A discussion regarding the Second Annual Bowed Psaltery Symphony blossomed under Richard's Jam Session post so I'm moving it here. 

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Here's the beginning of the string regarding the Symphony!


Reply by Ann Tucker 16 hours ago

I'm thinking of going to the BP Symphony.

Tish, I saw on your website that you've started to work on the music. Will the sheet music be ready a few weeks before? I'd love the chance to play it a bit on my own first. At least a few of the pieces.


 Reply by Tish Westman 13 hours ago

That would be great if you could come Ann.  It is so much fun and you will make life long friends.

The music will be put up on the website as I get the parts arranged.  I think there should already be 3 posted. Carolan's Cup, Blind Mary and Carolan's Draught.  Most of the pieces will have melody, harmony 1, harmony 2 and a drone part to choose to play.  There will be parts for all levels of players and range of instruments.  The key that we will be playing will be there so if you are inclined to write your own arrangement feel free to do so.  Since I just got started I pretty much am working on melody parts and will get to the harmonies asap.  We will be playing 10 to 15 pieces.


Reply by Donna Malus 12 hours ago

Where to start!  Fran, I'm so glad you'll be returning to the symphony!!!  Ann, I'm thrilled that  you're considering attending, it's a WONDERFUL experience and the Tamarack is a beautiful place to be and those Westmans are kind of nice people : )I'd like to take the Jam class again and the class on Techniques would be a must for me if you offered it TIsh!!

I have fallen in love with Eleanor Plunkett (the song, not the woman : P ). I don't know how appropriate the range is in G, which is what I pulled off the web. I wrote a VERY simple drone for it. I'm posting it here in a pdf and also a midi file. Tish let me know if you think it could work in G. I would be happy to write a harmony for it as well.  

Tish how would you like to receive arrangements for consideration, separate sheets for each part, or can they be on one like I've posted? What program do you use to write out your arrangements?

Ann, the old music site has O'Carolan music in the ABC format that you like! Here's the link



Eleanor Plunkett - Malus - G.pdf, 20 KB   

Eleanor Plunkett - Malus - G.mid, 6 KB  


Reply by Tish Westman 1 hour ago

We are on the same wave length, this one is on the list but I feel it needs to be in the key of D because  the high B is above the range of most BP's.  I have been working it up in the key of D which seems to fit.  I like your bass version.  Can you transpose it to the Key of D?    Your standard notation with multiple parts is fine as long as it is in pdf format.  We use our own program that Greg wrote to do our Noted Note music and I will gladly put whatever anyone submits into that format and post it on our website with the rest of the parts. 

Some others I am working on are:  Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady in G,  Planxty Burke in Am, Charles O'Conor in C.  Many others also...


Reply by Donna Malus 32 minutes ago

D is actually my favorite key overall....I did wonder about that peksy B, but it sounded pretty in G. So, I'll transpose all to D and in an effort to save you a little time I'll work on a harmony as well. You can take whatever I do and make it how you prefer, I just know you are going to be overwhelmed with music to write....TWELVE TO SIXTEEN OF THEM YIKES!!!!

I also am fond of the Quarrel with the landlady.....

Is there anything you haven't started working on that I could maybe get started for you?  I fully uderstand you will change whatever doesn't work.







Donna, thanks for the link to the abc formats. I've pulled "Miss MacDermott, the royal princess". I slowed it down and transposed it to C. I'm looking forward to trying to play it.

Tish, oh wow! That's a lot of writing! I can't help write parts but I can be a cheering section.

Tish, I transposed Eleanor P. from G to D.....the drone is really low, I can reach it on my baritone though and am wondering if others can as well.

Here are the files in D (sheet music and midi)

I'll work on a harmony this week....


Well, thanks to all the snow we have been getting in Beckley, WV I have been able to get all the melodies posted to our website for the 2nd Annual Bowed Psaltery Symphony.  Our theme this year is "A Tribute to Turlough O'Carolan with Bowed Psalteries".  I have posted 14 pieces from his works and have some wiggle room to maybe add a couple more.  Some of his faster jigs will not be played as fast as most commonly played so don't panic.  There will also be more parts posted for the harmonies and drones.  It is still snowing........... 
I just downloaded what you have there. Wow, that's a lot! Thanks for doing it. I'm looking forward to this event.

I will be adding Eleanor Plunkett in D to the website today, Donna so keep working on your harmony.....



will do Tish, my music teacher pointed out afew mistakes so I'll get that fixed by the end of the weekend!!

I'm soooo excited....I'll te taking two weeks off of work at that time  YEAH!!!

The Second Annual Bowed Psaltery Symphony is over and I'm back home again. It was fabulous and fun! I don't have the exact count right now, but there are just over 40 performers I believe and even with so many new performers I fee that we have improved immensely from last year. I can't wait for next year.

The O'Carolan songs were tough and we all did a lot of "head banging" preparing for the symphony, but once again Tish Westman and all the wonderful psalterists got it together and made it happen. Theresa McCoy was our conductress (?) and having her really makes a huge difference. As she stated, she is the glue that holds us together while we perform.

Pictures and videos to follow!

The weekend together was fun!

So many wonderful people in the group. And such beautiful music when all the parts were performed together.

Hearing about 45 bowed psalteries played together was awesome!

My skill level (and the point I could stay calm performing at) was to drone one note per measure. But you know what? That was still a blast!

It was definitely worth the 11-hour drive to get there. And I'm even more excited about playing my bowed psaltery.

Tish, thanks so much for all the hard work.


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