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1 a cappella. Singing performed without instrumental accompaniment. It may be solo or group, and may use vocal decoration, harmonies or counterpoint . Sean-nós singing in Irish is such, as is also traditional singing in English, and in both of these proper appreciation depends on the singer’s technical ability within the genre,and the listener’s understanding of the genre. Such groups as The Voice Squad and The Fallen Angels are a cappella too, but are ‘straight’, unadorned singers who use variance of voice pitches and harmony as their colour; these are similar to so-called ‘barbershop’ groups, but unlike them they mostly sing traditional songs rather than popular song. Access Music Project (AMP). A Galway programme for people with some interest and ability in music who wish to have further training, it has provided opportunities for learning since 1999 under the national Community Employment Scheme framework. Specifically devised to meet the needs of the long-term unemployed, its participants take six nationally accredited modules in music theory, piano/keyboard, vocal skills, rhythm and percussion, sound engineering and communications , as well as exposure to other subjects. Traditional music is a performance option within it, and co-ordinator is fiddler Eilish O’Connor. accompaniment. The interpretative, collaborative and/or supportive performance which is used to ‘back’ a melody player. The key elements of Irish traditional music are melody and rhythm, both established by convention as ideally supplied by the solo instrumentalist and interpretable by a savvy listener through enculturation. However, with the shift of music performance from smaller to larger spaces, and with the move from playing for dancing to playing for listening, ever since the 1920s accompaniment has been developing in form, style, diversity and creativity, first on piano, moving to guitar and tambourine,then to bodhrán, bouzouki and electronic keyboards. routines. The introduction of melodic accompanying instruments has led to the establishment of set accompaniment routines which involve emphasising the melodic contour (or the bass or treble end of this), working rhythmically with the main tune structure,or playing parallel melodies or harmonies.This amounts to varying the texture of the tune, but not interfering with the melody.This fits (loosely) with the preferred aesthetic of ‘solo’ playing – i.e.melody is supreme.Such arrangement is not written,but is developed in performance and retained in memory. More complex arrangement is applied too in traditional music, particularly in modern bands as players seek difference and uniqueness,but this too is unwritten.Arrangement as such, in the orchestral sense, is applied by some traditional composers, and by contemporarymusic composers who work creatively, perhaps thematically, with traditional idiom, or who utilise traditional music in symphonic constructs. self-accompaniment. All these forms co-exist, with some instruments also lending themselves to self-accompaniment, as most use one hand only for melody, freeing the other for support. Harp and piano are by definition self-accompanying – utilising chords and often runs of countermelody . All accordions are provided with varying degrees of chordal possibilities, and concertina has considerable potential for chordal self-accompaniment and brief parallel or contrapuntal melody, depending on the virtuosity, style or dexterity – and intention – of the player. Fiddlers will often utilise double stopping (sounding adjacent strings simultaneously) as a rhythmic and/or melodic Martin Hayes accompanied by Denis Cahill [Nutan] A 2 accordion self-accompaniment, and uilleann pipes regulators provide the potential for rhythmic harmonic support on dance tunes, and chordal complementarity on airs.One-time accompanying instruments themselves now feature in melody – piano (Patsy Broderick, Pádraig Rynne, Caoimhín Vallely, Geraldine Cotter, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin), guitar (Paul Brady, Arty McGlynn) and bouzouki (Andy Irvine, Alec Finn, Dónal Lunny, Mary Shannon) – in styles which mix melody and harmony in degrees specific to the player. nature. Accompaniment may closely follow the detail of the tune – such as the interplay of two fiddles, one of which uses the lower octave (bassing) or double-stop droning. It may chordally follow the sketch or contour of the tune (as in typical keyboard, guitar or bouzouki accompaniment ) or may enunciate the rhythm of the tune – as in bodhrán or snare accompaniment. Modern trends mix all styles,often (as in the work of Dónal Lunny or Steve Cooney) interweaving chordal interpretation, melody and driving the rhythm. ‘Double hand’ melody instruments (whistle, flute, pipe chanters) which can produce only one note at a time use other devices to mimic chordal or drone effects – such...


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