January 26, 2013 — The full Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection is available for digital downloading. Irish music learners and others can download individual tunes, full albums, or all 1,000 tunes in the collection.
In 1995, Paddy O’Brien released Volume One of The Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection, including 400 reels and 100 jigs from his vast repertoire of Irish traditional music. In 2011, The Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection, Volume Two was completed. The second volume comprised yet another 500 tunes—150 double jigs, and 120 hornpipes, 100 polkas, 100 reels, and 30 slip jigs.
Not since Captain Francis O’Neill compiled The Music of Ireland in 1903 has a collection of this size and scope been made available to the general public.
And no single individual in the world of Irish traditional music has ever undertaken such an ambitious project as 1,000 tunes from memory. What also sets The Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection apart is the fact that it is created for players, like O’Brien himself, who learn music in the traditional manner—by ear.
In addition to his remarkable memory, Paddy O’Brien’s special gift is also that of a great ear, not only for variations and interpretation, but for techniques and even notes peculiar to certain regional styles, instruments, and players. His store of lesser‑known regional and personal versions of tunes includes, for example, three settings of “The Moving Cloud,” four settings of “Drowsy Maggie,” and three of “The Wild Irishman.” Many of the versions included in this second volume of the Tune Collection have never before been recorded or transcribed.
The Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection is also set apart by the written materials which accompany the tunes (available separately from the downloads HERE). Paddy O’Brien’s phenomenal memory extends not only to notes and variations, but to titles, and to the history that accompanies the tunes—when he received them and from whom; when and by whom they were composed or first introduced into the popular tradition. Keeping the learner in mind, the written notes on the music also include suggested keys, information on techniques used, and some basic ideas on how the tunes are arranged into selections. These considerations are as much a part of the tradition as the tunes themselves, and give the learner a depth of knowledge about Irish music and culture not available from commercial recordings.
The Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection is available exclusively online from CD Baby and Paddy O’Brien at https://paddyobrien.net/tune-collection/.
The Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection has been supported over the years, in part, by grants from the Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship Program, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Irish Fair of Minnesota Legacy Fund.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
For more information, or to schedule an interview with Paddy O’Brien,
please call + 1 651-698-2258 or e-mail: PaddyOBrienBox@gmail.com.