On Mon, 16 Oct 1995, ANDREW C ROUSE wrote:
> Just for the record, this is what I replied to Abel!
> Dear Andy
> A couple of days ago I saw a film on Dorset. There was a folk band
> with a Uilleann pipe and a button accordion amongst other
> instruments. Now my quetsion is: why do these Brittish musicians use
> Irish instruments to play Brittish trad music?
> The Uillean pipe IS Irish, but the bagpipe (if you remember from the
> Folk Elective) is not exclusively; the Northumbrian pipe, for
> instance, is English.
> For a long time now, British singers and players have not been very
> particular as to whose music they sing and play, though I haven't
> heard many English singers singing anti-English Irish songs, apart
> from Whiskey in the Jar, but that's more a matter of rank than
> national pedigree!
> Yes, they swap instruments - why not? Did the fiddle originate in
> Scotland, or the Jew's harp (doromb [Hungarian for said instrument
> ACR]) in England, or the guitar or banjo in the British Isles at all?
> Finally, what do you mean by British music????
Hi - I once heard that the Irish themselves weren't so specific about
where the mustic they played came from, just loved music. I think it holds
for all celts, and as Britain and Ireland are so close it makes sense that
there is a considerable amount of exchange between the two cultures. Yes,
there's the rivalry over which set of pipes is the best, the Irish and the
Scots jesting about each other's musical tastes and (lack of) tallent, but
that's all part of the fun.
The only major exception is the English nobility with their unnatural
taste for respectable, classical music. English folk music itself has
taken influences from the cultures of the people whose lands they invaded
and fought over.
British, remember is a word which should include the cultures of all the
nations within Britain, and the majority of those are celtic remember...