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A Collection of Fiddle Tunes of New England & Related Traditions

About The Tunes

In this portion of the NH Country Dance web site I present a sizable collection of fiddle tunes. Many of the tunes are from the Lamprey River Band Tunebook. The others are tunes I've learned and liked from a variety of sources. Most are New England or Canadian (French and English). There is also a sampling of  tunes from the British Isles and the Scandinavian countries. Tunes are organized by type (reel, jig, etc.) and alphabetically by title. The abc files also indicate which tunes are from the Lamprey River Band Tunebook and which are from other sources.

 

Guide to this Page

Here's a quick outline of what you'll find on this page.

  • Links to the Tunes. Most importantly, look below for links to the tunes in abc format and as standard sheet music.
  • Important Supplementary Documents. These included a tune list, abc help documents, and a chord book.
  • Lamprey River Band Tune Book and Other Tunes. A bit about how these particular tunes came to be here.
  • How the Tunes are Presented & Hints for Using Them. Helpful for figuring out how to display, print, and even play back the tunes.

The Tunes

See Presentation of the Tunes (on this page)  for an explanation of the different ways of presenting the tunes. Tunes are divided into categories according to their tune type. Tunes from the Lamprey River Band from Seacoast New Hampshire are combined with other tunes I have transcribed.

Links to the Tunes: Web Pages & Downloadable Documents

Here is a set of links to tune web pages and to downloadable tune  documents.

Reels I, II & III

Jigs

Marches & Canadian Two-Steps

Tunes With Associated Dances

Couples Dances I ~ Polkas & Schottisches

Couples Dances II & III ~ Waltzes & Other Couples Dances

Scandinavian & Other Tunes

Entire Collection in One Document

Useful Supplementary Documents

Here are some useful supplementary materials you should know about, including a searchable listing of the tunes.

Web Site Supplements

Headers Page. You are welcome to copy tunes from here for your own purposes. For best results (either printing or displaying on screen), include the header given on this page. There are also instructions on how to copy tunes.

Listing of Tunes (web page). This is a table listing all the tunes, their key and tune types and more. It is searchable and may be sorted on any column. Also available as a spreadsheet.

Tune Sources (web page). A listing of all the records, tapes, CDs, books used to prepare this web site. Also available as a PDF.

Chord Book (PDF). A chord book for all the tunes on this web site. Available as a downloadable PDF.

Contact Form. If you have questions, corrections, constructive feedback, interesting  comments, etc., please feel free to send me a note!

abc Notation Supplements & Utilities

Peter Yarensky's abc 2.2 Help File & abc 2.2 Reference Card (both as PDFs). The Help File documents both basic abc workings and some advanced techniques that I used in preparing this web site. I hope some people find it useful. The Reference Card is a much shorter summary.

Extract Chords from abc File: 3.1 (iWork Numbers) or v3.0 (Excel). Paste in up to 600 lines of abc code and the spreadsheet extracts the chords and formats them for use in a chord book or listing. The Numbers version is much nicer to use if you have access.

  • The Numbers version is set up as a stationery file, so if  used on a Mac it will open up a copy. If you don't have Numbers but have an Apple ID you can open the online version.

Chord Book Template. This is a template for starting a new chord book, e.g. from chords you obtained using the above spreadsheet. It is in iWork Pages. Again if you don't have Pages you may use it online with an Apple ID.

Lamprey River Band Tune Book

The Lamprey River Band has been playing for country dances in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire since 1983. Currently we play for a monthly dance in Dover City Hall on the first Thursday of every month. The Lamprey River Band Tune Book has grown over the years; although in recent years our repertoire has moved in various directions and we haven't relied as much on written music. The Online Tunebook is a compilation of a large body of tunes I wrote out for the band as well as a few tunes written by and/or contributed by others in the band. It includes much of the core of the New England common repertoire, and a variety of other tunes suitable for traditional contras, squares and couples dances.

  • Lamprey River Band tunes are identified in abc files using the G: field.

Other Tunes

This is a varied group of tunes that I have written out over the years. Some are tunes we used to play at the Wednesday Night Soirée at Marcel Robidas' Barn, some we used to play at the Canadian jam session at the Unitarian Fellowship in Durham, NH, and some are just tunes I've enjoyed enough to transcribe.

How the Tunes are Presented & Hints for Using Them

The tunes are presented in PDF and abc format.  The abc code is presented as text on web pages and as downloadable abc documents. They are presented as follows.

Tune Type (e.g. Reels, Jigs, Waltzes)

Here is an explanation of the different presentations.

  • Download PDF Document. The tunes are  presented in standard musical notation, in alphabetical order.
  • Download abc Document. Tunes are presented in abc format. They may be opened by an abc app such as EasyABC which displays tunes in standard musical notation, and also plays them.
  • abc Web Page. Each web page presents the abc code for a set of tunes (e.g. Reels, Jigs, etc.) as plain text.
    • Tunes are easily copied and pasted into an abc app, and saved as abc documents. This lets you organize them as desired.
    • In EasyABC (at least on a Mac), make sure to add the ".abc" extension when you save, as the app doesn't do it on its own.
  • Important Note about abc Web Pages: In order to reproduce the style and layout of the PDFs (typefaces, margins, etc.) you will need the file headers that I've used. These are reproduced on the Headers page.
    • All you have to do is copy it and paste it in before the first tune starts.
    • You don't need to understand them, but I do present some explanation of what they do and how to use them.
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abc Codexx
Tune Links (16, indented)