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Worst Instrument Ever?

Jack Blandiver 05 Jul 14 - 06:07 AM
GUEST 05 Jul 14 - 03:47 AM
LadyJean 04 Jul 14 - 11:37 PM
Tattie Bogle 04 Jul 14 - 10:58 AM
Jack Campin 04 Jul 14 - 08:55 AM
GUEST 04 Jul 14 - 05:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Jul 14 - 05:10 AM
GUEST 04 Jul 14 - 05:03 AM
Jack Campin 04 Jul 14 - 04:19 AM
GUEST 04 Jul 14 - 03:05 AM
LadyJean 04 Jul 14 - 01:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jul 14 - 04:15 PM
Jack Campin 03 Jul 14 - 03:35 PM
Tattie Bogle 03 Jul 14 - 01:49 PM
GUEST 03 Jul 14 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Desi C 03 Jul 14 - 02:42 AM
Jack Campin 02 Jul 14 - 07:31 PM
GUEST 02 Jul 14 - 02:53 PM
Tattie Bogle 02 Jul 14 - 02:06 PM
Mr Red 02 Jul 14 - 02:37 AM
Jack Campin 02 Jul 14 - 12:25 AM
GUEST 01 Jul 14 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Mar 07 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,teachers pest 06 Mar 07 - 04:51 PM
Alec 06 Mar 07 - 03:54 PM
Alec 06 Mar 07 - 03:50 PM
Alec 06 Mar 07 - 03:44 PM
Scrump 06 Mar 07 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Cragrat 06 Mar 07 - 02:00 PM
Alec 06 Mar 07 - 01:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Mar 07 - 09:44 AM
Scrump 06 Mar 07 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,BM Baillie 06 Mar 07 - 07:15 AM
Jim Lad 06 Mar 07 - 04:40 AM
Scrump 06 Mar 07 - 04:21 AM
Jim Lad 06 Mar 07 - 01:47 AM
Songster Bob 05 Mar 07 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,::: 05 Mar 07 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 05 Mar 07 - 06:11 PM
mick p r.m s.c 05 Mar 07 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 05 Mar 07 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Cragrat 05 Mar 07 - 12:33 PM
Alec 05 Mar 07 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,banjoman 05 Mar 07 - 11:30 AM
Scrump 05 Mar 07 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 05 Mar 07 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 04 Mar 07 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 04 Mar 07 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,pitheris 04 Mar 07 - 05:53 PM
Scrump 04 Mar 07 - 05:18 PM
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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 06:07 AM

Does the lava lamp in that Sedayne video contribute to the sound

Not that one anyway; it's been replaced with a vintage Mathmos for that authentic 'Future of things Past' vibe so essential to we analogue revivalists dreaming of Delia, Daphne and the EMS Synthis of our youths before folk lead us astray!

*

As for the other thing, Jack (best addressed here I think), the song I referred to was composed by the singer; it's a piece of dreamy exotica supposedly inspired by seeing a South Seas holiday poster one cold rainy winter day in London. In it, the girl murmers the words I quoted. Beautiful song it is too, a lifelong favourite, but now junked along with so much else...


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 03:47 AM

Arrested? No. You're confusing him with the inventor of the wobble board!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: LadyJean
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 11:37 PM

Please tell me the inventor of the Otamatone has been arrested. He should be. It makes me long for the pvc crum horn.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 10:58 AM

Have we had bombardes and binious yet? I don't personally dislike them, but enough to send a cat heading through a plate-glass window!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDwfBx2MzYc


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 08:55 AM

Does the lava lamp in that Sedayne video contribute to the sound?

I imagine that you could make the blobs in a lava lamp play a theremin somehow. After all a kitten can do it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXn4_JkVFVo


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 05:11 AM

Ditto, the inventor.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 05:10 AM

Love those Otamatones, Jack. I fancy the deluxe model, with the line out, which could be a lot of fun.

Analogue Ribbons are very in right now with Korg's mighty Monotribe and their super cheap range of lo-fi mini Monotrons. The Monotron Delay packs an especial punch, if only for the amazing delay unit - Here's me using it purely for this purpose hooked up to a Volca Keys.

Imagine it hooked up to a Otamatone! Watch this space...


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 05:03 AM

Where can I get one?

I want to drive my car over it....very many times!!!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 04:19 AM

Silent Night on two Otamatones and guitar

Greensleeves on an Otamatone trio

Scotland the Brave (solo, using another Otamatone as the drone)


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 03:05 AM

How come nobody's mentioned a harmonium yet?

Then there was the priceless moment when a spoons player turned around to discover the waitress had collected his "instruments" for the washing up - he was never able to identify which ones were his thereafter, it was that kind of pub.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: LadyJean
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 01:06 AM

I knew a fellow who had a Crumhorn made of pvc piping. Count your blessings if you didn't. There's some instrument from Spain that's made from a cow horn, and sounds like the cow is having a pelvic exam.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 04:15 PM

Ukuleles - because they've taken over the world.

(With apologies to Shimrod from 04 Mar 07 - 05:26 AM).


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 03:35 PM

Anybody seen an Otamatone at a session yet?


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 01:49 PM

Ah yes, concertinas en masse, like a flock of honking geese..............


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 07:35 AM

Worst is the sound of a loud Jeffries concertina tuned to old pitch in an A:440 session.

Almost as bad as Rambling Syd Rumpo impersonators.....

And people who sing like pirates. (Aaaaaaarrrgghhh!)


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 03 Jul 14 - 02:42 AM

There re 3 in particular that often some old dar pull out and insist on offending our ears with, I would have the following destroyed forever 1) the dreadful Kazoo thing, truly awful, 2) The Spoons, they should oly pe played all over the users head! 3) The bones just plain macabre. I would have added the musical Saw, but I heard one lst year and it actually sounded quite good. Oh and much as the Violin is my favourite instrument, do NOT ever ply it unless you're at lest profficient!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 07:31 PM

Soulless? Like this?

PerKelt

(Ordinary factory-made plastic recorders, as far as I can see).


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 02:53 PM

The toneless, soulless recorder .... ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

(BTW Jack, where's the Reid Museum in Embra?)


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 02:06 PM

Any "wet-tuned" instrument. I.e.some accordions and melodeons. That slightly off-key sound is just horrible! I play B/C button accordion myself - nice pure sound if I hit the right notes!
Musical saw is even fine by me, so long as it's not a fiddle being sawed.
Very happy with hurdy-gurdies, nyckelharpas, autoharps, bagpipes (outdoors if it's the GHB), melodeons in pure-tone, bodhrans, spoons, washboards, string basses, and banjos - if played well and at an appropriate owing in the session.
I once went to a concert of multiple serpents and ophicleides: now that was an odd experience, but not unlikeable, if a bit off-key at times.
But as others have said, it's not so much about the instrument as how it's played.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 02:37 AM

a couple of years back they had some band at Towersey FF that were distinctly unFolk. The singer had all sorts of percussion, like a typewriter. It didn't strike me (as a drummer) to add anything to the music, and neither did the music come to think of it.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jul 14 - 12:25 AM

Not a good week for the stylophone (or wobble board), is it?


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 14 - 09:05 PM

the cuica... sounds like a baboon being raped by a donkey


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 04:29 AM

Hi Scrump and Jim Lad,

I'm glad that we agree and it's not just me! Perhaps we ought to start a movement for 'Singing in the Natural Voice' - or something (?)

A good start might be listening to recordings of trad. singers, eg. Harry Cox, Sam Larner, Lizzie Higgins, Sarah Makem etc., etc. They might have sung in a variety of regional accents but they sang in their natural voices.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,teachers pest
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 04:51 PM

BAGPIPES


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Alec
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 03:54 PM

Mariah Carey How do you solve a problem like Mariah? Easy;tell her to stop squawking.She may have a 100-octave range and the ability to sing so loudly that birds nests fall from trees,but that doesn't make it right.
Q Magazine.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Alec
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 03:50 PM

Celine Dion Her heart will go on.As do her songs.Though they would be somewhat shorter if she didn't grind out every note as if bearing some kind of grudge against the very notion of economy.
Q Magazine.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Alec
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 03:44 PM

Nick Heyward Gurning milksop who sang about the Lemon Fire Brigade with his band Haircut 100.Any more twee and he be comparing his girlfriend to "a little steam whistle".Actually,he did that too.
Q Magazine.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 03:34 PM

I say, steady on, Cragrat old chap. Goodness knows what effect the album she made with Kate Rusby would have on you :-)

Interesting "Worst Singers" list, Alec. I don't know a few of those; perhaps it's just as well.

But I have never liked Celine Dion (far too strident IMO) or Mariah Carey (whose motto seems to be "why sing one note when 20 will do?" - overdone ornamentation). I thought they were highly regarded by other people, and it was just me, so it's nice to know I'm not alone in disliking their vocal styles.

Why Nick Heyward, I wonder? I thought he was fairly innocuous, and there must be many just as bad as him. Haven't heard him lately, though.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,Cragrat
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 02:00 PM

In my filthy dreams, I am indeed Kathryn Roberts gynaecologist!!

Her duo albums with the lucky (and talented.... Bastard!)Mr Lakeman are fab as well. Must dash to listen to Cuckoo's Nest Phwoarr!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Alec
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 01:10 PM

Slightly off-topic but... Several contributors to this thread have cited the voices of named vocalists as worst instrument ever.
Q magazine continue the current journalistic obsession with lists by listing the "100 greatest singers". They also (much more interestingly) list "The 10 Worst Singers of All Time".
Apparently these are:
1)Ozzy Osbourne.
2)Fred Durst.
3)Celine Dion.
4)Mariah Carey.
5)Einar Orn Benediktsson.
6)Heather Small.
7)Yoko Ono.
8)Nick Heyward.
9)Bobby Gillespie.
10)Any death metal singer ever.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 09:44 AM

"and the sharks played Melodeons at the bottom of the bay..."


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 07:22 AM

I didn't know Kathryn played the pipes. But she's got a lovely voice and she's a crackin' lass too. If she wants to have a look at me chanter she's only to ask :-)


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,BM Baillie
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 07:15 AM

...Kathryn Roberts has a wonderful set of pipes?
...are you her gynacologist?


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 04:40 AM

OOPS! I meant Shimrod too.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 04:21 AM

...(There are, though, plenty of examples from the Pop/Rock world of people singing in 'silly voices' - let's see, off the top of my head: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, nearly all of the Punks, Morrisey, Oasis etc., etc., etc. (oh dear, perhaps I've offended some Pop/Rock fans here - hope so!). And this habit of 'contrived vocalisation' can 'leak through' to the Folk World).

Generally, I tend to feel that a rather odd 'folk club voice' has developed on the British Folk Scene, and this is a voice that has very little to do with British oral tradition. It has, though, got everything to do with a handful of highly influential professional folk singers who have been slavishly imitated.
The voice itself, especially among male singers, is always rather nasal with, often, a rather 'drony' quality. Difficult to describe in more detail - but it is instantly recognisable. In my ideal world people would emulate (rather than imitate) both the best Revival singers AND Traditional singers and work to develop their own voice and style.


Shimrod, I agree with you, now I understand what you meant. Thanks for the explanation.

Certainly, in the pop world, there seem to be a lot of singers who copy the mannerisms and idiosyncracies of other individuals, such as those you mention above. And the likes of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson (both originals in what they do, or at least did) have spawned a huge bunch of inferior copycat 'soul' singers (who to me sound as if they sing from anything but the soul).

When I first heard Dire Straits in the late 1970s I immediately thought Mark Knopfler was copying Dylan's vocal style, which put me off the band at that time. (But maybe I'm a hypocrite, because as a lad I used to copy Dylan's vocal style myself - well, I was a lad and he was my hero then! :-))

As for the 'folk club voice' you describe so well, I've always found that irritating too. It's as if the singer thinks it's mandatory to affect the nasal drone. I would say that this 'folk club voice' is probably more responsible for driving people away from folk music and clubs than anything else.

I agree with you that it's better to sing in your natural voice, although if I'm singing a regional song with local dialect words, etc., I will attempt to render them in the correct accent, or they will sound stupid (but I don't want to get into yet another discussion about whether people should sing songs that did not originate from the same place as them).


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 06 Mar 07 - 01:47 AM

"The voice itself, especially among male singers, is always rather nasal with, often, a rather 'drony' quality."

Scrump: I don't think anyone could have described that better.

On the same topic; I would include the Scottish folk singers who mumble and slur the songs with the same "Drony" quality which you describe.
I call it the "I can't be bothered" voice but it sells!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 11:24 PM

The Jews' Harp can be played as just a "twanger," but proper playing involves using the mouth shape and the tongue to change the resonant cavity of the mouth and emphasize the overtones of the fundamental note. When well-played, it's a fascinating instrument. You can (and should) use your breath to add rhythmic pulses as you breath in and out (a rapid in-out-in-out breath gives you a tremolo, as an example). There are a few good Jews' Harp recordings (the one up-thread being one of the earliest), and a Google search should find them. I remember Jon Wright's "La Guimbarde" recordings as some of the first really good playing I ever heard. In fact, I got an excellent hand-made Nigerian (Housa tribe) harp through a chain that led to me from Mike Rivers from Mike Seeger from Jon Wright. This was back in the "day."

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,:::
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 10:06 PM

Jews Affectionateo Harpideo

The same effect is produced with a spoon, a hollow cheek, or a rubber-band.

The Jew's Harp is an admirable instrument....if it were worth less worthy than the above mentioned (priceless) instruments...

Then it might be more worthy a Jew.

The hollow, oral cavity of any living creature....is better than the dead cavernous convines of any similar carnivour.

Sincerely,
:::


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 06:11 PM

Hi Scrump,

I'd prefer not to give specific examples from the British Folk Scene (cowardly, I know - but they do say that "discretion is the better part of valour", don't they?).

(There are, though, plenty of examples from the Pop/Rock world of people singing in 'silly voices' - let's see, off the top of my head: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, nearly all of the Punks, Morrisey, Oasis etc., etc., etc. (oh dear, perhaps I've offended some Pop/Rock fans here - hope so!). And this habit of 'contrived vocalisation' can 'leak through' to the Folk World).

Generally, I tend to feel that a rather odd 'folk club voice' has developed on the British Folk Scene, and this is a voice that has very little to do with British oral tradition. It has, though, got everything to do with a handful of highly influential professional folk singers who have been slavishly imitated.
The voice itself, especially among male singers, is always rather nasal with, often, a rather 'drony' quality. Difficult to describe in more detail - but it is instantly recognisable. In my ideal world people would emulate (rather than imitate) both the best Revival singers AND Traditional singers and work to develop their own voice and style.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: mick p r.m s.c
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 05:19 PM

Hurdy Gurdys are great. Bodhrams brilliant. Shaky eggs are eggxellent. The spoons are special. Jews Harp is joyous. Melodeons are melodious. Guitars are the stars but it depends whos playing them. Banjos are ##################### I think I will give up Banjos as a lost cause. Bongos are for the bonkers. Auto Harps????????????? Well thats me finished. Going down the pub.

                         CATCH YOU ALL LATER. ENJOY!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 01:19 PM

Yes, but the best track is the Plains of Waterloo....I think!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,Cragrat
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 12:33 PM

Well, now then, Mr McDonald, we seem to have found some common ground. Kathryn Roberts has indeed got a wonderful set of pipes. That duo album is still a joy to behold!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Alec
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 12:25 PM

Jew's Harp. Jaw's Harp.Jaw Harp.Mouth Harp.Juice Trump.Jew's Trump. Juice Harp.English Trump.Gumbarde. All long established names for the same instrument.The term "Jew's Harp" has,in recent years fallen out of favour with some because of it's allegedly antisemitic connotations.
As Shakespeare observed in a work long considered lost until it was found down the back of his sofa:That which we call a Gumbarde,by any other name,Would still make a noise like unto the fart of a belligerent Bee,and play havoc with the enamel of thy teeth.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 11:30 AM

Would like to make the point that there is no such instrument as the Jews Harp - its actually called a "Jaws Harp" or should this be the start of another thread. Its a horrible instrument any way and very difficult to play without taking the enamel off your front teeth


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 07:16 AM

Some of the best singers I know sing, with what can only be described, as their 'natural voice' - and, in my opinion, that is the only idiosyncracy that is required. To deliberately develop some sort of weird, strangled warble, which is then slavishly imitated by every Tom, Dick or Harry is just irritating!

Shimrod, perhaps I misunderstood your meaning. I took 'idiosyncratic' to mean having characteristics particular to an individual. Hence my comment above, that the world would be a more boring place if all singers sounded identical and didn't have individual characteristics.

But how do you know that the originator of the "weird, strangled warble" is not singing in his or her natural voice, and that they are deliberately choosing to sing like that? (But obviously, those who copy this person are not.)

Can you give any examples to illustrate what you mean? It might become clearer then.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 07:03 AM

"I prefer singers with idiosyncratic voices and styles. Wouldn't it be rather dull if they didn't exist?"

Some of the best singers I know sing, with what can only be described, as their 'natural voice' - and, in my opinion, that is the only idiosyncracy that is required. To deliberately develop some sort of weird, strangled warble, which is then slavishly imitated by every Tom, Dick or Harry is just irritating!


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 07:44 PM

If Mr Cage and the above instruments had ever passed paths - he would have written at least one concerto featuring the devices.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 07:43 PM

A type of tuned "bull-roar-er"

Unlike the conventional...this one is a hollow tube....with an "adjustible (to put it very loosely) plunger" that is manipulated as it is swung over the head. You might also consider it a type of trombone on a rope.

Almost impossible to play - except when stoned at a "burning man" or after years and years of intoxication.

I'm still working on it .... along with a similar... but eight note device.... from Godollo Hungary.

Both require the strength of youth to play - so sorry to say - my day has probably past.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: GUEST,pitheris
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 05:53 PM

Jews Harp
Sounds fine to me.
http://www.archive.org/details/Dad_Pickard_Sally_Goodin

IMO The Worst Instrument is one that is poorly crafted.


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Subject: RE: Worst Instrument Ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 05:18 PM

Many professional Folk Revival singers (some of whom are mentioned above). It's not because they're particularly bad singers but because they have such idiosyncratic voices and styles.

I prefer singers with idiosyncratic voices and styles. Wouldn't it be rather dull if they didn't exist?


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