Link to Living Tradition Homepage





MÀIRI M STRACHAN - Leabhar a’ Phiàna

MÀIRI M STRACHAN - Leabhar a’ Phiàna
Taigh Na Teud ISBN: 9781906804770

In the foreword to this collection, Màiri Strachan, a retired music teacher from the Isle of Skye, writes: “There is such a rich culture here that not to use it in the teaching of music would be a travesty”. In her book, which contains over 50 arrangements of traditional and original tunes for solo piano, she has used her knowledge of this culture to create a series of arrangements which are sensitive to tradition, well thought out and musically engaging.

Màiri Strachan’s book is the latest in a series of resources that have come up in recent years to support a growing trend of use of the piano in traditional music. Like Mary McCarthy’s Molaidh Uibhist collection, this one has been compiled by someone with a deep-seated understanding of tradition, the arrangements and harmonies used appropriate to the idiom of gàidhlig music. With this understanding, Strachan has managed to avoid creating what sounds like a series of classical arrangements of traditional tunes - one of the main pitfalls of this type of collection is to offer no real insight into Scottish music. Her collection is ideal both for those learning piano mainly in the Scottish idiom and those who play other types of piano and want to explore Scottish music.

As a teaching tool for near beginners to intermediate pianists this book is extremely successful. Tunes are clearly ordered in terms of difficulty and as the book progresses, different keyboard techniques are introduced. This makes it a useful tool for improving students’ technique as well as knowledge of Scottish music, which is provided by a comprehensive repertoire of different tune types.

Mairi M Strachan has combined her knowledge of gàidhlig repertoire and culture with her experience as a piano teacher to create a well thought out book which can be used in a range of ways. Filled with great music it presents a fantastic way to learn Scottish music for solo piano.

Joseph Peach

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 110 of The Living Tradition magazine.