Puncheon Floor (1)

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PUNCHEON FLOOR [1]. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Arkansas, Tennessee. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB. Several melodies called “Puncheon Floor,” some related and some quite distinct from one-another, are extent in American traditional music. Ira Ford (1940), who collected at least some of his material in the Ozarks region, remarked: "'Puncheon Floor' has been handed down as one of the favorite old dance tunes of America. More than any other of the traditional tunes of the olden days it seems to carry the spirit of sociability of the folks 'back yonder', where the people of a community were then closely banded together in a social order based upon the greatest good of the greatest number. The homes were built of logs and shingled with clap-boards. The floors were made of puncheons, split logs laid with the round side down. After the puncheons were edged with the broadaxe and joined together, the floor was surfaced and smoothed off with an adz until it was as smooth as a modern dance floor. It was thus that this old tune had its genesis.”

"Puncheon Floor" is mentioned as having been played in a newspaper account of a 1931 LaFollette, northeast Tenn., fiddlers' contest. The title also appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountains fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954; which "Puncheon Floor" melody is referenced is unknown.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 57.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]




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