Lady Madelina Sinclair
I performed a Strathspey today - Lady Madelina Sinclair - in a masterclass.
Lady Madelina was the daughter of the Duke of Gordon and the tune was written by William Marshall (although there is some controversy about this) around late 1700s/early 1800s. He worked for the Duke,
eventually rising to become his factor, and he was also a fine fiddler and composer.
Lady Madelina, was apparently not at all beautiful. Nevertheless, she made up for this by being agreeable and intelligent. She did marry, but this was said to be only down to the skill of her mother, who managed to arrange to marry her off. She looks fine to me though but perhaps that is with a bit of artistic license.
Strathspeys have very particular bowings. Its a jagged rhythm switching from short - long, to long - short with snaps, loops and arrow bows (which involves a down, up, up, up). The piece also has contrasting sections, with a strong dotted rythmn which switches into very smmoth triplets on single bows - crossing strings. It could be made easier by breaking the bowing up into separate bows but its definitely better to bow these in one bow if at all possible.
It went well on the whole and I learned a lot from the feedback about how to improve it further. The feedback technique today was three positives before talking about where you could improve. This was encouraging and motivating while constructive in giving us the areas to focus on. Its how I had been trained to give feedback to staff. There were also a few colleagues who performed very interesting pieces. I enjoyed it - a good day - if a challenge.