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Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing

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Kudzuman 18 Feb 03 - 01:36 PM
Ed. 18 Feb 03 - 01:58 PM
alanabit 18 Feb 03 - 03:14 PM
Rustic Rebel 18 Feb 03 - 04:06 PM
Kudzuman 18 Feb 03 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Q 18 Feb 03 - 05:34 PM
Banjer 18 Feb 03 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Abby the Spoon Lady 05 Apr 11 - 09:59 AM
doc.tom 05 Apr 11 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Abby the Spoon Lady 28 Apr 11 - 05:42 PM
olddude 16 Mar 19 - 02:32 PM
Joe Offer 17 Mar 19 - 03:32 PM
Tradsinger 18 Mar 19 - 06:03 AM
The Sandman 18 Mar 19 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 18 Mar 19 - 10:40 AM
Vic Smith 18 Mar 19 - 11:28 AM
Vic Smith 18 Mar 19 - 11:35 AM
meself 18 Mar 19 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Tootler 18 Mar 19 - 01:40 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 19 - 02:30 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 19 - 02:31 PM
Mo the caller 19 Mar 19 - 06:28 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 10:17 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Kudzuman
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 01:36 PM

Not looking for a specific incindent you understand, but does anyone know why someone picked up a pair of metal spoons to play as say opposed to bones or wooden sticks and when did spoon playing become prevavalent? Thanks in advance!!

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Ed.
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 01:58 PM

Nothing much on the origin, but you might enjoy this Spoon Playing site


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: alanabit
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 03:14 PM

It takes a spoon player to remind me of the one good thing I know about Uri Geller...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 04:06 PM

That's a pretty entertaining site Ed. I don't know the origins either, more than likely from playing bones, but I used to make wooden spoons for playing. I also knotch the handles for a right fit to your fingers. I like the sound of the wooden spoons better than metal, it's not as sharp a sound from wooden.
A brief history to Jug bands, has some interesting reading.
Peace. Rustic


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Kudzuman
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 05:32 PM

Good stuff to check out!! Mucho Thanks!!

The Vine that ate the South
Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 05:34 PM

Who made the first spoons? As likely as anyone.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Banjer
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 06:31 PM

Who made the first spoons? As likely as anyone.

Probably someone that got tired of their soup leaking through the fork tines!! **BG**


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: GUEST,Abby the Spoon Lady
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 09:59 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Iyt4UWHRWg

not all spoons are bad.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: doc.tom
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 10:30 AM

Reminds me of one Irishman's comment to Bill Delderfield when he was playing spoons in a session in Ireland some years ago: "We don't often hear spoons around here - what we usually say to spoons players is 'would you like some soup'." He did then go on to compliment Bill on his playing and the fact that his playing had gaps in it!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: GUEST,Abby the Spoon Lady
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 05:42 PM

SPOONOLOGY – A HISTORY OF SPOON PLAYING

In America people usually associate the playing of spoons with the image of an old man on his front porch slapping a pair of spoons between his knee and his hand. Although this mental image is not completely inaccurate, there is much more to spoon playing than that. Another image that folks seem to attribute to spoon players is that of the guy or gal picking up a pair of spoons from behind the bar or from the kitchen cabinet to play along with the band playing at a venue or a house show, and butchering the timing and rhythm. That being said, please note that when given the right amount of respect and practice, spoons can actually become a complex rhythm instrument that compliments the music. Practice makes perfect.

There have been spoon players since before written history. Prehistoric rock drawings and pottery as early as the 4th millennium depict dancing figures with curved blades in their hands. Spoons belong to a class of instrument called concussion idiophone. This general class of instruments includes the oldest instruments known to man. Spoons themselves are prehistoric, and you can say that there have been spoon players since around the invention of the spoon.

Many ancient cultures played spoons. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all played spoons and a variation of the spoons called the rattle bones or the rhythm bones. Rhythm bones are essentially a pair or set of three bones, usually sheep and cattle bones, placed in the hand parallel to the palm with the convex sides facing each other. The bones are placed between each finger, with one finger being used like a hinge, and the moving one's wrist so that in such a way that the bones hit each other. Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all played spoons and bones in their battle marches and some even speculate that human bones were used. During the crusades, when these armies were marching the clicking or the bones and spoons meant to their enemy that "the pagans were coming" and it was time to prepare for battle, or to even run and hide.

Spoons play a part in many different cultures. The Irish, French-Canadian, Turkish, Russian and Vietnamese all played spoons as a part of their traditional music heritage. In America spoons are associated with minstrels, jug bands, and folk music.

Notable spoon players are Artis the Spoonman, Sam Spoons, Deb "Spoons" Perry, David Holt, and Tran Quang Hai. Keeping these ancient art forms is important to not only our own culture, but to the world. The playing of spoons is keeping these ancient traditions alive, and forming new ones.

Happy clicking. - ABBY THE SPOON LADY


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Subject: Abby the spoon lady
From: olddude
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 02:32 PM

Love it
https://youtu.be/_nLmM9kcBKs


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Mar 19 - 03:32 PM

Hi, Olddude. I moved you over here, where Mudcatters can see some of the wisdom Abby has posted here over the years. Click on her name to see more.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Tradsinger
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 06:03 AM

Abby, you forgot to mention that spoon playing is very much part of English folk tradition - loads of spoon players over here.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 07:44 AM

the problem i have with spoon players is that some of them do not listen or play quietly, but sometimes want to be the centre of attention.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 10:40 AM

Dick, sometimes it just happens! My wife Francie is an excellent rhythmic if relatively quiet spoons player.
A few years ago, playing in a Wigtown pub at the Book Festival one afternoon, it was going fine, as was the booze. I was 'giving it rice' when a young woman who'd had too many Bacardi Breezers came over & shoved my shoulder- saying 'Play quieter you, I cannae hear the spoons for ye'...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 11:28 AM

The main achievement of the coming of the Cutlery Percussion Brigade has been to provide material for this magnificent song by Con Fada O'Drisceoil.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 11:35 AM

And if his rich Corl brogue makes your understanding of his sublime poetry difficult to understand, here are the lyrics:-
In the tavern one night we were sitting
I’m sure ‘twas the last week in March;
From our drinks we were cautiously sipping
To ensure that our throats didn’t parch.
We played music both lively and dacent
To bolster our spirits and hopes,
As we gazed at the females adjacent
And remarked on their curves and their slopes.

Til this gent wandered into the session
And decided to join in the tunes:
Without waiting to ask our permission
He took out a big pair of soup-spoons.
Our teeth in short time we were gritting
As he shook and he rattled his toys,
And the company’s eardrums were splitting
With his ugly mechanical noise.

Hopping spoons off our heads to provoke us
He continued the music to kill;
Whether hornpipe, slow air or Polkas
They all sounded like pneumatic drills.
Then he asked could we play any faster
As his talent he wished to display
With a grin on the face of the bastard
Like the cat when she teases her prey.

Our thoughts by this time were quite bloody
And politely we asked him to quit
We suggested a part of his body
Where those spoons might conveniently fit.
This monster we pestered and hounded
We implored him with curses and tears,
But in vain our appeals they resounded
In that desert between his two ears.

When I went out the back on a mission
He arrived as I finished my leak
He says "this is a mighty fine session
I think I’ll come here every week".
When I heard this, with rage I was leppin’
And this torture I’d no longer take
I looked ‘round for a suitable weapon
To silence this damn rattlesnake.

Outside towards the yard I did sally
To find something to vanquish my foe.
I grabbed hold of a gentleman’s Raleigh
With 15 speed gear and dynamo.
Then I battered that musical vandal
As I shouted with furious cries
"My dear man your last spoon you have handled
Say your prayers and await your demise."

With the bike I assailed my tormentor
As I swung in a frenzy of hate
Til his bones and his skull were in splinters
And his health in a very poor state.
And when I was no longer able
I forestalled any last minute hitch
By removing the gear-changing cable
And strangling the sonofabitch.

At the end of my onslaught ferocious
I stood back and surveyed the scene.
The state of the place was atrocious
Full of fragments of man and machine.
At the spoons player's remains I was staring
His condition was surely no joke
For his nose was clogged up with ball-bearings
And his left eye was pierced by a spoke.

At the sight I was feeling quite squeamish
So I washed up and went back inside
Then I drank a half gallon of Beamish
As my throat in the struggle had dried.
Unpolluted by cutlery's clatter
The music was pleasant and sweet
For the rest of the night nothing mattered
But the tunes and the tapping of feet

At an inquest the following September
The coroner said "I conclude
The deceased by himself was dismembered
As no sign could be found of a feud.
And the evidence shows that the fact is,
As reported to me by the Guards
He engaged in the foolhardy practice
Of trick-cycling in public house yards.

So if you’re desperately keen on percussion
And to join in the tunes you can’t wait
Be you Irishman, German, or Russian
Take a warning from his awful fate.
If your spoons are the best silver-plated
Or the humblest of cheap stainless steel
When you play them abroad, you’ll be hated
So just keep them for eating your meals


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: meself
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 11:54 AM

"some of them do not listen or play quietly, but sometimes want to be the centre of attention."

Funny, I've run into some fiddlers like that. And some banjo-players. And guitar-players. And accordian players. And piano-players. And, and ........


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: GUEST,Tootler
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 01:40 PM

And ... and ... Bohran players :)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 02:30 PM

meself that is their role they are melody players the melody should be louder than bodhrans spoons or drums, they are supposed to be feckin accompaniment instruments, we do not need them at alkl, unless they help to lift the music most [not all ] do not why dont they piss opff when they try to take over


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 02:31 PM

after all without the melody players they would just be noise , about time they remembered that


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: Mo the caller
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 06:28 AM

There were spoons workshops at the old Poynton festival (probably in the 80s) and one of the artists in the concert had an uninvited spoon-player in the audience. I think it might have been Vin Garbut (would he have been playing a tune between songs?). The player deliberately speeded up until the spoons player gave up - to the appreciation of the rest of the audience.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Origin of Spoon playing
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 10:17 AM

The lovely Pat Smith of Llantrisant still does workshops at festivals all over the place, armned with a kitchen drawer of spoons.

Ed Pickford told of a folkie who played not only the spoons, but the comb & paper- if necessary, he could replace all his equipment at Wilko's for a fiver


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