I have to confess that I’m not sure why I decided to learn Tarbolton. It’s usually played extremely fast and although I can imagine that’s fun, I think it is an excellent tune played slowly as well… however, I didn’t quite realise how tricky it is until I was stuck into it… especially as it is really helped by bowing it in such a way that you are forced to emphasise the beats 2 and 4 in the bar (instead of the usual 1 and 3). This is tricky but really makes it into a great tune.
As a consequence, I’ve written out this tune in different software so as to be able to mark the slurs (which are all up-bows if you are on a violin, except the first one). However, this has the advantage that I’ve been introduced to a new notation software (Musescore) which is both free, easy to use and versatile. If you need to write out tunes, I really recommend it.
Originally a Scottish tune (a place in Ayrshire), it was popularised by the Bothy Band in the 1970s and subsequently many think of it as an Irish tune. Good tunes feel they belong in many places at once!