Celtic Music for Halloween - Sheet Music for Strings

Buy the pdf sheet music here


Also included: MIDI files, and "practise mixes" which are recordings with the harmony parts turned louder up the mix and the tune and chords turned down - these are to help people who prefer to learn by ear.

This collection of sheet music is a Halloween-themed pack of traditional and new folk tunes. They are arranged in four part harmony, and can be used by a variety of different ensembles - from simple duets to a full string quartet.

There are three versions of the score provided: string quartet, violin trio with cello, and violin trio with viola. Each version also has parts for individual instruments as well as the score.

Here is a list of the tunes that are included, and a bit more information about each of them:


The fossegrim is a Norwegian water spirit who sits under waterfalls and plays the fiddle. Which is something I couldn't resist dedicating one of my new compositions to!

Tam Lin (Glasgow Reel)

The story of Tam Lin is well known in the folk tradition. There is a ballad of the same name, telling of Tam Lin's interaction with the Queen of the Faeries on the night of Halloween. The ballad is normally sung to a tune other than this reel (also known just as the Glasgow Reel) but I thought the Halloween connections of the story and the fact that it's a great fiddle tune made it a perfect fit for this collection anyway!

Wandering Witches

A new tune of mine. Witches wandering around in the night, foraging for ingredients for potions, generally doing witchy things. These witches are quite efficient and definitely know what they're doing.

Lyke Wake Dirge

This is a traditional song England, in Yorkshire dialect, which tells of the soul's journey to purgatory. It is thought to be of pre-Christian origin, but was first collected in 1686. The most famous versions from the folk revival in the 1960s were recorded by The Young Tradition and Pentangle.

Ghost in the Chimney

This is a new tune that I composed for this collection, imagining a melancholy ghost who lives inside a chimney. The sound that the wind makes when it blows through chimneys can be sad and ghostly, so I imagine the ghost and the wind singing together sadly in this one.

Mullin Dhu

The name of this tune is Gaelic for 'The Dark Mill', which brings to mind a spooky old disused mill in the night time, maybe beside a dark pond...

Dolls That Come Alive in the Night

This tune is one I wrote while thinking about one of the spookiest ideas that I could come up with. It should be played very mechanically, like dolls slowly jerking their limbs into action after nightfall.

Yowe Came Tae Wir Door Yarmin

A Scottish tune. The name translates as 'A Ewe Came to My Door Bleating' which to me is quite a strange and creepy image, especially if you imagine a sheep, by itself, walking through the misty dusk to someone's door. It's not a very sheep-like thing to do, so something strange must be afoot...

Ragged Clouds Against the Moon

This is a new tune, written as if it was the soundtrack to a film of fast moving clouds travelling across the sky. Unlike most of my compositions and arrangements, this one is built around a cello (or viola) bass riff that is decorated over the top by fast-tempo violin lines. So this one works best if you have a cellist or viola player to take the bottom part.

Hag at the Churn

A great Irish tune that's fun to play over and over and over because it's so circular. Try building it up by adding each harmony part in gradually through playing it multiple times.