Frequently Asked Questions
How do I navigate this site?
If you are interested in seeing the contents of a particular recording, use the artists or recordings links on the left side of the page to display a list of the available recordings (sorted either by artist or title). Click on the name of the recording to see the contents of that recording as a list of tunes. Click on a tune name in the list of tunes to see more information about that tune, such as a list of all recordings it appears on. To search for a tune by name or melody, use the tune search link on the left side of the page.
Why are some tune names different than the names listed on the CD liner notes?
Traditional tunes are often known by several different names, and often there are variations in the exact wording and spelling of any one name. To make it more evident when a tune appears on multiple recordings, I have chosen a preferred name for each tune and used the preferred tune name in the recording tune lists. My choice of a preferred name is often arbitrary (although I follow some naming conventions), and may even be incorrect. In rare cases, tunes are misidentified on recordings. If I know a name to be incorrect, I will avoid using it as the preferred name of the tune, but there may be cases where the error is not apparent to me.
Why are the start times wrong?
I determined the start time of each tune by watching the elapsed time displayed by a CD player or a music player application on my computer while listening for the start of the tune. This process is inherently error prone, especially when using computer applications where the elapsed time indicators seem to be updated irregularly. If the source material is an LP or cassette, additional timing errors can be introduced during playback due to mechanical variations in the players. It would not be surprising, therefore, if the start times you observe when playing a recording differ by up to several seconds from those displayed in this index. A larger difference might indicate a mistake on my part that should be corrected.
Why don’t you include MP3 or streaming audio of the recordings?
As far as I know, all of the recordings in this index are protected by copyright, so I cannot include any of the audio content of the recordings on this web site without permission from the copyright owners. As of now, I have not attempted to get permission from any of the copyright owners. If you own the copyright to any of the recordings included on this index and would like to have some audio content available on this web site, please contact me.
Why do the tune pages say “audio not available”?
This edition of the recording index web site uses the HTML audio element to allow you to listen to a synthesized version of the tune notation. The “audio not available” message indicates that your web browser does not support this HTML element. Possible solutions are to upgrade your browser to the latest available version or to use the Firefox browser.
Can I submit data on additional recordings to the index?
To maintain the accuracy of the index, I need to personally review all data that is added to the index. To perform that review, I need to have both the recording itself and all associated materials (album covers, cassette J-cards, CD liners and booklets). Please contact me if you are interested in submitting a recording for inclusion in the index. I would be happy to return any materials you want returned.
Why is the web site copyrighted?
Although most of the information in this site is in the public domain, I would not like it if someone appropriated this web site and claimed it as his or her own. Copyrighting the web site gives me a potential tool to use in that unlikely circumstance.
What is a tune type?

A tune type (such as A major, reel) provides information about a tune: its tonic (key), mode, and form.

A tune page describes (in the title box) how the tune is typically played, as well as describing (in the list of recordings of the tune) how the tune is played on each recording of the tune. A recording page (in the track contents listing) describes how the tune is played on that recording.

The tune type information is intended to provide helpful information about a tune, but it should not be considered definitive or complete. In particular, the information about how a tune is typically played is subjective, based on my own, perhaps limited, exposure to the tune.

The tonic (key) and mode suggest both the scale used by the tune melody and the typical harmonies used to accompany the tune. The form (such as strathspey or reel) suggests the typical rhythm and tempo of the tune, often in terms of an associated dance form.

In a title box on a tune page, I name specific modes, such as major, minor, mixolydian, and dorian. I use mixolydian to indicate a tune that sounds major but uses a lowered 7th note (for example, G natural in a tune in A) and features the VII chord (for example, G major in a tune in A). I use dorian to indicate a tune that sounds minor but uses a raised 6th note (for example, F# in a tune in A) and features the VII chord. A few tunes are listed as double tonic. These are tunes that to me sound more like they switch between two major modes, such as A and G, than being in mixolydian mode (for example, they may use a raised 7th note when in A major, unlike a strict A mixolydian tune).

The assignments of tune modes are often subjective and may not be strictly accurate in a music theoretical sense. For example, although these terms refer to scales with seven notes, there are tunes that use scales of five or six notes or that do not limit themselves to any 7 note scale. In addition, as my understanding of these concepts is evolving, some tunes listed as minor I would now describe as dorian. Updates will be made eventually.

A shorthand notation is used in the lists: "A" indicates a tune in A major, mixolydian, or double tonic; "Am" indicates a tune in A minor or dorian. Flat keys are indicated using the letter "F", for example, "BF" is B flat.

Different parts of a tune can have different tonics and modes. I have listed the tonic and mode of the part of the tune I consider to be the first part, although the choice of which part is first may be subjective (different fiddlers may disagree on which part is played first) or incorrect (sometimes while playing a medley a fiddler may choose to start a tune with a part other than the first part).

Copyright © 2002-2020 by Alan Snyder, all rights reserved.