Thanks Helen and Ken...always good to hear encouraging words!
Helen- most of these tunes I know by heart in my head from years of listening, so that does help a lot when trying to play them. I still do keep a sheet music version next to me though, to refer to on the passages I may not be sure about. Generally playing by ear, after hunting around as to where the tune falls well on the lyra, range and fingering wise. In this tuning, more often than not it falls best with the tonic on the open G string.
Ken- I'm happy you think it's fine to use the arched bow. Yes I have watched many gadulka player videos. It's wonderful to see- they have such a vigorous folk/dance/song way of playing, with much sawing. So the short heavy home made bow like the one that came with my lyra makes total sense. We are not talking Purcell here...lol.
I love the videos showing the traditional bows with the little brass hawk bells attached. I used to tap my foot on a tambourine laid upon the floor, but now I use an anklet I made with goat hooves and bells and bottle caps to jangle when I stomp my heel- I use that for not only medieval but for minstrel tunes when Brian and I play fiddle/banjo minstrel repertoire, which typically included tambourine. It sounds so merry and festive! Maybe I will stick with the anklet I made, rather than attaching bells to the bow..tempting though it is.
I call it my "jangklet". To my delight, Brian likes it. Even though I keep it softer during festivals, other folks seem to detest it and some have insisted that i remove it at oldtime sessions. Sometimes I just outright refuse (oooh they get all red and mad!) and I guess I'm now risking becoming an 'oldtime leper'. Oh well. I feel strongly that it's all music for the people and should be not so uptight and anal. It's not like I'm playing a trombone or something- it's just a little foot rattle ! People need to loosen up and have fun. Oldtime festival jams are hardly 'performances'.
Ok gotta get off the rant now, back to work.
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990