Christian Long

Macmaster and Leahy: Play the Fiddle

In TED Talks on May 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Reflection by ADAM K.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Macmaster and Leahy:  Play the Fiddle

The violin is most often associated with the fiddle, but the term ‘fiddle’ can be used to describe any string instrument. The first known string instruments came around 3000 B.C.E., with the first modern violin appearing around the mid 1500’s. The violin/fiddle is associated with folk, classical, rock, and jazz music. Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are fiddlers, who play fiddle folk music, a music that originated in the 19th century.

If you watched the opening ceremony for the Vancouver winter Olympics, you may have seen Canadian folk music played on the fiddle. This music is very traditional in parts of northern Canada, with whole families knowing how to play the fiddle, and playing songs that have been passed down for many years. Here in the U.S., the violin/fiddle is not as famous as it once was, some even consider it a dying music. In parts of northern Canada, fiddling,singing, and dancing to folk music is everyday life. With anyone being able to go to a house, pick up a fiddle, start playing, and starting a party. Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy have been playing music since they were eight with parties such as these common in their life, and it shows. Their fiddle music sounds so refined and whimsical, that it makes you want to get up and dance.

Although music like rock, pop, and rap have become more popular in recent years compared to that of folk and classical music, folk music still lives and is enjoyed by many.


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