Tastes in music, US and UK (was In Campbell Country..)

SallenNic

Message 39128 · 17 Sep 2004 01:17:12 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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In a message dated 14/9/04 5:58:41 am, Xxxxx1Xxxxxx@xxx.xxx writes:

> One aspect of the fiddle vs. accordion discussion that I feel is worth
> mentioning is in the way strathspeys are played. Assuming the musicians are
> proficient, of course, I prefer dancing strathspeys to fiddles (with
> suitable
> accompaniment), whereas I like fiddles and accordions about equally for jigs
> and
> reels. To be more specific, fiddles seem to encourage the surge better than
> accordions. (I think this is because the best fiddlers 'bridge the gap'
> between the
> last beat of one bar and the first beat of the next bar.)  Among US
> recordings,
> I especially like the strathspeys on the 'Ghillies on the Golden Gate' CD by
> Fiddlesticks and Ivory. At any rate, this CD illustrates what I mean.
>
At the risk of stirring up further hornets, my son and I were both playing in
the US last year, both together at ESS (Pinewoods) and then my son without me
at Scottish Session 2 there. I play Accordion and my son is a Fiddler.
When he got home we discussed the playing of Scottish dance music and
Scottish Fiddle music in general in the US and he said that he had found that
Strathspeys in particular were played in a much softer and less emphatic way
than they are here. He learnt from Douglas Lawrence, (probably Hector MacAndrew's
best pupil) and received very strict instruction as to how to play
Strathspeys, both dance ones and Slow ones.
We both also felt that Scottish reels in particular are very often
played over the other side like contra reels, and that not enough care is taken to
keep the Scottish technique distinct from Contra. We have quite a number of US
Scottish dance CDs, to which we have both listened a great deal, and these
remarks are made after a lot of thought on both our parts. - Oh dear! All of
this will probably get me lynched!!! :-)

Nicolas B., Lanark, Scotland http://www.nicolasbroadbridge.com

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