Interesting comments on the snap. I play plectral instruments, and in
our discussions in Milwaukee, we have come across roughly 3 different
kinds of snaps. The first one is the obvious, as written dotted
quarter/sixteenth pattern, played with a very fast cut, almost like a
grace note. The best way to describe this on a plectral instrument is
like a hammer-on, but picked. The second snap is in between mere
synchopation and the fast snap, played with a heavy accent on the
fast note. This seems to be the most desireable in general, as many
skilled players have said that if you go too fast, you loose the
accent. Finally, we play some of the snaps hornpipe style, but in
reverse or forward as called for.
Much of the confusion is caused by playing first the Strathspey
and then the reel. Many players will syncopate the reel, confusing
listeners that they are moving the snaps. Also, triplets become 16th
notes, and diving double-stops sound like snaps as well. If you can
lay hands on _The Skye Collection_, I highly recommend it. It is full
of fantastic Skinner tunes, etc. Many of them have both Strathspey
and Reel settings. For people who already have it, check out "Steer
the Gill", set as a reel. The transcriptions in this book leave no
doubht about where the snaps fall, and also supplies a base/piano
accomp part to help work out the chords and such. Another neat
feature is the two parts on one line- beams above notes show the
harder, more ornamented part, and those below show a simpler version.
The best place to hear all of this variation is that new Green
Linnet Celtic Fiddle Festival Disc, where his Johnnyness plays the
Laird of Drumblair on the first track as both Strathspey and reel.
Plays something like 128th notes. Brrrrr- sends a chill down the
Anyone know of other good places to hear Strathspeys on Fiddle?