Tommy Peoples (20 September 1948 – 4 August 2018) was an Irish fiddler who played in the Donegal fiddle tradition.
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Peoples was born near St. Johnston, County Donegal, Ireland. He was a member of traditional Irish music groups, including The Bothy Band as well as performing solo from the late 1960s. He played in the fiddle style of East Donegal. After moving to Dublin in the 1960s, where he was employed as a Garda (member of the Irish police force), he subsequently moved to County Clare and married Mary Linnane (daughter of Kitty Linnane, long-time leader of the Kilfenora Céilí Band). The family lived in St Johnston. His daughter, Siobhán Peoples, is also a fiddler.
Peoples was the Traditional Musician In Residence at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, County Donegal. In July 2015, he launched a self-published book, Ó Am go hAm - From Time to Time. The book combines a fiddle tutor by Peoples, along with illustrations and a complete notation of 130 original tunes by Peoples. The book also includes many stories and incidents from his life and musical career. He died on 4 August 2018, aged 70.
The Donegal fiddle tradition is the way of playing the fiddle that is traditional in County Donegal, Ireland. It is one of the distinct fiddle traditions within Irish traditional music.
A fiddle is a bowed string musical instrument, most often a violin. It is a colloquial term for the violin, used by players in all genres including classical music. Although violins and fiddles are essentially synonymous, the style of the music played may determine specific construction differences between fiddles and classical violins. For example, fiddles may optionally be set up with a bridge with a flatter arch to reduce the range of bow-arm motion needed for techniques such as the double shuffle, a form of bariolage involving rapid alternation between pairs of adjacent strings. To produce a "brighter" tone, compared to the deeper tones of gut or synthetic core strings, fiddlers often use steel strings. The fiddle is part of many traditional (folk) styles, which are typically aural traditions—taught 'by ear' rather than via written music.
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