The real test in mandolin playing!
Irish Traditional music is rich in dance music such as reels, jigs, hornpipes etc., but it is felt by many musicians that the real test in performing Irish Traditional is in the airs/slow airs. In fleadh ceols, airs are in their own categories in the competitions. Slow airs or airs in general require feeling, technique, phrasing, clarity of tunes etc., just to mention some necessities in performing at fleadh competitions. The mandolin can provide beautiful sounds and techniques: in regards to airs, it can produce as lovely a sound as any other instrument. Perhaps some good examples of lovely mandolin playing straight and in harmony is when Barney McKenna and John Sheehan play the Coolin, or the playing of the Leaving of Liverpool: again great playing by the Dubliners. So, in conclusion, the mandolin deserves as much respect and admiration as other instruments especially in the slow airs/airs.