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Why I Love Celtic Music and its Influences

Updated on November 10, 2014

Celtic Music

Celtic Music is a huge influence on many musicians. I love Celtic Music and for many years I enjoyed singing and playing Celtic music in folk clubs. I had a couple of folk club gigs, but nothing major. This was before Celtic guitar music bounced into the charts as a fashion statement and I would sing Scottish and Irish ballads, play bodhran or guitar along with amateur sessions. These days I have people listening to my Celtic Dream song worldwide and fans in over 40 countries thanks to internet radio. Back then, it was not really big in Lincolnshire, and no internet to reach out of course, but for me it was roots and I loved it.

Intro image "Thistle at Tupholme" from my own photo collection. Please do not copy!

To this day I am often told my music has a Celtic lyricism to it, which makes me smile as I find this complimentary.

Although I have sold my original compositions on-line, the mainstay of most Sibelius Music composers is actually arrangements, so I have arranged folksongs from all over the world for educational use. Best of all, I like the Celtic ones and in this lens I shall present some of them to you! I hope you find it enjoyable.

Celtic Dream - A Cappella - Lisa sings unaccompanied

Now this is a mix, as I couldn't sing all the parts simultaneously (LOL) however it is unaccompanied!

Flute, Harp and Guitar

Flute and Classical Guitar - a great combination

Sometimes to me there is nothing more suggestive of the Celtic landscapes I love than Celtic guitar music and the sounds of gentle music played on flute and harp, or flute and guitar. The effect is sweet, and wistfully mournful. I also especially love the flute sound in later versions of Sibelius software as each note is sampled and balanced for a mellow and realistic sound.

Flute, Harp and Guitar

Or any combination of the above....

Lulu's Review:

"A collection of well loved songs and tunes from around the world competently arranged by a professional composer, educator and guitarist for young flute players and guitarists. (The flute part is playable also by guitar and violin). These arrangements are properly transcribed in full in traditional notation for both instruments but professionally edited guitar TAB is given for the non-reader on acoustic guitar. This beautifully presented book is an ideal present for the guitarist, flautist or folk music enthusiast."

Contents: The Drunken Sailor The Water Is Wide The Keys of Canterbury Carrickfergus For Auld Lang Syne Romanza Fhear A Bhata Spanish Ladies MacPherson's Lament The Cutty Wren Song Volga Boat Song A Bunch of Thyme The Bluebells Of Scotland Now the Green Blade Rises Lisa Lan Hava Nagila The Mountains of Mourne

A Green Farewell - MP3 available on Amazon now

A Green Farewell

An original piece of music written by myself as a tribute to a friend and fellow poet, Pamela Waller, who loved all things Irish!

My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose - Flute and Guitar Duet

My Latest Celtic Arrangement

My Love is Like A Red Red Rose

Free Melody with TAB click the first guitar.


Flying To Meet The Sunrise - Celtic and other influences.

The Hag With The Money

Traditional Irish Tune

This is the kind of music I love! Cick on the link to see or print this free sheet music.

The Hag With The Money

String and Mixed Groups - The Older the Fiddle

The fiddle is so central to much folk music and I enjoy writing string arrangements. I am not an expert, but I do have a working knowledge of the violin and play it a little. My left hand works fine but my bowing is all over the place! Sometimes I wish I had learned as a child, then I would love to join in with great energy on reels and jigs and great sweetness on airs....

Arrangements for Guitar Group and Solo

Well, in as much as these things can and should be classified! There is no reason why the melody part could not be played on flute, violin, or anything else with comparable range!

Sibelius 7 Software - Sibelius 7 is the latest upgrade to Sibelius available

I have just upgraded to Sibelius 7 - it is a lot different but I know it will be OK with practice.

Guitar Solo and Groups

I have done several folksong arrangements for guitar solo and flexible groups. That doesn't mean the guitarists have to practise yoga - just that the arrangements allow for some flexibility in numbers. As a first study guitarist my main aim is always to produce something both playable and melodic. That way the music becomes the reward and performance a pleasure at a far earlier stage!

A Final Word About Arranging

People have varied attitudes to professional arranging. There are those who are only too happy to purchase an arrangement rather than do their own, there are some who feel they would rather play "by ear" anyway and there is a third group who would like them for free.

Free arranging is something I have done for my own students for many years. I always (stupidly I am told) considered it part of a teacher's job in fact because arrangements can be written with educational goals in mind. Now I share my work more widely I still do some free arrangements, but charge a small amount for others. Much as I love the process itself, it does take many hours to come up with a neat and useable score of a more complex arrangement.

Finally, there may come a time when I need to retire and support myself in other ways than teaching. I am told that a workman is worthy of his hire - perhaps that is an attitude we should extend to musicians too? The decision whether to buy arrangements is yours but in any event I hope you enjoy listening to the MP3s on the links!

Thank you for your time!

If you enjoyed this lens, please leave me a message. I hope you will also make any suggestions in the Plexo!

Thank you!

© 2009 Lisa Marie Gabriel


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