My Celtic MIDI Sets, Page 1 (Sets 1-25)

Set #1
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Megan's FavoritestrathspeyTony Upton
The Iron ManstrathspeyJ.S. Skinner (Scotland)
Jimmy Lyon'sstrathspey
This set of tunes starts of with my very first (and my favorite) composition, which is named after the first person (besides me) that ever heard the tune. (I don't do that for just anyone, by the way.) The next tune was composed by Scottish strathspey "master" James Scott Skinner, who also wrote some pretty mean reels in his day. Just listen to "The Hurricane" once and you'll agree - trust me. The final tune in the set is another traditional tune, which was played by Altan on one of their CD's (Gasp! An Irish group playing a strathspey!). If I can ever remember which CD that was, I'll let you know.
Set #2
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Back RoadslideTony Upton
Skipping Alongslip jigTony Upton
The Home Stretchdouble jigTony Upton
Those of you who visited this site in its early days probably noticed that I hadn't come up with names for these tunes. I did eventually come up with names for them, though. The first tune, for some reason, reminds me of the dirt road behind my house. The second tune reminds me of something I would do on that road when I was younger (and still might do today if I really felt like it), and the third is something of a reference to my interest in running. After a good two mile run, my heart and lungs are often working at about the same speed as the tune itself!
Set #3
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Joe MacInneshornpipe
Flowers of Edinburghhornpipe
S'Iomad Rud a Cunnaic Mireel
The Congress Reelreel
I decided to let my arranging skills (assuming, of course, that I have any!) take over completely for this set. The first tune is a traditional hornpipe (probably Scottish, judging from the name) which really has a nice, light feel to it. I think it's also a great lead-in for the second tune, which hardly needs any introduction. I don't think I'm even qualified to introduce one of the most well-known Celtic traditional tunes on Earth!! In any case, it's followed by a reel which I believe Kevin Burke played on one of his CD's. If I translated the Gaelic title correctly, it means "It's Many a Thing I Have Seen." The final tune is one I don't know anything about - I just thought it sounded great!!
Set #4
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Rising TidereelTony Upton
Gale WarningreelTony Upton
Tam Linreel
This set is a "change of pace" from the previous three. There's more of a dark, ominous mood to these tunes which is very different from the mostly "bright" sound of the other sets. I guess if I had to name this set, I'd call it "It was a dark and stormy night...." The first two tunes are my own compositions, and the third is a tune (also known as "The Howling Wind") which I first heard played by Roger Landes. He played a slightly different version than the one I used here, and it was awesome. I'd certainly call his music recommended listening!
Set #5
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
An Súisín Banset dance
Gypsy Princessbarn dance
Those of you who have been to this page before probably noticed a change in this set. I decided to replace the tune I originally had at the beginning of this set with a different tune. The "new" tune is an interesting tune I first heard on a CD by The Cheiftains. It's followed up by a tune which is played through twice - first in G, then in A. Every time I've ever heard it played, there was a similar key change, so I guess it made sense for me to do it the same way!
Set #6
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Dark March4/4 pipe marchTony Upton
If you want to get techincal about it, this really isn't a "set," but I thought this tune did rather well played by itself. As its name implies, it's a rather dark and ominous sort of tune. For the sake of variety, I decided to play it through twice, with the second run-through played one octave higher than the first.
Set #7
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Compliments to Natalie MacMasterhornpipeTony Upton
Once again, this really isn't a set, but it's a tune that seems to do well on its own. I guess you could say the title is a way of thanking Natalie for the Christmas card I got from her a few years ago. Yes, you read that right! (If you want the whole story, you can ask, but I won't tell you if you don't ask nicely.)  Anyway, I think the ornamentation I used for the second run-through is pretty neat. I sure did have fun with it, if nothing else!
Set #8
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Redesdale HornpipehornpipeJames Hill
The Home RulerhornpipeFrank McCollum
Cincinnati Hornpipehornpipe
The Salamanca Reelreel
I don't have background information on all these tunes, but I do like the way they go together. The first tune was written by James Hill and was known as "The Underhand." At some point the tune was rewritten for a Northumbrian piping contest, and was given another name in the process. (Thanks to Alex Boydell for this information, and for letting me know that it's spelled "Redesdale," not "Reedsdale" as I orignially had it.) "The Home Ruler" was written back in 1961 by Frank McCollum, a fiddler and composer from Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland. The third tune is actually a variation of "Harvest Home," a rather well- known tune.
Set #9
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Music in the Glenreel
Christmas Evereel
Leahy's Broken StringsreelTony Upton
The first tune in this set was played by the Bothy Band on one of their CD's - once again, I don't know which one, but I know they played it. The second tune is one I first heard played by Kevin Burke and Míchéal Ó Domhnaill on the radio, and all I can say about that is "WOW!!!" It's followed by one of my own compositions, which was vaguely inspired by watching the last five minutes of a Leahy concert on TV. Now, if their music isn't fast enough to break a few fiddle strings, whose music is?? I'm not sure I even want to know!!
Set #10
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Cottage in the Grovereel
The Hut in the Bogreel
Castle Kellyreel
I've never actually heard the first tune played before, but I'm sure it would be (and probably is) a really good session tune. I heard Joanie Madden and Eileen Ivers play the second tune in a concert they did on PBS - I can't remember where or when that was. The final tune in this set is one I heard played by the Tulla Ceili Band on the "Thistle and Shamrock."
Set #11
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Sidlaw HillsstrathspeyJ. Watson
James Scott Skinnerstrathspey
The Braes of Tullymetstrathspey
This set features a strathspey composed by J. Watson (whoever that may be) and is followed by a strathspey named after the "strathspey master."  The final tune comes from the playing of Ashley MacIsaac.
Set #12
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Skye Boat Songwaltz
Mist Covered Mountainwaltz
Castle Baywaltz
Fir na Fhatawaltz
Skye Boat Songwaltz
The first tune in this set (which, as you've probably already noticed, is also the last tune in the set) is one of the most well-known Scottish tunes around. The second tune is another very well-known tune, which is also known by its Gaelic title. I don't know anything about the other two tunes - they just sound really good in this set.
Set #13
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Boys of Malinreel
The Gravel Walksreel
These reels are very widely played in sessions all over the place - after listening to how well they go together I know why!!
Set #14
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Untitleddañs plin
Untitleddañs plin
Untitleddañs plin
There are many unique types of dance tunes in Breton music. One of these is the "dañs plin," which seems to be somewhat similar to the Irish and Scottish reel. These three tunes are "double plins," meaning that the first part of each tune is 4 bars long, while the second part has 8 bars. If you listen to this set, maybe you'll hear what I'm talking about.
Set #15
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Huntingtone Castle6/8 march
Lady Mary Hay's Scots MeasureNiel Gow
I have to admit that my knowledge about these two tunes is very limited. The background of first one is almost a complete mystery to me, but I do know that the second one was composed by Niel Gow. I decided to take his original 3-part arrangement and stretch it to 5 parts by replaying the last two parts.
Set #16
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Morrison'sdouble jig
The Leitrim Fancydouble jig
Jig of Chordsdouble jig
These are three Irish jigs which I really like. The second one was played by the Bothy Band on one of their CD's - it started off a phenomenal set of tunes which will absolutely knock your socks off if you hear it. Trust me. I fiddled around with the guitar chords for this set - hopefully you'll like the results.
Set #17
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Bog an Lochainstrathspey
Miss Stewart of GrantullystrathspeyNiel Gow
Captain George Hunterstrathspey
Mr. Horn's StrathspeystrathspeyJohn & Andrew Gow
This "set" originally featured only the first tune, and while I thought that turned out OK, I like this idea a little better. Anyway, the first tune is part of an awesome set on one of Ashley MacIsaac's CD's (with John Allan Cameron adding some great accompaniment), and the second tune is one of Niel Gow's more famous works. I don't know anything about the third tune. (Sorry, folks.) The final tune was composed by John and Andrew Gow, two of Niel's sons. (By the way, the arrangement of Bog an Lochain I used to have here is now on my MIDI tunes page, so please feel free to check it out there.
Set #18
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
An Chóisirslide
Connie O'Connell'sslide
Miko Doyle'sslide
I don't have any background information on these tunes, but I do like the way they go together!
Set #19
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Presbyterian Hornpipehornpipe
Last Night's Funslip jig
Drops of Brandyslip jig
I arranged this set of traditional tunes after playing around with my Casio keyboard and discovering that the clarinet can be made to sound an awful lot like a set of Northumbrian smallpipes. I heard Battlefield Band play the first tune on the "Thistle and Shamrock" once - it has to be the most unusual tune I've come across so far. (I think the fact that it's in 6/4 contributes to that fact somewhat!) The second tune is a traditional Irish slip jig, and I'm not sure where the third tune comes from.
Set #20
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
The Legacy Jigdouble jig
Tar Road to Sligodouble jig
Paddy Clancy'sdouble jig
I heard the first of these three Irish jigs on Joanie Madden's CD "Song of the Irish Whistle."  It was followed by the second tune in this set, which was the first tune in a set played by the Bothy Band.  The second tune in that set, incidentally, was "Paddy Clancy's," which is the final tune in this set.
Set #21
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Mulvihill'sreelMartin Mulvihill
The Ash Plantreel
Clarke's Favouritereel
The first tune in this set was written by the incomparable Martin Mulvihill, a wonderful musician whose prized pupils included the likes of Eileen Ivers (before she started playing her blue fiddle, I'm sure). I have a feeling that I've heard the second tune somewhere before, but I don't know where. The third tune is one of my favorites - I first heard it played by Liz Carroll on fiddle, and I've discovered that it sounds really good on piano as well.
Set #22
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Jenny's Welcome to Charliereel
The Customs Gapreel
The Doon Reelreel
This set of tunes comes from the playing of Zan McLeod, who plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki and probably 836 other stringed instruments. I heard him play this set of tunes on "Thistle and Shamrock" once. Thanks to the wonders of modern recording technology, listeners were able to hear him play several of these instruments simultaneously. (I've seen pictures of him, so I know it's the technology - he doesn't have 10 arms or anything like that!!)
Set #23
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Patrick Brown'sstrathspeyTony Upton
The Girls at MartinfieldreelPhil Cunningham
This set starts off with a strathspey I composed (all by myself!!) and named after a visitor to this site who showed a particular interest in it. It then ends with a reel composed by Phil Cunningham. I heard Natalie MacMaster play it on her CD "Fit as a Fiddle" - if you ever have a chance to listen to it, I'd highly recommend it.
Set #24
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Richard Twomey'sreelRichard Twomey
Fermoy Lassesreel
Lads of Laoisreel
This is a set of three Irish reels which I've only heard played from ABC tune files - I've never heard them performed by an actual musician or group. The first tune (which, not surprisingly, was composed by Richard Twomey) would go well on uilleann pipes, with a few nice low E crans in the first part and some excellent "pops" on the high G's in the second part. (Anyone familiar with the basic ornamentations used in Irish music, especially for the uilleann pipes,should know what I'm talking about.)
Set #25
Tune nameTypeComposer (if known)
Are Ye Sleepin, Maggie?song
I first heard this Scottish song on a CD I bought a few years ago - for me, the song was something of an introduction to the music of Dougie MacLean. This version really seems to be suited for a pure instrumental arrangement, without any singing.