[Harp-L] How much is enough?

Aongus Mac Cana amaccana@xxxxx
Thu Aug 8 09:04:22 EDT 2019

I am watching this thread with interest, because I don't know how much a
note needs to be out of tune to offend my (probably inadequate) ear.

I play in weekly sessions of Irish Trad  where there are usually at least
twenty participants banging out Jigs, Reels and Hornpipes in unison.

In the company of loud Paolo Sopranis, Banjos, Uilean Pipes, Concert Flutes
and God knows what else, I find it hard to hear myself - much less know
whether I am in tune or not.

In Irish Sean Nos (unaccompanied traditional) singing, virtuosi are expected
to bend notes in an extravagant way as a form of ornamentation. Some people
describe this as "singing in the cracks". However losing the plot and
finishing up singing in a different key from the one you started in would
not meet with approval.

Trad instrumentalists often try to mimic the ornamentation used in other
instruments rolls, triplets and the like.  I look forward to the Irish
harmonica player who will be able to mimic the style of a Sean Nos singer ot
the Fiddle playing of Martin Hayes. This is where tasteful bending could
come into its own.


Aongus Mac Cana

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