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MARIE FIELDING - A Collection Of Original Compositions - Book 3   

MARIE FIELDING - A Collection Of Original Compositions - Book 3   
Private Label 

A third helping of tunes - there seems to be one every five years or so from this Scottish fiddler and artist. As you might expect, the visual appearance is appealing, and the 36 page, A4 soft bound book is well structured: a nice clear list of titles at the front, then a section of brief notes on each composition, and finally the tunes themselves in very readable typeset notation with chords suggested by box-player Tom Orr.

Although the cover art shows harp and bagpipes in addition to fiddle and accordion, the majority of these melodies draw from the worlds of Scottish accordion and fiddle clubs, Scottish country dance bands and competition players, so it's worth noting that there are some challenging keys here for many instruments, and the technical standard needed for Marie's tunes can be pretty high. There are also some simpler pieces, and many in the session-friendly keys of A, D and G, as well as several which fit on pretty much any instrument with a bit of creativity.

Starting from the back, John & Margaret's Ruby Wedding Waltz is a lovely melody in E, on the top two strings of the fiddle or indeed the bottom two if you drop it down an octave. After slower waltzes named for Pamela and Abigail, the air Bill Black's Fiddle in Eb and the gentler Grace's Lullaby in D give the impression that there will be a dozen key signatures before long, but then things settle down. A polka, two schottisches and three marches are all in relatively accessible keys, and then there's a section of jigs which contains a few catchy tunes. The front half of this collection is all reels, many different flavours, written for fiddlers and pipers and more. It might take a while to get your head round some of these, which could be a good thing! I'm sure many will also feature on Marie Fielding's recordings, for those who like to hear a tune before learning it.

Alex Monaghan


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine