Ornaments in Irish music largely originated in the playing of bag pipes. The pipes cannot stop a tone in the same way other wind instruments can. Fingering techniques were developed to make the ear believe that a tone had ended. These techniques were transferred to fiddle, flute, whistle, and other instruments.
The subject of ornamentation in traditional Irish music is beyond the scope of this class. However, ornamentation is vital to the faithful, authentic performance of Irish music.
Helpful texts about ornamentation in traditional Irish music can be found at these links.
Ornamentation techniques that most often heard in Irish music include:
- The cut
- The tap
- Long roll
- Short roll
- The Casadh
- The slur
- The finger shake
When played well these ornamentations are inseparable from the melody. However, it is imperative that the player fully master a tune before applying ornaments.
For more specifics about how these ornaments are played, visit this website: