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My Celtic Compositions

Welcome to my "Celtic Compositons" page!! This page features a selection of tunes I have composed. I composed my first tune ("Megan's Favorite") on March 19, 1998, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out. So I decided, "Hey, maybe this isn't such a bad idea after all," and I kept on composing. I've now composed nearly 80 tunes, and I hope to have many more in the years to come. For now, I've put a decent sampling (over 30 tunes) of what I've come up with so far on this page.

The tunes on this page are grouped by type, and the newest tunes are marked with an asterisk (*). You can use the navigation bar below and at the end of each section to jump to the type of tune you're interested in. Also, at the bottom of this page, there is a link that will let you download all of the sheet music and MIDI files for the tunes on this tunes, and there's also a link to a tunebook in PDF format that you can download with all of these tunes in it. Enjoy!!

Note: Sheet music and MIDI files are available for each tune. Just click the "Sheet music" link to view the sheet music, or click the "MIDI file" link to listen to the MIDI file. You can also save the sheet music or MIDI file by right-clicking the link and selecting "Save As", "Save Link As", or "Save Target As" (depending on which browser you're using) on the menu that appears.

Page Navigation:
[ Breton tunes | Carolan tunes | Double jigs | Hornpipes | Marches | Polkas | Reels | Slides | Slip Jigs | Strathspeys ]


Breton Tunes

An deiz ha bloazh (The Birthday) [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This is a Breton-style tune, which seems to be easier for me to write than other kinds of tunes. The name comes from the fact that it was composed on my 25th birthday.
An dro [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This is a Breton-style tune which reminds me a bit of a modern tune ("War Hent Kerrigouarch") composed by Soïg Siberil.
Gouere (July) [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This is a Breton-style dance tune which is named for the fact that it was composed in July.
Untitled [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune started out as an extra part to a traditional Breton tune that I was working on for one of my MIDI sets, and it evolved into a completely separate tune.
Untitled [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
I'm not sure how this one started, or what to call it, but it's definitely a Breton-style tune, and here it is.

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Carolan-Style Tunes

Planxty Hines [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This is a tune in the style of Turlough O'Carolan. I named it for the same person for whom I wrote "Amber's Jig."

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Double Jigs

Amber's Jig [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is named for a friend of mine who used to live just down the street from me.
Carnival Jig [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is one of my earlier compositions. The title doesn't refer to any specific carnival - I just think this tune has the sort of upbeat, lighthearted feeling most people would get from being at a carnival.
Egan's Jig [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is a jig version of "Egan's Gone to Finland." I'd never thought of trying to turn a polka into a jig until I tried it with this tune, but I think it turned out fairly well. I hope you agree!
Friday Night Jig [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
There's really not much of a story behind this one... I wrote it on a Friday night, and that's how it got its name.
The Home Stretch [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
The name of this tune is a reference to my interest in running. As I'm coming to the end of a run, (or approaching "the home stretch," if you prefer) my heart and lungs are usually working at least as fast as this tune.
James River Jig [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This jig is named for the James River, which is Virginia's largest river. It passes within a few miles of Smithfield, and at that point it's over 5 miles wide.
Maire Ni Chathasaigh's [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune was intended to be played on the harp, although it might sound just fine on other instruments. It's named for an Irish harper who's pretty well-known.
Rambling in Circles [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
The name of this tune is a phrase that mysteriously came to mind a few days before I wrote this tume. "Rambling in Circles" is a good way to describe my thinking and speaking most of the time!
The Sunday Special [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
The title of this tune is pretty easy to explain - it was composed on a Sunday, and it was pretty special because it was the first one I'd composed in quite a while. Even so, it seemed to come together rather quickly. So, since it was written on Sunday and it was special in some way, I decided to call it "The Sunday Special."
Whistlin' Around [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is named for what I was doing just before I wrote it - I was playing around on one of my tin whistles and trying to play a tune, when this one just started to come out instead.
Yellow Hammer Jig [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is named for a road near Zuni, Virginia, a small town where I've lived for the past couple of years. When the roads in Isle of Wight County were finally named about 10 years ago, some roads were named after people (like Harry Wilson Road), some were named after the towns they pass through (like Central Hill Road), and some were named after geographical features hey are close to (like Burwell's Bay Road). And then some were given names that make no sense to me at all...like Iron Mine Springs Road (which is not near an iron mine or a spring), and Yellow Hammer Road, the road for which this tune is named.

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Hornpipes

Blackwater Hornpipe [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is named for the Blackwater River, which forms the western boundary of Isle of Wight County and passes just a couple of miles west of where I live. As you might imagine, the river gets its name from the color of its water. The water is very dark because of the leaves that fall off the trees and decompose, creating tannic acid which is naturally a dark brownish color. After flowing south past the city of Franklin, the Blackwater River meets up with the Nottoway River to become the Chowan River at the border between Virginia and North Carolina.
Compliments to Natalie MacMaster [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune got its name because of a Christmas card I got from Natalie a few years ago. At the time, I had recently purchased a CD called "Celtic Legacy" which has some of her music on it. After hearing it, I decided I'd like to hear more of her music. So, I wrote her a letter, and she sent me a Christmas card with her reply since it was around that time of year. That's the story!
Cows in the Cornfield [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune's name came to mind one day as I was walking down a road near where I live. The road goes between a couple of corn fields, and all the corn in one of the fields had already been harvested. Some cows were in the field happily grazing on what was left of the corn (and looking at me rather strangely, I might add) as I walked by.
The Flowers of Pittsburgh [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
I really don't know where the idea for the name of this tune came from. If I ever figure it out, I'll let you know!
Philadelphia Hornpipe [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
For some reason, this tune reminds me of the one time I visited Philadelphia. I was in college at the time, and I was part of a marching band that was in a Thanksgiving parade there. That trip would have been so much better if it hadn't been so cold!! It was about 20 degrees the morning of the parade, and even though I was wearing several pairs of gloves, my hands were extremely cold by the time we were done.
Union Station [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune was composed after the same trip that inspired "Trip to Alexandria." Union Station is the name of the train station in Washington, DC...although there's so much in Union Station that you could call it a small city of its own and not merely a train station. In fact, a couple of my favorite CD's came from there!

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Marches

The Irregular March [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune, as its name implies, is rather irregular. I don't know what inspired it, but it's got to be my most unusual tune so far.

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Polkas

The Devil and the Piper [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This is a rather unusual tune - whenever I hear it I think of a piper who's been possessed by an evil spirit which makes him play tunes he doesn't even know.
Egan's Gone to Finland [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
To me, this tune sounds somewhat like an Irish polka called "Egan's," and also somewhat like a polka from Finland which was played by Kevin Burke on one of his recordings. That's where the name came from.
Greenbrier Polka [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is one that just started taking shape in my mind without me even trying to do it. It's named for a mall that I shop at on occasion.

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Reels

Aly Bain's Favourite [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune really doesn't have any connections with Aly Bain, the great Shetland fiddler. I honestly don't know why I gave this tune the name I gave it, but I did, and I'm not going to change it now!
Bach's Trip to Brittany [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This reel sounds lixe a strange mix of classical music and Breton music, so I tried to make sure the title was just as strange and mixed-up. (Well, maybe not strange...but certainly mixed-up.)
Battery Park Road [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This reel is named for a road which connects Church Street, one of the main roads in Smithfield, with Battery Park, a small village about five miles east of Smithfield. It's one of my favorite places to go on one of my bike rides.
Fifteen [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
If you take out the repeat signs, you'll find that the number of measures in this tune give it its name.
Gale Warning [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This is one of my earliest compositions. I think it goes well with "The Rising Tide," another tune I wrote at about the same time, and "Tam Lin," a traditional Irish reel.
Leahy's Broken Strings [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune was inspired by the last five minutes of a Leahy concert I saw on TV a couple of years ago. I came home that night just in time to see the very end of it, but what I heard and saw then was enough to get me started on this tune.
The Rising Tide [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune has sort of an ominous sound to it. I guess that's appropriate, since it describes what happens around here whenever the wind blows out of the northeast for more than a few hours or so.
The Trip to Rescue [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is named for the trips I've taken on my bike to Rescue, a small village near the James River. It's about a mile or so beyond Battery Park - in fact, after Battery Park Road reaches Battery Park, it turns into Rescue Road and goes on into Rescue.

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Slides/Single Jigs

The Back Road [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune, which is one of my earliest compositions, is named for the dirt road behind my house. I used to spend a lot of time walking and riding my bike on that road.
The Rainy Morning [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune was vaguely inspired by a wet and dreary morning.

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Slip Jigs

The Six-Bar Jig [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
The reason for the title of this tune should be obvious if you pay attention to the sheet music!!
Skipping Along [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
The name of this tune describes something I used to do quite a bit when I was a kid.

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Strathspeys

Battle of the Ironclads [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune originally started out as a transposed version of my first tune, "Megan's Favorite," and ended up with what you see here. The title refers to the famous Civil War battle between the two ironclad ships (the Monitor and the Merrimac) which ocurred in Hampton Roads Harbor, about 20 miles east of Smithfield.
The Cromartie Rant [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This strathspey, which almost sounds like some of the tunes from the 1700's to me, is (sort of) named for a tune ("The Firth of Cromartie") that actually was written in the 1700's.
The January Storm [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune is named for a surprise thunderstorm that came through Smithfield back in January of 1999.
Megan's Favorite [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This is the first tune I ever wrote, and it's still my favorite. I named it for a friend who was the first person to hear it besides me.
The Missed Note [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune started taking shape when I was trying to play "Miss Drummond of Perth" on my keyboard and I missed a note. The sequence of notes that produced inspired the first part of this tune.
Trip to Alexandria [ Sheet music | MIDI file ]
This tune was composed after I came back from a trip to Alexandria, Virginia (to visit the person for whom "Megan's Favorite" was named), which is just outside of Washington, DC.

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For your convenience...

You can now download all the music (both the sheet music and the MIDI files) on this page in a single ZIP file. You'll need a program such as WinZip to extract the contents of the ZIP file once you've downloaded it.

Also, if you're interested, I've created a tunebook that you can view or print. You'll need to have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to be able to use it, or some other software that is capable of reading PDF files.