The Session

28 November 2006, 5:11 PM GMT

The Session

About The Session

A session involves a group of musicians who come together to play and experience good traditional music primarily for their own enjoyment, although in most cases it also proves highly entertaining to non-participants. Examples of sessions include pub sessions, sessions in hotel lobbies and street sessions at fleadhanna cheoil.

Instruments you’ll find at a session range from the humble whistle to the uilleann pipes and in rarer cases the harp. Most common instruments include the fiddle, flute, button accordion, banjo and concertina. You’ll sometimes come across mandolins, piano accordions and of course the ubiquitous bodhrán!

Types of Session

There many types of session varying from the “closed type” where musicians perform in a gig like manner and visiting musicians are not encouraged to join in to the “open type” where all-comers are made to feel welcome. The latter type of session is, thankfully, much more common and what you will normally find at fleadhanna cheoil, festivals, etc. There are also “slow” sessions where the emphasis is on learning new tunes and musicians new to the session scene are specifically catered for.

Session Behaviour

Much of this is common sense and is covered more comprehensively under the heading “session etiquette”. Many pages could be written on this topic but for now we’ll just look at some of the main considerations.

While to the uninitiated, one session may look very much like any other, it will be found that this is not the case and most do have their own individual ethos. Visiting musicians should therefore always try and identify this and go along with it as closely as possible. In many cases there may be a session leader who starts many of the session sets or invites people in the group to start a tune at some stage so that a visitor who muscles in and takes over this role would not be very popular. In most cases the best course of action is “wait to be asked”.

Posted By other in The Music

[Leave A Comment]

RSS Feed (What is this?)