The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle has 480 pages, plus 196 tracks of downloadable audio. Over 10,000 copies have been sold. This is, by far, the most comprehensive work on Irish flute and tin whistle playing.
This is a book for the beginner to the highly advanced player of Irish flute, tin whistle, or Boehm-system (modern) flute. It features a simple and penetrating new approach to understanding and notating ornamentation that goes beyond any previous method, exploring ornamentation techniques never described in print before. It also includes adaptations for Boehm-system flute players, guidance on breathing and phrasing, 49 ornamentation exercises, history and theory of traditional Irish flute and whistle music, and 27 meticulous transcriptions of recordings (1926-2001) by these important Irish flute and tin whistle players: John McKenna ,Tom Morrison, William Cummins, Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Paddy Taylor, Paddy Carty, Grey Larsen, Josie McDermott, Matt Molloy, Cathal McConnell, Mary Bergin, Donncha Ó Briain (Denis O’Brien), Desi Wilkinson, Breda Smyth, Seán Ryan, Conal Ó Gráda, Micho Russel, Joanie Madden, Kevin Crawford, Catherine McEvoy, and Seamus Egan.
This book has been translated into Chinese and Russian.
Below you may listen to some examples of the audio that is included with this book:
- Figure 8-16. A version of the hornpipe “Bantry Bay” using cuts and a variety of strikes. (Tin whistle)
- Figure 11-7. A setting of “The Sporting Pitchfork” using short rolls on B, A, G, F-sharp, and E as well as long rolls on E and G. (Irish flute)
- Figure 15-4. A setting of the reel “The Skylark” using long double-cut rolls on A, G, F-sharp and E. (Irish flute)
- Figure 16-6. A setting of the reel “The Trip to Durrow” which makes use of long cranns on D and E. (Irish flute)
- Figure 19-11. Four melodic variants on the long G roll found in the first bar of the reel “The Shaskeen.” (Irish flute)
Here are four selections from the chapter, “49 Studies for Ornamentation Practice.”
- Study 4. A variety of cuts on repeated notes in a jig. (Tin whistle)
- Study 31. Simple and added-finger slides in a jig. (Tin whistle)
- Study 33. In a jig, long rolls that begin on the pulse. (Irish flute)
- Study 42. Stepwise ascending short rolls in a jig. (Irish flute)
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150 Gems of Irish Music for Flute has 140 pages, plus 150 tracks of downloadable audio. Much more than just a tune book, this book/audio collection contains 150 traditional Irish tunes, with suggested ornamentation and breathing places for flute players.
All the tunes contained in the downloadable audio files. Also included are three chapters which address Grey’s ornamentation notation system, modes, and breathing and phrasing. While composed mainly of “flute-friendly” tunes, there are also tunes of non-wind origin and tunes that require the use of metal keys. Grey addresses the issue of notes that go too low for the standard Irish flute and options for making needed adaptations.
The author designed the sequence of jigs, reels and hornpipes such that good medleys result when you play consecutive tunes one after another. We’re not aware of tune collections by other authors that offer such medley suggestions.
Many of the transcriptions pay homage to recordings by famous Irish musicians and groups such as Bobby Casey, Dennis Murphy, Paddy Canny and others.
View 13 excerpts.
In this book you’ll find:
- 150 jigs, reels, hornpipes, slip jigs, polkas, slides and other types of Irish tunes.
- Irish session favorites.
- Lesser-known tunes to broaden your repertoire.
- An innovative approach to using a variety of flutes in keys other than D in Irish sessions.
- Three chapters to guide you through ornamentation, breathing and phrasing, modes and notation.
- Two CDs containing all 150 tunes played by the author, plus musical examples from each of the chapters.
- 94 “flute-friendly” tunes that fit the flute like a glove.
- 28 tunes for flute which originated with non-wind instruments such as fiddle and accordion.
- 28 tunes that require the use of metal keys.
Here you may listen to some samples from the collection:
- Jig: The Wandering Minstrel
- Reel: The Earl’s Chair
- Hornpipe: Tuamgraney Castle
- Slip Jig: I’m the Boy for Bewitching Them
- Polka: Ballydesmond Polka #1
- Tune requiring the use of flute keys – Hornpipe: The New Century
- Tune requiring the use of flute keys – Mazurka: John Doherty’s
- Tune played on a non-D flute – Reel: Mullingar Lea (high G flute)
- Tune played on a non-D flute – Reel: Maids of Mitchellstown (C flute)