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As darkness falls in Korea, the wistful “Song of Home” floats into the coming night; across the world dawn arrives to the sound of the stirring Ojibway flute call “To the Rising Sun”.

Come play music from more than thirty countries including Albania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Canada, Finland and Peru.

 The forty-two pieces in this book have been danced to, played and sung by generations of people all over the world.

Whether a lullaby or dance, love song or lament, whether in a familiar or seldom-played meter, a known or exotic scale, each melody selected for this collection is a gem; many are sure to become cherished as favorites. and here is a whole book of beautiful, complete melodies to choose from. If a lament or a jig singing in your head is calling you to play, pick up your flute, open the book, and you have all you need. If you are playing for others, what better than to give them one of these wonderful tunes to remember?

These are some of my favorite solos, yet when I want to play with another musician, I use the same pieces. This works extremely well and is lots of fun. If you want to try it, find someone who plays a chord instrument - all the necessary symbols are in the book.

The accompanying CD is a recording of all of the tunes in the same order in which they appear in the book. Allan Alexander artfully renders the chords on guitar, providing a harmonic tapestry over which the melodies float. Every piece in the book can be played by flute alone; we chose to record most of the pieces with guitar in order to present the music with a chordal background and to create an enjoyable CD.

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"Celtic Music for Flute" contains 44 pieces


1. Karaguna — Greece • In Thessaly, the Karagunes are farmers. This is one of their more popular dances; in it, a youth pledges to sell all he owns (a flock of sheep, the pig, etc.) if only his adored will have him. But, "The summer passed with no news from you."

2. Moravian Song — Moravia • Traditionally sung to a child on waking, this lovely melody could as well be used for a lullaby. If you have a singer handy, he or she can hum the bass notes (reading the chord symbols) while you play the tune quietly. You can switch roles on the repeat, involving either your local poet or your own creativity if your singer asks for lyrics.

3. Who'll be King but Charlie — Ireland • O'Neill's Music of Ireland, a collection of one thousand, eight hundred and fifty melodies, published in 1903, lists this lively jig as "Behind the Bush in the Garden". A rose by any other name...

4. Song of Home — Korea • Home to several kinds of flutes, Korea boasts the taegum, whose expressive quality is due to the membrane-covered hole; the tangjok with its high, clear sound; and the delicately- voiced tanso, a vertical flute. This evocative melody has an element of yearning which makes it sound as if it might have been written far from home. Perhaps a more willing traveler than our composer, the 17th-century Korean poet Yon Sun-do wrote this eloquent sijo:

     "You ask how many friends I have: Water, stone, bamboo and pine.
      The moon rising over the mountain is my joyful companion.
      With these five to accompany me, what other pleasure could I ask?"

5. Lesi — Albania • The perfect melody, Lesi has sections that float as well as rhythmic drive. This is one of the first tunes I would want on the proverbial desert island. If you are new to the 7/8 meter, play along with the CD or try tapping, clapping or saying "1 2 3 1 2 1 2" (accenting the ones) until you get the feel of it. The third and fifth lines of music may be harder to count at first because they depart a bit from the "3 + 4" nature of the piece. This is what gives the tune such a wonderful floating feeling. If these lines confuse you, simply tongue the tied notes until you are comfortable enough to play them as written.

6. Beauty in Tears — Turlough O'Carolan, Ireland • Was "Beauty" Welsh? I find this melody reminiscent of "The Ash Grove". Blinded in his teens by Smallpox, Carolan turned to music as an occupation, traveling with his harp from house to house. He was encouraged to write music partly because, due to his late start, it was thought by some that his playing skills weren't enough to carry a musical career. Amazingly, Carolan's first writing effort resulted in the still-popular Sheebag Sheemore.

7. Two Shaker Songs — United States • The Shakers believe that dancing is an integral part of worship; they have written tens of thousands of songs. The 5/4 meter in the first tune, "Blessing", should be counted as "2 + 3"; this can be played very freely. "Mother Says go on Dear Children" is delightfully cheerful and asks to be repeated.

8. Joc Batrinesc — Romania • The Gypsies, who have long been Romania's musicians, have kept the traditional music of their country alive. This wistful-sounding dance tune might be telling their story.

9. Dance Suite — from the Dance School of Gregorio Lambranzi, Italy • This lively suite of 17th-century Italian dances begins with the Bolognesa. The eighth-note figures in the first half are often played as dotted-eighth, sixteenth, eighth. This version was set by Allan Alexander, who published it for guitar.

10. My Own True Love — Palestine • This gorgeous tune speaks for itself.

11. Nigun Bialik — Israel • This is an energetic and popular old tune, and fun to play.

12. Night Has Come — Slovakia • This peaceful lullaby comes from a country with a long history of invasions. Among others, the Celts, Romans, Huns, Goths, and finally, the Slavs themselves migrated to the region. Yet mothers sang their babies to sleep...

13. Round Dance — Russia • This music is from a dance known in Russia as a "Chorovod", or "Walking Chorus". In it, the dancers form a circle, holding hands and singing a simple and repetitive tune.

14. Passemeze — Adrian le Roy, France • Singer, poet, lutenist, and type-setter, Adrian le Roy founded his publishing company in Paris in 1549. A passameze (also spelled passemezzo and passamezzo and meaning "a step and a half") is an Italian dance in duple time. In this arrangement, the second section (beginning at the double bar) is "plus diminué", an embellished repeat of the melody.

15. The Maiden's Lament — Canada • "As I roved out one evening in Spring, down by a silent sweet shady grove, I heard a maiden making sad lament; she cried, ‘Alas, I have lost my love. O love is like an unquenching fire, like a raging fire it seems to burn. Unto my cold grave I will retire, unto my friends I will ne'er return. Come all you fair maids like me a-dying, it's now I'm taking my last farewell. And all you small birds round me flying, let your sweet notes be my passing bell.'" A rather short-sighted sentiment, but a truly lovely tune...

16. Danza L'Osu — Asturias • The traditional music of Asturias can't deny its Celtic ancestry. A cycling tour through the mountains would be a terrific way to explore this spectacular region of Spain as well as the Celt influence on Asturian music.

17. Swedish Folk Song — Sweden • This unique, mazurka-like melody is full of surprises; at least I have found it so.

18. To the Rising Sun — Ojibway • The Native American flute, also called courting flute, love flute, or Indian flute, is held perpendicularly. It is usually made of cedar and decorated with breath-directing blocks, called "birds", in the shapes of different animals. Most of these flutes have five holes; some have six. The sound is unmistakable and compelling, difficult to imitate on the transverse flute. Native American flutists are great improvisers, emulating the ebb and flow of nature with their music: for example, one melody might follow the swooping flight of a bird, and another the sporadic darting of a little fish.

19. Coskun Coruh — Azerbaijan • The tempo doubles in the second section of the tune, but it can be done freely (no need to be exact). You may prefer to begin the tune slowly and gradually speed up toward the end.

20. To Rinaki — Greece • In this Kalamata Dance, a youth sings to his love, "Little Irene", begging her to find a way for him to get past her locked door (which he has been kissing, making believe that he is kissing his Irene). His proposed scheme: Irene should spill water in front of the door so that he will slip and fall, on the chance that Irene's mother might then let him in; at last, he believes, he will get to talk to his beloved. The 7/ 8 meter is divided into "3 + 4". It can be counted as "3 + 2 + 2", accenting each "first" beat. When you become used to playing in 7, you will find that counting is no more necessary than it is in a more familiar meter. If it gives you trouble, listen to the CD, and keep at it; the tune is worth it, and it will come.

21. El Noy de la Mare — Catalonia • The guitarist and arranger Miguel Llobet popularized this, "the Joy of the Mother", and many other Catalan songs. The cellist and and conductor Pablo Casals was also a great advocate for the music of Catalonia, ending many of the concerts which he conducted with a full orchestral arrangement of "The Birds".

22. The Bamboo Flute — China • "The wind-drawn note of the bamboo flute, whose charm we would make our own..." Ssu-K`ung T`u, ninth-century Chinese poet.

23. Dances from Heilsberger Dreieck — Germany • Here is music with personality; I particularly like the artful transition to innocence in the middle section. If you don't have a "B" foot, just omit the low "B".

24. Shepherds and the Star — Syria • This carol, like many Syrian songs, has a beautiful simplicity. The two-measure rhythmic pattern (6 quarters plus a half note) is also typical of Syrian songs.

25. Maricensko — Bulgaria • The village of Maricensko is in the Sofia District of Bulgaria. The Pravo Horo, a very popular Bulgarian rustic dance form, is danced to this tune. It is a circle dance... which moves in a straight line!

26. Villancico Cuzqueño — Cuzco, Peru • A Villancico is a Christmas Carol; this has the characteristic rhythms and scale of music from the Andes.

27. Humilde se Acerca — Amazonas Region, Peru • From the mountain headwaters of the Amazon comes this Carol, "The Humble One approaches".

28. Furuma Dance — Japan • Furuma is a city in Japan. I enjoy experimenting with the tone of the flute on this tune, either to get a rich and slightly nasal sound, or to go to the other extreme and try for a gentle, bamboo-like timbre. The Japanese poet Ozaki Kôyô wrote about hearing a flutist practice in his haiku "Autumn Moon":

Beneath the full moon
Of autumn, my neighbor plays
His flute out of tune.

29. Abdu Habib Bendura — Turkey • One of the oldest types of flute, the ney (Persian for "reed") has been in use in the Middle East for thousands of years. Turkish ney players are said to have a particularly fluent style. In traditional Turkish music, chords are not used under the melody, but additional instruments play, descant-style, over the tune.

30. Desert Song — Egypt • There is a delicate balance of longing and contentment in this song. I like to imagine a Bedouin pausing before he enters his tent, checking his favorite mare one last time; she stirs lazily, dozing, while his thoughts reach out among the achingly beautiful stars...

31. Taltala — Armenia • The 5/8 meter in this tune from the province of Vaspurakan is divided into 3 + 2. It is a dance tune used for circle dances. Even if you are unused to playing in 5, I think that you will soon find this jewel of a melody flowing naturally.

32. Chorea Polonica — Albert Dlugoraj, Poland • Born in Poland in the late 1550's, Dlugoraj became a lutenist under the patronage of Samuel Zborowski. The aristocrat's cruelty caused Dlugoraj to leave his household and spend a short time as a Franciscan monk. Dlugoraj returned to Zborowski's house once more before being appointed as lutenist to the Polish King. It was then that he revealed letters which lead to Zborowski's execution. Dlugoraj was reportedly a virtuoso player and improvisor, and he wrote over 500 pieces for lute. Chorea Polonica, in Latin, means "Polish Dance".

33. Dans en Dro — Breton • Also called Brittany and Bretagne, the western French peninsula of Breton has an ancient and unique culture. Its music was heavily influenced by the Celts. "En dro" means "the turn" or "the circle". It is danced in two, with little fingers linked, and is thought to be many thousands of years old.

34. Somogyi Karikazo — Hungary • In southern Hungary, the women sing as they dance the karikazo. This one is from the Somogy district. It is a gentle dance, and the singing is paramount.

35. Cantico — Venezuela • I thought that this melody couldn't get any more luscious until I played Allan's variations. The whole tune rolls along gently and lovingly. It is a very special piece.

36. Sher — North Africa • This Klezmer dance tune can be played to suit your mood; either sinuously or in a driving manner. I hope you have fun with it.

37. Ay, Ay, Ay — Osman Perez Freire, Chile • Señor Freire wrote this song in 1915; it has achieved world- wide popularity. The rhythm calls to mind the Spanish Bolero. The words end cleverly with, "Soñé que la nieve ardía; soñé que el fuego helaba... soñé que tú me querías. (I dreamed that the snow burned; I dreamed that fire froze... I dreamed that you wanted me.)"

38. Arrullo — Spanish-American • This sweet lullaby is one of my favorites. The words, meaning, "Sleep, my child; Sleep, my sun. Sleep, little piece of my heart," are: "Duermete mi niño; Duermete mi sol. Duermete pedazo, de mi corazon."

39. On the Riverside — Finland • If the riverside in Finland is as pleasant as this lilting tune, I'd like to be there. (I am listening for mosquitos, however.)

40. Bonny Katherine Ogie — Scotland • Just try to sit still while playing this rollicking old tune. It was understandably included in John Playford's 1687 Dancing Master, the Panmure Manuscript from 1680, and in The Highland Fair from 1731. I used all three of the previous sources in this version.

41. Oláhos — Hungary • This dance is for both men and women and involves jumping and clapping. It is a fine tune for experimenting with ornaments. Hungarian gypsy music is rich and vital; the musicians are virtuosic, and they employ some surprising techniques such as playing the violin not only with the bow but by pulling a circle of rosin-covered string over the instrument.

42. Go to Sleep My Baby Child — African-American (United States) • You may know this tune as "All the Pretty Little Horses". There are many versions of this lullaby; both words and melody can vary. My mother used to sing it to me.

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Available with CD

You can purchase the book with a high quality digital compact disc of Jessica Walsh playing all of the pieces in the book.

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