Something I found interesting…

Something I found interesting…

There has been some dicussion on Québecois(french Canadian) tunes that sound Irish or that are identified by another name in Irish books and collections.
A friend of mine, Sylvie Toupin, who knows tons about traditional music, has shed some light on this for me.

During the time that these fiddle players from Québec were making records with these tunes, it was not acceptable to have English titles for the tunes. People wouldn’t understand them anyway. In some cases, they simply changed the name (perhaps never knew it in the first place) or, in many cases, claimed that they had written the tune themselves and at that time, very few people would have been able to verify this.

Sylvie also told me that Joseph Allard, a fairly recognized name in Québecois fiddle tradition, also recorded under the name Maxime Toupin. Check out this link:

Some weird little facts that I found interesting.

Re: Something I found interesting…

Jean Carignan, Allard’s most famous student, used to say that he fiddled in three languages: Irish, Scottish and French. I have no doubt that your friend’s comments about recording are true, but I suspect that the borrowing, and localization of names went both directions: was the Irish American Reel in Ryan’s Mammoth Collection originally Le Reel des Moissoneurs, or was it the other way around? Historically it was possible that Irish-American fiddlers picked up a French Canadian tune in lumber camps or in French Canadian milltowns near Boston, but then that collection was popular in Canada. I also suspect that the musical interchange between Irish and Québecois musicians went back quite a bit further than the early 20th century. Certainly, many Irish landed in Québec during the famine, as the tragic story of Grosse Ile bears out. One of the old histories of New Hampshire notes that many of the Irish entered that state from Québec.

Occasionally some of us play a few Québecois tunes at session, and always get weird looks when we play La Ronfleuse Gobeil--its third part is the same as the second part of Maid Behind the Bar, more or less.

I decided I wanted to play fiddle one night at a party in Philadelphia in the mid-70s when Jean Carignan and Eugene O’Donnell played some duets--they did everything from jigs and reels to Mozart. It was an amazing moment.

Ahhh… c’est si bon

Great link… thanks for pointing it out… a vast preponderance of tunes in the ITM tradition seem to have quite a few names (and variations)… vive la musique!

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