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Thread: Fiddle Tune (and more)

  1. #1
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Fiddle Tune (and more)

    Just ran across this link from a friend on the Acoustic Guitar Forum. Lots of tunes!

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    As I look through the tunes, I'm struck by how a great many people aren't shy about putting their name on a traditional tune. If you write down a traditional tune, it's one thing to say "Soldier's Joy, traditional/ arrangement, John Smith," as many did, but it's not acceptable to write "Soldier's Joy/ John Smith," as though John Smith wrote the tune. (Apologies to any John Smith's at Mandolin Cafe.) Good collection.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    As I look through the tunes, I'm struck by how a great many people aren't shy about putting their name on a traditional tune. If you write down a traditional tune, it's one thing to say "Soldier's Joy, traditional/ arrangement, John Smith," as many did, but it's not acceptable to write "Soldier's Joy/ John Smith," as though John Smith wrote the tune. (Apologies to any John Smith's at Mandolin Cafe.) Good collection.
    Ranald: I would not jump to the conclusion that those names are the composers of the tunes. It is more likely that the owner of this site put those names on the tunes, and is just referring to versions "as played by" or the source of the tune or the version of it. If he was more careful, he would have some explanation. OTOH most of the folks who would use his site (which I have used for years) would have some inkling of which of the tunes are composed and which are traditional.
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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Ranald: I would not jump to the conclusion that those names are the composers of the tunes. It is more likely that the owner of this site put those names on the tunes, and is just referring to versions "as played by" or the source of the tune or the version of it. If he was more careful, he would have some explanation. OTOH most of the folks who would use his site (which I have used for years) would have some inkling of which of the tunes are composed and which are traditional.
    Thanks, Jim. I just think that if you post or print a sheet of music with the name of the tune and your name beneath, it implies that you're the writer. If you buy a sheet of commercially published music that says: "Me and Bobby McGee/ Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster," you can assume Kristofferson and Foster wrote the song. I suppose not everyone understands that.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Thanks, Jim. I just think that if you post or print a sheet of music with the name of the tune and your name beneath, it implies that you're the writer. If you buy a sheet of commercially published music that says: "Me and Bobby McGee/ Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster," you can assume Kristofferson and Foster wrote the song. I suppose not everyone understands that.
    The site is subheaded: "Transcriptions and audio files of over 600 traditional fiddle tunes from old recordings, festivals, jams and workshops - notated by John Lamancusa" I did notice that when there are original tunes he tags them with "by" as in Safe Harbor Rag by Dick Walton. I think most folks who use the site know that the vast majority are traditional. OTOH if it truly bothers you, maybe you should contact John Lamancusa.

    I do understand it could be a problem. I wrote a waltz quite a few years ago and recorded it for one of the Comando discs. Someone transcribed it in the Tabledit archive as being a traditional tune. I did write to him and he corrected it. Maybe John can post some explanation at the top of the index page to clarify that point.
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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    I fully believe the author should get full credit - but it should say "arranged by" ( or maybe deranged by?) when it's traditional
    I have also written a fiddle tune or two, lets face it - no one is getting rich off of fiddle tune copy rights.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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    Fiddler & Mandolin Player Dave Reiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    John Lamancusa (a friend of mine for many years) consistently says "by" to credit composers. For example, Sadie at the Back Door (by Jere Canote). The other names are the sources/versions. His transcriptions are quite accurate, in my opinion.

    BTW, I own one of John's violin bows, and it's excellent.
    '06 Gibson F4, '14 Gibson A4, '26 Gibson F5, '27 Gibson F4, '87 Givens A6, '91 Givens A6, '95 Monteleone Grand Artist

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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    just discovered this as well, pretty cool


    North Atlantic Tune List
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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    Registered User Rob Ross's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    I was passing through Madison, Wisconsin and got to an old time jam, helped someone named John set up the chairs. Nice guy, and he played great fiddle. Only later was I told that was John Lamancusa. Also, a fiddle player sat next to me and said, "Hi, I'm Chirps." And it WAS! Here I am sitting next to one of the gods of old time fiddle and across the room from someone whose transcriptions I have been playing for years--wow! It just doesn't get much better than that.
    Rob Ross
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle Tune (and more)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Ross View Post
    I was passing through Madison, Wisconsin and got to an old time jam, helped someone named John set up the chairs. Nice guy, and he played great fiddle. Only later was I told that was John Lamancusa. Also, a fiddle player sat next to me and said, "Hi, I'm Chirps." And it WAS! Here I am sitting next to one of the gods of old time fiddle and across the room from someone whose transcriptions I have been playing for years--wow! It just doesn't get much better than that.
    I met and played with Chirps Smith at a few midwestern festivals decades ago, Wheatlands and Hiawatha. Here he is playing Salty River Reel, one of my favorite midwestern tunes.

    Jim

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