Tommy’s Tarbukas

Tommy’s Tarbukas sheet music. This tune is an absolute must play tune once you have heard it. Though the tune is a reel it doesn’t sound directly like one. This might be due to all accents in the second part of the tune. Another reason might be that it sounds a bit unusual for an Irish tune since the best known recording by Alasdair Fraser is with piano which is not so common in Irish music.

tommy's tarbukas picture of drum

I wondered what a tarbuka is and it appears to be originally an Arabic/African drum also known as a goblet drum. This explains the title and percussion in the tune. So altogether a nice piece of crossover Irish-African music.

In the sheet music below you can find the notes and chords of the tune. The tune is in B-flat so in its original key it is not possible to play on a D-tin whistle. Of course a B-flat low whistle will do, but I decided to play it on soprano saxophone instead.

Tommy’s Tarbukas sheet music, notes and chords

On the YouTube video you will hear the studio version of the tune from the album The Road North by Alasdair Fraser.

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