Workshop Information

Recently, we have been trialling running a short tune-learning workshop at the beginning of each session. This involves spending 30-40 minutes learning a new tune by ear. The idea is to increase the confidence of the sessioners for playing tunes by ear and relying less on the music. After we have learned a tune, we will post notes about the tune we learned here.

The tunes here should all be shown as scores. If they're not then it could be your browser doesn't support the library used to draw the music. You can probably see the ABC notation used to generate the music. I'm trying to add PDFs to all the music so you can download that to see the score. Alternatively, use a new browser!

Select a date below:


2013.12.13 - In Dulci Jubilo (hornpipe)

Here's a tune you might be sick of hearing if it's coming up to Christmas. This is perhaps the most common modern folk tune of all time. It's actually an old carol that was turned into this popular folk tune by Mike Oldfield. It's incredibly simple to play and shows you that learning by ear is nearly all about being able to sing the tune. I'm sure you can learn this in 10 minutes.

The video below shows Mike Oldfield's original version from the 1970s.

Download Score

X: 1
T: In Dulci Jubilo
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G|G2G B2c|d2e d2d|G2G B2c|d2e d3|
d2e d2c|B3 G3|A2A B2A|G2A B2c|
d2e d2c|B3 G2G|A2A B2A|G2A B3|
E2E F2F|G3 d3|B2B ABA|(G3 G2) ||

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2013.11.08 - (No tune this month)

This month we went over previous tunes and did not learn a new tune.


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2013.10.11 - Michael Turner's Waltz (waltz)

Michael Turner was an English fiddler from Sussex. Why this tune is named after him no one is really sure, because this tune is actually written by Mozart. It's Mozarts KV536 for Flute Trio. You can find Mozart's original score by going to http://dme.mozarteum.at/DME/nma/nmapub_srch.php?l=1 and after clicking "Ja", type 536 after the KV. Scroll to page 50 and there it is. It is essentially an English folk tune, but has been assimilated into the Irish repertoire.

I've added two extra parts for you to try playing as harmonies.

The recording below is me playing it on a guitar tunes Open-G tuning.

X: 1
T: Michael Turner's Waltz
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:GA | B2 BG cA | d2 d2 gf | e2 ef ge | d2 d2 GA |
B2 BG cA | d2 d2 cA | G2 GB AF | G4 :|
|: AB | c2 cd Bc | A2 A2 Bc |d2 de cd | B2 B2 gf |
e2 ef ge | d2 d2 GA | B2 Bc AB | G4 :|

X:2
T: Michael Turner's Waltz (2nd Part)
C: Dave Dupplaw
K: G
M: 3/4
|: DE | G2 GD AD | B2 B2 dB | c2 cd cd | B4 DE | 
G2 GD AD | B2 B2 GF | E2 EG FD | G4 :|
GF | E2 EG EG | F2 F2 DF | G2 GA BA | G2 G2 GB |
c2 cd cd | B2 B2 DF | G2 GB AF | G4 :|

X:3
T: Michael Turner's Waltz (3rd Part)
C: Dave Dupplaw
K: G
M: 3/4
|: GA | BA BA GE | DB, DE DB, | GF ED EF | GF GA GA |
BA BA GE | DB, DE DB, | CD EF ED | B,4 :|
DF | G2 Gc Gc | DE FG AB | DE DF DG | E4 EF |
GF DE FG | Bd BG DG | DF Ac AF |1 G4 |2 B4 :|

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2013.09.13 - Old Joe's (jig)

X: 1
T: Old Joe's
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
e|:"D"fAA AFA |"G" BAF "D"A2A | "G"BdB "D"AFA |"E7"Bcd "A7"efg |
"D"fAA AFA | "G"BAF "D"A2A |"G" BdB "D"AFA | "A7"Bdc "D"d3 :|
|: "D"faf "A"efe |"D" dBA d2e |"D" faa "G" afe |"D"faa "A7"b2a |
"D"faf "A"efe | "D"dBA d2e |"D" fAA AFA |"A7" Bdc "D"d3 :|

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2013.08.09 - The Rollicking Boys Of Tandragee (jig)

X: 1
T: The Rollicking Boys Of Tandragee
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:BAB EDE|BAB d2B|ABA DED|FED FGA
|BAB EDE|BAB def|edB AFA|BEE E3::
B2e efe|def afd|e3 d3|BAB dBA|
B2e efe|def afd|edB AFA|BEE E3:|

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2013.07.12 - Danse Breton (reel)

X: 1
T: Danse Breton
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
E2B2 B2AB|c3B A2FG|A2A2 B2 AG|FD EF G2F2|
E2B2 B2AB|c3B A2FG|A2A2 B2 AG|FD EF E2 ED:|
EB,E2 F2GF| EB,E2 F2G2|A2A2 B2 AG|FD EF G2F2|
EB,E2 F2GF| EB,E2 F2G2|A2A2 B2 AG|FD DF E2 ED:|

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2013.06.14 - The Lea Rig (Reel)

This month's tune is a Scottish reel (can be played as a humpty dumpty hornpipe too) in G major.

Robbie Burns wrote some words to this tune:

When o'er the hill the eastern star tells bughtin-time is near, my Jo;
And owsen frae the furrowed field return sae dowf and weary o;
Down by the burn where scented birks wi' dew are hanging clear, my Jo,
I'll meet thee on the lea-rig, my ain kind dearie, o!

In mirkest glen at midnight hour,, I'd rove and ne'er be eerie o,
If thro' that glen I gaed tae thee, my ain kind dearie o,
Altho' the night were ne'er sae wild, and I were ne'er sae weary, o,
I'd meet thee on the lea-rig, my ain kind dearie, o.

The hunter lo'es the morning sun, to rouse the mountain deer, my jo,
At noon the fisher seeks the glen, along the burn tae steer, my jo,
Gi'e the hour of gloaming grey, it maks my heart sae cheery, o,
Tae meet thee on the lea-rig, my ain kind dearie, o!

X:1
T: The Lea Rig
R: Reel
K: G
BA| B2D2D2E2 | G3AG2B2 | A3B cBAG | B2E2E2BG |
B2D2D2E2 | G3AG2gf | e3d efgd | B2G2G2:|
d | edefG2B2 | cBcde2G2 | AGAB cBAG | B2E2E2BA | 
B2D2D2E2 | G3AG2gf | e3d efgd | B2G2G2:|

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2013.05.10 - The Star Of Munster (reel)

The Star of Munster is a very common session reel in A dorian (A minor with an F#). You'll be hard pushed to find a session where people don't know this tune!

That said, it's not the easiest of tunes (just like The Irish Washerwoman!). The second part is particularly hard on the fiddle with the pinky getting a good work out on that high B. That high B can also be a real shreek on the whistles, so careful how you blow - only just enough to overblow to the high octave!

Accompanists can stick to A minor and G major chords for the most part. Experiment with C and Em7 for some more interesting variations. You can throw in the F major chord now and again, but be aware that A dorian has an F# in the key so if you are going to do that, learn where the F#s are in the tune and don't play it there because it'll clash!

X: 1
T: The Star Of Munster
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:c2Ac B2GB|AGEF GEDG|EAAB cBcd|eaaf gedB|
|c2Ac B2GB|AGEF GEDG|EAAB cBcd|ecdB A4:|
|:eaag ageg|agbg agef|g3a gede|gfga gede|
|eaag ageg|agbg agef|g2eg a2ga|b2gb aged:|

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2013.04.12 - Laride ("Gavotte") (Laride a six temps)

A change of country for today's tunes. We're heading over to France and introducing some Breton tunes. The first is a Laride in six - that is, there are 6 beats in the dance.

The Laride dance is a very simple arm swinging dance. For a Laride in six, you join hands in a circle and swing your bent arms back and forth twice, then once down. When you swing your arms down you step to your left. That's it. A Laride in eight you swing your arms down twice. Simple.

This tune is loosely associated with the Irish repertoire because the band Lunasa recorded this on their self-titled album (the first track after the Lord Mayo March). They called it Gavotte (hence the title in quotes) but it's not - it's a Laride.

The second tune isn't actually Breton but it's Breton-style. It was written by a local musician, Richard Wirdnam, and can be danced as a Laride in eight. Richard uses it in ceilidhs for a serpent dance. You can see Richard in his band Celtic Confusion playing the tune below.

X: 1
T: Laride ("Gavotte")
R: Laride a six temps
M: 12/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: AEAB c2 LBc dc Az | AEAB c2 LBc dc Az :|
| ecA ecA Lc2 Bcdz | ecA ecA Lc2 BcAz :|

X: 1
T: Estampie
R: Laride a huit temps
C: Richard Wirdnam
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
A3 B c2 d2 | c2 B2 A2 G2 | A3 B c2 d2 | c2 B2 A2 z2 |
A3 B c2 d2 | c2 B2 A2 Bc | d2 d2 c2 B2 | A2 G2 A2 z2 :|
K:Ddor
M:4/4
d3 d e2 d2 | c2 A2 B2 c2 | d3 d e2 d2 | c2 A2 B2 z2 |
d3 d e2 d2 | c2 A2 B2 Bc | d2 d2 c2 B2 | A2 G2 A2 z2 :|

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2013.03.08 - Tobin's Favourite (jig)

Tobin's is another very common session jig. I often use it in a warm up set with Out on the Ocean and the Cliffs of Moher, as they're a set of tunes that everyone in the session is likely to know, so it will get everyone's fingers in order.

It's in D major, so accompanists can stick to the 3 or 4 chord trick for backing.

Melody players can replace the FEF, GFG notes in the third and seventh bar of both parts with a roll, treble, or some variation such as FAA, GAA.

The tune is very old and was collected for the O'Neill's collection way back.

Also below is a video I made in 2010 - Tobin's is the middle tune.

X: 1
T: Tobin's Favourite
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
DFA dcd|ecA cde|fef gfg|ecA GFE|
DFA dcd|ecA cde|fef gfg|edc d3:||
|:dfa agf|efg efg|fef gfg|ecA GFE|
DFA dcd|ecA cde|fef gfg|edc d3:||

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2013.02.08 - (No tune this month)

This month we did the melodies to the songs Whiskey in the Jar, Star of the County Down and the Black Velvet Band.


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2013.01.11 - The Ships Are Sailing (reel)

The Ships Are Sailing is another very popular session reel and will go well with the previous reel, The Navvy on the Line.

X: 1
T: The Ships Are Sailing
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
Beed BcdB | AD FD AD FD | ~E3F GFGA | Beef gfed |
Beed BcdB | AD FD AD FD | ~E3F GFGA | Beed e4 :||
gfga bgeg | fefg afdf | gfga bgeg | fedf e2 ef |
gfga bgeg | fefg afdf | g2bg f2af | edef gfed :||

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