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!

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2014.08.08 - Dennis Murphy's (polka)

Here's another common session polka called Dennis Murphy's. It's also quite well know as a ceilidh tune. Dennis Murphy was one of the old itinterant fiddlers who moved to New York in the 1940s. He died back in 1974.

If you play the fiddle, bow out the short notes as it gives a more "Irish style" to the rythmn. You may hear this tune played with some small variations in the timing (where there are dotted quavers you may find it played with straight quavers).

There's a couple of tricky bits on the fiddle. Jumping from the low E to the high E in the third bar of the tune can be tricky at speed, as you have to jump the A string to get to the open E (you could finger the top E with your pinky but that's unusual in folk music). The other tricky part is the run in the last-but-one bar of the tune where you must jump from the high G to the C# which means jumping across string and forward. So practise those bits especially.

Chord-wise, it's pretty simple. I've added a couple of variations into the sheet music (using Em as a substitute for G). You could also make the B part more interesting by using a rising bass chord sequence (D- Em- D/F#- GA).

Download Score

X: 1
T: Dennis Murphy's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
"D"f/g/f/e/ d>B|AD FA|"Em"GE "A"e>f|"G"ed "A"BA|
"D"f/g/f/e/ d>B|AD FA|"G"GE "A"e>f|1ed "D"d2:|2 ed "D"dB||
|:"D"Af f/e/f|"G"Ag g/f/g|"D"Af f/e/g|"A"e/f/e/d/ BA|
"D"Af f/e/f|"G"Ag g>a|"A"ba gc| ed "D"d2 :||

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