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I originally did these books for my own use (I can't read a note!) and then put them together online and as a CD for
others to use.

YOU  DO  NOT  NEED   TO  BE  ABLE  TO  READ  MUSIC  TO  USE  THEM  !


THE BOOKS:

1)  O'NEILL'S MUSIC OF IRELAND (The 1850)

1851 tunes collected over the course of twenty -some -years by Daniel Francis O'Neill,  one-time Chief of Police of
Chicago, and published in 1903 by Lyon & Healy as a special-interest volume sponsored by the Irish Music Club of
Chicago.  It has endured over the years to it's Centenary as a useful record of the way Irish-Americans played and
perceived the musical tradition of Ireland and of the tunes themselves.

This particular compendium is somewhat different from the printed work, in that I have slowed it up a lot for teaching
purposes and have also endeavoured to amend the many errors and strange keys as found in the original.

Chief O'Neill actually hired Irish musicians onto the police force just so he could "pick their minds" and get more
tunes for the club's repetoire... the great Uilleann piper, Patrick "Patsy" Touhey was a Chicago Police member for
five years without once "hitting the pavement".  

Chief O'Neill and his main assistant,  Sg't. James B. O'Neill (no relation), were both trained musicians but were
'classically' trained and not brought up 'in the tradition', so that many original keys ignored and the tunes were set in
B-flat or E-flat... perfectly reasonable keys for a classically-trained flautist (Chief O'Neill) or violinist (Sg't. O'Neill)
but absolute horrors for the traditional musician who - if he ventures from the "Holy Triad" of G, D and A - may
occasionally visit C but shudders at F or E.

For that reason, I have transposed <almost> all the tunes into trad-friendly keys (and have also drawn on my
not-so-humble resources of having played IrTrad Music for nearly thirty years) correcting some of the more egregious
errors in the printed tunes.   The insanities perpetrated by the typesetting gnomes at Lyon & Healy were truly
inexplicable and have greatly limited the usability of many of the tunes over the years.  I worked on that.  A lot.

For those of you who would like a hard copy of the "O'Neill's Music Of Ireland - The 1850", they are readily
obtainable at most "folk" music stores or online at Ebay or half.com. I should warn you that there is a version out by
Dr. Miles Krassen which omits the entire "Airs & Songs" section as "irrelevant".

Dr. Krassen's version contains a great deal of scholarly work and is well worth the purchase for that reason alone,  but
for completeness, you'll want the other version now published by Mel Bay Inc.  Don't hesitate to
EMAIL me for
queestions on this point.

.................................................................................................................

ALLAN'S IRISH FIDDLER: 121 Irish tunes for the fiddle

A misnomer of sorts;  Mozart Allan was a publisher in Glascow who contracted with one Hugh McDermott (or
MacDermott) to compile a book of "standard" Irish dance tunes which he then published, sometime in the 1920's I
think.  The "wee book" has become the standard bible for session (seisun) players and most tunes therein should be
in the repetiore of any Irish "traditional" music player.  These tunes are used again and again on just about every
Irish musician's CD: they're THAT ubiquitous. Learn half of them and you'll be able to play at any ceildh or feish!  
Learn ALL of them and you'll be a legend.

Almost nothing is known of McDermott himself, indeed, a good "donnybrook" can be had whenever Irish musical
scholars congregate by stating that MacDermott was a Scot rather than an Irishman.  The "Irish  McDermott-ists"
will immediately descend upon the proponent of this lamentable viewpoint and will instantly encounter the "Scottish
MacDermott-ists" rising in defence (or vice-versa), but despite the shambles certainly ensuant, we are all indebted to
him forever for his choices of tunes for inclusion.  He created a mini-masterpiece which samples the playing styles and
favourite tunes of most of the differing sections of the Irish music community.

.................................................................................................................

The Complete Music Of O'Carolan

214 tunes attributable to Turlough O'Carolan,  a blind harper of the 18th
century and "The Patron Saint" of Irish Music.  

More information online at http://www.oldmusicproject.com/occ/tunes.html.

..............................................................................................................................................
BONUS BOOKS
..............................................................................................................................................

"The Catch Clubbe or The Merry Companions" & "The Schurr-Levicoff Collections"

There are very few ages in the history of Man where society as a whole was as licentious and economically "lopsided"
than that which obtained during the English "Restoration" period, usually considered to be from 1660 thru 1689,
although the licentiousness was still rampant (sorry!) for many years thereafter.

One of the things that we gained from that period was the "coffee shop"; another was the custom of well-founded
gentlemen of leisure and education composing and singing "parts-songs" of varying levels of bawdiness.  Many of the
more gifted musical personnel of the time were also exceptional toss-pots and rakes.  For some reason, these
attributes seemed to go ... ahhh.... "hand-in-hand".

The three and four part catches were for the most part written by musical professionals (they'd compose the most
magnificent oratorios in the praise of their Creator by day, and equally magnificent and complex
ouvres in praise of
some harlot's breasts at night and never think a dichotomy existed.  They are pure FUN to sing.
..............................................................................................................................................

"The Madrigals"

From 1540 thru 1620 or so, the true flowering of English vocal composition occurred, notably demonstrated by the
Madrigal.  Written by some of the greatest talents ever seen in music, they were composed in from four to as many as
twelve parts and the simpler verzions (four thru six voices) were routinely performed by courtiers of Elizabeth's reign
as an evening's entertainment.  For a gentleman or Lady of the era, musical accomplishment was as necessary as
physical attractiveness or knowledge of the "manners of court".

Of particular note are the compositions of Thomas Morley, and (to my thinking) the epitome of these is the eight-part
canzonette, "Fyre, Fyre".  It, along with many other wonderful pieces, is contained in this small but representative
collection.  As you may suppose,  this section of the endeavour gave me the most problems but is the most rewarding
of all the work I've done in transcription.

Click here to hear the
MIDI version.  It should open in your MediaPlayer or WinAmp clone.
..............................................................................................................................................

So, that's what's included, along with five years of effort, revision, angst, heartburn, frustration and enjoyment.

I hope you'll be as appreciative of the music as I have always been and will spare a thought for poor old Sir Henry
Purcell (yes, THAT Purcell!), who came home one night so drunk that his wife locked him out of the house in January,
in consequence whereof he contracted pneumonia and died soon after.   An appropriate end for as dissolute a
reprobate as he, but a tragic end for a musical genius whose like has not again been seen.


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