(Just one moment)

Puirt-a-Beul – Scottish Gaelic Mouth Music Workshop

Ever find yourself ready to dance, but in need of a band? This workshop will send you off with at least one tune you can sing in the tradition of Scottish mouth music or puirt a beul. This form of singing was once practiced by the Gaels and kept the party jigging and reeling when no musical instruments could be found. Mimicking the rhythmic delivery of the bagpipes, puirt a beul are short, rapidly delivered pieces sung in sets of two or three, that often have bawdy content. In our first session we will get a quick overview of the history of puirt a beul, learn a simple puirt a beul set, then explore puirt a beul collections online so you can choose your own set to learn. After a few days practice, we will reconvene to share our puirt a beul in a virtual ceilidh, a Gaelic gathering for storytelling and song.

Puirt-a-Beul Set to Learn

Puirt-a-Beul and Dance

Additional Resources

Playlist of Mostly Contemporary Puirt-a-Beul

Tobar an Dulkais – Kist o Riches. A website dedicated to archival recordings of traditional Scottish songs, including 200+ puirt-a-beul.

Keith Norman MacDonald’s Puirt-a-Beul : The Vocal Dance Music of the Scottish Gaels A new edition of the 1901 collection of puirt-a-beul songs, which remains the only such collection, with introduction and historical notes by Dr. William Lamb.