Carolan: 174 (arr. Gordon Jackson) Sheet Music | Turlough Ó Carolan | Instrumental Duet
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Carolan: 174 (arr. Gordon Jackson) Digital Sheet Music
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Carolan: 174 (arr. Gordon Jackson)by Turlough Ó Carolan Instrumental Duet - Digital Sheet Music

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Turlough Ó Carolan (1670-1738) was an Irish harper and composer. Carolans music does not sit comfortably in any one particular musical tradition. He was the product of a long line of Irish harpers dating from medieval times or before. He was also aware of Irish folk music, with many of his tunes having a trad quality, particularly in his jig-like compositions. Finally, Carolan was influenced by the music of Italian Baroque composers that he would have heard played at the great houses he visited. Carolans Draught is an example of the latter.

The rather prosaically titled 174 is simply the result of the airs original name being lost in the mists of time, and Donal OSullivan, in his Carolan: The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper [sic.] allocated numbers to the tunes that had no titles (171-180).

I have arranged this primarily for solo mandolin, although Im sure it can be adapted for other instruments. The piece is played three times through: first, the basic unadorned melody; second, with just a few simple double stops and open strings; third, a fully-realised romp with many, often quite tricky, double stops (and open strings, of course, but theyre pretty easy!). Ive added guitar chords above the staff (letter names only), not that it necessarily needs further accompaniment. The melody is so heavily arpeggiated the chords more or less wrote themselves. A word of warning easily discovered for yourselves, really beware of attempting to play this too fast lest those runs of quavers (16th notes) catch you unawares!

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