Brother Gildas’ reel

Also known as Brother Gildas.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

Brother Gildas' has been added to 11 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Brother Gildas'
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
(A/B/c)|d2 fd cdec|BcdB AGFA|dgfd cdec|BcdB .A2 (A/B/c)|
d2 fd cdec|BcdB AGFA|.d2 ef ~g3 e|dB=cA G2||

Six comments

Pipey Goodness From Harry B

Found this little gem while I was browsing Harry Bradley’s “Errant Elbows” site.

It’s a dirt-simple little single reel, but it has that “pipey” quality about it that I just love. Harry says he got it from Brendan Breathnach’s “Ceol Rince na hEireann” collection (no. 183, Vol. IV). He says about the tune that “It came from Brother Gildas. He was a member of the De La Salle order, a school teacher, a native Kerryman, and a piper of course. He’s also associated with the great piping tunes ‘The Gander in the Pratie hole’ and ‘The Monk’s Jig’ ”. I’ll be posting another Brother Gildas tune (“Brother Gildas’ Jig”) as soon as I get a minute. I got that one from Harry’s site as well. Until then, enjoy!


Gildas considered the pipes a holy instrument, most especially in the C natural and its characteristic “nyahhh”; when he got to that note in a tune he’d stop, make the sign of the cross, and continue…just one of various stories about him.

Nyah, not Nyan

“Never learn a tune from notation alone, especially if you are not already a proficient Irish musician. You may not learn tunes fast enough to satisfy your otherwise healthy eagerness, but you will learn them right. This is the only way to learn the ”nyah,“ the ”draoicht,“ ”lift,“ ”swing,“ or whatever you want to call beauty. Many Irish music teachers can hear a student (even when the student is a ”professional“ musician) and instantly pick out every single tune that the student learned from paper or in some other short-cut manner. How do they do it and what was the student missing?”

Nyah would also refer to those banshee wailing notes you can get out of chanters/fiddles. Accordions need not apply!

Hehe, I know what you actually mean don’t worry 🙂