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Pauline Lerner

July 12, 2005 at 5:30 AM

I started listening to the CD by the Fiddlin’ Foresters that I wrote about on July 9. It’s great! It’s so exciting! I grabbed my fiddle and played along with every tune. I couldn’t stop playing. After a while, I turned the CD off because I had to get some work done.

This spring I bought another book of music that I can’t stop playing. It’s a collection of tunes by the great nineteenth century Scottish fiddler J. Scott Skinner. What makes it especially fun are the variations he gives for many of the tunes. They are full of rhythm variations, extreme string crossings, and broken chords.

I finally broke down and bought O’Neill’s Music of Ireland, which has 1,850 melodies. I have so many students who want to learn Irish fiddle tunes, that I just had to do it. Professional development as a teacher, of course, not something just for fun for myself.

That reminds me of another great book, “The Classical Fake Book,” which has over 600 classical themes and melodies in their original keys. Not all the keys are violin friendly. Tchaik, for example, wrote a lot of music in five flats. The book has every theme from every movement of every Brandenburg, every movement of every Beethoven symphony, every movement of every Beethoven piano concerto, many Mozart operas, Chopin Nocturnes (definitely not violin friendly), and lots, lots more.

Sometimes I think that I would be able to stick to my budget better if I didn’t buy sheet music. However, I don’t think I’ve ever regretted the purchase of any sheet music. Each one brings me countless hours of enjoyment.

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