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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Chicken Charlie Complex arrangments of traditional music (49) RE: Complex arrangments of traditional music 10 Mar 08


I don't think I have ever consciously asked myself whether a multi-instrument arrangement I was trying to set up was true to any particular tradition, but I guess I have done it subconsciously.

I have heard no end of very well executed recordings of Stephen Foster, for example, done in lovely choir-type settings or else seeming to come from the soundtrack of a musical comedy. They're all very lovely, and melodic and harmonic and choral, and they leave me totally cold. But give me an arrangement that's complex as a result of having a lot of different "folk" instruments in it--the classical bluegrass five plus dulcimers, etc., and that is what does it for me.

I have heard "William Tell Overture" played on a mandolin, but I would say normally it's hard, ain't it hard, to do classical WELL with a folk ensemble, or to do folk CONVINCINGLY with a Mormon Tabernacle Choir type group. And it's frustrating to try to produce the type of arrangement I describe because bone players are few and far between and GOOD bone players are even fewer and farther, and then there are good bone players within driving distance who have time to work with you.

I remember a cartoon, I think in Playboy way, way back, about a group of affluent, up-scale Anglos singing "Dere lies a steel-dribin man, lawd! lawd!" The incongruity is something like what I feel when I here a full orchestra doing "Suwanee River."

That was a good question, probably better than this mediocre answer.


PS. I wouldn't know Von Wylems from Adam's off ox.
                            --Bill Clinton

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