Montreal Session Tunebook: About


This site began in September 2005 as a collection of tunes for the Wednesday night session at what was O'Regans, then Fiddler's Green pub. The owner retired and a fire at the pub next door lead to significant water damage and long term closure. The session was reincarnated at the excellent Patrick's Pub until March 2020 when everything shut down due to COVID 19.

The original inspiration came from a chance meeting between me (Robin Beech) and Vance Trudeau from the University of Ottawa at an Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Zoologists. We met years before at the University of Alberta just after I came to Canada from the UK. I had my concertina, he had his whistle and we found a corner of the room where the conference dinner was underway. Vance had a binder of tunes we played along to. I thought the binder was a great idea, but rather than put together a collection of paper, it made more sense to make it available on the web. Since then, many excellent traditional music resources have appeared.


Site design and programming by Robin Beech. I am an Associate Professor in Parasitology at the Institute of Parasitology, McGill University. I play the English concertina and occasionally, button accordion. The site is hosted on a Mac Mini in my front room. The original site was hosted by the Web design company, Aboreta, owned by Gord Fisch. Gord is a guitarist and mandolin player in Montreal and very generously donated the space and resources that made the first incarnation of this site possible.

How it Works

The software to convert tunes in abc format into an image of the sheet music and midi files is freely available. The sheetmusic shown on each page is generated by the excellent javascript library, ABCJS , produced by Paul Rosen. The downloadable files are created behind the scenes by abcm2ps, abc2midi and ImageMagick

Random photograph of session musicians