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what is old-timey music?

balladeer 14 Nov 04 - 09:09 PM
Leadfingers 14 Nov 04 - 09:12 PM
Once Famous 14 Nov 04 - 09:17 PM
Peace 14 Nov 04 - 09:21 PM
Robin2 14 Nov 04 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Al 14 Nov 04 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 14 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM
Bill D 14 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 15 Nov 04 - 12:30 AM
Bassic 15 Nov 04 - 04:12 AM
greg stephens 15 Nov 04 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Jon 15 Nov 04 - 05:01 AM
Pauline L 15 Nov 04 - 05:27 AM
BanjoRay 15 Nov 04 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 15 Nov 04 - 10:33 AM
GLoux 15 Nov 04 - 11:08 AM
Fortunato 15 Nov 04 - 11:44 AM
SINSULL 15 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM
Once Famous 15 Nov 04 - 12:04 PM
black walnut 15 Nov 04 - 12:33 PM
GLoux 15 Nov 04 - 12:47 PM
Once Famous 15 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Nov 04 - 01:27 PM
GLoux 15 Nov 04 - 01:47 PM
Bill D 15 Nov 04 - 06:42 PM
SINSULL 15 Nov 04 - 06:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Nov 04 - 09:11 PM
Franz S. 15 Nov 04 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,polkfunkrocker 15 Nov 04 - 09:30 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Nov 04 - 09:37 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM
GUEST 16 Nov 04 - 01:23 AM
GUEST 16 Nov 04 - 01:39 AM
GUEST,Boab 16 Nov 04 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,Boab 16 Nov 04 - 01:52 AM
Fortunato 16 Nov 04 - 07:58 AM
GLoux 16 Nov 04 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,Kaleb 16 Nov 04 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Arnie 16 Nov 04 - 11:55 AM
balladeer 19 Nov 04 - 12:42 PM
Ron Davies 20 Nov 04 - 11:42 AM
GUEST 13 Apr 08 - 11:39 AM
The Sandman 13 Apr 08 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Stringsinger 13 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM
topical tom 13 Apr 08 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Greycap 13 Apr 08 - 08:06 PM
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Subject: what is old-timey music?
From: balladeer
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:09 PM

This topic is probably more suited for a country-music site, but I know there are many people here who know a lot about a lot. Why is there often antipathy between bluegrass players and old-time players? Isn't one just an earlier form of the other? How does singing fit in to either? Is stringband music something else again? Balladeer


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:12 PM

I personally dont see the point in antipathy to ANY form of music unless its not being well played !! Its like the silly thing we used to get between Contemporary and Traditional Folk !!


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Once Famous
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:17 PM

Great question. I love bluegrass music where there seems to be room for innovation, flashy picking, tight harmonies, and improvosation(sp).

Old-timey music usually chases the bluegrassers out of the room because it seems to lack all of these qualities and is not as structered with songs that have a definitive begining, middle, and end.

Some of the old-timey tunes just go on forever without any variation in their structure for great lengths of time.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:21 PM

google

old timey music

The second and third sites on the page may be helpful.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Robin2
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:03 PM

Interesting, Martin

I prefer old-time, because to me bluegrass seems more structured. I hear many variations in playing oldtime music in jams, but it is subtle. Also, oldtime players tend to play more in unison, and not take "breaks" as clearcut as bluegrass players do. Oldtime is more informal to my ear.

Here in Kentucky, there is a very real differance between oldtime and bluegrass. Of course, there's room for both!

Robin


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:36 PM

As an old time fiddler, I can say that the biggest difference, bigger even than the breaks vs no breaks thing, is the sense of rhythm. I cannot for the life of me play a bluegrass "break" that matches their rhythm, and by and large, bluegrass fiddlers bugger up old time tunes so badly that they seem kind of like a mockery of the tune. Al


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM

If you sit down to play, and tune your instruments (onstage), it's old-timey. If you stand up and never tune, it's bluegrass.

Actually, bluegrass is a specific outgrowth of old-timey, and one that was created specifically as a performance music. It was Bill Monroe's sound in 1946, a culmination of a musical direction he took looking for an identifiable -- and salable -- "sound." In fact, when Flatt and Scruggs each quit his band, then reformed as their own band, he was livid, since they were stealing his trademark sound. It took him a long time to admit that he had actually fostered a whole genre of music. But he grew to like the "father of bluegrass" label.

Old-time music is the tradition-based stringband music that preceded Monroe. The first recordings of old-time music were in 1924, as I recall, but the "industry" of "country music" started in 1926, in Bristol Tennessee/Virginia (it's a border town). Ralph Peer, of Columbia records, sent a crew down there in July & August, and recorded a whole plethora of folks, from Jimmie Rodgers to the Carter Family to Rev. Alfred Karns to Pop Stoneman.

Now, the modern version of old-time music has become the modern string band, despite that "old-time" music included all those folks I mentioned, none of whom played endless fiddle tunes with improbable names (a common generic title is "___ in the ____"). It's this kind of presentation that upset our poster above, and also drives the bluegrassers crazy, 'cause it's dance music. It's meant to be long (you have all those dance figures to complete, once for each couple in the set) and boring (it's dance music, as I said). Vocals are usually reserved for when the fiddler's arm needs a rest.

Bluegrass is meant for the stage. It's not dance music (though you can dance individually -- or "couple-y" -- to it, it won't do for a set dance, like a square dance). It's supposed to have a structure that includes intros, outros, breaks, turn-arounds, bridges, vamping, and suchlike. Fiddle tunes don't have these as such, unless a stage presentation is intended, like with bands like the Skillet Lickers or the North Carolina Ramblers. Those bands were closer to bluegrass than the typical fiddle-tune-playing band, in that they were stage bands (who also played dances, of course).

So some bluegrass players consider old-time players to be musical "throw-backs," because such players have rejected the more modern sound of bluegrass. And old-timey players consider bluegrassers to be followers of flashy fashion, looking for the "new" when the old is solidly sound and wholesome.

In jazz, this division was between the beboppers and the mouldy figs, and was fought out on the pages of Downbeat in the late 40s and early 50s.

But wasn't it Louis Armstrong* who said "It's all folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing?"


Bob Clayton


* Also attributed to Big Bill Broonzy, Will Rogers, Ben Franklin, and Atilla (the hun), so maybe it wasn't Satchmo who said it.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM

a VERY real difference... Bluegrass is analogous to Irish session music, with very precise tempos and structures (and usually/often, a strict protocol about who plays what and in what order)...I have seen Bluegrass groups in a campground 'de-tune' a half step in order to ummmm,,'suggest' that an autoharp is not welcome....where most Old-timey groups welcome an autoharp... The songs also are different in basic subject matter and 'feel' between the two areas... Lisyen to The New Lost City Ramblers for a few hours, then Bill Monroe for a few and you'll begin to absorb the difference.

Bluegrass kinda grew out of Old-Timey and some other things, and picked up a driving sound that usually isn't present in the older stuff.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:30 AM

To me, the rhythmic difference that Al alluded to above boils down to one thing. Old-time music is meant for dancing - bluegrass music is meant for listening. Sure, it's possible to dance to bluegrass, but you just about can't help but dance to a good old time band.

Bluegrassers complain about old-time players playing the same tune for fifteen minutes, but there's something very meditative about playing in that old-time groove. I'd like to see a scientific study comparing the brainwaves of an old-time band and a bluegrass band while they're playing. I'm sure the old-time players would exhibit brainwave patterns pretty similar to those of people in a meditative state while the 'grassers' brainwaves would be closer to those of someone actively performing a task.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Bassic
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 04:12 AM

Thanks for the information folks. I`m sure that I, like many non US`ers have found this very enlightening. Unless you were brought up with this music or have subsequently made some kind of a study of it, then much of the discussions and debates about the two styles go over your head.

Having the oportunity to listen to music on the web via Folk Alley has opened me up to lots of new styles and this thread has allowed me to feel that I can start to draw some slightly more educated comparisons with music styles that I come across here in the UK. I can certainly grasp the "its dance music" concept and how that dictates much of what makes "Old timey" seem long winded and repetative when it is listened to away from a dance context.

I have a question about Bluegrass, which maybe should be in another thread, but I will start it here for now..........Where does the improvisational influence come from in Bluegrass?..........those first players who developed what became Bluegrass after WWII, had they come from a Jazz background? Old Time?....where? If Jazz, then the influence and technical skills in Bluegrass have obvious roots, if elsewhere then it is not so obvious to me and would be interesting to know.

I will make a stap at guessing that, as the rootes of Jazz were African American, and then heavily developed and influenced by eastern european imigrants to the US, so Old Timey had its roots in English Traditional music of several hundred years ago........so where was the development source for Bluegrass? The impact of Celtic influences? From Jazz again?

Anyone care to enlighten me?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 04:33 AM

English traditional dance music was very improvised till at least 1750ish(for a guess, these things are not well documented). I would think that habit would certainly have crossed the Atlantic and probably lasted in the backwoods, ready to feed into the bluegrass concept. Not that I am suggesteing that improviation was distictly English, plenty of other cultures that added an element to the mix in the Appalachians were improvisers too.
   As to the difference between oldtime and bluegrass...they are both fantastic music forms, but they do tend to appeal to different temperaments in different ways. My music collection, for example, contains loads and loads of oldtime stuff, as compared to one Bill Monroe EP, one Bill Monroe tape, and one Flatt and Scruggs LP(subseequently lost). I just dont dind bluegraas(post Monrow) that exciting. And I just love all oldtime recordings. On the other hand, plenty of musicians, that I know, love and respect, have precisely the opposite view. And I would say there are not that many people who like both equally.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 05:01 AM

Bill. I would not say "a VERY real difference... Bluegrass is analogous to Irish session music...".

I mostly play in Irish sessions but have on occasion tried to play in both bluegrass and old-timey sessions and I have found the old-timey has got far more in common with Irish in terms of the music, the way it is played and I think in terms of the players themselves.

Irish tempos are strict in the sense that everyone try to play in time with each other but that's it. In a session I would argue there are limits either way but there are no strict rules as to how fast or slow a piece should be played or how the tune is expressed. Let's not forget, Irish music itself has a variety of styles - contrast a slow lilting Clare style with a fast Donegal style...

In an Irish session, a common etitquitte is to take the tune/set at the way the person who started it off did although there is sometimes a little bit of "settling in". In that respect and in my experience, I would suggest that old-timey sits in between Irish and bluegrass.

Jon


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Pauline L
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 05:27 AM

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread and, especially to Bob Clayton, for explaining things so well.

Speaking as a fiddler, I find that playing old time music is a lot easier than playing bluegrass music. Old time music resembles dance music of many genres, since there is a lot of repetion and improvisation to avoid boredom. Bluegrass is performance music, and some of its players are real virtuosos.

In the Irish and Scottish traditions, a given tune can be played in either dance style or performance style, and there is a big difference for the performer. The obvious difference is rhythm, which has to be strict and steady for dancing. You've got to hit the notes right on the beat, so that when the dancers jump up, you bring them down to the floor on time. For dance music, there is a lot of improv, but it's subtle rather than flashy.

Pauline


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:57 AM

I had a conversation two days ago at a Gainsborough workshop with Dwight Diller, the great West Virginia old time banjo instructor, when he described to me what he thought the differences were between Old Time and Bluegrass. He told me that Bluegrass was developed as a stage music by people like Bill Monroe and many others - Stanley Bros, Don Reno and many more so that people who'd been forced by economics to leave their old homes to work in the cities could pay for a taste of it. Old Time music was brought from the old country by the old settlers and stayed with the families in their new cultures, gradually being modified by the folk process and encounters with other cultures - blacks, Native Americans, different europeans. Many of the old recordings by people like the Skillet Lickers, Charlie Poole, The Hillbillies etc, now being counted as Old Time, were part of the polishing-up process leading to the development of Bluegrass. To me, Bluegrass is a thin, single direction offshoot from a huge many faced old musical family. Modern old time stringband music is another. They're all great.
I don't think you see much antagonism between Bluegrass and Old Time (I hate the expression old-timey) in the UK. People enjoy pretending there is some, but we get on well.
Cheers
Ray (Chairman of Foaotmad)


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 10:33 AM

Songster Bob

Just a little nit-picking. The Bristol sessions in 1927 were for Victor not Columbia. Amazing the amount of first class music recorded.

Re Monroe being uptight with Flatt & Scruggs when they left for "stealing his trade mark". If I'm not mistaken the term 'bluegrass'(assuming that that is the trade mark to which you refer) was not in general use then to describe the music, this came a few years later and F & S didn't use that term to describe their band at the time. I'm sure that Monroe realised that it was Scruggs's banjo (he having replaced Dave 'Stringbean' Akeman) that gave his group the distinctive sound that came to epitomise what we have come to term Bluegrass, and that is what pissed him off. When F & S formed their own group they did not use mandolin and subsequently introduced the Dobro. Their harmony singing style was also somewhat different.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:08 AM

There's a great band, Big Medicine, that I just saw in concert last week in West Chester, PA and their repertoire is such that the band "runs the fault line between old-time and bluegrass..." (from the notes of their 2nd CD, Fever in the South). If you're trying to understand differences between old-time and bluegrass, I think it is also important to understand the overlap.

IMHO, there is no antipathy here. Only constipation.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Fortunato
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:44 AM

Yes, yes, Greg. I've got free exlax in my guitar case for the music nazis of both camps.

I find that the better the musician and the more educated the less constipated the old time or bluegrass player is.

And I don't give a tinker's dam for anyone who cares to tell me our music don't fit with their notion of either one. The better players in both camps invite us in.

As Big Mick and Micca like to say, 1,2,3 BITE ME to the rest of them.
sincerely,
Chance


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM

Old Timey to me means the Blue Sky Boys and Dorsey Dixon et al. Simple tunes, tight harmony, old fashioned values in the lyrics. Songs and tunes handed down from one generation to the next.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Once Famous
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:04 PM

Sinsull, for sake of categorizing, what you have suggested is old style country music like the brother acts with the tight harmonies.

I feel that what is described as old-timey string band music is devoid of those harmonies.

I do totally agree that the old-timey string band music is more dancable whereas bluegrass is for listening and performance orientated.

This is what really separates the men from the boys, as the bluegrass audience and musicians is by far more discriminating and sophisticated musically due to the aforementioned structure (beginning, middle, and end), along with stronger talents needed for breaks, group dynamics (not everyone playing at the same volume all at once), not to mention smooth vocal abilities needed for solos and harmonys.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: black walnut
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:33 PM

I remember asking Raymond MacLain that very question up at The Woods, Balladeer. I remember that he gave a very thoughtful and unusual answer, though blimey if I can remember what it was. It shure as heck didn't have anything to do with talent or ability.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:47 PM

I feel that what is described as old-timey string band music is devoid of those harmonies.

????????

Except when they sing, of course...

earliest recordings...

Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers
Georgia Yellow Hammers
Leake County Revelers
(I'll leave out the Carter Family)

or later...

New Lost City Ramblers
Red Clay Ramblers
Highwoods Stringband

or contemporary...

Foghorn Stringband
Big Medicine
Freighthoppers

A major attraction to old-time music for me is the vocals with harmonies.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Once Famous
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM

Perhaps.

I wouldn't mind checking out the contemporary examples you mention.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 01:27 PM

"Structured." Yes, bluegrass does seem to have got stuck in a rut.

(oops! closing out fast. Here comes my son-in-law, the bluegrass nut)


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 01:47 PM

Foghorn sound clips here

Big Medicine sound clips

Freighthoppers broke up a while back...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:42 PM

http://traditionalmusic.co.uk/whatisoldtime/old-time-music-definition.htm


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:52 PM

Thanks Bill. Lots more reading to do. But isn't it odd that a UK site has to define it for us?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:11 PM

Old Time Music- another attempt at definition, from America: Old Time Music

And here: Old Time

.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Franz S.
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:23 PM

Bill D.,

"I have seen bluegrass groups in a campground 'detune'..."

I have also seen bluegrass groups in a campground welcome not only autoharps but pennywhistles and a sitar.

But then I live in California.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,polkfunkrocker
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:30 PM

clarity is often more effectively apparent
from a DISTANT PERSPECTIVE..

errrr.. or something else profound sounding..??

oldtimey = nice warm friendly communal rootsy amateurish mates music

bluegrass = showbiz virtuosity

bluetimey = underground gentlemens cinema club in soho..


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:37 PM

One of the first times I saw the term was the title "Old Time Music At Clarence Ashley's" Not surprisingly, when they put the album out on CD it was Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley. Watson will sell a lot more CDs..

If you look at the songs and combinations of singers and instrumentalists on Old Time Music At Clarence Ashley's they range from Lee Highway Blues and Humpbacked Mule to Rising Sun Blues and Amazing Grace. Through time, "old-timey" has become "old-time" and basically refers to string bands. Labels evolve through time, driven as much as anything by the desire to sell recordings. Rhythm and Blues in the fifties meant everything from slow ballads by street-corner groups like the Penguins and the Flamingos, to jump tunes by Little Richard and Joe Turner and rocking piano with Fats Domino. Now, the groups are called Doo wop.. a term that didn't appear until several years after the music became popular, and rhythm and blues now means slow, sensual make-out music, mostly, and the more upbeat stuff is likely to be labeled Hip Hop.

I consider old-time music to be Darby and Tarlton and Grayson and Whitter as much as Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers or Charlie Poole. I love it all, and a major reason why I love it all is that it is so indivudal... no rules to follow.

The rules and restrictions came later to reach a mass audience.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM

Old-Timey vs. Bluegrass? I wouldn't pay a dime to hear either style - 20 minutes and it starts repeating. Basically boring.
Old-Timey = bastardised Irish and Scotish tunes without the difficult bits. Not even a set (series of tunes) to brighten the monotony of the same tune played 50 times. Like the religious background of the Americas, where no-one is expected to be better than anyone else, no player or singer makes an attempt to play or sing at other than a basic level or sing other than adenoidal harmonies.
Blue grass = playing the same style tunes faster and in a different key where everyone in the group has to play a lead. Everyone is encouraged to show off their musical prowess, but the same structure in every tune tends to limit the possibilities of range and after a while it all sounds the same. Songs have the same nasal (and very annoying) adenoidal harmonies.   
Give me a person with an instrument played well and songs with a story or a statement any time over your Old-Timey or Bluegrass schlock.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:23 AM

We aren't trolling there, are we guest?

It is very hard for me to think of Doc Watson as playing anything "without the difficult bits." The same for Clark Kessinger or about a thousand other participants in one of the world's most arduous traditional art forms. These guys are old-time, though they both play (or played) bluegrass whenever they felt like it.

Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice are great musicians also, but their art form isn't really traditional- in their own minds or in the mind of their audience. Bluegrass claims healthy traditional roots, but values innovation and individual expression. Like old-time, the skills of bluegrass are so arduous that it is usually played to specialty audiences who have cultivated an appreciation of the virtuosity required for the particular pieces.

Of course, "arduous" doesn't mean "good" and you should certainly listen to stuff that is more to your taste.

Incidentally, old recordings of hillbilly music (the recorded root form of old-time, bluegrass, and country music) often include very strong blues elements. Most folks look back only a few years before modern records and radios and see a time when blues was part of the same root form.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:39 AM

Wow, guest is a grump.......Hmmm..Why don't you tell us what it is YOU DO like so we can reciprocate. And..........the "religous background of the America's where no one is expected to be better than anyone else??////// First off there is no ONE specific religious background for ALL americans, and secondly THAT certainly wasn't part of the stupid protestant work ethic movement in early America....Why it was just as categorical prejudical, arrogant, condescending and judgemental as YOU>


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:50 AM

Guest---[two up!] you must be a member of some symphony orchestra; either that or you lead a seriously music-starved existence.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:52 AM

By the time I posted I should have said "three up". Jeeze--pick a name ! "Cabbage" or " Blooter guts' or something......


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Fortunato
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 07:58 AM

Jerry Rasmussen speaks the truth, as always. I'm glad he has the patience to do it. If you see this, Jerry, my best to Ruth.

chance


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GLoux
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 09:44 AM

Incidentally, old recordings of hillbilly music (the recorded root form of old-time, bluegrass, and country music) often include very strong blues elements. Most folks look back only a few years before modern records and radios and see a time when blues was part of the same root form.

The Mississippi old-time duet, Narmour and Smith, brought John Hurt to the attention of the record company. I love that story...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Kaleb
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 10:44 AM

I completey agree with what Bee-dubya-ell said about the old-time groove being very meditative. In a really good session where everyone is in the same place rhythmically, you get into a kind of hypnotic state and there's no longer any separation between you and your instrument and the other people and the music. And once you're in that state the number of times you've played through the tune or the length of time you've been playing loses any meaning, you just don't want it to end.   

Here is a clip of the Freight Hoppers in their prime:
http://www.banjonews.com/PrtyLtlGrl.mp3


-Kaleb


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 11:55 AM

On Greg's note about the blues -there is an internet old time music program that is featuring blues influences in old time music at http://www.sugarinthegourd.com/ right now. A Great Listen!


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: balladeer
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 12:42 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your input and your links. Much as I like to read articles, I was most interested in the discussion. As people expressed differing points of view, I could see there are many shades of grey here, just as there are in the "what is folk music" debate that erupts in each new generation. Thanks for taking the time (and if anyone has more to add, here's the thread back again [for today anyway]).

Balladeer


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 11:42 AM

Somebody earlier in the thread said "......not to mention the Carter Family"

Aren't they one of the main links between old-time and bluegrass, especially repertoire?


I think Charlie Poole material may be another link.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:39 AM

Hey GLoux,

Just so's folks here know ..

The Freighthoppers Ride Again!
http://www.myspace.com/thefreighthoppers

By the way, great thread guys.

After all's said & done though, don't you think we all just ~ "Like what we listen to & listen to what we like." .. eh :-)

Cheers
Dick

The Old Time Music Forum (Europe)
http://oldtimehammer.proboards76.com/v45index.cgi?


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:55 AM

what is old timey music?well different people will have different perceptions.
personally I prefer most of it to bluegrass.
in the same way I prefer The original Carter Family to the later versions,could it be that old timey is closer to its roots.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Stringsinger
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM

Bluegrass: Highly stylized performance music evolved from traditional string-band
sources but modified to exhibit technical proficiency on guitars, banjos, fiddles and bass.
Themes include contemporary songs ala country music (Nashville style) or religious themes.
Harmonies feature quartet or duo singing ala gospel groups.

Old Time: String-band dance music. The purpose originally to accompany dancing,
sets, squares etc.

Individual players I don't believe fall into the category. I would call them traditional folk singers such as Clarence Ashley, Doc Boggs, Buell Kazee, Roscoe Holcomb, Doc Watson, Jean Ritchie etc.

If you separate the old time string band from the dancers, it becomes kinda' repetitive.
The energy comes from accompanying dancers.

Stringsinger


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: topical tom
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 01:43 PM

I guess this has already been said but I like to put in my two cents worth anyway.
   To me, old time music is a descendant of primarily Celtic and English music of yore.It is much more basic, less intricate than the later bluegrass.The latter would appear to be inventive and varied both in lyrics and instrumentation.
   Having said all this, I love both styles.For old time some of my favourites are:
                The New Lost City Ramblers
                The Carolina Chocolate Drops
                Olabelle Reed

    Bluegrass: The Del Mccoury Band
                Flatt and Scruggs
                Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:06 PM

To give my 10 cents worth, I love both.
I can also distinguish between them but find it hard to describe to anyone else if they haven't been in touch with the music of America.
You will either know, or you won't.
They are both my favourite genres of music. They are great.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:30 PM

GUEST (Dick), looks like folks read the top of this old thread and missed your exciting news, so I've started a new thread for it on its own. Thanks for the hot tip!!

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Janie
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:26 PM

From the peanut gallery, I first became interested in Old-Time music in the late '60's when the West Virginia revival of the music began. At small festivals, private parties, and on front-porches we would gather nearly every Saturday night. The players played, and the rest of us danced. These weren't dances, they were music parties, but the dancing was part and parcel. We'd clog or flat-foot, and there was always a space left clear on the porch or in the living room with the rugs rolled back for the dancers. When the weather was fine and the yard was flat or the traffic in the street was light, we'd line up and do simple reels that most everyone knew, since we didn't use a caller. At the small festivals, (My personal favorite was BJ Hunter's Old-Time music festival, near Marlinton, WV - just 150 to 200 people in the early years, and like a family reunion of old-time music folks from throughout the state,) you could count on impromptu reels starting up in the evening, provided we weren't *ss deep in rain and mud:>)

In Morgantown, old-time and Irish music prevailed, and now that I think about, we did a lot more dancing up there. Down in Charleston, the gang was more diverse. Some leaned more toward old-time, some leaned more toward bluegrass/ but there was certainly no clear line drawn in the sand. I will say that we danced less at the parties in Charleston when bluegrass musicians were in the majority.

I participated in African Dance classes for several years after we moved to North Carolina. The dancers and the drummers are of a piece, make frequent eye-contact with one another, and riff off each other. Back when I was young and it was all informal and just 15 or 40 folks getting together on a Saturday night, it was similar with old time music and dance.

Janie


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 04:06 AM

from what I understand the fiddle bowing styles of old timey and bluegrass are quite different.
generally[there are probably examples, that are exceptions]old timey fiddle bowing uses a particular slurring pattern,whereas Bluegrass fiddle bowing,the fiddle slurring,has much more variety.,and and more vareied and different combinations of seperates and slurs.
old timey fiddlers would tend to bow eight quavers,slur 2, 2 seperate. slur 2 2 seperate,bluegrass fidlers appear to bow differently.
I apologise if I have oversimplified or generalised,as Iam sure someone can quote a minority of old timey fiddlers who dont bow like this.


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Subject: RE: what is old-timey music?
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:18 AM

Fascinating......nice to see it's not just the UK "what is folk" debate that can tie people in knots! Less vitriol than when the trad v contemporary crowds get started though!

To me (as a UK banjo player) the difference between Bluegrass and Old Timey is the banjo technique employed. Bluegrass is usually picked using "roll" patterns whereas, Old Time(y) is usually played either frailing or clawhammer style using down strokes rather than up picking....having said that some people do "up" frail (Pete Seeger included).

Love both genres anyway.

Paul


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