150 Gems of Irish Music for Tin Whistle - CD 1, part 1

By Grey Larsen

Six comments

“150 Gems of Irish Music for Tin Whistle” book & 2 CDs - by Grey Larsen

with suggested ornamentation and phrasing…

Grey Larson - http://greylarsen.com/
Mel Bay, 2013 MB98215BCD
http://www.melbay.com/Products/98215BCD/150-gems-of-irish-music-for-tin-whistle.aspx
ISBN: 978-078-668-479-3

Discussion: New book from Grey Larsen, “150 Gems of Irish Music for Tin Whistle”
# Posted by westside - March 25th, 2013
https://thesession.org/discussions/31582

An interview with Grey Larsen about his latest book from Mel Bay. The first of four to be published in 2013.
https://soundcloud.com/wooddm/grey-larsen-150-gems-of-irish


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CD #1 = Tunes 1 - 94
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Section One: Whistle Friendly Tunes, , pages 46 - 80 & Tunes 1 - 94
Tunes:
_1 - 30 = jigs
31 - 72 = reels
73 - 83 = hornpipes
84 - 86 = slip jigs
87 = polka
88 & 89 = slide
90 & 91 = march
92 = set dance
93 & 94 = harp piece, O’Carolan

“150 Gems of Irish Music for Tin Whistle” ~ the book and its Table of Contents:

__3. ) Dedication

__4. ) Acknowledgments and Credits

__5. ) Introduction

_11. ) Chapter One: Ornamentation and Its Notation

_25. ) Chapter Two: Modes and Other Notation Matters

_30. ) Chapter Three: Breathing and Phrasing

_45. ) SECTION ONE: Whistle-Friendly Tunes
- - - - - Jigs / Reels / Hornpipes / Other Tune Types

_83. ) SECTION TWO: Tunes of Non-Wind Origin
- - - - - Jigs / Reels / Hornpipes / Other Tune Types

_99. ) SECTION THREE: Tunes for Non-D Whistles
- - - - - Jigs / Reels / Hornpipes / Other Tune Types

134. ) Contents of the Companion CDs

136. ) Index of Tune Titles

137. ) Index of Tunes by Tune Type

138. ) Index of Tune Sources

139. ) About the Author

139. ) Books and Recordings by Grey Larsen

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& from page 8: The Companion CDs

Despite the fact that these transcriptions include ornamentation and breathing suggestions, music notation can never fully convey the richness of traditional music. The companion CDs are therefore an essential component of this collection. Below each tune transcription you’ll find a reference to its CD location.

On these CDs I play all 150 tunes on tin whistle one time through*, with the ornamentation as notated. When I take a breath, it is in accord with each tune’s notated breathing suggestions. Tunes 1 through 94 (the Whistle-Friendly Tunes) are on CD #1, tunes 95 through 150 on CD #2. Recordings of some of the musical examples from pp. 15 - 40 are found after the tunes on CD #2.

When learning tunes from the recordingsm, you may find it helpful to slow them down. You can do so with various software programs and hardware devices.

( * and a bit, so you can follow the change from the last part back to the first. He plays these at a nice leisurely pace, easy to follow, and clear playing, but as he suggests, you can always use software or hardware to slow them down further. )

“150 Gems of Irish Music for Tin Whistle” book & 2 CDs - by Grey Larsen - Respect!

Yes, it is that good, and it deserves the little time I’ve given this to add it to the database, a well thought out resource with a slew of good versions of tunes well played.

While not really for the absolute beginner, if you’ve a few tunes under your belt, are taking classes, attending workshops, getting some one-on-one or following a decent tutor, book & recording(s), then this would be a great additional source for furthering your repertoire and your understanding and appreciation of both the music and the whistle.

What’s WRONG with it? ~ Grey has done a great job on this and the main physical failing is not his fault but that of his publisher. Mel Bay has cut corners and the CDs are poor quality blue dye burn-to media. So far, and a long experience here, this is the only large publisher I know of who has resorted to this. All their competition, including smaller publishers, get the job done proper. In our not small collection, including the commercial CDs by many artists, only once has anyone resorted to cutting corners this way, and they, a small Canadian specialist recording company, apologized for it. Yes, this does make a difference and casts a shadow on this excellent work of Grey’s. Mel Bay have not done him justice. The cheap blue ink media suffers a high percentage of failure, wastage, meaning that it doesn’t burn properly or doesn’t burn at all, at least that has been my experience, and since that experience we avoid it, would never consider purchasing it however cheap it is. It’s another case of "you gets what you pays for." It also has a lower life expectancy, as does any burned-to media, even the best, compared to getting the job done properly, cut/pressed.

I’m only warning you of this one and only reservation, and not it’s Grey’s fault but his publisher. Do buy this, you won’t regret it, it’s really that nicely put together, and Grey’s a lovely player. His playing is clean and easy to follow. If you do purchase it, recommended despite my reservations, play both CDs through from start to finish, to make sure there aren’t any ‘corrupted files’, another common problem with this cheap blue stuff. IF you do find a fault, then pester the hell out of Mel Bay to get it replaced, or whoever you purchased it from, and don’t settle for anything except complete satisfaction.

Yes, I’m angry. I’m impressed by the hard work, experience and care this lovely resource represents. It’s worth it for the book alone, but Grey’s playing on the CDs is sweet and clean and nicely timed. Yes, being me, I would have liked more variety, but what he offers is what most sessions are about, a lot of fine jigs and reels, and a few hornpipes and slip jigs too, and, as already said, nice versions and well played.

I had intended on chasing up the flute collection as well, and am still interested, but must admit I’ve been put off by Mel Bay’s cutting corners this way and have held back. I have written them about this, more than once, but without any useful or considerate response.

The company I’d purchased this from, through Amazon UK, was quick to do their best to replace the faulty CDs I had, which were not just faulty, but, after removing the security tab and trying to remove them from their plastic wallet, I found one glued tight to the back, with glue across it and scratching, and when I did finally get both of them out, they appeared to be dirty. I’m not sure why, but gentle cleaning didn’t remove he marks, which appear as many small marrings all over the underside, possibly from the machines they copied these with, also cheap? I wondered if this was another case of farming out work to China, but I suspect China would have done a better and more considerate job. In addition to all this, the CDs were also scratched, and, as said already, one was glued tightly into the back of the book and took quite a bit of time and care to free. With there still substantial glue on the one, and what appeared to be a considerable scratch on the top, the company I’d purchased it from were quick to offer a replacement for that. The replacement sent, removed from another copy, turned out to have corrupted files. So, I took more time to carefully clean off the glue from the original, only to find it too had problems with some of the audio files on it. Out of the two I manage to have all the files, and the other original CD, one out of three, is the only one that turned out to be OK from start to finish. I was offered another replacement by the Amazon dealer, kind soul, but I said no, that I’d manage, out of the three I’ve got all the files, I just have to remember to skip over the corrupted ones.

So, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! ~ But, I also think it right to let you know about the CDs… You’ve been warned, the corner cutting, the only reservation, is all the fault of the publisher Mel Bay.

P.S. There are a few ‘awful’ tunes, my opinion, in this mix of 150, but only a few, and it’s the tune and not necessarily the playing? 😏 There’s just a few that are shight as far as dance is concerned, where listening pleasure, mine, doesn’t happen, and my feet show it, being cold still throughout… 😛