July 15th, 2014 at 4:06 pm (traditional irish flute, irish flute)
Hello. This site contains recordings I have made as a source of tunes for people who play the flute, or other instruments for that matter. They are just versions of tunes as I remember them. My memory isn’t the best so some of the versions and the titles might be a bit astray but hopefully they’ll be of some use. I usually play the tunes once through slowly to make them easier to learn, then I have a bit of a run at them to give another view of them. I hope this approach is OK. If anyone has any comments, or tune suggestions, please get in touch (email@example.com).
At this stage tune suggestions are particularly welcome as my "isn't the best" memory has started to resist my attempts to plunder it for any more material. Thanks,
(The tunes are split over a number of pages to stop the pages being too slow to load. To go to the next page, please click on Previous Entries at the bottom of the page, otherwise use the index on the left of the screen to navigate to a specific tune).
These tunes are now available via iTunes so you don't even have to go through the displeasing process of accessing this site directly to hear them. Hearing the tunes may be hardship enough in itself. I don't really know what the iTunes caper means but a search for "Irish Flute Tunes" will point to where this stuff lives in iTunesville. The URL via which to subscribe is http://irishflute.podbean.com/feed . If that all made no sense to you then welcome to my world.
Slowing Down Tunes
Just in case the tunes on this site aren’t dull enough, you can slow them down using recent versions of Windows Media Player (I’m sure there are plenty of other ways of doing this too).
In Windows Media player click Now Playing at the top of the screen then pick Enhancements and then Play Speed Settings. There is a nice range of speeds displayed but I can only get the half speed one to work. That’s probably enough to be getting on with in any case.
July 15th, 2014 at 4:05 pm (traditional irish flute)
I've just got my nice old flute back from a period in a flute hospital so felt inspired to post a tune on it before I break it again.
This tune appears to be the third Mama's Pet I've posted here so she'll maybe able to open a small zoo. I'm not sure what species this pet is or even how many limbs it has, if any, or whether it has fur or just skin or scales. The details I could find are here:
May 8th, 2014 at 1:18 pm (irish flute, traditional irish flute)
Here's a tune popular among some fiddle players in Donegal. I'm not sure whether it is unpopular among everyone else in that county but I'll maybe avoid playing it there just to be on the safe side.
There is a version of it here: http://thesession.org/tunes/11250 taken down from the fiddle playing of Vincent Campbell (presumably one of the Donegal fiddle players amongst whom this tune is popular). I've also heard a recording of John Doherty playing it and I first learned it from another fiddle player, i.e. Paul O'Shaughnessy who has a keen awarness of the Donegal fiddle zeitgeist.
April 5th, 2014 at 1:30 pm (traditional irish flute)
Just grabbing a rare moment in the house when not being entertained / attacked (it's a fine line) by children. The first 2 minutes of that moment have been used up by playing this reel. www.tunepal.org told me it is called the Walls of Limerick. I have it on a recording of John McKenna on the flute with Michael Gaffney (I think) on the banjo. The notes at http://tunepal.org/tunepal/show_tune.php?tunepalid=266-hnr2.abc-2-Walls~of~Limerick%2C~The look very like it. I'm sure all will be revealed and explained when 'Imminent' becomes 'Recent' in a while ... http://www.johnmckenna.ie/irish-time/.
February 6th, 2014 at 11:26 am (traditional irish flute)
Here's a tune which John McKenna recorded. To hear it played properly in digitised ex-shiny-shellac format you'll soon be able to buy the CD referred to here:
The notation here isn't too far off the way McKenna had it (closer that I could manage in any case).
January 14th, 2014 at 8:42 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a reel I just heard on a recording of the Donegal fiddle maestro John Doherty.
As for the title - I think mine was finding half a packet of Kettle Chips and only being beaten 9:3 at Connect Four by my phone.
June 7th, 2013 at 12:07 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's an old, neglected Sligo jig. There's a recording of Paddy Sweeney from Moylough in Sligo playing it on a fiddle in 1937: http://archive.org/details/PaddySweenyRogersJigVillageJig. I like listening to recordings like that of tunes played at a quick pace and then hearing people who extol the virtues of Coleman, Sweeney, Killoran et al, giving off at people for playing too fast when they are playing much slower that their heroes every played. I'm sorry if that was a very clumsily cobbled sentence - I'm not used to the heat - a bit of which has been visited upon us of late. You'll be able to find the tune in squashed tadpole form at http://thesession.org/tunes/11483 and play it at whatever speed you like.
May 1st, 2013 at 9:25 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a jig from the South West - mar atá Co. Clare. I associate it with Willie Clancy. I'm not sure whether its title refers to the direction the air flowed through his pipes while he played it. I think my flute was more Mecca-wards when I was playing it on this occasion - that would just be a west wind - with slight precipitation towards the end of the tune.
For disciples of the dot there's always http://tunepal.org/tunepal/show_tune.php?tunepalid=8445-75.abc-1-Southwest~Wind%2C~The.
April 10th, 2013 at 11:43 am (traditional irish flute)
Here's a Gan Ainm - one of a host of Gans Ainm in Breandán Breathnach's Ceol Rince na hÉireann 2. At least the person BB got the tune from had an ainm - namely Michael Ryan, a flute player from Co. Sligo, so (that's 'so' the conjunction rather than the Sligo 'SO' that you may see on a numberplate in Ballymote) I'll call the tune after Mr. R. Mr. B. gave the reel the rather appealing number 142 in his book.
March 21st, 2013 at 5:05 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's another Lad O'Beirne's reel. I don't know much about it.
The notes in dotty form can be found here:
March 7th, 2013 at 4:37 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a close relative of the 'Lark in the Morning'. This one has fewer parts - from my playing it sounds as though it may be missing a wing and part of its voice.
January 18th, 2013 at 9:36 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a reel I was reminded of today by listening to a recording of Brendan McGlinchey, the great fiddle player from Armagh. He plays it in C on the recording but I'm all at sea without a paddle in that key for this tune so I'll wear my hat with a 'D' on it for now.
January 10th, 2013 at 9:00 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's another effort on my Rudall and Lazarus flute. The version of the tune here is decidedly dodgy. I half learned it lots of moons ago before I ever heard a recording of it. A more reliable version can be got here: http://tinyurl.com/auc5x3n . I was reminded of the tune today about 10 minutes after the postman kindly delivered a copy of this lovely recording: http://claddaghrecords.com/WWW/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=3521 (the packaging was quite hard to open otherwise I'd have heard it a bit sooner).
January 9th, 2013 at 2:41 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's my latest attempt to play my old Rudall flute. I've been using a combination of insulating tape, knives, scissors, super glue, our child's skin moisturiser and kettle steam as tools of resuscitation; maybe I should be trying them on the flute.
January 8th, 2013 at 2:34 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a jig which comes from up Sligo. Dots can be found up here: http://tunepal.org/tunepal/show_tune.php?tunepalid=2272-21.abc-1-Up~Sligo
December 11th, 2012 at 7:00 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's an old jig played on an old flute.
This poor flute is falling apart, maybe due to modern nasties like central heating which weren't about when it was young. It seems not to like being 'My Warmer Fife'.
August 29th, 2012 at 8:39 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a tune I've played for years. I never knew a name for it so I played it into the magic tunepal.org machine and that is where this title came out of. My first part for the tune is a bit different from the versions on the computer but I suppose there's no harm in that. It's worth taking note of the advice on the photo even if the tune is of no interest.
May 25th, 2012 at 10:21 am (traditional irish flute)
This also goes under the name of 'Lavan's Favorite' in 'Ryan's Mammoth Collection'. I've tried to play it fairly close to the dotty version here: http://www.oldmusicproject.com/AA3Sheet/1201-1800/Sheet-1501-1600/1551-LarryChoice.gif (Larry Lavin's Choice).
A combination of warm weather and a bit of recent, regular playing has allowed me to get through this tune on my boxwood flute without it falling apart (that's the flute I'm talking about - not so sure about poor Larry's reel).
May 20th, 2012 at 8:08 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a fairly straightforward version of a popular reel in A. I avoided any G sharps in the slow version lest I may sustain a cut finger. There may be one or two (sharps and / or damaged digits) lurking around the quicker version.
May 16th, 2012 at 10:44 am (traditional irish flute)
Here's an approximation of O'Neill's version of a popular jig. The dots can be found at: http://www.oldmusicproject.com/AA3Sheet/0701-1200/Sheet-0801-0900/0812-GirlsBanbridge.gif
If you want to hear it played properly you could do worse than click on this link: http://archive.org/details/MichaelColemanGirlsofBainbridgeCherishtheLadies .
The name in Coleman's version is 'Bainbridge' - maybe a reference to characters in Beryl's very early work (she'd have been 8 at the time).
April 26th, 2012 at 7:48 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a different sort of tune by way of a change. I've just played each part singly the first time round. If I appear to be rushing a bit during the quicker version that's probably because I was being distracted by the smell of the 'Young's Chip Shop Fish Fillet in Crisp Bubbly Batter' which is in the process of being turned into my dinner in my oven. I bet Carolan never had that problem. If he did occasionally salivate over the notion of some 17th / 18th century convenience food it was probably not too much of an encumbrance on his harp playing anyway.
March 10th, 2012 at 8:27 pm (traditional irish flute)
I hope the title of this reel refers to matters ornithological and meteorological and not medical.
I was reminded of this tune today when I heard a recording of Sheila O'Dowd playing it (http://www.colemanirishmusic.com/shop/product.php?id=13 track 16). It is in Breathnach's Ceol Rince na hÉireann vol. 1 and someone has kindly made the notes available at http://tunepal.org/tunepal/showdots.php?id=11667. That's about all I have to say on the matter just now.
January 24th, 2012 at 7:57 pm (traditional irish flute)
I've been trying to learn to play a C#D accordion and was reminded of this tune while playing through a few books as a way of telling my fingers that there's more than one melody in the world. The box playing may be a sort of insurance against tooth loss which would make the flute sound a bit gummy; cleaning and flossing might be an easier approach.
This tune is in the book 'Trip to Sligo' under the title 'Come up in the room I want you'. I played it (on the flute) into the tunepal.org machine and was given the title I've used here. The person in the 'up in the room' name may even have been addressing the Ballina Lasses at the time of utterance. I don't know what Tunepal will think it's called if I try playing it on the squeezebox.
January 8th, 2012 at 6:46 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a tune with a funny name. I learned it from a flute player with a less peculiar appellation, i.e. Harry Bradley.
I recorded this on a mobile phone mp3 recording app (and a flute) and the end result seems to include some 78rpm type crackles. That may have been an option which I inadvertantly chose on the recording device.
November 4th, 2011 at 5:59 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a tune called Peter Wyper's hornpipe. It is named after one of the Brothers Wyper who is pictured above. I had intended posting a smaller brace of Wypers but couldn't find the shrink button to resize the photo. You could look at the photo on a smartphone screen to make it small but I think the text would go all exiguous at the same time.
August 13th, 2011 at 11:35 am (traditional irish flute)
Here's a tune which as was correctly pointed out to me, I had forgotten to post up to now. I've played it on a poor, old and sick Rudall flute. I had even taken a picture of the flute but it's been so long since I've posted a tune here that I've forgotten how to include a photo (or else this site has forgotten how to have photos posted on it). The flute can't remember how to play bottom Ds yet. I'll be leaving it into a flute hospital in Galway shortly - maybe a bit of hypnosis from beyond the Pale will remind it of this particular alphabetic bark.
April 26th, 2011 at 1:05 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a tune I was asked a while ago to play. I've always been a bit allergic to this tune - I'm not sure why - I think something bad like the house falling down happened the last time I played it and that left a bit of an impression which didn't please me too much. It's a good tune all the same. I think it's really 2 jigs joined together. I'm away to stand outside for a while in case this house isn't up to the Knocknagow test.
February 6th, 2011 at 6:48 pm (traditional irish flute)
I think this is also called The Collier's Jig. There's a collier's reel too which has the same general selection if notes in it. I'll post it on the site if it's not already here.
I've been reminded a couple of times lately that some people are finding some use for some of the tunes on this site so I thought I'd try to add one or two more. It remains to be seen whether they'll fall into the useful category or otherwise. I have a couple of requested tunes still to post as well. I'm just being delayed by not knowing them and almost never having a flute closer that about 20 feet away. If I attended to the latter matter then my chance of sorting the former should increase accordingly.
November 20th, 2010 at 11:47 am (traditional irish flute)
Here's the one that goes with the other two (Paddy O'Brien tunes I posted a while ago). I've just been reminded that I missed this one. I hope late is better than never.
November 16th, 2010 at 7:08 pm (traditional irish flute)
Here's a reel I've just been asked to play. It was composed by Sean Ryan. I found a couple of written versions on the web and this effort is sort of a cross between both and neither of them. Sorry if some (or most) of the notes are a bit on the fuzzy side. I found some ready salted crisps just before I found the notes for the tune.