John Doherty’s Mazurka

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.

John Doherty's Mazurka, traditional Irish Mazurka, TrailJams Tune of the Week. Image copyright 2022 Jonathan Lay.


Dots (Music Notation)

Sheet music and chords for John Doherty's Mazurka in D. Traditional Irish. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay,

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
Slow tempo 90bpm
Moderate tempo 150bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

References and Resources

For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.