Mazurka, D, Irish Traditional
Also known as Johnny Doherty’s Mazurka; Tommy Peoples’ Mazurka; The Donegal Mazurka
TrailJams Tune of the Week for December 5, 2021
Mazurkas originated in Poland, and spread over Europe in the 1800s, both as tunes and as a dance form. They found their way to Ireland in the mid-1800s, and have become a traditional tune form there, particularly in county Donegal. This tune comes from those roots and traditions. It is named for Donegal fiddler John Doherty (1900 – 1980). Confusingly, this is one of two different tunes that are both referred to as “John Doherty’s Mazurka” and “Tommy Peoples’ Mazurka.” This one has the distinction of being in the key of D.
- Audio – Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann: John Doherty’s Mazurka from the album Foinn Seisiún 1: Traditional Irish Session Tunes, le Ceoltóiri Cultúrlainne. Also published as video on YouTube.
- Video – Kevin Crawford: Tommy’s Mazurkas from the album In Good Company. (The first tune in the set is “John Doherty’s Mazurka.”)
Dots (Music Notation)
As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Sonny’s Mazurka / John Doherty’s Mazurka
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- Video – Julia Plumb (Free Fiddle Lessons): Tommy Peoples’ Mazurka (John Doherty’s Mazurka)
- Audio – Julia Plumb (Free Fiddle Lessons): Tommy Peoples’ Mazurka, Slow Recording (John Doherty’s Mazurka)
- Audio – Julia Plumb (Free Fiddle Lessons): Tommy Peoples’ Mazurka, Fast Recording (John Doherty’s Mazurka)
- Book – Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann: Foinn Seisiún, Volume 1
- Web page – The Session: Tommy Peoples’ Mazurka. Listed as “Tommy People’s Mazurka,” this tune is “John Doherty’s Mazurka” in the TrailJams collection. Tommy Peoples is said to have called this tune “Doherty’s Mazurka.”
- Article – Wikipedia: John Doherty (musician)
- Video – Johnny Doherty – Fiddler on the Road Part 1 of 5 from Ulster Television. Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
- Facebook page – John Doherty