Mudcat Café message #988784 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61467   Message #988784
Posted By: HuwG
23-Jul-03 - 10:20 AM
Thread Name: Ban which instruments @ song circles
Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
I hate to contradict anyone, Pied Piper, but all the syllogisms you have postulated lack a distributed middle term. In fact, they lack any explicit middle term, although in many cases, one can be implied.

To take an exmple :

Electrically amplified instruments can play loudly.
Electrically amplified instruments cannot play quietly.

A more valid syllogism might be :

Electrically amplified instruments can play loudly.
An electric guitar is an electrically amplified instrument.
Therefore an electric guitar can play loudly.

Or better yet :

Electrically amplified instruments can play loudly.
Owners of electric guitars are brash, insensitive show-offs.
Therefore they will play an electric guitar loudly.

Of course, an invalid syllogism doesn't invalidate the initial premises, and doesn't necessarily invalidate the conclusion (as in this case, where I will acknowledge that you are always right).

However, I will allow that certain instruments have the capacity to ruin a session, either by dominating the play to the exclusion of all others (e.g. a Strat, played through a Marshall Stack and a Distortion pedal, or by providing an irrelevant and distracting accompaniment (e.g. a shaky egg, played too fast or on legato tunes which don't need any accompaniment).

As do certain players I know ...

I attend the Monday sessions at The Globe, and usually find myself sitting next to the player who brings along the electric bass guitar. I have no trouble with this instrument, or with the semi-professional percussionist who brings along a bongo, or the nice lady with the bodhran. However, one player once turned up with nothing more offensive than an acoustic guitar. As the fiddle player started the first tune in the round, the guitarist picked up the key of D, and started thrashing along to it so loudly and enthusiastically that he and everybody next to him missed the chord change to Am. Like, ugh !

Other guitarists have the bad habit of "noodling", playing all sorts of irrelevant snatches and licks while somebody tries to start something with fiddle, squeeze box, mandolin or voice. And yes, I was guilty until someone trod heavily on my foot as a gentle reminder.