Can you play a tune ‘the wrong way’?
Christ, I’ve ground my teeth for hours wondering if I should reply to this one. "’authorities’ telling people they’re playing a tune ‘the wrong way’". My conclusion was, ‘No, I shouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole.’ But despite my better judgement, I’m here to tell ya, it is possible to play a tune completely and utterly incorrectly.
The key difference between playing DIFFERENTLY and playing CORRECTLY and playing BADLY is a matter of understanding. There is no amount of words that can convey the meaning of that phrase. If a group of Donegal style players say that your Sligo style is incorrect, then shame on them! But, if a player places an emphasis on vibrato, flashy playing, bows every note, and generally loses the swing of the tune, then they are playing neither CORRECTLY or even (more diplomatically) DIFFERENTLY. There is room to grow in this tradition, but this change must come from a thorough understanding of that tradition. Once someone has that, they may introduce as many changes as they like. No ‘authority’ would ever say anything against them. They wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. The music grows and changes when you play it with understanding and sympathy to those who came before you. That’s what makes it a tradition.