Not wanting to wade into a nine page thread (who's going to read all that to get to my post, anyway?), I have what I hope is a related question for discussion, suggested by my subject lines.
I know this whole forum is about playing Irish music, but the answer doesn't seem obvious to me.
IF the mandolin is NOT a traditional instrument in ITM (and by inference, probably not essential to the ITM sound and feel--for lack of better words), then what does it matter if one player chooses to play mandolin like a tenor banjo (staccato, picked triplets, for example) or like a fiddle (slurs, hammer-ons, pull-offs)?
There seems to be at least some agreement that the mandolin is not often even heard--or heard *well* in session. I'm wondering if it is mostly the the method of ornamentation that is not heard, rather than the fundamental pluck of the mandolin. I've never played in a real session. But, I've heard recordings and I can hear the mandolin in there, even over the fiddle. In fact, I think the mandolin gives the fiddle a little bell-like punch that complements the music nicely, ornaments or not.
Now, for playing outside a session, I don't think anyone can argue that the choice of ornamentation approach even SHOULD matter. If the music is good, enough said.
I ask this question because whenever I'm learning an Irish tune, I wrestle with exactly HOW I'm going to embellish it, slurs (fiddle) or picks (banjo). I find slurs easier to play and smoother sounding, but then I worry a bit about the ITM police, should I ever get one in my audience.