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Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Strange perceptions and easily answered questions

So you may know that recently a pilot has been charged with raping African school kids during a charity event thing.

What is really interesting is a picture of the pilot shows him playing an accordion which promoted an acquaintance to say to me 'You play one of them things don't you?' to which I wanted to explain the difference between an accordion and a melodeon but instead decided to let it go and just say 'yes'.

He then gave me the evilest look ever and walked off. I wasn't really sure what happened but then I remembered another time a few years ago when I was considering paying the banjo. A large number of people I knew begged me not to because they said it was a symbol of being an inbred hick. They are of course referring to Deliverance and the famous Dueling Banjos scene (which is an amazing bit of playing, inbred hick or not). People are judging an entire music instrument based on one film and deciding that anyone who plays that instrument or enjoys the music must be on the same level as the fictional people in the film.

I can only guess that the reaction of my acquaintance over the accordion is a similar thing. In his mind accordion = rapist. I found this insane. Why the accordion? Why not him being a pilot? Both are as equally unconnected to being a sexually assaulting nutcase as the other, yet that assumption was made in his head?
I think I really get how catholic priests feel now.

In other news, another friend asked me why Folk music seems to have different names. At first I thought they meant the way old folk tales often get given different titles as it passes through different groups, but are still essentially the same tune or story.

What was actually is meant is why do many folk sets, particularly dance ones, do this:

Next Stop: Grimsby/ The Three Rascals/ Aunt Crisps

I remembered that when I first got into Folk music I didn't quite get this either, and I suppose it isn't something you see in most musical genres. What this is three different tunes merged into one set. Often folk tunes are actually quite short, often because they get repeated over and over.

So here Next Stop: Grimsby is one short tune, the artists want to make a full track out of it so merge it with Three Rascals and Aunt Crisps to make one set made out of three tunes. This is of course where the real skills of the musicians come in. You can't just throw any three tunes together, they have to fit with each other, be easily transitioned and of course involve the same instruments (for the most part).

It is when you think of this that you realise that musicians don't just sit there and learn some tunes and play them again, they do much more than that.



  1. I thought it was because the bit where one tune changes into the next is exceedingly pleasing.

    1. Quite possibly! I'm sure more experienced musicians would know better than I, this has kind of been an educated guess :p