Tag: free sheet music

favorite tunes

Ryan’s Mammoth Collection – More than 1000 Irish Tunes…

Durning my holidays this year I had taken with me a book from which I like to play every now and then:

300 Fiddle Tunes – Fiddle Songbooks

published by Hal Leonard. This book is a collection of 300 Irish pieces for fiddle or mandolin, and almost every piece in this collection sounds great and is fun to play. This book is very cheap and it is niclely illustrated. It does also contain some basic introducory notes for the different styles of Irish music. If you like Irish music and want to have it in a nice book you should have a look at this collection.

When I played the music I remembered that I had already found out that this collection is based on an old collection of Irish tunes, and so I tried again to find the source for this edition. The tunes are taken from Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, a collection of more tan 1000 Irish tunes. The collection is available as free download on the following site:

I have found some videos with performances of tunes from Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, this is the band Pendragon with some of the tunes:

PENDRAGON “Ryan’s Mamouth Collection” I

An even better resource can be found on the site of the ITMA – Irish Traditional Music Archive . There you can get all the tunes as interactive scores, you can display the music and listen to the sound, change the speed and even the key. That’s great to learn the tunes and practice them. (The website has changed in the meantime since this was posted – you can find score in the “text” page, recordings on the “sounds” page)

PENDRAGON “Ryan’s Mamouth Collection” II

More videos with Pendragon in the youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/georgerd1/videos

Playlist Ryan’s Mommoth Collection

Additional Information

Website of the band “Pendragon”: http://www.pendragoncelticmusic.com/

ITMA website with interactive scores, recordings, videos, pdf downloads, and more – a great website about Irish music in general.


sheet music

Sheet Music for Mandolin and Guitar in the Library…

In the Library of Congress you can find sheet music for mandolin and guitar. This includes many arrangements of marches by John Philip Sousa for mandolin and guitar, 2 mandolins and guitar or mandolin and piano. There are also severals other pieces from the period around 1900.

In this post I have compiled the first part of sheet music, enriched by some videos of marches by Sousa.

The following sheet music editions are available for free download from the Library of Congress site:

The Bride-Elect: March / John Philip Sousa [sheet music]

Mandolin and guitar:

2 mandolins and guitar:

mandolin solo:

(other version with piano available)

Video: American March “The Bride-Elect March”

La cantinera polka / Rosas [notated music]

mandolin and guitar:

The Charlatan: March / John Philip Sousa [sheet music]

2 mandolins and guitar:

Video: The Charlatan March

Debutante’s gavotte / F Abtler [notated music]

2 mandolins and guitar:

The Diplomat March / John Philip Sousa [sheet music]

mandolin solo:

Cupid waltzes / William T Gery [notated music]

2 mandolins and guitar – only 1st mandolin part:

The darkies’ cradle song / J. W Wheeler [notated music]

1st mandolin and mandola:

The Directorate March / John Philip Sousa [sheet music]

mandolin and guitar:

2 mandolins and guitar:

(other versions with piano available)

The easy one schottische / Wm. H Fletcher [notated music]

2 mandolins and guitar:

Emory waltz / H. P Sutorius [notated music]

2 mandolins and guitar:

Hail to the Spirit of Liberty / John Philip Sousa [sheet music]

mandolin and guitar / piano:



Scottish Fiddle School – Jigs and Reels, Strathspeys and…

Every year in August there is a  Scottish Fiddle School on the Thompson Island close to Boston.

For one week you can learn how to play fiddle in the Scottish style, but there are also courses for guitar, cello or bagpipes, and the fiddle style of Cape Breton.

On the website of the Scottish Fiddle School you can find lists with the tunes played every year as well as a compilation of sheet music provided by the teachers for the students. For every year you can find a set of 20 – 30 selected tunes in a PDF document.

If you like to play this kind of music you can easily get enough music for the next wekks – a great collection of Scottish tunes playable on fiddle but also on the mandolin.

The sheet music collections for the last years are available on: http://scottishfiddleschool.org/music/


One of the teachers at the Scottish Fiddle Scholl is Hanneke Cassel, a great fiddle player that I have discovered some years ago. I have compiled a playlist with some interesting youtube videos with Hanneke Cassel:

Playlist Hanneke Cassel

Read more “Scottish Fiddle School – Jigs and Reels, Strathspeys and Waltzes – Free Sheet Music for Fiddle, Cello and Mandolin”


Abe Holzmann – Blaze-away / Smoky-Mokes / Hunky Dory…

Recently I have found the sheet music for mandolin of a famous march composed by Abe Holzmann: Blaze-Away. This march has been composed in the year 1901 and has remained popular until today.

From Wikipedia:

Abe Holzmann (19 August 1874 – 16 January 1939) was a German/American composer, who is most famous today for his march Blaze-Away!

A review originally published by the New York Herald on Sunday, 13t January 1901 entitled German Composer who Writes American Cakewalk Music describes “[h]is knowledge of bass and counterpoint is thorough, and his standard compositions bear the stamp of harmonic lore, which makes his proclivity for the writing of the popular style of music the more remarkable.”[3]

Abe married Isabelle Fishblatt around 1908, and he became the manager of the Orchestra Department at Jerome Remick & Company, music publisher in New York.[1] He was an early member (1923) of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He earned his livelihood as composer/arranger for Tin Pan Alley publishers, including Leo Feist. He later was advertising manager for the American Federation of Musicians publication, International Musician. He was a member of Freemasonry, the Elks, and Knights of Pythias, all in New York City.

Holzmann died in East Orange, New Jersey at age 64. He was survived by his widow, a daughter Natalie Holzmann, three half-brothers, and four sisters. His music was especially revered by ragtime enthusiasts, although he composed marches, waltzes, and other light music.

I have found a great video with a performance of Blaze-Away by a great banjo band, recorded in the year 1936 – this has been taken from the British Pathe archive:

Blaze Away – Raymonde and his Banjo Band (1936)

The fact that Blaze-Away is popular until today can be seen in the following two videos with violinis André Rieu – and a very enthusiastic audience from Vienna and a complete football stadium in Kerkrade:

Andre Rieu – Blaze away 2011

If you like to add another popular march to your mandolin orchestra’s repertoir you might be interested in the sheet music of Blaze-Away by Abe Holzmann. The sheet music is available on my website.

The title pages of works by Abe Holzmann show the fact that Holzmann’s music has been arranged for mandolin, guitar, zither or banjo in the early days already.



Another popular composition by Abe Holzmann is Smoky Mokes. Ihave selected two videos, the first with banjo-mandolin and guitar:

Smoky Mokes — played by Dennis Pash and Meredith Axelrod

Playliste Smoky Mokes – Abe Holzmann


Additional Information

Wikipedia about Abe Holzmann: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Holzmann

Sheet music by Abe Holzmann can be found in several archives with digitized sheet music. I have collected the best links in the following link collection:


The sheet music of Blaze-Away for mandolin orchestra can be found on my website www.mandoisland.de and on the IMSLP site.

Historical recordings of works by Abe Holzmann in the National Jukebox of the Library of Congress (Playlist), including banjo versions of Blaze-Away and Hunky-Dory:


Historical recordings of works by Abe Holzmann in the Internet Archive