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Showing posts from November, 2013

A classical violinist asks how to "get into" fiddle music. Here's my response.

Most music in the western world came from western Europe. It's primarily based on secular dance forms such as reels, hornpipes and polkas (jigs too, but they are limited in some regions)

Regardless of the dance form, most music follows certain rules:

the melodies consist of 4 bar phrases and are either 16 bars long or 32 bars longthe chords used follow the I, IV, V pattern (if you're in the key of G then the chords will be G, C, D), sometimes with the relative minor (Em).the first part of the song (usually called the A part) consists of either 2 4 bar phrases repeated (8 bars) or 4 4 bar phrases repeated (16 bars). the 2nd part will be a duplicate of the first.

Understanding this structure makes it easy for you to parse out the different sections. Vocals will generally consist of a verse and a chorus, the chorus usually repeated after each verse with breaks in between. The breaks in bluegrass and a lot of folk styles may be improvised, the player making up melodies (consisting …

Jamie Macpherson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James MacPherson (1675–1700) was a Scottish outlaw, famed for his Lament or Rant, a version of which was rewritten by the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. The original version of the lament is alleged to have been written by MacPherson himself in prison on the eve of his execution.

MacPherson was the illegitimate son of a Highland laird, MacPherson of Invereshie, and a beautiful Tinker or gypsy[clarification needed] girl that he met at a wedding. The gentleman acknowledged the child, and had him reared in his house. After the death of his father, who was killed while attempting to recover a "spread" of cattle taken from Badenoch by reivers - the boy was reclaimed by his mother's people. The gypsy woman frequently returned with him, to wait upon his relations and clansmen, who never failed to clothe him well, besides giving money to his mother. He grew up “in beauty, strength and stature rarely equaled.” MacPherson is reported as being a…

Lúnasa and Karan Casey in a very special holiday concert

Sunday, December 1, 2013


2:00 p.m.

Ireland's widely acclaimed acoustic band brings a Celtic Christmas celebration to Mechanics Hall. Lúnasa has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, the Sydney Opera House and at the White House. Lúnasa's inventive arrangements and bass driven grooves have steered Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. Its recordings are hailed internationally among the best and most important world music albums and its blend of intelligence, innovation, virtuosity, and passion has Lúnasa at the forefront of Celtic music.

They will be joined by the incredible Karan Casey who has long been one of the most innovative, provocative and imitated voices in Irish traditional and folk music.

General Admission $30
Members of Mechanics Hall or Hibernian Cultural Center $25 until November 15, 2013 (with special promo code)
Groups of 10 or more: Discount applies; contact the Box Office at 508-7…