Where to Find it?!!!!

Where to Find it?!!!!

This has probably been asked and doesn’t make much sense to ask, but I live in a place where sometimes the tunes I am crazy about, have never been heard of and I can’t find any sheet music for it (I am still having trouble with learning by ear and need a bit of a helper.) I’ve tried searching here and have tried asking other musicians, with no luck, so I am wondering if there are books/anything that may contain a lot of traditional Scottish/Irish tunes. Any recommendations???

Sorry if that sounds confusing, it sounded better in my head! *blush* ๐Ÿ™‚


Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

I don’t know much about Scottish Music but there are many tunebooks of Irish music.
There are five volumes of "Ceol Rince na hEireann" Which are all excellent. The famous "O’Neill’s Music of Ireland" which people either love or hate depending on which publishing/edition you get. One lesser known collection which I like a lot is "Bulmer & Sharpley’s music of Ireland" there are 4 volumes of that as well. Check out celticgrooves or the knotted chord for these books. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, there’s a huge amount of books out there.

Be wary of the books though, us it as a crutch only. Never try to learn a tune that you haven’t heard before just from the book. You’re bound for a bum setting or adding a weird typo. You’re better off working on your ear.

Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

Karen, go to the "tunes" section. Search for the tune. If you can’t find it, then request it using that tool in the Tunes Section. If no one answers, try e-mailing Will Harmon directly using The Session’s e-mailing tool and begging piteously, because the poor man can’t resist a direct request for help even if he’s crazy-busy (and sometimes *because* he’s crazy-busy). *grin* Brad’s another good person to try. (Not to worry, he’s actually quite kind, contrary to sometime appearances. No, really. *snort*) If after this you’re still completely desperate, broadcast an all-points bulletin in a post somewheres in the discussion boards, preferably while discussing something else so as to avoid The Wrath of Jeremy (or at least Jeremy’s Irritation, which is sometimes worse, heheheh).

P.S. If you’re crazy about a tune, you had to have heard it somewhere. If it’s a recording, well then, slow the thing down and learn it by ear or listen to it for a million repititions until you can sing every single note down to the ornaments and then play it very slowly until you have it. If you can’t manage that, then get me or somebody at the session at Conor’s to learn it for you, and WE"ll learn it and teach it to you. I’m even fairly sure that your teacher Emily would do that as well. If she won’t, maybe she’s trying to get you to do one of these things on your own. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sucks posting on a board where someone knows your teacher, don’t it? *grin*


Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

Oy, yes I’m a glutton for punishment, aren’t I? ๐Ÿ™‚

But seriously, Karen, I’d be happy to help you track down a tune now and then, although my repertoire of Scottish stuff is relatively limited.

It *does* help to learn how to learn tunes by ear, but in my book there’s nothing wrong with using sheet music or abcs in the beginning to help you understand what you’re hearing. Once you get used to the idioms of this music, you won’t need notation, but if you can understand written music, it’s a useful key to unlock how the music fits together—phrasing, location of ornaments, common melodic motifs, etc.

Let me know.

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Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

P.S. I will likely be off line for a few days due to house remodeling. If I don’t respond right away, that’s the reason.

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Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

A good starting point for Scottish tunes are the Taigh na teud publications
Try Session tunes for Scottish fiddlers vol 1 and 2 and the Well travelled fiddler’s collection for a start.
Also Ceol Na Fidhle-Highland tunes for the fiddle about 6 volumes now
There’s also Ceilidh Collections Vol 1 to 4 (Some of these tunes are for beginners but there’s plenty of good stuff here as well).

You can check out these books and other publications at


Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

feel free to drop me a line.


Karen, just so’s you know — we tease Brad about being The Session.org’s official Curmudgeon. But he’s actually quite a nice guy, according to his wife. *grin* John Harvey vouches for him too, so we figure it’s not just his wife being biased. ๐Ÿ™‚


Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

Before you splash out on meatspace books (with greatest respect to that medium), there’s a huge amount available online. Check the ‘Links’ page here at The Session - there are leads to a good range of tune collections, mostly Irish but also Scottish and others. There are also links to search facilities (e.g. JC’s tune finder).

Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

JohnJ’s got the scottish tunes sussed. Listen to his wise words (the session books will keep you goin’ for a while in my opinion, especially if you cabn’t afford to buy too many books). Balnain House in Inverness is a great place to buy tunebooks, I’m sure they’d ship them if you express an interest.

Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

Another good source of international traditional music is:


You may download tunes from this site in low resolution format. However a better bet is to purchase their two CD’s which contain higher resolution graphics. These two CD’s contain about 16,000 tunes between them (although some are duplicates). Some are in Noteworthy format but the CD’s contain the necessary software for viewing and printing them.

JohnJ’s advice about Taigh na Teud is very sound as Christine (Fiddler) and Alasdair Martin have done a great job publishing their collections of Scottish, with some Irish fiddle tunes.

The ‘Simon Fraser’ collection of Scottish Fiddle tunes is also available in Canada as a re-print, together with a lot of other publications, CD

Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

Careful David If you mention "you know who’s" site on this forum your liable to get cesnsored.


Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

What on earth are you talking about, Pied Piper?

Nobody’s ever been censored for linking to an external site, especially not such an excellent resource as JC’s TuneFinder.

I think you’re a bit confused: a discussion that begins with "where can I find such and such a tune?" will be deleted (because that is what the Tunes section is for). Now, a "discussion" like that may contain a reference to JC’s TuneFinder but that’s not the reason why the discussion would be deleted.

I hope that’s cleared up your confusion. You can now safely remove that chip from your shoulder. ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

Thanks everyone, but I have searched on here, and the tunes I would recommend are not that popular, I have doubts of finding them….I’m probably wrong, aren’t I? *blush*

Zina, I will ask Emily, but I think she’ll be just as stumped as I am!!!…..funny isn’t it when I even get her confused!!! lol ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you Brad, Will, and John, I do have a few tunes hanging on my mind that I just really want to find!

Thank you Scaper, I will check those out! ๐Ÿ™‚

I know I’m going to be hated for this, but I really want to learn Scottish fiddle……(I love Irish too, I’m bouncing back and forth at the moment)….and many of the tunes I can only learn by ear, but have not done very well as far as that way, so that’s why I wanted to know about the books…….but I will always love learning tunes from people, so no, you’re all right, I don’t want to depend on books ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you!

Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

One great source of Scottish tunes is any CD by Bonnie Rideout. She has several on Maggie’s Music label, or her new one on her own label. She also has several tune books to accompany the CDs. Check out www.bonnierideout.com. Bonnie has spent a lot of time in Scotland searching through the old manuscripts for tunes.

Another possible source is a hammered dulcimer site run by the Kitchen Musician. I think it is www.kitchiegal.com, or something like that. She has many Scottish tunes in MIDI and gif format, as well as some really inexpensive tune books with many lesser-known tunes.

Hope this helps,


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Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

If the tunes you’re looking for are standards, keep following leads like the ones already given in this thread & you’ll probably find them. If they’re newly composed tunes, often the only source will be an album recorded by the tune’s author (eg John McCusker - and if you don’ t have any of his solo recordings you should). So if it’s that kind of stuff you want, it’s even more important to get better at learning tunes by ear.

I don’t know if it’s appropriate to your experience level, but one tool you might find useful for working on ear training would be a CD specifically recorded for that purpose, with tunes played solo at a moderate tempo. For Scottish fiddle in particular, you could do a lot worse than Laura Risk’s tutor CD (privately published: http://laurarisk.tripod.com/tunes2001). Laura studied with Alistair Fraiser & regularly teaches at Valley of the Moon. Incidentally, although she’s classically trained, she never to my knowledge teaches from the dots - when my daughter started with her Laura told her "you learn this music by listening to it".

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Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

What in the heck does "?!!!" mean. Emphatically confused?

Re: Where to Find it?!!!!

I’m a desperate teen who is about to pull out my hair!!!…….but with all this *very kind* help, I’m begining to learn how to breath again ๐Ÿ™‚

Does that help?!!!!!!!!!!!……..kidding ๐Ÿ™‚, I meant, Does that help? ๐Ÿ™‚


Thank you all…….I’ll start researching (enjoy it quite a bit ๐Ÿ™‚, but you all are right, I *do* want to learn by ear, so I will keep trying that too! ๐Ÿ™‚……no matter *how* many times I have to keep that one tune on *repeat* ๐Ÿ™‚