Richard Voss &
Laurence Traiger,
Roving Through Ireland:
Piano Solos of
Traditional Irish Folk Music

(Mel Bay, 2001)

The subtitle for this tune book is Piano Solos of Traditional Irish Folk Music, and that is exactly what is inside. Thirty-eight tunes are divided into eleven categories: folk songs, airs, polkas, set dances, slides, jigs, slip jigs, marches, hornpipes, reels and O'Carolan.

An introductory page gives brief descriptions for each category, except the marches, and gives tribute to the blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan, the eleventh grouping. Voss and Traiger (very non-Irish names for a book of this nature!) have put together an interesting collection of Irish traditional music.

The book is not designed for the beginner, but for the intermediate or advanced pianist. The cross-section of music would encourage its use as a teaching tool, but it is not an instruction booklet as such.

There's nothing Irish about the cover except for the bold green print of the title. Does it make any difference to the tunes inside? No, it's a great cross-section of traditional Irish music and the arrangments sure offer the lilt of the Irish tongue in the playing. Open the pages to "The King of the Fairies" and "St. Patrick's Day," for examples of set dances, or "The Four Poster Bed" for a reel.

For a practise book of Irish tunes that sparkle, this is a good bet.

[ by Virginia MacIsaac ]
Rambles: 2 February 2002

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