The butterfly sheet music
Chopin’s op.25 no.9 (butterfly) etude audio + sheet music
One of the few Irish tunes that can be played in rounds is this one. You’ll only be able to do this if you’re not playing by yourself, so try playing one part behind or ahead of everyone else. For example, if everyone else is playing the first part, play the second or third, and if everyone else is playing the second part, play the third or first.
This is my favorite song, and whenever I hear it, I can’t stop my mind from imagining new steps and my feet from taking them. As an Irish dancer, I’ve heard these tunes played by a variety of musicians in a variety of styles, and one of my favorites is Merv and Mike’s!
Regarding the second portion, I believe it should be c natural rather than d. That’s how the Bothies do stuff. By the way, the studio version can be found on the 1975 album. And I believe they’re starting the tune off with harpsichord. That’s great.
Mr. Potts was born in the Coombe, Dublin, in 1912, according to Fintan Vallely’s “Companion to Irish Traditional Music.” In 1988, he passed away. On the fiddle, he was recognised as an eclectic improvisational composer who made a deliberate decision to “explore alternate routes in setting and key.” Tommy allegedly changed traditional tunes so much that he considered his music unsuitable for sessions and ensemble playing. He incorporated jazz and classical influences, and he is credited with having a greater impact on IRTRAD today, thanks to the performances of Martin Hayes, Joe Ryan, Paddy Canny, and Paddy O’Brien, than even Michael Coleman (I’m paraphrasing Vallely’s book here, so don’t go shouting at ME about Coleman’s influence—yes, I mean you Brad).
‘butterfly’ piano solo by mayumi kato – p. barton, feurich
On Irish sessions, this is probably one of the most common slip jigs. However, there are many excellent recordings of harp in combination with tin whistle or low whistle in smaller settings. For this article, I used a recording with harp and D-low whistle that I made myself. The tune is often performed in a set with A Fig For Kiss.
The notes and chords for The Butterfly can be found in the sheet music below. There are a lot of lovely chord variants, and it’s certainly worth looking for some decent recordings. To keep it easy, I’ve taken the chords as they’re normally played in conventional settings and on sessions.
Butterfly dance (yanni) piano tutorial – sheet music
When my fiddle-playing daughter came across a video of one of Celtic Woman’s representatives performing this dramatic piece, she was roused from her own violin practice stupor. She needed to master The Butterfly as well, so she could dance and swing her hair like Mairead Nesbitt:
My daughter was so moved by Mairead Nesbitt’s performance that I immediately ordered a Celtic Woman DVD from Amazon, which includes this and other favorite performances by Mairead and the rest of the party!
Here’s some free Irish fiddle sheet music to get you started: First, the easiest version of The Butterfly:
Despite the fact that I labeled it “simple,” it will be difficult for a novice to play at first unless they can hear how the tune is supposed to sound.
The more difficult version of the free Irish fiddle sheet music is as follows:
The chords I use here may differ from those used in other versions. They usually start with Em repeatedly going to Bm. I’ve been substituting D for the Bm chord because it allows my younger fiddle students to play a simple drone backdrop while the older, more experienced players take the melody. And not only is this a brilliant solo, but the short version here can also be used as a strong group piece if repeated twice (for a total of three times through)! Our local community recently attended the Juneau Folk Festival, and this was one of the songs the kids performed. (I was the bass player for the gig, which was a lot of fun!) Here’s how the kids went about it:
How to play an irish slip jig – the butterfly
The late fiddler Tommy Potts, who learned the first two parts of the tune from his father, Sean, an Uilleann piper, is generally credited with writing the slip jig. According to the story, Potts was working in his garden one day when he spotted a butterfly flitting about in an unpredictable manner. Potts was fascinated, so he tried to emulate the insect’s rhythm while working in the garden, and was inspired to write the third part of the tune. The rhythms of the first two existing pieces were then modified to match.