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Welcome to the Traditional Tune Archive
The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish traditional instrumental music with annotation, formerly known as
The Fiddler's Companion.

Featured Tunes

Fermoy Town, c. 1844.

(Na Cailinide Ua Feara-Muige). AKA and see "Connacht Ranger (The)," "Connacht Rangers (2) (The)," "Humors of Mackin," "Off to Dublin," "Wexford Reel (2)." Irish, Reel. E Minor ('A' part) & G Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Mitchell, Shields/Goodman): AA'B (O'Neill): AABB (Flaherty, Mallinson, O'Malley, Perlman): AA'BB (Moylan). Fermoy is in County Cork. The earliest appearance of the tune in print or manuscript form appears to be in Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman's mid-19th century manuscripts, where it is given as an untitled reel. Goodman (1828-1896) was an uilleann piper and an Irish speaker who collected locally in County Cork and elsewhere in Munster, although he also obtained tunes from manuscripts and printed sources. The reel was remembered by Kilmaley, County Clare, fiddler, flute player and uilleann piper Peader O'Loughlin as one of the tunes he listened to his father, a flute player, play in the 1930's. "'Twas a very simple, beautiful version of it, you know. Some of the tunes that are played today, you'd hear the difference, they're not the same. And d'you know, the more that you hear you might say they're not improved either" (Blooming Meadows, 1998, p. 170). Luke O'Malley says: "For years in New York this was called the 'Leitrim Thrush (2) (The)'." "Piper's Glass (The)" shares a second strain with "Fermoy Lasses." The reel has some currency among Cape Breton fiddlers, where it has been recorded a number of times by various artists.

The first sound recording of "Fermoy Lasses" is by piper Patrick J. "Patsy Touhey" (1865-1923), who made a privately issued recording of the tune prior to 1919. Touhey was born in Loughrea, Co. Galway, but emigrated as a toddler with his family to Boston. His father was a piper, but died before he could pass on his mastery of the instrument, and although the young Touhey took some lessons from a pupil of his father's, he abandoned the instrument for a while. It was not until later in his teenage years that Touhey again took up the instrument. He was living in Brooklyn at the time and made the acquaintance of a piper from the Bowery, named John Egan. Egan inspired him to take up the pipes again and tutored him until Touhey had himself become a master. Touhey made his home in later years on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Upon his death, in 1923, he was buried in St. Raymond's cemetery (where Michael Coleman and James Morrison are also buried). Another early recording (1924) was by McConnell's Four Leaf Shamrock Orchestra, under the title "Off to Dublin."

THE FERMOY LASSES full annotations and Past Featured Tunes

\version "2.7.40"
\header {
	crossRefNumber = "1"
	footnotes = ""
	tagline = "Lily was here 2.18.2 -- automatically converted from ABC"
	title = "Fermoy Lasses"
voicedefault =  {
\set Score.defaultBarType = ""

\repeat volta 2 {
\time 4/4 \key e \minor   b'8    a'8  \bar "|"   g'8    e'8    e'4 ^"~"    b'8  
  e'8    e'4 ^"~"  \bar "|"   g'8    e'8    e'4 ^"~"    b'4    b'8    a'8  
\bar "|"   g'8    e'8    e'4 ^"~"    b'8    e'8    e'4 ^"~"  \bar "|"   a'8    
fis'8    d'8    fis'8    a'8    c'8    b'8    a'8  \bar "|"     g'8    e'8    
e'4 ^"~"    b'8    e'8    e'4 ^"~"  \bar "|"   g'8    e'8    e'4 ^"~"    b'4    
b'8    a'8  \bar "|"   g'4 ^"~"    g'8    b'8    d''4    d''8    b'8  \bar "|"  
 a'8    fis'8    d'8    fis'8    a'4    b'8    a'8  }     \repeat volta 2 {   
g'4    b'8    g'8    d''8    g'8    b'8    a'8  \bar "|"   g'4    b'8    d''8   
 e''8    fis''8    g''4  \bar "|"   g'4    b'8    g'8    d''8    g'8    b'8    
g'8  \bar "|"   a'8    fis'8    d'8    fis'8    a'4    b'8    a'8  \bar "|"     
g'4    b'8    g'8    d''8    g'8    b'8    a'8  \bar "|"   g'4    b'8    d''8   
 e''8    fis''8    g''4  \bar "|"   g''8    a''8    g''8    e''8    d''8    
e''8    d''8    b'8  \bar "|"   a'8    fis'8    d'8    fis'8    a'4    b'8    
a'8  }   


	\context Staff="default"

	\layout {
	\midi {}

Why TTA Who builds the Archive

Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.

This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.

Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni

Please register as a user to make the most of the many functions of the TTA, and enjoy the many ways that information about traditional tunes can be elicited and combined, from simple to complex situations. Users may make contributions, which, when reviewed by an editor, become part of this community project. Serious user/contributors may become editors through the TTA's autopromotion process, in which quantity and quality of entries allows increased levels of permission to edit and review the entire index.
Above all, the developers wish you joy in the use of the TTA.

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Help Getting started


Navigation: Registered users can navigate the Traditional Tune Archive for information in a number of ways.

  • Search. The Search function is located at the bottom of the SideBar on the left, and can be used to search the entire index for any key word.
  • Alphabetically by tune title. Under “The Index” on the SideBar on the left is “All Tunes”. Click on “All Tunes” to open up the list of tune titles in the TTA arranged in alphabetical order, 200 titles to a page. At the top of the page is an alphabetical breakdown that serves as a shortcut to pages. Clicking on any title will bring one to the music and tune fields. Once the tune appears, clicking “Tune Discussion” at the bottom of the page (below the notation) will open up the narrative information on the tune.
  • Query the Archive. The “Query the Archive” function under “The Index” in the sidebar can be used to draw down reports from the TTA in either in single items or in a number of combinations. One might, for example, use a single item query to run a report in the TTA for a particular composer/core source. Clicking on the arrow at the right of the bar draws down a list of composer/core sources, or one may be typed in. For example, clicking on “Bill Pigg” and then the “Run Query” tab at the bottom left will result in a list of all compositions listed in the TTA that the Northumbrian piper either composed or is the core source for. Reports may also be run in combinations, as, for example, by selecting “William Marshall” as a composer/core source, “Three Flats” for the number of accidentals, and “Major” for the Key/Mode. This will result in a report of all Eb Major compositions of Scottish fiddler/composer William Marshall that are indexed in the TTA.
  • Drill Down. Cumulative information about TTA entries can be found in the “Drill Down” under “The Index” in the SideBar on the left.
  • Tune Books/Magazines in the TTA can be accessed under “Issues” in the left side bar. These are reproductions of publications for which access has been granted to the TTA by the copyright holder, under the Creative Commons license.