The Gale reel

By Susan Conger

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

The Gale has been added to 1 tune set.

The Gale has been added to 90 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The Gale
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
AE E2 A2 AB|cBce a4|fd d2 ec c2|BABc B2 ^g2|
ae e2 a2 ab|aged c2 c2|BcBc BeBe|B^gBg a4:|
ae^ce aece|afdf afdf|gdBd gdBd|gece gece|
fdAd fdAd|ecAc ecAc|BcBc BeBe|B^gBg a4:|
X: 2
T: The Gale
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:"Am"AE E2 "Am"A2 AB|"Am"cBce "Am"a4|"Dm"fd d2 "Am"ec c2|"E"BABc "E"B2 ^g2|
"Am"ae e2 "Am"a2 ab|"Am"aged "Am"c2 c2|"E"BcBc "E"BeBe|"E"B^gBg "Am"a4:|
|:"A"ae^ce "A"aece|"Dm"afdf "Dm"afdf|"G"gdBd "G"gdBd|"C"gece "C"gece|
"Dm"fdAd "Dm"fdAd|"Am"ecAc "Am"ecAc|"E"BcBc "E"BeBe|"E"B^gBg "Am"a4:|
# Added by Bryce .

Twelve comments

I learned this one from the people at Carp Camp in September. Its a fun one…I like to start slow and then speed up. Haven’t really found anything to go with it (haven’t really tried, actually 🙂 ). If anybody can think of a tune to go with it, please post it here. Thanks!


Origin of this tune; chords

“The Gale” was composed by fiddler Susan Conger (that’s me) in 1997. The tune appears in print in a collection titled _Along the River_, and can be heard on a recording of the same name. (Both available at Last I knew, several more bands had recorded it or were in the process of doing so.

“The Gale” was initially popularized by contradance musicians on the east and west coasts of the US. Hammered dulcimer players have been the second wave of spreading the tune around, especially in the central US. I am pleased to note (!) that so far it seems to be retaining its melodic integrity amazingly well. The version posted here is exactly the melody I wrote, which is pretty remarkable once a tune has been transmitted through multiple ears, hands, and memories.

I do think the chord progression is important to the tune. Here it is:
Am Am / Am Am / Dm Am / E E /
Am Am / Am Am / E E / E Am ://

A A / Dm Dm / G G / C C /
Dm Dm / Am Am / E E / E Am://

Yes, the B part does start with an A major chord. The arpeggio should make that (and most of the other B part chords) pretty obvious.

Since this tune is copyright and not in the public domain, if you wish to record it, please contact me. Thanks!

Susan Conger

To Public Domain, or not to Public Domain…

Everyone who’s tunes I’ve ever recorded only wanted to be credited as the composer. I’ve asked some very high profile ITM performers about what arrangements they had with composers regarding the recording of their tunes… and it was the same. What do you ask? What’s wrong with the “public domain”?

Copyright, public domain, theft

Susan Conger is being very tolerant, I think, in allowing her tune to be posted here. And as it is her composition, I think she has every right to be interested in its use and distribution–and charge whatever usage fee is commonly asked, or none at all–but it is her decision as owner.

I have commented several times about copyrighted tunes by living authors are being posted here with no credit given in the ABC or gif image. In my opinion, even popular tunes like “Fair Jenny’s” and “Ashokan Farewell” should be omitted unless the authors themselves post the tunes.

It just feels like stealing to me.

(also a small-press publisher)

Traditional music is fairly odd in this whole copyright realm, given how tunes are generally passed on. Since we know (as the composer has told us) that the composer of this piece wishes copyright to remain extant upon this tune, it behooves us as ethical and fair people to abide by her wish. Also, Susan hasn’t asked for anything for playing the tune out, only that you contact her if you want to record it. You’ll note that she has not asked Jeremy to remove the tune from the database, as would be her right.

Like rape, it doesn’t matter if you think it isn’t stealing. What matters is if the person whose property it is thinks it’s stealing.

Living Composers

Do you have any idea how many tunes would disappear from this database if only the living composers themselves are allowed to post them?

Susan has asked people to ask for permission before recording her tune. She hasn’t asked for it to be taken off the database.

There’s perhaps little point in starting and pit-bulling onto this debate here in re: to this tune, Jack; it’d make a good discussion thread (again), is my two bits, but I suppose Jeremy’ll be the final arbiter of that one. So…

Whether the posting of tunes that have living composers *should* be postable will have little to no real impact on whether tunes in fact *would* get posted, since we delve in a form where composer credit gets regularly lost anyway. But if, as in the case of this tune, you know the composer doesn’t want the thing recorded without permission, then you shouldn’t, it’s as simple as that. The same goes for *all* Ed Reavy tunes, for instance.

“The Death of the Author”

Have you ever read “The Death of the Author” or “From Work to Text” written by Roland Barthes? He suggests all the musicians are interpreters and co-authors of a tune. Of course, that’s just in theory. It doesn’t mean we can ignore copyright.

By the way - this is coming up as on the Brendan Voyage as it shares a name with a tune on that album. I know it happens all the time but I just thought I’d add a wee note here to say it is definately a different tune.


Here is some ABC with the chords that Susan Conger had suggested. Sounds great!

X: 1
T: The Gale
C: Susan Conger
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:“Am”AE E2 “Am”A2 AB|“Am”cBce “Am”a4|“Dm”fd d2 “Am”ec c2|“E”BABc “E”B2 ^g2|
“Am”ae e2 “Am”a2 ab|“Am”aged “Am”c2 c2|“E”BcBc “E”BeBe|“E”B^gBg “Am”a4:|
|:“A”ae^ce “A”aece|“Dm”afdf “Dm”afdf|“G”gdBd “G”gdBd|“C”gece “C”gece|
“Dm”fdAd “Dm”fdAd|“Am”ecAc “Am”ecAc|“E”BcBc “E”BeBe|“E”B^gBg “Am”a4:|

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Re: The Gale

What is this doing on Shaun Daveys“ Brendan Voyage?His reel is much better.

Re: The Gale


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