Keeping A Level Head
Like a fool, I chose to do Music A-level, and didn’t even drop it after the first year (note to anyone in the UK doing GCSEs: DON’T CHOOSE MUSIC!!), but, alas, we must live with mistakes made in the past, and do the best we can with them, so now I’m faced with a 20-minute recital at the end of March, worth a hell of a lot of marks. Naturally, I’ll be doing a selection of Irish and Scottish tunes, mostly fiddle, and some whistle, with a bit of English, Finnish, Swedish and Klezmer thrown in for good measure.
The trouble is, though, that the examiners will want to check it for "accuracy". It’s not enough that it sounds great and makes their foot tap, they need to make sure I’m playing it "correctly". With classical music,of course, that’s easy: you give them the sheet music. But, as you know, with this music, the "dots" are only a rough guideline. Any variation and ornamentation put into my playing (probably lots), would be regarded as mistakes. So basically, this leaves me with 4 options:
1) I play the bare bones of each tune
2) I try to notate each tune as fully as I’m going to play it, with all the cuts, rolls, etc, different for each repeat
3) I notate it AFTER the recital, listening to the recording and putting the ornaments and stuff in exactly as I played them
4)I supply the bare-bones sheet music, but with a written commentary for each set and each tune, describing the specific type & style, ornaments that go well with it and where I MIGHT put them, variations I MIGHT do, etc
I’m thinking no. 4, but it’d mean an awful lot of work. How to describe all the ornaments used in Irish music (not to mention Klezmer and Scandinavian!) to a straight-up Classical musician, for instance?
My music teacher thinks I should go with 2), or maybe 3).
Can you help me? What do you think? Or have you got a better idea?