No frets? No sweat…why are we obsessed with being note perfect?
The recent post on removing L frets from a fiddle [whatever they are] was interesting. I admit that when I first started fiddle I used them for about a day [maybe two] and then the whole thing seemed so silly I had to take them off [but I understand their value for kids,no quibble].
There were some great points made in the discussion but it brings to mind a larger question underlying Premierviews’ question which is: I don’t quite understand where our concern with ‘perfect’ tuning enters into trad music? Isn’t that counterproductive? I’d say there aren’t *really* any ‘right’ notes…per se. [I mean sure, you play in tune…but it’s all relative, right?]
For one thing fiddles aren’t evenly tempered which is the beauty of their suitability to mimicing pipes or the human voice.Playing slightly off the note [higher or lower] adds so much to this music! Guitarists etc have such luck [or so I understand]…you’re stuck with frets. But fiddles you can slide and bend notes and all manner of things.
Are ITM teachers [of fiddle] out there somehow misleading students into thinking ITM must sound "good" to be "right"?
I know Caoimhin O Raghallaigh for one has bemoaned the loss of [some] of that strange tuning and playing between notes that perhaps the older players had [at the risk of romanticising this].
What’s wrong with being not note perfect? Listen to P. Kelly, B. Casey and that lot. All sorts of interesting things going on. Pat O’Connor for a more modern example.