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Cooley's Reel - viola, violin or cello harmony parts for traditional Irish tune

by Folk Arrangements Sheet Music

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This sheet music is for my versatile four part harmony arrangement of the traditional Irish tune 'Cooley's Reel'.

It can be played on string quartet, viola and violin duet, cello and violin duet, a trio of violin and two violas or violin, viola and cello, three violins and cello, or a larger string group.

You will receive scores and parts for all the harmonies. There are two harmony parts and a bass line, all of which come in treble, alto and bass clef versions. The melody is provided in treble clef, with chords for an accompanist,

The arrangement was originally made with violists in mind, as most traditional tunes do not fit comfortably on a viola, and when playing traditional music with the world's multitudes of fiddle players, matching the tunes played on fiddles can be tricky for a viola player. As a violist playing in sessions and ceilidh bands I've often made up my own harmonies, so I thought I'd write some of them down and share them with other violists playing traditional music.

However, as well as being playable on the viola, the harmonies can be played either at pitch or transposed on most instruments, so they would be suitable for any group of musicians who want to play traditional music together with harmonies.

The music consists of the melody, two harmony parts that follow the rhythm of the melody, and a slower part that is intended to be used as a bass part but can also be played on a higher instrument and may be good for less experienced players as it's not as fast or complex as the others.

The harmonies don't need to played all at once. They *can* be, but they are intended to be options to pick and choose from by groups making their own arrangements. (You can hear an example of how this could be done in the demonstration recording above.) They can be used in groups as small as violin/viola duets or violin/cello duets, with the second player alternating between the different harmony options, right up to large groups of players such as a fiddle orchestra.

In their original octaves, the four parts also fit perfectly on a string quartet. I've provided five different versions of the score for people to pick their preferred parts from, which are:

* String quartet
* All harmonies in alto clef for viola
* All harmonies in treble clef for violin, mandolin, flute, recorder, accordion etc.
* All harmonies in bass clef, most suitable for cello range
* Two harmonies in treble clef, bass part in bass clef (e.g. for a fiddle/flute-based band with a piano player)

All of the scores also include chords, and include the melody in treble clef at the normal pitch.

If you need a different transposition (e.g. if you're playing with a transposing instrument player) please contact me and let me know - I can make new score versions as needed.

See more of my violacentric sheet music at

This arrangement is part of a series of similar ones - check back for more soon.


released July 19, 2019


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