Blind Man's Reel (1)

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X:1 T:Reel de l'aveugle T:Blind Man's Reel R:Reel Maisonneuve [2] S:Joseph Allard (1873-1947, Montreal, Que.) M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel D:Victor 263723b (78 RPM), Joseph Allard (1930) D:http://www.collectionscanada.ca/obj/m2/f7/12854.mp3 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:D A3G|:(F/G/F) D2 E-DB,D|A,DFA {c}BAFD|CEGB {d}cBAG|FAde fdAG| (F/G/F) D2 E-DB,D|A,DFA {c}BAFD|CEGB {c}BAGE|1DdAF D2AG:|2DdAF dcde|| |:fdAF dAFA|{c}BAGB edcB|Acde fdgf|ecdf fdef| fdAF dAFA|{c}BAGB edcB|Afed cA/A/Bc|1d2 dc dcde:|2d2 dc d2||



BLIND MAN'S REEL [1] (Reel de l'Aveugle). AKA and see "Reel of the Blindmen," "Reel Maisonneuve (2)." French-Canadian, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Welling's version features irregular measure at ends of 'A' and 'B' parts as well as double-tonic tonality. The tune was recorded in 1930 on a 78 RPM disc by Québecois fiddler Joseph Allard [1] on the Victor label, and re-released in 1936 on the Bluebird label (B-4929-B), albeit with the Allard pseudonym 'Maxime Toupin'. It was one of his more popular recordings.
Joseph Allard (1873-1947)

The reel was also recorded by Allard's younger contemporary, fiddler J.O. LaMadeleine [2] (1880-1973) in 1938, for Montreal-based Starr label. An asymmetrical version was also recorded by fiddler Isidore Soucy (1899-1962) under the title "Rell des aveugles." Allard researcher Jean Duval believes "Reel de l'aveugle" may be a composition of Allard's, however, he also notes that Allard's pupil, Jean Carignan, learned the tune from his mentor but called it "The Blind," the English title suggesting to Duval that Allard may have learned it when he was in the United States[1].

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Gretchen Koehler [Phillips]; Winston Fitzgerald (1914-1987, Cape Breton) [Cranford]; fiddler Dawson Girdwood (Perth, Ottawa Valley, Ontario) [Bégin].

Printed sources : - Bégin (Fiddle Music in the Ottawa Valley: Dawson Girdwood), 1985; No. 51, p. 60. Cranford (Winston Fitzgerald), 1997; No. 133, p. 54. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, Vol. 1), 1994; p. 29. Welling (Welling's Hartford Tunebook), 1976; p. 1.

Recorded sources: -Philo 2001, "Jean Carignan." Starr 16144-A (78 RPM), J.O. LaMadeleine (1938). TRCD 9504/5, Gabriel Labbé - "100 ans de musique traditionnelle québécoise" (reissue recordings). Victor 263723-B (78 RPM), Joseph Allard (1930).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [3]
Hear Joseph Allard's 1930 recording on youtube.com [4], and at the Virtual Gramophone [5]
Hear J.O. LaMadeleine's 1938 recording on youtube.com [6] and at the Virtual Gramophone [7]
Hear Jean Carignan's recording on youtube.com [8]
Read Glenn Patterson's analysis of Allard and Gaspé fiddler Erskine Morris's versions of the reel [9]



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  1. Jean Duval, "La Musique de Joseph Allard 1873-1947", 2018, p. 73.