The Dresden reel

By Paul Kelly

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

The Dresden has been added to 1 tune set.

The Dresden has been added to 12 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Dresden
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmix
GA Bd _d=d BG|AB AG _GA _d=d|B=G EB GE Bc|AB cB AG _Gd|
=GA Bc _d=d BG|AB AG _GA _d=d|gd Bd cA _GA|=GB A_G =G2 G_G|
=GA Bd _d=d BG|AB AG _GA _d=d|B=G EB GE Bc|AB cB AG _Gd|
=GA Bc _d=d BG|AB AG _GA _d=d|gd Bd cA _GA|=GB A_G =G2 gf|
ed cB Ac Fc|dB ga bg af|gd cf d2 cB|AB cB AG _Gd|
=Gg ab af dg|fd cA Bd cA|GB AG _GA D_G|=GD B,A, G,2 gf|
ed cB Ac Fc|dB ga bg af|gd cf d2 cB|AB cB AG _Gd|
=Gg ab af dg|fd cA Bd cA|GB AG _GA D_G|=GD B,A, G,3z|

Fourteen comments

It takes real perverted ingenuity to create such a bloody horrible tune. Who did it? Is it one of Cathal McConnell’s? Must be by someone who knows exactly what he / she is doing, like Paganini or Stockhausen.

Wrong Key Signature

The key signature is wrong! This should be in G minor (2 flats), not B Mixolydian. The first bars of the B part modulate to Bb major, with the same key sig. With 4 sharps it’s pretty bizarre (or more than it’s supposed to be!).

More specifically, it should be G harmonic minor, with the sharpened 7th tone F# (written here as Gb) throughout, except where it modulates to Bb major.

My Bad

sh*te, sorry about that. I just changed it to G minor there, will the sheet music be updated accordingly or will it be stuck like that forever and ever?

The Dresden

yes, it will be frozen behind its event horizon for all eternity


It only appears on one recording, by Paul Kelly, who I think used to play fiddle with Sharon Shannon’s band. There doesn’t seem to be that many traditional tunes on that CD, so it’s possible that he wrote it. The person who submitted the recording doesn’t make any comment about it at all. The sheet music looks like a nightmare.

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I submitted it with the wrong key signature, that’s why the sheetmusic is such a nightmare. If you paste the abc in to MusicEase or one of those programs it should generate the correct sheet music. I’ve mailed Jeremy asking him is it possible to correct the sheetmusic or else delete the tune so I can re-submit it.

You’re right Kenny. ’Tis indeed a tune written by Paul Kelly.

To my way of thinking, the abcs are still a mess. Should those “d flats” and “G flats” be c sharps and F sharps, respectively?

No offense penfold, but I’d vote to have Jeremy wipe this whole submission and let you start over again.

Posted .

I second that vote.

Feed the ABC through something like ABCMus and it sounds fine in G minor - ignore the ABC and the dots and just listen. Now change the key in the ABC to E major, listen again … and treat yourself to a stiff double 🙂

Dreasden Set

This certainly is from Paul Kelly ’s mandolin album. I have transcribed the whole set (McGann’s - The Graf Spey - The Dresden reel) some years back and you can find it from / Tabledit archives. The Dresden Reel is in Gminor.

Posted by .

PS. The Dresden Reel is Paul Kelly’s orginal composition.

Posted by .

good transcription for a horror moovie!