September 30, 2011

Ceol Sean to make 7,000+ historical tunes available online – free to all

For the last 15 years Steve Scaife of Illinois has reprinted copies of long out-of-print collections of bagpipe music through his Ceol Sean business and sold them to the piping public eager to investigate past setting and long-lost compositions to make the old new again. Now Scaife is putting more than 7,000 settings of tunes online, available to all for free.

On October 10th Ceol Sean plans to launch a new website (currently under construction) that he says will be home to “the world’s largest online collection of bagpipe music.” Scaife has taken all of the more than 30 collections he offered on CD and enabled visitors to access individual tune settings in PDF format.

Each tune will have its own PDF file that can be printed, viewed on-line, or stored in a user’s personal library. Scaife will still offer CDs of the collections, but at reduced prices.

“I’m not concerned about the site making money,” Scaife said. “Our main goal is simply to make the settings from these older collections available to pipers.”

The collections and tunes that Scaife has and will offer are all in the public domain, their copyright exhausted following composers’ and compilers’ deaths. Collections in the database include most of the great and seminal compilations in history, including David Glen, Logan’s, Angus MacKay and C.S. Thomason’s Ceol Mor.

Click on the video below to hear Steve Scaife discuss his project.

Scaife’s new online effort in many ways was preceded by Jim McGillivray’s, a pay-per-tune site that focuses on original, copyright compositions. compensates composers through a detailed royalty system.

Scaife’s new project also reflects that of Dr. William Donaldson, whose pioneering Set Tunes Series on pipes|drums offers the most comprehensive analysis of piobaireachd settings yet available, now numbering more than 110 tunes, all freely available to pipes|drums readers..




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