Fleadh Tunes for the Fiddle

You may be wondering 'What is a Fleadh tune'?  The Fleadh Cheoil (Festival of Music) is an Irish music competition organised by Comhaltas.  There are county, provincial and 'all-Ireland' levels of competition that take place in Britain, N. America and Ireland.  These all lead to the grand final 'The All Ireland Fleadh' which takes place in Ireland each August.  In this course, Majella teaches suitable tunes for competitors at the fleadh.  However, this course is geared not only at the Fleadh competitor, but also at any fiddle player who wants to learn tunes best suited to the fiddle. The course begins with simple dance tunes and slow airs. A progressive study of  ornamentation, variation, phrasing, tempo, rhythm and tone will take place. When dealing with Slow Airs the main focus will be on the phrasing, momentum, appropriate ornamentation, the use of expression and most importantly the history and background to the airs and the accompanying songs, words and translations. The course will enable the learning fiddle player to have knowledge of appropriate competition tunes and an understanding of how to approach the topic of air playing.

Fleadh Tunes for the Fiddle
 
OAIM Free 'Fleadh Tunes for the Fiddle' Sample Lesson

'The Gallant Boys of Tipperary'

Majella will teach this slide with focus on the 'half-roll' and bowed triplets.

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Course Syllabus for Full Access Lessons
Fiddle Lesson 1: Sliabh Russell Jig (jig) Aminor

This lesson with teach the "Sliabh Russell Jig", an old traditional tune. In this lesson Majella will focus on the swing and rhythm of a jig.

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Fiddle Lesson 2: Cofra Donn (hornpipe) Dmajor

In this lesson, the Hornpipe "Cofra Donn" will be taught, translated as 'the brown chest'. It is an old traditional tune. Here Majella will be going through ornamentation suitable to hornpipes. Also she will work on the swing and bounce rhythm of hornpipes.

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Fiddle Lesson 3: Roscommon Reel, Eminor

The "Roscommon Reel" is the tune featured in this lesson. Majella will focus on ornamentation looking at full rolls and one note bow triplets.

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Fiddle Lesson 4: Caoineadh Uí Dhomhnaill (slow air)

This lesson with teach the Sow Air "Caoineadh Uí Dhomhnaill" also known as the Lament for O'Donnell. Here Majella will be going through ornamentation, chords and droning.

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Fiddle Lesson 5: Tumble the Tinker (jig) Dmajor

 "Tumble the Tinker" is an old traditional tune that will be taught in this lesson. Majella will focus the lesson on how to emphasise the swing and rhythm of the Jig.

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Fiddle Lesson 6: Kitty's Wedding (hornpipe) Dmajor

This lesson with teach the hornpipe "Kitty's Wedding". Here Majella will be going through ornamentation, recapping on rhythm and variation.

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Fiddle Lesson 7: Palmer's Gate (reel) Eminor

The "Palmer's Gate" is the tune taught in this lesson.  Majella will continue her study ofornamentation and variation.

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Fiddle Lesson 8: Sé Fáth mo Bhuartha (slow air)

This lesson with teach the slow air  'Sé Fáth mo Bhuartha', translated as 'The Cause of my Sorrow'. Majella will be focusing on ornamentation and chords. The words of the song and a translation are included below to help you add your own interpretation to the air.

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Fiddle Lesson 9: The Castle Jig (jig) Aminor

This lesson with teach The Castle Jig.  Majella will continue her study of ornamentation, rhythm, swing and bowing.

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Fiddle Lesson 10: McMahon's (hornpipe) Gmajor

This lesson with teach the tune "McMahon's Hornpipe". Majella's focus in this class is on ornamentation and the correct rhythm of the hornpipe.

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Fiddle Lesson 11: The New Policeman (reel) Dmajor

This lesson will teach the reel 'The New Policeman'. This tune is also known as 'The Bells of Tipperary'.

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Fiddle Lesson 12: McCahill's (reel) Dmaj0r

This lesson will teach the tune 'McCahill's Reel', an old traditional Donegal tune. Here Majella will be going through ornamentation - in particular bow tripets, cuts and rolls. She will also re-cap on bowing, exercises and rhythm.

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Tunes Taught
  • Sliabh Russell Jig
  • Cofra Donn
  • Roscommon Reel
  • Caoineadh Uí Dhomhnaill
  • Tumble the Tinker
  • Kitty's Wedding
  • Palmer's Gate
  • The Cause of my Sorrow
  • The Castle Jig
  • McMahon's Hornpipe
  • The New Policeman
  • McCahill's Reel

Tutor Info

Majella Bartley

Majella Bartley

All Ireland champion flute player, Majella Bartley, hails from Corcaghan in Co. Monaghan. She is a respected flute and fiddle teacher, tutoring at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance as well as at national and international summer schools and workshops such as Scoil Eigse, Fiddle Festival of Wales, Kilkenny Celtic Festival and the British and North American Convention of Comhaltas. She holds the TTCT traditional music teaching diploma awarded by Comhaltas and is now a tutor and lecturer on this course...[Read More]