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Thread: The Scottish Fiddler

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Default The Scottish Fiddler

    A thread for those who love the traditional music of Scotland played on the Scottish second 'national instrument'.

    This book is to be recommended. It comes with an accompanying cd which is lovely just to listen to. My only criticism is that some of the tunes are played in sets, which means that if one of the tunes is trickier than the other(s), one's playing can break down. It would help to be able to work on the tricky tune on its own.

    Iain Fraser: Scottish Fiddle Tunes - 60 Traditional Pieces for Violin. Schott publishing, 2006.

    Last edited by Ingélou; Apr-25-2019 at 10:56.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    This is also a very good fiddle tutor, and comes with an accompanying cd.

    My criticism here is that some complex bowing patterns and techniques come up rather too quickly for learning the instrument, and the later section of the book is largely repertoires from different areas of Scotland. Also, not all the pieces are on the cd, so I had to ask my fiddle teacher to make mp3s of missing tunes that I really liked.
    A final criticism is that the book is a hefty paperback and doesn't open out easily on the music stand.

    I did work through this book in the order given, though, and it has helped my playing and my understanding of the Scottish tradition enormously.

    Traditional Scottish Fiddling - A Player's Guide to Regional Styles, Bowing Techniques, Repertoire & Dances compiled by Christine Martin - Taigh na Teud (Scotlandsmusic) Publishers 2002

    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Mollie John's Avatar
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    This may be a site of interest -

    https://www.youtube.com/user/fiddaboy/featured

    It features dozens of fiddle technique classes ranging from Scottish to Québécois -

    Scottish Strathspey - (7 videos)

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ettdEcgr4Zm5vP

    Scottish Jig - (9 videos)

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...M6ZVn9Gy_hUSyD

    Scottish Reel - (19 videos)

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...UgPWQqe6jo7K3I

    Scottish Air - (8 videos)

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...AaO9Yj1z411N_6

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    David Johnson - Music and Society in Lowland Scotland in the Eighteenth Century - second edition 2003.

    This is a good book for understanding the music situation in Scotland in the eighteenth century, 'the golden age of Scottish Fiddle Music'. We own a copy, and I've read it a couple of times. My only caveat is that I don't rate the chapter on folk music at the end all that highly - I'm not sure the author had a very good understanding of how folk tradition works, being fed not only by oral tradition but by broadsheets & chapbooks & even sometimes being affected by 'drawing room fashions'.

    Very interesting on the overlap between baroque and traditional music in Scotland, though.

    Last edited by Ingélou; Apr-30-2019 at 07:56.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    David Johnson - Scottish Fiddle Music in the Eighteenth Century - A New Collection & Historical Study, 2005.

    I managed to buy another of David Johnson's books second hand a couple of years ago, from an online friend of my fiddle teacher. I have yet to read the text or to sample the tunes, but I'm looking forward to getting on to the book this year. It has an excellent customer review on Amazon, which I can believe to be well-founded.

    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    This online blog by Ronnie Gibson is also useful and interesting - though it used to contain a collection of tunes with videos on how to play them and the sheet music attached. I learned a lot of my repertoire from Ronnie Gibson, whose videos were always helpful, even though he maintained the most unyielding poker face ever. Maybe he was just shy, though.
    https://scottishfiddlemusic.com/

    And I've posted it elsewhere, but will put up this video again, which features Ronnie Gibson & Natalie Brown, advanced students at Aberdeen University. The sound quality is poor, but it's still good to watch.

    Folk Meets Baroque:

    Last edited by Ingélou; Apr-30-2019 at 07:57.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Hanneke Cassel's 'how-to' videos have been mentioned above in post #3 - I play along with her video on The Braes of Tulliemet regularly.



    Fiona Cutts of the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop also provides some helpful tune-videos.
    https://www.google.com/search?biw=12....0.CMMDITXzm5M

    Her method is to play the slow version first, and then the faster - not sure that's so sound in educational terms as I think you need to have the finished tune 'in your head' before you start to learn it slowed down, which inevitably changes the tune.

    However, it is much more convenient in the early stages, not having to scroll forward.

    Highland Whisky:



    And, although Duncan Ross Cameron includes a lot of Irish tunes in his how-to videos (which I also enjoy playing), he has some Scottish stuff too. His format is to play the tune at speed a couple of times and follow it up with a slow learning version. Here's the eighteenth-century tune Flowers of Edinburgh by James Oswald.

    Last edited by Ingélou; Apr-30-2019 at 08:38.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Melinda Crawford is another fiddler who provides very helpful videos, and whose personality I warm to -

    The Braes of Mar:



    Cam Ye O'er Frae France:

    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Mollie John's Avatar
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    untitled.jpg

    The Fiddle Music of the Scottish Highlands - Volumes 1 & 2: Ceol Na Fidhle Series

    Christine Martin

    untitled.jpg

    The Fiddle Music of the Scottish Highlands - Volumes 3 & 4: Ceol Na Fidhle Series

    Christine Martin

    untitled.jpg

    The Fiddle Music of the Scottish Highlands - Volumes 5 & 6: Ceol Na Fidhle Series

    Christine Martin

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    https://jamielaval.com/bio

    Jamie Laval - fantastic American fiddler specialising in the traditional Scottish repertoire. Here's his fabulous version of Monymusk, with variations:

    Last edited by Ingélou; May-01-2019 at 10:21.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    James Hunter - The Fiddle Music Of Scotland

    Another book I'm lucky enough to own. It has a comprehensive set of tunes from the repertoire - possibly a little too much Scott Skinner & his ilk for my liking. As well, though, it has a very good introduction with a description of eighteenth-century fiddlers & their method of keeping a notebook of variations, and a run-through of bowing styles, including Niel Gow's traditional method of 'the up-driven bow'.

    I've worked on that technique as much as I can, using tunes such as The Braes of Tulliemet and Lady Ann Hope's Strathspey. It's becoming easier, though I still can't get the Scottish snap as snappy as I'd like.
    Last edited by Ingélou; May-01-2019 at 08:37.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    I've seen some of the Music of Scotland dvds, borrowed from a friend - one, on strathspey bowing, was a nice display of the woman teacher's virtuosity, but not really teaching the techniques in the way I like. Maybe the only way for me to pick those techniques up is to go up to Scotland and find a good traditional teacher.

    Still, dvds and mp3s are a great way to learn - tunes, at least - so there may be something on this Music of Scotland site that I'm tempted to buy in the future.
    https://www.musicscotland.com/cd/Scottish-fiddle.html
    Last edited by Ingélou; May-01-2019 at 08:58.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Scottish Fiddlers & their Music - Mary Anne Alburger, 1983.

    Nothing startling here, but a useful survey & reference book, with some nice tunes included. We bought it second hand after seeing the name of it on a folk music site that I belong to.

    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Katherine Campbell - The Fiddle in Scottish Culture - Aspects of the Tradition. (John Donald, Edinburgh 2008.)

    I thought there was rather too much made of too little here, with much of the book padded with different variations of the same folk legend about learning tunes from trolls (the traditional sort - not the modern internet variety .)

    Still, I am glad to have read it and to have it in my collection.

    Last edited by Ingélou; May-02-2019 at 15:23.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Mollie John's Avatar
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    Alasdair Fraser on How the Scottish Fiddle Is a ‘Vehicle for Different Types of Dialects' -

    http://stringsmagazine.com/alasdair-...s-of-dialects/

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