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Celtic music shows an exceptional and happy combination of strong melodies and interesting rhythms. No wonder that this type of music has inspired many wonderful modern compositions and music groups.

A few years ago I reached back to the roots of Celtic music. In 1873, P.W. Joyce published a precious set of 100 melodies collected from Irish harp players and other local musicians, to be followed in 1909 by second collection of 842 melodies. Harmonics to these tunes were provided by Professor Glover according to known Irish patterns.

Most of these melodies have been widely forgotten. This seems a good place to revive some of those melodies in a modern interpretation. The melodies presented here have been "modernized" with various modifications, comments, extensions and/or new basslines.

These tunes were all created with virtual instruments in our own unique recording setup. These recordings are set in the public domain.

A great deal more information about these and more melody collections by PW Joyce is available on the PW Joyce Irish Music Microsite.


P.W. Joyce. 1873. Ancient Irish Music: One Hundred Airs Hitherto Unpublished, Many of the Old Popular Songs, and Several New Songs. Edited and collected. Dublin. McGlashan and Gill.


P.W. Joyce. 1909. Music And Songs. A Collection of 842 Irish Airs and Songs Hitherto Unpublished. Longmans, Green, and Co.


On more about Celtic music in general, see



Current complete collection

Ace and Deuce - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 14

P.W.Joyce Collection 1873: "The words 'Ace and deuce' (or one and two) mean here the highest pitch of excellence; and as the name indicates, the tune was considered the perfection of music when well played on the bag-pipes, and its correct performance was believed to be a sufficient test of the instrumental skill of a piper." (Tempo: original 74, here 120).

Echoes of the Yellow Flail / An Suiste Buidhe - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 4 - detail here and here

Bealltaine Themes - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 34 - detail here and here

Cheer up, Daughter - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 26 - detail here and here

Do You Remember - piano - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 nos 21-24

Do You Remember - flutes - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 nos 21-24

Fairy Kings Courtship - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 1 - detail here and here

Going to be Married - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 17 - detail here and here

Maidin - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 12 - detail here and here

Mountains High - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 21 - detail here and here

Slan Beo. Farewell - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 4

Sweet Colleen Rue - P.W.Joyce Collection 1909 no 12 - detail here and here

The Dawning of the Day - P.W.Joyce Collection 1873 no 8 - detail here and here