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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.
39,053 Tunes with Annotations


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June 16 2019  Featured tune:           THE OTTER'S HOLT
June 16 2019  Featured tune:           THE OTTER'S HOLT


West Clare fiddler Martin 'Junior' Crehan.

Composed by the late Clare fiddler Martin 'Junior' Crehan (1908-1998). In a 1980's interview with Crehan, Finbar Boyle asked him about the origins of the tune Crehan related that he and friends used to play by a stream associated with an otter den, and that cattle would come by and (according to Junior) be soothed by the music. The word holt is an archaic form (a phoentic variant of 'hold', generally from the English mid-lands), but is usually taken to mean a place of refuge or abode; an animal's den. There is an interesting connection with Paddy Killoran's "Old Dudeen," which shares some melodic material with Crehan's melody (see note). Andy Stewart's song "Take Her in Your Arms" (on Green Linnet SIF 1083, "Dublin Lady") is set to this tune. The reel is similar to Paddy Killoran's "Old Dudeen (The)" in the first strain.


OTTER'S HOLT full Score(s) and Annotations and Past Featured Tunes



X:1 % T:Water Dog's Hole, The T:Otter's Holt, The C:Junior Crehan M:4/4 L:1/8 K:Bmin de|fBBA FEFB|~A2FB ABde|fBBA FEFA|BdcA B2de| fBBA FEFB|~A2FB ABde|fbaf egfe|dBAF B2|| (3ABc|d2fd adfa|bfaf efdB|d2fd adfa|bfaf e2 (3ABc| d2fd adfa|bfaf efde|fBBA FEFA|BdcA B2||

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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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