Pointe-au-Pic

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POINTE-AU-PIC. AKA - "Reel de Pointe-au-Pic." French-Canadian, Reel. A Minor ('A' part) & C Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Phillips): AA'BB' (Carlin). The tune was popularized by a 1938 recording by Quebec fiddler Joseph Bouchard (1905-1979), and it is sometimes credited to him, although it was also recorded on 78 RPM by Isidore Soucy. However, "Pointe-au-Pic" is derived from a scottische by Lawrence B. O'Connor entitled "Four Little Blackberries." O'Connor, an American, published his tune in Boston in 1907. It was popular for it's time and was recorded a few times in the early 20th century, notably by by xylophone player Thomas Mills (1907), banjo virtuoso Vess Ossman (1910) and Scottish accordion player Dick Pamby's (1916, who is said to have been Bouchard's source for the tune).

Blackberries.jpg

"Pointe-au-Pic" has also been a popular vehicle for North American contra dancing.



Pointe-au-Pic is a small town on the St. Lawrence River near Charlevoix, northeast of Quebec City. The tune is sometimes played in the key of G Major. Phillips' parts are reversed from Carlin's.

Source for notated version: Ruthie Dornfeld (Seattle) [Phillips]; Kathleen Towers [Songer & Curley].

Printed sources: Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 63, p. 45. Guest (A Hundred Favorite Fiddle Tunes), 1980; p. 17. Hart & Sandell (Dance ce Soir), 2001; No. 30, p. 60. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 103. Songer (Portland Collection vol. 2), 2005; p. 160.

Recorded sources: Bluebird B-1140-B (78 RPM), Joseph Bouchard (1938). Graham Townsend – “Classics of Irish, Scottish and French-Canadian Fiddling.” La Bottine Souriante – “Jusqu’aux p’tites heures.” Joseph Bouchard – “Jos Bouchard, violoneux: Musique et danse traditionnelle de Charlevoix.” Flying Fish FF70572, Frank Ferrel – “Yankee Dreams: Wicked Good Fiddling from New England” (1991). Varrick VR-038, Yankee Ingenuity - "Heatin' up the Hall" (1989).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [2]
Eric Lortie's Identitairs Quebecois [3]
Hear Joseph Bouchard's 1938 recording on youtube.com [4]
Hear La Bottine Souriante's recording on youtube.com [5]
Hear Graham Townsend's recording at Slippery Hill [6]
Hear a Columbia Record (GP) 3709 (78 RPM) recording of "Four Little Blackberries" on youtube.com [7] and at the Library of Congress [8] (Victor 16488, Vess Ossman, banjo, 1910).




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