HANGMAN'S REEL (1). Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, southwestern Va. A Major. AEae or AEac# tunings (fiddle). AABB: ABCD (Silberberg): AABCCDD (Songer): AABBCCDD (Kuntz): AABBCC'DD (Phillips). The origins of the tune are somewhat obscure. It was in the repertoire of Albert Hash, a traditional fiddler of Whitetop or Rugby, Va. and identified by him as originally a British Isles tune, though stylistically that provenance is doubtful. Susan Songer and Clyde Curley (1997) report that New York fiddler Judy Hyman (of the Horseflies) believes it originally derived from the Québecois tune "Reel du Pendu" (Hanged Man's Reel) and that it was rendered in a Southern old-time style by younger upstate New York fiddlers. According to Hash's nephew, Albert learned "Hangman's Reel" (and "Old Sport (2)") from a 1968 recording by Texas fiddler Bill Northcutt (1935-1992), still remembered as a top-notch musician. Whether the tune was a Southern traditional tune or a "revival" processing, it has since become a very popular "festival tune" among younger old-time fiddlers and frequently heard at square dances. See the related melody "
Source for notated version: Albert Hash via Liz Slade (Yorktown, New York) [Kuntz]; Tim O'Brien [Phillips].
Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 108. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 58 (appears as "Hanged Man's Reel"). Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 92.
Recorded sources: County CO-CD-2711, Kirk Sutphin - "Old Roots and New Branches" (1994). June Appal 014, John McCutcheon - "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" (1977. Learned from Albert Hash). Marimac 9040, The Heartbeats - "Living in Black and White" (1990). Stoneway STY 103; Bill Northcutt, Bill Clemmons, Doc Hamilton - "Old Time Hoedown" (1968).
N:Notated as it would be fingered if played in standard tuning, not as it actually sounds
N:The second time through the last part may be played an octave lower.
(D/|A/)D/A/(A/ B/)A/B|c/B/c/(A/ B/)A/B|AA B/A/B/B/|c/B/c/c/ B>B|
AA BB|c/B/c/A/ B(A/B/|c/)B/c/A/ B/A/B|(D/A)(D/ A):|
|:(A/|e/)(A/c/)(A/|e/)(A/c/)(A/|B/)A/B/B/ c/B/A|ec ec|B/A/B/(B/ A:|
(A|:B>)(A B)(A|A/)B/c/A/ B/A/E|(A/B)(A/ B/)A/B|e/f/e/(d/ c/B/)A:|
|:c/B/c dd|cc/c/ d/c/d|cc d/c/d|c/B/c/A/ BB|
c/B/c d/c/d c/B/c d/c/d|c/B/c B/A/B|D/AD/ A2:||
Why there is a need for the Traditional Tune 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.
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.
Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni