A printed collection of 34 traditional Australian
folk tunes with an accompanying CD
The tunes in this booklet were collected over a fifty year period from traditional musicians in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The collectors include John Meredith, Peter Ellis, Chris Sullivan, Mark Rummery, Rob Willis, Brad Tate, Alan Musgrove, Mike Martin and the Folk Song and Dance Society of Victoria.
Folk dance music is traditionally learned by ear. It is difficult to notate all the nuances and subtleties of the tunes. It is for this reason that a CD is supplied with this booklet.
The printed music is only a guide. The tunes on the CD are decorated with slides, double stops, drones, bow tickling, scrunches, trills and grace notes that are all part of the traditional fiddler’s arsenal of ornaments. It is these ornaments which give the music its vitality. Listen to the CD and include as many as you can.
Alan was born, bred and buttered in Wollongong. He has worked at the Steelworks, a music teacher and presented courses on Australian folk music. He has been a member of many infamous folk bands such as Lizard Dust, Bulli Bush Band, The Billabongers, High Times String Band, Luna-C and the Harvest Moon Band. He spends his time now playing and helping to preserve Australian traditional music.
The musicians on the accompanying CD are:
Fiddle Jane Brownlee & Alan Musgrove
Guitar Alan Musgrove
Bass Stefan Browne
Drums John Blackburn
Recorded at Johnny Hi Fi, Lower Plenty, Victoria and the Red Shed, Mount St. Thomas NSW.
We wish to thank all the collectors and collectees whose material appears in this booklet and the National Library of Australia where many of the collections are held. Thanks are due to Wongawilli Colonial Dance Club for continuing to support Australian music.
FOREWORD BY FOLKLORE COLLECTOR, Rob Willis
The National Jazz Convention is in Forbes this year (2000) and I have spent the last couple of days at a sound mixing desk whilst enjoying some traditional music of a different kind. The point that was obvious to me was the amount of written material available that was being shared between the musicians. Words, chord charts, and other forms of written and aural traditional material were for sale or given away.
The other interesting point factor was the number of younger players that are coming up through the ranks learning mainly through the aural/oral tradition to enjoy and play their chosen type of music, again with an abundance of reference books.
Since its inception the Pioneer Performer series has begun to fill the gap we have in resources for OUR chosen music. The encouragement given by bands such as Wongawilli and the individual efforts of the Alan Musgroves and Jane Brownlees (among others of course) has helped to plug the gaps and create an interesting source of tunes not only for the older players but more importantly the younger ones.
The hope for the preservation of our traditions lies with books such as this book of tunes. It is fortunate that through programs such as the Oral History collection at The National Library of Australia we have the basis for the dissemination of Australia’s rich musical heritage.
More power to the bows of the fiddlers who use this book and to those who created it.
Rob Willis, Forbes, December 2001
Rob is a folklore collector for the National Library of Australia, a musician and has been involved with the Pioneer Performer Series since its inception in 1990.
FROM THE COMPILER, David De Santi
This is the first CD/book production by Wongawilli Colonial Dance Club Inc and hopefully not the last. It is great to see the dissemenatiion of this type of material which is helping to build an Australian traditional music style and to broaden the material available to musicians and dancers.
David De Santi
David is Secretary of Wongawilli Colonial Dance Club Inc, Illawarra Folk Festival Director and member of the band Wongawilli and has produced over 15 productions as part of the Pioneer Performer Series.
Produced January 2001, music arranged by Alan Musgrove, compiled by David De Santi, cover and CD artwork designed by Chloe Roweth. Cover photographs courtesy of John Meredith.