Simplicity
#1
Howdy!
Sometimes I hear interesting simple tunes played on the piano or accordion which makes me really want to play them myself.
Then I learn them and they become a big part of me. It is like the mystery dissapeared, like there is no magic trick anymore.
It seems that the amazement dissapears because I now see the concrete reality of the music. The same goes for singing as well.
When we live simplicity and see the concrete reality we no longer really experience the amazement it seems. Then I often hear People walking about the difficulty of liking simplicity.
What are your experiences with this?
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#2
Hi Hank,

Like the majority of our members, I play a wide variety of tunes. My experience differs greatly from yours, as I love all the tunes I play.

The secret (if there is a secret) is to play only those tunes which have a personal meaning for you. Learning to play a tune is only the beginning for me, as I then like to develop it over a period of time. This enables me to improve and adapt the tune to better suit my style of play.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
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#3
Hi Hank,

The magic to me is that a (seemingly) simple song can be so captivating and engaging. It's like, wow, how did that guy get away with writing such a basic melody and have it be so memorable? Think of, for example, Despacito.

Anyway, it's a great joy for me to stumble upon a simple melody that just goes round and round in my mind and makes me want to find the sheet music and play it. And once I do, I'm like Stephen, where the song just gets deeper as I understand it and add ornaments, rythems, etc.

In fact just today I randomly stumbled on this "O Que Tem Uma Rosa." I can't wait to try it!

<URL url="https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JfEpFeX7GdY">https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JfEpFeX7GdY</URL>
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#4
Hi Tom,

Pretty Girl + Nice Accordion + Simple Tune = Good Feeling. (I was always good at maths)

I reckon that you only get out what you put in, and that applies equally to music. I also reckon that you do better with tunes you like, or at least I do.

Developing a simple tune is very satisfying, especially when you reach the stage at which it has become "yours."

Kind Wishes,

Stephen.
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#5
Yes! I only play songs I like. They are plenty of songs out there, in fact too many. It makes it a little more challenging to play with some others, like my accordion club because I don't read that fast. In fact, I really should develop that particular skill.
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#6
Hi Tom,

I have never felt the need to play along with other people, though I did perform as a guest artist with my Cousin's Folk Group. This was in the early sixties when I was a callow youth. Back then I played Clarinet reasonably well, which added another dimension to the popular folk music of the time.

The format at our folk club is quite simple; we sit around a large room, taking it in turns to play or sing a song. We may join in with each other occasionally, though there is a protocol in force. On hearing me strike up with a tune they like, two or three of my dear friends may jump in with an unobtrusive accompaniment. It all works very well, though musical confusion is not unheard of.

The leader of our folk club died just over a year ago. Her funeral was attended by representatives of all the folk clubs in our area, and it was a massive affair. At the end of each evening at our folk club, the last song is "Wild Mountain Thyme", and everyone joins in. The poignant farewell to Joan involved upwards of fifty of our members singing "Wild Mountain Thyme" accompanied by our best guitarist.

Songs such as that have a huge sentimental value for me, and serve to remind me of good times and bad. At any rate, they are part of my life, and I love playing them.

Kind Best Wishes,

Stephen.
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#7
Great story Stephen! I really enjoy playing with other people. I've played in a couple bands and duos. Generally with a set of songs which we practice together before playing somewhere. My accordion club meets once a month, and we all play in unison, from a set of songs, maybe 20 or 30 core songs from a set of 50 or so. It's great.
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#8
Hi Hank, Stephen and Tom

Simple tunes are perhaps the ones that last longest, perhaps because they are the easiest to remember and pass on to others.
One of our sea shanty group members died recently and the group sang at his church funeral but unaccompanied. The simplicity of the all-male voices echoing our late friend's favourite songs was just fantastic.

I'm happy to play alone but it's much more fun to play with others. During the summer, there was a very positive reaction when I walked around rather than sitting on a stool in the middle of the singers. It was a feeling of liberation !

Back to simplicity - just walking around playing a few notes on an accordion has an amazing ability to draw people. A simple song or waltz, and people appear from nowhere and start to dance. In France you need permission to play in the streets but if you walk around and aren't rattling a money box, no-one really minds. I'm working on this with a couple of others - who knows where it might lead ?
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#9
Yes, I understand this. Hearing (experiencing) something for the first time, or when it is still new enough to be "novel", compared with rendering something we've practiced/played/performed "ad nauseum"...

Initially it does seem magical, and after we've deconstructed it into bits, phrases and elements to get it under our fingers - such as a puzzle is "solved" - the challenge remaining is to put it all together in an <I><s>emotional</I> context, to try to reconstitute the <I><s>experience</I> such as when we first heard the piece.

When I hear something i particularly favor, it's a bit like falling in love (with the piece); it evokes experiences of great feeling and empathy. When I perform it, I try to recreate that <I><s>magical</I> feeling upon hearing it for the first time. This usually only happens during a certain portion or periodically during a performance; I'm striving to perpetuate this quality in my playing. I find it a challenging and creative process.
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#10
Hi Tom,

I love the accordion; I don't suppose I would be here if I didn't, but I honestly wouldn't want to join any single instrument group.

Hearing just one type of instrument all evening would drive me mad. I love the diversity you find in folk clubs, where you encounter instruments such as Dulcimers, Fiddles, Banjos, Guitars, Lutes, Mouth Organs, Tin Whistles , etc.

Apart from one guy who very occasionally brings with him a battered old 8 Bass accordion, I am the only accordionist at our club. The obvious advantage of this is that nobody else has a clue what I am doing. (and, just before you say it, neither do I)

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
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#11
Hi Sally,

Thank you for the moving account of your friend's funeral service. I'm very sure that it was conducted in a sensitive and respectful manner, and was a fitting tribute to your departed friend.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
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#12
Hi Cat,

You have correctly identified the essence of what it is to make a tune your own. Anyone (well, most people) could learn to play a simple tune. They may get all the notes in the right order, but the really essential bit is putting feeling into a tune.

To me, a tune means nothing unless it carries the player's emotional attachment to it.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
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#13
Also, I forgot to say - upon just getting in a few minutes practice, which reminded me...

It sometimes or perhaps often involves a sort of "meditation" for me. I find I do the same with instruments, genres, probably about everything.. I kind of rekindle a kind of passion for it...or be drawn into it somehow.

My perspective is always changing, I've observed. I've also found that I'm sort of addicted to that feeling - a lot like falling in love, the experience of beauty - and I spend a lot of time seeking it out, through art, music, nature..
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#14
Interesting perspectives, Cat, thanks!
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#15
This is recognizable for me.

Most folk tunes are susceptible to this, I think. Also, every first time is more magical... :mrgreen:

By performing I try to add back some of the magic I experienced the first time and try to stretch the "shelf life" of a tune. In the end anything gets stale, so we move on to something else.
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#16
I love to play simple tunes but am a tinkerer at heart. I play them differently each time I play them
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English
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