Tutor for the Feadóg Stáin (Book)


With all due deference to the claims of the harp and the Piob Uileann, one could advance a strong case for claiming the title of "lreland’s National lnstrument" for the humble feadóg stain. lt is surely the most widely played and best-known instrument, favoured alike by the toddler who has not yet had his or her first lesson, and by the senior citizen who keeps a half a dozen session-scarred veteran ‘feadógaí' on top of the dresser or behind the clock in the hall, or in any such other hallowed and romantic hiding place. The feadóg stain is simple in design, comparatively cheap in price, easy to carry about, and readily obtainable. In fact, nobody who has any pretensions to being a traditional musician should be without one. Most feadógaí can produce a fairly satisfactory sound; but if you are lucky enough to lay your hands on the odd one which has a really brilliant tone, then, guard it jealously and never let it out of your possession. For all its deceptive simplicity, the feadóg, in the hands of a master can be a wonderful instrument indeed, capable of variety and brightness of tone, and of a degree of embellishment and expression unsurpassed by many more impressive and elaborate instruments. Most of our fine airs, and of our best dance music can be readily played on the feadóg. Also, it is worth noting that the type of ornamentation used in playing the feadóg is quite similar to that used on the Uileann Pipes, the instrument on which a large part of our traditional music was played into widespread popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries. lt is not surprising, therefore, that many teachers of music recommend the tin-whistle as the first instrument for beginners. This book is designed as a guide and aid to all those who are either teaching or learning Irish music on the feadóg.