MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

The standard way of playing this is in Dmix, the first note being A, but on his excellent Ego Trip CD he starts on F. Is the fiddle tuned flat, or is he fingering it differently?

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Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

You can hear open string sounds that are obviously lower than concert pitch. I haven’t heard that he plays viola (or 5 string fiddle), so I would say he’s tuned down a fair piece.

Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

He played viola at the Cuisle Cheoil Festival in Gorey, Co. Wexford back on the 22nd of February.

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Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

He had two fiddles to make that recording.

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Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

I played along with "The Humours" using a Bb whistle, if that gives you any clues. "Viola" had occurred to me too - that’s the problem with downloads - no, or very little, accompanying information for those interested in such things.

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Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

http://macdara.bandcamp.com/album/ego-trip

Mind you - just found the track notes through the link provided in the "Recordings" section. Doesn’t say anything about tuning on that particular track, though.

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Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh has tuned down up to a 5th in the past I think.

Interesting thought. I’d be inclined to say viola/5-string or an octave fiddle, the strings seem to still have a fair bit of tension in them.

May be wrong!

Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

Tuning the fiddle down from A to F is a standard to play together with Narrow Bore Flat sets in Bb (D->Bb). I love the mellow sound of these pipes and the fiddle when tuned down fits perfectly in!

Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

I seem to recall reading somewhere that he plays a 5-string fiddle on that album, as well as his usual one.

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Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

In the sleeve notes it says "MacDara O Raghallaigh uses his own and his neice Muireann’s fiddles exclusively. They both come with strings. Four each."

But maybe that was just a joke.

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Re: MacDara O Raghallaigh, Humours of Ballyloughlin, fiddle tuned flat or what?

In 2013 I emailed MacDara to order his CD "Ego Trip" & asked about his fiddle tunings.
Q: Notes say ‘One fiddle player, two fiddles’ - can you tell me if you used different fiddle tunings in making the recording?
A: "As regards the tuning my own fiddle is left in normal concert pitch and my niece’s fiddle is tuned down to roughly B-flat. So the string thats normally D is tuned to B-flat and then work out the rest from there. Cheers, MacDara"