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Fiddles in Harmony (book)

This is a book of "Tunes and Harmonies for fiddlers playing together"
- a delightful book of duets by Magdalena Reid and is the result of her many years working and writing arrangements for fiddle groups. The tunes arrangements are greatly influenced by the popular Swedish tradition of harmony playing as Magdalena is Swedish - though having lived in the UK for many years she is also very knowledgeable about traditional tunes from here too.

The second and third part harmonies and other accompaniment options she gives in the book offer simple accompaniment options for even the most beginner fiddler to more progressive harmonies and other techniques to make group playing fun. This is an inspiring collection for groups of friends to play or groupwork classes and is well presented with clear text and music.

The books includes a guide on creating harmonies which is very useful if you are interested in creating your own harmonies and something that is not often explained.

There is now a Demonstration CD of all the tunes and harmonies in the book beautifully played by Emma Reid - available from our Digital Albums section.


Fiddle, Group music
Book format:
Magdalena Reid
Bowing, Staff notation
Tune Types:
Air, Dance tunes, Jig, March, Reel
Scottish, Irish, Swedish, UK
Beginners / Intermediate
Magdalena Reid

Table of contents

  • ----Ideas for Harmonising----
  • Drone
  • Riff
  • Simple Harmony-based Arrangements
  • Playing in 3rds
  • Independent Melodic Lines
  • Rhythmic Patterns and Effects
  • Creating a Set of Tunes
  • ----Tunes with Arrangements----
  • Drone accompaniment
  • Festmarsch (Swedish March)
  • Riff
  • Rovlåten (Swedish Long Dance)
  • Spootiskerry (Shetland Reel)
  • Simple harmony-based arrangements
  • Mairi’s Wedding (Highland Bridal Song)
  • Bonnie Tammie Scolla (Shetland Song)
  • Saddle the Pony (Irish Jig)
  • The Keel Row (Tyneside Song)
  • Blaydon Races (Northumbrian Jig)
  • John Ryan’s Polka (Irish Polka)
  • Shoe the Donkey (Irish polka)
  • Egan’s Polka (Irish Polka)
  • Iona’s Air (Northumbrian Air)
  • Fear a´ Bhata (Highland Air)
  • Denis Murphy’s Polka (Irish Polka)
  • Playing in 3rds
  • Engelska från Småland (Swedish Dance)
  • Homfidifixan (Finnish Polka)
  • Sussex Waltz (English Waltz)
  • Ringenesen (Norvegian Rheinländer)
  • Independent Melodic Lines
  • Dalaigh’s Polka (Irish Polka)
  • Waters of Tyne (Tyneside Song)
  • Bonny at Morn (Northumbrian Air)
  • Herbert the Sherbert (English Jig)
  • Rakes of Kildare (Irish Jig)
  • Sleep Soond ida Moarnin’ (Shetland Reel)
  • Drowsy Maggie (Irish Reel)
  • Rhythmic Patterns and Effects
  • King of the Fairies (Irish Hornpipe)
  • Myra’s Jig (Scottish Border Jig)


The music in the collection is clearly notated and easy to follow and there is also a very handy section at the beginning of the book on harmony, a subject which often isn't covered with much clarity.

Paul Anderson - FiddleOn Magazine

Fiddles in Harmony is an attractively presented collection of tunes from the British Isles and Sweden. It is however more than just a collection of pleasant melodies as it includes up to two harmony parts for all of the 26 tunes in the collection, and it should therefore be a valuable asset to any youth or adult learning traditional music group.

Paul Anderson - FiddleOn Magazine


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