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Dorothy Barth
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Songs that Celebrate Our Natural World

An anthology of English, Irish, and Scottish traditional music

selected and arranged by Dorothy Barth

Richard Doyle (1878): Under the Dock Leaves: An Autumnal Evening's Dream

To introduce Green, a draft of the Preface is reproduced below.

The absorbing hours spent perusing, selecting, and arranging Celtic music has inspired numerous themes for my anthologies. Green, is my sixth volume of duo arrangements and focuses on songs that celebrate our natural world. The many songs whose titles contain references to hills, valleys, rivers, mountains, groves, and flowers reflect the Celtic reverence for and delight in the beauty of their lands. Although many of these songs are hundreds of years old, their allure is especially relevant today as we struggle with environmental challenges that would have been unimaginable then.

As in previous collections, I drew the source tunes from OíNeillís Music of Ireland, the Gow Collection of Scottish Dance Music, and Playfordís Dancing Master. Iíve kept the melodies true to their source, though as always I grant myself liberty to switch the tune between the two instruments, change octaves, and add embellishments on repeats--something that would also be done in spontaneous performance. 

These arrangements were conceived for recorder and violin but may also be played on flute and violin or two violins. In this volume, the suggested recorder range is indicated, but the adaptable recorder player may experiment with different ranges. We prefer the soprano recorder (which sounds an octave higher than written) on reels, jigs, and hornpipes and the tenor recorder (or alto recorder depending on range) for slower, lyrical pieces. 

Below are some additional performance ideas:

  • Repeat these songs as often as the spirit guides you. Most are fairly short and enjoy repetition, especially if you add or change embellishments on the repeats. 

  • String together several tunes with similar keys to make a medley.

  • If using two different instruments, consider swapping parts on the repeats if each part is within range.

  • Let the tempo suggestions (slow, lively, etc.) be a general guide to express this music. Where these suggestions are written, they were listed in the source material. However, there are many interpretations of any piece, and the freedom that folkloric music gives offers the instrumentalist an opportunity to be creative. For that reason, I've not inserted precise tempo markings.

May the music accompany your celebration of our Earth.

A complete recording of  Green: Songs That Celebrate Our Natural World is now available as a digital download from CDBaby as well as Amazon and iTunes. You can purchase either the complete album or individual tracks.  The album was released 5/21/2015.

Table of Contents

Greens and Groves

Birnam Wood

Epping Forest

The Flowers of the Forest

The Green Woods of Truigha

The Groves of Dromore

Under the Greenwood Tree

The Woods of Kilmurry

Flowers of Edinburgh

Sage Leaf

The Blooming Meadows


Streams and Shores

Ben Lomond

Beside a Silvery Stream

The Banks of Banna

The Banks of Dunmore

The Banks of the Black Water

The Banks of the Shannon

Down by the Riverside

On the Bank of Flowers

The Flowers of Erin's Green Shore

The Mourne Shore

The Streams of Bunclody


Hills and Valleys

Bonny Highland Hills

The Fair Hills of Eire O!

The Flowers of the Valley

The Little Heathy Hill

The Mountain Top

The Mountains of Pomeroy

The Enchanted Valley

The Peace of the Valley

The Rushy Mountain 


Caves and Rocks

Beside the White Rocks

The Brink of the White Rocks

The Caves of Cong


Sun and Moon

Glory of the Sun

The Rising of the Moon  

More Sheet Music Anthologies by Dorothy Barth

Key words: Celtic sheet music,  music for two C  instruments, Renaissance  sheet music, Playford sheet music, recorder sheet music, Irish sheet music, Scottish sheet music, Renaissance Faire Music, Celtic Faire Music, Earth Day 2010 celebration, Celtic  music arrangements of Dorothy van Joolen Barth


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