Re: [Harp-L] Music for Old-Time tunes wanted.

You can also try asking this on the bluegrass harp list (
bluegrassharp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx).  (Actually, you are about to be doing so as
I am copying that list with this answer, but you will need to join the list
to find any answers.)  There are bluegrass, celtic, folk, and old-time
players there.  It is an off-shoot list from Harp-L that is focused on the
music you are after.
You can also look into the bluegrass music discussion list (
BGRASS-L@xxxxxxxxxxx).  They appear to be harmonica tolerant, to some
degree, now -- though I wouldn't say supportive, just yet.  However, when
you are trying to find music, as you are, regardless of the instrument,
they can be helpful.  Celtic, folk, and Old-Timers sometimes hang there, as
well, even though the list is most dedicated to bluegrass.

As for ideas on your research, try the local library.  (If the local
library will fit into a large closet, go to the nearest large library and
start there.)  Many of the old folk tunes which are root to the music we
play today in various genres can be found in the music studies and
collection books from musicologists like John Lomax (and his son, Alan
Lomax).  Musicologists were collecting the tunes in the study and
preservation of American folk music, captured, as well as possible, at the
time (much like the basic premise to the movie "Songcatcher").  Many old
bluegrass tunes with Bill Monroe's name on them were originally folk tunes
that he made his and copywrited, once copywriting became available.  You
might also look through the library's music book collections.  I have found
many old school books, filled with folk tunes, in libraries.

The music will be in these books, though, will be standard musical
notation, not ABC.  ABC is still only well known in certain circles and
appears to be relatively new to the world of music, though it is quite
useful.  It helps to be flexible enough to read various tabs for various
instruments, ABC, and standard notation when you are searching for a tune.

Cara Cooke

On Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 2:56 PM, <pneupco@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm trying to get copies of the music for the following two old-time
> Southern tunes: 'Watermelon Hanging on the Vine' and 'How Old are You My
> Pretty Little Miss'. I've checked in all the usual places - Fiddler's
> Companion, JC's ABC Tune Finder, The Library of Congress collection and the
> Lester Levy collection - with no luck. The Fiddler's Companion mentions
> 'Watermelon...' and some of it's history, but with no music (in ABC
> notation) along with it. Both of these, by the way, are on the CD 'Bill
> Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Vol. 1). The liner notes say that 'How old
> are you...' is a Kentucky courting song. Can anyone send me copies of the
> music or point me in the right direction to find the music (online and
> free) for these in either the notes or ABC notation? I realize that most of
> you are not into this kind of music, but some of you may be. In any case, I
> don't know of any other forum to try.
> Thanks for any help.

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