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Irish Polka Rythym


mthatcher61
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I am new to the concertina, currently learning Irish style using Frank Edgely's book. While working on 'Britches Full Of Stitches, I am having a little difficulty figuring out the 'feel' of a Polka. I learned 'Britches' previously on an Irish Fiddle book by Pete Cooper. Cooper states that Irish Polka's are in 2/4 with the accent on the latter half of each beat (backbeat). Listening to Frank, I can't hear the accent , or is there supposed to be an accent on the backbeat? Also, it sounds like Frank may be playing the first beats with almost a dotted eighth feel to them. Am I hearing that right? I know the Cooper book is looked upon as 'not the definitive' last word on Irish style fiddle but it isnt bad. I havent gotten the Kathleen Nesbitt book 'Fidil' so you have to go with what you have.

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...

While working on 'Britches Full Of Stitches, I am having a little difficulty figuring out the 'feel' of a Polka.

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Books will only get you the melody. I have always found that polkas look intriguingly easy in print, but when you hear them, and try to play them - uh-uhh...

 

IMHO, the best thing you can do, is to try and obtain the old Jacky Daly records "Music from Sliabh Luachra, Vol.6 - Jackie Daly" and "Jackie Daly agus Seamus Creagh". Both are from around 1977-8-ish, but were re-issued as CDs around 1995. As good as it gets.

 

When you have metabolized those two, try the source: late Johnny O'Leary from Kerry. There is "Music for the Set" from 1977, and some more, I am sure.

 

It may take a while to hunt them down, but is certainly worth it. Don't mind the tempo, it will be fairly high on Johnny's record ("dance tempo") but you will get the feel allright.

 

/Henrik

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Hey mthatcher61

 

All I'll add to Henrik's comments is that the tunes on the Craft Recording CD "Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra" are also numbered to correspond to each tune's position in a compilation containing some of O'Leary's repertoire published in 1994 by Lilliput, edited by Terry Moylan and titled, appropriately enough, "Johnny O'Leary of Sliabh Luachra". :) O'Leary played a button accordion. Your having both the CD and the book would give you both the sound and the dots right from the Cork and Kerry roots. The CD also has the sound of hard shoe dancing on a lot of the tracks. Excellent! The two Jackie Daly recordings Henrik cites have polkas played on concertina as well as accordion. B)

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