Thursday, November 12, 2009

Did someone mention something about folk music....

When it comes to music, I need to absorb it several different ways. First, I have to hear it. I have to be able to hum it in my head - repeatedly. Actually, that's a good thing. Folk music is aural. Passed on from generation to generation by nothing more than the sheer sound of it. What makes it folk music is each individuals interpretation. The basic melody pretty much stays the same. It's all in the ornamentation. I may play a roll, you may slide or double stop. It's all good. That's why it's folk or traditional. That's why I love it. You can hear the same tune played in so many ways - all beautiful, all that persons interpretation.
Secondly, I have to hear it. Are we starting to see a pattern here? I need to lilt it - out loud - humiliation aside - balls to the wind lilting.
Thirdly, I need to play it. Over and over and over. Each time through, you hear something different, hear the pause for adding your touch - should I grace this note? can I roll this? can I connect these notes with the bow? Ah, yes, I can. And the great thing is, the next time through, you will hear and add something different! How can you not love this?

I am a fiddler of three years. I am truly in the infancy of the instrument. I want to grow with my fiddle - all through toddlerhood, puberty, and into adulthood. I have found an instrument with such a voice that I sometimes feel not worthy of being able to see it to its full potential. But, you know what, I am. I am in there until the end. I want to play it with grace and with fire. I want to make it and myself weep with longing and dance with happiness.
Come along on the ride - the view from the window can be spectacular.
I think I'll go play a tune now - just for the sheer happiness of doing so.


  1. i just bought a really nice hammered dulcimer and i have to admit, i am a bit overwhelmed by it. i was hoping to be able to play one song by xmas but i don't think so!

  2. I tried the hammer dulicmer and failed miserably! I blamed it on age and the ability to see the strings on the darn thing!
    Stick with it - it will come! Good luck!