Dance Music of Ireland : Matt Cunningham - TheReedLounge.com
Dance Music of Ireland : Matt Cunningham - TheReedLounge.com

Dance Music of Ireland : Matt Cunningham

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Matt Cunningham is internationally recognised as one of Ireland’s finest exponents of Irish traditional music today. Born in Headford, County Galway, multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist Matt’s reputation extends from Ireland across Europe to America and even to as far away as isolated parts of the Carribean Islands.


Matt, whose traditional music is animated by a deep understanding of the dance, has championed the art of dance music. His recordings The Dance Music of Ireland series are an extensive and invaluable resource for dancers at home and abroad and in their own way have helped lead to the dissemination of Irish set and céilí dancing. This book offers you, the reader, the chance to become more intimate with the dance tunes. Each one has been transcribed exactly from The Dance Music of Ireland recordings, numbers 1 to 10 and has had chords added so that an accompanist can easily join in with the melody player.


From an early age Matt had a quest to play the accordion like many a child of that age might have to ride a bike. Matt always showed a capacity to take a tune from the radio (the greatest resource in those days) with a seemingly great ease and then regurgitate it by way of performing it on the accordion. At the humble age of 9 or 10, the fiddle became a vehicle for musical expression for Matt. At the age of 14, Matt sustained a broken wrist. The confinements and limitations of this steered him away temporarily from playing fiddle and accordion and he began playing the tin whistle, this being as much a means of keeping his performance of the music alive as it was a form of exercise for his broken hand.


The biggest influences on Matt’s unusual life were his father and grandfather; in those days, music was not always a favoured pastime and especially not a considered option as a profession. For some time, Matt’s music was very much a closet thing, his grandfather often arriving with an accordion covered in a brown paper bag so as to avoid the risk of people noticing what unpopular pastimes the Cunningham family delved into. The legacy that Matt has gained is testimony to the great love his father and grandfather had for Irish music. This too is exemplified in the fact that the accordion most commonly being played at any night’s entertainment or on any album of matter is a Hohner ‘Club’ model II, (approximately 140 years old at the time of going to print) inherited by way of his father from Matt’s grandfather.


After a period in Matt’s life where music had been a much-loved pastime and a kind of pseudo profession as a backdrop to other interests, in 1965 Matt joined the Western Céilí Band, travelling Ireland extensively for 7 years. It was in 1972 though that Matt took music on board as a full-time profession, forming his own band and growing a reputation both at home and abroad. 1984 was in itself a very significant year for Matt, being the year he was to make his first recording and also the year that he begun teaching music.


With 14 albums and 3 videos to his credit, 16 years of teaching experience with many fine young musicians bearing the fruits of his talent, Matt has celebrated and surpassed his 25th year in the music business and having played in myriad parts of the world for thousands of enthusiasts — including Pope John Paul II and the illustrious Kennedy family — Matt Cunningham has passed all tests as a household name. He is a true ambassador of Irish traditional music.

Reels

  • Ah! surely
  • All around the world
  • Anderson’s
  • Banshee, The
  • Billy Brocker
  • Bird in the bush, The
  • Blackberry blossom, The
  • Boil the breakfast early
  • Boyne hunt, The
  • Boys of Ballisodare, The
  • Brendan Mulhaire’s
  • Bucks of Oranmore, The
  • Christmas eve
  • Come west along the road
  • Controversial, The
  • Cooley’s
  • Craig’s pipes
  • Creamer’s
  • Crosses of Annagh
  • Dawn, The
  • Doon, The
  • Down the broom
  • Drunken landlady, The
  • Dublin, The
  • Easy Club reel, The
  • Fisherman’s lilt, The
  • Five mile chase
  • Flower of the flock
  • Foxhunter’s, The
  • Cottage in the grove, The
  • Galway rambler, The
  • George White’s favourite
  • Gladstone’s
  • Glen Allen, The
  • Green mountain, The
  • Heather breeze
  • Humours of Tulla, The
  • Humours of Westport, The
  • Jackson’s
  • John Stenson’s no. 2
  • King of the clans
  • Lad O’Beirne’s
  • Liffey banks, The
  • Longford collector, The
  • Lord McDonald’s
  • Love at the endings
  • Lucky in love
  • Macroom lass
  • Maid of Tullyknockbrine, The
  • Mason’s apron, The
  • Master McDermott’s
  • Merry blacksmith, The
  • Miss Burke’s
  • Miss McLeod’s
  • Miss Monaghan
  • Molly’s nightcap
  • Monaghan twig, The
  • Morning star, The
  • Mountain road, The
  • Mountain top, The
  • Moving clouds
  • Mullingar races
  • Music in the glen
  • My love and I in the garden
  • New mown meadows
  • O’Keeffe’s
  • Over the moor to Maggie
  • Paddy’s trip to Scotland
  • Phil Cunningham’s
  • Phoenix, The
  • Plough and the stars, The
  • Primrose lass, The
  • Reel of Rio, The
  • Rolling in the rye grass
  • Sailor on the rock, The
  • Sally gardens
  • Scholar, The Shamrock Hill
  • Silver spear, The
  • Skylark, The
  • Sligo maid, The
  • Soldiers’ joy
  • St. Anne’s
  • Star of Munster, The
  • Tear the calico
  • Tim Mulloney
  • Tinker’s daughter, The
  • Tom Billy’s
  • Tom Ward’s downfall
  • Touch me if you dare
  • Trip to Durrow
  • Un-named reel
  • Wind that shakes the barley
Jigs and Slides
  • Andy McGann’s
  • Athole highlanders
  • Behind the haystack
  • Bill Collins’
  • Blarney pilgrim, The
  • Boys of Tandragee, The
  • Boys of the town, The
  • Brian O’Lynn
  • Broken gold ring, The
  • Bundle and go
  • Butchers’ march, The
  • Castle, The
  • Cat in the corner, The
  • Ceol an mala
  • Cherish the ladies
  • Clancy’s dream
  • Connaughtman’s rambles
  • Conway’s
  • Daniel of the sun
  • Danny Ab’s no. 1
  • Dan the cobbler
  • Delaney’s drummers
  • Denis Murphy’s
  • Denny Mescall’s
  • East at Glendart
  • Eavesdropper, The
  • Eric Cunningham’s
  • Father Kelly’s
  • Flowers of spring, The
  • Frost is all over, The
  • Handsome young maids
  • Happy to meet and sorry to part
  • Haste to the wedding
  • Have a drink with me
  • Haunted house, The
  • Hearty boys of Ballymote, The
  • Hughie Travers’
  • Humours of Drinagh, The
  • Humours of Kesh, The
  • Jackson’s morning brush
  • Jimmy Ward’s
  • Katie’s fancy
  • Kilcummin, The
  • Kings of Kerry
  • Kinnegad slashers, The
  • Knights of St. Patrick, The
  • Lark in the morning, The
  • Leg of the duck, The
  • Lilting fisherman, The
  • Lisheen, The
  • Maid in the meadow, The
  • Maid on the green, The
  • McCormack’s
  • Merrily kiss the quaker’s wife
  • Mist-covered mountain, The
  • Moate hunt, The
  • Monk’s, The
  • Nightcap, The
  • Off she goes! Old favourite, The
  • Old Joe’s
  • Old man Dillon
  • Old woman’s purse of money
  • Oró a bhuachaillín
  • Out on the ocean
  • Paddy’s resource
  • Pay the reckoning
  • Peacock’s feather
  • Rambler, The
  • Rathawaun
  • Returned Yank, The
  • Rose among the heather, The
  • Sergeant Cahill’s favourite
  • Ship in full sail
  • Sixpenny money
  • Smash the windows
  • Sports of Multyfarnham, The
  • Sweet Biddy Daly
  • Sweets of May, The
  • Tomaisín a rí
  • Tongs by the fire, The
  • Top of the Cork road
  • Tripping upstairs
  • Trip to Kilavel
  • Trip to the cottage
  • Un-named Jig
  • Un-named jig
  • Un-named jig
  • Wandering minstrel
  • Weavers, The
  • Wedding feast, The
  • Wee Johnny
  • Westering, The
  • When sick, is it tea you want?
  • Wi’ a hundred pipers
Flings and Hornpipes
  • Boys of Bluehill, The
  • Boys of Youghalarra, The
  • Cooley’s
  • Cuckoo, The
  • Denis Murphy’s
  • Frank McCollum’s
  • Golden eagle, The
  • Green grow the rushes-o
  • Harvest home, The
  • Honeysuckle, The
  • Humours of Tuamgraney, The
  • Keel row, The
  • Kitty’s wedding
  • Leslie’s
  • Love, won’t you marry me?
  • Macroom fling, The
  • McMahon’s
  • Moniemusk
  • Off to California
  • Plains of Boyle, The
  • Showman’s fancy, The
  • Stack of barley, The
  • Stack of wheat, The
  • Thames, The
  • Un-named fling
  • Un-named hornpipe
Waltzes and Mazurkas
  • Belltable waltz
  • Jacqueline’s waltz
  • Margaret’s waltz
  • Marino waltz, The
  • Mockingbird Hill
  • Mrs Kenny’s waltz
  • Shoe the Donkey
  • Sonny’s mazurka
  • St. Bernard’s waltz
  • Veleta, The
  • Vincent Campbell’s mazurka
Marches
  • Centenary, The
  • Irish rover, The
  • Lass of Bon-Accord, The
  • Mountain high, The
  • Séan South
Polkas
  • Aileen Bonner’s
  • All the ways to Galway
  • Astley’s ride
  • Ballydesmond no. 3, The
  • Ballyhoura mountains, The
  • Barren rocks of Aden, The
  • Bill Sullivan’s
  • Blue ocean, The
  • Camptown races
  • Cobbler, The
  • Dan Mac’s
  • Dark girl
  • Denis Doody’s
  • Denis Murphy’s no. 4
  • Dingle wren, The
  • Finnegan’s wake
  • Freedom for Ireland
  • From Billy to Jack
  • Gallope, An
  • Gin I were where Gadie rins
  • Girl I left behind me, The
  • Green cottage no. 3, The
  • Guillane, The
  • Harvest fair polka no. 3
  • Hills of Connemara, The
  • I have two little yellow snipe
  • Jack Ó Riain
  • Jim Doyle’s
  • John Egan’s no. 2
  • Johnnie, I do miss you!
  • Johnny Leary’s
  • John Ryan’s
  • John Walsh’s no. 1
  • Kenmare, The
  • Kerry no. 1, The
  • Knocknaboul no. 1, The
  • Knocknaboul no. 2, The
  • Lakes of Sligo, The
  • Little diamond
  • Little Lisdoonvarna, The
  • Mack’s rambles
  • Maggie in the wood
  • Maids of Ardagh
  • Mary Ann
  • Maurice Manly’s
  • Munster bank
  • Newmarket, The
  • Not for Joe
  • Oh! the britches full of stitches
  • Peg Ryan’s
  • Rambling sailor, The
  • Rose tree, The
  • Siobhán Hurl’s
  • Sliabh Luachra, The
  • Sonny Sweeney’s
  • Spanish lady
  • St. Mary’s
  • Sweeney’s
  • Terry Teahan’s
  • Timmy O’Connor’s
  • Tralee gaol
  • Tripping to the well
  • Un-named polka
  • Un-named polka
  • Un-named polka
  • Un-named polka
  • Wallace’s Cross
  • Wren, The

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