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Post Info TOPIC: Music in Poldark


Initiate

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Date: Apr 16 1:51 PM, 2009
RE: Music in Poldark
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Alison wrote:

It's probably obvious to everyone, but at the Truro Ball, when Francis is cheated at cards by Matthew Sanson, the music in the background is Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, specifically movement 3, the Menuet.  Here's a MIDI file of the piece:  http://www.classicalmidiconnection.com/cmc/midiplay/playmidi.shtml?mid/mozart/mozk525c



Thanks Allison!  Actually, I'm not very familiar with that part of of Eine Kleine. Thanks for posting the info. If you come up with any others, I'd love to know what they are.  smile

 



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Date: Apr 14 6:33 AM, 2009
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It's probably obvious to everyone, but at the Truro Ball, when Francis is cheated at cards by Matthew Sanson, the music in the background is Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, specifically movement 3, the Menuet.  Here's a MIDI file of the piece:  http://www.classicalmidiconnection.com/cmc/midiplay/playmidi.shtml?mid/mozart/mozk525c




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Date: Aug 20 10:05 PM, 2008
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Thanks, greg. I'll check these out! smile

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Date: Aug 20 8:05 PM, 2008
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Hi Maire

Just finished listening to the music and though a little out of my depth thanks a lot as it's interesting how you've linked them to Poldark. It's ages since I last watched the series but now you've brought the whole subject up I'm keeping an ear open !

Won't give anything away as I know you haven't read Bella yet, but I do know WG (as usual) spent quite a lot of time (aged about 93 !) in very carefully researching the musical sides to the book beforehand, additionally seeking help from a top expert, so it's almost certain the BBC knowing his painstaking attention to detail would have also sought an expert to advise for the original series as well. I've also come across his wide interest and knowledge in music in one or two of his other non Poldark books as well, particularly opera.

I did a little bit of digging around and found the following few websites which hopefully are of interest too ?

http://www.an-daras.com/m_bibliography.htm

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Music-of-Cornwall

http://www.gallerymusic.co.uk/articles/Woodhouse93.html

Great effort ! smile

Greg



-- Edited by Greg at 20:09, 2008-08-20

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Date: Aug 5 7:18 PM, 2008
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Hi Maire

Sorry to take so long replying but been away and somewhat (!) busy, haven't had a chance to go through them yet but definitely looking forward to it !

Thanks much appreciated wink

Greg

-- Edited by Greg at 19:20, 2008-08-05

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Date: Jul 17 1:58 AM, 2008
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Now that my dvds have arrived from OZ and I've had time to study them a bit, I've updated the information on the music for series 1.  I've added more informaion for some of the tunes previously identified, and I've also added tunes that I hadn't identified at the time of my original post. 

Enjoy!  smile

-- Edited by Maire at 01:59, 2008-07-17

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Date: Jun 17 2:47 PM, 2008
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Maire wrote:


I think they did a good job selecting period appropriate music though, and they selected appropriate music for the classes (gentry and common folks).  I'm curious to know how the incidental music was selected for the series. With some projects the choreographer for the dances chooses much of the music; other times the musicians basically select the trad. pieces from their own repertoire.


I'd be interested too as it's always going to be worthwhile to background research any subject that relates in some way to WG and/ or Poldark, particularly all these linked period musical aspects. The main reason being that because it was already well known that WG always spent a considerable amount of time researching the smallest of details prior to publication, perhaps the BBC knew this and wanted to make the TV series as authentic as possible ? So in order to further this particularly promising area of research, do you think you could also kindly post all your messages on this topic sometime onto the Research Forum under Art, Music and Folklore as well ?

Hopefully this will eventually get some of the academic world out there involved, and of course as a bonus it would be nice to get the whole Forum under way too. smile



-- Edited by Ross Poldark at 14:51, 2008-06-17

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Date: Jun 17 12:18 AM, 2008
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Greg, I haven't gotten to Bella yet, not in the books nor in the series.  When I finally get there I'll happily take notes about the music and report back. smile.gif  Midi files are sound or music files (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).

Ross, I don't know whether the music heard in the mini has Cornish origins or not. I think they did a good job selecting period appropriate music though, and they selected appropriate music for the classes (gentry and common folks).  I'm curious to know how the incidental music was selected for the series. With some projects the choreographer for the dances chooses much of the music; other times the musicians basically select the trad. pieces from their own repertoire.

As to a possible Irish connection, the information at the link I posted for "Star of the County Down" indicates that this song has Scottish origins as well as versions from England.  I refer to it by its Irish name because that is how I know it and how I was able to recognize it in the program.  (Given that it isn't sung, I didn't have any lyrics to narrow down the ID any further.)  It's heard in the series at Jinny's wedding, played by the musicians at the party.  I think some of the wedding guests may have danced to it, but I can't recall for certain. And I believe that it's played as a reel (4/4 time) and not in 6/8 time as per the midi file linked in my earlier post. 

I'm no expert in traditional music, but as I stated below, it's sort of a hobby of mine. One thing I've learned is that songs and tunes can have many, many versions. Song lyrics and melodies evolve and can go through many changes.  That's part of the tradition. Also, a song or tune might originate in one country only to become a standard in another. It's all so fascinating to me. But I'm not aware of cultural origins for "The Irish Washerwoman" other than Irish. 

I can't really conclude that the presence of these two tunes in the series indicates an Irish connection, partly because it has been my experience here in the US that all trad. fiddlers know how to play them-- which could possibly be why they were selected for the series.  smile.gif

-- Edited by Maire at 00:21, 2008-06-17

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Date: Jun 16 9:36 PM, 2008
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Very interesting Maire and news to me too. Certainly be worth giving this topic an airing over on the Research Forum as well, under Cornish Life - Art, Music and Folklore as it sounds as though there's a possible Irish/ Celtic connection ?

Thanks again for your input smile 

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Date: Jun 16 6:07 PM, 2008
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Confessions ! I've hardly used speakers at all (over 10 years !) as they've always sounded terrible for some reason, that is until just before watching the WG/ Poldark exhibition video. I don't think I've ever downloaded so many free new Media Updates all at once as the pics now run smoothly without constantly stopping or disappearing !

What I didn't realise was I've now got decent sound at last !! So what a really pleasant surprise to hear your music first of all ! Now I can't stop playing them it's all such a new experience !

Really do like "Star of the County Down" ! Great background music when I'm working and vairy, vairy traditional....

So many thanks, it's a nice feeling being in the 21st century at last !

Greg
Any thoughts on Bella's songs ? And I'm a bit lost - "Midi" file ? weirdface


-- Edited by Greg at 20:22, 2008-06-16

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Date: Jun 16 2:48 PM, 2008
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Thanks Greg. :)

I've modified my post by adding a few more links to lyrics and midi files. I'll be borrowing the tapes from the library again soon. I hope to be able to add more information following another viewing.

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Date: Jun 16 1:22 PM, 2008
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Wonderful ! I never knew any of this before so please hang on to your notes as it's very interesting !! biggrin  I'm no expert at all but I wonder if it's technically possible to somehow edit and match them all up with the scenes themselves ? Perhaps even to see it all on YouTube one day?

Well done ! wink

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Date: Jun 15 10:59 PM, 2008
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The last time I borrowed Poldark series 1 from my library (VHS), I made a few notes on the traditional music heard in the mini series (a sort of hobby of mine).  I did a little digging and was able to identify some of the songs.  Here are my notes-- although I imagine many here are familiar with English folk music and perhaps this post will not offer any information of which you aren't already aware.  smile.gif (Unfortunately, I didn't save the actual lyrics that I had transcribed from the mini series. All I have are the lyrics Ifound online that are similar to those heard inthe series.)

"
Old Grimes" - Episode 2
This song is heard at the Redruth Faire when Ross meets Demelza for the first time. It's performed by the troupe of stage players and continues to be heard in the background while Ross speaks with Demelza in the tavern.

Old Grimes is dead, that good old man;
We ne'er shall see him more.
He used to wear a long-tailed coat
All buttoned down before.

His heart was open as the day;
His feelings all were true.
He wore a double-breasted vest;
His pantaloons were blue.

I was able to identify two trad. tunes heard during Jinny and Jim's wedding. (Both of these are probably familiar to most people.)


"Star of the County Down" - episode 2
This tune is played at Jinny's wedding.
Here is a link to hear it:

http://www.nigelgatherer.com/tunes/tab/tab1/star.html


"The Irish Washerwoman" - episode 2  (also played at Jinny's wedding)
http://www.contemplator.com/tunebook/midimusic/washer.mid


"The Lancers Quadrilles, #2 La doiska" - episode 2  The circle dance at the Truro charity ball.

"Riddles Wisely Expounded"  (also known as "Juniper Gentle and Rosemary" and "The Three Sisters") - episode 3
Demelza picks out keys on the spinet at Nampara (or is it a pianoforte?) and sings a few lyrics.

There are multiple versions of this song. These lyrics are most similar to Demelza's version.
There were three sisters fair and bright,
Jennifer Gentle and Rosemaree
And they three loved one valiant knight.
As the dew flies over the mulberry tree.

The eldest sister let him in,
Jennifer Gentle and Rosemaree
And barred the door with a silver pin.
As the dew flies over the mulberry tree.

The second sister made his bed,
And placed soft pillows under his head.

The youngest sister, fair and bright,
Was resolved for to wed with this valiant knight.

'And if you can answer questions three,
O then, fair maid, I will marry with thee.

'What is louder than an horn,
And what is sharper than a thorn?

'Thunder is louder than an horn,
And hunger is sharper than a thorn.'

'What is broader than the way,
And what is deeper than the sea?'

'Love is broader than the way,
And hell is deeper than the sea.'

Incidentally, there is an excellent version of "Juniper Gentle and Rosemary" found on a CD by the Oxford traditional band, Magpie Lane; the CD is titled Six for Gold.

 

"Plaisir d'amour" - episode 5 (tune played on violin during the play at Nampara) by Jean Paul Égide Martini

"In Dulci Jubilo"
Adapted by Robert Lucas de Pearsall
(The Christmas carol performed at Nampara by local village children in episode 8.)


"Poor Little Mite All Forlorn" - episode 4
Prudie sings this to Jinny's baby. I wasn't able to find any information on it. I suspect it might be an altered version of a children's rhyme, but I'm not sure. 

"The Fly Be on the Turnip" Song Jud sings in Eps 10 & 11  (Ross' trial, and walking home after smuggled goods are unloaded at Nampara Cove)

"Early One Morning" - episode 11
Demelza is singing at the pianoforte with Dwight seated next to her. He sings a few bars with her.
Lyrics and midi link
http://ingeb.org/songs/earlyomo.html

"O For a Heart to Praise My God" - episode 12
Hymn sung by mourners at Jud's wake.

midi link
http://gbgm-umc.org/UMhistory/Wesley/hymns/umh417.stm

"I Had a Little Hobby Horse" - episode 13
Geoffrey Charles sings this children's rhyme while playing with the gift from his godfather, George Warleggan.

"Blood Red Roses" - episode 14
A sea chantey heard in the tavern where Ross meets Mark Daniel to find out about the mine.
More information and an mp3 are found here:
http://www.ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp/?p=6938

"How Happy Could I Be With Either" - episode 15
http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiHPPYEITH;ttFROLICK.html

Demelza sings this just after Sir Hugh Bodrugan has shown her to her room. Capt. McNeil appears in the doorway and sings a few bars with her.

The lyrics sung by Demelza and McNeil are from John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. There is a love-triangle in the story, and this song illustrates McHeath's dilemma.  The situation in The Beggar's Opera bears a little similarity to the scene of Demelza's two would-be lovers (Sir Hugh and McNeil) outside her bedroom door, and the fact that Demelza is being cornered by both of them.

Here is more info on The Beggar's Opera
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beggar's_Opera

Full text of The Beggar's Opera
http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/beggar.html


"The Comical Fellow" - episode 15
From Thompson's Twenty Four Country Dances (1776)
The first of three English country dance (ECD) tunes heard at the ball. I recognized it from several other period films/miniseries.  Demelza dances with McNeil. Here is a midi file:
http://www.sls.hawaii.edu/contra/dances/comical.html

I don't know if the dance they are performing is actually "The Comical Fellow" though.

"Cuckolds All A Row" - episode 15
(Sometimes referred to as "Cuckolds All Awry")
Third dance tune at Sir Hugh's ball. Music speeds up as the debauchery at the ball becomes more and more frenzied.
From John Playford's The English Dancing Master (1651: 1st edition of The Dancing Master).

At one point during this tune, Sir Hugh is drinking from a large silver punch bowl. As the beverage trickles down the sides of his face, he shouts: "Cuckolds All Awry!" Of note because of the scenes of debauchery taking place, and also because of his intentions to cuckold Ross and have a fling with Demelza.

link to listen to the tune
http://www.hobbyhorsefestival.co.uk/Audio/Cuckolds.html


If anyone knows anything more of these or the other tunes or songs, I'm really interested to know about them.



-- Edited by Maire on Monday 14th of April 2014 08:10:12 PM

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