Altan: The Tunes


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    Altan has produced its first printed collection of instrumental music. Spanning thirty years, twelve studio albums and comprising 222 tunes across its 206 pages, this book delves into the history, folklore, composers and musical heroes from whom the music was collected. Harmonic arrangements have been specially edited for accompanists. The music is interspersed with a range of photographs that chart the many friendships and incidents in a lifetime of music making. Each chapter begins with an insight into the thought process behind the making of each album, underpinned by an in-depth introduction from Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh who provides detail on the band’s origins and its ongoing trajectory:

    “We play music which came from people that we loved and respected and were proud to know as friends. As is the cycle of life, a lot of these wonderful musicians are no longer with us, but their music and memories and stories remain. Their legacy is what is here in this book and above all we try to carry their humanity in every note.”

    Edited by Dr. Martin Tourish, the book is available for €50 from the Altan website at