TTA

Find traditional instrumental music
Welcome to 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.
The fiddler
56,073 Tunes by title




The dance and ballad air was assumed into martial repertory, the obvious connection being with the Gordon Highlanders, whose military band play it as the regimental march past in quick time.
Cock of the North

Played by: Jeff Campbell
Source: Soundcloud
Image: A photo of Piper George Findlater wearing the Victoria Cross.

Cock of the North

The dance and ballad air was assumed into martial repertory, the obvious connection being with the Gordon Highlanders, whose military band play it as the regimental march past in quick time.

It has been recorded that the melody helped win Gordon Highlander Piper George Findlater the Victoria Cross in 1897. It seems that while leading the charge storming Dargai Heights with other pipers, he was shot through both legs; "undaunted, he propped himself against a boulder, and continued to play" the stirring air to encourage the successful action (Winstock, 1970; pg. 212).

Kidson (1915) relates another military story of its earlier use in the siege of Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The British were initially hard pressed and were for some time besieged in various locations in the city by native Indians.

Signals had been regularly sent between the forces defending parts of the besieged town, and those under attack in the Residency quarters. A drummer boy named Ross, after the signaling was over, climbed to the high dome from which signals were sent and despite harassing fire from the Sepoys he sounded "Cock o' the North" in defiance, rallying the English with his bravery (though being a drummer, exactly how he 'sounded' the tune remains a mystery, ed.)

...more at: Cock of the North - full Score(s) and Annotations



X:0 T:Cock o' the North [1] M:6/8 L:1/8 K:A V:1 clef=treble name="0." [V:1] cdc cBA | cde f2e | cdc cBA | B3 e2d | cdc cBA | cde f2d | Ace B=GB | A3 A3:| |: a2e f2e | a2e f2e | cdc cBA | BcB B2e | a2e f2e | a2e f2e| cAc B=GB | A3 A3:||

Latest Tunes

Latest Tunes




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 promotion 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.

Help Getting started

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

  • Search. The Search function is located at the top right, and can be used to search the entire index for any key word. See Search help pages
  • Alphabetically by tune title. Under “The Archive” on the SideBar on the left is “The Index”. Click on it to open up the list of tune titles in the TTA arranged in alphabetical order, 200 titles to a page. At the top of the page is an alphabetical breakdown that serves as a shortcut to pages. Clicking on any title will bring one to the music and tune fields. Once the tune appears, clicking “Tune Discussion” at the bottom of the page (below the notation) will open up the narrative information on the tune.
  • 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.