Irish music on the hurdy-gurdy.

Here in the north west of England, players of French dance music hard to find. There is much more chance of playing in a session if some of the Irish session tunes can be played. There are many book of such tunes available and all are great sources but they are not compiled with the hurdy-gurdy in mind. I have listed below a selection of good tunes which I find fall reasonably easily out of the gurdy. There are no special techniques involved but a degree of competence up at the dusty end of the keybox is useful. It will quickly expose any poor intonation in the top octave and the correct cotton application is essential.


Probably the easiest type of Irish music on hurdy-gurdy, and a good place to start.

Dark girl dressed in Blue, McGillycuddy, Ballybunion, Maggie in the wood, Tom Sullivan's, Sweeney's, Scartaglen, Dennis Murphy's, John Ryan's, 

Slides - Relatively easy using the standard coup de 3 or the 6/8 trompette technique I use occasionally.

>>>click here <<<( trompette workshop )

Scattery Island, Star above the garter, Dinny Delaney, Going to the well for water, Lonesome road to Dingle, Road to Lisdoonvarna, Kathleen O'Hehir, Denis Murphy, Merrily kiss the Quakers wife, The clog, Daniel O'Keefes 


 Frieze Britches, The Kilfenora, Cook in the kitchen, Tobins favourite, Hag at the churn, Old hag you have killed me, Gander in the pratie hole, Tripping uptairs, Dingle regatta, Banish misfortune, Gillian's apples, Blarney pilgrim, Kesh jig, Garrett Barry, Pipe on the hob, Humours of Ennystemon


Bank of Ireland, The wind that shakes the barley, Bucks of Oranmore, Father Kelly's, Silver spear, Nine points of roguery, Rakish paddy, Cup of tea, Boyne hunt, Dick gossip, Flowers of Edinburgh, Saint Annes, Morning dew, Rakish Paddy, Pinch of snuff, Bunker hill.

Slip Jigs

Drops of Brandy, Foxhunters, The Butterfly

Airs and other fine tunes

Paddy's Rambles through the Park, The Blackbird, Sonny Brogan's Mazurka.


Finally, I have recorded a CD which includes my way of playing some of the above tunes. 

It is available on free download from my dropbox :



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