Fiddle Tunes

March 19, 2020, 2:52 AM · Hi Everyone, I’m currently looking for sheet music for some beginner and intermediate fiddle tunes as extra tunes to add to some of my beginner students repertoire. So If you have any, please feel free to post it below, or a link or reference to where I can find it would be great! Thanks in advance!

Replies (13)

March 19, 2020, 3:50 AM · There is a website called thesession.org which has a whole range of fiddle tunes and traditional music.
For beginners I use Cooley's Reel, Britches full of stitches, Harvest Home, etc.

Edward Huws Jones has developed a lot of 'Fiddle' collection music, a really good place to start is Jigs, Reels and Hornpipes. Each page has a melody and an 'easy' part, so they can all be played as duets and ensembles. Look at the rest of the range too, American Fiddler is a nice one too.

https://www.boosey.com/teaching/sheet-music/Edward-Huws-Jones-Jigs-Reels-Hornpipes-New-Edition-Violin/100582

Edited: March 19, 2020, 7:13 AM · I think Hannah is looking for free stuff that she can share openly with her students without infringing anyone's copyright. I agree with "M" that the Jones material is very good. But since Hannah is a pro fiddler, I would say that it should not be that hard for her to commit some of the "traditional" tunes in her repertoire to paper.
March 19, 2020, 8:32 AM · I gave away much of my student music when I stopped teaching, but I do recall that "DEVIL'S DREAM" was compatible with the earliest songs in Suzuki book 1. And the students (kids and adults) all loved being able to play something that lively that early in their "careers."

"ASHOKAN FAREWELL" while not really a fiddle piece, was another one that some adult beginners asked for. The music was actually printed in the July/August 1996 issue of STRINGS magazine.

March 19, 2020, 9:25 AM · A Google search for "ABC Fiddle Tunes" will bring up numerous collections of fiddle tunes which are traditional and not copyright. ABC is a notation system for traditional music that converts easily to conventional music notation.
March 19, 2020, 9:34 AM · For free fiddle music, thesession.org is exactly what you want, and the scores are easily downloadable.
March 19, 2020, 3:11 PM · Awesome thanks everyone! I do use the session website and it’s great! I am mostly looking for just sheet music on its own, I don’t mind paying for it but would prefer not to have to buy a whole book if there’s only a couple tunes in it that I’d like to use. Also forgot to mention my preferred style would be country but I am open to anything! Thanks again!
March 19, 2020, 8:04 PM · Faber Music has published "The Complete Country Dance Tunes, from Playford's Dancing Master" Mostly tunes from the 17th century. There is a lot of over-lap of Baroque Era style, country dance, and British Isles fiddle tunes.
March 20, 2020, 4:43 AM · There are thousands of web-sites with freely downloadable PDF files you can print out or e-mail as attachments to your students so they can print them out.

Here is a web-site which lists lots of other web-sites:
http://www.biteyourownelbow.com/webtunes.htm

Many of the links no longer work, but those that do offer a goldmine of great things for free download.

March 27, 2020, 10:52 PM · The music of James Scott Skinner at Aberdeen University:
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/

The Miller O'Hirn Collection Scottish Fiddle Tunes by James Scott Skinner at the University of Glasgow:
https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/library/files/special/exhibns/month/jun2000.html

There is also an excellent book: 1001 Fiddle Tiunes (which I have lost in my music room SOMEWHERE(Grrrr!), but I can't recall the pubisher.

Ralph Palmer of Brattleboro, VT, and a member of "The Viola List" at viola@groups.io has published several hundred fiddle tunes for violas, and distributed them for free with the caveat: "The intent of this collection is to make these tunes freely available to anyone in the viola section of the traditional music community. Reproduction of single copies is encouraged. Printing or sales of multiple copies for commercial purposes is prohibited."

March 28, 2020, 1:40 AM · In the blogs section of this website Robert Kirby has posted some delightful stuff with a few manuscripts “for sight reading practice” under “ The Lorry Drivers Lunch”
Edited: March 28, 2020, 3:23 AM · Check this out: https://www.heallan.com/freedownloads.asp

At the bottom it also has a link to this ("favourite slow airs"), but you might miss it: - https://www.ericallanscottishmusic.co.uk/

And from there, you will probably want to follow this link:
https://www.ericallanscottishmusic.co.uk/index.asp?pageid=375185

Edited: March 28, 2020, 5:23 AM · I second any if the Edward Huws Jones books. He has a book for virtually any fiddle style you can name from celtic to kletzmer (which he knows is not the same as gypsy, unlike some books) to tango, stopping at celtic and anerican along the way. A good many of them also come with cds now, which is great.

They have tune, easy part and intermediate accompaniment parts (my memoery says lots of double stops), plus piano accompaniment with guitar chords and will be well worth the investment.

There is a sampler book called the fiddler playalong collection that has 2/3 tunes from each book in the series. I'd start with that and work out which traditions you want more of. It also comes in viola and cello versions (mostly the same pieces, with an occasional key change), if that's of any use.

March 28, 2020, 5:22 AM · Also, Ken Perlman has an amazing collection of sheet music he transcribed from Prince Edward island fiddlers (one of the few with ornamentation do classical players can get an idea of the style). It's accessible at lists off places now, but also on his website.

He also has a book about PEI fiddling history you'd probably really enjoy.

I believe he's also the person behind the incredible archive of recordings and transcriptions at PEI uni. https://bowingdownhome.ca/fiddlers

Another place to look for books is https://www.scotlandsmusic.com This seems to be the key publisher of books for the two Scottish fiddle exam syllabuses. Lots of the books (often with cds) are available as ebooks/downloads which would likely be really useful right now. The ceilidh collections are a good beginner starting point and there's even a tutor book. For classical musicians who want to understand Scottish fiddle, I highly recommend this one https://www.scotlandsmusic.com/Product/SM-9O8H1D/traditional-scottish-fiddling-with-cd

I found trinity college fiddling syllabus really useful for working out a learning progression. The final two grades are mostly from the two Hardy collections, The fiddle music of Scotland and Caledonian companion, which are sometimes available on abebooks. They have lots of written-in ornamentation that's on a whole other level of difficulty for fiddlers, especially when done with Scottish style bowing.

One last recommendation: my coronavirus sanity-saver is going to be using these albums (which have duo, tune and accompanying fiddle tracks) to figure out how to - eventually! - improvise accompaniment on
Cello. The tunes are all quite standard and the second line varies from total beginner to advanced beginner. https://www.scotlandsmusic.com/Product/SM-WQBW02/fiddles-in-harmony-book-and-2-digital-albums


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