My second French music jam: playing my Irish flute in public for the first time

Tonight I participated for the second time in a new little French traditional dance music jam session that started up in July!

This time, I played not only my Baroque flute (which happens to be the instrument I’ve mostly been playing for the past two months), but also my new Irish flute I got a month ago. I did not bring my modern flute at all.

As we did the last time, after we played around for an hour or so, we then played for dancers for another hour. I enjoyed the experience a lot, and was less nervous than I was the first time. I am slowly improving at learning a tune, without a score, while someone is playing it, and then imitating the melodic line or filling in a harmonically sensible line on the fly.

Instruments and musicians

I finally received my Irish flute a month ago and have spent some minutes every day breaking it in at home. Tonight was its “debut” in public. I enjoyed the louder, stronger sound.

I still used the Baroque flute, for key signatures that my keyless Irish flute does not work well for (half-holing is a pain).

We also had fiddles, melodeon, guitar, mandolin (not all at the same time, since John was switching between melodeon and mandolin depending on the key of the song, given the limitations of the melodeon), and I felt that the Irish flute was balanced pretty well with the other instruments, better than the Baroque flute did in the first session in July (when it was often drowned out).

We lost some musicians from last time, because one of them left town, and the clarinetist has a class in the evening and therefore cannot arrive till later, when she comes to dance. But we had two new people!


Our little French music group is gaining momentum. I’m very excited! Also, as the CMU fall semester starts, there are plans to really promote French and other traditional music and dance in the form of an official CMU student organization.

(Update of 2012-09-28)

In fact, CATS Dance successfully launched in September!

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