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Thread: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

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    Registered User dbmandolin's Avatar
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    Default Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    I'm trying to put together a list of 20 tunes that should be the essential core repertoire for all Celtic mandolinists. I want this list of tunes to be a broad sampling of all the different Celtic styles for players at varying levels of ability. What do you think I should include? Thanks!

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Is this just for your own musical enjoyment? By the time you factor in reels, jigs, hornpipes, airs, polkas, mazurkas, slip jigs, barndances, flings, waltzes, marches across the "Celtic" spectrum of Irish, Scottish, Breton, Cape Breton, Galician, Northumbrian, etc 20 tunes won't take you very far. I don't think the idea of a "core repertoire" is very practical. People very conversant in one tradition may not know much about some others. This doesn't even begin to touch upon regional styles. I'm not just trying to throw cold water on what you want to do, but as Roy Schieder said in Jaws, you may need a bigger boat. Or a smaller ocean.
    Steve

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    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    ... and also the fact that different sessions usually have different cores, so you'd have to add regional bias and whether any of the regulars are also composers (we have one in our session and everybody knows a couple of his tunes as part of the usual repertoire). I remember the first "real" session I sat in on, I didn't know 2 tunes out of a 90-minute session. Ugh. So, yeah, perhaps a bigger ocean.
    (Out on the Ocean is a favorite out our way, by the way. just a note)
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    I had this list in my notes from an earlier conversation about core Irish tunes. The earlier mentions of regional variation, etc. really affect any list, but here are the 20 that came from the last time I joined in such a conversation.

    Top 10 Jigs
    Banish Misfortune
    Connaughtman’s Rambles
    Garrett Barry’s
    Geese in the Bog
    Joy of My Life
    Lilting Banshee
    Morrison’s
    Out on the Ocean
    Scatter the Mud
    Tripping Up Stairs

    Top 10 Reels
    The Banshee
    Cooley’s (Luttrell’s Pass)
    Dunmore Lasses
    Maid Behind The Bar
    The Mountain Road
    The Sally Gardens
    Silver Spear
    Sligo Maid
    Wind that Shakes the Barley
    Wise Maid

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Quote Originally Posted by dbmandolin View Post
    I'm trying to put together a list of 20 tunes that should be the essential core repertoire for all Celtic mandolinists. I want this list of tunes to be a broad sampling of all the different Celtic styles for players at varying levels of ability. What do you think I should include? Thanks!
    Really though - what are really you up to?

    Why all the core repertoire questions? Whats the bigger plan?

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Hey M.Marmot, just trying to expand my repertoire in different genres and be exposed to the experience of the many awesome players on this site. I also hope to find a common ground of core tunes in these styles to use as a starting point for my students. Sorry if my questions sound too uniform or institutional. Thanks

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Quote Originally Posted by dbmandolin View Post
    Hey M.Marmot, just trying to expand my repertoire in different genres and be exposed to the experience of the many awesome players on this site. I also hope to find a common ground of core tunes in these styles to use as a starting point for my students. Sorry if my questions sound too uniform or institutional. Thanks
    Not a bother sir - seeing as you have posted a variation of the same question on most of the genre forums here i was just curious to see if there was a greater plan behind them.

    Best of luck to you.

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Maybe a better question is to ask what tunes play well on the mandolin. Marla Fibish mentioned this during her class at the O'Flaherty Retreat. "Some tunes just don't sound good on the mandolin", she said referring to The Flogging Reel in this case, "especially tunes that suit the flute." There are things in certain tunes that can't be done on the mandolin or are very hard and sound bad on the instrument. On the other hand, some tunes sound are great on the mandolin because the player can take advantage of the strengths of the instrument while playing those tunes. The Antrim Reel is a good example as is the Abbey Reel both of which she taught as a set.

    Mike Keyes

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    Registered User MikeyG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyes View Post
    Maybe a better question is to ask what tunes play well on the mandolin. Marla Fibish mentioned this during her class at the O'Flaherty Retreat. "Some tunes just don't sound good on the mandolin", she said referring to The Flogging Reel in this case, "especially tunes that suit the flute." There are things in certain tunes that can't be done on the mandolin or are very hard and sound bad on the instrument. On the other hand, some tunes sound are great on the mandolin because the player can take advantage of the strengths of the instrument while playing those tunes. The Antrim Reel is a good example as is the Abbey Reel both of which she taught as a set.

    Mike Keyes
    Mike - Was the Antrim Reel that Marla taught this one:

    http://thesession.org/tunes/3049

    or this one:

    http://www.irishtune.info/tune/528/


    And was the Abbey Reel this one:

    http://thesession.org/tunes/477

    Do you have any plans to share these & other tunes taught by Marla at the Retreat with the rest of us? We'd all be extremely grateful!!

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Don't have time for a long post, but want to note that Celtic doesn't only mean Irish.
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    O. K. Then what is your starting point? Bluegrass? Jazz? Rock n' Roll? A list is a good idea but knowing the tunes before you teach them is another. No offense intended but I'd be more forthright about my own background. I guess you said 'why' and I like that idea.

    The Catepilar said to Alice "Whooooo are you?"

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    The top 20 from the Popular Tunes list on TheSession.org is a pretty good selection:

    - Drowsy Maggie (reel)
    - The Kesh (jig)
    - The Butterfly (slip jig)
    - Cooley's Reel
    - Morrison's Jig
    - The Silver Spear (reel)
    - The Maid Behind the Bar (reel)
    - The Banshee (reel)
    - Banish Misfortune (jig)
    - The Wind That Shakes the Barley (reel)
    - The Glasgow Reel
    - Out On the Ocean (jig)
    - The Connaughtman's Rambles (jig)
    - The Rights of Man (hornpipe)
    - Harvest Home (hornpipe)
    - The Mason's Apron (reel)
    - Gravel Walks (reel)
    - The Musical Priest (reel)
    - Kid On the Mountain (slip jig)
    - King of The Fairies (hornpipe)

    Patrick

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoCelt View Post
    - Harvest Home (hornpipe)
    The Boys of Blue then transition right into Harvest Home. This is a really great combination and really fun to play!

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    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    Boys of Blue Hill, eh?
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    You will find exactly what you are looking for here:

    Top Session Tunes

    at Irishtune.info
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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    To the OP

    What tunes have you got so far? and then we can maybe add a few!!

    pkev

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    Default Re: Suggestions for Core Celtic Mandolin Repertoire

    >>Marla Fibish mentioned this during her class at the O'Flaherty Retreat. "Some tunes just don't sound good on the mandolin", she said referring to The Flogging Reel in this case, "especially tunes that suit the flute."<<

    This has been true for me and I noticed it as soon as I could play tunes ok on the mandolin. I used to play flute and one of my very favorite tunes to play was The Sunset Reel. I learned it on mandolin and couldn't get it to sound right and finally concluded it just doesn't work well on mando. BTW, The Sunset Reel was composed by one of the best Irish flute players, which is probably why it sounds so great on the flute.

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