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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.

40,105 Tunes by title with Annotations


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Featured tune:     TEETOTALLER'S REEL
Featured tune:     TEETOTALLER'S REEL

This was reported as being the first Teetotal Procession in the world and took place on Whit Monday, June 3rd 1833. Richard Turner is carrying the flag, Thomas Swindlehurst riding the white horse and Joseph Livesey is riding in the carriage The procession is seen passing the old Town Hall. (The History of Shotton - Deeside & The Atkinson Family History:Caption courtesy of Middle Ford Miss)

The word teetotaler has nothing to do with any meaning built around "total" and "tea" to signify temperance, but rather is said to come about from the stammered pronunciation of "total" by a Richard Turner of Preston, England, in 1832. In that year a society in the town was formed, pledged to abstain from intoxicating liquors. There were many who urged that temperance did not mean total abstinence, when an emotional Turner piped up that half-and-half measures were of no use, and that “nothing but te-te-total would do.”

An early version of the tune with the “Teetotaler’s Reel” title appears in the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork uilleann piper and Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman [2]. Taylor (1992) thinks the version in Frank Roche collection (No. 80) uses "curious notation which suggests perhaps a Scottish origin." See also the great Kerry fiddler Padraig O’Keeffe’s version of the tune called “Road to Newbridge.” The melody appears as “Peeler’s Jacket (3)” in the American collections of White and Robbins and Bayard’s Dance to the Fiddle (1981), although the “Peeler’s” title is usually given for another tune in Irish tradition. Other American titles include “Oh My Foot,” “Where is my Other Foot” and “Rocky Road to Denver.”


TEETOTALER REEL full Score(s) and Annotations and Past Featured Tunes

The Teetotaller's Reel


Temperance Reel
Concert at Ed Fortuna's House around 2003








X:1 T:Teetotaller’s Reel, The M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Reel or Hornpipe Q:"Quick" B:R.M. Levey – First Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland (1858, No. 41, pp. 16-17) N:”The Name of this Tune would stamp it as of Modern Construction, N:but I fancy it has been re-christened, as I certainly heard it played many N:years before the date of the movement to which it alludes.” Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G (3D/E/F/|G{A}G/F/ G/A/B/c/|de/c/ d/B/A/(c/|B/)E/(E/D/) (E/F/)G/A/|B/(G/A/)(F/ G/)F/E/D/| D/G/{A}G/F/ G/A/B/c/|de/c/ (d/B/A/)c/|B/E/{F}E/D/ E/F/G/A/|B/(c/A/)(F/ G):| |:B|(B/e/){f}e/d/ (e>f)|g/(e/a/)(f/ g/)(f/e/)d/|B/e/{f}e/d/ e>f|g/(e/a/)(f/ g/)(f/e/)d/| B/e/{f}e/d/ e>f|g/(e/a/)(f/ g/)(f/e/)d/|B/E/{F}E/D/ E/F/G/A/|B/(c/A/)(F/|G):|]

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Who Builds The Archive
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.

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
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  • 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.