Is piano a traditional string instrument?
You winkie smiley acknowledged and my usual gut reaction to piano aside (which is especially why I find the backup so darned delightful in the link I provided above), I wrestled with this but only a bit, remembering that we have the likes of McKenna and Coleman, and a whole piano-fueled subset of accompaniment in the Tradition, to lend weight to the supporting vote. Perhaps the question really belongs in the ITM Forum since, as I see it, it's not about the instrument per se
, but about the bigger question: How does one accompany airs?
Now, I could be wrong about that, and cunparis might be actually asking strictly about the physical, technical aspects of backing airs on piano, in which case I have nothing to offer.
I'm not convinced that trad backup can be taught, [but rather, that it can be] only learned.
Brackets mine, for clarity. Don't mind me.
I tend to agree with this. I mentioned earlier that aptitude comes into it, and I think that you have to have a native ear for accompaniment ahead of time, or it's likely to be an exercise in trying to get a fish to learn to ride a bicycle. Sorry, folks - I don't want to come across as being elitist and exclusionary, but this is just a simple observation based on what I've seen time and again. OTOH, one must try if one is to find out, no? The thing is, if you already have an aptitude, you probably already know it in your gut. It's not even a question; all that remains is whatever additional guidance you may need, and how far you can go with it.
Despite the fact that I'm about to start teaching Irish backup.
I would say that if you have a student with prior aptitude you're probably not so much teaching, as you would be guiding
. Who was it who said that you can't be taught what you don't already know?
I can't break things down into their components with the laser precision that you can, MTGuru, but in a more general sense I would certainly maintain the value - necessity, even - of finding recorded examples of a style one wants to emulate, and actively, absorptively
, listen, listen, listen
Many if not most of the Irish "airs" tend to be performed without accompaniment. You should be aware of that and sensitive to it.
Absolutely right. This is the root of the performance tradition of Irish airs, and that counts. Yes, sir.