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Playing Irish Airs
The challenge of playing a melody that probably started life as a song
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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pastelpainter
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February 25, 2017 - 7:21 am
Member Since: March 5, 2016
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I love irish airs, but know they present a unique challenge.  Written music can be misleading as the dots on the page don't represent the words and breathing of a song, and it's probably best to listen to many versions of the chosen air, as they are sung, often unaccompanied. This is Sliabh na mban (pronounced, sleevnamane). I copied the phrasing of an irish  sean nos singer  I know that the use of a full vibrato is not desirable in irish airs, calling for a strong but simple melodic style, it is a lifelong journey and it is also true that when playing irish music generally, each time it should be approached afresh, so even now I probably would try and play this a little differently. This was summer 2016

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Uzi
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February 25, 2017 - 1:39 pm
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Very nicely played @pastelpainter. Looking at the score to that song, it would seem to be quite dull and unremarkable, but your embellishments make the tune quite interesting and very pleasant to the ear.  

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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pastelpainter
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February 26, 2017 - 2:09 pm
Member Since: March 5, 2016
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Thanks Uzi, you're right that the 'bare bones' of irish tunes are often much more basic than when you hear them played with the irish style ornaments which sometimes mimic the rolls of the irish pipes or flute.  

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