The sessions

Photo: Amanda Farah CCPL licence
Photo: Ian Polack

Monday Musicians meet once a month to play English and other folk dance music, led by Thomas Bending with occasional guest leaders. We meet at Cecil Sharp House at 2 Regent's Park Road, London NW1 7AY, UK, in Committee Room 1 on the first floor. Sessions are 7pm - 10pm on the second Monday of every month except August, so the next few are Mon 12 Sep 2022, Mon 10 Oct 2022 and Mon 14 Nov 2022. Please note various safety and hygiene measures that we're taking in the live sessions.

We play for pleasure and to swap tunes, and for many years at Christmas we played for the EFDSS Carols and Customs celebration. Anyone playing any instrument to any standard is very welcome. We play tunes in a variety of keys, and you'll probably find it easier if you can read music so please bring a stand if you can. Sessions cost £6 but your first session is free.

Ali Ellacott compiled a YouTube playlist for her session in July 2022, so do have a listen to that.

During the 2020-21 Covid-19 lockdown the live sessions were suspended, but we did manage to play 10 sheets "together".

The archive

We give out one or two new sheets of music each month, as well as playing through older ones. The sessions started in the 1930s, and Maggie Fletcher and Rick Smith started giving out numbered sheets in the 1970s so we're now up to sheet MM477. Including supplementaries we've issued 524 sheets with 1749 tunes. (Almost) all the sheets are available here, and you can see the tunes listed by title or by sheet. You can download the sheets as a series of ZIP files, download the entire website for use offline, and get information on the tunes as a CSV file (83.7 kB). Please see the terms of use.

Many of the sheets were originally handwritten, but they've since been typeset to make them more legible and so that the files are smaller. Both versions are in the archive, and in many cases ABC source for the typeset version is also available. Thanks to Richard Ball, in particular, and to Thomas Bending, Brian Stewart, Hugh Barwell and Steve Shaughnessy for their work on this. Thanks also to Vic Courtice, Neville Gardner and John Petts for help with the archive. The archive could be organised in various different ways and we've just done what seemed to be a good idea at the time, so if you've any suggestions for other ways to do things or other information you'd like to see then please do tell us.