Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"Shenandoah Falls"

Big Hungry Joe - oldtime American trad band of Copenhagen practicing for a dance gig at Kattinge oldtime music festival in Denmark. Uploaded by r810s on Sep 1, 2010. Jesper Delurian, illustrator and band member, at

Stringfield hammered dulcimer duo of Springfield, Mo.: Gail Morrissey, Barry Smith & Victoria Johnson on DU Uncut. A tune learned from the teaching of Ken Kolodner...

Lead sheet at by Jennifer Wrigley in John Lamancusa's collection of Old Time Fiddle Tunes at Penn State. See also Lamancusa's "State College Old Time Music Jam" page at Chords and lead sheet (with mandolin tab) on the website.

Background. From Andrew Kuntz, Fiddler's Companion (link here and scroll down):
SHENANDOAH FALLS. Old-Time, Breakdown. A Major. Standard tuning. AABB (Johnson): AA'BB (Phillips). Clyde Curley and Susan Songer, in notes to The Portland Collection, traces the tune. Vermont fiddler Pete Sutherland learned it from West Coast musician Carol Robinson, originally from Sebastapol, who herself learned it as an untitled reel from a mandolin player named 'Cookie', once a fellow student with her at Sonoma State College. It is thought Sutherland titled it, perhaps thinking it reminiscent of Bill Monroe's bluegrass composition "Shenandoah Breakdown." Source for notated version: Pete Sutherland (Vermont) [Phillips]. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 2: Occasional Collection of Old-Timey Fiddle Tunes for Hammer Dulcimer, Fiddle, etc.), 1982 (revised 1988 & 2003); pg. 15. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; pg. 219. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; pg. 182. Dancing String, Randy Zombola - "Snowflake Breakdown" (1986). Epact Music, Pete Sutherland - "Eight Miles From Town" (1982). Marimac 9031, Sutherland, Pete - "Eight Miles From Town" (1986). Marimac 9043, Boiled Buzzards - "Fine Dining" (1991).


T:Shenandoah Falls




N:From a transcription by John Lamancusa, by permission

Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion


cd |: “A”e2 ef edcB | AB c2 “D”d4 | “A”c2 cd cBAc | “E”BAGF E2 cd |

“A”e2 ef edcB | AB (3cBA “D”d4 | “A”cBAc “E”BA G2 |1 “A”A4 A2 cd :|2 “A”A6 G2 ||

|: “Bm”F4 B3B | A2 (B2B4) | “A”ABcA BcAB | cAB(c c)B A2 |

“Bm”F4 B3B | A2 (B2B2) Bd | “A”cBAc “E”BA G2 |1 “A”A4 A3G :|2 “A”A6 ||
A well regarded contra dance tune. See Laura Lengnick's essay "So You Wanna Play Dance Music?" at

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