Ryan's Mammoth Collection

Ryan’s Mammoth Collection

Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, published in Boston in 1883, was – and is – an important collection of traditional music, though comparatively little known among Irish traditional players today.

Most of its content was long available in the United States as 1000 Fiddle Tunes, commonly known as simply ‘Cole’s’, named after its publisher. Recently, an annotated edition of Ryan’s original edition, edited by Patrick Sky, was published by Mel Bay publications.

Ryan’s collection contains more than a thousand tunes. It was a forerunner and model for the now much better known collections of Francis O’Neill. Ryan’s book features music in a wider variety of keys and degrees of difficulty than are prevalent in the Irish tradition today. The book is known to have been a source of repertory for many prominent Irish players, including such notable players of complicated hornpipes as the fiddle players James Morrison and Seán Maguire. However, there are many extremely simple tunes in the collection as well, and this makes it a fruitful source of tunes for players of every level of competence.

In the Irish Traditional Music Archive versions presented here, obvious mistakes and doubtful readings in the original are corrected in order to give an optimal interactive experience to you, the user.

At regular intervals, beginning 15 November 2010, ITMA is making available music from Ryan’s Mammoth Collection as interactive scores in batches of 100 or more.

NC, TH, ÁNB & JS, 15 November 2010 (1–100), 21 December 2010 (101–200), 15 February 2011 (201–300)

Tunes in this collection