Matt Cranitch, who lives in Cork, is renowned as a fiddle-player and teacher, both at home in Ireland and abroad. He has performed extensively at concerts and festivals, on radio and television, and has also presented lectures, master-classes and workshops on various aspects of Irish music, particularly fiddle playing. As a founder member of Na Filí, he features on all their records, and has made a number of solo albums and various other recordings. He is a graduate in electrical engineering and in music of University College Cork, and he lectures at Cork Institute of Technology, where his subject areas and interests include electronic engineering and music technology.
Matt has a particular involvement in the music of Sliabh Luachra, on Cork/Kerry border, and is engaged in on-going research on the fiddle-playing style of this region at the Irish World Music Centre, University of Limerick. As a highly accomplished musician and experienced teacher, he brings to this book a deep knowledge and keen understanding of all aspects of fiddle-playing. He has also contributed to a number of other books on Irish traditional music.
The fiddle, or violin, which first appeared towards the middle of the sixteenth century, has for many years been the instrument most widely used in playing of Irish Traditional Music. It has had a signifiant influence on the melodic structure of many tunes and has played a central role in producing the repertoire we enjoy today.
This book explains and shows in detail the various techniques used by fiddle payers in creating a traditional style of playing. All the information is presented in the context of the music itself, with numerous transcribed and recorded examples. For those unable to read music, a chapter on notation is included. Particular emphasis is given to bowing and ornamentation, with individual chapters devoted to Jigs, Slides, Polkas, Hornpipes, Airs and Reels. This book also attempts to convey something of this excitement felt in playing music which has a large degree of improvisation, albeit within certain bonds.
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