Cambridge Comhaltas Lessons / Whistle Tunes


Recordings of Tunes

Here are audio recordings of Grace and Bryony playing various tunes covered in the lessons. They are meant to be a learning aid serving two purposes: to remind you what the tune sounds like, and to help learn the tune by playing along with it.

I've slowed parts of the recordings down to make it easier to try and follow along, which in some cases has lead to a deterioration in the sound quality. It might ruin a good tune as something to listen to, but hopefully it is still useful as an instructional tool.

More tunes to follow, in the near future.

Tell me if this is useful, and any suggestions you might have.

Playing the tunes

Techincal considerations

If you have Javascript and Adobe Flash, then you should be able to play the tunes directly within your browser. If you don't see the snazzy play button then right clicking on the title link will let you download the mp3 directly.

Practical considerations

As mentioned above, I have slowed some of the tunes down. Generally the start of the sound clip has the recording at normal speed, which is good to listen to but probably too fast to learn from (for beginners at least; I am in awe of the people who don't know a tune but are practically playing it perfectly on the third repeat in a session... Absolutely amazing.). Then I have (mostly) followed with the slowest version (say slowed down by 60%), and a few others at gradually increasing speeds. The idea is that you probably want to learn from the slowest version, but once you have the tune, you might want to keep practicing but at gradually increasing speeds, and see where it starts getting rushed and you start making mistakes. That's when you go back one or two speed steps and carry on practicing at that speed for a little while until you make no mistakes. Don't go for speed; you want to practice the correct way of playing the tune, not get it ingrained how to play it badly.

The tunes


The Ravelled Hank of Yarn

The Ravelled Hank of Yarn - Reel


Headwood Crossing

Headwood Crossing - Jig in G, Patrick Davey tune


Bill Malley's

Bill Malley's - Barndance played on accordion


The Centenary March

The Centenary March - March played on accordion, each part played once only


The Mouse in the Kitchen

The Mouse in the Kitchen - Jig in A, version avoiding Gsharp


The Piper's Despair

The Piper's Despair - reel.


The Connaught Heifers

The Connaught Heifers - Single reel.


The First Pint

The First Pint - Jig. It's on Kevin Crawford's 'In Good Company'


Humours of Glendart

Humours of Glendart - Jig. It's in the wedding scene of 'The Deathly Hallows'


Donald Blue

Donald Blue - A Shetland reel. Michael McGoldrick and John McSherry recorded a version on 'At First Light'

Previous tunes

Older tunes have been moved to another page, and also can be found by rhythm types: jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, slides, marches, barndances and mazurkas.