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Not Scottish fiddle exactly. Scottish viol played pizzicato which I have not heard of before. Anna Tam, I think, used to be a member of Medieval Baebes. The dialect she sings in is a bit lost on me although I can get the gist of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
Oh what a great discovery on YouTube this afternoon. Have sampled the cd and written to Santa - that's Christmas sorted for Mr & Mrs Taggart, then. :)

Hesperus Early Music Ensemble - MacDonald Of The Isles March To Harlaw - Source Of The Spey - The Periwig.

We listened to the full cd over the Christmas holidays and it's really lovely. I'm glad we got it.
It was made twenty years ago and has a lovely 'early music' feel to it. I hope the performers have had good opportunities to make music in the time intervening.

Bonnie Rider is one of the 'guests' on the cd, so you can imagine the high quality.

Happy New Year to all true lovers of the Scottish Fiddle Tradition.
 

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Most Scottish fiddle accompaniment is the standard I IV V three chord pattern. When I was in Beauly, Angus Lyon spent some time on this. He was more concerned to get a good rhythmic pattern rather than to worry about the chord voicing. The technique was about finding chord voicings that sat comfortably under the hand so that you could follow a tune at speed. Although a piano player, Angus had worked as an accordionist - second box - in a Scottish dance band. That job is basically providing a rhythmic accompaniment to the lead accordion - first box - who takes the melody. Angus also considered using II and VI chords to provide alternatives and to allow fast movement between chord sequences.

I met a similar approach a couple of years later in Melrose when Ian Lowthian was leading the Merlin Summer School. Ian is an accordionist who has trained at conservatoire level. (Yes they do that in the UK!) He is a music teacher leading school orchestras so has considerable interest in arrangements. Again he was more concerned with playing at speed than with voicings so again was looking at hand patterns.

This sort of accompaniment works well for fast music. One of the glories of Scottish music is the Strathspey. The problem here is that there will be rapid harmonic changes at the end of a phrase so instead of one type of chord a bar you will have several. Here's an example:


The triplets at the end are another feature of the Strathspey which gives it its grace but can also involve rapid harmonic changes.
I've been following everyone around who has "liked" my posts trying to acquaint myself with the various members and their interests.

I thought that "Beauly" was the name of your Scottish music group and that "Angus Lyon" was a member -
It's actually a town - :lol:

https://www.lastminutemusicians.com/search/celtic_groups_ceilidh_bands/inverness_shire/beauly.html

I did find this video -


which contains video clips of dozens of traditional groups.

I've played the video half a dozen times - it's great! - but other than "living in Glasgow" and the odd word here and there, I can't understand anything else that is being said at the beginning especially whatever it is that makes the two of them laugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Some Scottish tunes found their way into Playford's English Dancing Master - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dancing_Master - such as Lady Catherine Ogle, a lovely reflective tune. There's also The Scotchman's Dance which I think is a theatrical burlesque of the Scottish style.

There's a nice version of both tunes by The Toronto Consort. Lady Catherine sounds pukka baroque but The Scotchman's Dance has been given a little bit of modern groove.

Sheet music for Lady Catherine Ogle here:
http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=t...ic/abc/England/reel/LadyCatherineOgle_Gm/0000

Sheet music for The Scotchman's Dance here:
https://musescore.com/latestaccent/the-scotchmans-dancein-the-northern-lass_-p1687_plfd1_288
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
There's also Johnny Cock Thy Beaver - a Scots song that found its way into Playford's Division Violin, a gorgeous collection of fiddle tunes with variations published in 1684: https://imslp.org/wiki/The_Division_Violin_(Playford,_John)

Sometimes called 'Cock up thy beaver', this song concerns Johnny turning the brim of his beaver hat https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_hat up in his jubilation at becoming a successful border reiver.

It was collected/ improved (or rewritten - who knows?) by Robert Burns. See the lyrics here:
http://www.robertburns.org/works/333.shtml

So sadly, nothing to do with sexual relations with a beaver, though when I was a young teacher and I asked for pupil requests from our poetry anthology, some bright spark would always request this one with a smirk. :)

Here's an account of it from a folk website, which includes a video, though it's played rather too slowly for my taste:
https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/96753-Johnny-Cock-Thy-Beaver-(Baroque-variations-1684)

Here's the sheet music:
http://www.folktunefinder.com/tunes/72280

It's a lovely tune and I'm going to add it to my main repertoire of weekly tune practice and see if I can work it up as a party piece. :)
 

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A word of explanation that maybe should have gone in the OP.

I started this thread because of my love for the traditional fiddle music of Scotland, which has become my musical journey. (I call it Fiddle Trek...)

However, I decided to place my thread in the Strings section of the Instruments and Technique sub-forum because it's not about tunes or links so much as about fiddle lore and aids to learning the instrument.
My apologies for the posts which were about tunes... Should have read the entire thread before posting.


Video which explains the "Slap" technique with your bow, to achieve a Scottish style fiddle sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 · (Edited)
Thanks.

My point was merely that your definition needed more amplification because the scrunch is different.

It's not like the normal grace notes in that it's deliberately not grace-ful and is also played with the main note as a dissonant harmony so not what you'd normally think of as a grace note like a roll or a flick, which forms (as it were) a little extra tune in between the main notes.

In that way, it's more like double-stops or ringing-strings - which are very important to Scottish music but so far at least don't figure in the grace-note collection that you cite.

The scrunch is the coolest ornament at present, along with very frequent birls. I suppose these are the more energetic 'in your face' ornaments which suit the zeitgeist. Tunes which are being composed now include a lot of birls and scrunches and also a slightly jazzy rhythm.

Have you found these videos helpful in your playing?

And do you yourself use 'the scrunch'? I found it difficult to acquire (I have a short left pinkie), and in the end not to my taste, so I have not kept it in practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
Ringing Strings - a Bruce McGregor Video.

This is the skill I wish most to acquire. I can do the occasional 'double-stop' or chord but I am not fluent in ringing strings throughout a tune. I think my fault is that I try to press too hard to get the sound, whereas actually, it's all about position - as my fiddle teacher used to stress. He was very good at harmonising on other strings while playing Scottish tunes - keeping other strings 'hanging on' as he described it - and I have some wonderful mp3s of Scottish tunes that he gave me in order to help my playing.

 

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Thanks.

My point was merely that your definition needed more amplification because the scrunch is different.

It's not like the normal grace notes in that it's deliberately not grace-ful and is also played with the main note as a dissonant harmony so not what you'd normally think of as a grace note like a roll or a flick, which forms (as it were) a little extra tune in between the main notes.

In that way, it's more like double-stops or ringing-strings - which are very important to Scottish music but so far at least don't figure in the grace-note collection that you cite.

The scrunch is the coolest ornament at present, along with very frequent birls. I suppose these are the more energetic 'in your face' ornaments which suit the present zeitgeist. Tunes which are being composed now include a lot of birls and scrunches and also a slightly jazzy rhythm.

Have you found these videos helpful in your playing?

And do you yourself use 'the scrunch'? I found it difficult to acquire (I have a short left pinkie), and in the end not to my taste, so I have not kept it in practice.
I should have been much clearer in the statement that I used and for that I apologize.

The "Scottish grace note" reference was a direct quote taken from the video. Until viewing it I didn't know that "Scottish grace notes" even existed much less known what a "scrunch" is but I have to admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that I've come across so far even though I don't understand exactly what is being done or why it's being done. It is genuinely fascinating to see these technique demonstrations - There's one called the "waterfall" that I thought was just about the coolest thing that I had ever seen.

It's great to be able to see how what I've been listening to all these years is actually being produced.

The post which contained "A series of Scottish grace note tutorials" was meant to be a separate post that wasn't in reference to anything other than a desire to add something that may have been of interest for anyone who may find themselves reading this thread which I find fascinating despite not being able to play even a single note - It's interesting in and of itself - I love the music and even though I'm not a player I've enjoyed watching the videos and I can say with certainty that they have greatly increased my ability to enjoy the music itself.

It's the one instrument that I most wish I could play and this thread has been providing a great deal of vicarious pleasure and you have my thanks for creating and maintaining it. I can't do anything other than try to add links or videos which correspond to the mandate that you established for the thread. It's a nicely focused thread that you worked diligently to create and I wanted to kind of make amends for posting the two videos which were not in any way relevant to what you had intended. It took me a while to read through the posts and when I got to the explanation of the intention of the thread I realized that I had inadvertently erred.

I would like to start something like an "A to Z Guide to Fiddle Players" which would be a generalized overview of performers but I would place that in "Non-Classical Music" section rather than here now that I understand that this section is intended for actual musicians.

You'll have a faithful reader - however one who won't be able to contribute much other than to express appreciation for the time and effort expended.

Again, my compliments - :tiphat:
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 · (Edited)
Iain Fraser playing the strathspey The Smith's A Gallant Fireman - he uses the scrunch in the first note of the main opening theme-bars, and the double stop (or chord) elsewhere in the tune.


The discordant scrunch does make for a virile sound.

PS - A note on the tune from Nigel Gatherer. :tiphat:
http://www.nigelgatherer.com/tunes/tab/tab3/smith.html
 
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