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The Traditional Tune Archive
    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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Researcher Chris Goertzen elaborates that this George Booker served as a militia lieutenant in the Revolutionary War and lived in Knauff's area of Farmville, Virginia; probably the same individual who was a local lawyer by 1809.
George Booker

Played by: Fionnlagh Ballantine
Source: Soundcloud
Image: Revolutionary War citizen patriot George Booker’s grave marker.

George Booker Grave.jpg

George Booker

The melody first appears under the "Booker" title in George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels, volume III (Baltimore, 1839), apparently in honor of a Revolutionary War leader and local hero from Virginia (according to Jabbour). Researcher Chris Goertzen elaborates that this George Booker served as a militia lieutenant in the Revolutionary War and lived in Knauff's area of Farmville, Virginia; probably the same individual who was a local lawyer by 1809. Goertzen points out that the Booker family name "is common in the little cemeteries that dot Prince Edward County farms" [1]. Bruce Green thinks this tune may have been brought to the southern Kentucky region by a fiddler named John Gregory, originally from Virginia (in connection with similar Kentucky melodies, see Ed Hayley's "Grey Eagle Jig"). The tune was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph in the early 1940's from Ozarks Mountains fiddlers (including Lon Jordan in 1941), although Drew Beisswenger (2008) says it is not often played by Ozarks fiddlers today. Alan Jabbour believes "George Booker" is similar to "Camp Chase" and speculates that the former may have been the tune originally played in the Civil War prison camp which gave West Virginia fiddler Solly Carpenter his freedom.

...more at: George Booker - full Score(s) and Annotations

X:1 T:George Booker [1] M:2/4 L:1/8 R:reel B:George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels, vol. 3 (Baltimore, 1839) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A V:1 clef=treble name="1." [V:1] A,A,/A,/ C/<E/E|A/>B/c/A/ B/A/B/c/|A,A,/A,/ C/<E/E|B/d/c/B/ A/F/F/<A/| A,A,/A,/ C/<E/E|A/>B/c/A/ B/A/B/<c/|d/f/f/a/ c/e/e/a/|B/d/c/B/ A/<F/F/<A/:| |:e/f/4g/4 a bg|e/f/4g/4 a/g/ f/e/d/c/|B/b/b/f/ b/f/f|f/g/4a/4 b/a/ a/g/f/e/| e/f/4g/4 a bg|e/f/4g/4 a/g/ f/e/d/c/|B/b/a/g/ f/e/d/c/|B/d/c/B/ A/F/F/<A/:||

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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

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  1. Chris Goertzen,George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels and the History of American Fiddling, 2017, p. 65.