Free Irish fiddle sheet music "The Butterfly" in two versions, with chords for guitar or fiddle back-up. This piece for violin is a challenge for beginners, but is a great favorite.
My fiddle-playing daughter was roused from her own violin practice lethargy when she encountered a video of one of the members of Celtic Woman playing this dramatic piece.
She HAD to learn The Butterfly too, so SHE could dance around and swing her hair just like Mairead Nesbitt:
In fact, Mairead Nesbitt's performance was so inspiring to my daughter, that I quickly purchased a Celtic Woman DVD from Amazon which includes this and other favorite performances by Mairead and others in the group!
Here is the free Irish fiddle sheet music... first, the easiest version of The Butterfly:
Though I have called it "easy", it may not be easy for a beginner to play, initially, unless they can hear how the tune it supposed to sound.
And here is the more complicated version of the free Irish fiddle sheet music:
Because this free violin sheet music is traditional (anonymous and part of the traditional folk violin literature), you will find slight variations in every version that you come across.
The chords I use here may not be what you see in some of the other versions. Mostly, they begin with Em going to Bm, over and over. I have been using D in place of the Bm chord, primarily because in that way, my younger fiddle students can play an easy drone background as the older, more accomplished players take the melody.
Because not only is this a great solo, but the short version here, if repeated twice (for a total of three times through) makes a powerful group piece! Recently, our local group went to the Juneau Folk Festival, and this was one of the numbers the kids played. (I was bass player for the gig, very fun!) Here is how the kids did it:
Fiddler #1 started alone, sliding into the initial note (like a butterfly!). When she got to part 2, Fiddlers #2 & #3 joined her -- still on the melody. They played out the melody to the bottom of the page, then the whole group joined in at the top. That was three guitars, the three fiddlers on melody, two young fiddlers droning, and me on the bass.
It was VERY exciting. I decided to bow instead of pluck the string bass, and it was just the right effect.
A few of my students have bought copies of the Celtic Woman Songbook.
It has a lot of vocal pieces in it with nice arrangements, but also the LONG version of The Butterfly (of which I give just the first part here as free sheet music).
In the Celtic Woman songbook are other songs:
Ave Maria, Beyond The Sea, The Blessing, The Butterfly, Caledonia, Carrickfergus, Danny Boy, Dulaman, Isle Of Inisfree, Lascia Ch'io Pianga, Mo Chile Mear, Nella Fantasia, One World, Over The Rainbow, The Prayer, Scarborough Fair, Send Me A Song, She Moved Thru The Fair, Shenandoah, Siulil A Run, The Sky, The Dawn And The Sun, The Soft Goodbye, Someday, Vivaldi's Rain, The Voice, You Raise Me Up.
Have fun with this free Irish fiddle sheet music!
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? We'd love to hear it!