Folk Cello Sheet Music

This website is for people who want to play the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland and England on the cello.

Here you will find pdf sheet music that will help you learn to use the cello as a solo instrument and to accompany folk melodies, in various different ways.

Traditional Folk Music for the Cello

My pdf sheet music for traditional tunes allows cellists to explore the melodies used in folk music, and to accompany them by playing basslines.

1. Solo cello

The tunes are transposed into bass clef and shifted down an octave and a fifth, so they are played on the cello in the same positions on the strings as they would be on a violin. If the cello is the main melody instrument, e.g. playing a solo, with an accompanist or in a concert band, these versions are ideally suited to the cello. It also means that the cellist can play these melodies at a slower tempo than might be used in a session or ceilidh, which can be challenging on the cello.

2. Cello versions for playing in sessions

A cellist in a traditional music session or a ceilidh band can bring a new dimension to the music, filling out the sound by playing a bassline. I have written basslines for 40 traditional tunes, in the keys that they would normally be played in at a traditional music session.

As well as the basslines, I have also made versions of these melodies in their original keys, transposed into bass clef, so if a cellist wants to start a tune off, or sometimes play all or part of the melody, this is available as well. This can provide an interesting contrast to playing the bassline. These versions use lower positions on the cello, to avoid lots of scrambling up the neck. (Some of the faster tunes may still be challenging at full speed!)

The solo cello AND the session versions of these traditional folk tunes are both included in my pack of folk tunes for cello, so you can play the solo versions in your band or with your accompanist, and the session versions when you’re playing in sessions or in ceilidh bands. All the tunes come with chords. You can get the sheet music for 40 traditional tunes for cello here.

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Duets

Folk Violin and Cello Duets

As the original melodies are printed above the basslines in my book of folk tunes for cello, the book also serves as a collection of violin and cello duets. You can get the sheet music for these duets here.

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Cello and Viola Duets

Over on my folk viola site, I have published the same tunes arranged for viola and cello.

You can get the sheet music for these viola and cello duets here.

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New Folk Cello Compositions

I have published a book of my own original tunes written in the folk tradition, which was originally composed for viola, but has also been transposed for cello. The book is called Midnight on Platform 16B, and contains 38 original compositions.

You can get the pdf download for this book here.

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