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Traditional English Folk Music

Done for a music assignment. Includes some funky song lyrics to 'Chicken on a Raft'. And badgers. Lots and lots of badgers. Everywhere.
by

rosie roberts

on 6 March 2013

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Transcript of Traditional English Folk Music

Background Origins and purpose Compositional Techniques Musical works Practical Example Musical Characteristics Duration:
-Played in Ballad meter with a steady beat. Note values vary depending on style; Jigs are legato, Hornpipes are staccato, and ballads etc. can range from lively dancing to slow, mournful dirges.

Texture:
-Due to the poor origins of English folk music where musical instruments were scarce and small, drums are quieter and set the tempo, while reed flutes and whistles play the main melody. Guitars and other string instruments such as are also used, and usually play an ostinato harmony to the whistles. If vocals are used, flutes and whistles are usually left out, because they can interfere with the sung chords and melodies. Folk music is played with whatever instruments there are at hand, without any set gamelan or band of any kind.

Tone colour:
-Contains warmer and more nasal, rounded sounds, and the pitch and colour of the vocals depends upon the style and subject of the song. Some music can be soothing and calm while others can be wild and lively. Happy music is full of trills and high melodies to imitate singing birds, while sad music is low and howling, to sound like the wind. Percussion instruments are also unique, as while Balinese bells are small, high and ringing, English and European bells are large, heavy, and have warm, booming peals. English folk music uses a variety of drums, which are usually quite small, not dissimilar to bongos. Culture Origins Traditional English Folk Music -Trills are used in happy music to sound like birds, while moaning whistles and howling vocal dirges are used to sound like the wind.
-Both Minor and Major scales used, but mostly minor
-Time signatures used are 4/4, 2/4, 3/4
-4-line stanza with rhyming verse
-4+3 iambic pentameter
-Can alternate between iambic tetrameter and trimeter (four metric feet per line followed by three metrical feet per line)
-Melodies and verses are kept simple and easy to remember, as most peasants were illiterate, so songs were passed on by word of mouth.
-Every time the song spread to another community, that community added its own 'flavour' through slight alterations in the singing style and instruments used.
-Working and protest songs were often call and answer, as this was more entertaining than just hearing someone else sing, and it also let the caller know who was paying attention. -Chicken on a Raft-traditional call and response working song, originating in the navy. By Rosie Roberts Types of Folk Music and Music's impact on England. -English Folk Music is based in, well, England.
-No beliefs or values surrounding their music, except in some religious cases where prayers are sung to music and musical instruments, usually guitars or church organs.
-Main religion is Anglican, but today it is very diverse in its religion. Church of England also originated in England.
-Spoken language is English
-European-style culture (England is part of Europe)
- English music, traditional or not, has shaped Western Culture over many years
-This is because England has been a central part of the Western Empire since the 15th century. Ballads Carols Children's Rhymes Hornpipes Jigs Morris Dance Protest Songs Sea Shanties War songs Work songs English Folk songs originated in medieval England, where peasants would write and perform songs with what instruments they had (this is why Folk music has a very simple collection of instruments) With this music came Morris Dancing, maypole, and jigs. Later, from the Age of Exploration to the Early 1900's, sailors began to write sea shanties and hornpipes, and more dances came into existence. Why write a Folk song? Peasants used to write working songs, to keep them in time when operating machinery such as a mill, or to provide entertainment while working in the fields. They would also compose songs to play at celebrations such as harvest day. It was during these celebrations that Morris dancing (a traditional dance performed with swords and handkerchiefs) and Maypole dancing (a dance where ribbons attached to a high pole are woven together as the dancers move) were performed. Sailors would also write working songs to keep their oar strokes in time, or to assist in keeping a steady beat while operating a windlass. Sea shanties also came about, as entertainment for long sea journeys. Hornpipes were also invented, for more formal occasions on watercraft, and eventually became the face of traditional seagoing music. Music impacted the lives of its creators, who were medieval peasants, by helping them with their work, and providing entertainment in their poverty-filled, hard working lives. Music was also used in religious ceremonies, as singing can be a very important part of prayer in some religions. Today, music is still prominent in English society, and is still used in Church. Folk music has also been known to have influenced the works of many musicians, from Steeleye Span to The Beatles. -Greensleeves Orchestral/Classical arrangement (Starts at 2:10)



-Greensleeves-Jazz piano (2010)

-Greensleeves-transposed from Trumpet on Sibelius by myself for French Horn, as it gives good examples of techniques Skipper's in the wardroom drinking gin,
Heigh Ho, Chicken on a raft!
Well I don't mind knocking but I ain't going in.
Heigh Ho, Chicken on a raft!
Jim he's a-laughing like a drain,
Heigh Ho, Chicken on a raft!
Been looking at me Comic Cuts again.
Heigh Ho, Chicken on a raft!

Gave me the middle and the forenoon too,
Heigh Ho, Chicken on a raft!
Now I'm pulling on a whaling crew.
Heigh Ho, Chicken on a raft!
Seagulls a-wheeling overhead,
Heigh Ho, Chicken on a raft!
I oughta be at home in me featherbed! Chorus:
Chicken on a raft on a Monday morning
Oh! What a terrible sight to see!
The dab-toes for'ard and the dust men aft
Sittin' there a-pickin' at a Chicken on a Raft!

Heigh Ho, Chicken on a raft! x4
Full transcript