Go to Black Book Home Page
Index of Tunes
Go to Black Book home page

Go to Black Book home page


Known as The Black Book (and also the Toronto Black Book), this collection of Irish tunes came to me in the late 1980's. At that time a bunch of us living in Peterborough Ontario became enthralled with traditional music and were hungry for tunes, especially tunes played by the experienced session players from beyond our little Patch. Into this group of musical friends came The Black Book via Nedd Kenney who got it from Kim Vincent in P.E.I. around 1988. Hence the “Peterborough Rendition”.

There are some 345 tunes here and many are indeed great session tunes.

Quite a few folks have found this collection useful. Who originally put it together for others to enjoy remains a mystery, but a “thank you” is due. The intent of this electronic rendition of The Black Book is to continue the long standing tradition of sharing the tunes with anyone interested.

The Peterborough Rendition of was first digitized in September 2006 and made availablehere at www.kenb.ca/blackbook. For the electronic version page numbers and an index have been added, which now includes an index by type of tune. Tune names in the index are as they appear in the collection.

In early 2010 the on-line Black Book caught the attention of RWWT who's research led to a cross reference of each tune together with The Session index number and Alan Ng’s Irish Traditional Music Tune Index reference number. Nigel Gatherer’s extensive list of alternative titles, background histories of the tunes is now included. These references provide many interesting insights into the tunes found in the collection. RWWT subsequently noted to me that a page was missing from the first on-line version. Sean Bolton on the U.S. west coast was able to provide the missing page, now included.

As a result of these efforts a updated version of the Peterborough Rendition of The Black Book is available in PDF format. Please feel free to submit corrections or comments to me (address below).

Have fun.

Ken Brown
January 3, 2016