Fiddle Teaching

Matt Cranitch is very highly rated and widely experienced as a teacher of Irish traditional fiddle-playing, and presents masterclasses and workshops in many places throughout the world. He also gives tuition on a one-to-one basis. In each of these contrasting learning environments, his teaching methodology is based very much on the overall approach adopted in The Irish Fiddle Book. He pays special attention to bowing, particularly in the context of the appropriate rhythmic articulation for the different tune-types. Other important aspects of the music, such as ornamentation and melodic variation, as well as repertoire development, are also covered in depth.

To arrange classes with Matt, please contact him for details through the website contact form.

The Irish Fiddle Book explains and shows in detail the various techniques used by fiddle-players in creating a traditional style of playing. All the information is presented in the context of the music itself, with numerous transcribed and recorded examples. It is aimed not only at the beginner, but also the fiddle-player (and indeed violinist) with some knowledge and experience who wishes to learn more. For those unable to read music, a chapter on notation is included. Particular emphasis is given to bowing and ornamentation, with individual chapters devoted to Jigs, Slides and Polkas, Hornpipes, Airs and Reels. In addition, the more general features of the various Irish fiddle-playing styles are outlined. The book also attempts to convey something of the excitement felt in playing music which has a large degree of improvisation, albeit within certain bounds.

The Irish Fiddle Book Demonstration CD
(OSSCD4), which accompanies the book, features a large selection of the transcribed tunes and ornaments, each performed by Matt. This is an invaluable aid to learning as it allows the listener to hear how the music and ornamentation should sound. Also, a selection of 101 ‘repertoire’ tunes are included in the book, with the various different tune-types being represented. A large number of these tunes, arranged and played in sets as would normally be done by traditional musicians, feature on two specially prepared recordings, Take a Bow (OSSCD5) and Give it Shtick (OSSCD6). Additional instrumentation and accompaniment are provided on various tracks.

To buy these CDs, visit the shop.