Bill Black's

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

BROWSE link (folders)

SEARCH link (individual tunes)
HTML format
Excel format (sortable)


Welcome to the Irish Traditional Tune Library (successor to webABC).

The purpose of this website is to preserve in digital format Irish traditional dance tunes that have
(1) appeared in printed sources
(2) been transcribed from recordings
(3) been submitted to me by the composers

The files included are all in PDF format and include links to MP3 sound files. (Your browser may be capable of opening both the PDF and the sound link concurrently, which is handy for following the music.)

There is also a link to the ABC file in which the tune is contained.
ABC is a text-based system
(i.e., no special software required) that's ideal for handling traditional music. I'm a firm believer in the value of ABC and will be happy to share information on it with anyone requesting same.

The ABC file will include any "liner-note"-type material (e.g. tune history, alternate versions). ABC also allows a user to change the tune's playback speed, which can come in handy if my standard settings (180 for reels, 160 for jigs, 150 for hornpipes, and so forth) are not suitable for the user's needs.

Note that the links work ONLY after the page on which they appear has been downloaded. The links do NOT work online.

The material included here is all "public domain" traditional music unless noted differently. My thanks to the composers who have allowed me to include their efforts on this site. In those cases, copyrights and associated permissions belong to them.

There are two ways to access the material on this site, Browse and Search.

BROWSE provides access to the individual folders in which the material is contained. These folders often correspond to the printed volumes (e.g. O'Neill's, O'Farrell, Bulmer & Sharpley, Roche). Clicking on the folder link will open the table of contents listing all the tunes in that folder. The tune titles are linked to the corresponding PDF.

BROWSE is useful for getting an overview of what tunes appear where, basically a "quick look" at what's on the site. Any particular title of interest can be clicked on for further examination.

SEARCH provides direct links to the tunes and is designed for those users who need to go to a particular tune without needing any other details.

The original HTML table is still available, but I have also included Excel spreadsheet versions. The advantages of the Excel format are:
(1) the file contents are sortable
(2) you can search for any tune in the O-S file (e.g.) by entering its name (or part of the name)
or file ID number in the search bar

The best way to understand all this is to try it for yourself. Remember that you can't affect any website contents - what's on my server will always be there in the same form. What you do with the downloaded file once you get it on your hard drive is pretty much up to you.

(Note that there's a way of combining PDF's in the event that - for example - you want to put all versions of "Silver Spear" in one file. You can get details on this in whatever program you use to open/edit PDFs - Mac Preview, Adobe, etc.)

Work on this version of the website (aside from corrections) will be completed by 24 September 2023. It will however remain open for new material, which will be included in a "Supplement". If at some point in the future you're looking for a folder or a tune that doesn't appear in the original site, please check the Supplement (there will be a link to it from this page).

Comments, criticisms, suggestions: all welcome. Additional contributions always welcome - submissions in ABC, PDF, or XML only please (no sound files).

Contact me at bill@capeirish.com at any time.

There's a wealth of great material on this site - I've been collecting it for over 30 years. Have fun expanding your repertoire!

And finally, thanks to the many musicians and composers who have supported this effort over the years. There are too many to name here but I'm grateful to all of you.

Bill Black
Bourne Village MA (Canal-side)
23 Sept. 2023
updated 8 June 2024