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Your UNfavorite instrument & why

SINSULL 18 Nov 07 - 07:44 AM
Emma B 18 Nov 07 - 07:43 AM
Mooh 18 Nov 07 - 07:42 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Nov 07 - 07:40 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Nov 07 - 07:38 AM
redsnapper 18 Nov 07 - 07:36 AM
Lowden Jameswright 18 Nov 07 - 07:36 AM
Betsy 18 Nov 07 - 07:31 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Nov 07 - 07:29 AM
Lowden Jameswright 18 Nov 07 - 07:00 AM
kendall 18 Nov 07 - 06:46 AM
Newport Boy 18 Nov 07 - 06:45 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Nov 07 - 06:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Nov 07 - 05:52 AM
GRex 18 Nov 07 - 04:33 AM
Sooz 18 Nov 07 - 03:35 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Nov 07 - 03:18 AM
Dave Hanson 18 Nov 07 - 03:01 AM
Tradsinger 18 Nov 07 - 02:55 AM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Nov 07 - 02:41 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 07 - 01:16 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Nov 07 - 12:54 AM
Sandra in Sydney 18 Nov 07 - 12:41 AM
Nick E 17 Nov 07 - 10:41 PM
Beer 17 Nov 07 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Nov 07 - 10:40 PM
Celtaddict 17 Nov 07 - 10:35 PM
Don Firth 17 Nov 07 - 10:27 PM
kendall 17 Nov 07 - 10:17 PM
Bill D 17 Nov 07 - 10:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 07 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Nov 07 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Nov 07 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,Flatpick 17 Nov 07 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Nov 07 - 07:54 PM
Don Firth 17 Nov 07 - 07:37 PM
Rapparee 17 Nov 07 - 07:31 PM
kendall 17 Nov 07 - 07:07 PM
Uncle Phil 17 Nov 07 - 06:57 PM
Leadfingers 17 Nov 07 - 06:42 PM
RangerSteve 17 Nov 07 - 06:24 PM
Stringsinger 17 Nov 07 - 06:05 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 17 Nov 07 - 06:01 PM
mandotim 17 Nov 07 - 05:41 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 17 Nov 07 - 05:38 PM
Tootler 17 Nov 07 - 05:36 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Nov 07 - 05:10 PM
Morticia 17 Nov 07 - 04:49 PM
Don Firth 17 Nov 07 - 04:44 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Nov 07 - 04:15 PM
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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: SINSULL
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:44 AM

String Quartets. They all seem to be enjoying themselves but to me it is musical masturbation.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Emma B
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:43 AM

I've never heard an instrument I didn't like when played by someone in total sympathy with their instrument and music.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:42 AM

The player not the instrument.

There's a form of rock music where the singers sound like the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street on speed; indoors highland pipes (witnessed two pipebands last night, they were great in the Santa Claus parade), beginner fiddlers (endearing though they may e, they sound like crap), etc etc, you get the idea.

There are some cheap guitars with cheap strings which can't be intonated that parents want to purchase for their kids (often against my advice) for their first instrument. Three reasons they sound like shit (strings, box, intonation) and any one of them bother me, but all three together makes me cringe. That I have to listen to them played for a half hour every week is my personal hell.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:40 AM

A tunable didge in the hands of a player who can tune it and listen can be rather good.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:38 AM

Mind you, a GOOD recorder makes a hell of a difference. Jacqui had an old Boosey and Hawkes rosewood, with a couple of chips in the fipple, which gave it a richness of harmonics not usually associated with the instrument, and it was a fraction flat so she had to "blow it up" a bit, which gave a very different and forceful quality to the sound.

A few years before she died I bought her a Dolmetsch medieval pitch silkwood recorder, and possibly the fractionally larger dimensions associated with the A=415 pitch made a difference but it had a sorrowing fullness that was most effective. To get it spot on to being a semitone down from concert it was necessary to "crack" the main joint a fraction (one thumbnail thickness, Dr Blood was quite impressed that a couple of folksingers could tell the difference). It was not cheap - about half the price of a pretty good but not spectacular guitar. Say half a Martin or a Gibson as distinct from a Collings or a Brook or Fylde or Kincade. Lot of money for only a little bit of wood.

She also had a pearwood sopranino that was very fast and light-sounding and she used that to great effect on instrumental bridges.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: redsnapper
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:36 AM

Mr Bridge's extensive exposé appears to have covered the matter as comprehensively as could ever be desired.

RS


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:36 AM

Kids in cars, windows down (so they don't rattle presumably), Bass Boost at Max - console yourselves with this thought:

They'll be deaf before they reach 40


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Betsy
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:31 AM

Didgeree don't


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:29 AM

I did 3 posts above.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:00 AM

Can't believe no-one's mentioned the recorder


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: kendall
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 06:46 AM

I agree about the limited range of the war pipes, but there has to be an exception to every rule, and this is one. I don't fancy the war pipes as a musical instrument, because I "feel" the sound of the pipes more than I hear it.It makes me want to kick asses and take names so to speak.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Newport Boy
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 06:45 AM

A little way back, Tootler said:

Don't know if they count as instruments, but drum machines as used on so much pop music now - the sort you hear from about five miles away in some youth's beat up old [name your own make and model] car and are best represented as "dumb, dumb, dumb..."

I'm the wrong side of 70, and a few years ago used to go to the theatre with a guy 10 years older. Reg could always turn out a 1-liner, and one evening, waiting to cross the road in Bristol, one of these cars went past. Reg watched it up the road, turned to me and said "My grandson's got that tune in HIS car". Excellent ear for music, Reg.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 06:13 AM

Funny that it's almost always the B, as well.

I have given this great thought, and have decided that in folk music or particularly song (and you all know what I mean by that) it's the expurgated grand piano, closely followed by the upright piano.

Closely followed, for any folk music or song other than Morris dance music that Morris is actually being danced to, Brass, starting with the Cornet and Souzaphone or Bass Tuba, and working in towards the middle.

Banjos (tenor) fine for trad jazz or (5 string) Irish(which I don't much like anyway) or American (which I like rather less) but intrusive in English music and song (OK for music hall), jury out on Scottish. Not keen on resonator guitar or mandolin in English either.

I quite like the sound of hurdy-gurdies and bombardes (but bombardes are not good to sing with, a bit overpowering) although I do know of one hurdy-gurdy player who is an absolute embarrassment.

The various drone pipes sound nice, although the war pipes can be a bit overwhelming and I wish they would go into concert pitch.

Toot-toot (or gallopey-gallopey - you know you've all heard it) recorder can get wearing, but anyone who heard my late wife wail on the recorder (there were limits to her technique, but she got a pretty amazing sound) will know that the instrument can be almost inspiring at the right moment.

Djembes require light and shade (and don't always get it) but on the right song (said late wife and I used to call for massed percussion on "Nottamun Town") the mass of percussion and clanking from all sizes of drum assembled, beer glasses, car-keys, triangles, and people drumming the right drones on guitars can be most effectively hypnotic


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 05:52 AM

I still don't think theres any experience worse (getting hanged maybe) than when someone starts the Recruited collier, or The Great Silkie and you thnk, 'that B string is MILES out' and you know its going to go ON and on and ON........


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: GRex
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 04:33 AM

Must agree with the majority; the Scottish bagpipes played indoors.   I'm sure they were invented solely to frighten the enemy.

         GRex


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Sooz
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 03:35 AM

Saxophones - or the way they are used. Can't they play a whole tune? Why do they just play a rif for punctuation and then have several bars rest?


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 03:18 AM

Mechanically/electronically-induced percussion or pseudo-percussion (e.g. you're trying to play in a session and some lamebrain simply HAS to join in and, quite undeterred by the fact that he can't play an instrument, starts rattling his car keys or tapping his beer glass, usually with a metal object. To me, spoons border on this category - I hate the bloody things! Even when played in rhythm - which they often aren't - they're just noisemakers. Adrien, I'm with you 1000%.

If you haven't seen this thread (containing Con Fada O'Driscoll's "The Great Spoons Murder"), do:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=67631


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 03:01 AM

One ukulele is good, two is OK but when you get any more it's a cacophany, we regularly get up five ukes in our local sessions, all in tune, all playing in time together, all playing the same chords, all sounding feckin awful together, it's definately the player not the instruments.

If you don't like piano accordions [ I don't ] you should listen to Karen Tweed, she manages to make it sound wonderful.

I agree with Mandotim about banjo mandolins, bleedin awful, I also have two of them, they havent seen daylight for many years.

eric


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Tradsinger
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 02:55 AM

It's got to be the Scottish bagpipe - out of tune, too loud and the limited range means it can't play the tunes properly.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 02:41 AM

The problem with the bowed psaltery, is that all the unbowed strings are undamped, thus you get infinite resonances well actually dissonances....

"A hurdy-gurdy disproves the theory that it's the musician rather than the instrument"

As an owner of a Symphonie (the smaller earlier relative), and teh son of a violin p[layer, I have discovered the secret...

If you bow a violin string hard at the same ratio point where the HG wheel strikes the string, you will get the same scratchy sound on a violin... I discovered that if you get the correct combination of rosin, and fluffiness of the cotton (actually, it has to be WOOL, NOT COTTON!), it allows the string to vibrate freely, without ACTUALLY hitting the wheel itself! This gives you a sweet violin sound! A VERY different sound, sweet!, trust me!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 01:16 AM

"There is nothing either good or bad - but thinking makes it so"

I like everything


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 12:54 AM

when i was 20 i heard 1 lone full battle dress reagailed Highland military piper

in a school assembly hall in bradford..



i've not been the same since..


that was also the same day i joined in on a glue your own psaltery workshop..

that was same era i was playing in a punk band in Leeds..


30 yeaRS later..


iam the mutant genetically deformed offspring of medieival punk rock.


yeah !!!


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 12:41 AM

3 of my least favourite sounds have been mentioned - bowed psaltry (I'll never be able to hear one again without hearing Kendall's slow motion rat fight!), hurdy-gurdy & scottish pipes indoors. I've heard both these in superb acoustic spaces & just had to leave.

Scottish pipes are one of my favourite instruments outdoors, after all my ancestors were Borderers. Altho they have Scottish names, Borderers fought both Scots & English indiscriminately! I assume that's why I love the sound of bagpipes outdoors, but I can't cope with a piper indoors, at least I can turn a recording down.

Northumbrian & other pipes are great indoors.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Nick E
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:41 PM

Kweyboard.
Weeboared.
KREBOERD.
I don't much like Keyboard.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Beer
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:40 PM

Well Kendall I don't know if "Spoons" are considered an instrument or not. But I have this to say about them. I have been in the presence two occasion whereby the spoon player were excellent. On the hundred other times I would have loved to ask the players to bend over. There is nothing more irritating than someone playing the spoons especially with good fiddle players and not being able to carry the beat.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:40 PM

..and i really dont like chorus FX pedals..



the blight of late 70's and most 80's folk rock guitar recordings..


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Celtaddict
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:35 PM

Much as I like bagpipe music (war or small), a bombarde (which seems not far from a chanter) seems to go straight through my skull. It sounds like a weapon, in name and in sound.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:27 PM

Bit of trivia:

The French horn isn't French, it's English (basically, an English hunting horn with valves).
The English horn isn't a horn, it's a woodwind.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: kendall
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:17 PM

I'm talking about the instrument itself, it's own unique sound, not the player. It goes without saying that a poor player will make irritating noises on any instrument.
I don't really hate the small pipes, but I do much prefer the war pipes.
Most penny whistles sound flat to me. As far as blown instruments go, I like the sound of the French horn.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:09 PM

well....I never was too fond of the sarusaphone...especially the contra-bass model. I guess no one else was either, because I can no longer find a picture of one online. (Google will give you a few remarks).

But seriously, 'almost' any (well made) instrument can be played well by an expert....but put a poorly made Hurdy-Gurdy in the hands of someone with dubious credentials and.........and.....you get 25-30 years of Hurdy-Gurdy jokes.

#1 joke: "It'll NEVER stop complaining till you quit twisting its tail!"


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 08:45 PM

Aside from drum machines I don't have any. True enough, they can all sound bloody horrible and out of place, but then so can the human voice. There's a time and place for everything. Except drum machines.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 08:14 PM

..and before i open another bottle..

in all fairness.. the standard psaltry is an undeniably evil sound..

however.. there are a few instrument makers in the US

who build bigger box richer sounding lower-octave psaltrys..

tenor.. and maybe baritone..

i really want one.. but far too expensive..


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 08:00 PM

oh yes.. before i forget ..

panpipes !!!


obviously i dont care enough to get in a fight over them..


that would just be taking it to silly extremes..


..and maybe its not the instrument itself..

maybe if punk panpipe CD's were openly on sale in every petrol station
and supermarket world wide..???


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: GUEST,Flatpick
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 07:58 PM

Bodhran (don't know if that's the correct spelling)as it's usually used by persons to intrude on a song being done by somebody else, and invariably a song not requiring any percussion whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 07:54 PM

new age hippy dippy floaty airy-fairy preset pads on digital synths...



..whereas i aspire to program my synths to as closely as possible

emulate raspy abrasive buzzing scraping

lovely hurdy gurdy and psaltry sounds..


i am convinced the dodgy dirty stinky itinerant musicians of the middle ages invented

punkfolk !!!!


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 07:37 PM

The occasional mellow jazzist (is that a word?) can get a pretty nice sound out of a saxaphone, but most of the time, at least to me, it sounds like someone is torturing a duck!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 07:31 PM

The Pandemonium, the instrument PDQ Bach wrote for.

I think it's the player, not the instrument. I use the term "player" instead of "musician" deliberately.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: kendall
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 07:07 PM

I'll even add the Saxaphone. They all sound like a giant Kazoo to me.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 06:57 PM

The Bombarde, of course. In the hands of an expert it sounds like a plastic toy from Walmart.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 06:42 PM

Definately Musician NOT Instrument ! Though I AM wary of Scottish pipes indoors - And I WAS a Sergeant piper in an RAF Band in my youth !


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: RangerSteve
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 06:24 PM

That's interesting. The first time I heard a recording of Fats Waller on the organ was the first time I liked the organ. As a kid, i couldn't stand them things. Once, while visiting the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, there was an organ recital, the music being some avant garde unmelodic hooey. The cathedral is has been under construciton since about 1900, and is being buile entirely by hand, just as they were built back in the Middle Ages. It's a big, cavernouse stone place, the music was way too loud, and the organist his a note that consisted of all the keys and all the pipes, and lasted for about one minute. It resounded off the stone walls and was the loudest thing I've ever heard. I wanted to kill the organist and the composer. Fats Waller redeemed the instrument for me, and now I sort of like them.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 06:05 PM

Pipe organ. The only player I could tolerate was Fats Waller.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 06:01 PM

Anything a sixteen-year-old in a music store puts his hands on.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: mandotim
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 05:41 PM

For me, it has to be the banjo mandolin (or mandolin banjo, or banjolin). The tuning problems of the mandolin (is it true that 'mandolin' is Latin for 'out of tune'?) combined with the lack of dynamic control of the banjo. It's an unhappy marriage, and one wonders what they ever saw in each other. It's a loud and utterly obnoxious instrument, and I really don't know why I have two of them. Or why I play them so often.
Tim ;)


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 05:38 PM

Don, amen. I can't believe that any instrument was designed or evolved wih the purpose of being painful to listen to. In the right hands, even the gurdy can be worthwhile, and Liz, Mozart's clarinet quintet is a delight by way of what the instrumnent was actually designed for, but why for pity's sake can't folk realise that a) it's rather important to be able to play the thing you're sitting behind properly before inflicting it on others and b) no amount of enthusiasm can excuse rank bad manners.
If people would only get up to speed in the privacy of their own homes and amongst true and tolerant friends before going public, the world of folk music would be a better, more entertaining place. As for manners, a group of very talented young fiddlers made fools of themselves at a festival this summer by simply not knowing how to behave. The dilemma was that the grown ups were too polite to tell them...


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 05:36 PM

Don't know if they count as instruments, but drum machines as used on so much pop music now - the sort you hear from about five miles away in some youth's beat up old [name your own make and model] car and are best represented as "dumb, dumb, dumb..."


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 05:10 PM

Oh Kendall... see this can of worms? See that can opener in your hand?!

I'm with Don on the 'player not the instrument' thing. Manners not withstanding though, I loathe the clarinet. Don't know why, but it just hits that frequency that makes my teeth itch, it's obtrusive, obnoxious and I can happily live without it.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Morticia
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 04:49 PM

A hurdy-gurdy disproves the theory that it's the musician rather than the instrument......no matter how accomplished the player a wasp with an out of tune whine up it's arse is the best that can be achieved with this work of Satan.


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 04:44 PM

Now, I don't mind accordions at all. In fact, they are right at home in certain kinds of music and especially evocative in, say, French popular music, such as backing Charles Aznavour or Edith Piaf. Scandinavian music as well.

My problem is with a fair percentage of accordion players. I remember in particular a woman who used to attend some of the "hoots" or song sessions in private homes during the late 1950s and early 1960s. She was into "songs of social protest," and she apparently felt her message was so important that she didn't have to abide by the usual courtesies—such as you don't start a new song yourself when someone else is halfway through a song they're singing. She would just honk away on her squeeze-box, drowning out guitarist and singer in progress, and launch right into her musical polemic. She was a royal pain in the patoot!!

Another one was when I was teaching in a suite of studios at the Broberg House of Music. I had been there for some months, teaching guitar (classic, not amplified electric) when this new accordion teacher made the rounds and told all the other teachers there that they would have to keep it down when she was giving a lesson because she would not tolerate any "extraneous noise." Pretty damned high-handed. But she didn't think anything of launching into a top-volume rendition of "Lady of Spain," drowning out everybody else's attempts to give lessons. Fortunately she left after a week or two. Two noisy, she complained.

And then there was a newly formed bluegrass group (guitar, fiddle, washtub bass, and full-speed 5-string banjo player) who used to show up at song fests from time to time. When they arrived, the ballad singers may just as well put their instruments away, because the crabgrassers would start in, drown everyone else out (they didn't consider British Isles or Anglo-American songs and ballads to be American folk music, hence dispensable), and go directly from one piece to another with no pause between.

Hoot killers.

It's not necessarily the instrument. It's the "musician."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Your UNfavorite instrument & why
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 04:15 PM

an out of tune guitar


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