Many times I fall in love with music because I've heard it sung!
I became aware of how emotionally powerful a vocal can be this last Christmas. Carol melodies are played, but many times they can fall short of having the impact a good vocal can add.
Yesterday, I was listening to some Norwegian dance music I didn't really care for, but then heard some Norwegian Folk Songs that were a cappella - I was crazy in LOVE with! I like to play along, but when I play the melody just by myself, I'm usually disappointed - even if I add ornaments and some variety. I start to feel I need to add harmony by way of chords & a backing track... but why can a good singer sound so wonderful without any musical accompaniment?
So I got to thinking that maybe the nuances and inflections of the singer I was attracted to hearing should be more of a focus. I mean, if a tune has words & was meant to accompany a singer, can't we make up for a singer in our playing?
...play music more like it is sung?
I meant to share this video earlier, of a VERY well-known Irish fiddle tune from 1804 - "Corraga Bawn". The tune has been used for the lament, Banks of the Moorlough Shore, but most famous as the mournful, patriotic rally The Foggy Dew (lyrics linked to titles).
This is an E minor tune (my fav) and, needless to say, really exudes emotion when sung. So, how do we play the fiddle to communicate all this emotion a human voice would provide?
Liz Carroll, gives am expressive example - her bowing, phrasing, dynamics & LH are worth studying. I have to grab moments like these, they're invaluable to me.
You can find free, printable sheet music & midi at thesession.org
...I've been trying to fix issues with my LH, so noticing the way some folk fiddlers, who don't use a shoulder rest, hold the neck of the fiddle - and I certainly noticed the LH pinky! I can understand why Liz (& others) do it, but I really want my LH to be more versatile. Liz started winning Fiddle Championships in her late teens... there ya go. 😊