Tag: irish 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.


favorite tunes

Trip to Skye / The Curlews – Two great…

Some days ago I have listened to Folk Alley and heard a recording that I liked immediately. This was a medley of two Irish tunes played by Eilen Ivers (fiddle) and John Whelan (accordion): Trip to Skye by John Whelan and a tune that is called Darach DeBruns but that is actually a tune named The Curlews and was composed by Josephine Keegan

The recording I heard has been published in 1987 in the album Fresh Takes:

Fresh Takes– John Whelan, Eileen Ivers

Label: Green Linnet
Released: 1987

This recording with Eileen Ivers and John Whelan is also contained in some other collections with Irish music, and I have found several videos at youtube. I have selected the follwing video:

John Whelan & Eileen Ivers – Trip To Skye Darach DeBruns

Trip to Skye – John Whelan

I have found the sheet music for Trip to Skye at thesession.org and on some other sites, you can find the links at the end of this post.

Here is another version of Trip to Skye, played by the group Skolvan:

Skolvan – Trip to Skye

Read more “Trip to Skye / The Curlews – Two great Irish Tunes for Fiddle or Mandolin”

aa mandolin guitar

BBC Virtual Session – Learn Jigs, Reels and Hornpipes…

If you play with a band its much mor fun to lear new tunes. If you want to learn some Irish jigs, reels or hornpipes on your mandolin, tin whistle, banjo, guitar or accordeon you can find a great resource at the BBC – the Virtual Session.

BBC Virtual Session: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/r2music/folk/sessions/

You can find sets of 2 or 3 pieces, each piece is played three times, at the same time the melody is displayed as sheet music. So just switch on your PC, start the Virtual Session, select the set you want to practice – and play!

It is also possible to print the melodies of a set.

It is also possible to use the virtual session for youtube videos – I have found several nice examples. Let’s start with two videos with a tin whistle:

Three Slip Jigs played on Penny (Tin) Whistle

Three slip jigs – Fox Hunters, Johnny Docherty’s and the Butterfly recorded on penny whistle using the virtual session backing track from the BBC website.

The Boys of Ballymote on penny (tin) whistle

The Boys of Ballymote recorded on penny whistle using the virtual session backing track from the BBC website. For information on how I did this recording see my video of the Rambing Pitchfork: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQrpgX…

Now one example with a mandolin:

The Sliver Spear Reel on the Mandolin

The Sliver Spear is a great Celtic fiddle tune certainly an exciting reel. It is a familiar tune that has been recorded by many groups and has always been a favorite of mine. Here I play along with the version recorded on the BBC virtual sessions and it is in the key of D. I find it easier to keep the tempo nice and ever if I have a rhythm and base line to go by. This version is just a bit faster than I am comfortable with and I did produce a few obvious clams while making the recording. Sorry about that.
Played on a 1920 Gibson F 2 mandolin

More videos that used the BBC Virtual Session: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bbc+%22virtual+session%22&aq=f