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Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?

Bearheart 10 Jul 04 - 07:41 PM
Stewart 10 Jul 04 - 09:08 PM
Sorcha 10 Jul 04 - 09:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Jul 04 - 10:07 PM
Helen 10 Jul 04 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Jon 10 Jul 04 - 10:55 PM
GUEST 11 Jul 04 - 04:17 AM
greg stephens 11 Jul 04 - 04:23 AM
Strupag 11 Jul 04 - 11:50 AM
greg stephens 11 Jul 04 - 12:19 PM
Cuilionn 11 Jul 04 - 01:08 PM
greg stephens 11 Jul 04 - 01:24 PM
Big Mick 11 Jul 04 - 04:14 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Jul 04 - 05:16 PM
greg stephens 11 Jul 04 - 09:19 PM
Mark Cohen 12 Jul 04 - 03:05 AM
GUEST 12 Jul 04 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 Jul 04 - 06:58 AM
John in Brisbane 12 Jul 04 - 07:17 AM
Strupag 12 Jul 04 - 03:49 PM
greg stephens 12 Jul 04 - 06:28 PM
Bearheart 15 Jul 04 - 06:23 PM
GUEST 19 May 11 - 03:56 PM
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Subject: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Bearheart
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 07:41 PM

My 12 year-old niece Ilona is wanting to learn to play-- a friend has lent a fiddle and I am walking her through learning Elinor Plunkett, since I can play it on the harp and it's nice and slow. I'd like to give her some other tunes that are good for starting her on. Eventually she'll get lessons but I figure she will be ahead if she knows some tunes. Any thoughts?

Bekki


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Stewart
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 09:08 PM

Since it's difficult to learn traditional tunes from the notes, I think listening would be the best preparation. Here are some of my favorite Irish fiddle CDs.

Martin Hayes – 1993, Green Linnet Records, GLCD1127.
Kevin Burke, Sweeney's Dream – 2001, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, SFW CD 40485.
Setanta, Early Rising – 2002, Dale Russ, Hanz Araki, Finn Mac Ginty, Setanta 001.
The Salmon's Leap – 2000, Randal Bays, Foxglove FG0150CD.
Fiddlehead, Anthea Lawrence – 1999, Fiddlehead Productions, Olympia, WA.
James Kelly, Traditional Irish Music –1996, Capelhouse.
The Star Above The Garter, Denis Murphy & Julia Clifford – 1969, Claddagh Records, CC5CD.
An Historic Recording of Irish Traditional Music From Co. Clare and E. Galway – Paddy Canny, PJ Hayes, Peadar O'Loughlin (flute), Bridie Lafferty (piano), 2001, Shanachie 76001.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 09:24 PM

Rakes of Mallow
Swallowtail Jig
Not Celtic/Irish, but Old Joe Clark
Southwind
Star of the County Down


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 10:07 PM

Matt Cranitch's The Irish Fiddle Book (Mercier Press) may be helpful. There are recordings to go with it, so you don't have to rely solely on notation.


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Helen
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 10:33 PM

There were some good internet sites mentioned on this thread

good fiddle tunes


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 10:55 PM

Perhaps not beginners stuff but take a look at Fiddlers Fancy cd and the book that goes with it.


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 04:17 AM

give up now and learn the banjo ;)


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 04:23 AM

Irish polkas are fun and exciting, but because they have less fast diddly notes than jigs and reels they are much much easier for beginners. Any polka you know or have a recording of will do, but make sure it's an Irish-style polka(they are not the same as ordinary polkas).. Or if you want to look in a book, I think Brid Cranitch's series " Irish Session Tunes" (there are various books in different colours) are very good. They come with a helpful recording.Ossian publications.


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Strupag
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 11:50 AM

I heard a lot of kids learning fiddle do "Margaret's Waltz". Ally Bain does the defintive version.


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 12:19 PM

How "Celtic" is Margaret's Waltz? You can find at as "Irish trad" and "Scottish trad" on the internet(that well known source of wisdom on tune origins); but I dont know much about the ethnic or cultural backgound of its composer, Patrick Shuldham Shaw; the tune was written in the 60's I think, and popularised by Aly Bain...a well-known "Celtic" fiddler, of course.
    Can anyone enlighten us on Dr Shaw's ethnicity?


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 01:08 PM

"Taigh na Teud" music publishers have put out a nice book & 2 CD set called, "The Fiddle Music of the Scottish Highlands." (ISBN 1 871931 320, available through www.scotlandsmusic.com).

I've also gotten good use out of another Book/CD set called something like "The Scottish Fiddle Tutor" (can't remember exactly, as I lent it out a while back, but... um... it has a red cover, I remember that!) It has actual lessons and is designed for absolute beginners, so it would probably suit your niece's needs. If I can remember the exact title, I'll post it!

My favorite beginnner tunes (taught to me phrase-by-phrase by a musician-mentor) are "Song of the Chanter" and one that Hamish Moore refers to as "The Boy's Lament for His Dragon" (also has another name, something like "The 74th Regiment's farewell to Whatchamacallit."). (Can anyone tell I was taught to fiddle by a piper?) There are some nice slow, lilting tunes from both sides of the Scottish Borderlands, too: "Bonny at Morn" and "the Broom of the Cowden Knowes" come to mind.

There are some really fun fiddle tunes also known as puirt-a-beul or "mouth music" that might be fun to learn-- get her a recording from Mary Jane Lamond (Cape Breton) or Anne Martin / Catherine Anne McPhee / Mackenzie (Scotland) and this will help her "tune up her ears" and understand how fiddle music and vocal speech/song rhythms are interwined. She may find a tune or song from one of these artists that she can start figuring out on the fiddle, and she's at an excellent age to explore/develop her ability to learn & play "by ear."

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 01:24 PM

Any teaching involving the ear and memory will be fantastically valuable. Many potential fiddlers lose any opportunity to play well by being wrecked by staring at musical nptation too early. Sheet music is a fantastic way or writing down tunes for future reference, and a great source for leaning tunes quickly and easily, once you have learnt some style. But offered too early, sheet music is highly liable to destroy music in a person(tradiytional style music, anyway).
The best tune to learn is the one tour teacher/friend knows


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 04:14 PM

Perhaps the best thing you could do would be to teach your kin proper names. There aren't any "Celtic" fiddle tunes that I am aware of. There are tune collections from Celtic countries, such as Ireland, Scotland, etc. I apologize for sounding a bit crabby, but this is one of the most overworked terms out there. Choose a genre and then help her out. There are any number of good tutorials out there for the various fiddle styles.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 05:16 PM

Moving a little off topic (for which, my apologies), but in answer to Greg's question:

Patrick Shuldham-Shaw was born at Stratford-upon-Avon. He and his mother were deeply involved with the English Folk Dance and Song Society, though of course he did a lot of work elsewhere; including Holland and Scotland (for one thing, he was the driving force behind the publication of the Greig-Duncan Collection). He lived in Scotland for a time, and that is where Aly Bain played him Margaret's Waltz (which he had picked up in Canada) thinking that he would like it. Fortunately he did, as he had written it himself!

I have been guilty, I fear, of repeating the myth that Margaret's Waltz was written in honour of Princess Margaret (who was patron of EFDSS and used to go to dances at Cecil Sharp House sometimes in her youth); that is wrong, though, and I'm indebted to Janet Dashwood (who knew the people concerned) for telling me that the Margaret in question was actually Margaret Grant: the tune was made for the occasion of her retirement, in 1959, as EFDSS' Devon representative.

The tune appears, as originally written, in Marjorie Fennessey (ed) The Pat Shaw Collection. Book 2. Dances, 1986. I think that Aly has changed it a little, but like most people I play it after his fashion. When I first heard it, I rather assumed that it was American; it doesn't, to my mind, have much of a Scottish feel to it.

There's a little more on Pat Shaw at Patrick Noel Shuldham-Shaw (1917- 1977).


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 09:19 PM

Thankds Malcom for that background stuff.
   Like Big Mick, I dont get wildly excited by the term "Celtic". There is a wonderful amount of gorgeous fiddle music from Scotland, England, Wales, France,America,Ireland, etc etc etc. If you like it,play it. If it comes from your family, so much the better. But the term "Celtic", wrapped up with some fake history, seems to cover a multitude of sins and is a modern bit of meaningless drivel. This music was largely created before the term "Celtic" was invented, so why use it?


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 03:05 AM

I don't think anybody plays fiddle tunes in the FleetCenter. Maybe they used to in the Boston Garden, but I'm not sure about that. Maybe there are some Knickerbocker fiddle tunes, though.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 06:44 AM

For beginners on any instrument, a good starting place is the Folkworks Session Collection. Its a 3 book and CD set, with the notation to a range of tunes (about 20 on each of the collections) as well as the CD which gives the tunes played slowly and then at speed, so you can also learn by ear and get used to practising along with other players. They are £8 each and can be ordered from The Sage Gateshead.


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 06:58 AM

That's not being crabby Mick. I think the one thing the marketing term "celtic music" gives us it at least some areas of music to look at. To quote a little from the rec.music.celtic FAQ:

"Generally understood, "Celtic music" refers to the folk musics of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, (Spanish) Galicia, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and certain parts of Canada (esp.Newfoundland/Cape Breton), as well as more recent musical styles (i.e. rock, jazz, new age) that draw heavily from these folk traditions. It should be understood, though, that not all musicians who hail from Ireland/Scotland/ Wales/Brittany/etc. necessarily play Celtic music."


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 07:17 AM

And my soapbox is:

Download a variety of Waltzes Here. There are 46 of them in varying degrees of difficulty and they're all written in ABC Notation.

If you download AbcMus (and as long as your niece has a PC and soundcard), she can play them anytime, at any speed, in an alternative key if necessary and with guitar chord accompaniment. Or just play several bars repeated over and over. There is a danger that you will be made redundant however!

I can send you the sheet music as an Acrobat PDF high quality file of this collection if any of these tunes strike your fancy. Doing the lot is as easy as just one or two. Send me a PM.

Best Wishes,
John


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Strupag
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 03:49 PM

Hi Greig, I know Margaret's waltz was written by an Englishman but are you serioulsly suggesting that it is not a celtic melody.
Do you have to be born in a celtic country or have celtic genes to compose a celtic air.
It is probably one of the most popular tunes that kids in the Scottish Highlands learn to play and in my (non pedantic) book that makes it a celtic tune.
Incidently you call Shetlanders "Celtic"! Have you ween their flag - it's Scandinavian.


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 06:28 PM

Who calls Shetlanders Celtic? I dont.Sorry, Strupag, I dont think your meaning for the word Celtic makes much much sense to me. Kids in the Scottish Highlands like all sorts of things, like weetabix and playstations. Whether that makes them Celtic is another story.


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: Bearheart
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for all your help folks. I would have been back to this much sooner except that I have been teaching an intensive two-week course here (not music!!!) and have been immersed in work-- Also the reason I lumped Scottish/Irish/and etc togther under "Celtic"-- it seems to be a generally recognized term that could save me a lot of typing! :)

I teach with my husband, a rather compulsive multiple Virgo, who prefers I not spend time doing other things (like music! computers! etc!) when we are teaching. Since my fiddler friend is due here in August I really wanted to get this going a little faster, for my niece's sake. So please excuse shortcuts. And thanks for speeding my efforts.

Just to clarify-- what she really needs are simple easy tunes that don't require much ornamentation, are on the slow side, are easy to memorize (though she's pretty good with that) and don't require skipping all over the fingerboard, as she is very new to this and her school instrument is a clarinet!!! she is a singer so I have been teaching her to sing the tunes...

Thanks again

Bekki


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Subject: RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 11 - 03:56 PM

Shaw is either English or New England.


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