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Cuilionn Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners? (23) RE: Celtic Fiddle Tunes for beginners? 11 Jul 04

"Taigh na Teud" music publishers have put out a nice book & 2 CD set called, "The Fiddle Music of the Scottish Highlands." (ISBN 1 871931 320, available through

I've also gotten good use out of another Book/CD set called something like "The Scottish Fiddle Tutor" (can't remember exactly, as I lent it out a while back, but... um... it has a red cover, I remember that!) It has actual lessons and is designed for absolute beginners, so it would probably suit your niece's needs. If I can remember the exact title, I'll post it!

My favorite beginnner tunes (taught to me phrase-by-phrase by a musician-mentor) are "Song of the Chanter" and one that Hamish Moore refers to as "The Boy's Lament for His Dragon" (also has another name, something like "The 74th Regiment's farewell to Whatchamacallit."). (Can anyone tell I was taught to fiddle by a piper?) There are some nice slow, lilting tunes from both sides of the Scottish Borderlands, too: "Bonny at Morn" and "the Broom of the Cowden Knowes" come to mind.

There are some really fun fiddle tunes also known as puirt-a-beul or "mouth music" that might be fun to learn-- get her a recording from Mary Jane Lamond (Cape Breton) or Anne Martin / Catherine Anne McPhee / Mackenzie (Scotland) and this will help her "tune up her ears" and understand how fiddle music and vocal speech/song rhythms are interwined. She may find a tune or song from one of these artists that she can start figuring out on the fiddle, and she's at an excellent age to explore/develop her ability to learn & play "by ear."


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