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Jun 13, 2024 - 7:35:43 AM
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614 posts since 3/9/2017

How could anyone resist
ebay.co.uk/itm/204831684738?mkcid

Jun 13, 2024 - 8:18:53 AM

450 posts since 6/20/2020

The belly dancer's belt, giraffe print scarf and turquoise harem suit in the seller's other items could suggest that the seller is either David Icke or maybe not a banjo specialist? Though I didn't notice any used goalkeeping gloves.

Edited by - Pomeroy on 06/13/2024 08:26:12

Jun 13, 2024 - 8:45:43 AM
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GS

UK

82 posts since 11/24/2023

I'm not worthy of such a quality instrument. I may, however, buy some of the clothing for the wife.

Jun 13, 2024 - 9:11:02 AM
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JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Pomeroy

The belly dancer's belt, giraffe print scarf and turquoise harem suit in the seller's other items could suggest that the seller is either David Icke or maybe not a banjo specialist? Though I didn't notice any used goalkeeping gloves.


David Icke and goalie gloves, thats a reference to a shrinking demographic, one that includes me though :-O

Jun 13, 2024 - 11:35:24 AM

450 posts since 6/20/2020

At the friendlier end of the eBay auction process, yesterday I did find myself checking back and rooting for the sole bidder who was leading until the last moments with a bid of 99p on an easily restorable c.1880 English 7-string. A late flurry of bids saw the price rise to £45. I was genuinely disappointed for the original bidder who missed out. That's probably symptomatic of another declining English demographic.

Jun 14, 2024 - 12:59:37 AM

JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

I saw that 7 string. I was wondering how they are tuned and what style they are played as all strings appear to be full neck. I was going to search here, as I remember at least one discussion on the subject but got sidetracked. They are a particular interest of Pomeroy if i recall correctly

Jun 14, 2024 - 3:03:46 AM

450 posts since 6/20/2020

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

I saw that 7 string. I was wondering how they are tuned and what style they are played as all strings appear to be full neck. I was going to search here, as I remember at least one discussion on the subject but got sidetracked. They are a particular interest of Pomeroy if i recall correctly


G/C tuning gGCDGBD is typical for 7-string banjo throughout the mid-to-late Victorian period when, along with 6-string banjos, they were highly popular and very common here. That nearly-99p eBay banjo was advertised as a 6-string but was actually a 7-string. They're strung 6+1 i.e 6 long strings at the headstock and a drone string with tuner at the 5th fret position.

6-string banjos (5+1) are typically tuned either gGCGBD or eABEG#B. The E/A tuning became less common by the 1890's. There are other possible tunings that are fun to explore but for which there are as yet no contemporary documented sources that point to their 19th century use. From a sound perspective it's also worth bearing in mind that pitch was not standardised as it is today at A4=440hz. Pre-1898 A4 could in theory be anywhere from 444hz to 452/4hz. In duet or group settings the tuneable banjo often had to tune to the fixed-tuned instruments piano or concertina. We know from tuning forks used by various piano manufacturers and individual piano tuners the range in which Victorian pianos were pitched. Modern first-hand evidence from concertina repairers and specialists when Anglo and English concertinas come into their workshops for reed re-tuning to modern A=440hz tell us their original 19th century pitch. That pitch was almost invariably higher than A=440hz.

For our early English banjo research project recording purposes I have to select a pitch and I mostly use A=444hz or A=445hz (Society of Arts). I sometimes go up to A=448hz the pitch favoured by London musical instrument makers and music publishers Metzler & Co. I intend to try the top end of the range A=452/4hz to see how gut strings perform at that higher tension. Pitch in the range A=444-448hz with period correct gauge gut and silk guitar strings on 24" and 25" scale 6 and 7-string banjos c.1865-1880 works perfectly in accord with Metzler & Co.'s 1877 published guidelines below:


Edited by - Pomeroy on 06/14/2024 03:14:27

Jun 14, 2024 - 3:34:07 AM

450 posts since 6/20/2020

As to style, 'finger-style' (aka 'guitar-style') was predominant here. Though 'thimble' or 'stroke-style' was not uncommon.

Repertoire was hugely diverse. To understand our way into the multiplicity of Victorian performance contexts we really have to make a careful, deliberate, and conscious effort to shed our genre-informed way of approaching music. Modern formats of banjo playing have been filtered through the mesh of successive folk revival movements; quietly, gradually and imperceptibly 'genericised'. What we have 'distilled' from diversity despite an apparent concern with 'authenticity' is a hybrid genre that accords with our modern sensibility. Almost exclusively instrumental and with tightly delineated 'appropriate' instruments' (fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar).

Victorian musicians, particularly amateurs, did not have our modern instinct or familiarity with/need for genre. the impetus and motivation was to social entertainment. In 1877 a banjoist taking a few turns at their local school hall or institute would typically play an assortment of solos, comic songs, and duets with an eclectic mix of other instruments.

Today, the richness and extent of this English popular repertoire has been completely forgotten/neglected. Centrally-funded Celtic cultural movements, particularly in Ireland, assimilated Victorian authored Polkas, Schottishes, Jigs and Reels into what was presented as a 'traditional' cannon. In that canon we can find many tunes that were actually by mid-Vicorian English popular composers. Our Victorian academic fixation/obsession with the existence of a repertoire borne of a 'transcendant' English rusticality gave rise to contempt and total deaf ear for anything that had an attributed author meant we did not value our own creativity. That is a form of cultural control; ancient and bucolic was deemed safe and acceptable. In a rapidly changing and newly urban Victorian industrial society new was uncontrollable and therefore potentially threatening with it's appeal to mass popularity, cheapness, accessibility and modern references. If we add to that exclusion the dominant American narrative voice in regard to the banjo we begin to understand how what doesn't 'fit' or 'contradicts' a dominant narrative is subject to a tacit process of exclusion.

Edited by - Pomeroy on 06/14/2024 03:50:34

Jun 14, 2024 - 4:03:01 AM

450 posts since 6/20/2020

Going back to the OP and that bargain of the week. I notice even the quoted postage is a rip-off. £25? What are they proposing to do, send the banjo abroad and back into the UK via Berlin or Warsaw?

Jun 14, 2024 - 10:35:26 AM

JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

Thanks, that is interesting. A lot of the technical music stuff went over my head but I suppose its a bit like 'relative tuning'? As for types of music falling out of memory I wonder if some of it is the traction a type of music gets with later generations is a factor. I recall my grandparents record collection contained some classic crooners, notably Nat King Cole, that people still listen to and play today, and some absolutely dreadful 'popular music' ten or fifteen years before the advent of pop music (Mersey beat, I suppose), that people of my parents generation would have run a mile from, that are today generally forgotten. As they say, each generation invents the world anew.

Jun 14, 2024 - 11:28:17 PM

450 posts since 6/20/2020

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

 >As for types of music falling out of memory I wonder if some of it is the traction a type of music gets with later generations is a factor.

 As they say, each generation invents the world anew.<


Yes, that generational distinction is certainly an undeniable modern cultural factor that we would all recognise; I didn't buy my parent's popular music any more than they bought their parent's popular music. However the extent to which that pattern of identity reinvention influences culture and the arts is a characteristic feature of an industrial society whose social patterns and behaviours were taking shape particularly in the period of massive social and economic change throughout the Victorian era and secondly after the First World War.

English industrial vernacular culture was not subject to cultural policy in the way that, for example the Gaelic League firstly valued and then proactively nurtured, structured and funded support for Irish vernacular activity. That policy of Gaelicisation itself had a constructed element. Instead English vernacular culture was simultaneously left to the vagaries of economic  expediency and disinvested. English policy was directed not at mitigating the effects of industrialisation in cultural terms, but at ensuring economic activity was unimpeded. In shorthand the results of that strategy of social control was the devaluing of the popular and contemporary in favour of the construction of a selective and 'mythologised' narrative of a pre-industrial 'core Englishness'. The powerful influence of this constructed narrative and the consequent neglect of Victorian popular urban forms is still evident in today's cultural bodies such as the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and the modern 'folk scene'. That archive and the activities and repertoires it informs continues to neglect the richness and extent of Victorian authored popular song, polkas, scottisches, galops, jigs and hornpipes. It is nothing short of a travesty in regard to the true and complex picture of who we are.

Caught up in all this is the banjo in England.

Edited by - Pomeroy on 06/14/2024 23:37:33

Jun 15, 2024 - 12:42:55 AM
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JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

I suppose partly the organised preservation and promotion of a more bucolic more distant and possibly "lost" past was a reaction against the 'common' and what had been born from social upheaval and economic change. The result possibly that 'folk' is revived and, for want of a better term 'industrial' or the 'old new' is lost, until people develop an interest and revive that too?

Jun 15, 2024 - 12:45:07 AM

JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

The ebay seller has offered me the banjo for £1100, as I have viewed it. Am I tempted....

Jun 15, 2024 - 2:15:01 AM

450 posts since 6/20/2020

...me too. A facade of 'generosity' with undertones of the exact opposite. Must be something in the air at the moment? wink

Edited by - Pomeroy on 06/15/2024 02:18:11

Jun 15, 2024 - 3:41:53 AM

76 posts since 6/22/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Pomeroy:
"...the results of that strategy of social control was the devaluing of the popular and contemporary in favour of the construction of a selective and 'mythologised' narrative of a pre-industrial 'core Englishness'. The powerful influence of this constructed narrative and the consequent neglect of Victorian popular urban forms is still evident in today's cultural bodies such as the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and the modern 'folk scene'. That archive and the activities and repertoires it informs continues to neglect the richness and extent of Victorian authored popular song, polkas, scottisches, galops, jigs and hornpipes. It is nothing short of a travesty in regard to the true and complex picture of who we are.

Caught up in all this is the banjo in England."


Very interesting insights.  The same could be said for the evolution of popular music of the same era in the US and how the phenomenon is ignored by folk music revivalists.  It is fascinating to observe the lengths folk music revivalists go to in order to force the music of Charlie Poole into the category of hillbilly music, and to cast his playing style as a precursor of Scruggs-style banjo.  Charlie Poole's recorded output was almost exclusively drawn from Victorian parlour songs, and his playing style was distinctly the same as what we call "Classic-style" banjo today. 

Jun 15, 2024 - 4:15:10 AM
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384 posts since 4/27/2020

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

The ebay seller has offered me the banjo for £1100, as I have viewed it. Am I tempted....


Tell him you're interested, but that you're also looking for a backup.  Ask him if he has another one like it.  devil

Jun 17, 2024 - 1:22:15 PM
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3088 posts since 2/4/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

The ebay seller has offered me the banjo for £1100, as I have viewed it. Am I tempted....


I got one as well so I took the oppurtunity to make a counter offer of £50. I did explain why it might be worth a bit less than they think.

Jun 17, 2024 - 11:20:07 PM

JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

The ebay seller has offered me the banjo for £1100, as I have viewed it. Am I tempted....


I got one as well so I took the oppurtunity to make a counter offer of £50. I did explain why it might be worth a bit less than they think.


I'm guessing that was received well, I thinking perhaps they gave you a stiff ignoring? :-)

Jun 18, 2024 - 12:19:13 AM

3088 posts since 2/4/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88
quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

The ebay seller has offered me the banjo for £1100, as I have viewed it. Am I tempted....


I got one as well so I took the oppurtunity to make a counter offer of £50. I did explain why it might be worth a bit less than they think.


I'm guessing that was received well, I thinking perhaps they gave you a stiff ignoring? :-)


So Far yes but it's early days.

Jun 18, 2024 - 12:44:25 AM

JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

I'm not familiar with listing on ebay (only ever been a hapless bidder), can it stay on there forever (or until sold)?

Jun 18, 2024 - 5:46:19 AM

3088 posts since 2/4/2013
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My offer was declined but the seller has removed the listing because of an "error".

Jun 18, 2024 - 6:24:19 AM

JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker

My offer was declined but the seller has removed the listing because of an "error".


Hilarious. I wonder if he's rush back to the pub to try to find the character that sold it to him (no doubt as a 'dead cert' easy money maker) :-O

Jun 25, 2024 - 1:16:23 PM

37 posts since 3/3/2024

It's now on for £250. Quite a reduction, but still not worth it. Looks to be a decent banjo but in its condition I wouldn't go more than £100 max personally.

Jun 25, 2024 - 11:21:07 PM

JSB88

UK

614 posts since 3/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Keithstephen

It's now on for £250. Quite a reduction, but still not worth it. Looks to be a decent banjo but in its condition I wouldn't go more than £100 max personally.


As you say, still too much but maybe now qualifies as 'UK Price Reduction of the Week'

Jun 26, 2024 - 2:13:51 AM
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37 posts since 3/3/2024

Possibly in the running for the "UK price reduction of the year" category. :)

Jun 26, 2024 - 8:25:44 AM

3088 posts since 2/4/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Keithstephen

It's now on for £250. Quite a reduction, but still not worth it. Looks to be a decent banjo but in its condition I wouldn't go more than £100 max personally.


When I put in my offer I suggested that in good condition it might make £200 to £300 and in its current state it might make £100.

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