Saturday, January 31, 2009

Transcribing Irish Fiddle Tunes

Last Friday, I went over to Andi and Davey's session. I'd been wanting to learn Andi's version of some of the tunes she plays, and she agreed to play some of them so I could record them. So I asked her to play The Coachman's Whip, The Foxhunter's (slipjig), and Sweeney's Buttermilk, which she did, and I recorded the tunes with our Zoom recorder (wonderful little recorder, sound-quality-wise, but terrible user-interface).

Finally, over the past couple of evenings and this morning, I got the tunes transcribed. Since I'm not terribly quick at transcribing from audio, I first looked up the tunes at to get ABC transcriptions of the tunes, then used Audacity (open source .wav editor) to listen to the tunes and slow down the parts in question. From there I was able to modify the ABC to match Andi's playing. Finally I used the Tune-o-Tron ABC converter at to make pdfs for the tunes, which I printed on old-fashioned paper. Pretty cool. Here's a low-resolution image of The Coachman's Whip.

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