Here are five fantastic sources of tunes - submitted by Mike Rudge
A huge archive of traditional, folk & old music - song-books with lyrics & chords, tune-books, sheet-music, scores, old songs, midi backing tracks, tabs, music lessons & theory, learn to play guides for various instruments, chord diagrams, scales and other music educational & academic reference materials.
abc notation is a text-based music notation system and the de facto standard for folk and traditional music.
- around 570,000 tunes, available as free sheet music or midi sound files, at this site alone
- traditional music from medieval & renaissance times up to the present day
- tunes from many cultures - a large proportion from Irish, Scottish & other Celtic sources, with plenty of music from America, England, France, Scandinavia & all over Europe and even a sizeable collection of Chinese music
- a notation format popular all over the world, particularly for folk and traditional music
- online versions of many well-known historical collections, such as O'Neill's Music of Ireland, Playford's English Dancing Master & tunes composed by Carolan, to name but three
- a concise, text-based music notation system, that makes it easy to share tunes via email or on websites such as this one
- session tunes, band repertoires and original music
- specialist software which can generate tabulature and fingering charts for instruments such as guitar, mandolin & banjo (and other fretted, stringed instruments), fiddle / violin / voila, diatonic accordion, trumpet, horn euphonium & tuba, harmonica and drums
- examples, tutorials, a blog, discussion forums and plenty of other information about abc
The definitive site for music resource, covering a vast range of tunes from many folk genres. Also includes discussion blogs from musicians and suggestions for tune sets.
This music project is primarily interested in the traditional social dance music of England – where it came from, where it went to, who it travelled with and where it is now. Because the places where we will be looking for this music also contain other sorts of material such as folk song, carols and religious music, band and military music, etc. we have left the aims more open, to allow for expansion of the project at a later date. We are intending to fill in a gap in the ethno-musicological research spectrum and not duplicate the research in which other people are engaged.
Paul Hardy's tunebooks contain tunes that he learned to play on my English concertina. They should also be playable on other folk melody instruments such as fiddle, whistle, flute, mandolin or dulcimer. Included are guitar chords, sometimes based on computer generated ones - so use these as guidance, not definitive! By far the majority are traditional tunes from the British Isles, including many English, Irish, and Scottish dance tunes, but others are an eclectic mix of session favourites. Some have been adapted from Internet resources, in abc, midi or visual score formats. Others have been learned by ear or handouts from various sessions in the UK and US. All are believed free of current copyright (unless noted explicitly), or else appear to have been placed in the public domain as part of the ongoing live folk music tradition.