University of Limerick
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The fiddle music of Connie O'Connell

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posted on 2022-09-21, 13:21 authored by Sheila Randles
This is a study of an Irish traditional fiddle-player, Connie O'Connell, from Cill na Martra, Co. Cork. Connie has been strongly influenced by the main musicians of Sliabh Luachra, an area which encompasses the West Cork and East Kerry border. In particular, he has been influenced by the renowned fiddle-players of the region - Denis Murphy, Padraig O'Keeffe and Julia Clifford. Today, he is widely considered amongst the traditional music community as one of the present-day exponents of this style, and is well known for his extensive repertoire. This thesis examines the fiddle music of Connie O'Connell within the context of the Sliabh Luachra fiddle tradition. It also examines the extent to which that tradition has changed and how this change is manifested in Connie's music. The Introduction outlines my reasons for embarking on this project. It also details the approach adopted in examining Connie's music and the manner in which his position within the Sliabh Luachra fiddle tradition has been evaluated. Chapter One is a brief biographical study of the musician in context. His repertoire is examined in Chapter Two and is related to that of his predecessors. The notion that polkas and slides are the dominant tune-types in Sliabh Luachra is challenged in this chapter. Aspects of melodic and rhythmic variation are examined in detail in Chapter Three, while Connie's bowing style is also discussed here. In Chapter Four, opposing views on regional and individual styles are discussed and attention is drawn to the fact that in Connie's playing both the regional and the individual find mutual expression. .. Appendix A contains sixty-three tunes transcribed by the author from the two principal recording sessions in October 1992 and November 1992. Seven additional transcriptions are included for the purpose of examining Connie's bowing style. These are the result of a video session which took place in October 1993. Transcriptions of tunes played by Padraig O'Keeffe, Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford are also included for comparative purposes. The manner in which these tunes are laid out is explained in this same Appendix. The transcriptions are indexed in a variety of ways in Appendices B, C, D and E. In Appendix B, the tunes are listed in the order in which they were played on the above recording dates. In Appendix C, they are indexed according to tune-type. In Appendix D, the tunes are indexed according to regional source. In addition, where an alternative title has been discovered for certain tunes, a number in bold print follows the relevant tunes in this appendix. The source of these alternative tune titles is explained in Appendix E.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Ó Súilleabháin, Mícheál





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