Fleadh help?

Fleadh help?

Hey everyone,

I’m a 16 yr old fiddler, and this will be my first time attending and competing in a fleadh. I was just wondering if some of you could answer a few of my questions… When you perform, do you do so in front of the judges and an audience, or just the judges? Also, I will be entering the 15-18 category, and was wondering if you have to/should play a slow air. I know the over 18 category does, but I didn’t know if I had to…
I’m still debating over what tunes to play, so far on my list is The Red Crow (reel), Golden Eagle (hornpipe), The Fairest Rose (slow air by Tommy Peoples), The Road to Glenlough (spelling? It’s a waltz I learned from James Byrne), Kitty Come down to Limerick (slip jig), and a jig Tommy taught me that I can’t remember the name of (would this be a problem?). Any advice would be appreciated!

Re: Fleadh help?

I don’t know the conventions for playing in a fleadh, but it is quite common, if the name of a tune isn’t known, to just refer to it as “gan ainm” (“nameless”). It’s best to learn the name of a tune if there’s any way for you to do so (it might be problematic if it’s actually a well-known trad tune and the judges know it!), but if not, you can probably get by with calling it either “jig gan ainm” or “port gan ainm.”

Re: Fleadh help?

Check out this thread…it probably has all the answers you’re looking for and then some:

https://thesession.org/discussions/5664

It’s kind of a long thread, but worth reading the whole thing if this is all new to you. It also has links to some other threads that talk about fleadh stuff.

The short answer to your questions would be, you play in front of an audience and the judge, with no screens or anything. You’re not required to play a slow air in 15-18, but if you have a nice one that you can play very well it is often a good idea. Your tune list looks good, although I would not play both a slow air and a waltz, and I’d go with an air over a waltz, and you’re not technically supposed to play both a jig and a slipjig. Most people play either a reel, jig and hornpipe or a reel, jig, and air. I might go with the hornpipe over the air in your case because the air is a recent composition, rather than a traditional sean nos air, unless your air is stylistically similar to a traditional sean nos air (I’m not familiar with it, so I can’t say if it is or not.) But ultimately you have to play what you’re most comfortable with and what you like the best. Good luck!

Re: Fleadh help?

http://www.comhaltas.com/rules.doc

Have a read through this document, especially rule 13 which sets out what tune formats are acceptable.

For a local or county fleadh you will normally have only one adjudicator.

The important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself as this will come out in your playing.

Your tune selection must be ones that you are really comfortable and familiar with - it’s not always the technically demanding tunes that will get the adjudicator’s attention.

I have judged some county fleadhs here in ireland and what I look for is technique - get the rhythm right and make sure you hit all the notes, you dont necessarily have to be fancy, then I look for style and interpretation.

If you are going to play a slow air remember that most of these are the airs of songs and the adjudicator may very well know the song so you should too. You should play the air the way a singer would sing it. Modern airs are not acceptable according to the rules.

Enjoy and good luck 🙂

Re: Fleadh help?

Thanks everyone! Those links really helped, and after reading all of your advice on the tunes, I’m probably going to go with The Red Crow, The Golden Eagle, and the other jig I named above (Or didn’t name, rather =P). I’ll go over my tapes of that workshop and try to find out what it’s called, just to be safe. Thanks again! = )

Re: Fleadh help?

And the one you don’t know the name of - call it Tommy’s jig. 🙂

Re: Fleadh help?

Ok, sorry I’m so late in replying, but thank you all so much for your help, I placed 3rd!! =D

Re: Fleadh help?

Congratulations!

Re: Fleadh help?

I was wondering where you were hiding today Zeens…

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Re: Fleadh help?

Working hard and not stopping for anything!

Re: Fleadh help?

Well, except for bed, to which I am now off. 🙂

Re: Fleadh help?

night night. Better get your rest while you can! It will be a different story when I’m there…mmwwwaahhhaahaaa! 🙂

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