Page 55 - A New Book of Cape Breton Fiddle Tunes: Traditional Celtic Fiddle Music of Cape Breton
ISSUE : Issue 44
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1
ANewBookof Cape Breton Fiddle Tunes TRADITIONAL CELTIC FIDDLE MUSIC OF CAPE BRETON is a new book that we want to recommend to our read? ers. This is the first book devoted entirely to the Cape Breton fiddle repertoire. There are 86 tunes here, many of which are in previously unpub? lished settings. The book is compiled and anno? tated by K. E. Dunlay with D. L. Reich. They have given brief notes to each tune, and included re? corded and printed sources, as well as the specif? ic player of the melody they've notated in their book. This nicely gives recognition to the fact that, although the tune is written down, this par? ticular printing is certainly not intended to be taken as the only way for it to be played. The sources are there to encourage listening to var? ious interpretations of the tune. There is a brief introduction to the place of fid? dling in Cape Breton life, and a discussion of techniques of bowing and left-hand gracing, modal? ity and style. We recommend a careful reading of the section on ornamentation, because some unortho? dox notations used in the book are explained there. The book is wisely made with a plastic binding to allow it to lie open flat. But the substance of the book--and its real value- is the tunes. Here are a couple examples of tunes that will not be found in print elsewhere. 35. Orahtional J'eel We have only one criticism of the book. We would argue that, instead of writing out all the tunes in standard notation (as they have in this book), Dunlay and Reich should have written out some in scordatura--what we know as high bass tuning. The use of standard notation throughout is of value, particularly in that it means any musician, regard? less of instrument, can play the melody. But a dis? advantage of using only standard notation is that aspiring fiddlers may take standard notation as "the right way," and may never take the time to ex? periment with altered tunings. They would thereby miss out on a whole spectrum of Cape Breton fiddle tradition--a portion of the tradition which has al? ready faded considerably in the light of electric amplification, chordal accompaniment, and ensemble playing. This would be our only serious criticism of this otherwise useful and welcome book. TRADITIONAL CELTIC FIDDLE MUSIC OF CAPE BRETON should be available through music outlets on the island. It can be obtained by mail from K. E. Dun? lay and D. L. Reich at 27 Sherman Bridge Road, Wayland, MA. 01778, U. S. A. The price is $14.95. [Ill m mf- f"'! rr ft ' p- ??- -f- -f- p -jh M-p. • ? * A Note on Scordatura (High Bass Tuning) Paul Cranford: "Scordatura tunings were commonly used by solo unamplified musicians, just to get a fuller, more resonant sound. Part of it has to do with more volume, part of it has to do with more col our--col our, volume, res? onance. Sometimes it's easier to get a nice sound with scordatura--but it's not specifically used because it's eas? ier. I think it's because of the sound you get that people gravitated to it. It's used in many different cultures. Similar types of tuning are used in In? dia and Eastern Europe. "Each scordatura relates to a certain key: 'Christy Campbell,' for instance, is for the Key of A. The strings are tuned A/E/A/E instead of the normal G/D/A/E. The strings are tuned to the A note and its Fifth. So it gives all sorts of sympathetic vibrations when you're playing the melody, constantly bringing out droning while you're play? ing. When you hit a note with the right pitch some other notes will just sound, by themselves." Modern Aluminum products ud. sydney Specialists in VINYL 'REPLACEMENT WINDOWS 'No Structural Changes 'No More Painting 'Clean From Inside Pop Factory IROn BTZGIX) McKinlay &Sons; Ltd. QUALITY SOFT DRINKS SINCE 1905 AT THE PRICE THAT REFRESHES A COMPLETE UNE OF PARTY SUPPUES 262 BROOKSIDE 849-6644 GLACE BAY ?? SERVING ALL OF CAPE BRETON - Q->rrrocz compuiGR 11 KtZcenjGR? Authorized Dealers: camPAa' ']f' HEWLETT ?? Systems Consulting ?? Hands on Training: PACKARD ndan • Word Perfect Lotus 1-2-3 MS DOS dBase 111+ • Bedford • Novell Authorized Service Welton Plaza-562-6600-Sydney (55),
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