Irish Music Collections Online


To view and play the music on these pages it is necessary to download and install the free
plugin, available HERE


FULL INDEX


YEAR AUTHOR COLLECTION LOCATION
1724 John & William Neal A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes Dublin
1726 John & William Neal A Choice Collection of Country Dances Dublin
1727 Daniel Wright Aria di Camera London
1743 John Geoghegan Compleat Tutor for the Pastoral or New Bagpipe London
1745-06 Burk Thumoth Forty Eight English, Irish and Scotch Airs London
1774 Walker Jackson Jackson’s Celebrated Irish Tunes Dublin
1786 Joseph Cooper Walker Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards Dublin
1804 O’Farrell Collection of National Irish Music for the Union Pipes London
1804 John Macpherson Mulhollan A Selection of Irish and Scots Tunes Edinburgh
1805 Smollett Holden Collection of Old Established Irish Slow & Quick Tunes Dublin
1805-09 Richard Fitzmaurice New Collection of Irish Tunes Edinburgh
1805-10 O’Farrell Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes Dublin
1809 John Murphy A Collection of Irish Airs & Jiggs with Variations Edinburgh
1810 John Mulholland A Collection of Ancient Irish Airs Belfast
1810-15 J. MacLean The Amateur’s Companion Dublin
1813 Charles O.F. O’Hara The Gentleman’s Musical Repository New York
1815 Alex.r Monro Kinloch One Hundred Airs (Principally Irish) London
1818 Joseph Cooper Walker Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards, 2nd Ed. Dublin
1818 Smollett Holden A Collection of Favorite Irish Airs London
1820 S. T. Colclough New and Complete Instructions for the Union Pipes Dublin
1829 Thomas Crofton Croker Legends of the Lakes London
1841 John Clinton Gems of Ireland Dublin
1842-81 Hughes Gems of the Emerald Isle London
1858 Richard Michael Levey A Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland London
1860 Patrick O’Flannagan The Hibernia Collection Boston
1873 Richard Michael Levey The Second Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland London
1873 Patrick Weston Joyce Ancient Irish Music Dublin
1902 Charles V. Stanford The Complete Collection of Irish Music as noted by George Petrie (Vol 1) London
1914 Arthur Darley & P. J. McCall Feis Ceoil Collection of Irish Airs Dublin
1936 Tadhg Crowley How to play the Irish Uillean Pipes Cork
1936 Leo Rowsome Leo Rowsome’s Tutor for the Uileann Pipes Dublin
1958 Donal O’Sullivan Carolan – The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper Dublin Added May 2014
1961/2 Breandán Breathnach Tacar Port Clare
1963/86 Breandán Breathnach Ceol Dublin

 


These web-pages are designed to provide access to otherwise-inaccessible early collections of Irish music. Most of what we now know as Irish traditional music had its origins – both repertoire and style – in the popular music of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the commercially published tune-books of that time contain hundreds of items that remain in the living tradition. They also contain hundreds more that have fallen out of fashion, but which could possibly prove again acceptable to modern ears.When preparing the material for placing online, our primary object was to provide easily readable settings of the tunes without alteration from the originals. This proved possible in the vast majority of cases. However a number of the original settings contain musical errors. In some cases these are obvious typographical mistakes and are corrected here. In other cases the correct reading could not be guessed at so the mistake is left un-corrected.

In some collections the use of bar-lines is completely inconsistent. Parts of tunes that would be repeated in modern practice are shown as single, and vice versa. Even within individual tunes there can be indications that some parts are repeated and others not. These inconsistencies have been left as they are, in accordance with our basic aim of providing un-edited access to the original versions. As it is not our intention to produce forensically-accurate editions of the original publications, the few editorial interventions we have made will not be listed here. We are confident that the settings have been reproduced to a high degree of accuracy, and that any mistake you may encounter will be one that is also in the original.

The entire body of tunes is listed alphabetically in the Full Index page of this site, along with such cross-references as occurred to us as we were preparing it. Should users identify information that would be of use – especially alternative tune titles – we would be delighted to receive it and incorporate it into the index.

Along with the alphabetic listing the Full Index contains a reference to the time signature of each tune. For want of a suitable symbol in commonly used fonts the ‘¢’ symbol has been used to indicate cut-time. Also included, under the heading ‘Fl’, is a reference to the number of the tune in Aloys Fleischmann’s Sources of Irish Traditional Music c. 1600-1855 (Garland Publishing, New York 1998), the standard reference work on this subject.

Please note that the toolbar options at the top of each tune screen allows the user to speed up or slow down the tune, to change the key and pitch and to save or print it out. Many of the tunes run to two or more pages. Playback of a tune can be started from any point by double-clicking the appropriate note.

It is intended to add additional material to this site on a regular basis.