Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

You are sent to a desert island. You have your instrument and can take one book. Which is the best collection of tunes these days?

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

This raises the perennial issue of what is ‘best’? What is best from your outlook?

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

Off the top of my head I’d say make sure the island has some upland first, wi-fi and a way to charge batteries 2nd and then I’d bookmark some trad podcasts. Like this one; http://irishflute.podbean.com/2007/05/14/out-on-the-ocean/

Posted by .

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

The "Collection of Pipe-friendly Tunes" by John Walsh and the Seattle Pipers Club would be the one I would take, but it may be out-of-print - It’s not on their web site any more.

Other than that, "Tunes of the Munster Pipers" or "O’Neills 1001 Gems" for me; your mileage may vary.

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

O’Neill’s is always a classic, but really, who could ever pick just one?

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

I would want to have the Bulmer Sharpley collection V1-4: http://www.capeirish.com/webabc/working/source.folders/bsmi/bsmi_project_home.html

In order to keep me alive, I’d have faith that the promise of V5 would someday be published (as mentioned in V4). B&S represents ~350 excellent tunes that were known during the 1970’s. The originals were type set, except for volume 2, which was hand written, and the hardest to find.

The CapeIrish project transcribed all of the B&S tunes to ABC format (a very selfless thing to do for all of us), so, my desert isle would need a computer, printer (requisite ink supplies), and a minimum of 175 pieces of paper.

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

I would go with the Foinn Seisiún books (and/or the recordings). Volume 2 or 3, as I already have most of book 1 down.

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

I second "Tunes of the Munster Pipers" aka the Goodman collection.

But I just can’t wait to hear Bear Grylls’ comments on this 🙂

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

BTW I hope you meant a deserted island, not a desert island 🙂

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

There isn’t a best printed collection of tunes, unless you’re thinking aesthetically as regards layout, typography etc. Otherwise if I had to take just one book it would be one of these:

Trip to Sligo / Bernard Flaherty
Ceol rince na hÉirerann 1 / Brendan Breathnach
The northern fiddler / Doherty & Feldman
Bulmer & Sharpley 1

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

On a deserted island, armed with my border pipes, I’d take either the David Glen collection or the William Ross collection of pipe tunes. And if I had to choose, probably Glen.

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

Kinda surprised that no one has mentioned the Seattle session tune book "Smoke In Your Eyes" about 270 pages of workable tunes found almost everywhere. Out of print now but not off the planet. I wonder what it wounld take to the author to offer it again?

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

A pedant writes: re the Bulmer and Sharpley collections mentioned above - The originals were not type set. Vols 1 and 2 were handwritten by Neil Sharpley but without the nicety of treble clefs and any accidentals were placed after the relevant notes. Vol 1 was subsequetly represented in a clearer and more conventional format but still hand written using Rapidograph pen and ruler. Vols 3 and 4 were produced in similar fashion, although there was one tune added using Letraset dry transfers. Vol 2 was never revised. Vol 5 never happened. I wonder if there are any surviving original Vol 1 copies out there? Anybody (else) got a copy of Sean Maguires "Tunes by the 100"?

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

I think what I have are copies of Bulmer & Sharpley v. 1-3. Probably v. 4. They are basically what was going around when I first began playing tunes in the late 1980s-early 90s. At the time I did not know they were from Bulmer & Sharpley. But after reading several references on thesession.org that must be where they are from.

Posted by .

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

Somehow, there is pleasure in needling a pedant. Concerning Bulmer and Sharpley, all volumes of the collection had hand written notation.

Volume 2 is much cruder and as explained by our critic, it was not revised to be as clearly notated, or adorned with stylized titles as the other volumes were.

Volumes 1, 3, and 4 have treble clef and key markings, and the accidentals that occur are properly written to be just before the note affected.

Volume 2 does not indicate the treble clef, but unless you’re playing a viola, cello, bass, or other non-treble clef instrument, it’s fairly standard that these would be treble clef tunes, however, in this case our pedant is correct for this volume. Further, in volume 2, because it is the anomaly of the three, I have have only found a few incorrect accidental notations (where the affected note precedes the accidental sign), such as tune #33 ‘Paddy Fahey’s No 2’, where in bar #3 a C natural is noted behind the note. (This doesn’t seem to be a convention as much as an occasional mistake which would require more tedious hours of hand copyrighting to correct.)

Concerning the Letraset dry transfer - I’d be curious to know which volume this tune was in, and what number it is. I have a set of the original second edition 1,3, and 4 volumes in their plastic binding with colored covers. Not ‘original’ originals, but a set from very early on (dated 1974, but probably acquired around 1980) that I’ve kept and copied for use. I could never find a super clean copy of volume 2 (the un-revised one - they’re surely quite rare), and I cobbled the one I have together with the help of friends who appreciate such things (who are also quite rare).

By the way, concerning the OP, I’d also settle for all of the Ceol rince na hÉirerann v1-5, but if only one book is allowed, I’d take volume 2.

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

I heard that Neil Sharpley contacted a well-known stepdancer and flute player with a view to collaborating on a new series of tunebooks, but he Flatley refused…

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

That’s a real Bulmer…

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

ross, I’m with you on "Smoke In Your Eyes"

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

Another thumbs-up for "Smoke in Your Eyes." My fiddler S.O. managed to find a copy somewhere. It’s a good selection of tunes in settings you might find traveling around to different sessions. It’s difficult to track down, because aside from being out of print, most of the online searches will land on a popular book from a few years ago about working in a crematory.

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

I have and make use of Bulmer, O’Neill’s, and others mentioned above, but three compact books I bought in Ennis years ago contain simple settings of many common session tunes. I certainly don’t need transcriptions, just the bare bones of tunes commonly known. The books are:

Music For The Sets, compiled by David J. Taylor, "the blue book"

ditto — "the yellow book", and:

Irish Session Tunes by Geraldine Cotter

Perhaps "Smoke In Your Eyes" could substitute for all three of the above, but I suspect the settings might be "PNW Regional". It’s a great collection, though!.

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

Kinda surprised that no one has mentioned the Seattle session tune book "Smoke In Your Eyes" about 270 pages of workable tunes found almost everywhere. Out of print now but not off the planet. I wonder what it wounld take to the author to offer it again?

I believe you can purchase Smoke In Your Eyes at Dusty Strings-That’s where I got my copy about 6 months ago

Re: Which is the best printed collection of tunes?

Thanks all.