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Welcome to the Traditional Tune Archive
The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish traditional instrumental music with annotation, formerly known as
The Fiddler's Companion.

Featured Tunes

Listen to the featured tunes of the weekRABBIT HASH.

Duck and Lillie Mae Wootan.png
American, Reel. USA, Texas. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDDEEFF'.
Jan Howard wrote an excellent article on the tune for the newsletter of the organization FOAOTMAD. For the original article see: Rabbit Hash.pdf. He explains:
The YouTube link for Rabbit Hash shows Tricia Spencer, Howard Rains, Adam Hurt and others playing Rabbit Hash, with the fiddles in Cross A tuning AEae. The Spencer and Rains video had attributed Rabbit Hash to Duck Wootan of Junction, TX, so I looked on the Traditional Tune Archive for a transcription, but there was nothing there. I learned it by ear from the Spencer and Rains video, and wrote it out in standard notation. You can also view a larger, clearer, printable version of my transcription of Rabbit Hash here on my web link, along with my attempt at writing down the Spencer and Rains fiddle harmony as well. The harmony part can be played as it is and an octave above (it’s a bit more tricky then though). [1].
Howard Rains explained to me by email that he had learned most of Duck Wootan’s tunes from Duck’s grandson Tim Wooten who has been Howard’s mentor. I was keen to know some more about Duck Wootan and was able to get in touch with Tim Wooten. It turns out that the tune Rabbit Hash had been recorded in 1958, played by Thomas Jefferson ‘Duck’ Wootan near Junction, Texas and his grandson Tim Wooten had passed a copy of the old recording to Bruce Molsky who shared it with other fiddlers and it appeared on the Fiddle Hangout website [2]. It also appears on Larry Warren’s Slippery Hill web site, another very useful resource. Duck Wootan was a very prolific player judging from the recordings of him available on Slippery Hill [3]. Duck certainly has a great strong and rhythmic style of playing, especially considering he was well into his 70s when recording this. Here is Tim Wooten giving some interesting background about his grandfather and the tune: -

Thomas Jefferson (Duck) Wootan was born in 1882 and died in 1964. Some of my earliest memories are of him playing his fiddle (which I play now). My last name is spelled differently because the US army got my father's name wrong in WWII and it was too much trouble to change it back. My father had the foresight to record a few of Duck’s tunes and later gave the recording to me. I'm so glad I gave that recording to Bruce and he shared it. I have been playing those tunes a lot lately and really enjoying them.

There is no connection between the tune ‘Rabbit Hash’ and Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. I always thought that the name referred to food. My grandfather (we called him Papa Wootan) was a subsistence farmer, and while my father told me they always had enough to eat, I'm sure they weren't too proud to eat jackrabbits when they could catch or shoot them. No one really knows, though, who he got that tune from or why it was named that. That information is probably lost. Papa Wootan got his tunes from other local fiddlers. He played at dances where he andother fiddlers took turns playing. If he heard a tune he liked he would have to remember it the next day and try to play it the best he could ...

RABBIT HASH full annotations and Past Featured Tunes

% Use caps for title, parts or Q: for tempo. %%scale 0.70 %%header "$P0 $P1" %%topmargin 1.5cm %%titlefont Helvetica-Bold 13 %%subtitlefont Helvetica-Bold 10 %%titleleft false %%titlecaps %%composerfont Helvetica 9 %%composerspace 0.3cm %%partsfont Times-Bold 10 %%vocalfont Times-Bold 13 %%musicspace 0.7cm %%gchordfont Times-Roman 12 %%parskipfac 1.0 %%leftmargin 2.3cm %%staffwidth 18.4cm %%staffsep 45 %%maxshrink 0.65 %%lineskipfac 1.1 %%parskipfac 0 %%textspace 0.2cm %%textfont Times-Roman 10 X:1 % T:Rabbit Hash N:From the playing of Spencer & Rains, August, 2016 N:AEae tuning C:Duck Wootan M:4/4 L:1/8 R:Reel Z:Transcribed roughly by Jan Howard K:A e4 (3BcB AB|cBAF E2 z2|A2 cA BABc|dfed cA A2:| %%|:A2c2A2c2|A2 cA BABc|A2 cA BABc|dfed cA A2:| %%|:(e4 e3)e|(3BcB AF E2z2|A2 cA BABc|dfed cA A2:| %%|:Acec Acec|Acec BABc|Acec BABc|dfed cA A2:| %%|:(e4 e2)!slide!az|(3BcB AF E2 z2|A2 cA BABc|dfed cA A2:| %%|:A2!+!e2A2!+!e2|A2!+!e2 cABc|A2!+!e2A2!+!e2|1 efed c/d/c/B/ AF:|2efed cA A2||

Why TTA 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

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