Tony McMahon on the speeding up of tunes

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2 thoughts on “Tony McMahon on the speeding up of tunes

  1. Wonderful piece of video – thanks for posting. I don’t know if I wholly agree with MacMahon’s claim that traditional Irish music is being utterly destroyed, but certainly it is changing and maybe not always for the best. I do think there are many musicians out there – young and old – who can do a slow air justice, and give the slower tunes the respect they are due.

    We go back again and again to the old conundrum: the conflict between respect for an old tradition and the change and growth that make it a living thing that will (hopefully) continue to thrive.

  2. I know what Tony is saying – indeed he has a point in a certain context, particularly in the loss of the distinctive regional styles, primarily due to modern communications. I think that in the broader sense, there are many good musicians out there who take the best of the old music and add a freshness in their interpretation, so I would have no fears about the future. However, while technical ability of musicians has improved in my playing lifetime (the last 30 years!), I find that not enough people listen to the old music often enough. Sometimes the sophistication and subtlety of our music is lost.

    There is not always a correlation between good music/musicians and what appeals to masses. As musicians, we just have to accept this as one of life’s great mysteries!

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