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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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Rakes of Clonmel.jpg
Rakes of Clonmel

Played by: BobbiNikles
Source: Soundcloud
Image: Flanagan Brothers ‎– Rakes Of Clonmel - Shellac, 10", 78 RPM

Rakes of Clonmel

The word ‘Rakes’ nowadays usually refers to a dissolute person and appears to be short for ‘rakehell,’ which itself stems from the Old Icelandic word “reikall,” meaning “wandering” or “unsettled.” Clonmel is an administrative center located in southern County Tipperary on the River Suir in the valley of the Sliabh na mBan, surrounded by the Commeragh and Knockmealdown mountains. The name 'Clonmel' derives from the Irish and means ‘meadow of honey.’ Its walls were begun by the Normans in the year 1298, and it was once a stronghold of the powerful Anglo-Norman Butler family. Oliver Cromwell ended his campaign by capturing it in 1650.

A two-part version of the jig appears in the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection (vol. 3, p. 135) of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper Canon James Goodman. Francis O’Neill, in Irish Folk Music (1910, p. 97), remarks regarding “Rakes of Clonmel”: “(I) memorized it (from the playing of piper Delaney) and dictated it to our scribe (fiddler James O’Neill). The latter, remembering a third strain from an Ulster setting, called ‘The Boys of the Lough,’ annexed it.” The tune was first recorded in 1923 on a 78 RPM by the Flanagan Brothers; Joe on accordion, Mike on tenor banjo and Louis on a hybrid harp-guitar.

Itinerant dancing masters in Ireland held territories or districts of ten miles or so in which they plied their trade, and had friendly rivalries with neighboring dancing masters, according to Brendan Breathnach (The Man & His Music, 1996). When they met at fairs or sporting events they would vie with each other by dancing in public, to the pleasure of the spectators and the honor of the moment. Often the outcomes of these contests were moot, however, “occasionally the event demanded a victor as when a Kerry dancing master vanquished a Cork dancing master in a contest as to who should ‘own’ Clonmel” (p. 2). Perhaps the rakes were in attendance.

...more at: Rakes of Clonmel - full Score(s) and Annotations


X:1 T:Rakes of Clonmel [2], The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig S:James Goodman (1828─1896) music manuscript collection, S:vol. 3, p. 135. Mid-19th century, County Cork Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Ador B|cBA GED|EAA A2B|cBc edc|BGG GBd| gfg efg|dBG Bcd|ecA GED|EAA A2:| |:e|a^ga eaa|ecA A2f|gfg efg|dBG GAB| cec dfd|ecA Bcd|ecA GED|EAA A2:|]

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Who Builds The Archive

Who Builds The Archive

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.

  • 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
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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.