View Full Version : Scot's Embellishment

Nov-05-2004, 11:27pm
In exploring Scottish traditional dance tunes, Strathspey's, Schottishe, marches, reels etc a question came up. Should I work more on the grace notes, shivvers, crans and rolls more or - stay closer to the melody, and work on maintaining a solid rhythm?

I play with a small group including (sometimes) North Umbrian pipes, a fluter and a good fiddler. I am entranced with the weaving approach and can do it - sometimes, but when does the duplication of the sound from another instrument just go way over the top? Mandolin and mandola seem to add another texture and quality but the rote copying (especially in the key of A) seems to get too rich.

Any suggestions?

Nov-06-2004, 7:31am
Dion, I don't think any two of the Scottish musicians I know would give the same answer. I think rhythm's important in Scottish dance music (surely in any dance music?). A lot of the grace notes are "written in" to Scottish tunes, but there is a lot of variation by individual preference. The shudders and snaps are typically Scottish, but don't overdo it. Interweaving and/or chordal backup should work fine.