mudcat.org: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship

Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 06 Jun 09 - 03:42 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 06 Jun 09 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Ed 06 Jun 09 - 04:15 PM
Diva 06 Jun 09 - 04:24 PM
The Sandman 06 Jun 09 - 04:34 PM
Diva 06 Jun 09 - 04:44 PM
Suegorgeous 06 Jun 09 - 08:43 PM
Drumshanty 07 Jun 09 - 07:57 AM
Fred McCormick 07 Jun 09 - 11:54 AM
BobKnight 07 Jun 09 - 12:11 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 07 Jun 09 - 12:15 PM
peregrina 07 Jun 09 - 12:20 PM
SylviaN 07 Jun 09 - 12:23 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Jun 09 - 12:23 PM
BobKnight 07 Jun 09 - 12:32 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 07 Jun 09 - 12:38 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Jun 09 - 12:55 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Jun 09 - 12:57 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 07 Jun 09 - 01:04 PM
mg 07 Jun 09 - 01:19 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 07 Jun 09 - 01:24 PM
GUEST 07 Jun 09 - 01:35 PM
Vic Smith 07 Jun 09 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Russ 07 Jun 09 - 06:22 PM
maeve 07 Jun 09 - 10:17 PM
Surreysinger 08 Jun 09 - 11:47 AM
maeve 08 Jun 09 - 02:00 PM
BB 08 Jun 09 - 02:59 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Jun 09 - 04:12 PM
The Sandman 08 Jun 09 - 04:24 PM
Surreysinger 08 Jun 09 - 04:31 PM
Ruth Archer 08 Jun 09 - 04:33 PM
Diva 08 Jun 09 - 05:23 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Jun 09 - 09:29 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Jun 09 - 09:39 AM
nutty 09 Jun 09 - 11:21 AM
The Sandman 09 Jun 09 - 12:43 PM
GUEST 09 Jun 09 - 01:23 PM
GUEST 09 Jun 09 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Russ 09 Jun 09 - 01:44 PM
Northerner 09 Jun 09 - 01:44 PM
Drumshanty 09 Jun 09 - 02:01 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Jun 09 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,matt milton 09 Jun 09 - 02:29 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Jun 09 - 02:33 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 09 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Russ 09 Jun 09 - 03:58 PM
giles earle 09 Jun 09 - 04:46 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Jun 09 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Russ 09 Jun 09 - 06:32 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Tratitional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 03:42 PM

Another thread where I (rightly or wrongly) grumbled somewhat about the 'Voice of the People' (major recorded archive of source singers & traditional songs) not being all that available to 'the ear', or rather more precisely 'the pocket of the people', threw up a response suggesting I get out and find tradition bearers and learn songs off them directly.

Of course a wonderful idea which I'd be more than be interesting discovering more about... And especially someone from Essex!

Coincidentally, this weekend while looking at the East Anglian Traditional Music Day page, I noticed a chap called Sam Lee who is apparently apprentice to a traditional Scottish Singer (as well as running a London folk club). This piqued my interest as I'd never considered the thought before and yet it evidently occurs.

I'm so curious to know how many 'Tradition Bearers' take on 'Apprentices' and how that experience and relationship works out?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tratitional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 03:46 PM

Mods - please correct the typo? 'TraDitional' singing please :)

------Done! Mudelf---------------


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:15 PM

I grumbled about the 'Voice of the People' not being available to 'the pocket of the people'

You could buy one CD at a time. I'm sure that you could save up £11.73 if you tried?

Is this the East Anglian Traditional Music Day page that you refer to? It mentions Sam Lee but nothing about apprenticeship. I'm not sure what you mean?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Diva
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:24 PM

Sam has been learning songs from Stanley Robertson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:34 PM

You only need to listen,start with Phil Tanner,Harry Cox,Sam Larner,Joseph Taylor,W Pardon then revival singers such as Ron Taylor,Isabel Sutherland.
there was an essex traditional singer called cliff yeldham,I believe in the efdss archives,they have a recording of him singing the knife in the window.or hares on the mountain,and possibly others.
I have never heard the recording, but I remember seeing it as Cecil Sharp house,late sixties or early seventies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Diva
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:44 PM

who is a traveller and nephew of the late Jeannie Robertson. He, in common with many other singers of my aquaintance (some mentioned on a previous thread) have been more than helpful and generous over the years in sharing songs and knowledge.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 08:43 PM

Voice of the People cds are often available to take out of local libraries. Mine has several of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Drumshanty
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:57 AM

I know of at least one young person who has been working very closely with a "tradition bearer" here in Scotland, but I can't say that it appears to be a common phenomenon, and I am almost sure that it will have involved money at some point.

This is something I would love to be able to do - sit at the feet of a master until I have learned everything they want to teach me. But I think that these days, it would be difficult to find someone willing to take it on, even if I was willing and able to recompense them financially.

Having said that, there are ways and means. I've got to know some of our best singers by attending their workshops, by being judged by them in competitions and seeking their feedback, just by buttonholing them for advice and, on one memorable occasion, by spending the whole day with someone working on songs and performance.

Diva said how helpful and generous these people have been, and I could not agree more. I am often astonished by the willingness with which some singers are prepared to give advice based on many years of experience.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 11:54 AM

In England, and to a lesser extent in Scotland and Ireland as well, it has become practically impossible to learn direct from traditional singers, for the simple reason that so many of them have gone to the grave.

As far as learning from traditional singers, far and away the best source nowadays is Topic's Voice of the People. And don't forget the next set of VOTP CDs, drawn from Peter Kennedy's collection. Due out in September, I think.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: BobKnight
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:11 PM

I heard Sheila Stewart give Sam some advice last year at Cullerlie Traditional Singing Weekend. Basically to learn from Stanley, but not to copy - she thought he was sounding too much like Stanley. :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:15 PM

Something of an unlikely and romantic notion for sure, it'd simply never crossed my thoughts until half an hour prior to my posting the question.

It would be good to simply *hear* an Essex traditional singer performing a set of local songs. From prior rummagings on t'internet, I think there might even be an Essex traditional singer at Leigh on Sea this year. Unfortunately I cannot recall the lady's name! Typical!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: peregrina
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:20 PM

One of Jon Cohen's movies, I think 'The End of an Old Song', but can't check that now, shows a student who'd come to learn the old ballads from an old singer in North Carolina, 'sitting knee to knee', as it was done.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: SylviaN
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:23 PM

Drumshanty, you are sooo right. Sam is very fortunate, and he knows it. He's also very talented, so if you haven't heard him, keep your ears open, and he's also a lovely person.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:23 PM

I think the "apprenticeship" largely involves Stanley Robertson passing on his repertoire, and as Sam's activities keep him very busy in England, I think that at the moment this largely happens through Stanley recordng his songs and sending them to Sam.

Sam wears Stanley Robertson's sovreign ring, hwich he gave to Sam as a kind of token of the apprenticeship.

I'm not really aware of this as a common practice, but it's an interesting idea with regard to keeping the songs alive and out there, rather than simply "collected" onto recordings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: BobKnight
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:32 PM

Apart from the anecdote about Sheila and Sam, let me just add that Sam has a great voice, and as has been said already, a thoroughly nice lad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:38 PM

So if I'm right, Sam is English and Stanley is Scottish?
Is there any err cultural confusion in this?

I've come to feel that it might not be the right thing to sing songs outside of my own cultural heritage as such - and some others are very strong on such matters - in way's that I don't relate to at all in fact. So, to clarify that, I personally don't take this as a blanket 'no-no' or anything too strict, and the odd few songs from here or there I do indeed happily sing (and will continue to do so), but for my own part, I would feel decidedly uncomfy adopting an *entire repertoire* belonging to a culture fully distinct from my own. I hope that makes sense, purely as a personal response.
Or maybe Sam has Scottish ancestry or something?

Sorry, I don't want to make this too political, I'm just interested in others thoughts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:55 PM

Sam is English - and I think his heritage is Jewish.

Sam has developed a strong interest in Treveller culture, especially with regard to folk music. I think Stanley Robertson's Traveller heritage will be one of the things that interests Sam in his repertoire, and I certainly think that, culturally, the Traveller dimension is as important with reference to repertoire as the Scottish dimension.

I guess you could argue that the Traveller culture is equally "a culture fully distinct from (our) own", but if we stopped singing songs collected from Travellers, there wouldn't be a lot left... :).

My cultural heritage is Irish and Sicilian. I grew up in America. I've lived in England for almost 20 years and I sing mostly English songs. It feels right to me...I guess it has to be an individual choice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:57 PM

I should also add that, from what I remember, it was Stanley Robertson who chose Sam to take on his songs - I don't think it was something Sam actively sought.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 01:04 PM

Thanks for your reply Eddie, as a relative newcomer I find a lot of the 'sensitive' areas around traditional song, to be a minefeild to be honest! But your elaboration, reminds me that the songs themselves are the thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: mg
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 01:19 PM

I would start, as they recommend in at least one folklore graduate program, with your own locale or heritage. How about asking at the nearest elder facility if you can interview a few of the elders and see what they remember? There are probably tips and techniques for doing this..but you could come up with some treasures and have fun in the process...mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 01:24 PM

"I would start, [..] with your own locale or heritage. How about asking at the nearest elder facility if you can interview a few of the elders and see what they remember?"

Mg - yeah, I've thought about this since posting. My suspicion is that pickings will be thin to non-existent. But it's worth a try, hey? One never knows what someone might remember..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 01:35 PM

If you really want to collect folk songs, you could always enroll one of the programs at, say UCLA, or Indiana University, or Penn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Vic Smith
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 01:39 PM

Crow Sister wrote
Or maybe Sam has Scottish ancestry or something?


I wrote an article on Sam for fRoots and in the interview, Sam told me that his background was Eastern European Jewish.

Crow Sister wrote
So if I'm right, Sam is English and Stanley is Scottish?
Is there any err cultural confusion in this?


Well, there certainly could be if it was not done properly. Another time when Sam stayed at our house, Stanley was also there and I was able to witness a lesson and the intensity of the learning process that goes on as part of this apprenticeship. If you hear Sam sing a song that he has learned from Stanley, there is no attempt on Sam's part to adopt a false Scottish accent, but you can still hear the minutae of the decorations and the emotional intersity that he has learned from his great master.

When Sam sings one of Stanley's songs, there is no doubt that
a] the song is being sung in Sam's voice and
b] The source of the song is Stanley.
And to my mind, that is the way it should be.

I think that Crow Sister makes an interesting point about "cultural confusion" and it makes me think of another music and ask the following questions:-

Who are amongst the finest revival performers of Old Timey/Appalachian music and song?
Well, amongst them must be Bruce Molsky, Tom Paley, Sara Grey, John Cohen and Mike Seeger.

And what is the background of these five?
All New York/New England Jewish of Eastern European origins.

There might be a good study for an ethnomusicologist there - unless it has already been done!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 06:22 PM

Augusta Heritage, Davis & Elkins College, Elkins WV has been running an apprenticeship program for years.

I've seen/heard the results. It really works.

Augusta Heritage Apprenticeship Program

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: maeve
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 10:17 PM

Another kind of music learning opportunity is with Village Harmony summer ensembles: www.villageharmony.org

maeve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Surreysinger
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 11:47 AM

A great learning opportunity, yes, Maeve ... but I don't really think that a choral singing course quite equates with an apprenticeship with a traditional source singer, which was what Crow Sister was discussing in the initial post. (And I say that as a choral singer of many years' standing who really admires what Village Harmony and Northern Harmony do, and finds what they do very exciting.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: maeve
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 02:00 PM

Ah, but what the graduates of the workshops have learned makes for an excellent base of cultural and musical understanding in addition to the training in both solo and choral singing and in self-discipline. If Crow Sister is seeking a source musician with whom to apprentice, she (or anyone else considering such a path) will want to be learning everything she can in the meantime. Such an experience can only help in the preparations for further study.

"Many small steps train Grasshopper for the great leap" ;)

maeve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: BB
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 02:59 PM

It probably wouldn't be easy to find many Essex songs that would work for you (just as there are not that many Devon songs which work for me) - it's unlikely that you'd find all of them to your taste or whatever, but you could widen it to, say, East Anglia, which would give you a much bigger pool to dip into.

As to the Leigh FF, the lady you're thinking of may be Kiti Theobald, who is a fine singer (in fact, one of my favourites) of traditional songs, but not what is generally thought of as a traditional or "source" singer.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 04:12 PM

According to Bert Lloyd, in a number of the countries he collected in in Eastern Europe, would-be singers were apprenticed to established ones for a given period (years) at the the end of which they underwent an exam which consisted of making and improvising a song on the spot on a given subject.
Now there's a thought!
Crow Sister
"I've come to feel that it might not be the right thing to sing songs outside of my own cultural heritage as such"
This (much misunderstood) practice was adopted by the Singers Club FOR ITS OWN RESIDENTS ONLY, the idea being to open up the native repertoire rather than follow the trend at the time and sing American songs in a somewhat odd mid-Atlantic accent.
The idea originated from a suggestion by Alan Lomax - and it worked at the time.
Personally, while I hate pseud accents, be they cod American, 'Oirish', Mummerset, or bad Scots, I see no harm whatever in learning songs from the Irish or Scots (or even Canadian and American) repertoires as long as they adapt comfortably into your own vernacular.
I love the ballads (saw it on a tee-shirt once) and, as far as I'm concerned, the best of these by far are Scots. Most of them adapt pretty straghtforwardly and I'm more than happy to sing them, given the opportunity.
Who knows where they originated anyway!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 04:24 PM

As to the Leigh FF, the lady you're thinking of may be Kiti Theobald, who is a fine singer (in fact, one of my favourites) of traditional songs, but not what is generally thought of as a traditional or "source" singer.
she is a fine singer who sings traditional songs well,that is all that is important,there are bad traditional singers and goodsingers of traditional songs,give me the latter anytime.
BB,i


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Surreysinger
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 04:31 PM

Maeve - I don't totally disagree with what you say, but knowing Crow Sister's background, I think she's already been learning in that way for some time, and is stepping onwards!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 04:33 PM

that's fine Dick - it's simply not what the OP was asking for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Diva
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 05:23 PM

I second or third what was said about Sam he's a smashing lad and a very good singer.

A couple of years ago I was personally gifted a song by Stanley while we were out for dinner and it was quite an experience. The learning of and passing on of songs is a very special craft.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 09:29 AM

BB, sure - I should think in broader terms of East-Anglia for a more substantial repertoire if looking 'locally'. I have no desire to limit myself exclusively to songs from my region, but I think what would be nice would be if I learned at least a modest 'sub-set' of songs whose regional origins I have some personal relationship to - and it would be even nicer if I could hear some of these from a local singer. I know there are a couple of books out there on Essex folk song in particular, one of which I've already been promised a loan of.

Kiti Theobald was the lady I was thinking of. Thanks for reminding me. In fact I found her MySpace page: Kiti Theobald MySpace

Otherwise, I don't imagine myself seated at the feet of any master in the forseable future or indeed ever, despite the possible romance of the idea.
An intriguing notion since hearing brief references to Sam & Stanley's story though, so thanks for the elaboration offered on the subject. And following another thread, there's a most absorbing film in there surely, no?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 09:39 AM

And for what it's worth regarding previous comments here, I possibly aught to add that she describes herself as 'a singer of traditional songs.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: nutty
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 11:21 AM

Are we really carrying on the 'tradition' by learning songs from aged singers?

A song sung by someone in their youth can sound very different to one sung by someone in their dotage and IMHO many of the Kennedy recordings are the worst examples of traditional singing. One problem I had with the singing of Peter Bellamy was that he sounded like a ninety year old.
Yes, he was truly following his sources but I much prefer a young person to sing like a young person. One might use the same arguement in the way the (YOUNG) Copper Family interpret their family songs.

I realise that holding such views is likely to get me hung drawn and quartered.

As older manuscripts and broadsides become more available it is increasingly more possible to discover what original songs must have sounded like both in tune and content. I recently obtained a book of English Songs containing both words and music that was printed in 1811.

Apart from the changes made by the collectors in the past, publishers and the singers themselves had a hand in modifying 'traditional' material.

There is also the question of 'source singers'. Fred Jordon is often used as an example, yet he would admit to having learned songs from gramophone records - a source we have all used at some time in our singing career.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 12:43 PM

good post Nutty,Furthermore if a singer follows the examples of Maccoll/ Peggy Seeger,and voice exercises,the voice can go on sounding good into old age.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 01:23 PM

"Are we really carrying on the 'tradition' by learning songs from aged singers?
A song sung by someone in their youth can sound very different to one sung by someone in their dotage and IMHO many of the Kennedy recordings are the worst examples of traditional singing. One problem I had with the singing of Peter Bellamy was that he sounded like a ninety year old.
Yes, he was truly following his sources but I much prefer a young person to sing like a young person. One might use the same arguement in the way the (YOUNG) Copper Family interpret their family songs.
I realise that holding such views is likely to get me hung drawn and quartered"

No, I think you're totally right. I often wonder whether the style of singing we think of as 'folk' is actually entirely accidental and arbitrary: people trying to sing like old men and women with aged larynxes, whose voices have been weathered by, of necessity, having to belt it out unamplified in boisterous pubs. I mean, presumably singers in the 19th century didn't think of themselves as 'folk singers', they were just 'singers'.

With you on Peter Bellamy too. I have a sort of ambivalent affection for the singing of Peter Bellamy - and Ewan MacColl for the same reasons: I somehow manage to enjoy them while simultaneously thinking the stylisation just sounds all wrong. I suppose it's a case of appreciating what they were trying to do, what they were thinking, even if you personally totally disagree with it. And of course there's always the song beneath, no mater how it's being sung.

I think a quest for authenticity of style is a red herring in folk music. Quite apart from anything else, the voices on the VOTP recordings are very varied: it's not like they all sing the same way. I also feel very uneasy about using the word 'apprentice': sounds far too pompous. I mean, it's great that Sam Lee is so committed to the music that he is actively seeking out a singer with a old repertoire, rather than relying on recordings and transcriptions. But folk music isn't opera - it's more interesting than that (IMO). I find notions of rectitude - the "correct" way of doing things, "master" and "pupil" relationships etc - very offputting in the context of folk music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 01:26 PM

cookie gone. Matt Milton (for it is I) wrote the above post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 01:44 PM

If learning from the old people is simply about about the song or the tune it is a waste of both parties' time. There are much more efficient ways to build repertoire.

If learning from the old people is about mimicking them, both parties should view that as a stage in a process.

If you don't think the old people have anything more to offer than a limited repertoire and a few annoying stylistic idiosyncrasies, why bother?

Russ (Permanent GUEST and traditional musician)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Northerner
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 01:44 PM

Hi! I know Sam Lee. Like me he is apprenticed to Stanley Robertson. Stanley is getting increasingly housebound now. It was his birthday yesterday - I sang Happy Birthday over the phone to him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Drumshanty
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 02:01 PM

Much thought-provoking stuff there. First, I have to confess that I was never thinking along the lines of carrying on the tradition - it didn't occur to me. Maybe it should have...

Secondly, good question about learning from aged singers. Again, never occurred to me. The person I would like to mentor me is in their mid-40s.

And it never occurred to me to question my teachers when they said, "Go to the old recordings", but I will question that now, because for the life of me, I couldn't tell someone why it's more authentic to learn a song from a recording of, for example, Jeannie Robertson (superlative though she was) than it is to learn from a recording of . Maybe it isn't. Maybe that's just an assumption that I've been making all along and it needed correcting.

Hmmm...

[Sorry to ramble - I am, as ever, grateful to Mudcatters for forcing me to ask questions.]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 02:27 PM

My apologies to the following artist (though I doubt he will read this thread!), but although I really like some of the creative backing, I find the vocals almost bizzarely derivative: Andrew King


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 02:29 PM

Funnily enough for me there's been an inverse proportion to singing in a "traditional folk manner" and the seriousness and interest I've put into delving into the repertoire and tradition. I'm singing less and less "folkily" I would never have imagined a couple of years ago that I'd be spending money on 4th-hand musty old tomes and getting excited about discovering songs about foxes, or what are in effect 17th century adverts for a pub (to mention two random things I've been trying recently).

I probaly listen to Harry Cox, Walter Pardon, Cyril Poacher and others of a similar era than anything else at the moment, but even though I spend more and more time listening to them, I don't feel comfortable trying to sing like them. I think you can take subtle things from such singers - attitude more than anything, but also certain emphases, certain inflections, ornaments – and use them subtly. I think you can come unstuck if you try to go the whole hog.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 02:33 PM

"The person I would like to mentor me is in their mid-40s."

Drumshanty, sounds like you aughta pounce on them! ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM

Matt, are you the same guy who was into electronica and progressive ambient stuff? I'm sure I recall someone like that around here.
Would love to work some kind of creative mix of those genres, but I can't PM you - no need to reply of course, just noise making.. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 03:58 PM

Drumshanty,

There are excellent reasons for "going to the old recordings."
"Authenticity" is not one of them.

Russ (Permanent GUEST and traditional musician)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: giles earle
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 04:46 PM

This reminds me of the long-time debate in Early Music, about 'authentic' versus 'historically informed' performance.

Part of the argument goes, more or less, that although you can be as 'authentic' as possible using source material of the time, this doesn't necessarily give anthing like the same experience to modern listeners as to those who heard the music when first composed. How the average set of ears hears something depends on their owner's background/expectations/assumptions(/etc) - which has changed over time. Indeed, in some cases, 'authentic' performance can sound downright silly to modern ears: e.g. the staggeringly OTT florid decorations of 'genuine' Rococo performance would sound tasteless and pointless to most of us. Even the most dyed-in-the-wool Early Music practitioner draws a line well before reaching that sort of 'authentic'.

At its best, the 'historically informed' route is to study historic practice not in to follow it slavishly, but to communicate some flavour of the original music to a modern audience. A tricky balance to find, at times.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 05:01 PM

I'd have thought one good reason to learn directly from someone like Stanley Robertson is that it would be an incredible experience. Here's an elderly man who has been steeped in traditional music his entire life and is a brilliant storyteller to boot. Sounds like a dream job!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Traditional Singing and Apprenticeship
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 06:32 PM

Spleen,

You got it.

Russ (Permanent GUEST and traditional musician)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 12 November 3:43 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.