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 Post subject: Ornament question
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:23 pm 
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Dear Friends,
I could ask this question on Chiff and Fipple, but I am demonstrating my new allegiance to the Praise site by asking it here. You guys are always nice, and you deserve first place. So here goes:

I hear, in much Irish slower songs and airs, people doing cuts in the middle of a longish note--sometimes two cuts. It sounds really nice. But when I do it, it just sounds like two notes. An Irish Trad dweeb. I looked in my instruction books, but all they say is that you can use cuts in the middle of a note. I, like, already KNEW that!!

Anybody have that sound down that can help me?

Thanks, Kelly

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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:31 pm 
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Two things: First, make it a QUICK cut. My best ones barely lift off the hole a little bit. Second, don't cut right smack down the middle of it. Cut a little toward the end. That's all I know to do. Some others are really good at ornaments. Anybody?

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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:24 am 
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kelly wrote:
Dear Friends,

I hear, in much Irish slower songs and airs, people doing cuts in the middle of a longish note--s

Anybody have that sound down that can help me?

Thanks, Kelly

I don't use cuts in the middle of a long note. I use them before or after a note. It should be done fast as part of the note you are leaving or going to. Find the version of Amazing grace that has some triple notes in it, and practice that to get your fingers reacting quicker. You can find Amazing Grace at http://www.tinwhistler.com Up in the left corner click on The tunes. They are in alphabetical sequence.

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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:53 pm 
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Thanks, I'll try that!

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"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." --C.S. Lewis.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:21 am 
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I'm not really good at this either, but something that seems to work sometimes is a 'roll' - that's a quick tap and a cut. The trick is to make them the same length and speed ( which is fast). As I write this, I'm trying to think where I'd put one; I'm thinking usually near the end of a long note, leading into a new phrase.

One thing - I have no real idea what Traditional Irish ornaments would be. My experience with ITrad is very superficial - I just play what I like, so take all this with a grain of salt. There are folks that have a really definite idea what these things are supposed to sound like, and some are quite, shall we say, adamant that they be done 'correctly'. I don't play for them :) .

I hope this doesn't further confuse you -

blessings

jrc

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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:45 am 
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No, it helps!

And I agree: It has never been my goal to sound like I was born in County Claire. I think it's a beautiful sound--but to me it's just pretending, in a way. I wasn't born in County Claire, and I don't speak Gaelic.
When I was shooting muzzle loaders I played with the idea of making the costumes and buying a tent and the gear and joining the rondevous (sp). But when I saw the cost, the list of rules (no modern coolers, even covered up, no modern glasses, even wire rimmed) and the resentment some reenactors had to the very people who came to see and admire the living history, I changed my mind. There can be a thin line between authenticity and arrogance.

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"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." --C.S. Lewis.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:56 am 
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It's a good thing to have under your hands though - just yesterday I used my EWI in church and the ornamentations from the whistle transferred nicely to a double-reed sound on Lamb of God. To able to articulate with your fingers is a useful tool.

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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:49 am 
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I too wouldn't use cuts in the middle of a note (but it may sound nice - haven't heard it though), but after or before a note. And they have to be quick. You may want to check out Brother Steve's tin whistle tutor, just google brother Steve and tin whistle and it'll take you there, he has some great lessons in ornaments, all for free and with sound clips.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:20 pm 
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It is in the Irish style to sometimes break up a longer note with a cut or a tap or with both. If there is a longer note that you want to break up, let's say a dotted 1/4 note then divide the note into 3 1/8 notes. Play the first 1/8 note, cut the second 1/8 and then play a tap on the last 1/8 part. This is essentially a roll. Many players (including me) tend to play the cut and the tap late (or early) as it gives the ornament more bounce but it is good to master the roll with even timing first.

It is considered to be bad form to cut a long note twice (especially with the same finger) as it sounds repetitive and boring. If the note is a D then treat it as a crann and cut with different fingers, if it is any other note then follow the cut with a tap as with a normal roll.

I'm trying to think of an example in a slow song. In 'Be thou my vision' the second line (5th measure) starts 'Naught be all ...' In the key of G that measure has three A notes, one each for the words 'naught be all'. When playing it on the whistle it would be natural to play the three notes as one long note punctuated with a cut and a tap rather than three separate A notes. The measure will sound like a slow roll. I think this is the ornament that you were describing.

The best thing you can do it to learn basic long and short rolls. Things will become much easier to understand then.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:29 am 
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THANK you, Adrian! That helps a LOT!
I have been cutting, as the others described, near the beginning of the note instead of the middle--it makes a much better sound. Also,the "slow roll" you described, that would work.
I am just getting to sound smooth on my rolls, just beginning to "feel" when to use them, and just discovering that they are fun!

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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:57 pm 
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kelly wrote:
THANK you, Adrian! That helps a LOT!
I have been cutting, as the others described, near the beginning of the note instead of the middle--it makes a much better sound. Also,the "slow roll" you described, that would work.
I am just getting to sound smooth on my rolls, just beginning to "feel" when to use them, and just discovering that they are fun!


Delayed cuts are typically played at a subdivision of a note. If you are playing a 1/4 note, for example, you can cut it in the middle which then turns the 1/4 note into two 1/8 notes but do get your timing right so that the cut is exactly in the middle.

Cutting in traditional airs is different to using them in music with a strong rhythmic beat as trad airs tend to not have a fixed beat and so it is left to the player's interpretation as to where ornaments are played.

The other kind of delayed cut IS played fractionally after the beat and can sound great used occasionally but don't use it a lot or you will sound sloppy. Some ITM players use this technique. I think it is best to master getting your cuts bang on the nose before you experiment with delaying them.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:12 pm 
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Thanks! All this stuff is sounding very nice to me when I try it.

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"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." --C.S. Lewis.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:47 pm 
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I just came up from the basement after trying these cuts at beginning and end of the longer notes, and it's great! Once I learned the technique, they seemed to take off! Now my tunes feel full of ornaments, decorating them all through. Before they had all seemed a bit plain. This is great!

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"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." --C.S. Lewis.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:22 pm 
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It might be a good idea to record and post a tune using your new ornaments so players here can give some feedback.

A cut at the end of the note would be unusual in most tunes I think.

Glad you are having fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:27 pm 
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You're right, Adrian. A cut at the beginning, and, sometimes a strike at the end of the note feels better.

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"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." --C.S. Lewis.


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 Post subject: Re: Ornament question
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:42 am 
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Hi guys... great topic and some good advice (especially from Adrian)

Back when I was studying Irish flute from the Incredible Justin Murphey I learned that there are man ways to break up notes in Irish music. Most of the ornamentation comes from the faster tunes and, like was mentioned is used to break up longer notes to keep the rhythm of the song moving. First one to learn well is the tap. It is more difficlt than the grace note (or cut) and so it deserves more practice. Justin would have me do tapping scales. (if anyone's lost the tap is a quick slap of the note below the one your playing, not long enough to make a lower note, but just enough to break up your note). The next thing to use, especially with the flute, but applies to the whistle too, is a throat controlled almost cough. Basically you close your wind pipe in the back of your throut then let the air sort of cough out. This is used a lot to start notes, ad to break them up. Some whistlers use tongueing, but this won't work with a flute and isn't really traditional, but it's the same concept. This coughing technique allows easy stoccato notes and gives you much better control over your playing once it's mastered well. The of course the all important roll which you guys have covered pretty well, the combination of a grace note (cut) and a tap to break one note into three parts. All these ornaments are employed in slow airs also, but not really in perfect rhythm. There are common places to put ornamentation, but the great whistle players are masters of ornamenting in unexpected places and in new ways.

hopefully that helps a little.... it's hard to talk about it and not show it.... hmmm.... maybe I'll make a video clip...


Nick Metcalf

http://www.ethnicwind.com

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