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Guitar, 5-string banjo, & ukulele!
Welcome to Celtic Winter! Here is a collection of 20 traditional Celtic folk tunes that have winter themes. I’ve always wanted to look for other tunes from this time of year besides the standards that we usually hear and play. I searched through dozens of books from O’Neill’s various collections of Irish music to 17th century Scottish manuscripts.
The banjo and guitar arrangements can be played together as duets as they are in the same key as each other. Some of the ukulele arrangements can be played in the same key with a capo on the second fret, but many of the songs had to be transposed into different keys to fit on the ukulele better.
For all three instruments, I arranged these in the campanella style. The 5-string banjo in open G tuning works perfectly for this where we can let several notes ring together to create a sort of accompaniment for the melody by itself. This is often referred to as melodic-style banjo playing. This is also why the guitar arrangements use altered tunings that actually resemble the banjo tunings a bit. The ukulele arrangements highlight the effects of the re-entrant tuning so these close harmonies can ring out together like a set of bells, or campanella as they would say during the Renaissance in Italy, supposedly about the way it sounded when lutenists played. As I play through these, my general rule of thumb is that I’m trying to let as many notes ring out as long as possible. On all three instruments, it creates a very harp-like effect that I enjoy quite a bit.
Here are the song titles and the sources
Part One: Frost & Snow
Frost & Snow (O'Neill's Music Of Ireland: 1850 Melodies, 1903)
The Frost Is All Over (O'Neill's Dance Music Of Ireland, 1907)
When Frost & Snow Does Cover The Ground (The British Musical Miscellany, 1733)
When The Snow & The Frost Are All Over (Old Irish Folk Music & Songs, 1909)
The Snow On The Hills (O'Neill's Music Of Ireland: 1850 Melodies, 1903)
The Snow Storm (O'Neill's Music Of Ireland: 1850 Melodies, 1903)
Who’ll Come Fight In The Snow (Gems Of Ireland: 200 Airs, 1841)
Part Two: Christmas & New Year’s Day
Christmas Eve (traditional Irish jig collected by Brendan Breathnach)
A Merry Christmas (O'Neill's Music Of Ireland: 1850 Melodies, 1903)
Christmas Day In The Morning (Selection Of Scotch, English, Irish, & Foreign Airs, Vol. 3, 1788)
New Christmas (The Dance Music Of Scotland by J.T. Surenne, 1851)
The Christmas Carousing (A Selection Of Music For The Highland Bagpipe by Donald McPhee, 1876)
New Year’s Day In The Morning (The Universal Magazine Of Knowledge & Pleasure, February, 1755)
New Year’s Day (Selection Of Scotch, English, Irish, & Foreign Airs, Vol. 3, 1788)
Part Three: Winter
Apples In Winter (O'Neill's Music Of Ireland: 1850 Melodies, 1903)
Winter Apples (O'Neill's Music Of Ireland: 1850 Melodies, 1903)
The Humors Of Winter (O'Neill's Music Of Ireland: 1850 Melodies, 1903)
Winter (Selection Of Scotch, English, Irish, & Foreign Airs, Vol. 3, 1788)
Drive The Cold Winter Away (traditional 17th century English country dance)
Kiss The Cold Winter Away (Davidson's Gems Of Scottish Melody)
You'll receive three separate PDFs to download once you've completed your purchase. Banjo and ukulele arrangements are each one full page. Each guitar arrangement is two full pages.
If you'd prefer to purchase individual books in this series:
5-String Banjo: https://kylegrayyoung.gumroad.com/l/celticwinterbanjo