Irish Music on the Silver Flute-Philippe Barnes

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Irish Music on the Silver Flute-Philippe Barnes

Irish Music on the Silver Flute-Philippe Barnes

Composed and Published by: Philippe Barnes
Solo Flute (except for 2 songs that are quartets and 1 song that is a duet)


This book is aimed at players who can already play the silver flute to some extent. Barnes demonstrates techniques to engage with the sounds of traditional wooden flute, whilst teaching the player a few tunes along the way. Included in the book are many of Barnes’s own tunes together with a few traditional tunes to help illustrate the techniques.


“I’ve always been interested in playing different styles of music on the standard classical flute and have been playing Irish music for almost 20 years. It started when I heard Matt Molloy playing a wooden flute on “James Galway and The Chieftains” and after failing to find a decent wooden flute to buy (it’s much easier to get a good quality one these days, but back then it was very hard to find a good one without joining a seemingly endless waiting list)

I started trying to play Irish music on my silver flute. What followed was lots of listening, experimenting, lessons with Sarah Allen and Brian Finnegan (from the band Flook!) and attending the excellent Folkworks summer school in Durham (thanks to my school friend and fiddle player Pete Lyons suggesting we go).

I did my Masters in Irish Music Performance (with First Class Honours) at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. I’ve been planning to write this book since I recorded my first album in 1998, better late than never I hope!

I now own a great wooden flute made by Patrick Olwell and lots of whistles and bamboo flutes in various keys. What started out as trying to make the silver flute sound like a wooden flute has led me to develop a style of playing traditional music on the silver flute which is very enjoyable to play. It has enabled me to write and record some music which I’m very happy with. I hope you’ll enjoy listening to the album and playing the tunes in this book.


1 Feathering May Morning Dew
2 The Cut The Green Room, Castlebrook
3 The Roll Chalice Well Pete’s Jig Connemara Jig Eric’s (quartet)
4 The Crann O’Farrell’s Welcome to Limerick
5 Roll/Crann Fingering
6 Trill Keys Noogleshifty
7 Triplets New Kings Road New Brighton Reel
8 The Bounce Ali’s Reel
9 The Hard D Up
10 The Slide May Morning Dew Eilidh’s Reel
11 Advanced Ornaments Joan Brodie’s (duet)
12 Some Tunes Mrs McLeod’s/Mason’s Apron (quartet) The Green Room/Brighton Reel

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