Road to Lisdoonvarna - Beginner Fiddle Tune

Road to Lisdoonvarna

I thought it was about time to practice a fiddle tune again. I think almost six weeks past by since I last recorded a fiddle tune. So I looked at the tunes in my book with 25 fiddle tunes and I immediately liked Road to Lisdoonvarna. The rhythm was a challenge at first because it’s in 6/8 but there are many 4th notes and the counting is not evident.

Road to Lisdoonvarna - rhythm

Here is an example of what the rhythm looks like. This is the first measure and you can see how the third 8th note of the first beat is tied with the second beat. So, it’s not very easy to count correctly. It was a rhythm challenge. And I first practiced it slowly with the metronome until it clicked and suddenly the rhythm wasn’t that difficult anymore.

My recording of road to Lisdoonvarna

I really did enjoy playing this song. I think the melody is very beautiful and the rhythm  makes it very interesting. But I didn’t have much time to practice this song, especially not to get it up to speed. That’s why I look very serious and focused in the video. I should have practiced it a week more or so to have been able to play it more relaxed. Also, I didn’t add any embellishments like I heard some fiddlers do. I played it exactly like it is in the sheet music, so this would be the easy version! :-) This fiddle song is from the same book for beginner fiddlers that has the other fiddle tunes that I’ve played before: 25 Famous Fiddle tunes and Songs.

History of Road to Lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna is a small town on the western coast of Ireland, well known because it hosts an annual Matchmakers Festival and singles from all over the world go there in September. The name Lisdoonvarna comes from ‘Lios Duin Bhearna’, which means the lios or enclosure of the fort in the gap. In the 18th-century a surgeon discovered the beneficial effects of its mineral waters. So people came to Lisdoonvarna to bathe in the mineral waters and drink it. Becuase of the popularity of these mineral springs and the huge amount of people going, the “matchmaking tradition” started.

The tune Road to Lisdoonvarna originates from a Jacobite era song “All the Way to Galway” and at the end of the 19th century was associated with the matchmakers festival. Here is a beautiful recording of this fiddle tune by Dulahan Ireland.

2 thoughts on “Road to Lisdoonvarna

  1. Hi Mariko, you did great with this fiddle song. It’s one of my favourite fiddle pieces and at the same time first that I’ve ever played. I see that you were working really hard last month – you did great progerss. I wasn’t playing much last month – I were preparing for high school final exams, but I’ve listened to many recordings of great violin music. I have one week of exams more, but I have only 3 exams left (I already did 12). One nice thing – I will be playing Szostakowicz duets 23rd of May at city concert. Last Friday I had a rehersal and we’ve played Vivaldi double concerto for first time together. I am super excited about that we will be playing it on a school concerto in June. There are so many exciting things happening about my violin and I barely find any time to practice and write anything here. I wish you have easier time than me. I’m waiting for your 1 year progress video :)

    1. Hello Emma, thank you so much for your kind comments! I’m glad you like my progress! :-) Sadly I don’t have much time to practice either this month, but I’ll try to do my best on June 3rd when I record my 1 year progress video!! I’m very excited about that!! :-)

      I’m very happy for you that you will be performing again, in May and in June, that’s great! I’m confident that you will do very well!

      Also, I wish you all the best for your exams! I remember those final exams, gave me a very stressful and exhausting time too. :mail: But you have only 3 left!! Keep it up Emma!! :heart:

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