Category Archives: Uncategorized

Actor Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter) to tour with McGoldrick


Actor Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter, Braveheart, Gangs of New York) will take up his fiddle for a 10-date tour of Ireland in January, with flute and uilleann pipe player Michael McGoldrick, Dirk Powell on banjo and fiddle, and Francis Gaffney on guitar. The programme will mix Irish traditional music with Cajun, Appalacian and American Old-Time.
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Fleadh documentary on BBC One Northern Ireland


A new BBC One Northern Ireland documentary goes behind the scenes of the Fleadh, which attracted 430,000 visitors to Derry this year.

The documentary, which will be shown on BBC One next Monday, December 2, at 10.35pm, follows young competitors as they take part in the histoiric Fleadh. Among the musicians featured are Una, a young saxophonist; seven members of the McKenna family, and banjo player Tomas Quinn. It also features composer Lorcán MacMathúna and his work on the specially commissioned piece, ‘From the River to the Sea,’ which opened the Fleadh in a ceremony in St Columb’s Cathedral.


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Tin Whistle Tutor Book

A Complete Guide to Playing Irish Traditional Music on the Whistle


Learn to play Irish traditional music on the whistle with the tin whistle tutor book from Tradschool

286 pages; with 429 accompanying audio tracks
104 tunes (28 children’s & folk tunes + 76 traditional tunes)

What is it?

This tutor book, with its accompanying audio files, is intended to give a complete introduction to playing Irish music in the traditional style on the tin whistle; it covers all from the very first notes on the instruments to the most advances ornamentation.
The book is broadly divided into two parts, with the shorter first part covering the basics of the whistle (pages  1-48) while the longer second part (pages 49-286) covers the playing of Irish traditional music on the instrument
It is currently available both as a physical book or as a download containing 1 print-friendly indexed pdf file (296 pages) and 429 audio files (256kb mp3)

Who is it for?

It is intended for anybody who wants to play traditional music in the Irish style, from complete beginners to confirmed or advanced players who wish to work on their style or ornamentation. Tablature as well as sheet music is used throughout the book, so it is accessible to the complete beginner; while more advanced players will appreciate the attention to detail in style and ornamentation in the later parts of the book.

About this tutor
The Irish whistle

Part One

Beginning the Whistle

Holding the whistle
Blowing the whistle
Blowing your first notes
Left hand notes
The note B
Exercise 1
Left hand notes – continued
The note A
The note G
Exercise 2
Song : Mary Had a Little Lamb

Unit 2 : Right Hand Notes

Song : Hot Cross Buns
Song: Oranges and Lemons

Unit 3 : The Second Octave

Exercise 1
Exercise 2
Exercise 3
Song: Au Clair de la Lune

Unit 4 – Scales

1 Scale of D
2 Scale of G
Tunes using the new note
Good King Wenceslas

Unit 5 – Rhythm, Articulation & Breathing

Playing Irish music on the whistle – rhythm, tonguing and
Rhythm exercise 1
Rhythm exercise 2
Rhythm exercise 3
Tonguing exercise 1
Tonguing Exercise 2
Tonguing Exercise 3
Song : Courtin’ in the Kitchen
Song – Mairi’s Wedding
Song : The Bog Down in the Valley
Song : Cockles and Mussels
Breathing after long notes
Making breath spaces
Some More Tunes

Unit 6 – Putting it together 1


Part Two

Unit 7 – Irish Traditional Music

Simple system
Combining elements
The Basics
Types of tunes
The structure of the tunes
Ornamentation structure and rhythm
The Details
Making choices
Fast tempo

Unit 8 – Listening to Irish Music

Why is listening so important?
What to listen for

Style and technique
Building familiarity
Some players and recordings

Unit 9 – The Jig

Rhythm and tempo
Some jigs
Note Accent and Articulation
Jig Rhythm 1 – Basic Jig Accent
Some More Rhythmic Exercises
Jig Rhythm 2 – Accent on the off-beat
Articulating the off-beat in jigs
Placing the off-beat in jigs
Note Accent in Jigs – More Examples
Breathing at phrase ends
“Overflowing” phrases – breathing after phrase ends
Breathing and Phrasing – More Examples

Unit 10 – The Hornpipe

Rhythm and Tempo
Some hornpipes
Accent and articulation
Hornpipe Rhythm 1 – Basic Hornpipe Accent
Hornpipe Rhythm 2 – Accent on the off-beat
Placing the off-beat in hornpipes
Note Accent in Hornpipes – More Examples
Phrasing and breathing

Unit 11 – The Reel

Rhythm and Tempo
Some Reels
Accent & Articulation
Reel Rhythm 1 – Basic Reel Accent
Reel Rhythm 2 – Accent on the Off-beat
Placing the off-beat in reels
Note Accent in Reels – More Examples
Phrasing and Breathing
Breathing at long notes and phrase ends
Removing notes in reels
Phrasing and Breathing – More Examples

Unit 12 – Ornamentation

Ornamentation 1 – The Cut

Fingering Chart – Cuts
Use of the Cut
The Cut in Jigs
The Cut in Hornpipes
The Cut in Reels

Ornamentation 2 – The Tap

The Tap – Fingering Chart
Use of the Tap
The Tap in Jigs
The Tap in Hornpipes
The Tap in Reels

Ornamentation 3 – The Slide

The Slide – Fingering Chart
The Slide – Fingering Chart (continued)
Use of the Slide
The Slide in Hornpipes
The Slide in Jigs
The Slide in Reels

Ornamentation 4 – The Roll

Fingering chart – Rolls
Use of the Roll
The Roll – Accent and Articulation
G Roll
F Roll
E Roll
A Roll
B Roll
The Roll in Reels
The Roll in Jigs
The Roll in Hornpipes

Ornamentation 5 – The Short Roll

Fingering chart – Short Rolls
Use of the Short Roll
G Short Roll
F Short Roll
E Short Roll
B Short Roll
A Short Roll
The Short Roll in Reels
The Short Roll in Jigs
The Short roll in Hornpipes
The Short Roll in Hornpipes, Example 1 – Dunphy’s…209
The Short Roll in Hornpipes, Example 2 – Poll Ha’Penny

Ornamentation 6 – The Triplet

The Triplet – Notation and Fingering
Use of the Triplet
FED Triplets on D
The Triplet in Reels
The Triplet in Jigs
The Triplet in Hornpipes
The Triplet in Hornpipes, Example 1 – Dunphy’s

Ornamentation 7 – The Bounce

The Bounce – Fingering Chart
Use of the Bounce
The Bounce in Reels
The Bounce in Jigs
The Bounce in Hornpipes

Ornamentation 8 – The Cran

The Cran – Notation and Fingering
Use of the Cran
The Cran in Reels
The Cran in Jigs

Ornamentation 9 – Combining Ornaments

Tap & Cut
Slide and Cut
Slide and Roll
Tap and Roll

Ornamentation 10 – Staccato Triplets

Ornamentation 11 – Summary

Unit 13 – Other tunes

Slip Jig
Set Dance
Barn Dance

Unit 14 – Playing in different keys

Whistles in Different Keys

Unit 15 – Playing Irish Music

Choosing your repertoire
Staccato vs legato styles
“Lift” and “swing”
Other stylistic choices
Conscious Choices
Learning by Ear
Advantages of learning by ear
How to learn by ear
Using Sheet Music
Playing in public
Sourcing music
Comhaltas Live
Na Píobairí Uilleann Source
ITMA Digital Library

Unit 16 – Putting It Together 2

Learning and playing tunes

Unit 17 – Tunes

The Haunted House
The Rose in the Heather
The Killavil Jig
The Ship in Full Sail
Saddle the Pony
The Humours of Glendart
Out on the Ocean
The Leitrim Jig
The Frost is all Over
The Rambling Pitchfork
Pay the Reckoning
Club Céilí
The Battering Ram
The Blackthorn Stick
The Mist on the Meadow
The Monaghan Jig
The Skylark
The Ashplant
Jackie Coleman’s
Ships are Sailing
Over the Moor to Maggie
The Heather Breeze
Lady Ann Montgomery
The Teetotaller
Saint Anne’s
The Cup of Tea
The Silver Spear
The Humours of Tulla
The Green Mountain
Miss Monaghan
Sean Reid’s
The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Micho Russell’s
The Earl’s Chair
The Galway Rambler
The Home Ruler
Kitty’s Wedding
The Boys of Bluehill

Appendix 1 – Troubleshooting

Rhythm and tempo
Learning tunes

Appendix 2 – Reading Music

Music Notation Basics
Notes and the Staff
Key Signatures
Note Values

Appendix 3 – Bibliography

Appendix 4 – Tracklist

The following tunes are included in the tutor. Part 1 (Units 1-7) contains easier tunes such as children’s songs and Irish folk songs, aimed at introducing you to the whistle. Irish traditional music itself is covered from Unit 8 onwards (pages 49-286)

The book features 28 children’s & folk songs, with 76 Irish tunes – giving a total of 104 tunes in all.


Part 1

Children’s Tunes

Mary Had A Little Lamb
Hot Cross Buns
Oranges and Lemons
Au Clair de la Lune
Frère Jacques
Good King Wenceslas

Irish Folk Songs

Courtin’ in the Kitchen
Mairi’s Wedding
Bog Down in the Valley
Cockles and Mussels
The Dawning of the Day
Mo Ghile Mear
Spancil Hill
The Irish Rover
The Boys of Wexford
Kelly from Killane
Clare’s Dragoons
The Star of the County Down
Down by the Sally Gardens
I’ll Tell Me Ma
The Minstrel Boy
The Spanish Lady
whiskey in the Jar
Roddy McCorley
Amazing Grace
Mursheen Durkin
Follow Me up to Carlow

Part 2

Tunes used as examples

The following tunes are used throughout the tutor to illustrate technical aspects of style, articulation, phrasing and ornamentation


Mulhare’s Jig
Coleman’s Jig
The Maid on the Green
The Trip to Athlone
Jerry’s Beaver Hat
The Eavesdropper
The Carraroe Jig
I Buried My Wife and Danced on top of Her
The Blarney Pilgrim
The Cook in the Kitchen


Dunphy’s Hornpipe
The Harvest Home
Poll Ha’Penny


The Shannon Breeze (Rolling in the Ryegrass)
Drowsy Maggie
The Boyne Hunt
Maud Millar
The London Lasses
Maud Millar
Roaring Mary
The Fermoy Lasses
The Silver Spear
Toss the Feathers
anderson’s Reel
The Redhaired Lass
The Green Fields of Rossbeigh
The Drunken Landlady
The Sally Gardens
Cregg’s Pipes
The Bag of Spuds
The Floating Crowbar
The Repeal of the Union
Boil the Breakfast Early
The Broken Pledge

Other Tunes

O’Keefe’s Slide
A Fig for a Kiss
The Blackbird
The Curlew Hills

Tune Collection

The following tunes feature in the tune collection at the end of the book, are presented with ornamentation, and played at a moderate pace on the recordings.


The Rose in the Heather
The Killavil Jig
The Ship in Full Sail
Saddle the Pony
The Humours of Glendart
Out on the Ocean
The Leitrim Jig
The Frost is all Over
The Rambling Pitchfork
Pay the Reckoning
Club Ceili
The Battering Ram
The Blackthorn Stick
The Mist on the Meadow

The Monaghan Jig


The Skylark
The Ashplant
Jackie Coleman’s Reel
Ships are Sailing
Sheehan’s Reel
Over the Moor to Maggie
The Heather Breeze
Lady Ann Montgomery
The Teetotaller
St Anne’s Reel
The Cup of Tea
The Silver Spear
The Humours of Tulla
The Green Mountain
Miss Monaghan
Sean Reid’s
The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Micho Russel’s
The Earl’s Chair
The Galway Rambler


The Home Ruler
Kitty’s Wedding
The Boys of Bluehill

BUY DOWNLOAD : Tin Whistle – A Complete Guide to Playing Irish Traditional Music on the Whistle
Includes parts 1 & 2 above in one volume. 296 pages & 420 recordings, on sale at €29.99

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Special offer pack : Tin Whistle Tutor + 400 Tunes Book, with audio

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Book + FREE AUDIO DOWNLOAD. 90 children’s songs from the Whistle for Kids collection

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Book with free audio download - 90 well-loved Irish and Scottish songs, chosen for beginners.


400 classic Irish session tunes

Shank’s Mare

Shank’s Mare is a reel I learned from the music of Mike Rafferty, Irish flute player from Co. Galway who emigrated to the US and became a major figure of Irish traditional music in that country. This would seem to be his setting of the standard reel Toss the Feathers.

Mike played flute in the East Galway style – a subtle, deceptively simple style with a relaxed tempo. (Another great flute player from East Galway is Paddy Carty.)

The sheet music below shows some ideas for ornaments – mainly cuts and taps.

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Gradam Ceoil 2012 winners announced

gradam ceoil - Gradam Ceoil 2012 winners announced

gradamTG4 Gradam Ceoil 2012The winners of TG4’s annual Irish traditional music awards, Gradam Cheoil, were announced yesterday at a media reception in Carrick-on-Shannon. This year’s winner of the Gradam Ceoil is Leitrim fiddler Brian Rooney. A native of Kiltyclogher in North-Leitrim, Brian emigrated to London in 1968 and has been at the centre of the traditional scene there since. His most recent CD is At Complete Ease, a duet fiddle recording with John Carty, TG4 Musician of the Year 2003.

Young Musician of the Year this year is piper Caoimhín Ó Fearghail from An Rinn in the West Waterford Gaeltacht. Learning pipes from David Power and Jimmy O’Brien-Moran,  he won three All-Ireland titles under the age of twelve, and has also won awards as a soloist on other instruments. He is currently studying for an MA in Irish at UCC.

Composer of the year is Paddy O’Brien, accordion player from Daingean, Co. Offaly, who has been living in Minneapolis since 1983 and performing and teaching all over the United States. A respected scholar, he has composed over 50 tunes, released a tune collection of over 500 tunes and currently plays in the group Chulrua.
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Cork Community Radio Trad Podcast

Cork Community Radio

Cork Community Radio

Cork FM Community Radio is a volutarily run, community based radio that broadcasts on weekends from midnight Friday. They also have a series of downloadable mp3 podcasts on their website, including trad programme The Traditional Hour, that airs on Saturdays from 6 to 7pm. The Traditional Hour is hosted by musician and music teacher Jessie Cawley and features Irish traditional music with a Cork flavour, along with local music news and updates. Saturday 28th January featured music from Niall Vallely, Karan Casey, Bela Fleck, Paddy Glackin and Caomhin O’Raghaillaigh & Breandan O’Beaglaioch.


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BBC award for Dubliners

Irish Folk Group the Dubliners

Irish Folk Group the DublinersIrish folk group the Dubliners will be honoured at the BBC folk music awards on February 8. With folk singer Don McLean, associated with the hit American Pie, they will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Presenter Mike Harding announced the news on January 18, and the awards will be broadcast on the BBC Folk Show on Wednesday 8 February.

Mike Harding said of the Dubliners “When The Dubliners virtually invented the Dublin pub music scene 50 years ago, they changed the face of Irish music forever. They were exciting and different, with a real whiff of danger about them. In Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew, they possessed two truly charismatic singers of a rare quality. Barney McKenna and John Sheahan, who remain with the group to this day, are indisputably world class musicians. Hugely influential and deeply loved at home and abroad, The Dubliners are responsible for countless definitive recordings and I’m delighted that Radio 2 is honouring their immense contribution to folk music.” Continue reading

Fiddle Workshop with MacDara O’Raghaillaigh, Ile de France

MacDara O'Raghaillaigh

MacDara O'Raghaillaigh

There will be a fiddle workshop with MacDara O’Raghaillaigh during the “Rencontres du  Violon Traditionnel” in Ile-de-France the 4th and 5th February 2012. See the website below or download the brochure for more information.


Music and Dance Workshops
16e rencontres de violon traditionnel

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th February 2012

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