Piano arrangements of ITM

Piano arrangements of ITM

I know, I know, that’s mutually exclusive except as an accompaniment instrument, but I had a query from a friend about piano arrangements of common ITM tunes. A quick google didn’t find much beyond Danny Boy. I vaguely recall reading that Chief O’Neill’s daughter did some piano arrangements but haven’t found any further info about that either. Any (printable) thoughts on sources?

Thanks.

Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

Fairly sure I’ve come across a few on Bandcamp. Vaguely remember sheet music available. Haven’t been able to find them again with a few quick searches, maybe you could.

Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

I’m not sure what your friend is after, but tunes can most certainly be enjoyed on piano apart from accompaniment.

I have a physical copy of Geraldine Cotter’s “Seinn an Piano”. It’s a tutorial book, and has a couple dozen tunes arranged for melody with self-accompaniment. If your friend plans on picking it up though, be careful where you order it from. The first store I ordered it from was out of stock and didn’t realize it. My 2nd order went through fine but unfortunately I don’t remember which store I bought it from.

https://mcneelamusic.com/accessories/geraldine-cotter-seinn-an-piano-piano-solo-instrumental-tutor/

It truly is a beautiful book. Feel free to pm me if you or your friend wants more info.

With all of that being said, I’m preparing to complete my own piano tuition and will be making my own arrangements for tunes on piano after my studies are over. I thoroughly enjoy playing Traditional tunes for solo piano.

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I was, in fact thinking of referencing your own playing as a good example Jerone, but I know that you are a modest man so I hesitated.

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Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

The book Ancient Irish Airs and Dances: 201 Classic Tunes Arranged for Piano by George Petrie is a subset of the traditional Irish music included in the large earlier book The Petrie Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland. Originally published in 1877, there is a Dover reprint of it available. Dover also publishes the similar book The Ancient Music of Ireland Arranged for Piano by Edward Bunting. Both are available from major book vendors.

Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

"I was, in fact thinking of referencing your own playing as a good example Jerone, but I know that you are a modest man so I hesitated."

Thank you Gobby. The problem is, I never completed my initial piano studies for Irish music, so I don’t presently have a lot to offer in the way of guidance or entertainment. However, while the world is in pandemic I’m currently focused on solving the mystery of constructing bass lines and chord progressions for Irish melodies. It’s the 4th big project I’ve taken up this year 🙂

Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

Probably not much help to the OP, but since I have been playing traditional music on piano, I have just used a melody line for right hand and made up the left hand from the chords supplied, using a variety of styles: block chords, arpeggioid, bass/chord vamp, etc, according to what the tune seems to require. I will also put in right-hand chords or harmony sometimes, again aligned to the chord structure. If you have a good knowledge of what notes are in all your chords, this approach is quite effective.
I find some of the written left hand arrangements are impossible for my small hands or require far too much jumping about for my level of ability!

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These links to downloadable .pdf files of old piano arrangements of Irish music may be of interest:

"Ancient Music of Ireland, Arranged for the Piano Forte" by Edward Bunting (1796)
A General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music, Containing a Variety of Admired Airs never before Published and also the Compositions of Conolan and Carolan, Collected from the Harpers &c. in the different Provinces of Ireland, and adapted for the Piano-Forte. Included are 66 tunes which Bunting had notated at the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792. The festival assembled the remaining traditional harp players of Ireland, in all ten Irish harpers and one Welsh harper.
https://tinyurl.com/y5tb8gzh

"Ancient Irish Music" by Patrick Weston Joyce (1890)
Comprising one hundred airs hitherto unpublished, many of the old popular songs, and several new songs. Harmonies by Professor Glover.
https://tinyurl.com/y3xqrtvk

Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

Great resources, thank you very much, joe fidkid.

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Thanks to both Joe and AB. Lots to explore!

Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

Don’t forget the Bothy Band

Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

No pianos in the Bothy Band.

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Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

I may be wrong, but in that case, it’s up to you to point out on which tracks recorded by the Bothy Band she played piano.
They didn’t make that many recordings - I’ll give you a start from the LP sleeve notes :
"Old Hag You Have Killed Me" - Triona ni Dhomhnaill : vocals, clavinet, harmonium
"Out Of The Wind, Into The Sun" - Triona ni Dhomhnaill : vocals, clavinet

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Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

I seem to recall a recording from decades ago with Eugene O’Donnell on fiddle and James MacCafferty on piano. James took several solo breaks. Included a number of lovely slow airs.

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Kenny, did the Bothy Band record everytime they played?

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Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

Confession: I am perhaps the more amateur pianist of most members here who post replies about piano in ITM. My reply was never intended to suggest Kenny was wrong. Never; not even for one second!

Having said that the Bothy Band was amazing in many respects; including what they did w/harmony, keyboard, vocals, etc. I accept absolutely Kenny knows which instruments were played better than I ever will. My intention is not to challenge the accuracy of anything he posted.

My intention is to point out one does not need piano per se to develop piano arrangements. In this respect the Bothy Band recordings may be resourceful for pianists’ considering how to play ITM on the keyboard they’re playing even if your’s isn’t Triona’s clavinet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SlMGxaQLXQ

… or even a keyboard;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtY6mi0oS2w

…or if you still need to hear some piano maybe a cover helps;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzv_H-O1phw

…or whatever works for you; maybe this final bit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERYtSTTGlYY

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Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

Thanks Jerone! Had wanted to get something like the Geraldine Cotter book for a friend who is muttering about playing tunes on piano but needs a map. Its on its way to her house as I type 🙂

Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

O’Neill’s Irish Music: 400 Choice Selections arranged for Piano or Violin, was written by Francis O’Neill and Selena O’Neill, not his daughter and not a relative. It seems to be hard to find

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Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

Thanks all for the extensive input.

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Here is the link to the "Irish Folk Music Collections" page in the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) / Petrucci Music Library.
https://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Irish_Folk_Music/Collections
Sorry : no abc there, only scores.
But you may find a few interesting collections (including 19-th century collections arranged for solo piano) you don’t know yet.
There are a few surprises as well, for example 3 books of "Irish songs" composed by Beethoven for 1 or 2 voices, violin, cello and piano ("WoO" is the German abreviation for "Work without opus-number").
You can download any score for free, but if you’re not a member (little fee per year), you just have to wait 15 seconds before the download starts.
Enjoy.

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Re: Piano arrangements of ITM

I just realized Selena O’Neill’s piano arrangements dance tunes from O’Neill’s collection are available at the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/popularselection00onei/page/n3/mode/2up

The Chief’s introduction assures you that wh "harmonization of traditional Irish music, easy as it may appear, is not unattended with difficulties; and while most modem musicians render Irish Airs acceptably, few of them have a true conception of the peculiar rhythm or saving of Irish Dance Music, without which it loses its charm and spirit… It is confidently hoped that the simple accompaniment to the numbers in this Selection, by one possessed of the ability to give this class of tunes proper musical expression, -will prove to be a welcome innovation.

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