Post #4

| February 11, 2016

In this post, I’m starting to uncover my journey to learning the “old song” techniques to Irish Music. I found this great source. A woman by the name of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (that’s a mouthful) is a wonderful instructor online who breaks down Irish sean nós for people. Even better, she does it in english. She is a part of the Online Academy of Irish Music. You can pay for classes and learn lots of different pieces. I’ll include a link here: http://oaim.ie/course/41/irish_song

Learning the pieces is a bit difficult. Because I am classically trained in a western style of music and a visual learner, I like to have written music in front of me. However, sea nós is not typically written down. It’s a very free form of singing and has A LOT of embalmments. The most popular of these are called “rolls”. They are very similar to western equivalent of “turns” without the completion of the original note. To learn a song, Muireann teaches you to first learn the piece without any embellishments and then to add them in later. This is easy enough, but when I add in the embellishments, my voice sounds forced and weighty. In good sean nós style, you can barely hear the roll; it’s like a flutter in the voice. You know what they say: Practice, practice, practice!

If anyone would like to join me, I’m planning on going to a traditional Irish Concert at NYC on Friday night at 8pm.