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    The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish
 traditional instrumental music with annotations, formerly known as
                          The Fiddler's Companion.
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In the evening we’d sit out there and look to the head of Booger Hole and my father used to sit there on that front porch - and like I said, he very seldom relaxed - but when he tuned that old 5-string banjo up, he’d play that banjo - it was so doggone lonesome that it was pitiful and you could hear it all over this country...
Arkansas Traveller

Played by: Wilson Douglas
Source: Spotify
Image: Wilson Douglas: Rush Fork, Clay County, West Virginia 1922 - 1999.

Wilson Douglas

...there’s so many things come into my mind. It was twelve miles from where I was raised over to Lorie Hicks’ where Ed Haley’d come to. He’d play until about twelve o’clock at night, and he got tired, he’d quit. I was really not conscious of coming back home. I’d ride a bike, had an old trap of a bicycle; and if a gang didn’t gather up to go in an old ’29 Model A Ford truck, we’d start walking, maybe somebody’d come along in an old car and pick us up. Or we’d start in time to walk it – Lord! It was twelve miles! And I’d come back home and I wasn’t really conscious of when I left and when I got there. I was just dazed with that fiddle.

And it was just like a dang carnival, you know. We just sat and never opened our mouth and, like I said, he’d scare them fellers, them fellers never tried to play. Doc White asked him one night, said, “Ed, how do you play them tunes without changing keys?” “Well,” he said, “Doc. I change them with my fingers!” He wasn’t being sarcastic with Doc, he liked Doc.

Well, when he’d take a notion to go back to Kentucky, we’d beg him to stay another week. Doc White would say, “Now Ed, listen. They’s a gang of people coming from Roane County, you can make some money. Now, you stay another week.” Ed was bad to swear. Well, they’d talk him into it. Maybe he’d make four or five dollars a night.



This autobiographical piece first appeared in the booklet notes to the 2005 re-release of the 1974 Rounder LP, Wilson Douglas: The Right Hand Fork of Rush’s Creek (Rounder CD0047) -www.mustrad.org.uk

...more at: Arkansas Traveller - full notes





X:0 T:Arkanses Traveller [sic] [1] M:2/4 L:1/8 S:William Sydney Mount manuscripts N:Mount annotates his manuscript page with “Stony Brook (Long Island, New York) N:August 22nd, (18)52” and “As played by P(?).J. Cook.” At the end of the first part is the N:note “octave 2nd time,” meaning presumably that probably the first eight bars are to be N:played an octave higher as a variation when the whole tune is repeated, probably with N:the two bar ending that Mount entered at the top of the page. Interestingly, Mount’s N:manuscript predates the first known publication of the melody, in Buffalo, N.Y., by N:Blodgett & Bradford in 1858, although the tune and the story of the traveler and the N:country fiddler were known to be in circulation some two decades beforehand, N:stemming probably from plantation sources and then to the minstrel stage. Z:Transcribed and annotated by Andrew Kuntz K:D V:1 clef=treble name="0." [V:1] (D/E/)F/D/ B,B,/D/ | A,A,/B,/ DD | EE FF | D/E/F/D/ B,D | (D/E/)F/D/ B,(B,/D/) | A,A,/B,/ DA | (d/c/)(d/A/) (B/d/)(A/G/) | (F/D/)(E/F/) D2 :| |:(a/g/)f/a/ (g/f/)e/g/ | (f/e/)d/f/ (e/c/)A2 | d/d/d e/e/e | (f/e/)d/f/ e2 | (a/g/)f/a/ (g/f/)e/g/ | (f/e/)d/f/ (e/c/)A | (d/c/)d/A/ (B/d/)A/G/ | (F/D/)E/F/ D2 :|]

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Who Builds the TTA

Who Builds the TTA

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.

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Navigation: Registered users can navigate the Traditional Tune Archive for information in a number of ways.

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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.