Ceallaigh's Blog

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I've recently received word that the Graduate School at the University of Aberdeen doesn't plan to offer any funding for my Celtic research. Without funding assistance, even the Fulbright won't be able to bridge the gap between my pocketbook and international British fees for three years. So I've decided not to pursue this academic option any further.

In truth, I've been on the fence about this degree for some months now. I'd begun to have reservations about whether or not the Celtic department and I were a good fit for one another based on substantial differences in our communication styles, so this lack of funding came as much a relief to me as anything else. I hasten to write that I definitely think things are turning out for the best here.

Therefore, I have declined the university's offer of admission, and I am making solid plans in other directions. More news when I have it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The C.S. MacCath web site redesign is underway. This is a major reorganization for the purpose of making the information here more accessible to visitors, so please don't count on pages being exactly where they were before, since much of the content has been consolidated and/or moved. If you're looking for something in particular, try the web site menu structure first. When in doubt, however, the search box on the home page can help you find what you need.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

These are practice rolls and reel cadences recorded during my lessons with Pamela Meisel in 2007. They're provided here with her permission.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I've found a terrific effort at standardized bodhrán notation at www.nardozza.com/bodhran. Clearly the developer of this method had some knowledge of standard percussion notation and brought that knowledge to the bodhrán. I'm copying the .jpg made available on his site to this page in the event his site goes down, but I encourage you to visit his page for more information about the method.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Here is the complete rhythm and song for Fume Fume as practiced by the Orion Community Drummers and taught by Kofi Ameyaw in 2010. Please be advised that these sound files are low-quality.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In order to make use of this article you should:

1.Know what a reel is
2.Be able to read drumming notation

The Exercise

Below you'll find a four-on-the-floor beat ornamented with snare, high tom and closed hi-hat. Swing this when you play it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In order to make use of this article you should:

1.Know what a jig is
2.Be able to read drumming notation

The Hands: Embellishing the Music

I have created a page of exercises that employ the snare drum and straight eighths on the hi-hat symbols. The rhythms sound less like a bodhrán and more like a drum kit, which is to be expected, since they're different instruments. However, by emphasizing beats 1, 3 and/or 4 in a measure and by employing snare drum rim clicks where appropriate, it seems to me that a useful approximation of the bodhrán can happen for drummers in Celtic and Celtic fusion bands.

From here, drummers at the advanced beginner stage (i.e., someone who can keep time and accomplish simple drum fills) should be able to expand the exercises into time and fill patterns of their own creation.

The Exercise

You can download the practice sheet below.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My friend Nigel Dailey, founder of the Druidic Dawn web site, has put my campfire rendition of "The Circle Is Cast" to video. The result is a beautiful montage of Canadian and Welsh scenery set to my voice. I think the video is better than the audio (*grin*), but you can decide for yourself what you think.

Video Copyright Nigel Dailey, All Rights Reserved.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fefo is an eastern African rhythm I learned while taking a djembe workshop in Chelsea during the early spring of 2007. The files listed below contain the djembe parts for that rhythm and are included here with permission from the instructor of that workshop. Please be advised that these sound files are low-quality.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I checked out my favorite djembe information site to see if any standardized methods for djembe notation could be found. There are a few, but of course I favor those that most resemble standard percussion notatation. You can download the lot of them in the PDF I created of the information I found, which is listed below.

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