These are pieces that will Capture your Imagination, And by the way, this is My Favorite Tee Shirt A Beautiful Celtic Red Dragon Design
The Balkan Book for Guitar Book/CD 6/14/08
Back to the Books
Celtic Music for the Guitar Vol. II by Allan Alexander contains 20
pieces arranged for guitar, most of them originating from Ireland and
Scotland. The book also includes two charming original compositions
written in the Celtic style by Allan. The music is presented in both
music notation and guitar tablature (for people who do not read music).
If you bought the book/CD package, you have the high quality digitally mastered CD of all the pieces in the book performed by Allan Alexander. If you bought the book without the CD, the recording is available separately from ADG Productions.
The purpose of the CD is certainly to allow a player to hear the music and to speed the learning process, but this CD is also a wonderful performance, designed to be played and enjoyed by everyone who loves good music. Great care was taken to make this compact disc enjoyable and entertaining. Great care was also taken with the choice of recording techniques and equipment. It has been both digitally mastered and mixed. Listen to it with headphones; you will feel as if you are right next to the guitar. The CD has more than 60 minutes of music.
The music in this book is suitable to be played in your living room, at corporate functions, at parties, at weddings or in the concert hall. It's a great book if you are a performer and are looking for a repertoire that is interesting to both you and your audience. If all you want is exceptional music to play just for the fun of it, then this is also the book for you.
Back to Top
Order From Allan Alexander direct, or from the links below.
In the US or other parts of the world, go to the ADG Productions link below, and search for Allan Alexander
15517 Cordary Ave.
Lawndale CA 90260-3528
To Order In the US 800 748-5934 / To Order In Canada 800 627-0823
Visa and Mastercard Accepted
In the US 800 748-5934 / In Canada 800 627-0823
Visa and Mastercard Accepted
THE GUITAR GALLERY OF HOUSTON
1401 Richmond Avenue
Houston, TX 77006-5308
To Order: (713) 528-5666 or TOLL FREE (800) 439-8525 or FAX (713) 942-9440
Back to Top
1. Thomas Leixlip the Proud - Turlough Carolan Turlough Carolan was an Irish Harper living in the Baroque period. More importantly, he was a fantastic composer. This piece is not listed in some Carolan collections, but it can be found in "O'Neill's Music of Ireland". It is a lovely tune and apparently a later discovery.
2. The Swan - Anon. This piece is also known as "An Alarc'h" and is from Breton. This is really a lovely piece and it should not pose too many problems for the player. It's a perfect example of a piece that does not have to be long and complex to be great. (Performed on the renaissance lute in this example, the CD has the guitar version)
3. Jenny Pluck Pears - From the "Playford Dancing Master" The Playford collection is a huge source of great dance melodies. The introduction is mine and sets a nice mood for the piece. It's a little more difficult than some of the other tunes, but well worth the effort when you are ready to play it.
4. An Emigrant's Daughter - Anon. This is based on a well-known piece titled "The Grenadier and the Lady". The lyrics, written by Barry Taylor, recall a sad voyage. En route from Ireland to Canada in 1842, his ancestors lost their only daughter, Elizabeth. The lyrics and story are available at Barry Taylor's home page. http://www3.islandnet.com/~btaylor/
5. Sir Ulick Burke - Turlough Carolan This is one of the many pieces Carolan wrote for his patrons. Unlike many harpers of his time, Carolan was a skilled composer. He was encouraged to compose by a patron because he started the harp late in life, at the age of 18, and was not as adept at performing as those who began at an early age.
6. A Toy - Anon. "Jane Pickering's Lute Book" "Jane Pickering's Lute Book" is a tremendous source of music for the lute and has many pieces from Scotland. In the manuscript, this tune is only two lines long. It's easy to overlook the first few times you play it. The variations make it more of a performance piece. It is within the reach of most players.
7. Betty O'Brien - Turlough Carolan Carolan's pieces have survived without harmonization. It would be a stretch to try and guess how they sounded when he played them. The only thing that I can do as an arranger is to find harmonies and variations that excite me.
8. Jenny Nettles - Anon. This is a little-known reel from Scotland. There exists a melody in the "Skene Manuscript" under the title "I Love My Love for Love Again" which is similar.
9. The Song of the Chanter - Anon. There are pieces that have a special feel all their own. This piece from Ireland is really striking. In addition to the solo arrangement you see here, Jessica Walsh and I have made a wonderful arrangement of this for flute and guitar. It will be one of the pieces in an upcoming book from ADG Productions, "Celtic Music for Flute and Guitar".
10. The Minstrel - Allan Alexander I wrote this for Roxanna Gundry Brooks, a performer and composer whom I met through the Internet. It was originally composed for the lute, and then later transferred to the guitar.
11. Maurice O'Conner/Miss MacMurry - Turlough Carolan I was practicing this piece to record, and I felt that I just wasn't connecting with it. I was trying to play it faster and faster to find a feel for the tune. To do this, I was practicing the tune slowly, when my wife came in and told me how much she loved the piece. She started dancing around the room. It gave me a different perspective on the piece immediately, and I decided to slow it down and cultivate the feeling that I had when she was dancing. That is exactly what I was looking for.
12. Hewlett - Turlough Carolan This is one of my all-time favorite Carolan pieces. The variation came quickly, and the piece just flows.
13. I Mett Her in the Medowe - Anon. "Skene Manuscript" In contrast, this is a tune where the variations did not come so easily, so I sent it to my flute-playing friend Jessica Walsh, and together we came up with a nice solution to my lack of creativity. Any way you can get the job done is really the best solution.
14. Mabel Kelly - Turlough Carolan For the most part, I see Carolan as a much more creative composer than his contemporaries. I find his melodies and phrasing to be much more interesting. There is often a certain spark that is in many of his compositions that I really like. I don't hear it in other pieces often enough.
15. Garrett Barry - Traditional This is a good example of a piece that has a catchy melody, but for an instrumental arrangement, there just has to be more so you aren't repeating the same thing over and over. The variation was a lot of fun to write and fills out the piece.
16. Lord Inchiquin - Turlough Carolan I love this piece. The variations were difficult for some reason. I had to do them over and over until I had something that I wanted to keep. I'm glad I took the time because this piece deserves to have a variation that at least reflects some of the quality of the original. It makes me a bit sad to think about Carolan, blind and traveling from town to town to perform, but he is said to have been a cheerful fellow.
17. The Fisherman's Lilt - Anon. There are some interesting surprises in the phrasing of this piece. So often the phrases of a traditional piece are predictable, and to compensate, the arranger will try and make the harmony or variations interesting. The phrasing is so important, and whoever composed this piece knew this and took advantage of it.
18. Miss Hamilton - Cornelius Lyons (1670-1740) Aside from arrangements of other composers' works, this is the only piece that has survived by Cornelius Lyons. The quality of this piece makes me wonder what his other compositions were like. He was a friend of Turlough Carolan. What a loss for the musical world. (Performed on Lute)
19. I Will Not Go to Bed Until I Should Die - Anon. "Skene Manuscript" The "Skene Manuscript" is a huge source of unique material from Scotland. The pieces were composed for mandora and have a different feel from most Celtic music. This piece was only eight measures long, but the variations just flowed, so now it has been extended to 96 measures. Learn the theme, and then take one variation at a time. Become comfortable with this much, and then learn another. You will learn it quickly.
20. Carolan's Farewell - Allan Alexander Normally I refuse to write when I am depressed, but this piece was an exception. I'm pleased that I wrote this one, though, as it has become quite special to me.
Back to Top
The music is presented in both music notation and guitar TAB (for people that do not read music). The music notation is clear and crisp. It contains complete clear fingerings for the guitar. These will help you to learn the tunes quickly whether you depend on the tablature or the music.
Back to Top
The CD, played by Allan Alexander, gives the musician the advantage of being able to hear how these songs can be played and will make the learning process easier. This is a high quality Digital recording (DDD). In addition to helping the player become familiar with the music, it will also be a source of listening pleasure.
Back to Top