The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.
Prompted by yet another recent thread looking for the name of a tune, I thought I would share some of my insight into easy ways to do that on this site.
Using the example from this thread: https://thesession.org/discussions/14777, I will show you how I personally would have found the tune:
The first thing I would do is go to Tunes->Advanced, and input ‘E3 EFA’. In this case, it only returns 7 tunes. From there it is easy to look through the tunes and find the right one, just by looking at the ABC.
There is a bit of an art to choosing an appropriate snippet to search on. You need to choose a bit where it’s unlikely that someone encoded ornamentation or variation into the ABC that they posted. And if you choose a very common phrase, you might get 100 tunes that include that snippet.
I also find it VERY useful to use Google to search this site, because it will give results that appear within the COMMENTS section of a tune too! (Where people often post other settings of the same tune!)
So if you do a google search like this:
site:thesession.org "E3 EFA" "B3 Bce"
with the quotes around the individual phrases - google returns only one tune page, which happens to be Willie’s Trip to Toronto, which is the tune that dinn2 was looking for. And the nice thing about google, is you can input a phrase from the A part and a phrase from the B part, and it is smart enough to find what you want!
I figure the more people that know about this stuff, the fewer "what tune is this?" threads will appear ;-)
I realize that it’s more WORK than just posting a youtube link and asking the masses, but also gives you a bit of a sense of personal accomplishment! I commonly will transcribe just a small section of a tune to ABC and search this way, and it is very rare that I don’t find what I want! Yet another testament to the incredible resource that the tune archive on this site can be.