This page is for the use of the weekly Beginners' Class, held every Thursday in the Western Hotel, Prospect Hill, Galway, at 6.30pm.

As an aid to learning, below you'll find short recordings of the tunes taught to date in the ongoing Autumn Term - played very slowly and generally without any decoration or ornamentation. Mostly they're played twice around, though one or two are played only once.


First up is a melody:  "Buachaill an Eirne", in G major:

Buachaill an Eirne.mp3

 Next up is "The Ballydesmond Set" - Ballydesmond No 2 Polka; Ballydesmond No 1 Polka; and Bill Sullivan's Polka, which we play in that sequence:

Ballydesmond Polka No 2 - Amin.mp3

Ballydesmond Polka No 1 - Amin.mp3

Bill Sullivan's Polka - Gmaj.mp3

 Now for a set of slides - all in G major, as it happens.  The set consists of "When The Cock Crows It Is Day";  "The 100 Pipers";  and "The Old Favourite". These are below (note that "The 100 Pipers" is only played once around, and the playing may be very slightly different from the provided music in places; "The Old Favourite" is played twice, and the playing sticks very closely to the notes in the music as given to the class):

When The Cock Crows It Is Day - Slide - Gmaj.mp3

The 100 Pipers - Slide - G maj.mp3

The Old Favourite - Slide - Gmaj.mp3


Now for a hornpipe - The Plains of Boyle, in D major. In the mp3 below, it's played, very simply, twice; once very slowly and the second time just a little bit faster. Note that even though it's played plainly (no pun intended...), in some cases I add in a triplet that isn't in the music given around to the class; but this shouldn't cause you any problems, and it gives you just a little more decoration to add in than the music shows.  You should remember also that there are accidental C naturals in this tune (which, being in the key of D major, would otherwise have all C notes played as C#).

The Plains of Boyle - Hornpipe - D maj.mp3

We put
the hornpipe "Pretty Maggie Morrissey" in G major after "The Plains of Boyle"; the two make for a nice set. Below, it's played three times round - the third time rather faster than the first two (for some reason the very end is being clipped in this mp3 when uploaded, but you'll get the drift - note that for ending, I go to the high C just for variation and to signal that the tune/set is ending):

Pretty Maggie Morrissey - Hornpipe - G maj.mp3


Now for a selection of tunes/sets from the Spring term of 2014.

First, a set of two lovely waltzes by Thomas Moore - which the Beginners' Class learnt prior to 2014 but we covered them again this year also: "Endearing Young Charms", followed by "The Last Rose of Summer" (watch for the accidental E flat in the second part):

Endearing Young Charms - Waltz - Gmaj.mp3

The Last Rose of Summer - Waltz - Gmaj.mp3

 Next is a set of three jigs (the "Tobins Set"), covering the keys of D major, E minor, and G major - to make the set, there are no extra link notes between the tunes:

Tobins Jig - Dmaj.mp3

The Basket of Turf - Jig - Emin.mp3

The Rambling Fiddler - Jig - Gmaj.mp3

 Next, a dance (played slowly): "The Three Sea Captains".  It's a long dance, and in the recording below I've just played each part once;  but normally when we play this tune we play each part twice. Note the accidental C# in the second part of this tune in G major (hence the C notes would normally be C naturals):

The Three Sea Captains - Each part once - Gmaj.mp3

 Finally for now, an Air in D major:  "Sí Beg Sí Mór".  We learnt this together with a reel which we played slowly ("Woman of the House"), but since we don't play this 'out' much these days, I'm not including it as a recording here.

Si Beg Si Mor - Dmaj.mp3