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Revision as of 09:54, 6 June 2019

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.

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August 24 2019  Featured tune:           JOHN BROWN'S DREAM

Fenced In, by Bonnie Bruno

On November 24, 1874, Joseph F. Glidden of DeKalb, Illinois, was granted a patent for fencing material consisting of barbs wrapped around a single strand of wire and held in place by twisting that strand around another. His original double-strand design, the Winner, lived up to its name; it is the most commercially successful of the hundreds of eventual barbed wire designs. Glidden was also the winner in a welter of litigation that reached all the way to the Supreme Court after some dozen other inventors claimed legal priority. Barbed wire was not immediately successful in Texas and elsewhere, especially with smaller cattle ranchers who depended on an 'open range' to sustain their operations. Their opposition led to the barbed wire conflicts of the 1880's, but eventually the ranges were fenced off. Although open range became a thing of the past, barbed wire helped cattlemen to breed herds in protected environments, thus negating the reliance on long-horned cattle that were more suitable to the open range.


TEXAS BARBED WIRE full Score(s) and Annotations and Past Featured Tunes


  • Played By: Jon Bekoff


X:1 T:Texas Barbed Wire M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel Q:"Fast" K:G EE|D2+slide+B2 BcBG-|D2 [DB]A BdBG-|E3 [Ec]B cdcG-|E2 [Ec]B cdcG-| DD +slide+BA BcBG-|DD BA BdBG|AFAB cBAc|BG[GB][GB][G2B2]:| Bc|dg[dg]f gfga|b2g2- gg-fg|abag fefg|a2f4Bc| dg[dg]f gfga|b2g2- ge-fg|abae- fd[d2f2]|1 [B3g3][Bg] [Bg]dBc:|2[B3g3][Bg] [Bg]:|


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.


Latest Tunes



Help Getting started

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

  • Search. The Search function is located at the top right, and can be used to search the entire index for any key word. See Search help pages
  • Alphabetically by tune title. Under “The Archive” 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 Archive” 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.
  • Tune Books/Magazines in the TTA can be accessed under “Publications” 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.