BRANDY(, LE). French Canadian, Brandy (3/4 or 3/2 time). D Major: G Major (Hart & Sandell). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABACBA (Carlin): ABCDA'B' (Begin/Bruneau): ABB'A'CDB" (Hart & Sandell). The tune is not a reel as listed in Carlin's Master Collection, but is a fast, driving tune used to accompany stepdancing and longways sets in Québec. The name "Brandy" originally referred to a type of traditional suite or early dance called the Brasnle. French in origin, the brasnle was imported to England in or about the time of Elizabeth I, where the name was Englished as "Brawl." French-Canadian Brandys were derived from English dance sources in the latter half of the 19th century, rather than the original French, and (according to Hart & Sandell) are related to the Scottish Strip the Willow and English Drops of Brandy. Hart & Sandell mention that the tune was recorded three times on 78 RPM by fiddler Isidore Soucy between 1926 and 1931. They also note 'G' is the traditional key for fiddlers to play the tune.
Sources for notated versions: learned by French-Canadian accordion great Philippe Bruneau from William Gagnon (1901-1979, of Chicoutimi, Québec) [Begin]; William Gagnon via fiddler Michel Faubert, via Michel Bordeleau [Hart & Sandell].
Printed source: Begin (Philippe Bruneau), 1993; No. 30, pp. 44-45. Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; p. 48, No. 68. Hart & Sandell (Dance ce Soir), 2001; No. 51, p. 86.
Recorded sources: La Bottine souriante - "Jusqu'aux p'tites heures (1991). Ornstein & Pépin - "Les Danseries de Québec...de l'autre bord de l'eau" (1986). Philo 2003, "Philippe Bruneau" (1973). Daniel Roy - "Au tour du flageolet" (1996). Voyager 322, Louis Boudreault - "Old Time Fiddler of Chicoutimi, Québec" (1977, 1993).
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