One of Ed Reavy’s most well known tunes — The Hunter’s House — fiddle players play this tune in sessions all over the world.
In this tutorial I’ll teach you the Hunter’s House on the fiddle. It is a very well known reel, though it is not often attributed to Ed Reavy, its composer.
Ed Reavy was born in Barnagrove in County Cavan in 1897. He emigrated with his family to Philadelphia in 1912, only visited Ireland again twice, for nine months in 1922 and for three weeks in 1969. He lived in Philadelphia until his death in 1988.
Ed Reavy was a prodigious composer. He wrote hundreds of tunes, of which we have record of about 120, thanks in no small part to the work of his son, Joseph (Joe). Joe transcribed many of Ed’s tunes, which have been published in two tunebooks.
The title of this tune is sometimes written as The Hunters House, or The Hunters’ House; as in, the house of the Hunter Family. But of the title for this tune, The Hunter’s House, Ed, said: “”It would be furnished with every evidence of the prize game he caught. It would be a place where the best men would choose to gather and listen to Ireland’s finest players.” (Though, it is possible that this is another one of Reavy’s ‘odd lies’, used only in — as he wonderfully put it — ‘places where the truth won’t fit’.)
I’ll take you through tune slowly so that you can learn the melody, showing you up close the left hand fingering. I’ll also give you some ideas for how you can use chord shapes to help you play this fluently.
I’ll also show you where in The Hunter’s House fiddle players can use some classic Irish fiddle bowing techniques, such as cross bowing and circle bowing.
Keep an eye out for more videos coming soon on these bowing techniques, and other reel bowing patterns.
And for more online fiddle lessons, take a look at Irish fiddle lessons online.