Another exam-type quote to discuss

A general forum for all sorts of piping related discussions. If in doubt, post here. All questions answered<G>

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby John Gibbons » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:54 pm

Invented by one person or many? I think the latter is what is meant by emergent.
But tartan and Ossian were both conscious reinventions. Like modern Border pipes.

New inventions can be like scottish smallpipes (which bear little relation to their nearest ancestor) can be perfectly good in themselves - I like SSP, or can exude fakery (insert your own examples of this).

Generally the less relation to what existed before, the less authentic a (re)invented tradition feels.

John
John Gibbons
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby Ben Power » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:30 pm

That would depend also upon your definition of tradition Matt. While I'm not assigning agency to it, I think it is pretty clear that it is a structuring force in the lives of those that are part of it. I think, by emergent, I mean developed across time (possibly more than a single generation) without self-conscious intent, and, as John says, probably by more than an individual. I think "invented" presupposes conscious determination on the part of someone, or a collection of someones (e.g. the highland societies) to create, usually attached to some sort of ideology.

I don't think that tartan and Ossian were that much like border pipes really. Well, at least not Ossian, which it seems Macpherson produced with intent to deceive, claiming historic authenticity... which would speak to the fakery bit you mention John.

I'm not totally sure about the less relation/less authentic paradigm either, where I think the Scottish smallpipes are a good example.While they are fairly distant from the nearest Scottish relative, they are nevertheless closely attached to a cultural need/function/desire (or rather several I suppose) in Scotland (and elsewhere). Hence their great success in such a short time (at least in instrument development terms).
Ben Power
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:50 pm
Full Name: Benjamin Power

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby Matt Seattle » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:02 pm

Ben Power wrote:I think, by emergent, I mean developed across time (possibly more than a single generation)... probably by more than an individual.

Ben
I snipped your words the way I did not to distort your view but to hint at the "strong" position: The Intelligence which informs a musical current ('tradition') has a Present Moment greater than the lifetimes of those into whose ears it whispers.
This is not an argument, something to be persuaded about - it is experienced, and recognised, or not. I have no problem with the idea that Music is more intelligent than I am - why serve something less intelligent than oneself?
Matt Seattle
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:38 pm
Full Name: Matt Seattle

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby Matt Seattle » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:10 pm

Ben Power wrote:I think, by emergent, I mean developed across time (possibly more than a single generation)... probably by more than an individual.

Ben
I snipped your words the way I did not to distort your view but to hint at the "strong" position: "The Intelligence which informs a musical current ('tradition') has a Present Moment greater than the lifetimes of those into whose ears it whispers."
I have no problem with the idea that Music is more intelligent than I am.
Matt Seattle
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:38 pm
Full Name: Matt Seattle

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby Matt Seattle » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:12 pm

I am not deliberately posting the same message twice - this Bulletin Board is smarter than I am...
Matt Seattle
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:38 pm
Full Name: Matt Seattle

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby John Gibbons » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:52 pm

Macpherson did fake up his version of Ossian, there is no doubt - but at least there was a pre-existing oral tradition, the survival of the Gaelic hero stories. The trouble with Macpherson is that his forgery discredited the idea of that tradition, helping to kill off what he maybe (speaking charitably) hoped to revive.

As for Matt's ideas, it's probably true that traditional musicians, at least the good ones when they get it right (they know when they have), who are the most influential, are building another course on foundations that were already there. The bad ones, or good ones on a bad day, don't get listened to so much, so don't contribute so much to the building. So the effect is similar to that of a self-organising intelligence that transcends any single musician.

John
John Gibbons
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby Ben Power » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:29 pm

Matt Seattle wrote:
Ben Power wrote:I think, by emergent, I mean developed across time (possibly more than a single generation)... probably by more than an individual.

Ben
I snipped your words the way I did not to distort your view but to hint at the "strong" position: The Intelligence which informs a musical current ('tradition') has a Present Moment greater than the lifetimes of those into whose ears it whispers.
This is not an argument, something to be persuaded about - it is experienced, and recognised, or not. I have no problem with the idea that Music is more intelligent than I am - why serve something less intelligent than oneself?


I certainly didn't have in mind that you were intentionally distorting Matt, 'course not. But I'm unclear about your meaning (and John's) with "intelligence," which seems to give the tradition agency and consciousness (which I'd want to hear a bit more about... how that consciousness works and manifests and such). And I'm a bit dubious about your saying that "This" (what is the this, the intelligence?) is "recognised or not" which seems to presuppose its existence in the character you give it, and that anyone who doesn't see it in that fashion is simply missing what is absolutely there, which would be a fairly dogmatic standpoint I'd have thought.

Right John, agreed, but how do you contrast Macpherson's invention with that of the smallpipes (and maybe border pipes)?
Ben Power
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:50 pm
Full Name: Benjamin Power

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby John Gibbons » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:31 pm

Why contrast them?
Everything was new once.
Though there was no fakery about smallpipes.

Keyed smallpipes and steam locomotives were invented around the same time, and close together (Sorry, Cornwall!).
The latter were seen as cutting-edge for the best part of a century; but smallpipes were absorbed into the tradition,
partly because the older unkeyed version and the Border pipes had been around for generations, so there was lots of music for them to play.

John
John Gibbons
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby Ben Power » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:56 pm

never mind
Ben Power
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:50 pm
Full Name: Benjamin Power

Re: Another exam-type quote to discuss

Postby Barry Say » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:01 pm

Although this topic might seem to be descending into a confusing quagmire, I think it has touched on several topics which would benefit from an in-depth discussion.

Tradition is a word which is often used but rarely defined adequately. Thomas Bewick, (~1800) presumed that the Northumberland pipes stirred the troops at the battle of Flodden Field (1513). If there had been pipers at the battle, I wonder whether he would have recognised the music.

We are the inheritors of the attitudes of our forebears, prominent among which are the ideas of the early folk-revival, which stemmed from a requirement to identify a definitively ENGLISH :) music to inspire our artistic composers and differentiate this music form the German :twisted: music which was being received with much acclaim. I understand that this was the time of the Second Reich. For Reich read Empire.
  • The first Reich was the Holy Roman Empire
  • The second came at the end of the nineteenth century following the unification of Germany
  • And the third .....
.
So in the latter half of the nineteenth century 'worthies-of-the-community' sought to establish a musical tradition which stretched back into the mists of time. And these were not ordinary mists, they were very misty mists - the mistier, the better. Eventually this led to the theory that the Romans brought the smallpipes to these islands and they were used by the monks for their chants.

I am not defending any of these opinions, rather pointing out the background to some of our language. I believe that the Northumbrian piping tradition is in an almost unique situation, being a living tradition, well documented, aware of its past, and as yet, we have not suffered the indignities that the Scottish tradition has through its strong association with the military establishment.

PS in case anyone should get upset I have no anti-german feeling. If we 'English' talk of our descent from the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, I think we automatically define ourselves as Germanic.
Barry Say
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 9:42 pm
Full Name: Barry Say

PreviousNext

Return to General Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron