1. * ORIGINAL TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC COMPOSITIONS *

  2. ~ by L.E. McCullough, 1974-2010 ~


  3. L.E. McCullough’s traditional Irish compositions are offered here...

  4. the complete set of 143 to date, many NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED OR RECORDED.


  5. *** in music notation and short audio clips ***



L.E. McCullough’s traditional Irish compositions have  been recorded and performed by Lúnasa, Liz Carroll, Bill McComiskey, Tony DeMarco,

Caladh Nua, Katie McMahon, John Carty, Brian Finnegan of Flook, Joshua Dukes, Trían, Cormac Breathnach, Deiseal, Nancy Conescu, Padraig Rynne Band,

the Knockabouts, Silver Arm, Irish Airs, Nadia Crooke, John Browne and others.


~~~ Feel free to do the same! ~~~


[All tunes have been copyrighted. . . if you do decide to record any or use for a commercial purpose, please let me know. If you’re just a regular musician, it’s no big deal and I’m privileged and honored by your excellent taste in music. . . if you’re a Major Hollywood Film Producer wanting to include it for your Grammy Award-winning soundtrack, I’m likewise truly privileged and honored. . . and we need to talk licensing.]


... From time to time I’ll post background info on the tunes. . . for now, it’s just the basic melody.


** CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE TUNE INDEX **


NOTE: The tune notations were prepared by Ms. Lesl Harker using the space-age Tune-O-Tron process and world-of-tomorrow “ABC Convert-A-Matic” technology developed by Mr. Paul Schwartz at concertina.net. Thanks!!



  1. Q.  Dear L.E. McCullough,

  2. Do you ever compose tunes as a formal commission?

  3. A.  Sure do. Especially to commemorate a special event — birth, death, wedding, first beer, last date... typical life-cycle rites in the human sphere.
  4. My wife, Lisa, and I recently were honored to become Godparents for a beautiful new baby — Alice Siobhán Maguire.

  5. Every child needs to have their own tune to start out life. . . it’s just as important as a name, frankly. And far more aesthetic than social security numbers.


  6. So here’s the tune I composed for Alice. . . anyone’s welcome to play it, but when she grows up, you’re going to have to be polite and listen to her play her tune first.


  7. Call me if you need a tune for yourself. And if you’re not too far away, I might just pop over and play it for you.


  8. Best,


  9. L.E.


*** ARTICLES ON COMPOSING in IRISH MUSIC  ***

        by L.E. McCULLOUGH


“Some Brief Analytical Remarks about Ed Reavy’s

Compositional Style in Where the Shannon Rises

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Back in the mid-1970s, I had the honor and pleasure of getting to know perhaps the most prolific composer of traditional Irish music in the 20th century, fiddler Ed Reavy of Philadelphia. Originally from County Cavan, Ed composed several hundred tunes, of which many have become traditional standards — Love at the Endings, Maudabawn Chapel, Lad O’Beirne’s Hornpipe, The Hunter’s House, Eleanor Kane’s, Brigid of Knock, The Wild Swans at Coole to name a few.


“Some Brief Analytical Remarks...” was the first musicological attempt to look closely at what made Reavy’s compositions so unique. It was published in the notes to Rounder LP 6008, Ed Reavy, a compilation of his music first released in 1978 and reissued as a CD in 2001. 


*** CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE ***

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“Some Observations on L.E. McCullough’s Composing Process”

An Interview with Dena Chandler for St. Patrick Was a Cajun

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When I first began playing Irish traditional music, the Dublin collector and scholar Breandán Breathnach told me he estimated the number of separate (though often related) Irish traditional dance tunes and airs might approach 30,000. Plenty of tunes for anyone to try and learn in several lifetimes, eh?


Ed Reavy gave a variety of reasons for why he’d started composing new tunes — he was bored with the standards, wanted to remind himself of his homeland, etc. . . in the end, I think he composed because he had to. . . he got so immersed in the beauty and wonder of this music as it swept him up and soaked into him over the passing years, that he was compelled to dig deeper into it, pull it deeper and tighter into his own being and let it flow out in his brain and fingers where it was a blend of him and the core spirit of the music intertwined as one.


Whatever. But after almost 40 years of playing Irish music, I think I understand how Reavy might have felt.


You compose new traditional tunes because you can’t help yourself. It’s that simple.


“Some Observations...” is a more formal analysis of all that.


*** CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE ***


** CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE L.E. McCullough TUNE INDEX **

 
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