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My Celtic MIDI Sets, Page 2 (Sets 26-50)

Set #26
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The CorsairhornpipeMatt Seattle
The Galtee Rangerreel
Calliope Housedouble jigDave Richardson
The first tune in this set (composed by Matt Seattle) has a somewhat "ominous" feeling to it, in my opinion. The mood lightens a bit in the next tune, which is a traditional Irish reel. After that, you'd better get your dancing shoes ready - a jig by Dave Richardson finishes the set off.
Set #27
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Hurricane HornpipehornpipeTony Upton
The Laird of DrumblairstrathspeyJ.S. Skinner
6/4 ReelTony Upton
By now, I've sequenced quite a few sets of tunes. Until I put this one together, I had a hard time picking a favorite - but not anymore. The first tune is one of my own compositions, one which was vaguely inspired by "The Corsair." (the first tune in the previous set, in case you hadn't noticed.) The second tune is a wonderful strathspey by James Scott Skinner, who put a few long "runs" of triplets into the tune which can make even the most practiced musicians cringe. I've never heard anything quite like it! The final tune is my second favorite composition (my first one will ALWAYS be #1) - it started taking shape when I was playing another tune on my keyboard. It's in 6/4 because I couldn't put in all the notes I wanted to without changing the time signature. (It pays to be creative sometimes.)
Set #28
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Morrison's RidgereelDan R. MacDonald
West Mabou Reelreel
The Spey in SpatereelJ.S. Skinner
The first tune in this set was composed by Dan Rory MacDonald, a renowned Cape Breton musician who was (and still is) known more affectionately as "Dan R." He composed it about twenty years after a visit to a timber-cutting area in the Mabou area (known as Morrison's Ridge) in the early 1920's. The second tune, incidentally, comes from approximately the same area. Finally, another of James Scott Skinner's many compositions - one which seems to be popular in Cape Breton - finishes the set.
Set #29
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Green Groves of Erinreel
Eileen Curranreel
Craig's Pipesreel
I don't have a great deal of background information on these tunes, but I do know that the Bothy Band played the first one on one of their CD's (and the third one, I think) and Martin Hayes played the second one at a live concert. (I heard it on the "Thistle and Shamrock" - I wasn't at the concert.) One more comment about the third tune - it suggests to me that Craig had a good set of pipes and he knew how to use them!!
Set #30
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Da Slockit Lightslow airTom Anderson
Timour the Tartarreel
Bonnie BanchoryreelJ.S. Skinner
The first tune in this set is a bit hard to classify, but I have listed it as an air because it was listed as a "slow air, Cape Breton style." It was written by Tom Anderson, a Shetland fiddler, in 1969. I think I remember reading somewhere that the "slockit light" is what Shetlanders call the light that appears on the horizon just before sunrise. The second tune in this set was played by the Chieftains in their "Tribute to Bunting" set (listed as "Peter Street"), and the final tune is yet another of James Scott Skinner's compositions.
Set #31
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Donncha Lynch'spolka
Maurice Manley'spolka
Tom Billy'spolka
No, there's no need to get your eyesight checked - this is a set of polkas. Polkas are actually popular in some parts of Ireland, so I don't think it's unreasonable to throw in a few of them on these pages. This is a set of three Irish polkas which are often played as a set.
Set #32
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Belfast Hornpipehornpipe
The Salley Gardensreel
Trip to Californiareel
This set starts off with a traditional Irish hornpipe which sounds best to me when it's played with a lot of swing like it is here. It is followed by a couple of traditional reels which I have given a little extra "lift" by adding my own chords. (By the way, this set is one of my favorites!)
Set #33
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Untitleddañs plin
Untitleddañs plin
Untitledgavotte
This is a set of three Breton tunes - the first two are "double plins," just like the three tunes in set #14. The third tune in the set is a "gavotte," which is a type of dance tune in 12/8 time. Unfortunately, I don't have any names for these tunes.
Set #34
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Kid on the Mountainslip jig
The Choice Wifeslip jig
This is a pair of Irish slip jigs which I have heard on the "Thistle and Shamrock," played by Liam O'Flynn on the uilleann pipes. I've tried to produce a reasonable arrangement here, but I have to admit that I'm not an expert at arranging tunes for the pipes. As you can see, though, that didn't stop me from trying...hope you like the result anyway! (And if you don't, you can just blame Fionan, who made an entry in my guestbook suggesting that I do more pipe tunes!! Although it is a good suggestion, after all....)
Set #35
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Anne's Favouritehornpipe
Martin Hayes' Hornpipehornpipe
Solus Lillis' Reelreel
The first two tunes in this set are ones I'm not particularly familiar with, but I do like the way they go together in this set. The last tune is one I'm sure I've heard before, but I don't know who played it.
Set #36
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Dinky'sreelFrancie Byrne
The Shetland Fiddlerreel
The Cape Breton Fiddler's Welcome to the Shetland IslesreelWillie Hunter
This is a really neat set of reels which starts off with a tune I remember hearing in "Lord of the Dance." There was an interlude where a couple of fiddlers got up on the stage and played an outstanding set of tunes, and I think this was the first one in the set. The third tune comes from the playing of Leahy and was also featured in "Riverdance," almost in the same way as the first tune was played in "Lord of the Dance."
Set #37
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Music of SpeystrathspeyJ.S. Skinner
Lime HillstrathspeyDan R. MacDonald
Aly Andersonreel
Patricia Wilmot'sreelJohnny Wilmot
Miss Eleanora Robertson'sreel
Those of you who have visited before will probably notice that I've changed some of the tunes in this set, and that I've also changed the style of this set considerably. After putting together set #90, I decided to redo this set in a similar style. The first tune was composed by James Scott Skinner, the second by Dan R. MacDonald, and the fourth by Johnny Wilmot.
Set #38
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Auld Luckiestrathspey
Miss Lyallstrathspey
Miss Lyallstrathspey
Angus Campbellstrathspey
This set starts off with a strathspey that I'm not very familiar with, but I like the way it sounds. The second and third tunes in this set are ones I remember from the playing of The Cast. If the final tune sounds familiar to you, it probably is - it's a reel version of James Scott Skinner's "Laird of Drumblair," which is part of set #27.
Set #39
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
King George IVstrathspey
King George Vstrathspey
Old King's Reelreel
The King's Reelreel
Old Traditionalreel
This set of tunes is popular in Cape Breton. I don't know much about the tunes, but I suspect that kings were on the mind(s) of whoever composed them. (What would give me that idea?) The last tune is also known as "Colonel Thornton."
Set #40
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Father John MacMillan of Barra4/4 march
Father John MacMillan of Barrareel
This set starts off with a wonderful Scottish march that I heard Alasdair Fraser play on his CD "The Driven Bow." I have followed it with a reel version which I arranged myself, complete with some pretty interesting ornamentation.
Set #41
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Tommy's Tarbukasstrathspey
Tommy's Tarbukasreel
This pair of tunes starts off with a strathspey version of "Tommy's Tarbukas," which I arranged myself. It's followed by the "original" version, a Scottish reel which I first heard played by Alasdair Fraser. (In fact, I think he may have composed it, but I'm not sure.)
Set #42
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Graf Speereel
The Grand Speyreel
Rolling WatersreelTony Upton
This set of tunes starts off with two tunes which are very closely related to each other, even though the first one is Irish and the second one is Scottish. You could probably say that the third tune is related to both of them as well, even though I composed it without having heard either of the other two tunes beforehand.
Set #43
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Navvy on the Linereel
Paddy Lynn's Delightreel
Pachelbel Reelreel
The first tune in this set comes from the playing of the Bothy Band. I don't know anything about the second one, but I have a feeling that I've heard it played before with a different name. The final reel in this set comes from the playing of Eileen Ivers - it's a lively version of Pachelbel's "Canon" which I have rearranged a bit.
Set #44
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
An Buachaillín Bándouble jig
An Buachaillín Bánreel
This set features a traditional Irish jig, followed by a reel version that I have arranged myself. I haven't heard the "original" tune before, but I did like the way it sounded when I played it from the ABC notation.
Set #45
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Rothiemurcus Rantstrathspey
Captain Campbellstrathspey
Calum Breugachstrathspey
Perrie Werriereel
This set starts off with a well-known strathspey which was formerly featured as the first tune in set #11. It is followed by two traditional tunes which are a part of Leahy's "Cape Breton Set," and then by a reel which is also popular in Cape Breton.
Set #46
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Trip to AlexandriastrathspeyTony Upton
Union StationhornpipeTony Upton
The Reunion ReelreelTony Upton...sort of
This set features three of my own compositions. The inspiration for these tunes was a trip I took back in 1998 (I think) to visit a friend (see the first tune in set #1) in the Washington, DC area. The final tune in this set is actually a variation of "Dungarthill," a Scottish march.
Set #47
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
George BrabazonTurlough O'Carolan
Carolan's Concerto (Mrs. Power)Turlough O'Carolan
Loftus JonesTurlough O'Carolan
These are three of Turlough O'Carolan's most "famous" tunes. The first tune was composed for a patron family (presumably headed by George Brabazon) in County Mayo. The second, also commonly known as "Mrs. Power," was composed for Elizabeth Power of Loughrea, County Galway. I like the way that Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains describes the tune - "They must have had something going together, because it's a really great tune." Does he know something we don't?? The final tune is one of my all-time favorites. It was written sometime towards the end of Carolan's life (probably in the 1720's) for the son of Thomas and Susanna Jones of Ardnaglass, County Sligo. He must have been a lively little boy…
Set #48
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Dwyer's Hornpipehornpipe
Sheehan'sreel
Joys of West Mabou Coal Minesreel
East Neuk of FifereelJ.S. Skinner
This set of tunes starts out with a (presumably) Irish hornpipe, and then is followed by three reels which are popular in Cape Breton. "Sheehan's" is familiar from the playing of Natalie MacMaster and Jerry Holland, Ashley MacIsaac played "The Joys of West Mabou Coal Mines" on his CD "Fine Thank You Very Much," and the final tune is yet another of James Scott Skinner's many compositions.
Set #49
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Cutting Fernsstrathspey
Highlander's Farewell to Irelandstrathspey
Paresisreel
Paddy on the Turnpikereel
This set of tunes starts out with a couple of strathspeys, and then finishes with a couple of reels which are often played in Cape Breton. Natalie MacMaster and Ashley MacIsaac have both played them on some of their CD's.
Set #50
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Napoleon Crossing the Rhinehornpipe
The Battle of Aughrim4/4 march
The Old Grey Ganderreel
West Clare RailwayreelJunior Crehan
I don't know anything about these tunes for the most part, but I do know that the final tune was written by Junior Crehan. I wish I knew more, but I do know the tunes sound pretty good to me!