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Turlough O'Carolan
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March 27, 2023 - 11:36 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 6506
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@SharonC -

Thanks for posting info about Katy Adelson's book: 15 Irish Fiddle Airs - Turlough O'Carolan in the Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien Ensemble Thread (because they play some of O'Calolan's pieces).  Katy is a wonderful teacher & I know her book is definitely worth getting! 


I LOVE O'Carolan tunes, I play a handful (even a Planxty or two), BUT... O'Carolan was a prolific composer and I was surprised I didn't find a thread devoted to him - so here ya all go! 

"Planxty" was a word used by people who named works by harper Turlough O'Carolan after his death, and is believed to denote a tribute to a particular person: "Planxty Irwin," for example, would be in honour of Colonel John Irwin of Sligo. "Planxty" is thought to be a corruption of the Irish word and popular toast "sláinte", meaning "good health." Another possible explanation is that it is derived from the Latin planctus, a medieval lament composed in honour of a deceased person or a tragic event. (Wikipedia)


You can find FREE versions of quite a few O'Carolan tunes at The Session, but I find you really need to already know at least an alias tune title & correct spelling, to easily locate a score, e.g., it's "Morgan Magan", not "Morgan Megan" - still a GREAT site!


Thanks to info at The Session I found this VERY generous guy, think his name is Vince Brennan(?) that owns the Frayed Knot Arts business in Seymour, Tennessee (outside Knoxville).  His store supports the wonderful site The Old Music Project that has a vast amount of FREE pdf scores with midi's!  There are instructions to use them, but I didn't have any trouble just clicking on them. 


Here are TWO of his O'Carolan Collections and some History: 

Turlough O'Carolan - Irish Harpist & Composer (1670-1738) - keep in mind the 'Baroque Music Era' extended from about 1600 to 1750!

The Complete Works of Turlough O'Carolan - pdf's to download & midi's (213, plus a few extra alternates)!  It's stressed they have been transcribed into more "user friendly" keys, but I noticed the original keys mention on the pdf's - if anyone is interested.

O'Neill's Music Of Ireland (1850 version) - Turlough O'Carolan Collectio (72, plus a few extra versions) 



- Emily


April 21, 2023 - 9:00 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 6506
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Stole this important info from the Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien Ensemble Thread

AndrewH said

Yes, Turlough O'Carolan was influenced by several Italian Baroque composers and wrote some music in continental European dance forms. He admired Corelli and Vivaldi, and became friends with Geminiani who visited Ireland regularly for decades and lived in Dublin for the last three years of his life.


Similarly, in Scotland during the Baroque and Classical eras, folk fiddlers and orchestral violinists were mostly the exact same people. There was a surprising amount of musical cross-pollination at that time. 


On the Scottish side of interest - violinist Tim MacDonald & cellist Jeremy Reed have studied the period playing style with Baroque instruments & bows.  They have a 55 Video Playlist of Niel Gow's Third Collection of Strathspey Reels (ca. 1792)

The Niel Gow Sesessions

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