Midi files and sheet music for the Ottawa Slow Jam

The Ottawa (Celtic) Slow Jam (OSJ) is a group of 20 or more musicians which meet once a week at the Ottawa Glebe Community Centre to play mainly Irish music at a somewhat slower tempo with sheet music. The format of this session is similar to its sister organization, the Carp Celtic Jam web site (CCJ). If you are new to this group, you may wish to download the pdf files and print the sheet music (tunebook) that you can acquire from the Carp web site or here. The collection is more than 300 pages and and has remained static. Though there are some minor differences between the OSJ and Carp collection, either tune books are sufficient. I would recommend the Carp tune book which is well layed out. The most serious difference is for the tune The Swallowtail on page 27.

In addition, The Ottawa Slow Jam has an appendix of around 90 pages, with newly introduced tunes. The pdf file of the appendix was last updated in March 2020.

Though the sheet music was produced from abc files it was difficult to find the original abc files used to create this set. In addition the appendix the appears to be have been created by scanning various sheet music sources (printed or handwritten).

For those unfamiliar with the abc music notation format, the site abcnotation.com is a good starting point. Around 600,000 tunes are available as free sheet music or midi sound files from that site.

In order to create the MIDI files it was necessary to start with the abc notated music. The tunes corresponding to volume 2 were found in the abc file sessionTunes.abc on the http://www.ceolas.org site. In the case of the other volumes, it was necessary to reconstruct the abc music from the sheet music. Time was saved by finding some of these tunes in abc format on the web using John Chambers' tune finder and modifying them if necessary to comply with the sheet music. In many cases bass/chord accompaniment which was missing in the original pdf files was added. A lot of effort was made to ensure that recreated abc music agreed exactly with the original sheet music (including page numbering and formatting).

The midi files were created at two different tempos. If you are learning the tunes and wish to play along with the computer, you should download the collection at 96 bpm. A separate collection was created at 144 bpm, to get a better feel for the music. The midi files for all volumes, addendum and appendix have been put in a single folder.

If you are running windows, midisheetmusic is a nice program which allows you to slow down the tempo and displays the sheet music corresponding to the MIDI file. You can get from http://sourceforge.net/projects/midisheetmusic/

OSJindex.xls a spreadsheet listing the tunes and other info. This index is still a work in progress and will contain detailed information on the rhythm and tonality of the music.

  • CCJ midi files at 96 bpm in one zip file
  • CCJ midi files at 144 bpm in one zip file
  • OSJ appendix midi files at 144 bpm in one zip file
  • OSJ appendix midi files at 96 bpm in one zip file
  • The tunebook consists of all abc files except OSJ_appendix.abc
    OSJ_abc_vol1.abc, (updated July 08 2013)
    OSJ_abc_vol2.abc, (updated July 08 2013)
    OSJ_abc_vol3.abc, (updated July 08 2013)
    OSJ_addendum.abc, (updated July 12 2017)
    OSJ_appendix.abc (updated March 13 2020)

    music xml representation
    xml_vol_1.zip, (created May 15 2013)
    xml_vol_2.zip, (created May 17 2013)
    xml_vol_3.zip, (created May 17 2013)
    xml_addendum.zip, (created May 18 2013)

    Here are the pdf files of the OSJ collection. The tune book consists of all these pdfs except OSJ_appendix.pdf.

    OSJ-vol1.pdf July 08 2013
    OSJ-vol2.pdf July 08 2013
    OSJ-vol3.pdf July 08 2013
    OSJ-addendum.pdf July 21 2015 - Tam Lin transposed to Am
    CCJ_addendum.pdf October 28 2015 (Carp Celtic Jam v1.2)
    OSJ_appendix.pdf March 13 2020
    AppendixAPP0140.pdf (scanned) Dec 01 2017 first half
    AppendixAPP4184.pdf (scanned) Dec 01 2017 second half
    For Bb instrument
    OSJ-vol1-Bb.pdf July 08 2013
    OSJ-vol2-Bb.pdf July 08 2013
    OSJ-vol3-Bb.pdf July 08 2013
    OSJ-add-Bb.pdf March 11 2013

    The OSJ_appendix.pdf does not preserve the lyrics and some of the bowing markings that were present in the original document.

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