Reel, D Dorian
Attributed to Bobby Casey (1926-2000, County Clare, Ireland)
The Kelp, as Bobby Casey tells it, was the name of a ship. He and his cousin encountered the Kelp (or Kelly Kelp) aground on the beach at Spanish Point, on the coast of County Clare, Ireland. His cousin kept one of the ship’s portholes as a souvenir, and it was that keepsake that inspired Bobby to name this tune “The Porthole of the Kelp.”
- Video – P.J. Hayes & Martin Hayes: The Porthole of the Kelp / The Maids of Mitchelstown Reels – from the album The Shores of Lough Graney
- Video – Renee Doucet and Seph Peters: The Porthole Set (The Porthole of the Kelp & Cutting a Slide) – played on fiddle with guitar. The Porthole of the Kelp is played in D Dorian. (The second tune, Cutting a Slide, is a Phil Cunningham composition.)
- Audio – Jon Antonsson: Porthole of the Kelp (Reel Dm) – played on flute in D Dorian, slowly and then at dance tempo. From the album Tunes & Tools To Learn Irish Music Vol.1. The same recording also available as a video and as a play-along track on Jon Antonsson’s Tools & Tunes website.
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.
(See the References and Resources section below for sheet music sources.)
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Porthole of the Kelp / The Maids of Mitchelstown
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- More Recordings
- Video – Tergal14 Mandolin: Irish Mandolin tunes. Porthole of the Kelp – played on mandolin
- Audio – Bobby Casey: The Porthole of the Kelp — Bobby Casey plays the tune (on fiddle, in D Dorian) and then talks about its title. Archived from the radio program Céilí House from the 1970s on RTÉ, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland’s national public service media organization.
- Video – Warbelow Range: Porthole of the Kelp – Garech’s Wedding – O’Rourke’s: Warbelow Range @ FSAF 2018 – played in E Dorian
- Lesson – Cayley Schmid: Porthole of the Kelp – instruction for playing the tune on fiddle. Played in D Dorian.
- Other Resources
- Webpage – The Session: Porthole of the Kelp (Reel) – crowdsourced sheet music, comments, and other information.
- Webpage – The Irish Traditional Music Tune Index: Porthole of the Kelp
- Webpage – Henrik Norbeck’s ABC Tunes: Porthole of the Kelp, The – sheet music and ABC notation for the tune in
- Article: Dorian, Mixolydian, Oh My: Modes in a Nutshell, by Jonathan Lay, TrailJams