The vast majority of Cztery Refy's repertoire comprises traditional songs. Those written by contemporary composers/authors are identified as such.
Melodies and harmonies are given simply in the form of a vocal part or a main instrument line with guitar chords. The number of syllables in any one line can vary between different stanzas of the same song, a typical practice for this kind of music. The notation given refers only to the first stanza and refrain.
In order to help those who cannot read even the simplified notation, a MIDI file is supplied for each song, which enables playback of the song's basic melody line.
These are not to be taken as examples of the arrangements to be used but only as representations of the melody. Collectors of MIDI-files and interesting keyboard arrangements will be disappointed!
In all cases, guitar chords are placed above the notes where they should be started; the aim here is to show the harmony in a way that it is intelligible for each guitarist and to make accompanying easier. It does not mean that a guitar is necessary for each song. In some cases a guitar would be superfluous, especially in the case of traditional shanties, which are mostly sung without accompaniment, but even here we include chords for the sake of readers who find them helpful.
Many of these chords are represented by standard notation, which should be understandable even for beginners (capital letters - major chords, small letters - minor chords, crossed letters - chords without a third, often used in Irish music). These chords are given in the so-called "German style", which means that B-flat appears as B and B appears as H but in other cases the suffix "es" is used for the flat sign and the suffix "is" represents the sharp sign. For example, E-flat major appears as "Es" and F-sharp minor as "fis".
However, we also use some less familiar chords, for which we have invented our own symbols. Each page containing a song that uses one of these chords includes a button marked "Chords"; if you click on this button you will access a page of diagrams showing which strings to stop with which fret to play the chord identified by one of these symbols.
We have at our disposal quite a wide range of instruments, all acoustic, but try not to overuse them. Our arrangements are generally simple, not because we want to make the music sound primitive but because we want to preserve its essential simplicity and not to introduce complications that are alien to its style.
Leaving the choice of instruments and voices as well as interpretation and arrangement to your judgement, let me express my hope that text, notes, MIDI samples and parts of recordings will help those who want to sing and play these songs from our repertoire in their own way as well as those who want to stay close to Cztery Refy's interpretation.