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OLD-TIME TUNES

 

From this page you can navigate to the recordings themselves. The page that contains the largest number of tunes is called "Old Standards"; all the old tunes widely played across North America are included here. "Round Dances" contain tunes for old-time dances that do not fit on the other pages, such as schottisches and waltzes. The remainder are largely nameless tunes suitable for square dancing that are arranged by key and meter, thus tunes in A major that are in 2/4 are on the page reserved for tunes in that key and meter, and tunes in D major in 6/8 are on that page. The "ethnic tunes" page is a catch-all for tunes that are outside the main tradition of which most of the tunes are a part.

The selection of tunes here, although a large sample, is not comprehensive. Although the tunes here are the oldest part of the core tradition, fiddlers' repertoires vary according to their age and influences. Perhaps the biggest group of old-time tunes that is missing consists of tunes for singing calls. These include Life on the Ocean Wave (one of the earliest), Red River Valley, Climbing Up the Golden Stairs, Spanish Cavalier-o, Golden Curl, Darling Nellie Gray, most of which seem to date from the 1930s, as well as others that came a bit later. Then Tin Pan Alley waltzes, from Let Me Call You Sweetheart to Tennessee Waltz, two-steps, such as Red Wing and Snow Deer, are excluded. So are country-western and pop songs in general. The word "Bluegrass" was something that, for the most part, would have drawn blank stares from most of these fiddlers, at least at the time of these recordings.