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Thread: The Celtic Mandolin - Tunes for March 20121

  1. #1

    Default The Celtic Mandolin - Tunes for March 20121

    Hi Folks
    Here are the resources I've posted this month. Hope you enjoy them. Remember, they're not too difficicult and work best in small groups or at least duets.

    20. The Old Tune
    I can't find the original reference to this tune if any one knows anything about please let me know.
    It's a nice easy tune and I play it very slowly despite it probably usually being a pipe reel played at 90mph. I've included a bit of stuff about ornamentation (see PDF The Old Tune - In Detail) but as I keep emphaisising, played 'plain' still retains the drama of the tune so dinnae fash yersel if you can't do the details.

    The Aird's Collection
    The next tunes are from The Aird's Collection which was published in Glasgow the late 18th century. It's the variety of types of tune in that collection that catch my ear. If you like Scottish music I'm sure you'll like this selection.

    21. Graces Farewell
    A lively jig in D. I'd love to know what was danced to these tunes.

    22. Sweet Molly
    A reel in Em. Someone said to me recenly that a lot of this material sounds Chinese, and why wouldn't it? We use the very same scales for our music so it's going to sound similar.
    I'm working on putting all of these Aird's tunes into sets. If you try any selection and think it works let me know.

    23. Hopetoun House
    As a simple internet search will show this monstrous bit of architectural pomposity, like most of the New Town and palaces and mansions of Edinburgh, was built on the proceeds of slavery. The primitive values and intellectual deficits of the Edinburgh ruling classes continue in that tradition with huge inequalities in wealth in the city, and a private education system that defies the decades long democratic demand of the Edinburgh people for 'an equal chance to succeed'. Good tune though. Dedicated to BLM.

    Last edited by clachanmusic; Mar-27-2021 at 12:02pm.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: The Celtic Mandolin - Tunes for March 20121

    Excellent stuff, as ever. It's no mean feat to create and then record these arrangements. There's more than a hint of Planxty in some of the interplay; in the "bigger mixes" in particular...

    I don't, personally, hear the resemblance in Sweet Molly to Chinese music. But The Old Tune has quite a "non-western" feel to some of the passages. Very quirky indeed!


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  5. #3
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Toronto, Ontario Canada

    Default Re: The Celtic Mandolin - Tunes for March 20121

    Listening to the recording of Hopetoun House. Just lovely.
    Cary Fagan

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  7. #4

    Default Re: The Celtic Mandolin - Tunes for March 20121


    This is wonderful music and I've found your website to be a great resource. Thank you very much.


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  9. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Perthshire, Scotland

    Default Re: The Celtic Mandolin - Tunes for March 20121

    Hi John - long time! Hope your both doing well in these mad times.

    "The Old Tune" is called "Cuir I Glun Air a Bodach" or "She Put her Knee On the Old Man" most often played as a strathspey, but sometimes also the way you have it. At one time (10 or 20 years ago) it was heard in a few sessions in Scotland. It can be seen in the Skye Collection (1887) and The Athole Collection (1884).

    "Hopetoun House" is an alternative name for a reel which is more often called "Sweet Molly", and can be found in many collections, e.g. Bremner's 1757 collection and countless later Irish collections, including O'Neill's (in Ireland it's known as "The Youngest Daughter"). Another tune called "Sweet Molly" - the one you've presented - is a different tune (obviously), and I've only ever found it in Aird and Kerr's Merry Melodies. There is a third "Sweet Molly" in O"Neill's Music of Ireland (1903) which is an air in 6/8.

    Great stuff, Johnny, and I look forward to seeing more.

  10. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Perthshire, Scotland

    Default Re: The Celtic Mandolin - Tunes for March 20121

    John - another tune that you and I used to play is "The Lady's Plaything" which is in the same Aird volume (No.5) in G, although we used to play it in A. It's a great source of tunes.

  11. #7

    Default Re: The Celtic Mandolin - Tunes for March 20121

    Nigel, thanks for that on The Old Tune. I can see how it can be played as a strathspey. I must have seen it somewhere with the name , The Old Tune' or maybe 'Auld Tune'. Wonder where that was?

    The Lady's Plaything we used back then (and I use to this day) appeared in a Borders collection published in the 80s I think. It was in the key of A. I have a feeling I saw it in a 17th century collection too, maybe Playford's. It is still one of my favourite tunes of all time. There are lots of good tunes in these collections, and easy and accessible too, which is point of my Tune of the Week selection.

    I've just posted a tidier version of Miss Gunning's Delight. These tunes are produced during the week and posted on the Saturday so, seeing I ain't Sony Corporation so there will be ragged edges. Six more to come in this series. And the sun's coming out, and I've had my first jag so more outdoor life calls.

    Currently trying to set up a gettogether in the Glasgow Botanics for some sunny day in July. Just pull up a few park benches, a flask of tea ... lovely. Anyway, whatever happens it would be great to hear this selection and the arrangements played by a live assembly of mandoleers and bouzouki-ists. Anyone from the Central Belt of Scotland who can play at this intermediate sort of level and who might fancy that should contact me as I will post a kind of members page of resources sometime soon. Being able to read the dots is a huge advantage as it will be neccesary to share out the roles.

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