> I gather from the discussion about performance vs. participation
> that some people are under the impression that Irish music sessions
> are a type of traditional event. However, authorities such as
> Breandan Breathnach and others agree that Irish music as played
> traditionally was a solo, unaccompanied musical form. Furthermore,
> the artistry of the music depends for a large extent on the variation
> and ornamentation of the basic tune by the performer--subtleties which
> are necessarily lost when there is more than one performer.
They are a traditional event! How many years,centuries are prerequisite?
I can hear what musicians are playing, unless it is a very large or
very loud session, and I think that all of the musicians playing
together really adds to the music, gives it that great feeling..
I you suggest a return(?) to this mode of playing then I disagree.
> From the reports of some of the early collectors, it appears that many
> professional musicians avoided performing in the presence of other
> musicians for fear that their tunes would be stolen. The stock of tunes
> in a given area may have been quite small, and knowing a tune that others
> didn't could be a distinct advantage. Many of the old musicians were
> extremely jealous of each other, and would carry their special tunes to
> the grave rather than teach them to anyone other than possibly a son or
> extremely well-loved pupil (with instructions not to perform them during
> the teacher's lifetime).
Perhaps that type of behavior contributed to the near demise of
traditional Irish music.
> It is certain that the growth of sessions has changed the form of Irish
> music. The amount of variation of the tunes has decreased radically and
> the old descriptive pieces of music have almost totally died out.
Would you care to explain further (what you mean by) the decrease in
tune variation and extinction of old descriptive pieces (which are ?)
> The lifestyle in which Irish music originated is almost totally gone, and
> before we become too nostalgic about it we should remember that it was a
> life of hard physical labour, grinding poverty, poor health and early death.
> The fact that the music is changing is an indication that it is still alive
> and has not become a museum piece. This is not the first time that the music
> has changed in order to adapt to changing social structures, by any means.
Good point, It is amazing that the Irish race has survived the centuries
of troubles and have retained their language, their music etc..
I'm not trying to say that you and B.B. are incorrect, I just personally
doubt some of the facts and comments.. and I don't like the amateur and
professional distinctions, it is a "seisiun" whether it is Matt Molloy
& Martin Hayes etc. playing together or a bunch of young musicians from
the midwest, the craic of the music is just as good if not better..
Apologies if I miscontrued your post,