Fernando Durbán Galnares

tunebook 65 tunes.

bookmarks 24 bookmarks.

Madrilian living in Tenerife that lived before in Ireland (6 years and a half in Galway and 3 years and a half in Cork).

I wrote a quite long text here, It is organised in two parts, (you will see them separated by a line):

1. ABC NOTATION
2. INSTRUMENTS I PLAY

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ABC NOTATION

(Updated 11/01/20201)

I always played by hear and I never knew the notes in any of the instruments I tried to play. But last year I got into the ABC notation and I just love it. I went crazy submitting tunes in this website (the only place I do it) for a few months. Now I have decided to almost put a halt to this crazy frenzy that hit me. Well, not completely of course, I will submit tunes eventually.

These are some of the things I may be doing from time to time:

Sometimes I just post new settings of tunes that already exist, other times they are new tunes. Sometimes with no ornamentation, other times I include some. Most of the time I publish Irish trad, but other times I publish Spanish trad.

Regarding settings of tunes that already exist:

I always have in my head a setting of the tune that is made from years of going to different sessions in pubs from different places I lived (Madrid, Galway and Cork) or the setting may just come from any of the high amount of albums I listened and I still listen. I like chords and I always try to find them in internet, I usually check them out with my ukulele.

One thing I started doing recently and I will continue doing in the future is to write settings of tunes for mouth whistling. I haven’t seen this before in this website and I think it is a good idea for those that like to whistle like me.

Regarding new tunes:

I am very interested in Traditional Music from different regions in Spain, mainly music from Galicia and Asturias that have similarities to Irish trad, but I do like other regions like Cantabria (also "Celtic"), Basque Country, Castille (I am from Madrid) and even Canary Islands (I live in Tenerife).

The thing is that this website has more to do with Irish Traditional Music than music from other traditions. Therefore what I do is to post a few Irish tunes, usually five tunes (a few settings of existing tunes and one or two new ones) and then I can post one from Spain.

The new Irish tunes can be tunes from O’Neill’s that were not still in the website, compositions from well known Irish musicians (for this I got the idea of making lists and posting them in the discussion section) and tunes I get by hear from YouTube.

Regarding ornamentation:

I really like ornamentation and I do think that it is something that can be written in the music score. I’m aware of the limits of this and I will always be careful when writing ornaments. Because for me the first thing is the audio output: if I see that what I write doesn’t sound well in the audio output generated by the page, I won’t write it at all. This is because I always learned tunes 100% by ear and when I write ABC I will always have in mind all of those that will prefer using their ear to learn tunes.



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INSTRUMENTS I PLAY

(Updated 06/09/2020)

Over the years I have been playing different instruments, the ones I play now are diatonic harmonica, chromatic harmonica and ukulele for chords (06/09/20).

I lived about 10 years and a half in Ireland and I miss it quite a lot. One of the main reasons I went there it is of course the Irish Traditional Music.

Playing instruments is a hobby for me, I will always play something. No matter which instrument and if I play well or bad, as we say in Spain, "I need it like water".

Instruments that I played in the past and I still have but for the moment I’m not playing any more:

English system concertina: I have two Wheatstone concertinas, I was playing melodies with them for about three years.

Fiddle: only playing in first position, I played for about three years.

Tin whistle: I played like mad for about 12 years. Thanks to it I developed a quite fine hear. The bad thing is that I finally realised too late that I got all the ornamention wrong and It was too late to undo all of the bad habits I had, It would take a lot of work. One day I hope to come back to it and learn the ornaments bit by bit, for the moment I’m not planning to do it in the near future. I only use the tin whistle now to look for tunes in Tunepal.

Regarding the instruments I play now:

Harmonicas: this is my earliest instrument, I play it since I was a teenager. The problem is that after I play for a while, 30 minutes or so, my lips go sore and if I continue they can get pretty bad. I play diatonic and chromatic harmonicas.

Diatonic harmonica: what I usually do is to play tunes with the diatonic harmonica and if I see it is not possible, that is when I go to the standard chromatic harmonica. I play tremolo diatonic harmonicas, I’m always playing a cheap one of the make Hero in C but I have three Tombo harmonicas (G, D and C). Sometimes I accompany myself with the ukulele at the same time.

Chromatic harmonica: For the tunes that cannot be played with the diatonic, I go for the chromatic. I usually go for the easiest option: I play in the key with less alterations, and most of the time It isn’t a session key. But I do like to play in many keys, sometimes I accept the challenge of playing in the original key. What can happen as well is the fact that the harmonica has broken notes and I have to avoid them. As a result of that I find myself playing in very uncommon keys. I have a Hohner Cromonica 280 C with a few notes broken in the C row and a Hohner Toots Mellow Tone in a perfect condition.

Ukulele: I started doing chords with the ukulele about 7 years ago, I love playing the accompaniment of the tunes. I depend on finding the chords in Internet. I sometimes use it to accompany myself when I’m playing the diatonic harmonicas and many times to accompany my whistling.

Mouth whistling: I absolutely love whistling. I have been doing it since I was a little child. I take it quite seriously and I am always trying to improve my whistling. Many times I accompany myself with the ukulele.