Obscure Tunes

Obscure Tunes

Hi!

Does anyone know some solid tunes that aren’t too common but are still Irish? I’ve found that some of the most beautiful tunes are the most rarely heard.

Thanks
Michael

Re: Obscure Tunes

I don’t know if this is extremely “obscure” so to speak but I know it’s not played very often at the session I go to anyway. It’s also a great tune in my opinion.


https://thesession.org/tunes/166

Re: Obscure Tunes

Sure, the old collections are full of them - James Goodman, The Gunn Book, Petrie, Bunting, etc.

Re: Obscure Tunes

Kellie, that is quite common.

Posted by .

Re: Obscure Tunes

Billy Ballantyne’s is a lovely tune, Kellie!

Re: Obscure Tunes

Would you know how to find these collections, An Draighean? It’d be great to have a look at them.

Re: Obscure Tunes

Michael said: “Would you know how to find these collections, An Draighean? It’d be great to have a look at them.”

The Goodman collection has been thoroughly edited by Hugh & Lisa Shields, and published in two volumes by the ITMA as “Tunes of the Munster Pipers”.
http://www.itma.ie/itmashop/product/tunes-of-the-munster-pipers/

The Gunn Book has been heavily excerpted in the book “Hidden Fermanagh”, published by the Fermanagh Traditional Music Society. Sharon Creasey, who did the transcriptions, is a member here on the mustard board and can sell you a copy.

The Bunting and Petrie collections have been widely reproduced over the years and are available on-line for free. Again, the ITMA is a great resource.

I still like O’Neill’s collections, especially his 1001 Gems, The Dance Music of Ireland, which is also widely available in reproduction, though those tunes are not as old as the previous collections mentioned.

Re: Obscure Tunes

Two tunes I’ve been learning recently are ‘Molloy’s Wife’ played by Paddy Breen (on one of the recent Topic compilations; not to be confused with ‘Molloy’s Favourite’ which is completely different) and ‘Forgetting the Lesson’ by Packie Manus Byrne.

I don’t know if they’re obscure tunes - but neither are transcribed on this site, and I’m not aware of either tune having been recorded by anyone other than the players I’m learning them from.

Re: Obscure: “ some of the most beautiful tunes are the most rare…”

I have to say I have found commonly heard tunes can also be very beautiful, even if only rarely, when session players (I don’t know how to say it) … come together & find something in the tune, in the moment, some shared experience.(?)

Posted by .

Re: Obscure Tunes

Right with ya AB. Obscure tunes can be, and often are, lovely, but no more so than the tunes that show up all the time. “Bad” tunes just don’t get played. Wouldn’t you say that the reason tunes become “common” is because they’re really great tunes? By all means seek out the obscure. Let’s not forgot how good the chestnuts had to be to become the tunes we all know.

Re: Obscure Tunes

In addition to ITMA many tune books can be found for free on IMSLP/Putrucci Music Library - https://imslp.org/ - just type in Bunting, Petrie etc. or search “music Ireland”, “music Scotland” etc.

Re: Obscure Tunes

My favourite “obscure” tune - still haven’t heard anyone else play it since I first heard it in 1983, although Orlaith McAuliffe has a “minor” version of it - see “Discussion” :

https://thesession.org/tunes/7685

Posted by .

Re: Obscure Tunes

How about obscure tunes in connection with common ones? The 28th Of January, Glasgow Reel (Tamlin) followed Batchelder’s. A most baffling presentation the first time around. Batchelders is in F, just to frustrate the final result.

Re: Obscure Tunes

Warning: there is often a very good reason why a particular tune is obscure. This is as true for traditional music, as it is for the classical world. Even Mozart could write clinkers, and did!

Re: Obscure Tunes

Lady Walpole’s Reel - originally and best in Bb, tho some play it in G.
Ross’ Reel Number Four - in F.

Money Musk might be obscure now, tho commonly played many years ago.
vlnplyr

Re: Obscure Tunes

What’s obscure in my area might be a chestnut someplace else. All of a sudden, someone starts a tune you’ve learned from a recording over 20 years ago but still haven’t haven’t played with anyone else (it happened to me a handful of times this year!).

Re: Obscure Tunes

As some people already said - pick up a printed collection of tunes (one of the massive ones) and flip through the pages trying tune after tune. When I first started playing I had the O’Neill’s collection and learned most of my tunes from there just by browsing its pages. The problem was that most of the tunes I did learn were pretty obscure (in my part of the world anyways) so no one knew the tunes I was playing when I went to sessions. Not the best way to start when new to sessions and music. haha

Posted by .