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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Comment by Jim Mcauley on September 30, 2012 at 17:17

Many Tune's Of Turlough O’Carolan on this site -




Comment by Aine Heslin on September 5, 2012 at 9:35

Hi Mike - brilliant idea of taking over the chat room on 15th Sept 21:00. Unfortunately I won't be around but will have a look back through the chat when I get home that night.

This group page is great! I have not had time to be on recently so it looks much different and I love the way you 'showed me around'!!

Wow - what a beautiful version of Sí Beg and Sí Mór by William Coulter!

Keep up the good work if you can.

All the best


Comment by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme on August 27, 2012 at 21:21

This just in from "The O'Carolan Harp Festival" (Keadue, County Roscommon, Ireland)



and on facebook...


Comment by Dick Glasgow on August 23, 2012 at 5:54

Thanks Mike. I've seen it spelt both ways, but since all the O'Connors I know have two Ns, I just went with that. ;-)

Comment by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme on August 22, 2012 at 20:19

Cheers Dick - like that version very much indeed - duly added to the archive (you don't get away that easy!)

Just one thing, and it does'nt matter a great deal, but I thought it was O'Conor with 1 "N". I'm probably wrong as usual though!



Comment by Dick Glasgow on August 22, 2012 at 19:09

Charles O'Connor

Charles was the eldest son of Denis O'Connor. He was taught the harp by Carolan.

Comment by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme on August 20, 2012 at 9:15

Interesting statement Dick about Trad musicians who knock Carolan tunes, now I've heard a lot of his work, I'd be the first to agree that there are some tunes that are possibly best forgotten - but other peoples opinions will be different regarding which ones! Having just spoken that heresey though there are dozens and dozens of his tunes that are, to me, without peer in the canon of Irish music. simply too good to be neglected.

I suppose some of the tunes do get "done to death" but I guess I'm lucky, I can always stand Planxty Irwin one more time! And on the other side of the coin I keep finding absolute pearls of tunes that nobody seems to be doing. This is a bit frightening as it makes me wonder if some of the tunes are in danger of dying simply because people don't get the chance to hear them. I'm kind of hopimg that this group may do its bit to put that right!

At the end of the day, each to their own  and its great that Irish Trad has such huge variety within its "label". Taking group membership here as a straw poll and observing that there are now 33 of us, making us the 8th most heavily subscribed group, I reckon there is still a great amount of interest and appreciation for Carolan and his tunes. As you say, 300 years old and still drawing (at least some of) the crowds, can't be bad!

Comment by Dick Glasgow on August 20, 2012 at 7:56

I know quite a few Trad musicians who actually knock Carolan tunes, but let's face it, how many of them will be so influential, 300 years after they die!

Comment by Dick Glasgow on August 14, 2012 at 10:23

Aye Mike & you've never heard 'I'll Tell Me Ma' done right, until you hear it with a Crumhorn in the mix! 

Cheers, Dick

Comment by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme on August 13, 2012 at 23:10

Cheers for that Dick,

Looks like you don't need any lessons in the art of enjoying yourself. Great website you have there Dick. You must spend a lot of time and effort getting those costumes just right, and there can't be that many crumhorns in Ireland either!


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