Turlough O'Carolan (1670 - 1738)


Turlough O'Carolan (1670 - 1738)

A group dedicated to the life and music of this most prolific and celebrated Irish composer. A place to add links for his tunes and discuss both his life and contribution to the tradition. Here you will find the tune archives, links to websites giving free access to ABC's, Sheet Music and midi files, listings of Carolan related events "Tune of the Week" and much, much more!!!!!!

New members and contributions from existing members are always most welcome.

Location: Global
Members: 99
Latest Activity: Jan 5, 2021

General Group Information


Welcome, let me take your coat and show you around.........

I propose us using this page for any discussion threads that anyone wants to launch as its the first thing you will see. You will also find "Carolan Tune of the Week" and "Events"here. Nominations for tune of the week from the video archive or the wider world are most welcome.

If you check out the box for "pages" on the right (below "members") you can see that 4 more pages already exist :- 

"Carolan on Tradconnect" - A collected video archive of Carolan tunes from the main Tradconnect video archive which feature fellow members.

"List of tunes attributed to Turlough O'Carolan" - Kind of speaks for itself!

"Carolan tunes from around utube" - I'm planning on us building this into an archive of as many of his tunes as we can find - and different versions of the same tunes. If you want anything added to this archive, post the link into the comments section on that page and I'll add it into the main section so that we can keep them in some sort of order (Alphabetical maybe?). There are now versions of 96 different Carolan tunes in this archive reflecting almost 1/2 of all known tunes attributed to him.

"Informative Links" - Links to other websites containing interesting and useful stuff like ABC's, Sheet Music and Midi Files etc.

Don't worry too much about the above - after all, a tidy group is the sign of a sick mind IMHO !! - and I can always sort things out!



No expense spared this week as we bring you not 2 but 3 for the price of one! It seemed to make sense as all 3 were written for the same patron. Carolan can sometimes be very confusing in this regard as many musicians only know 1 of the tunes and refer to it simply as, in this case, "Kean O'Hara". All well and good until you arrive at a session, announce that its the next tune "up" and then get 3 different tunes starting at the same time!!

It is also interesting to note that these multiple tunes for the same patron are usually referred to as different "settings". I always think that implys that they are merely variations when, in fact, they are completely different tunes.

Tracking the "right" tune down on utube can be a pain as well, most musicians seem content not to mention the "setting" of a tune in their title, so you never know quite what you are going to get!!!!



Kean O'Hara (1st air) - Solo Harp


Kean O'Hara (2nd air) - Ensemble


Kean O'Hara (3rd air) - Solo Harp http://youtu.be/0vBhNbLgF9Y


Please also check out the Tradconnect group for the Irish Harp




Keadue, County Roscommon, Ireland - 35th O'Carolan Harp Festival - 2013 - August 2nd - 5th


Nobber, County Meath, Ireland - O'Carolan Harp Cultural and Heritage Festival - 2013 - Exact dates TBC



O'Carolan Sessions - SHEFFIELD - The White Lion Public House, 615, London Road, Sheffield, S2 4HT - 1st Monday every month - 08:30pm start.

Discussion Forum

Carolan Tunes we are Learning

Started by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme. Last reply by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme Oct 3, 2018. 15 Replies

I thought it would perhaps be interesting to let members contribute details of any Carolan tunes they may be in the process of learning. Since starting this group I have been finding jewel after jewel amongst his tunes and many of them now have…Continue

Your favourite O'Carolan Tunes

Started by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme. Last reply by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme Dec 12, 2013. 23 Replies

If your anything like me, you choice of favourites from Carolan probably changes over time but I'm interested in starting a list going amongst the members to gauge some idea of individual tune popularity amongst us. By default, it could also give us…Continue

New Year resolution - MEMBERS CHALLENGE - Learn a "new" Carolan tune!

Started by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme. Last reply by Mary Margaret Jan 17, 2013. 12 Replies

In the interests of popularising the work of Carolan, I've had an idea. New year seemed like a great opportunity to launch this as an initiative for all the members of the Carolan group that we now have on the site. There are now 49 of us!! What I…Continue

A New Turlough O'Carolan tune I am learning.

Started by Jim Mcauley. Last reply by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme Sep 30, 2012. 1 Reply

                                                   '' Young Terence McDonough  ''I Also enclosed = Sheet music, Midi, And an Mp3 of a Harper player By - Gráinne Hambly http://grainne.harp.net/X:1 T:Young…Continue

Comment Wall

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You need to be a member of Turlough O'Carolan (1670 - 1738) to add comments!

Comment by Dick Glasgow on August 17, 2015 at 20:58
I had a wee go at Eleanor Plunkett recently.
Comment by Finbarr Connolly on May 1, 2015 at 21:40

Hey, my first post! Absolutely love Mrs Bermingham's Air. Anyway thought it was interesting that the great O'Carolan now has an impact crater on the planet Mercury named after him: http://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1506/

Bye for now.

Comment by Mark Gilston on April 26, 2015 at 14:13

I posted a video of Beauty in Tears. 


It is clearly the source for The Ash Grove.  I find it quite interesting how many of O'Carolan's tunes ended up in different form as popular standards.

Comment by Pearse O'Byrne on November 14, 2014 at 13:46

Anyone specifically interested in O'Carolan arranged for guitar and clarinet??

I love slow airs and O'Carolan, probably slower than is fashionable, but hey, I'm Irish,  step outside and I'll put some manners on ye... 

Comment by Davy Rogers on February 12, 2013 at 12:49

138 Carolan tunes arranged for guitar (MIDIs available) at www.davyrogers.com

Comment by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme on January 14, 2013 at 19:13

Nice track that Tony. Its a great tune, also known as Dr John Stafford I believe. These old tunes do seem very popular with guitarists. They seem to have siezed on Carolan and adopted him.

Comment by Tradconnect Reviews on January 13, 2013 at 20:38

Nice tune here from Anton Emery from his album Noon Lasses whch we reviewed some time back.

Comment by Ed Harris on December 29, 2012 at 16:23

Awesome idea! I apologize in having so much time lapse since visiting, but I am very excited about this group! Thanks for the invite Mike!

Comment by Conor Casey on October 15, 2012 at 4:17

 Lovely recording Kees Knegt. I particularily liked the interplay between the whistles. I'd imagine that's quite difficult to pull off!

Comment by Kees Knegt on October 14, 2012 at 15:52

I was discussing O Carolan with Paul just yesterday, and I just remembered having done a recording of  Blind Mary quite some time ago. It was on a tutorial CD, and I recorded myself as second voice. Think it turned out pretty well, in my humble opinion that is :-) And being the tune of the week, 

Here it is : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83F3NlHtkZo&feature=plcp


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