Fall 2020 Workshop Series: Irish Ornamentation & Variation

Fall 2020 Workshop Series: Irish Ornamentation & Variation

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**This workshop series was held over Zoom October 25th to November 8th, 2020. I am making all of the Zoom recordings and supplementary materials available for $80. Upon purchase, you will receive a link to a Dropbox folder with all materials (12 transcriptions, 4 PDFs, and 3 mp3s) and a link to a private YouTube playlist**

Reviews of this workshop series:

"You helped me unravel the mystery of ornamentation by carefully analyzing tunes, measure by measure, pointing out where and what kind of ornamentation would be effective to enhance a tune’s melody. At my current level of fiddling, I don’t really need help learning tunes, but I found the specific suggestions on ornamentation to be very helpful.  I now feel confident in analyzing tunes myself to discover where and how to use ornamentation, so thanks!" - Participant

"You make it accessible to all level players and get into the details! It's one of the most thorough workshops I've ever taken!" - Participant

Irish Ornamentation & Variation Series

Background: After having taught many workshops over many years, I’ve determined that simply teaching a tune is insufficient for many students. After all, tunes can be learned in books and recordings. How does one make it sound Irish? The questions I get time and time again is “Where do I put the ornaments?,” “When do I vary?,” and “How do I vary?” Bearing those questions in mind and the feedback of dozens of students, I’ve designed this Irish ornamentation workshop series to benefit players of any instrument as it seeks to address these questions from the viewpoint of Irish music aesthetics generally, irrespective of instrument. For this reason, the transcriptions and recordings of the tunes selected come from some of Ireland’s premier musicians of all instruments (fiddlers, concertina-players, accordion-players, flute-players, etc).

What it is: Each of these three 75-minute zoom classes explores a different Irish tune by “decorating” it from scratch, ornament by ornament, variation by variation. I will send you links to three different recordings/versions of the tune with accompanying transcriptions in advance of the workshop which we will reference as a means of exploring how different players stylize the same piece of music. We will “dissect” the tune phrase by phrase, talking about ornamentation and variation options, so a familiarity with rolls, triplets, grace notes, and cuts is recommended. During the workshop I will be going through the elements of the tune making my own suggestions as I hear it. I’ll reference the recordings sure, but the idea is to explore our options in real-time, steered by your questions and suggestions.


Sun 10/25 5pm-6:15pm EST: The Pride of the Bronx (reel) 

Sun 11/1 5pm-6:15pm EST: The Hag with the Money (jig)

Sun 11/8 5pm-6:15pm EST: The Tailor's Twist (hornpipe)

What you get:

-Access to three live 75-minute classes recorded on Zoom.

-Three mp3s: One of me playing each tune twice slowly with an accompanying transcription which will has all bowings and ornaments.

-Three additional transcriptions per tune, one for each recorded example of that tune (all ornaments notated, bowings too if the recording is of a fiddler).

-Access to a private YouTube playlist of the 9 example recordings (3 examples per tune)

How much it costs: $80 (post-workshop series price)