Charlotte Folk Society logo CFS Slow Celtic Sessions

Dedicated to promoting the ongoing enjoyment and preservation of traditional and contemporary
folk music, dance, crafts and lore in the Carolinas Piedmont, since 1982.

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Celtic Session
Questions? Email John Goldsbury.

To get added to the email list for the monthly announcement of next month's Slow Celtic Session . . . same deal: email John at the link above. (It's the same email that will announce both next month's Slow Celtic Session and next month's regular Celtic Session.)

The Slow Celtic Session at the Charlotte Folk Society is an offshoot of the Celtic Session, page here. These are informal gatherings of local musicians focusing on Celtic tunes played in the session style. The goal of the Slow Celtic Session is to allow folks to ease into the Celtic tunes with two key constraints: (i) we play slower than at the regular Session (tell me you saw that coming); and (ii) we have a shorter list of tunes so that you can know what will be played.

"Should I attend?" Yep, if . . .

  • you're a beginner who wants to learn to play Celtic tunes (though we assume you know how to play your instrument);
  • you're not a beginner, but you're new to Celtic tunes and want to ease in;
  • you're not a beginner, but you want a slow pace to work on some techniques;
  • you're conversant in one instrument, but want to dabble in another;
  • any other reason I've forgotten

Our tune list comprises the easier tunes from the regular Celtic Session. We play a selection of Jigs, Hornpipes, Reels, and Waltzes from Ireland, Scotland, Eastern Canada, and New England. Our goal is to learn new tunes played in the various styles that have been influenced by Celtic Traditions.

Some simple guidelines for our Slow Sessions:

  • All acoustic instruments welcome. Fiddles, whistles, flute, bodhrans, bones, hammered dulcimers, accordion, mandolin, octave mandolin, guitars, bass, concertina, harp, and everything else I've forgotten.
  • The format follows a relaxed session protocol. Everyone is welcome to suggest tunes. Calling a tune does not obligate you to start it. That way, you can "call" whatever tune you've been working on. We'll figure out how to start/play it.
  • Some Celtic Resources
    "What is a Session"
    "Small Circle" Tune Learning Session Playlist
    "Traditional Celtic, Irish, and OT Tune Book"
    "The Session" tune website
    Comhaltas
    Vashon Celtic Players
  • Music stands and sheet music are fine.
  • We have a tune list, and we've put many of these together into "Sets" of two or three tunes. "Suggested" settings for our tunes are available below for your convenience. Of course, you can pick one tune from a set, and we can play just that one tune. Other sources for these tunes can be found through the links in the table on the right.
Celtic Music Instruments

The Celtic-lovers among us try to meet one or two times a month in homes. One of those will be a Slow Celtic Session (this page), planned for the 2nd Saturday of the month. The other one will be a regular session (page for that here), probably on a Sunday later in the month. You'll need to get on our super special Celtic Session email list to learn the dates and places, as these will change from one month to the next. To get added to that list, email John Goldsbury.

Sessions usually run from 2 PM till 5:00 'ish, and snacks and beverages are welcome. Come prepared to play a lot!


Our Slow Session List (shorter than the list for the regular Session)
is here

(click on a tune below for sheet music)
Jigs & Jig Sets Reel & Reel Sets
Polka Sets Hornpipes and Strathspey & Sets
Slides and Slip Jigs March Sets
Airs and Waltzes

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