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The Musicarta Songbook

Traditional Melodies with Progressive Arrangements

The Musicarta Songbook on Musicarta Patreon Tier One hosts the videos, MS and teaching notes for the traditional songs and melodies on the Mister Musicarta YouTube playlist.

Skye Boat Song

An arrangement with broken left hand chords.

Here's an audio file for aural work. Listen to it until you 'see' the performance and learn to play the piece from memory.

Download the sheet music and MIDI here.


Camptown Races

A simple introductory version.

Here's a reference audio file. Learn the simple version by memory before you tackle the developed version.

In the developed version, the left hand is filled out and the melody is developed and syncopated.

Download the sheet music and MIDI here.

Here's a practice-speed MidiPiano performance of the full version. Just watching this version five or six times straight through will help your learning immensely. Split your attention and read the music through at the same time.

Here's the up-to-speed performance audio.


Plaisir D'Amour

The MMYT video uses a combination of the simple arrangement above and the more complicated accompaniment in the MS that follows.

Here's a reference audio performance.

Download the sheet music and MIDI here.


Frere Jacques

Frere Jacques is a French nursery rhyme which is often sung as a 'round', with voices coming in at two-bar intervals. You can try to play it like that (as here) or just the learn the tune and play it over a simple C - G - C bass, as in the MidiPiano performance that follows.

Voices in the round usually sing at the same pitch but obviously it is not possible to play a piano version like that.

The voices have to share a note G in bars 7/15. Prioritise the right hand melody note  - as shown by the brackets round the left hand G.

Either the right or left hand can can be on top in this bar. Both ways are shown in the video. It feels odd until you're used to it!

Download the sheet music and MIDI here.

Down By The Salley Gardens

'Salley' is another name for the willow tree (Latin 'Salix'), which in pre-industrial times was often planted besides rivers and brooks to provide material for basket-making and other manufactures.

'Salley Gardens' - the tune (as opposed to the song) is actually called 'The Maids of Mourne Shore' - has a beautiful lyric by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats.


Down by the salley gardens

   my love and I did meet;

She passed the salley gardens

   with little snow-white feet.

She bid me take love easy,

   as the leaves grow on the tree;

But I, being young and foolish,

   with her would not agree.


In a field by the river

   my love and I did stand,

And on my leaning shoulder

   she laid her snow-white hand.

She bid me take life easy,

   as the grass grows on the weirs;

But I was young and foolish,

   and now am full of tears.

See the Wikipedia entry for more details.

This is my favourite performance, and the piano arrangement owes quite a lot to it.

The Musicarta arrangement

The first thing you'll want to do is learn the melody.

Download it here.

(The arrows indicate tones which are NOT in the C major pentatonic scale. The MMYT Songbook playlist includes a selection of 'well-known pentatonic melodies' attached to the Musicarta Pentatonics Workbook.)


Thanks for studying with Musicarta
- Come back soon! -

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