another "hook" in Beare Island. Whereas The Torn Jacket is distinctive due to its consistent repetition, Beare Island stands out for the opposite reason. In terms of melodic contour, Beare Island does not clearly demonstrate complete confluence with any other tune family. Motifs, rather than whole sections, show relationships with other tunes. In this sense, Beare Island is an example of the principle of "recombination" of familiar and newly composed motifs, rather than the overall "outlining" of an entire melodic "family". Fig. 3.7: Sport (alternative title: Coolea Jig) Form: Three-part jig Mode: Ionian Caesura Pattern Type: 1 Finalis: D . l a 5 63 12 D: I i i a' 3 E B l l V 0 B l l " — . — ^ if ^ 1 Ui Ui I O j J t. 3 ru a i I 0 e IV I = 4 = ^ — r a ^ This notation of Sport is taken from the website www.thesession.org (accessed March 2005). 64 Sport (Fig. 3.7) was composed in the 1980s by Peadar O'Riada (b. 1954), the son of Sean O'Riada (1931-1971), a classically trained composer who strove to synthesize ITM with western art music while preserving the spirit of ITM (Meek 1999: 288-290). Sean O'Riada is considered a central figure in the revival of Irish music in the 1960s. Today, his son Peadar, a penny whistle player, is a composer as well, largely of film - • music, and also of liturgical music. He directs the choir his father started in Cuil Aodha, County Cork. Sean O'Riada wrote a number of tunes with the intention of having them enter the common-practice repertoire, but none ever did (Meek 1999, 289). However, this Peader O'Riada composition seems to have been accepted by a large body of Irish musicians. According to Emmett Gi l l , Sport is very popular in sessions in Ireland and the U K . My survey indicates that it is less well-known in North America. Sport is an example of a new composition partially based upon a pre-existing tune. The A section of Sport is based on a jig already commonly played in the instrumental tradition, The Hag with the Money (Fig. 3.8). Sean Nos (old style) singers know the tune as 'Si Do Mhaimeo I, or Cailleac an t'Airgid. This song is still commonly sung in the Connemara gaeltacht, or gaelic-speaking region. Joe Heaney, a Connemara Sean Nos singer who settled in Seattle, included Cailleac an t'Airgid in his repertoire, and even claimed to have been related to one of the people mentioned in the song (Williams 2005). The following example is from the singing of Mairead N i Mhaonaigh from the group Altan: 65 Fig. 3 . 8 : The Hag with the Money as performed by Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh • I 1 t v r - i rr f i H f=f=—7-w +-*-+ ^ [~P| (j> " ^ fH ' ' * ' ^ 11 J T 3 = S E VII 1 VII I 1 *; I T v r 1 •{ » 1 - fr PC] i 9 J . I' ' t L ^ -H—r—y—+—v»—^—i—v>—i 111 '-J^ VII < ' '—f—• ^=j=^—r—3 F T P l — i - = i VII I 77ze i/ag PFitY/i f/ze Money is a well-established tune within the instrumental dance music tradition, and shows very clear correspondences in contour with two reels, Jenny Picking Cockles and An tSeanbhroigin Bhog (The Old Slipper Shoe). In the following example, the corresponding tones are circled between Sport and these related tunes: 66 Fig. 3.9: Opening Phrase of Sport and Related Tunes a) Sport b) Jenny Picking Cockles (O'Neill 1903: 123) c) 77ie S/ippei- S/ioe (Breathnach 1963b: 142) The title for The Hag With the Money, as transcribed by Petrie (1855), is I was Born for Sport. This title, and that of a closely related air of the same name, reveals that the composer had direct influence from this family of tunes. Both the tune and the title refer directly to tradition. Although section A of Sport is clearly based on The Hag With the Money, the B section does not relate to this tune-family. This section of the tune begins on an a major chord, the V chord of the d major key, while the B section of The Hag with the Money begins on a I chord (d). For those familiar with ITM, the shift in harmonic implication between sections in Sport is unexpected, due to its departure from the usual melody of The Hag With the Money. This constitutes the most obvious "hook" in the tune. The V as an opening chord to either an A or B section exists in a very small minority of other 67 traditional tunes, the most popular example being the j ig Humours of Dingle (O'Neill 1903: 60), which stands out in the repertoire for this same reason. In general, however, Sport follows the structure of a traditional three-part uillean pipe tune. These tunes tend not to change key between sections, but stay centered on a tonality of either d or g, both of which are harmonically compatible with the drones of the pipes, which are pitched at d. Another characteristic of such pipe tunes is small repetitive phrases. Like The Torn Jacket, Sport contains a large degree of symmetrical motivic repetition. Motif a1 is a sequenced repetition of motif a, that alternates with it. Motif e is stated and repeats once in section C, and alternates with the closely related motif el. Each section of Sport has a different pitch-structure. Section A is heptatonic, while section B is hexatonic, containing no b. Section C is pentatonic, containing neither b nor f#. The most emphasized note (shown in the weighted scale) is a, which is the fifth degree of the mode. This is due not only to the frequency of its appearance, but to the number of appearances on strong beats. In section B, there are two internal cadences on a, which contribute to a sense of the prominence of the V chord in that section. Most pipe tunes consisting of more than two sections have differing pitch structures between sections. This is the case with the majority of these tunes found in the O'Neill collection. Sport is the most traditional of the new tunes analyzed in this study. It contains strong referents to earlier tunes and shows little innovation. It is notable that it has not caught on widely in North America, despite having been recorded by internationally popular performers such as Altan and Kevin Crawford. Further research would be necessary to confirm a connection between Irish and North American localities and varying tastes. 68 Fig. 3.10: The Roaring Barmaid (alternate title: The Butlers of Glen Ave) Form: Two-part double jig Mode: Ionian Caesura Pattern Type: 5 Finalis: G ^ EJa a b V * » 1. m ••• • . ' I I I r-i , ^ M=-- 1 TT\ m 1 ». gu- • \>> ) ± G: 1 * a a — f = - | — r T ^ Z.—/ / 1 Vp M l 1 - / ) ' > ' —f"i f-f-z—r: — ; ; >' J * — .* i d r f 1 ' t' ) ' ) = | Lfj f f | —y-L-t—\JJ JL J- -L u i u i T f i "^f fe> ui-*— 1 i 4 ' i t ID — — — Hi Ui tff f f i : VI f ' * 4 ~ o J f i The Roaring Barmaid (Fig. 3.10), also known as The Butlers of Glen Ave, after being mistitled on a Lunasa recording, has become a very popular tune in recent years. It is a composition of Tony ("Sully") Sullivan. It was recorded by two of the most popular Irish folk bands of the late 1990's, first by Lunasa on their C D Otherworld (1999) and then by Danu on Think Before You Think (2000). Whereas Sport conjoins whole sections of traditional tunes with new material, The Roaring Barmaid recombines smaller familiar motives with new motivic material. The opening motif of the A section of The Roaring Barmaid shows similarities with the opening motif of a tune family related to Off to California, a hornpipe: 69 Fig. 3.11: Opening Phrase of The Roaring Barmaid and Related Tunes a) The Roaring Barmaid b) Off to California (O 'Ne i l l 1903: 180) c) Sweet Flowers of Milltown9 d) Doctor Taylor (O 'Ne i l l 1903: 125) 9 From www.thesession.org (accessed March 2005). 1 0 From www.thesession.org (accessed March 2005). 70 The B section of The Roaring Barmaid contains an atypical phrase structure. In this respect, The Roaring Barmaid is a clear example of a tune that combines tradition (section A) and innovation (section B). The four-note ascending fragment d2-e2-g2'b2, first appearing in motif b in a lower octave, appears three more times in the upper octave. Its placement in section B is particularly unusual. This fragment opens section B as motif d, and repeats in motif dl, which is an elongation of motif d. The second repeat, immediately following motif dl, is a literal restatement of motif d. Grouping the three consecutive motifs d-dl-d according to number of beats (with the beat on the dotted quarter note), the phrases are grouped into three, four and three beats consecutively, resulting in an asymmetrical motivic structure. This unusual structure is a strong "hook". Furthermore, the dotted eighth note, pitch b 2 , is emphasized. This is due to both its length, which contrasts to the surrounding continuous eighth notes, and the ascending eighth note figure that precedes it, characterizing b 2 as a stressed pitch. The pitch b 2 first appears in motif d as beat two of the measure, while its next two consecutive appearances are on beat one. Re-barring the B section according to the actual accented tones would appear as follows: Fig. 3.12: Re-barring of The Roaring Barmaid, Section B i 71 The composer is playing with the expected "natural phrasing," the internalized sense of phrasing as described by O'Suilleabhain (1990,120), in order to create a "hook". This is another example of the reversal of expectation of traditional tune structure, and is highly innovative. The Roaring Barmaid is essentially a pentatonic tune. There is no fourth degree (c) in the mode, and there is only one appearance of an f#, as a passing tone in motif el. Although there are some very well known pentatonic tunes in the common-practice repertoire, they are infrequent (Breathnach 1977: 12). 72 Fig. 3.13: Dusty Windowsills11 (alternate titles: Trip to the Highlands, Johnny Har ling's). Form: Three-part single jig Mode: Dorian Caesura Pattern Type: 1 1 2 Finalis: A p * 1 — ; f f 11 { • - — I ( < s — n —PF=»—)—X 1 L U^L— M i i y i VII e ' • • 1 • M ' \—•' > ) 'K—\ i t]> J—-L-4 i —\ J ^ J . 1 — k -VII f+=) -T-' *4 — V c • < . t, r r \ i i U L f J J J 1 V l P ^ UJ 1 r n 1 ..B V * " U J 1 r r m - } ' i n f . r 1 ' ' ' • ~\ i n 1 ' r 4 fc>_—.—, i ^ ? n r i 1 1 i Ii—1 e * ^ ULJ i VII 0 | 4 j r * *^-*d— \ \ * l VII ^ i 1 1 The source for this version is Mallinson 1995: 36. Dusty Windowsills is known among Irish musicians for a story regarding the occasion of its composition. The Seattle flute and banjo player Mark Roberts told me that the composer Johnny Harling had composed the tune while on a date. The tune came to him and he had no paper, so he wrote it out using his finger on a dusty windowsill, hence the title. Roberts mentioned a common rumour that the song Dust in the Wind, written by the 1970's rock group Kansas, inspired Dusty Windowsills. I have found nothing in the modality, phrase structure, melodic contour or rhythm that would suggest that Dust in the Wind is in any way a model for Dusty Windowsills. 1 2 Although there is a caesura on the seventh degree in section B, I am classifying this tune as a type 1 caesura pattern, since the majority of caesuras occur on the final beat of each section. 73 The Chicago tin whistle player, Johnny Harling, is the composer of Dws/y Windowsills, the final new composition to be analyzed here (Fig. 3.12). This tune, as indicated by my survey, is one of the best known of modern compositions (all of the respondents to my survey claim to have this tune in their repertoire, a fact that does not apply to the other tunes). One respondent to the IRTrad listserv wrote: The Dusty Windowsill was referred to as "Johnny Harling's Jig" when I first heard it around Clare in 1984. Eugene Lambe (an Irish flute maker) said it had been introduced at Willie Week (Willie Clancy Summer School for Irish traditional music) one year by an American, presumably Mr. Harling himself, and spread like wildfire (Woodley 1997). However, one respondent to the survey indicated that in the U K the tune may be suffering from over-saturation: Dusty Windowsills has been battered for years by everybody in Britain that ever went near folk music. It's a good fourty-eight bar jig for ceilis and • barndances but too jaded for sessions. (O'Rourke 2005). The Vancouver fiddler Dave Marshall, when asked about the characteristic of Dusty Windowsills that makes it stand out from other tunes, replied, "the third part has syncopated phrases, twice. The first and third notes of the jig triplets are accented. That never happens in older tunes" (Marshall 2005). The "syncopation" to which Marshall is referring is in the first measures of motifs g and g l , in section C of the jig. A n emphasis occurs on the final, usually unaccented, eighth-note beat of those measures (shown in Fig.3.12 as an accentA) This emphasis is achieved by an ascending leap to the pitch on the sixth eighth-note of the measure, followed by a descent to beat one of the following measure. This unusually accented motif, the most noticeable "hook" in the tune, is a reversal of the expectation of a standard type of phrase revolving around a pedal pitch (a). This device in Irish tunes, in which the melody accentuates certain pitches by alternating them with a recurrent pitch, is very common. The pedal pitch can either be above or 74 below the moving melodic line. An example of the pedal pitch above the melodic line occurs in motif b of Dusty Windowsills, in which the pitch g is the pedal pitch around which the pitches f#', e 1, and d 1 revolve and create the melodic line. Examples of the pedal pitch below the melodic line are seen in measures one and five of the popular session j ig The Mug of Brown Ale (Mallinson 1995: 37, Fig. 3.14), in which the pitches e and f# alternate above the pedal a1: Fig. 3.14: Fragment from The Mug of Brown Ale " J M \ q ' L i If the third section of Dusty Windowsills had followed the convention exemplified in Fig. 3.14, the accent would have been on beat one of the second measure, as follows: Fig. 3.15: Dusty Windowsills Motif g without Accented Weak Beats The example of Dusty Windowsillsdemonstrates an acceptance of rhythmic ' accents on weak beats that was previously absent. Conclusions From this representative sample of tunes, one can reach the conclusion that through analysis of tune structure, the changing boundaries of tradition can be observed. The innovations described in the above tunes vary in scale from subtle, such as the accenting of weak beats in Dusty Windowsills, or the ascending figure in The Torn Jacket, to extensive, such as the asymmetrical phrasing in The Roaring Barmaid. In all the new tunes analyzed, there is some element of tradition in combination with innovation. An analysis of new composition in ITM reveals that it is a conservative tradition not quick to accept drastic change. It is apparent that innovation often occurs in the form of "hooks". But while these musical elements are innovative, their structural basis often comes out of the tradition, rather than introduction from another genre. Uniqueness is achieved through the manipulation of the player's or listener's expectations of traditional formulae. By playing with the inner rules of traditional tune structure, subtle changes can be made that stay within the acceptable boundaries of ITM, but at the same time push those boundaries. Certain distinctive and memorable features, such as extensive repetition (or inversely, the lack thereof, as seen in Beare Island) can be thought of as coming directly out of the tradition. Even elements that on the surface are highly innovative have some precedent in traditional tunes. The asymmetrical motivic structure in The Roaring Barmaid shows similarities with the assymetrical repetition of The Upper Room (Fig. 2.10). In The Roaring Barmaid, the asymmetry occurs at a more obvious surface level. Identifying global influences upon the structure of new Irish dance music is difficult, but a case can be made for the influence of Eastern European music upon the The Roaring Barmaid. The accents occurring in the phrase structure create the impression of a mixed meter dance tune, as found in Balkan music A possible source of this influence is Paul Brady's influential recording "Welcome Home Kind Stranger" (1978), which included Balkan music (in mixed meter), alongside traditional Irish songs and tunes. Another is the Balkan music included on the "Riverdance" soundtrack. The adoption of the bouzouki into ITM suggests a further connection between the two areas. Future research could explore the possibility of a cultural affinity between the Balkan 76-States and Ireland, both nations on the periphery of Europe. 1 3 Along with the unusual accents and rhythmic phrasing exemplified by The Roaring Barmaid, Dusty Windowsills may show an openness to syncopated rhythms that could be the influence of other types of syncopated music, whether rock, jazz or funk. There are questions that arise from this thesis. Is the type of variation of interpretation of repertoire (such as is demonstrated in Glossary B with Star of Munster) decreasing? Are versions of tunes becoming increasingly standardized with the popularity of certain recordings? Is regional and individual variation occurring with new tunes, and if so, how rapidly after they enter the common-practice repertoire? The analytical approach taken in this thesis could be applied to further the understanding of the effect of the forces of commercialization and globalization upon these other aspects of ITM. 1 3 Although the examples studied in this thesis do not demonstrate a Breton influence, the affinity between Ireland and Brittany is another connection worthy of study. The cross-cultural exchange between the two areas, fueled by the pan-Celtic movement of the 1970s, included musical exchange as well. 77 Glossary A Results of New Tunes Survey Date and place posted: March 3, 2005 IRTrad Listserv and www.thesession.org Number of respondents: 15 Localities of respondents: USA, (Denver, Colorado; Champaign, Illinois; Montana; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington, DC; Madison, Wisconson; Boston, Massachusetts) Canada, (Ottawa) United Kingdom, (Somerset; Manchester). Ireland, (County Clare; County Cork; Dublin) Sweden. Question asked: Which of the following tunes are played regularly in your locality? Number of positive responses for each tune: Beare Island (6) Dusty Windowsills (15) Calliope House (5) Seanamac Tube Station (2) Sport (3) Phoenix (0) Roaring Barmaid (7) Torn Jacket (6) Oromond Sound (1) Kerfunten (2) Splendid Isolation (1) Respondents were also asked for other new compositions that are played at their local sessions. Other recent compositions listed were: Dooms M i l l (Jackie Daly) Guns of the Magnificent Seven (Fintan McManus) Windbroke (Michael McGoldrick) Brenda Stubbert's (Jerry Holland) V Glossary B Transcriptions Legend to Transcriptions: —H = slide up to pitch /t~ = pitch slightly sharp \ = pitch slightly flat — = accent on pitch 79 Example 1 Star of Munster performed by Hugh Gillespie on the C D Milestone at the Garden: Irish Fiddle Masters from the 78 RPMEra (1996). Original 78 R P M recording 1937. Example 2 . Star of Munster performed by Kathleen Collins on the CD Traditional Music of Ireland (1995). t \ 8 2 Example 3 Star ofMunster performed by Frankie Gavin on the CD Frankie Gavin and Alec Finn (1977) -$\~;y\'?hO\Pnny\\oK\i)^\\Vms X . J - - ' T ^ -f 83 4 t -*X ^ J 1 W-V^i^j i J ^ ' v h l ^ g ^ 5 r 4UU I'. f i f tit f # A* \\ i i K ihi r f . i . f j , i ^ f r ^ l f e ^ 1 L l U ^ w | ^ H w - M ^ U i J — i f f l i t f I f r44f4f r f l t f t U - f - ^ -^ b —fc=^——L - J4— 1» i f I f f I t H 1 , — M — U I J, | ±= - ^ H M — \ j - j f l i i \ { u . M ^ t , < ) f i f , AS HJT-! ES 1 J W M ••—^—|——s r ' s \—u—Ll \ j -i 85 Bibliography Appadurai, Arjun. 1996 Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Barry, Phillips. 1910 "The Origin of Folk Melodies."Journal of American Folklore 18: 440^145. 1933 "Communal Re-Creation." Bulletin of the Folk-Song Society of the Northeast 5:4-6. Bartok, Bela. 1951 Yugoslav Folk Music. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. Bayard, Samuel P. 1950 "Prolegomena to a study of the Principal Melodic Families of British-American Folk Song." Journal of American Folklore 63:2. Bohlman, Philip V . , and Martin Stokes, eds. 2003 Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe. Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press. Bohlman, Philip V . 1988 The Study of Folk Music in the Modern World. Bloomington, In.: Indiana University Press. Breafhnach, Brendan. 1963a CeolRince na h'Eireann: Cuid 1. 7 t h ed. Dublin: A n Gum. rh 1963b Ceol Rince na h 'Eireann: Cuid 2. 7 ed. Dublin: A n Gum. 1977 Folk Music and Dances of Ireland. Dublin: Mercier. Bronson, Bertrand. 1950 "Melodic Stability in Oral Transmission." International Folk Music Journal 3:50-55. 1969 The Ballad as Song. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. 1972 Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 86 Burman-Hall, Linda. 1984 "American Traditional Fiddling: Performance Styles and Techniques." In Performance Practice: Ethnomusicological Perspectives, ed. Gerard Behague, 148-221. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. 1978 "Tune Identity and Performance Style: The Case of 'Bonapartes Retreat'." Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology 3:77-98. Burns, Gary. 1987 " A Typology of 'Hooks' in Popular Records," Popular Music 6, no. 1:1-20. Caplin, William. 1998 Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Carolan, Nicholas. 2001 "Ireland" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., 12:560-568. Edited by Stanley Sadie. London: MacMillan. Carson, Ciaran. 1997'Last Night's Fun: In and Out of Time with Irish Music. New York: North Point Press. Collinson, Francis. 2001 "Reel" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., 21:71—73. Edited by Stanley Sadie. London: MacMillan. Cowdery, James R. 1990 The Melodic Tradition of Ireland. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press. Curtis, P.J. 1994 Notes From the Heart: a Celebration of Traditional Irish Music. Dublin: Tore. Dean-Smith, Margaret. 2001a "Jig" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., 13:118-119. Edited by Stanley Sadie. London: MacMillan. 2001b "Hornpipe" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., 11:736-737. Edited by Stanley Sadie. London: MacMillan. Doherty, Liz . 1999a "Hornpipe" in The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, 190. Edited by Fintan Vallely. Cork: Cork University Press. 87 1999b "Jig" in The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, 201-202. Edited by Fintan Vallely. Cork: Cork University Press. Dowling, Martin. 1999 "Composers and Composition" in The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, 81-82. Edited by Fintan Vallely. Cork: Cork University Press. Drabkin, William. 2001a " M o t i f in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., 17:227-228. Edited by Stanley Sadie. London: MacMillan. 2001b "Sequence" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., 23:107-108. Edited by Stanley Sadie. London: MacMillan. Foley, Catherine. 1999 "Riverdance" in The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, 319-320. Edited by Fintan Vallely. Cork: Cork University Press. Gedutis, Susan. 2004 See You at the Hall: Boston's Golden Era of Irish Music and Dance. Boston: Northeastern University. Gershen, Paulette and Hugh Shields. 2000 "Ireland." In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, edited by Timothy Rice, James Porter and Chris Goertzen, 3:378-397. New York: Garland. Gi l l , Emmett. 2005 (February) personal correspondence. Gothard, John. 2003 (March) personal correspondence. Hamilton, Samuel Colin. 1996 "The Role of Commercial Recordings in the Development and Survival of Irish Traditional Music 1899-1993." Ph.D. diss., University of Limerick. 1999 "Session" in The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, 345-346. Edited by Fintan Vallely. Cork: Cork University Press. Hannerz, Ulf. 1989 "Notes on the Global Ecumene," Public Culture 1 no. 2:66-75. 88 Healy, William Michael. 1979 "Traditional Irish Music in the 78 rpm Era: an Analysis Of Change in Instrumentation and Repertoire." M . A . thesis, U C L A . Jackson, George P. , 1937 Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America. New York: Peter Smith. Kuroff, Barbara ed. 1982 Songwriter's Market: Where to Sell Your Songs. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books. McCann, Anthony. 2001 " A l l that is not Given is Lost: Irish Traditional Music, Copyright, and Common Property." Ethnomusicology 45 no. 1:89-106. McCullough, Lawrence E. 1978 "Irish Music in Chicago: an Ethnomusicological Study." Ph.D. diss., University of Pittsburgh. MacLaughlin, Jim. 1997 Location and Dislocation in Contemporary Irish Society: Emigration and Irish Identities. Cork: Cork University Press. McLucas, Anne Dhu. 2001 "Tune Families" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., 16: 883. Edited by Stanley Sadie. London: MacMillan. 2005 (March) personal correspondence. Marshall, Dave. 2004 (November) personal correspondence. Miller, Rebecca S. 2000 "Irish Music." In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, edited by Timothy Rice, James Porter and Chris Goertzen, 8:842-846. New York: Garland. Moloney, Mick. 1992 "Irish Music in America: Continuity and Change." Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania. Monaco, Bob and James Riordan. 1980 The Platinum Rainbow: How to Succeed in the Music Business without Selling Your Soul. Sherman Oaks, Cal.: Swordsman Press. 89 1990 Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents. Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice Hall. N i Fhuarthain, Meabh. 1993 "O'Byrne, Dewitt and Copley Records: a Window on Irish Music Recording in the U.S.A., 1900 to 1965." M . A . thesis, University College Cork. O'Canainn, Tomas. 1978 Traditional Music in Ireland. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. V O'Neill, Francis. 1903 O'Neill's Music of Ireland. Edited by Miles Krassen. Chicago: Regan Printing House. Reprint, New York: Oak Publications, 1976. 1910 Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby. Chicago: Regan Printing House. Reprint, Darby, Pa.: Norwood Editions, 1973. O Suilleabhain, Michael. 1987 "Innovation and Tradition in the Music of Tommy Potts." PhD Diss., The Queen's University of Belfast. 1990 "The Creative Process in Irish Traditional Music." In Irish Musical Studies 1: Musicology in Ireland, ed. Gerard Gillen & Harry White, 117-130. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. Pegg, Carole. 2001 "Folk Music," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed. 8: 64. Edited by Stanley Sadie. London: MacMillan. Petrie, George. 2002 The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland. Edited by David Cooper. Cork: Cork University Press. Porter, James. 1989 The Traditional Music of Britain and Ireland: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Garland. Quigley, Colin. 1995 Music From the Heart: Compositions of a Folk Fiddler. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. 90 R^ciss Scott 2003 "Tradition and Imaginary: Irish Traditional Music and the Celtic Phenomenon." In Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press) 52-158. Shapiro, Anne Dhu. 1975 "The Tune-Family Concept in British-American Folk Song Scholarship." Ph.D Diss., Harvard University. Slobin, Mark. 1992 "Micromusics of the West: A Comparative Approach." Ethnomusicology 36 no. 1:42-49. Thrasher, Alan. 1988 "Hakka-Chaozhou Instrumental Repertoire: A n Analytic Perspective on Traditional Creativity." Asian Music 19 no. 2: 1-30. Tweed, Karen. 1994 Traditional Irish Music: Karen Tweed's Irish Choz'ce. Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire: Dave Mallinson Publications. Vallely, Fintan. 1999 Polka 2000 2003 "The Apollos of Shamrockery: Traditional Musics in the Modern Age." In Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press) 201-217. Varlet, Phillipe and Spottswood, Richard. Vic , Randy. 2002 (March) personal correspondence. Wilkinson, Desi. 1999 Flute i Williams, Sean. 2005 (February) personal correspondence. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0092099/manifest

Comment

Related Items