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A Cello, A Fiddle, & An Irish Island

Prominent American Scottish Fiddler, Hanneke Cassel, joins forces with her husband Mike Block to perform the "Cape Breton Medley". The Cape Breton Medley is a combination of 3 popular tunes, commonly played in Cape Breton. 

You may be wondering...

What is Cape Breton?

Cape Breton is an island in Nova Scotia that many Scottish citizens immigrated to. Cape Breton has a deep, rich history of step dancing. All three songs that add to this harmony are great for step dancing because they're groovy and have a strong rhythmic pulse (you'll find it hard to not groove while listening to this performance!). 

Who is Hanneke Cassel?

Cassel had long been a musician, but it wasn't until she left her hometown in Oregon and visited Scotland that she was inspired to play Scottish music. She was inspired by the community that defines so much of the step dancing music she is drawn to. In Cassel's words, "It's so groovy and the music was really about kind of staying up all night and jamming and dancing". Since starting on her path with Scottish Fiddling at age 15, she has become a world renowned and award winning musician. 

What makes Scottish music so different?

Scottish music is considered melodic music, has minimal to no improvisation (unlike Bluegrass), and also imitates the Scotland highland pipes. Scottish music also pairs with unique dances, similar to square dancing in the United States. Cassel is careful to point out that though Scottish and Irish music can sound similar, there are actual key differences that allow each genre to offer their own sound.

So get your dancing shoes on and dive into this beautiful performance! You'll be ready to play alongside the vikings in no time. 

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