strathspey Archive: :-) improvisation

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Message 4658 · rOBERT lEAGUE · 26 Aug 1996 01:31:54 · Top

I have been silently reading the Strathspey line for a while now, but feel I
need to comment on the strange directions things are taking. At the same time
there are two threads being developed--one about how good it is when Scottish
Country musicians improvise and experiment with the tunes as originally
composed, and the other about how terrible --even insulting--it is when
Scottish Country dancers do the same thing.

Robert League

:-) improvisation

Message 4659 · ReeG · 26 Aug 1996 09:11:00 · Top

Greetings --

In a message dated 96-08-25 17:40:15 EDT, Robert League writes:

> At the same time
>there are two threads being developed--one about how good it is when
Scottish
>Country musicians improvise and experiment with the tunes as originally
>composed, and the other about how terrible --even insulting--it is when
>Scottish Country dancers do the same thing.

Unskilled or just plain bad improvisation by musicians may jar the ears but
generally causes no harm beyond that. Unskilled, inept and/or unexpected
improvisation on the dance floor can cause major problems, from the dance
breaking down to a dancer breaking bones. I enjoy an occasional twiddle but
only in sets where all the dancers can handle it.

Ree Grisham
Chicago, IL USA
ReeG@aol.com

:-) improvisation

Message 4660 · Alan Paterson · 26 Aug 1996 11:20:01 · Top

Robert League writes criticising our attitu=de to "twiddles":

>snip>
> ... how terrible --even insulting--it is when Scottish Country dancers do the
same thing.

I think you've been reading the articles a bit superficially Robert. As far as I
remember, those people who spoke up against people improvising in dances (and I
was one of them) have all quite specifically stated that this is only a negative
thing to do WHEN IT AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE. This is what I hate, someone doing
something unexpectedly which was not designed by the devisor and which puts me off
balance, requires me to change my flow, interrupts my interaction with others or
puts me in physical danger.

There is a world of difference here with improvisation in music. The musicians
still stay in time and we can only obtain additional pleasure from this.

Alan Paterson

:-) improvisation

Message 4662 · SMiskoe · 26 Aug 1996 15:10:36 · Top

SCD is a living tradition and as such it will continue to change, in part
through improvisations that become the norm. That cannot be kept out unless
you have groups that do re-enactment of dances. Read the dance forms of
pre-1923, the 18th century dance vs the 19th century. This happens in other
dance genres, I am familiar with the changes in contra dancing even in the
past 20 years. We can't keep it out, we must learn to live with it.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH

:-) improvisation

Message 4665 · Etienne Ozorak · 26 Aug 1996 18:44:01 · Top

Interesting comment. I expect that the tension will continue to remain
between the "way it ought to be done" and the "way it should ideally be
done".

Salut,
Etienne

On Sun, 25 Aug 1996, rOBERT lEAGUE wrote:

> I have been silently reading the Strathspey line for a while now, but feel I
> need to comment on the strange directions things are taking. At the same time
> there are two threads being developed--one about how good it is when Scottish
> Country musicians improvise and experiment with the tunes as originally
> composed, and the other about how terrible --even insulting--it is when
> Scottish Country dancers do the same thing.
>
> Robert League
>
> --
> rOBERT lEAGUE <raleague@TSO.Cin.IX.net>
>
>

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