The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

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.

Pete

Re: The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

Im sorry……Im so ashamed:)Thanks Reverend.Ill try and do this anymore.

Re: The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

No need to feel ashamed! Look at the bright side, dinn2, you actually went to the trouble of writing out some ABC, instead of just posting a youtube link or something. So good on ya for taking a little initiative.

I was just pointing out how easy it is to find stuff once you’ve gone to that work! :-D

Pete

Re: The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

I’m very glad you’ve posted this. I’ve put many unimpeachable tune snippets in ABC in the Advanced Search and never had a bite. This is why I’ve done the "Name This Tune" thing a few times.

Re: The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

Thanks Pete, a commendable and very logical approach — but I occasionally quite like it when people do the ‘Name this Tune’ thing.

If I do know the tune name I can pretend I know something about this music and reply with the name….ermm…actually, I think that happened just once, and that was because I was first to spot it.

But also, it’s just quite nice to hear someone’s playing of a tune, and it might remind me of the tune again, having not heard it for a few years.

Re: The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

Remember, to do a Google search on The Session, you don’t have to leave the site: you can use the search form on the front page. This is simply another interface onto Google’s search and it automatically adds "site:www.thesession.org" to the query.

Re: The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

Thanks Reverend! I really appreciate you taking the time to show us ABC ignorants how you experts do it. It’s a good thing to know. Thanks again!
Cheers,
Marty

Posted by .

Re: The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

Ahh, cool, Jeremy, I never realized that!

My bookmark bar takes me directly to Discussions, and I so very rarely look at the front page! LOL

Pete

Re: The art of searching for tunes in thesession.org’s database.

That’s brilliant Reverend and Jeremy.

I had originally given up searching, but with the tips you gave I just found 5 tune names that I have been looking for a good while.