Tune Naming Conventions

In selecting a preferred name for a tune, I generally follow some conventions:

As a native speaker of American English, I prefer tune names in English and use the American spelling of English names.

I prefer to omit the tune type from the tune name, and to use full names without possessives. For example, I use the name Miss Maule instead of Miss Maule's Strathspey. However, there are some tunes where I found this style too awkward, for example, King's Reel.

If a tune is known by a description rather than a name, I enclose the description in parentheses. For example, there is no name known for the tune described as (A Mary MacDonald Strathspey). That description indicates that Mary MacDonald played the tune and players today know the tune from her playing of it, but the description is not (yet) an actual name for the tune.

Following Dunlay and Greenberg, if a traditional tune has recently been given a name, for example in a tune book, but that name is not (yet) widely used for the tune, I enclose the tune name in quotation marks, for example, "Editor's Favorite".

If two different tunes have the same name, I try to distinguish them by extending the tune names with additional information in parentheses, such as Miss Lyall (Strathspey) and Miss Lyall (Reel). Failing that, I may distinguish them with numeric suffixes, such as The Ale is Dear [1] and The Ale is Dear [2].

A single tune will sometimes have multiple settings that are sufficiently distinct and identifiable to deserve being distinguished in the index.

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