Advanced Tunes

At any time, in thousands of festivals, homes, bars and other places, people will be gathered for music "sessions". These are social events, but often feature players with extraordinary skill. Closely related to a session is a gathering of American "bluegrass" players, known as a "pick"

The defining feature of sessions is a common set of tunes, which are known by most of the players. These tunes are sometimes hundreds of years old, and are the result of a unique form of musical evolution. Quite simply, the boring tunes are not played, and quickly die away. The great tunes remain, and form the core repertoire of session players. Hence it is possible to walk into a session on the other side of the world, and immediately join in, due to the common repertoire of great tunes.

A generic name for this music is "fiddle tunes", as they are often played on the fiddle. Harmonicas are less common, perhaps because the tunes can be hard to learn. Hopefully this page will simplify the process.

These tunes are challenging and terrific. They are (mostly) pretty quick, but also sound great at slower speeds. You will develop the skills needed for these tunes in junior and senior year. They are divided into two groups, Bluegrass and Irish.


Angeline the Baker

Big Sciota

Billy in the Lowground

Cherokee Shuffle

Flop Eared Mule

June Apple


Old Joe Clark

Red Haired Boy

Red Wing

Salt Creek

Soldiers Joy


Drowsy Maggie

Drunken Landlady

George Brabazon's Second Air

Lord Inchquin

The Merry Blacksmith

Morrison's Jig

The Girl I Left Behind

Star of Munster