Star of the County Down - Harmony Arrangement Sheet Music
Also appears in Celtic Fiddle Harmony Sheet Music Multipack 1
Key: E minor
Melody range: G3 up to E5
Harmony 1 range: A3 up to B4
Harmony 2 range: A4 up to A5
(Pitch ranges are specified in Scientific pitch notation)
Also included: MIDI files, and "practise mixes" which are recordings with the harmony parts turned louder up the mix and the tune and chords turned down - these are to help people who prefer to learn by ear.
About the Arrangement and Harmonies
My instrumental arrangement of this traditional Irish folk song was one of the first pieces of sheet music I published, and is still one of my most popular downloads.
The sheet music comes with the original melody and chords (which can be played on any accompanying instrument), and two harmony parts. The harmony parts can both be played at the same time to accompany the melody, or you can use one at a time - so the sheet music can be used as a duet or a trio, or arranged into a full band arrangement, depending on how musicians you have in your group.
There's also a brand new section of music, written by me, which forms a middle 8 and gives the repetitive tune a bit of a lift in the middle. The middle 8 starts as a solo, with the other two parts added in gradually to form a climax before leading back into the main melody.
You can use these harmony parts however you like - my demonstration recording just gives one example of how you can make an arrangement from them.
About the Original Melody and Lyrics
'Star of the County Down' is a very well-known Irish folk song - the kind of song that you'd expect to hear if you walked into an Irish themed pub just about anywhere in the world.
The setting of the song is Banbridge in (you've guessed it) the County Down, and the story largely takes place in the imagination of the narrator, who, upon seeing a young woman he rather likes the look of, becomes infatuated and imagines courting and eventually marrying her. This is notable in that he's never been quite so taken with anyone before (I guess he thinks she's "the one"). Turns out, talking to one of the locals, that she's well-known as being that-girl-everyone-fancies, but despite this implied competition he is not put off, and sets out to impress her. We don't find out whether or not he's successful.
The lyrics were written by Cathal McGarvey (1866–1927) and the tune is similar to an English tune called "Kingsfold".
My version is an instrumental arrangement, so there are no lyrics included with the sheet music, but if you'd like to sing it too they are widely available on the internet. There are lots of slightly different versions, so you can pick you favourite variation.