I saw your ref to McNulty in my 2nd edition copy. It seems that
this is a continuing concern for the music and dance. Another ref is
in the note on Irish dancing by Frank Roche in his 3rd Vol., 1927.
"The habit of dancing too fast and accelerating the speed, so prevalent
of late years, should be checked and discouraged; it tends to spoil
the effect of both dance and tune and is at variance with the
traditional style in which the pace was moderate and steady. This
undesirable practice is particularly noticeable in the single reel,
which is usually danced nowadays ar nos an sidhe gaoithe." (like a
gale force wind - I think)
People play fast for many reasons. Some to show off, others just
because it is difficult for them to play slow, others again to keep
up with fast dancers. I don't think there is any 'cure' but in
most groups around here it seems pretty well balanced. My personal
experience has been that fiddlers can rev it up far beyond the
capabilities of any other instrument.
a corollary to fast music might be too much ornamentation to the
point of destroying the beauty of the tune. Any comments?
Ted McGraw [log in to unmask]