Paul Hardy's Tunebooks

This page contains my published tunebooks of music, mainly traditional Celtic and English from the British Isles. These are free to download, but some are also available as printed versions.

Or my other tunebooks - Possible Tunebook, Sets Tunebook, Songs Tunebook,
Pete Mac Tunebook, William Clarke Tunebook.

*** News - I've published (8 November 2023) a set of tunes by Pete Mac, that he wishes to contribute to the Public Domain - see my Pete Mac Tunebook ***

*** News - The 2023 edition of the Session Tunebook was released on 2 August 2023 ***
*** Now 685 tunes, still free to download, but only about £11 (+p&p) to buy printed and bound from Lulu! ***


Paul Hardy's Session and Xmas tunebooks contain tunes that I have learned (or am still learning!) to play on my English concertina. They should also be playable on other folk melody instruments such as fiddle, whistle, flute, mandolin or dulcimer. I have included guitar chords, sometimes based on computer generated ones - so use these as guidance, not definitive! I have tried to present simple versions of most tunes, without much decoration and interpretation, so add your own triplets, grace notes and variations.

By far the majority are traditional tunes from the British Isles, including many English, Irish, and Scottish dance tunes, but others are an eclectic mix of session favourites. Some have been adapted from Internet resources, in abc, midi or visual score formats. Others have been learned by ear or handouts from various sessions in the UK and US. All are believed free of current copyright (unless noted explicitly), or else appear to have been placed in the public domain as part of the ongoing live folk music tradition. Please let me know if you are the owner of any that are under access restrictions and I'll remove them. Thanks go to those who gave permission for copyrights of the few modern tunes, particularly Kathryn Tickell of Coquetdale Music Publishing for Northumberland tunes by herself, Billy Pigg, Willie Taylor, and Will Atkinson.

Paul Hardy's tunebooks (other than the Pete Mac Tunebook) are all Copyright Paul Hardy, 2004-2023, and are licensed under a Creative Commons "Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike" cc by-nc-sa licence, which lets you use them pretty freely as long as you acknowledge origin, and don't make money from them. See Contact Paul Hardy for commercial licensing terms.

Viewing the Tunes

The tunebooks are all available below as PDF files for free download. You you can print these yourself, or load onto a tablet (e.g. iPad) to view and play from. There are also links below to buying a printed and bound copy of the main session or Xmas tunebooks. I also provide the machine-readable ABC files of all the tunes that can be read by music software, to display and play the tunes.

Listening to the Tunes

As a Coronavirus lockdown project, I also have recorded most of the tunes in the Greenshoots slow then faster style, for learning by ear or playing along to. Most are in my Virtual Greenshoots page. Or, I have an alphabetical index to session tunes giving title, whether they are in the Basic Tunebook, and a link for each recorded tune to an MP3 recording of me playing it, slowly to learn, then faster for fun. There is a similar alphabetical index to Xmas tunes.

If you prefer synthesised backing, then I have a Playing ABC page that says how to use free software to play these ABC files.


If you find these downloadable resources useful, you may wish to make a donation (using Paypal or credit card) to help cover the costs of building and maintaining the tunebooks and the website that makes them available for free.

Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook 2023

front cover This tunebook contains currently 685 tunes that I have learned to play on my English concertina, that have been played at local folk music sessions, particularly in the areas around Cambridge, England, and Redlands, California where I have lived, plus ones prevalent at concertina events I attend.

The tunes are available in several forms:

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There is also The ABC content for the Session tunebook can also be displayed and played by a variety of programs on PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones - see my Playing ABC page

Paul Hardy's Annex Tunebooks

The Annex Tunebooks contain new tunes and changes, to be used as a supplement to a Session Tunebook.

Paul Hardy's Annex Tunebook 2023

front cover This contains tunes waiting to be incorporated into Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook at the next major edition. It will, when complete, update a Session Tunebook 2023 to match Session Tunebook 2024 content. It also contains a table of errata to the main tunebook. The new tunes are available in several forms:
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There is also

Previous Annex Tunebooks

Previous Annexes are available below, which can be printed off, put in the back of a previous Session Tunebook, and used to update earlier editions of the Session Tunebook to latest content:

Note: During Coronavirus lockdown in 2020/2021 I recorded almost all the tunes in the tunebook and in the process made many minor corrections to the tunebook, so maybe it's time to get a 2023 tunebook!

Paul Hardy's Basic Tunebook 2021

front cover This contains a subset of the simpler and more common tunes from Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook. The 2021 edition has the same tunes and is page compatible with the 2020 and 2018 editions, with minor edits for clarity. All the tunes in here (and many more) are also in the main Session Tunebook.
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Paul Hardy's Xmas Tunebook 2019

front cover This contains 60 Christmas tunes and carols that I play on my English concertina. Only £4 (+p&p) to buy printed and bound from Lulu! The 2019 edition contains the same tunes as previous editions, but has completely overhauled and simplified guitar chords, and also tune layout improvements.

The tunes are available as:

Paul Hardy's Xmas Parts Tunebook

There is also a supplemental tunebook with multi-part arrangements of Xmas tunes. The tunes are available as:
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Paul Hardy's Parts Tunebook

front cover This contains multi-part arrangements I've encountered, mainly of tunes found in my Session Tunebook. The tunes are available as:
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Paul Hardy's Sets Tunebook

front cover This contains a few tunes from Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook, grouped into sets for page printing. The tunes are available as:
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There is also

Paul Hardy's Possible Tunebook

front cover This contains tunes I've encountered but not yet learned properly, that may go into my Session Tunebook eventually. The tunes are available as:
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Paul Hardy's Songs Tunebook

front cover This contains a few tunes, mainly from Paul Hardy's Tunebooks, which have words. The tunes are available as:
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Paul Hardy's Pete Mac Tunebook

front cover This tunebook contains tunes written or extended by Pete Mac, who wishes them to be freely used. Pete says: "I play piano accordion, melodeon and English Concertina. I ran a folk dance and barn dance band for 40 years, in Cambridgeshire and then in Devon where I now live. I wrote these tunes for use in the bands, and am pleased if others play them. I still lead bands and workshops occasionally, mostly in the Camping and Caravanning Club 'Folk Group' which has been a lifetime involvement, and of which I am a founder member."

The tunes (written between 1988 and 2006) are released under a Creative Commons Zero licence - CC0 1.0. To view a copy of this license, visit Through this licence, the author (Pete Mac) has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his rights worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform these tunes, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Editing, layout and publishing of this Tunebook and its ABC music is by Paul Hardy (, who releases his assistance work under the same CC0 1.0 licence. The tunes are available as:

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William Clarke of Feltwell Tunebook

front cover William Clarke of Feltwell was an East Anglian country musician of the 1820s-1850s, probably superintendent registrar of the workhouse at Thetford in Norfolk. The manuscript of his personal tunebook came into the possession of Lyn and Peter Law of Chester several years ago.
The contents have been transcribed into abc format by Mary Humphreys, Lyn Law, David Dolby, and Anahata. The master version is available for download at Mary's website - see Go to that if you want the authentic historical transcription.
This version of October 2011 by Paul Hardy includes many tidies and 'corrections' for consistency and modern playability. Use this if you just want to learn or play the tunes. The tunes are available as:
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Also available is a text file of changes that I made to the abc to make it more readable, and useable in a range of abc-reading software.

Music Theory Handout

front cover I put together a four-page handout on basic music theory and 'modes' as applied to traditional British Isles folk music. It is available as:
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My Tunebooks Cheat Sheet

front cover This is a 'Cheat Sheet' - just giving first couple of bars from Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook, Annex Tunebook, Possible Tunebook, and a few others.
  • An PDF file of an A4 cheat sheet - 30 tunes per page, just giving first couple of bars.
  • An A5 cheat sheet - 8 tunes per portrait page, just giving first couple of bars (smaller paper, for use on a Kindle ebook reader).
  • An A5 landscape cheat sheet - 14 tunes per page, just giving first couple of bars (for use on a Kindle ebook reader).
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Private Area

I also have a private area which is password protected, in which I store work in progress and private material. The Parts Private Tunebook and the Solo Tunebook which were here, have moved to the private area.


The tunebooks have been prepared using the abcm2ps software, with help from abc2midi, abcmus, Melody Assistant, ABCexplorer, and EasyABC. A big thank you goes to those creative and dedicated people who give their time to create and maintain low-cost or free and open source software for abc music editing and output. The mechanism I use is described further in my tunebook processs page.

Thanks also go to Greenshoots ( for the slow sessions near Cambridge in England that let me learn many of these tunes; the Chiltinas concertina group near Bedford in England, and the WCCP Kilve concertina weekends in Somerset that gave me playing confidence and concertina technique; the Ceili House Band in Redlands in California that opened my eyes and ears to the range of Irish music; to the Celtic jam sessions at Green Valley Lake in the nearby San Bernadino Mountains that broadened my repertoire; and the music practice sessions near my home village of Comberton that have carried traditional music forward to the next generation.

To send me an email message, use paul at paulhardy dot net.

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