Traditional Irish Flute Playing - The Flow
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Irish music links

flute links
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This is a select list of links to more general flute sites which may be of interest to Irish flute players. Please advise me if a link below is incorrect or has been changed.

+ Chris Walshaw is the developer of the ABC notation language for exchanging tunes across platforms over the internet. His site serves as an introduction and contains links to ABC software sites (many of them freeware or shareware). Barfly for Macintosh is my program of choice.

+ Belfast fiddler Bernie Stocks has compiled four volumes of The Microphones Rambles, ABC tunebooks of unusual tunes and settings taken from his extensive library of field recordings, many of which are of flute players. The first three volumes are also available here in Acrobat format.

+ Henrik Norbeck has an ever-expanding Web Tunebook in ABC format, again the content has a good number of flute-specific transcriptions. Henrik's own ABC sofware is also available from this site.

+ Tunes sent to the woodenflute list in ABC format have been archived by Steve Mansfield at Le Session. These are mostly Irish, but also Scots, Welsh, Breton and others from the repertoires of flute players.

+ Flute player Lesl Harker has an Archive of Welsh tunes in ABC format, reflecting a growing interest in the flute within Welsh traditional music. A large number of tunes in the collection were transcribed by Ceri Rhys Matthews, flute player with Fernhill.

+ Ceolas is an all-encompassing Celtic music resource.

+ Nigel Gatherer is a musician and teacher based in Perthshire. He has an extensive site that features annotations on some key Scottish and Irish tunebooks, plus a collection of Scottish tunes in ABC format. His site also has information for beginners whistle and mandolin.

+ The Irish traditional music list (IRTRAD-L) is a is a mailing list which sometimes discusses flute playing issues.

+ The Session is a web site that discusses and shares information on traditional music, particularly in ABC format.

+ Richard Moon's TuneDB is a large index of tunes in ABC format featuring a powerful and greatly useful search engine.

+ "Brother" Steve's tin-whistle pages by Montreal-based Steve Jones is a useful guide for those learning or playing the whistle. Be sure to check out the privately recorded MP3s and accompanying transcriptions and analysis of tunes played by notable flute and whistle players, including Paddy Carty, Patsy Hanly, Micho Russell, Eddie Moloney and Packie Duignan.

+ CelticMusic NZ (external link in new window) is a web site run by Irish flute player Brendyn Montgomery as a resource mostly intended for Irish and Scottish musicians and dancers in New Zealand. The site was down last time I checked, but Brendyn's own site also has more traditional music for New Zealand.

+ The Micho Russell Weekend (external link in new window) is an annnual festival celebrating the influence of the iconic Clare flute player and whistler. The web site has further details, with some background information on Micho and his brothers Packie and Gussie, also accomplished musicians.

+ Sessions are (generally) informal gatherings of musicians or singers and can be difficult to appreciate for the uninitiated. Banjo player Gerry McCartney has written about a particularly memorable session, while Nigel Gatherer and Michael McGettrick have some practical guidelines for people wishing to participate. Your mileage may vary, but just being aware that a session is a social situation and behaving accordingly should help.

+ Details of a Galician music book which has a chapter on flute playing, including a little flute called a requinta can be found at (external link in new window). The book is in Galician, but those with Spanish or Portuguese may be able to get by, apparently.

+ Castor Castro, who is the author of the chapter on the flute in the book above, has put up a sample page (external link in new window) on the site of a Galician traditional music school, which is in itself interesting.

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Mary Fox
Mary Fox, Belfast, at her wedding.

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