Ivory Flute (The)

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IVORY FLUTE, THE (An Fhliúit Eabhair). Irish, Double Jig. G Major. Standard tuning. (fiddle) AABB. Composed by the late County Fermanagh flute player James McMahon (born circa 1900). Harry Bradley says that McMahon actually owned flute made out of solid ivory of which he was exceedingly proud, however, those who have heard it say the tone was not great. There is a photograph of McMahon in Hammy Hamilton's The Irish Flute Players Handbook playing the very Ivory flute in question. Caoimhín Mac Aoidh observes that McMahon routinely composed tunes that go to the bottom note of the flute's range, and suggests he did so because he routinely played with fiddlers and that he "was exploring the melodic possibilities in the wider range open to them" (Miller & Perron, Irish Traditional Fiddle Music, notes, p. 164). See note for "McMahon's Reel" for more on James McMahon.

Source for notated version: Liam Donnelly (County Tyrone) [Breathnach].

Printed sources: Breathnach (CRÉ IV), 1996; No. 25, p. 13.

Recorded sources:




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