strathspey Archive: Montgomery's (Montgomerie's?) Rant

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Montgomery's (Montgomerie's?) Rant

Message 9494 · Robin Arzoni · 3 Nov 1997 10:26:51 · Top

I was interested in Ken's (Fairbanks, Alaska) comments about the tune for
Red House:

" I for one would like some clarification on this. You mean that the
wonderful
old tune that I've enjoyed for many years is now out? Or is this another
case of the Society catching up to what the musicians have been
doing? (a la
the tune for Montgomeries?)"

And what *have* the musicians been doing with the tune for Montgomerie's? I
play fiddle in a band in Christchurch, New Zealand: we have been together
for about two years, and the Scottish Country Dancing repertoire is fairly
new to us. Montgomerie's Rant is, for us, the most fiendish tune we have yet
come across, and we find it all but impossible to play in its written key of
B flat. We've transposed it to G, and struggle through it for the first 32
bars of the dance, but play Speed the Plough for the last 32 bars, as we
can't face going back to M.R. again. Perhaps other musicians have adopted
similar tactics?

Robin Arzoni

Montgomery's (Montgomerie's?) Rant

Message 9498 · Tappan · 3 Nov 1997 19:59:37 · Top

Ken (Fairbanks, Alaska) commented
>...is this another case of the Society catching up to what the musicians
>have >been doing? (a la the tune for Montgomeries?)"

And Robin replied:
>And what *have* the musicians been doing with the tune for Montgomerie's?

I think what Ken may have meant is that musicians have been using "Lady
Montgomerie" as the lead tune for Montgomerie's Rant, rather than the first
tune as listed in my (rather old) book, "Lord Eglintoune" which actually
doesn't look a whole lot easier than Lady M. Has Lord E. been replaced in
later book versions with Lady M.?

When I was doing dance arrangements and just starting out, I tried Lady M.
in lots of keys, and finally decided to just learn it in Bb. I did make
sure to have 4 tunes in the set so I only had to play it at start and end,
and went immediately into easier keys after the lead tune.

Jan Tappan
Fiddlers Crossing

Montgomery's (Montgomerie's?) Rant

Message 9502 · Chris · 3 Nov 1997 23:16:35 · Top

To me Montgomeries Rant will always be THE best Scottish Country
dance (and I have been dancing for 25 years).

Of course as with most dances if the music is FANTASTIC so is the
dance! Any change to the music can only be detrimental to my
favourite......has it been changed because the musicians find it too
difficult to play in it's original key?
Chris Raisin
2/19 Glen-Ebor Avenue
BLACKBURN VIC 3130
AUSTRALIA
Tel: (061) (03) 9877-7213

Montgomery's (Montgomerie's?) Rant

Message 9505 · SMiskoe · 4 Nov 1997 01:19:46 · Top

Chris asks if Monty's Rant music has been changed because of the difficulty?
Well, from the point of a keyboardist, yes. The tune has about 3 measures,
out of 16, that are what make or break it and they are incredibly difficult.
I have tried it in Bb, C and A, and recently found a way to make it work in
D. I think that if the tune were not so identified with the dance, or vice
versa, it would fade into oblivion, rescued only by exceptional (ability,
bravery, or both) persons.
This brings up the subject, again, of putting together a program that is
pleasing dance-wise, compatible with the musicians playing said program and
provides a variety of types of tunes.
Please, program devisors, discuss the content with the musicians who will be
playing the program. I was recently handed a program. When I began
discussing the content, I was informed that figure wise it was just fine,
difficulty wise it was just fine, and it was on its way to the printer.
Unfortunately, musically it was quite one-sided with 60% of the reels using
the same genre of tunes and no place for a gutsy, traditional Scottish reel.
All ended well, the printer did wait a day, one substitution was made. But
again, please go over the program with the musicians before you print it.
Cheers,
Sylvia

Montgomery's (Montgomerie's?) Rant

Message 9510 · John McCain · 4 Nov 1997 05:10:15 · Top

SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:

> Unfortunately, musically it was quite one-sided with 60% of the reels using
>the same genre of tunes and no place for a gutsy, traditional Scottish reel.

I am very curious about this. Would you please give examples of the gutsy, trad
style and the other style?

Thanks!

John

John McCain, RCDD
Dallas, Texas, USA

Montgomery's (Montgomerie's?) Rant

Message 9513 · SMiskoe · 4 Nov 1997 06:18:26 · Top

To answer Robin's plea for a forgiving Montgomeries Rant, try transposing it
into D. It works for a keyboard and also for a fiddle. Yes, it is a
devilish tune.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH

Montgomery's (Montgomerie's?) Rant

Message 9563 · SMiskoe · 9 Nov 1997 23:14:43 · Top

John McCain asks whsat I mean by a gutsy traditional reel. Other musicians
may have different opinions, but here goes.
Gutsy traditional reels are 16 bars long, most were written before the turn
of the century.
Examples by name are:
Gen' Stewart
Fairy Dance
Glenburnie Rant
Wind that Shakes the Barley
Drowsy Maggie
Mrs McLeod
Tail Toddle
Kate Dalrymple
I would not want to play a whole program using just these types of tunes for
that would also produce an unbalanced musical evening, unless the theme of
the evening was tied into this music; ie an 18th Century Night.
A tune like those used for Trip to Bavaria is much more melodic and smooth
feeling, and fits that dance nicely. You probably would not want to dance
Trip to Drowsy Maggie.
To digress a bit, the match of tune and dance can make or break the dance. A
good example is Twa Minute Reel. That has a 4 bar figure, followed by an 8
bar figure, followed by a 4 bar figure. This means that the dancers are
going across the standard 8 bar phrase. The tune used is Whistling Rufus and
it has 4 bars plus 4 bars plus 4 bars of almost identical melody followed by
4 bars of slightly different melody. One can dance across the phrase without
being jarred because the melody is so similar for all 12 bars.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH

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