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On Repertoire

Your ‘Repertoire’ is all the tunes (or songs) you know. What you should expect as a student or student parent is that your teacher will teach you the tunes that connect you to the tradition of Irish music first and foremost. To learn unknown old tunes, recently composed new ones or exotic others, will have their place in exam, competition or concert programmes perhaps. But to play these tunes in the company of other musicians does not allow them to join with you if they don’t know them.

Another excluding practise is the playing traditional tunes in unusual keys. A particular fashion among younger players today, is to play their music in odd keys – the key of F or Bflat for instance. Most traditional music instruments can only play in the core keys of G – D – so inevitably, tunes played in unusual keys excludes them from participating. This is not a nice thing to do – even if you can do it! Perhaps your friends might admire you for 3 minutes, but then...