Karen Steven's New Book Published.

Karen Steven's New Book Published.
Karen Steven's New Book Published.

I am delighted to announce my new book, launched 14th July 2020. This book comprises; my music and dance background, with an emphasis on highland dancing. This has strongly influenced my love of playing for and composing for highland dance choreography.

My new book has four themes; Highland Council Commission Year 2000, Tunes for Scotland's National Nature Reserves, tunes for Tanya Horne School of Highland Dancing and finally, tunes for family & friends. Tune types include; jigs, reels, marches, waltzes, strathspey and slow air, in a range of keys.

23 of the 51 tunes in the book were composed during lockdown, in the month of May. It was at the end of May, while furloughed, that I decided to publish a book, which includes the tunes recently composed, along with a further 28, written over the last 20 years. It has been a fantastic learning experience for me, long, long hours, but an enormous amount of fun too.

My introductions (one on the back cover and one inside the book) provide a bit of background to my musical inspirations over the years, teaching and learning experiences, performance, competitions and commissions. In addition, I have included tunes written for people who have are very dear to me or who I recognise have given a lot to the community in which they live.

Conductor of the ASRS, Ronnie Gibson, as well as Iain Fraser, director of Merlin Academy of Traditional Music, have both very kindly provided me with the most lovely endorsements for my book. They have both made comments at my final stages of compilation and I have taken their feedback on board.

For every tune in the book, I have written a line or two about the inspiration. As I feel strongly that the music provide players with the melody, free of my own personal interpretation, I have however, also added 7 style tips towards the back of the book, giving players an insight into some of the bowing and ornamentation techniques that I use in my own playing.

In addition to around 4,000 words of text and the 51 tunes in the book, I have recorded each tune and each style tip. These are presented in MP3 format on a soundcloud page specifically for the book. The link to the page where all 51 tunes can be listened/played along to, is listed in the book. I also have recorded practical examples of my style tips, the 7 of which can be located using the same soundcloud address.