I've been watching the jazz thread a bit.  There seems to be a certain 
reluctance to see the NSP being used in venues that are not strictly 

I would suggest that the best way to preserve the tradition of NSP is to have 
them played in as many venues and types of music as possible.  

More exposure = more new players.  

Take the recent "Riverdance" show that toured in Europe and here in the USA.  A 
lot of people poo-pooed it because it was not "traditional Irish music.  But I 
for one was exposed to Uilleann piping for the first time while watching the 
show on my VCR.  I now own a set of Uillean pipes and strive to play them in 
the traditional style.  In fact, it is because of that exposure and my 
attachment to Uilleann pipes that I took up the NSP.   Now I'm the first to 
agree that Riverdance is poor substitute for the real IrTrad music but I wonder 
how many thousands were touched by the music and began their journeys into 
IrTrad music from that point.  

I would love to see someone turn off the drones and play the NSP with types of 
music that have nothing to do with Northumberland.  I'd love to have thousands 
of folks watching and saying "What the heck are those cute little rascals?" .   
Invariably they will mostly come home to the "traditional"  tunes and 
techniques and in the mean time we've picked up a lot of new players and 

What a blessing that the violin was "corrupted" to play IrTrad, bluegrass, 
blues etc....  I'm sure the Viol d' Gamba players all turned up their noses as 
the "fiddlers" debased their traditions by playing new styles of music.  But 
then you don't see many Viol d'Gamba players these days.

I hope we don't cling so tightly to the tradition that we strangle it into 
extinction. :)




To get on or off this list see list information at

Reply via email to