A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

I year or so back, I was looking for a peticular Ed Reavey tune, and found a huge page with loads of tunes, mostly his, I believe. I copied them onto my computer, only to relise I couldn’t read them. Only recently, upon finding this site have I learned this more accurate way of writing ABCs. When I went back to these tunes, it turns out that they aren’t all written in the same ABC style, and I, a beginner at this sort, am unable to decifer them. There are 120 pages!! If anyone would like to give it a go, I can send them, but thought it better not to but them on the site, as it could cause some confusion.

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

I’m by no means an expert on Reavy, but the guys in Baltimore play his tunes quite a bit. Actually, a few months ago a 20-something fiddler named Jim Eagan (trained by Brendan Mulvihill) just released a CD of all Reavy tunes. It’s 13 tracks of just Reavy tunes (except for one tune), and the CD is called "At Reavy’s House". It really is a lovely CD. I’ll probably post it here a bit later if this doesn’t motivate somebody else to post it. I know there is also a book of just Reavy tunes floating around somewhere. Don’t know the name of it though. Ok, gotta run.

Jason

Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Funny, I’ve gotten into records lately (the vinyl kind - shows my age, or lack thereof) and last night I stumbled upon the Reavy tribute album at my local record store. I had the cd, but on record it sounds really alive, especially the track from his 1927 recording. Inspired me to learn some more of his tunes. Anyway, just a pointless diatribe.

Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

There is an Ed Reavy tune book with about hundred something of his tunes available at the living tradition online shop. The sheet music book was edited by Ed

Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

It’s titled "The Collected Compositions of Ed Reavey" and contains 127 tunes. If you want to support Irish music and learn Reavey’s tunes, do the right thing and buy the book. Ed’s son Joe has also put out "The Reavey Collection" which features about 100 tunes collected from players in the Philadelphia area back in the 1930s-1950s. Both of these are available from many different shops. Do a google for "Ed Reavey tunes" and you’ll find ‘em.

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

All of the above is available at http://www.reavy.us/

Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

It has to be said, some of the tunes aren’t in totally standard ABC notation. e.g. lots of the tunes use notate a 1st or 2nd time repeat with an unadorned digit at the start of the line. This seems to be a bit dodgy; from the ABC reference:

"First and second repeats can be generated with the symbols [1 and [2, e.g. faf gfe|[1 dfe dBA:|[2 d2e dcB|]. When adjacent to bar lines, these can be shortened to |1 and :|2, but with regard to spaces | [1 is legal, | 1 is not."

I’m not convinced that a bar line followed by a new-line followed by a digit constitutes "adjacent"… (and certainly the ABC software I use barfed on this).
It barfs on lots of other things too, e.g. (in "The Bog of Allen"):

BG (3GF G=FDE|[A,2=F2] AF ^FDCB,|DG (3AGF GABc |dgrd c2:||

what’s that "r" doing in the sequence "dgrd"?
or, what does the "93" mean in "Leddy From Cavan"?

defd Adfd|cdef g2 fg|(3agf 93gfeA=cBd|1 ^cAGE DEFA:|

Someone who has some different ABC conversion software might
try out the tunes (to be found at:

http://www.reavy.us/Reavycom.abc

and see whether they work ok; it might just be my antiquated s/w…

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Um, why not use the abc processor between our ears? Rather than converting them to dots, I mean. It’s not rocket science to sight read abcs (ignoring typos and extraneous info such as 9’s), and comes in handy online.

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

You’re right, of course, Will. Just habit. But there is the fact that ABC is quite a compact format, and a minor typo can have quite a major effect on how the music is read (e.g. |3BCD vs. | 3BCD… two quite different things). From a geek point-of-view, the grammar is not straightforward… I like writing it, but it’s not really designed to be read.

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Yeah, I know, I’m a bit of an anomaly. But it *is* possible to sight read abcs well enough to play from the page at three-quarter session pace.

Then again, grammar is never straight forward. Just ask my sentence-diagramming 7th grader.

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

To answer two of rog’s questions (though only a guess), I’d say that the ‘r’ in ‘dgrd’ is a typo for ‘e’, which is next to ‘r’ on the keyboard and makes sense musically, and that the ‘93’ should be (3 to indicate a triplet, which would result from not holding down the shift key.

Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Maybe I’ll tidy it up and send it back to them.
At least then they’re getting something for their efforts (it’s great that they’ve done this anyway, even if it’s not checked).

Will: I’ve just never put the effort in… always having abc2ps to hand meant that I didn’t have to. A friend from a local session can sight-read abcs too. I’m bad enough sightreading from the dots at anything like a normal speed (fine on some bits, and others I have to peer carefully at…)

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

I don’t read the dots much anymore, so I’m not getting any better at it. Seems the only time I read music in online, and that’s mostly abcs. So I’ve recently realized I can sight read abcs faster than the dots. I’m not sure that’s something to be proud of….

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

I’d say it is: great to be able to glance at the ABC you’ve just written and make sure it’s right.

I’ve just been going through the Ed Reavy abc and, sure enough the other errors are symptomatic of a whole lot more (missing notes, silly slurs, dud time signatures (check out how many "2/2" reels there are!)). There’s only so much one can do without actually knowing the tunes.

I’m on tune 5 and the 9th error (after all the rest necessary to get the tunes actually displayed…). Still, it must have been loads of work to type ‘em all in. I guess if I send it back to them with a list of what I’ve changed, they can check through and make sure that the "guessed" notes etc. actually correspond to how the tunes should go…

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Rog, I just started doing the same thing. Got through six tunes before I had to quit for the day. In addition to the typos, missing notes, bad ABC, etc., I found a few notes that sounded wrong. I’m making some guesses as to what the correct notes might be. I’d love to compare "notes", so to speak, when we finish our projects (several weeks, most likely, for me).

Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Isn’t the Reavy tune book only, like, $12?

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Much more useful to me in ABC format than taking up another 1/4 inch of shelf space (plus I’d have to order it from the states + tax + ….). I’ve lots of other tune books that are higher on my priority list.

Gary: I’ve got through the tunes on a completely superficial level: i.e. glancing through looking for obviously wrong bar lengths, slurs, etc. I haven’t played through any of the tunes yet (I’m still at work). I’ve sent the result back to the folks that did it. If you want a copy of it so that you can continue the good work, then say so & I’ll email it to you.

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Points taken.

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

I was under the impression that the time signature for a reel should in fact be 2/2, sometimes written in ABC as C|, rather than 4/4. I notice that the hornpipes and highlands (based on strathspeys) are in 4/4 time, so a clear distinction is being made.
2/2 tunes have a different rhythmic feel to 4/4, and this is also important if you add harmonic backing.

As an aside, sorting out the Reavy ABC gives me a tiny insight into the problems the musicologists had deciphering the scribbles of Beethoven’s manuscripts. It’s a wonder his works ever ended up being published and performed!

Trevor

Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Erm, I don’t think so, as you get 2/2 hornpipes, and they’re quite a different beast, rhythmically. Not a single one of the tunes on this website is marked 2/2, and I guess that counts for something. But I might easily be wrong!

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Sorry I’m talking arse about the hornpipes… I’m thinking 3/2 hornpipes, of course. But I think the other point still holds.

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Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Yesterday in our workshop class we were taught Ed Reavy’s "Castle Bray" highland (incidently among the more difficult tunes I’ve been presented with). The version we were taught seems to be slightly different to that in the Reavy ABC collection (it’s tune #121, actually) so I may very well post it when I’ve got to grips with it.
Trevor

Re: A pile of mainly Ed Reavey tunes that I can’t decifer!

Unfortunately I came in this morning to find that my mail to these folks has bounced (can’t connect), and as there seems no other way of contacting them, I guess I’ll just leave it (any ideas anyone?). If anyone wishes a copy of the version I brushed up, I’d be pleased to send you it.

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