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Steve_W

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  1. In reply to: Are you a good wizard or an evil one? I like to think of myself as well-meaning and mostly harmless! The real wizard is the person who constructed the Tune-O-Tron site; that thing is amazing! It's one of the most useful websites I've come across; I'd love to know how it works. -Steve
  2. I'm with Paganiniest; if your $375 fiddle is that good, you may find that $700 doesn't get you one that's significantly better. I guess it doesn't hurt to look but I'd be inclined to wait until I could afford to go up another notch in price. Might be worth getting your teachers involved by asking them to help you evaluate any new instrument you're considering; I know I would have had a hard time figuring out how much potential an instrument had after only a few months of lessons. Good luck! -Steve
  3. I think toasty means www.mudcat.org -Steve
  4. You don't really need to learn to read abc; there are good freeware readers out there that will convert the code to sheet music or play it for you. The abc Home Page at http://www.gre.ac.uk/~c.walshaw/abc/ has links to software. Or you could use the Concertina.net Tune-O-Tron converter at http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html which will give you a pdf sheet music file and/or a midi file. (If you use Tune-O-Tron, just remember that the first line of the code has to be the X: line (the index line); there's at least one big abc website out there (I don't remember which) that doesn't use this convention so Tune-O-Tron returns an error. The solution is to enter X:1 as the first line. ) I hope this is helpful! -Steve
  5. Aw shucks, it was nuthin'! I'm always looking for opportunities to practice my listening & transcribing skills & was bored sitting around the house on Boxing Day, so an opportunity to transcribe a William Marshall tune from a Jerry Holland recording was quite welcome! Thanks for your kind words! -Steve
  6. I agree, it's a pretty strathspey! I checked all my usual sources and it doesn't appear to be online anywhere. I couldn't find a copy in my books either but I do have Jerry Holland's Fiddlesticks Collection which has a recording of it, and since William Marshall is my favorite Scottish composer I sat down and worked out Jerry's version. Here you go: X:1 T:Miss Grace Menzies C:William Marshall, arr. Jerry Holland S:Jerry Holland - Fiddlesticks Collection Z:Steve Wyrick <sjwyrick@ca.astound.net> 12/26/02 K:F M:4/4 L:1/8 f||c/F3/2c3/2A/ c/F3/2c3/2A/|c/F3/2c3/2A/ c3e|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2{e}f2|! c/F3/2c3/2A/ c/F3/2c3/2A/|c/F3/2c3/2A/ c3e|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2f2|! c/f3/2 A3/2f/ c3/2f/ a/f3/2|c/f3/2 A3/2f/ c3f|c/f3/2 A3/2f/ c3/2f/ a3/2g/2|f/d3/2 c3/2A/ G3d|! c/f3/2 A3/2f/ c3/2f/ a3/2f/|c/f3/2 A3/2f/ a2 a3/2g/|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2f2|! c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/ c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/|c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/ c3e|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2f2|! c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/ c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/|c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/ c3e|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2f2|! c/f3/2 A3/2f/ c3/2f/ a3/2f/|c/f3/2 A3/2f/ c3f|c/f3/2 A3/2f/ c3/2f/ a3/2g/2|(3fcB (3ABc B/G3/2 G3/2A/|! c/f3/2 A3/2f/ c3/2f/ a3/2f/|c/f3/2 A3/2f/ a2 a3/2g/|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2f2|! c/F3/2c3/2A/ c/F3/2c3/2A/|c/F3/2c3/2A/ c3e|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2{e}f2|! c/F3/2c3/2A/ c/F3/2c3/2A/|c/F3/2c3/2A/ c3e|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2f2|! c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/ c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/|c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/ c3e|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2f2|! c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/ c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/|c3/2F/ d/c/B/A/ c3e|f/a3/2 d3/2f/ c3/2f/ A3/2F/|(3GGG (3ABc d2d2||! I didn't try to notate all of Jerry's ornaments but I think I got the flavor of it! Anyone who doesn't have an abc reader, copy this code and paste it into the Concertina.net Tune-O-Tron converter at http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html to get a pdf sheet music version. Happy holidays! -Steve
  7. You might try the Sectionalized Web-Wide abc Index at http://www.gre.ac.uk/~c.walshaw/abc/index/split/ . The Hurricane and Old King George's are there (I didn't check your whole list though). Hope this helps. -Steve
  8. YF, re "My Deary sits ower late up"; I'd interpret it as "My dear stays up too late." Here's the entry from the Ceolas site: MY DEARY/DEARIE SITE OWER LATE UP. AKA - "My Laddie Sits Ower Late Up." AKA and see "My Bonnie Bay Mare and I." English, Scottish; Slip Jig and Air. England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard. AABB (Raven, Bruce & Stokoe): ABCDEFFGGHHII (Peacock). "This nursery song is thoroughly local, and dates from about the beginning of last century. There is such an insignificant difference between the above tune and 'Dorrington Lads', that they are usually taken to be the same air. As it is, however, better to err in repetition than in omission, we have included both, premising that we have been unable to settle the question of priority of date" (Stokoe & Bruce). The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes ("The Northern Minstrel's Budget"), which he published c. 1800. A humorous song about drinking goes to the air: ** My dearie sits ower late up, My hinny sits ower late up, My laddy sits ower late up, Betwixt the pint pot and the cup -Steve
  9. For next year my resolutions are to get more comfortable with learning tunes by ear; to make more efficient use of my limited practice time; and to find more opportunites to play in public (rather than just for my own amusement). Also to seriously look into getting a better violin! -Steve
  10. I've had good luck with the Kun Super, which I've used for about 10 years now; previously I had a couple Resonans. One thing that I like about the Kun rest is that it's adjustable for height as well as fit (I've found that my height preference has changed some over the years). As Gray Violiner mentioned it does fall off occasionally but I don't think it's any worse than the Resonans. I don't remember it ever coming off while I was playing, usually just when I was holding the violin getting ready to play! As far as online ordering, what about Southwest Strings (www.swstrings.com)? They seem to have a good selection & decent prices, plus a good reputation AFAIK. -Steve
  11. Interesting question! As a kid I originally wanted to play saxophone but the public school strings program in my town started a year earlier than the band program, in 4th grade, and I was talked into trying violin out for a year with the promise that I could switch to band later if I still wanted to. Nearly 40 later I'm still playing the violin! -Steve
  12. "I Buried My Wife and Danced on Her Grave". Don't know the story behind it (and I'm not sure I want to ) but it's a nice jig! -Steve
  13. And I'll add that I've heard jigs played both "lilted" and more or less "straight" in Scottish music as well! Although that lilting rhythm usually matches what the dancers are doing, it can get really annoying if overdone IMO; I like to vary what I'm doing, plus some jigs seem to work better with that lilt, and others seem to work better without it. -Steve
  14. I've always assumed that the figure notated in Scottish music as 2 sixteenth notes followed by an eighth was the same figure which is notated as a bowed triplet in Irish. For example William Marshall's reel "Mrs. Hamilton of Wishaw" begins with the figure f|dB B/B/B B2 FB| which is almost identical to several Irish reels I can think of off hand (for example Mason's Apron: af|ec (3ccc BcAF| ). Even though they're notated differently, in my opinion they're effectively the same ornament (I'd love to hear contrary evidence), so in my mind this negates Toasty's theory since older collections are full of this figure. Crystal, I attended a Scottish dance weekend last year where Elke Baker was the featured fiddler; she impressed me a lot (and she can dance a perfect Lilt while accompanying herself on the fiddle!). I know she's a former US National Scottish fiddle champion but am curious if you know anything further about her background? Who her teachers were? Those darned piano accordians! I understand they're a fairly recent innovation (1940s or '50s?). They work well for dance bands because they're loud and percussive, but I'd much rather hear a good fiddler! -Steve
  15. The book I go to the most is the reprint of the Skye Collection. Print is on the small side but clear, and it has some wonderful tunes (mainly reels & strathspeys, with a few jigs, hornpipes, etc). The Gow Collection, compiled and edited by Carlin, has a lot of tunes but there's not much documentation; I've found it to be a useful source to have, though. I also like Jerry Holland's 2nd collection a lot, but it's not pure Scottish (it contains a lot of Cape Breton tunes) if that matters to you. On the scots-l mail list we had a discussion of favorite tunebooks a few weeks ago and there was very little agreement between the contributors (most people sent in a list of their top 10!). The Skye collection was mentioned a couple times, as well as Kerr's Merry Melodies; apart from that there was almost no duplication! I realized that there's a ton of collections out there that I've never encountered! -Steve
  16. It's tough to list an archetypal fiddler for any fiddling style, especially since all these 'styles' are really only broad groupings, and there's a lot of variation in every tradition! For Cape Breton fiddle, I'd suggest listening to Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster and Jerry Holland. For Scottish, you could check out Aly Bain and Alasdair Fraser; for Irish Frankie Gavin, Martin Carthy, Kevin Burke. There are so many other good fiddlers, though! -Steve
  17. Sorry, I checked all my sources and don't have the music but I thought it might help you to know that both Laura Risk and Elke Baker attribute it as trad Irish, not Scottish, on their recordings of it. -Steve
  18. Do you mean shoulder rests rather than chin rests? I can't picture where this stuff would be used on the latter. I don't know about the black tubing but the yellow/tan tubing can be found at medical supply shops; that's where I've gone when I needed it for various projects. In our local yellow pages they're under "medical equipment and supplies." Hope this helps. -Steve
  19. I was just listening to Huldreland a bit ago; it's one of my favorite CDs. I also have The Watch Tower, which I think was recorded when they were still in their teens; it's also a good one. I love Jennifer's fiddling style! What CD did you get? I'm curious to hear some opinions on Skyran, which I think is their latest. -Steve
  20. Besides violin, which was my first instrument, I play guitar (steel-string, electric, and classical), mandolin, and a little 5-string banjo, harmonica and bodhran. I don't have that much free time any more and have pretty much given up the others to work on Scottish fiddling, though I still mess around a little with the guitars and the mando. -Steve
  21. "Actually, lefties typically do better with the violin because having a dominant hand doing the fingering, they are at an advantage, particularly if they are older when they begin. " I've heard that comment before but I'm not sure if I believe it! If there were any advantage to fingering with the dominant hand, why didn't stringed instruments evolve so they were all played that way? I can't imagine that it's just by chance that we play "right-handed." -Steve
  22. The heavy brass ones are great for reducing the volume but mine, at least, tends to vibrate loose and I'm always worried it'll fall off and scratch the top of the fiddle. The big rubber ones aren't quite as good at cutting the volume but they're safer, in my opinion! -Steve
  23. Congrat's Polecat! I don't know the 3rd tune but the other 2 are good ones! Sunnybear, I think "Niel Gow's Wife" does refer to his wife, not his violin, since there's another tune called "Niel Gow's Fiddle!" I had an entertaining weekend myself; I had my first experience playing solo fiddle for a Scottish country dance class. I've played in groups for dancing before but never had to accompany a class by myself, and it was a mostly fun, slightly scary, experience! Holding a steady, correct, tempo for 8 rep's of a dance with no help is a bigger challenge than I realized! -Steve
  24. I'd say the "adaptable" people are those left-handers who are forced by convention into having to use right-handed fiddles, Ken! Amazing how good some of them sound in spite of having to learn to play backwards! -Steve
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