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Which Book/Site's Notation Method is Best?

Apr 18, 2017 - 3:04:58 PM
291 posts
Joined Jul 26, 2015

In your opinion, which book/site's notation method is best?

  • Fiddler's Fakebook (David Brody. Print)
  • MIlliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes (Walt Koken, Clare Milliner. Print)
  • ​Old-Time Fiddle Round Peak Style (Brad Leftwich. Print)
  • Fiddling Way Out Yonder (Drew Beisswenger. Print) 
  • ​Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes (Stacy Phillips. Print)
  • Dr. Fiddle's Old-Time Tune Transcriptions (Austin Rogers. Web)
  • Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes (Jeff Titon. Print)
  • Mississippi Fiddle Tunes and Songs from the 1930s (Harry Bolick. Print)
  • ​Nashville Old-Time String Band Association, Tunes We Play (Ray Mathes. Web)

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/18/2017 15:19:30

Apr 18, 2017 - 4:51:37 PM
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886 posts
Joined Jan 25, 2008

I am not sure one is best. Fake book is pretty close in a lot of tunes. Phillips and Milliner Koken are useful. I have Titon too. Many tunes in these books do not correspond to the audio that they are depicting, even approximately. So you have to strike out on your own. Get a pencil and paper.

Apr 18, 2017 - 5:13:54 PM
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14 posts
Joined Jan 21, 2017

I only have experience with Brad Leftwich's roundpeak book/cd, and the tab seems to match the cd right on, especially the bowing.

Apr 19, 2017 - 5:44:52 AM
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carlb Players Union Member

USA

1969 posts
Joined Feb 2, 2008

Culling your list, here are my favorites.

MIlliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes (Walt Koken, Clare Milliner. Print)
Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes (Stacy Phillips. Print)
Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes (Jeff Titon. Print)

Others I have found, enjoy and use:
Hill Country Tunes - Samuel Bayard, 1945 <http://www.mne.psu.edu/lamancusa/tunes/hct/index.htm>
Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife - Samuel Bayard, 1982
Fiddling Way Out Yonder: Community and Style in the Fiddle Music of Melvin Wine - Donald "Drew" Beisswenger, 1997 (the Ph.D. thesis which has 50 transcriptions)
The Fiddle Book - Marion Thede, 1967
The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory - R.P. Christeson, 1973

I also recommend "Tune Collections on the Internet"
http://www.biteyourownelbow.com/webtunes.htm
 

Apr 19, 2017 - 9:55:44 AM
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1734 posts
Joined Oct 1, 2008

Well it depends on what you want to play / learn ....... I'm not sure a best exists , most accurate maybe, but I am not the guy to judge that. Most applicable to your playing and style is possible only for you to decide. I own four of the books you listed and have used them all at one point or another. As fiddle tunes are played differently from region to region a "right way" to play anything is up for debate. So I view the books I have as guides to get me started. The Fiddlers Fakebook was the first one I bought and it was a sound choice for number one.. The Milliner Koken the most recent it is an excellent compendium of tunes. Build your library a volume at a time. Don't neglect O'Neill's Music of Ireland..... R/

Apr 19, 2017 - 11:28:39 AM
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1104 posts
Joined Oct 13, 2010

I think it depends on the tune. I usually wind up playing a version that is equal parts what I hear and what I saw form multiple sources and always memorized. Over time, it becomes more and more what I hear.

Edited by - martynspeck on 04/19/2017 11:29:00

Apr 19, 2017 - 11:53:25 AM

291 posts
Joined Jul 26, 2015

OK, to simplify the question, which of the sources I mentioned is the easiest to read?
Apr 19, 2017 - 1:23:41 PM
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1104 posts
Joined Oct 13, 2010

I have FFB and Phillips and I checked out the web archives.

Of those, I would say FFB is easiest to read. I don't think their versions are always the best but the book is well laid out, visually appealing with a clean style that makes the music easy to read,

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