In this significantly enhanced and revised edition of his first book, Mac Aoidh has worked exhaustively to add to the original’s information and insights on the Donegal fiddle tradition, its history and its players. One of the most distinctive regional styles in the diverse idiom of Irish traditional music, its unique sound is almost immediately recognisable, and those who play it today are among the most important and influential musicians in the tradition, even if many who played a critical role in passing it on are less well known. Fuelled by his passion for Donegal fiddle playing and drawing on an intimate knowledge of the music, Mac Aoidh pays tribute to both historical and contemporary figures who have played a part in maintaining and growing this great tradition. Between the Jigs and the Reels revisited provides us with an informed, lively and entertaining perspective on the giants and lesser-known figures in this dynamic cultural landscape, its history, folklore and tune origins, and brings the story of Donegal fiddling right up to the 21st century.
Caoimhín Mac Aoidh has been studying, researching and playing the music of the Donegal fiddle tradition for nearly half a century. Initially inspired by the playing of John Doherty and Néillidh Ó Baoighill, he was guided in his explorations by Tom Glackin, Proinsias Ó Maoinaigh and Danny O’Donnell. Early in his musical travels, he realised that it is not only the stellar performers who are of importance in bearing the tradition across generations, but also the many, lesser-known local fiddlers who played it with respect and passion. Caoimhín Mac Aoidh has served the tradition as broadcaster, performer, teacher, chronicler as well as author, and in this, his major work, he provides a veritable treasure trove for those interested in Irish music and, in particular, Donegal fiddling.
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