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 Traditional Music >> The Scottish Whistle >> Tutorials >> Tutorial 6.3

The Scottish Whistle


C natural

Rakes Mallow



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Whistle Tutorial - Lesson 6.3


The Rakes of Mallow

Although seemingly an Irish tune (Mallow is a town in County Cork), this tune has long been popular in England (where it has been called The Rakes of Marlowe) and Scotland, first published here in the 1780s. A rake was a fashionable youth who led a somewhat dissolute life, so this tune maybe celebrates such young men from the town of Mallow (or Marlowe?), much as other tunes celebrate The Merry Lads of Ayr, The Lads o' Dunse or The Lasses o' Fochabers.

There was an old Irish song called Sandy Lent a Man His Mule. There was also a later Scottish song, Sandy He Belangs Tae the Mill which was written to this tune to explain a point of Scottish law.

There are a few runs of notes in this tune. When I talk about a run, I mean a string of notes which rise or fall one note at a time. If notes go up two at a time, it is called steps, and music is largely made up of runs and steps. You should be familiar enough with scales to know how to play runs.

It's vital to know how to play the C natural note in order to play The Rakes of Mallow. If you're finding it difficult to play parts of this tune, step back a bit and put some more practice into C natural. Also available as a [MIDI file].

The Rakes of Mallow

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