Fiddle Style of County Derry?

Fiddle Style of County Derry?

Would I be correct in assuming that the fiddle style of County Derry is similar to that of Donegal in terms of it having a Scottish influence? Is there even a distinctive style? Thanks.

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Re: Fiddle Style of County Derry?

From Caoimhín Mac Aodh:

North Donegal / West Tyrone / Northwest Tyrone

I find the music of this general area can be summarised in one word—aggressive. It is basically fast paced music where even the lighter sounding melodies come out with a very hard punch There is a sense of urgency and power greatly involved within it. Players as diverse in personal style as Neil Boyle and the Dohertys still exhibit the common link of being consistent players of a very attacking type of music. Some players I associate with this style are Felix Kearney of Tyrone, the Dearg Brothers, Danny Meehan, Tommy Peoples, Proinnsias Ó Maonaigh and his daughter Mairéad Bean Uí Chinneaide as well as Vincent and Columba Campbell of Donegal. Dermot McLaughlin from Derry is also a magnificent player.


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East Derry / Antrim/ Southwest Tyrone

Compared to the above mentioned style, this type region has fiddlers who tend to play a slower (though not much) type of music which is not as aggressive as the latter and more highly ornate. While the Highlands are not as popular in this region as they are in the western part of Derry and Tyrone as well as Donegal the Scottish influence is very well represented in the number of strathspeys played. Excellent examples of typical players in this style are John Loughran and Bobby Martin of Tyrone, Vincey McLaughlin and Paddy Kelly of Derry and Willie McKendry of Antrim.

Re: Fiddle Style of County Derry? — Clodagh Boylan

Thanks for the quick reply, that was exactly the kind of info I was looking for. As a follow up question, has anyone heard the playing of Clodagh Boylan (from Derry) and does she come close to fitting the mold? I know she played with Providence, but I never heard any of their recordings.

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Re: Fiddle Style of County Derry?

That’d be Turlach’s sister? Didn’t he have some of her playing on one of his albums? I’ll check when I get home.

Re: Fiddle Style of County Derry?

I remember an Outlet recording from the 1970`s of John Mulgrew entitled `Fiddle music from Co.Derry-The woodworm got in me fiddle.`

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Re: Fiddle Style of County Derry?

I would say the County Derry, Donegal, Antrim and Tyrone styles would definitely have similarities. Lots of amazing fiddle players from County Derry: Mark and Brian Lavery, now living in Magherafelt, Claire and Anna O’Loughlin from Swatragh (from a massively talented musical family) as are the Boylan family from which Síle and Clodagh Boylan play the fiddle, Maurice Bradley from Ballinascreen (Draperstown), Packie Kealy (Dungiven), and lots and lots more. The northern counties, especially Donegal fiddle music would have similarities alright with Scotland, lovely mazurkas etc. I’m not a fiddle player though… so there’s tonne’s of amazing players from County Derry who I have left out, and the older players who’s names escape me both living and dead should be credited here.