Celtic Sheet Music Downloads

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Free Celtic Sheet Music!

Celtic or Irish sheet music -- want downloads? Let's start with "Francis O'Neill"? Celtic music today owes him a great debt -- he collected, published, and saved the sheet music for thousands of Celtic tunes, preserving them for musicians all over the world.

Born in Ireland in 1848, O'Neill emigrated to the United States as a teenager.. He worked as a rancher, a teacher, a Chicago policeman, and fathered ten children -- and also found time to play the flute!

O'Neill (also known as "Chief O'Neill") loved Celtic music. At that time, this music was passed down tune at a time from one musician to another. Little had been saved by transcribing in written form.

O'Neill did not read music -- he played by ear -- but he became convinced of the value of saving Celtic tunes for future generations. With the help of a fiddling seargeant in the Chicago police department, he did so. He would play the tunes he had learned from other musicians -- and the sergeant would transcribe them into musical notation.

By his death in 1936, he had collected and transcribed nearly 3,500 tunes -- many of them dating back hundreds of years!

He eventually published eight books -- the three most popular being O'Neill's Music of Ireland, The Dance Music of Ireland, and Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melodies. The first volume is still in print -- but the other two are very hard to find (especially Waifs and Strays!) These three volumes contain over 3,000 popular Celtic Tunes!

We are pleased to present over 3,000 tunes from these three books for your free download pleasure. Most tunes are in PDF format; many include matching MIDI files. Note that you may have to alter the speed of the tune to suit your needs.

Also, while these are transcribed pieces, they were originally passed down aurally from player to player. Many nuances of feeling simply could not be transcribed -- so please feel free to play and embellish the tunes to suit your audience! And pass along what you can -- keep Celtic Music alive!

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