Today, there are far more NSPers than probably ever before, but if anyone needs more than one hand to count the good ones, he is either very generous, or can't tell the difference between fair and excellent piping.
I doubt if the number of excellent pipers is greater than it has ever been. The point of the instrument lies in its distinctive sound, its distinctive technique and its distinctive repertoire. The tradition of playing the instrument is in no danger of extinction; but the playing of suitable music for it, as well as that music demands, in an appropriate style, could die out among NSPers in general very easily if most of them got the idea that you can play anything on them, or got the idea the drones might get in the way of musical freedom. John -----Original Message----- From: Doc Jones [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] Sent: 02 November 2006 00:37 To: email@example.com Subject: [NSP] Preserving the tradition...a non-traditional approach. 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 traditional. 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 enthusiasts. 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. :) Cheers, Patrick http://irishflutestore.com/ -- To get on or off this list see list information at http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/lute-admin/index.html