Update on the Fiddle & Accordion Manuscripts of Pádraig O’Keeffe held in ITMA

On 24 March 2020, ITMA posted images and a short note about Pádraig O’Keeffe manuscripts on Facebook. This re-opened a lovely conversation with Paud and Denis Collins from Knocknagoshel, Co Kerry who had donated the collection to ITMA in 2013.

Pok Ms
Thanks for the message. It's fantastic the amount of work that you have put into archiving the manuscripts. Our intention all along was to make the collection freely available to as many students, musicians and followers of traditional music as possible. I think you have achieved that. Could you possibly make a couple of minor corrections to the intro. My dad Paud was never a pupil of Padraig O Keeffes (though he does play the accordion). The manuscripts were the property of my late uncle Jerh Collins who was a fiddle pupil of Padraig's. I think it is important that his name is mentioned in association with the collection. They were left to my dad and myself after his death. Thanks again. Denis Collins

ITMA has since updated its records on the ownership of the manuscripts. But we also thought it might be a nice idea to remind our readers of the resources about these manuscripts which are freely available online.

1.  Fiddle & Accordion Manuscripts of Pádraig O’Keeffe, 1940s–1960s: an online  FEATURE story by Nicholas Carolan & Maeve Gebruers (2013). This includes links to the four digitised manuscripts on the ITMA site.

2. PORT Interactive scores of all 279 tunes in the four manuscripts

PORT is ITMA's free-to-use open access tune learning tool where one can watch, listen, slow down, change key, choose preferred camera angles or loop a phrase on repeat, share with a friend or download staff notation as PDFs.

Click on the links below to access the Padraig O'Keeffe Manuscripts via PORT

O'Keeffe Fiddle Manuscript 1

O'Keeffe Fiddle Manuscript 2

O'Keeffe Miscellaneous Fiddle Manuscript

O'Keeffe Accordion Manuscript

But at the end of all our conversations with Denis, the best was yet to come. Here is a video made in recent weeks of Paud and Denis at home playing two polkas, Willie Connell's and The Bonnet. According to Denis:

Willie was a friend of Jerh's. So that probably isn't the correct name. But that's what Jerh called it.


The bonnet, polka ; [Willie Connell's, polka] / Denis Collins, flute, and Paud Collins, accordion

If you would like to learn The Bonnet you will find here in PORT at: http://port.itma.ie/score/ITMA_4281

We send our best wishes to Paud, Denis, Family and Friends in Kerry and our sincere thanks on behalf of the Traditional Music Community.

THE TEAM AT ITMA