On International Women’s Day, Faber Music announced a tune book like no other. ‘Folk Tunes from the Women’, to be released on 5 May 2023, is
a bumper book of over 150 contemporary tunes from 100 female composers from Britain and Ireland, brought together all from different areas, traditions and backgrounds. Available to pre-order now from Amazon.co.uk and other retailers.
‘Folk Tunes from the Women’ has been curated by Northumbrian piper and fiddle player Kathryn Tickell, OBE. After a request in 2021 from a friend who was looking for female-composed material to teach to her fiddle group, Tickell realised that everything on her ‘possibles’ list was written by men. Having then contacted a few of her female tune-writing friends to ask if they knew of any collections of tunes by women composers, they all said “no… but there absolutely should be such a thing.”
And so the project was launched, Tickell put out the call, and the composers came in their droves. From successful professional musicians with many compositions to their name, to those who may have only written one tune. All these composers answered the call to submit material for ‘Folk Tunes from the Women’. They all felt passionately that there was a real need for the book to exist, not only to make their own tunes more visible and accessible, but also to make it easier to learn and champion tunes from other women tune-writers.
Featuring a wide selection of Jigs, Hornpipes, Reels, Airs, Marches, Polkas, Waltzes, Mazurkas, the book also includes many tunes which don’t fall into a natural category.
Curator Kathryn Tickell explains “Although this material is presented collectively, I hope people will get a sense of the women involved and the processes and motivations behind our music. Some of these tunes were written in the darkest depths of grief, others are expressions of pure joy. There are stress-relievers, protests, distractions, memorials and meditations. Many tunes were written in gratitude – for life, for health, for friends and family. Some are professional commissions; others were given freely as gifts. Some are for dancing, some for listening. They are for births, deaths and everything between and beyond.”
The tunes are presented as melody lines with chord symbols, to make it the most useful book for teachers and players alike.
Buy it on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Folk-Tunes-Women-contemporary-composers/dp/0571542875
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