What is an Air?
Here is where being a Polish kid from the south side of Chicago really shows through. As I have been trying to learn "The Music" over the past six or so years, I am realizing that I have focused much on the Dance and Session tunes. In the past few days I have crossed several recordings of wonderful slow music, some called airs- in the Session ‘Tunes’ often called many other things (Truth in advertising, Jeremy and I exchanged emails about this in 2010 and he did patiently explain that the Session’s focus is Session and dance music), that have brought the realization of a major gap in my ‘culturization’
Context for the 2010 was my playing in the Fleadh and needing an "air". My teacher John got me through that with a tune that required some research and several emails to Comhaltas to pass Fleadh rules muster.
What defines an ‘air’? Is there a specific body of tunes that are definitively acknowledged as ‘airs’? For example. Is ‘Neil Gow’s Lament for His Second Wife an air? Is Liz Carroll’s "Lament for the First Generation’ an air (I think she defines it as a ‘song’.) These tunes sound very different from tunes called ‘airs’ in my collection of Tony McMahon and Noel Hill
As always, everyone’s kind advice is greatly appreciated.