The key signatures can often push a specific instrument to its limits. In
some tunes the key signature may demand a fiddler or flutist to play at the far
reaches of their high end. The same can be said for the lower end of the
register. accuracy and tone quality may suffer in those keys.
The great Scott Skinner was an accomplished fiddler and liked to
challenge himself with various "uncomfortable" keys. Not all musicians can play at
that level. As a musician who has written tunes for Scottish dancing, I consider
the key when composing. Certain instruments can't play below middle C. I gear
the tune to the instrument, which happens to be fiddle, in most cases.
I would like to leave this subject with a quote from Alasdair Fraser.
"There is no such thing as the right key signature." As a game, musicians often
jam together playing familiar tunes in different keys. It's a good exercise and
lets you find which key "feels right." Happy dancing, in whatever key you
Bob Mc Murtry
San Francisco Branch
Felton, CA 95018