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Ceol - Irish Traditional Music

Harp of Tara organizes a very active program in support of Irish Traditional music - a Weekly Slow Session, a Monthly Siamsa, House Concerts and Workshops, and Music Immersion Weekends

Traditional Irish Session     Irish Slow Session
CCE Kingston Irish Session Tune Book    1916 Commemoration Tune Book
Irish Siamsa    Monthly Ceili    House Concerts And Workshops   
Kingston non-CCE Musical Events Kingston Irish Music Teachers Irish Sessions Outside Of Kingston   
The Rattlebag

CCE Weekly Slow Session

Every Tuesday Evening, 5:30 - 8:30pm,
Beginner's intro to sessions group: 5:30 - 7:00. all welcome.
202 Main Street, Barriefield Directions

A session (seisiún) is just a bunch of friends in a circle, playing tunes together. A 'slow' session is a session for people new to their instruments, or even for experienced musicians new to the Irish repertoire. There's a limited, easy to learn repertoire, and the tunes are played at an accessible pace.

Harp of Tara sponsors a weekly slow session, every Tuesday evening of the year, with few exceptions (e.g. if Tuesday falls on December 25th) from 6:30 to 9:00.

The slow session welcomes people of all ages, at all levels, on all instruments. We provide a music book, and cds of the tunes played slowly. It's an excellent way for beginners to see how much fun a trad session can be and also a good place for the more experienced to pick up a tune or two. The atmosphere is friendly and the tunes are wonderful. No charge

As of 2012, we also host an absolute beginners introduction to Irish Music, all welcome, all instruments. The Slow Session runs from 5:30 to 8:30

  • 5:30 - 6:00 Absolute Beginners
  • 6:00 - 6:30 Extra-Slow Session, teaching and practicing current repertoire
  • 6:30 - 7:00 Slow Session, teaching new repertoire
  • 7:00 - 8:30 Slow Session

Kingston Slow Session Repertoire 2015

Here are a few tunes to get started on, in PDF format: Slow Session - A Few Tunes for Beginners

Tuesday Session

Every Tuesday Evening, 8:30 - 11:00pm,
Sir John's Public House 343 King Street East (near Market Square)

Some of the best traditional Irish music in Kingston. wide repertoire and full speed Regular Session Tune Repertoire

1916 Commemoration Tune Book

we've put together a short tunebook of Irish Rebel tunes for the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising. 1916 Commemoration Tune Book

Kingston Irish Session Tune Book

If you see any mistakes - chords, notes, 'bad' settings,' historical notes, spelling etc, please e-mail rmacdiarmid@cogeco.ca - the book can become much better with many contributing, on the wiki principal.
The Table of Contents and Indexes are active links - clicking on a tune name will take you directly to the tune. Links in the biographies are also active. Bookmarks are also hyperlinked. Best viewed with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat (other readers are fine, but some links might not work, and would definitely not print correctly)

There are actually two versions of the tune-book: the principal, 'Kingston Irish Tune Book' book of all tune types, to use as a PDF on a PC or tablet, or print for a large 3-ring binder, is one large book. The PDF has the convenience of being able to find any tune in seconds.

That book has also been divided in two, in case anyone wants to print a version to be coil bound (the principal book is too large). That also works for dividing the tune-book up into a 'Regular Session' book - 'Fiddle Friendly/Winds Unfriendly' (Minor Key or wide octave range tunes), Hornpipes (including Barndances, Flings and Strathspeys) , Jigs & Slip Jigs, and Reels. The other book is 'Slow Session' tunes, with with all types of great tunes not commonly played at some regular sessions - Airs & Harp Tunes, Slides, Marches, Mazurkas, Polkas, and Waltzes

If you're in the local and area and would like a print version, e-mail rmacdiarmid@cogeco.ca. You can pick up a copy at any session or Ceili or other Harp of Tara event.
The PDF is constantly updated, but some mistakes have been found that should be fixed for earlier print runs. A text description of the errors can be found in Tunbook Revision 1.0 Text Error Log, and if the text description is not clear, a PDF of the tune-book Revision 1.0 with the errors and corrections highlighted is right below the text log:Error Highlighting for Tunebook Revision 1.O

Most recent update: July 25 error fixes, some chords; February 2015 - Melody corrections, added Carolan's Quarrel. August 29, 2014; 1 minor melody errors and other fixes. Added an appendix: Tempos (Metronome Settings) for Irish Social Dance - Set and Ceili


Entire Book: CCE Kingston Irish Session Book_Revision 1.1.

divided book, for coil binding

Book 1 - Hornpipes, Jigs & Reels CCE Kingston Irish Regular Session Tunebook, Revision 1.1

Book 2 - Slides, Polkas, Marches etc. CCE Kingston Irish Slow Session Tunebook, Revision 1.1

Regular Session Cheat Sheet (Hornpipes, Jigs and Slip Jigs, Reels)

Slow Session Cheat Sheet (Airs, Marches, Slides & Polkas, Waltzes)

Pronunciation of Irish Names in the Tune Book

Error tracking for October 2013 and January 2014 Print Runs

Tunebook Revision 1.0 Error Log text description of errors
Error Highlighting for Tunebook Revision 1.O errors highlighted on tunebook pdf

Document - “ Tempos (Metronome Speeds) for Irish Social Dances - Set and Ceili“
Metronome Speeds for Irish Social Dances

Document - “PC as a home Sound Studio - ABC's, Software, Slowing down recordings.”
PC as a Sound Studio

Document - Philippe Varlet - “A Way with the Bow” Irish Fiddle Styles - A Way with the Bow  - Of particular interest to fiddlers, but the section on regional styles is useful for anyone with an interest in Irish music. Posted with the kind permission of Mr Varlet, who besides being a scholar and a musician, runs a terrific mail-order record store, with only the best in Irish Music. Great record reviews even if you aren't buying.    Celtic Grooves

Some Sample Tunes
Star of Munster, slow  Star of Munster, regular speed
Foxhunter's Reel, Slow
Fahy's Jig

Other Online Tunebooks

The Toronto 'Black Book' - a 'must have' for Ontario Irish musicians
The Greene Tunebook, Tunes from the Red House. From the great Michigan 'Sessionite' website http://sessionite.com/
Kingstreet Session Tunebook – More Tunes than are good for you
The San Diego 'Blarney Stone' Pub Session, compiled by Michael Erskine
Belleville, Paul and Peggy's Tunebook
Bill Black's Cape Cod Irish Music Collection Bill has transcribed to ABC's an enormous collection of important Irish tunes-books: Ceol Rince na hEireann, O'Neill's, Ed Reavy, Willy Clancy....

Siamsa / Song Circle

Harp of Tara also sponsors a Siamsa - a music social - every third Sunday of the month from 2 till 5pm , in the very hospitable room upstairs at the RCHA (183 Ontario St). (with an elevator, it's more accessible)

The Siamsa provides an occasion for tunes, song, poetry, dancing, trying out your best ‘party piece,’ or whatever you wish to contribute. All ages, all levels, all welcome. The most family-friendly of the regular events. No charge.

If the monthly Céilí is the only event in Kingston that allows musicians an opportunity to play for dancers and for dancing to live music, the Siamsa is the main opportunity for musicians, singers, storytellers to get together for an enjoyable social.

The Calendar Listing Page has a complete listing of dates for the Monthly Siamsa

For further information, contact Paul Gillespie at Paul

Monthly Céilí

This music is dance music. All musicians are welcome to play along with the band, while the dancers drive the beat at Harp of Tara's monthly Céilí. More info on the Kingston Céilí page.

Other (non-CCE) Music Events

  • The Kingston regular session for advanced players, every Tuesday evening at 8:00, at Sir John's Public House 343 King Street East (near Market Square)
  • The Kingston Céilí Band holds a weekly practice

Kingston Irish Music Teachers

Fiddle - Aislinn MacDougall

Aislinn McDougall offers Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton style fiddle lessons from her home in downtown Kingston. She has been playing the fiddle for eighteen years. She was classically trained at the Conservatory of Music in Regina Saskatchewan, and heavily immersed in Irish and Scottish traditional music in her family during her youth. She previously taught fiddle to individuals of all ages for five years at Music in the House in Regina, SK under Ray Bell. In 2008, she spent time studying Irish fiddle in Ireland at Theresa Bourke’s Fiddler’s Retreat. Prior to moving to Kingston, she spent much of her time in Regina performing with her peers and students at Music in the House concerts, and a handful of Regina’s cultural festivals. If interested, please contact her at aislinn.mcdougall@gmail.com or (613)-532-9086.

Brian Flynn - many instruments

Advanced: Fiddle, bodhran, whistle, flute, guitar, mandolin and bass.
Intermediate: Piano, 5-string banjo, tenor banjo, viola, cello and trumpet.

 $27 for a half hour lesson

House Concerts and Master Class Workshops

Harp of Tara also sponsors a regular series of House Concerts and Workshops with visiting Irish Musicians. Kingston had not been a stop on musical tours until we started these house concerts, which have brought some memorable moments for all involved.

Past House Concerts and associated workshops include:

Uilleann Pipes Reed-Making Workshop with Joe Kennedy, co-sponsored with local pipers
Maeve Donnelly and Steve Baughman - Fiddle and Guitar workshops
Diorma - 2004 workshops with Niamh Dunne (Fiddle), Lindsay Moynagh (Harp), Thomas Johnston (Pipes), Shane Greene (Accordion)
Michael Rooney and June McCormack - 2004 Flute and Harp Workshops
Spraoi - 2005 Workshops with Dan MacDonald (Fiddle), Kelley Hood (Pipes), Greig Cairns (Guitar) , Pat Simmonds (Accordion).
Laura Risk And Paddy League - Fiddle and Bodhrán workshops
Flook Concert, co-sponsored, at the Octave Theatre. 2005
Patrick Ourceau and Deborah Quigley - 2006 Immersion Weekend, Fiddle and Pipes
Maeve Donnelly and Tony MacManus - 2007 Fiddle and Guitar Workshops
Patrick Ourceau and Deborah Quigley - 2007 Immersion Weekend, Fiddle and Pipes
Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins - Fiddle, Bodhrán, whistle flute and pipes, playing together. 2007
Patrick Ourceau and Deborah Quigley - 2008 Immersion Weekend, Fiddle and Pipes
Paul LeGrand - Irish Language Weekend Fiddle Workshop. April 2009
Liz Carroll and John Doyle Concert, Fiddle and Guitar Workshops. April 2009
Steafan Hannagan, Saskia Tomkins, Karen Light Immersion Weekend. Bohdran, Fiddle, Whistle.    May 2009
Patrick Ourceau - 2010 Fiddle Immersion Weekend
Mark Finnan, John Hoffman, Glen Caradus 'The Corktown Man, in Story and Song' and
   'Music, poetry and song related to the life of D'Arcy McGee. October 2010
Patrick Ourceau - 2011 Fiddle Immersion Weekend
Liz and Yvonne Kane, and Edel Fox. 2011 Fiddle, Concertina and Repertoire worships, and House Concert
Patrick Ourceau - 2012 Fiddle Immersion Weekend
The Ballad of d'Arcy McGee, in story and Song - Mark Finnan, Glenn Caradus, John Hoffman and Michael Ketemer March 2012
St Patrick's Wheelchair Ceilis March 15, 2012- SMOL Cafeteria
Liz and Yvonne Kane - Workshops and House Concert July 29, 2012
Kelli Trottier and Greg Sim - Workshop and House Concert September 13, 2012
Patrick Ourceau and Ivan Goff - Fiddle and Flute Immersion Weekend January 25-7, 2013
Nuala Kennedy and Andrew Hillhouse - Workshops and House Concert February 15, 2013
Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly - Workshops and House Concert March 22, 2013
Pat O'Connor and Eoghan O'Sullivan - House Concert March 24, 2013
Kevin Burke - Workshop and House Concert September 10, 2013
Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins - multiple workshops throughout the year
St Patrick's Wheelchair Ceilis March 13 &14, 2013- St Mary's and Providence Care
Patrick Ourceau and Ivan Goff - Fiddle and Flute Immersion Weekend January, 2014
Michael 'Blackie' O'Connell and Cyril O'Donoghue March 17, 2014
Kelli Trottier and Greg Sim - Workshop and House Concert April 05, 2014. Photos
Paddy Keenan and Brian Tahenny - House Concert August 1st 2014
Saskia Tomkins and Steafan Hannigan - House Concert and Workshops January 11, 2015
Pascal Gemme and Yann Falquet - House Concert January 22nd, 2015
Alan Reid and Rob Van Sant (ex Battlefield Band) March 29, 2015
Paul Legrand - Workshops April 2015
Patrick Ourceau and Ivan Goff - Fiddle and Flute Immersion Weekend April 18-10, 2015
Four Winds August 12, 2015
Blackie O'Connell and Cyril O'Donaghue October 9th 2015
Gerry (Fiddle) O'Connor November 16 2015
The Outside Track February 29, 2016
Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh May 20, 2016
Barrule (Isle of Man) June 27, 2016

Sessions outside of Kingston

Session hosted by the Quinte Irish Canadian Society. Irish repertoire. All levels of musicians are welcome, and the tune book is up on the web site at http://www.qics.ca/
Wednesdays, 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Engineers Hall, corner of Pine St. and Chatham St. in East Belleville.
Contact Wilfred sessions@qics.ca

The Jailhouse Tavern Celtic Music Session. Sessions will be held on the fourth Sunday of the month, 2pm at the Jailhouse Tavern, 77 Albert St, Cobourg) Jailhouse Tavern Celtic Music Session.

Again, multiple sessions, check Craig Hamm's excellent site http://www.irishmusicottawa.ca for locations. 
The tune book of the Ottawa Slow Jam is also up on the web, with chords: http://www3.sympatico.ca/hhtuner/carp/

Several sessions and a Tunebook are on the web: http://music.gordfisch.net/montrealsession/index.html

Kawartha Irish Session
Mark's Finer Diner. 128 Lansdowne Street East, Peterborough, ON
1st Saturday each month 1:00 - 4:00 pm

For more information, contact: Gerry Mitchell (705)799-5008 Gerry

The Toronto "Black Book" has been around for decades, vast repertoire, and good settings. The Toronto Black Book, Peterborough Rendition: http://www.ken-brown.ca/blackbook/

It seems no one in Toronto has thought that a general Irish web portal might be useful, so there is no online listing of sessions, tho the Toronto CCE has some listings. http://torontocomhaltas.org/index.htm
These are some of the sessions as of September 2013- they're changeable, so check first

  • Dora Keogh. 141 Danforth Avenue. Saturday 4 pm, Thursday 9 pm
  • An Sibín Pub. 709 Queen Street East. Sunday 4:30 pm
  • Ceili Cottage. 1301 Queen Street East. Tuesday 'evening.' http://www.ceilicottage.com
  • Mullins Pub. 1033 Bay Street. Wednesday 9pm
  • The Black Swan. 154 Danforth Ave . Thursday 9pm.

Session every Tuesday from 8:30 to midnight at the Corktown pub, 175 Young St, Hamilton Irish Arts

The Rattlebag collection of Irish Music Links

The Online Academy of Irish Music Top Quality Lessons from World Class Instructors Make Learning Irish Music Fun, Fast and Easy
Sign up for free to gain access to our limited bank of free lessons or get 'Full Access' to our entire bank of Irish music lessons for only $19.95 Online Academy of Irish Music

Comhaltas Music Archive The Comhaltas Traditional Music Archive comprises the recordings, documents and images collected by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann during our 50 years of promoting Irish music and culture. The establishment of the new Comhaltas Archive is a milestone in digitization and democratization for the international traditional Irish music community.' Comhaltas Archive

The Irish Traditional Music Archive Digital Library ITMA

Apps for Musicians Apps for Harpers This is from one of my Yahoo group lists for harpers but the apps are useful for all of us, regardless of instrument. Judi

Best Drum Trainer Tempo trainer is a metronome-like tool that allows you to train stability and speed of your tempo. It differs from typical metronome - tempo trainer goes mute for a while and lets you keep the tempo Best Drum Trainer Dennis

Irish Music Session video Amanda, one of our original slow session players now living in Australia sent the link to the this well-photographed session Irish Music Session video

Mick O'Brien and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh playing at the Frankie Kennedy Winter School in Gweedore, Co. Donegal! http://www.livetrad.com/podcast/. Amanda

Matt Cranitch and Sliabh notes Youtube clip An article on the Inuit accordion tradition explaining that there might be a connection between the music of Sliabh Luachra (it only only mentions Kerry and Cork, but these are in the region) and both the Newfoundland and Inuit traditions. Text Article Chris M.

Blackie O'Connell and Cyril O'Donoghue, photos from the 2014 concert, by Randy Elzinga. Blackie and Cyril House Concert

Cáit Ní Chuis from Hospital, Co. Limerick was All-Ireland Fiddle Champion in 1960 and played this Air - “The Lament for Limerick” - at the Special Concert for All-Ireland Champions in Tullamore on 30th of April, 2011. Youtube videos Just got this from Comhaltas.....so beautiful. Lament for Limerick Dennis

Just stumbled across these Celtic guerrillas in Vancouver on you tube...Jason, another one of our slow session originals shows up at about 1:40 minutes Vancouver Celtic Commandos
Also, have you seen these Commando Trad missions in Montreal? Montreal Commando Trad Amanda

Fiddler on the Road - 1972 Johnny Doherty documentary on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiehZZ2tXKg
Thomas Johnson on IrTrad

Tradconnect Supporting artists, Connecting musicians and Discovering great traditional Irish music. Tradconnect

James Kelly online Fiddle Lessons http://www.jameskellymusic.com/

The Rediscovery of Carolan by Grainne Yeats Harp Spectrum

The US Library of Congress ‘National Jukebox” was recently launched and includes, as a few minutes of trying various searches tells me, some significant Irish trad recordings, including John Kimmel, Patsy Tuohey, John McCormack, Tom Ennis, et Al. Jukebox Dennis

The Massachusetts Grotton Session website has good sound files by workshop leaders, peoples etc Grotton Session Dennis

Names of the Irish tunes played by the Pogues on their various albums The Pogues and Shane MacGowan - Borrowed Music

The Errant Elbow Harry Bradley's Piping site, with great sound clips The Errant Elbow

Ted Talk, How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-playing-an-instrument-benefits-your-brain-anita-collins

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