Irish Music Collections Online

 

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  
1745-6   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  
1791   William Reeve  Overture to Oscar and Malvina London  
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 London  
1808   B.Crosby   Crosby’s Irish Musical Repository London  
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  
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.