Professional fiddlers would travel for many miles around their home town, and the tradition was often passed down from father to son.
From the beginning of the 18th C the uillean pipes came into use, and became the chief rival to the fiddle.
Here a note, usually a crotchet, is split into 3 very short , individually bowed notes.
The effect is actually more of a flick or stutter than three clearly discernable bows.
An excavation below a house in Christchurch Road in Dublin during the 18th C uncovered what is said to be the oldest actual bow known in Europe, dating from the 11th C, along with a medieval fiddle.
The bow is of dogwood, and has an animal-head carving at the tip.
IRISH SCOTTISH WELSH SCANDINAVIAN KLEZMER BALKAN EAST EUROPEAN POLAND BALTIC HUNGARIAN MIDDLE EAST AND MEDITERRANEAN INDIAN CHINESE MEXICAN CUBAN OLD TIME CAJUN BLUEGRASS JAZZ BLUES ROCK WESTERN SWING CANADIAN _______________ Violins and accessories contact Chris Haigh Irish fiddle music is heard the world over, whether it’s at a trad pub session, where fiddlers and other musicians gather to play for an evening’s fun, or in a professional setting at a ceilidh, concert or festival.
Bowed Ornamentation The most common bowed ornament is the bowed triplet or treble.Ornaments can be either fingered or bowed; whilst in Scottish fiddling bowed ornament predominates, in Ireland the fingering is more important. Where two notes of the same pitch lie together in a tune, they will often be interrupted by a single grace note called a cut. The melody note is preceded by the same note plus a higher note.Tiny grace notes are very common, and can appear in several different contexts. The grace note is usually higher than the melody note; If the tune has a B note (ist finger) on the A string, for example, the cut would usually be from the D note (3rd finger, A string) or possibly the C (2nd finger) The grace note is a mere flick- don’t apply enough pressure to let the note sound clearly. For example a B note (ist finger) on the A string would be preceded by B and D (1,3) or B and C (1,2) 3. Particularly important in jig playing, this turns three quavers, either separate or slurred, into 5 notes.For any violinist wishing to step beyond the narrow confines of classical discipline, the Irish jig or reel is one of the first stopping points.So what is there to learn about playing, or indeed listening to and appreciating, Irish fiddle music?