Montreal Session Tunebook

Welcome to the Montreal Session Tunebook

This website is a resource for traditional music with a particular focus on music played in the Montreal sessions. This includes music in the Irish and Quebecois traditions as well as music from England, France and elsewhere. Many of the tunes are written as they are played in the sessions around the Montreal area and so might be different from versions played elsewhere.

In addition we host several collections with more than 4000 tunes available as pdf sheet music, in abc format and midi files. O'Neill's Music of Ireland, Dance Music of Ireland and Waifs and Strays of Irish Melody are available due to a multi-contributor project to transcribe the books into abc. The Northumbrian Minstrelsy is a collection I resurrected from an ABC file produced by Henry Ford.

Although originally conceived for local musicians, this site has become more widely used. If you are planning a trip to Montreal or if you have any ideas for improving the site or more general comments, we'd be glad to hear from you. Send Email

Follow the links at the top of the page for the main areas of the site. All Tunes lists all the tunes from the site on a single page. Composers lists all tunes where the composer is identified, arranged by composer, on a single page.

Browse through the different categories of tunes using the menu on the right. There are different pages for jigs, reels, polkas etc and a single page for tunes originating from Quebec. Clicking on the name of a tune will take you to a page showing the sheet music and abc text as well as links for the png, pdf and midi versions of the tune. If you can't find a tune you are looking for here, feel free to email a copy of the abc text for a tune and I'll add it to the site.

We do not have any recordings on the site, so if you are looking for mp3's of traditional music you are in the wrong place. The sheet music is provided as a guide, not an authority. You can get an idea of the tune from the music, but to learn how to play it properly you need to find someone to show you. I have removed indications of most ornamentation from the tunes for this reason, the ornamentation should go where you feel the tune needs it. The same goes for guitar chords, I removed them since it is very much a matter of personal choice what the accompanist thinks is appropriate.

Random photograph of session musicians