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Celtic Duets for Flute and Accordion

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Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society

Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society

This review first appeared in Pan, the journal of the British Flute Society and is reproduced with permission. Join the BFS: membership starts from £25 a year.

This collection of folk tunes arranged for flute and accordion by Martin Tourish encompasses music from the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish and Breton traditions. The easier of the pieces are accessible, in their basic forms, to players of Grade 4-5 level, but there’s lots in here for anyone with a love for (or just discovering) this style to explore. There are fairly extensive notes on each of the tunes and also on how to embellish and ornament the style authentically, drawing on Tourish’s doctoral research into the subject. One of the most impressive aspects of the collection, however, is the encouragement to immerse yourself in the genre and develop your own style through listening to others play—notes on the individual tunes provide a good starting point with details of some of the versions that introduced Tourish to the melodies. The flute parts have some articulation, ornaments and (very occasional) dynamics marked in but there’s a definite emphasis that instructions are “suggestive rather than prescriptive”.

The flute part remains in a convincingly folk-style low-mid range, and several tunes make the most of the bottom octave, including the beautiful Rosilin Castle. There are lots of opportunities to experiment with articulation, for example with the triplet patterns of Na Ceannabháin Bhána and The Atholl Highlanders. The accordion part seems not-too-complicated—certainly, I could replicate much of it on the piano as a non-expert pianist. Overall, this is a friendly whistle-stop tour of Celtic styles, which I think could definitely meet its aim as an introduction to “inspire you to look a little further… to embark upon your own journey.

Rachel Shirley

From the Publisher

Martin Tourish is an accordion specialist from Ireland whose own history is steeped in the tradition of Celtic Music. In his ground-breaking publication “CELTIC”, he explored, in arrangements for solo, standard-bass accordion, music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.

In this new book, he opens the world of Celtic music to flautists who can explore this music in equal partnership with an accordion player. He offers his expert insight into no less than thirteen pieces in accessible arrangements for intermediate players.

Difficulty guide: 4-6
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is total beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).


Traditional Scottish

  • Ae Fond Kiss 

Traditional Irish

  • The Forgotten Highland 
  • Na Ceannabháin Bhána
  • Paddy McMenamin's Mazurka
  • If there Weren't Any Women in the World
  • The Boys of Malin

Traditional Welsh

  • Beth yw'r Haf i Mi?

Traditional Scottish

  • Rosilin Castle 
  • A Man's a Man for all That
  • Cota Ghearr Sgiobalta
  • The Atholl Highlanders 

Traditional Cornish

  • The Bodmin Riding March

Traditional Breton

  • Danse Macabre 

Item Details


  • Part 1: Flute
  • Part 2: Accordion
Category: British Folk Flute Music
Publisher: Universal Edition
Publisher's reference: UE38035
Our Stock Code: 1636932
Media Type: Paperback (29 pages [score])

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