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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Songster Bob Wrong speeds, tunes and instruments? (47) RE: Wrong speeds, tunes and instruments? 12 Sep 08

"The consensus was that the music had been speeding up for decades, no doubt under the influence of movies, TV and radio."

One of the main influences for speeded-up playing was, of all things, the folk festival. Also for fancy dancing moves and costumes in place of every-day clothing. I think it was at the White Top Mountain folk festival in the 30s (I want to say 1933, but can't recall what I read about all this) where the participating bands and dancers mostly worked at decent speeds, but one or two featured higher speeds and lots of step-dance moves and swishing of petticoats and such, and those bands got more audience approval (cheers and shouts, actually). Come the next year, all the bands played fast, and all the dancers featured fancier dresses for the women, with flashing petticoats and clog-dancing precision included in the dances (clogging is a solo dance style, or was till this event).

To be honest, the radio and 78-rpm records that stared the USA country music industry also featured somewhat higher speeds among the bands, so it wasn't all due to the folk festival, but basically, what you see is the musicians' response to the existence of an audience, as opposed to the existence of the "other half of the team" -- dancers. In a dance, you're working together, for each other. In a performance, you're working to GAIN THE APPROVAL OF A GROUP THAT IS NOT WORKING WITH YOU. You're working FOR THEM, for their attention and approval. It's a different dynamic.


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