Our Free Tunebook

“Here you will find our tune book: a good start for those who want to learn more about Irish music. You will find tunes that you often hear in Irish living rooms, pubs and community centers all over the world. The tunes come from the repertoire of the Irish Folk Band The Doggy Few, who regularly play them at O’Ceallaigh’s Traditional Music Bar in Groningen. I have written down the tunes in such a way that you can see their essence. I have only used the basic ornamentation of the notes, because it is different for every musician and every instrument. Listen to Irish performers to learn how to apply ornamentation. I have also carefully selected the chords for the tunes. The Irish use not only the regular major scales but also old church scales (such as Dorian and Mixolydian). That is why the chords are sometimes not so easy to understand. But you will see that there are often standard schemes, which you can play and expand with three or two chords. Irish Folk Music is folk, not classical. Folk ‘arises’. Classical is precisely notated, so that you play it as the composer wanted. In folk, tunes are also ‘written’, but you can play them as you like. This creates many versions of one tune. This is also because tunes are usually learned by ear and passed on. So your memory also makes variations… So: nothing in this book is mandatory or standard. It is based on my own taste and experience with Irish folk (many sessions and recordings). Feel free to do something different than what I have written down. But stick to the keys. It’s not a problem if people add ornamentations where they want (you can’t stop that anyway), but it’s nice if everyone plays in the same key… 😉 Have fun playing!

Erik de Jong

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