Tunes I Like
Last updated: 28 November 2011
(see also other music on this site)

Introductory Notes
  • The "sheet music" () and midi sound files () for these tunes were
    generated using "ABC" notation () and associated programs.
    If you are interested in that, see the ABC note on the root page of my music section.
  • Chord files ("S P") have not been added yet.
  • Note to Europeans: The chord "H" is noted here as "B."
ABCs Sheet Chords Sound Extra Notes Title Key
S P ... bq Bannerman's Quadrille D
S P ... bsr Bus Stop Reel Am
S P ... c Catharsis Gm
S P ... fw Flatworld G
S P ... gom Growling Old Man, Grumbling Old Woman Am/A
S P ... jbm J. B. Milne A
S P ... jdv Josefins Dopvals A
S P ... mm Mike's March Em
S P ... nvf När Vandet Fryser i Hanerne G
S P ... otq Olde Tyme Quadrille D
S P ... ps Peter Street A
S P ... pj Priscilla's Jig G/D
S P ... 76t Seventy-six Trombones C/F/C
S P ... spd Spadookis Am
S P ... sd Stardust C
S P ... ssf Stars and Stripes Forever G/C
S P ... tq Tony's Quadrille G/Em
S P ... ww The Wizard's Walk Em

Background Notes
The linked abbreviations take you to the tune in the table above

BQ Bannerman's Quadrille: (Bob McQuillen) I found a number of appealing medleys on Hand it Down (Avocet CD 105), a collection of Bob McQuillen's compositions featuring Laurie Andres. They sounded fine enough to be worth transcribing. One of them was Bannerman's Quadrille followed by Mike's March.
BSR Bus Stop Reel: I first heard this flat-picked on a guitar at a guitar performance on Islesford, Maine. I was blown away by it. It may be, as with many tunes I first hear on a given instrument, that instrument is the best-sounding one the tune can be played on. This version was transcribed to ABC by Mary Lou Knack.
C Catharsis: I first heard this played by Emma Walsh (fiddle) and Chuck Donnelly (guitar). In the B-music, Emma was doing some wild syncopation and Chuck was playing some VERY interesting chords. I could never get him to articulate what they were, nor could I figure out Emma's syncopation. This definitely works better on a fiddle than on an accordion.
FW Flatworld: (by Andrew Cutting, on Tidal Wave's Flying on Home CD, Great Meadows Music) This falls into the category of utterly gorgeous waltzes.
GOM Growling Old Man Grumbling Old Woman: I've always loved tunes that have a driving minor-key monotony to them. The A-music in this old French Canadian tune definitely has that quality. Here there are two variants of the A-music presented, one with double stopping.
JBM J. B. Milne: For a while, decades ago, this was my "most favorite" reel, a treat to play at breakneck speed on an accordion. I've always thought I heard it on Rodney Miller's Airplang album, but it turns out not to have been on that album. Wherever I heard it, I sweated blood to transcribe it. It now shows up on Hand it Down (Avocet CD 105) as part of a medley following Olde Tyme Quadrille. I love the medley, but prefer the version of J.B. that I transcribed to the version used in the medley.
JDV Josefins Dopvals: (Josephine's Baptismal Waltz) This gorgeous tune was written by Roger Tallroth of the Swedish band Väsen, in honor of his daughter's baptism. Accordionist Fred Aalto made the Peascods Gathering aware of it back in the '80's. It has since shown up in many places. For an accordionist, the chords are -- though a bit tricky -- utterly delicious.
MM Mike's March: (Bob McQuillen) This tune follows Bannerman's Quadrille in a great medley on Hand it Down (Avocet CD 105).
NVF När Vandet Fryser i Hanerne: (Danish: When Water Freezes in the Harbor) The Peascods Gathering found this tune back in the early 80's. To me, it is kind of the ultimate jig, with a simple but gorgeous chord progression and a sweet but unpretentious tune.
OTQ Olde Tyme Quadrille: (Bob McQuillen) This was the first tune in a great medley with J.B. Milne on Hand it Down (Avocet CD 105). I was saved from having to transcribe this by finding it through John Chambers's tune finder and modifying it slightly.
PS Peter Street: (a.k.a. Timor the Tartar) This tune is one of a type I call a "low-gear" reel. Its notes move at a blistering speed, but the tune sounds like it is going at the somewhat languid speed of a hornpipe, and as such it always been a pleasure to play.
PJ Priscilla's Jig: (Bob McQuillen) This tune follows Tony's Quadrille in another great medley on Hand it Down (Avocet CD 105).
76T Seventy-six Trombones: (Meredith Wilson) This tune from The Music Man is an unlikely accordion tune. But I was asked to play for the reception at the memorial service of the mother of a good friend, and what was wanted was music appropriate to the woman's musical interest, which included brass bands. I ended up choosing this and Stars and Stripes Forever. This one is a LOT easier. Fortunately, there was a multi-page arrangement of sheet music on the web to copy from. I hope the chords are correct.
SPD Spadookis: (Jay Unger) I first heard this tune being played by fiddler/violinist/naturalist/piano-player Ruth Grierson as an atmosphere tune at a Hallowe'en pumpking carving party at our local library. The wild intensity of the B-music, so appropriately spooky for a Hallowe'en event, is undoubtedly better captured by a wild fiddle than by a wild accordion.
SD Stardust: (Hoagy Carmichael) This not-traditionally-accordion tune has always immediately placed me in the clutches of Orson Welles in this 1938 broadcast of The War of the Worlds, as the strains of this tune, played by Raymond Raquello's dance band in the ballroom of the Hotel Park Plaza in New York City, were interrupted by a "news broadcast" that started a national chaos. Fiddler/violinist/naturalist/piano-player Ruth Grierson asked me to join her in playing sky-related songs for a night-sky festival event at a local library. This tune was one of them. The chords seemed too complicated and I skipped it. But then the memorial service described in Seventy-six Trombones (above) came along. One of the desired music categories was barbershop harmony. I borrowed a book of tunes from a singer friend, and they were all unknown to me and in truly horrendous multi-flat keys which I had no desire to convert. So I decided to use Stardust as a period-piece stand-in. I love it.
SSF Stars and Stripes Forever: (John Philip Sousa) Another you've-got-to-be-kidding accordion tune which was motivated by the memorial service described in Seventy-six Trombones, above. It is the quintessential brass-band tune. I couldn't find sheet music for it online, but I found a 1909 Edison records recording of Sousa's band playing the tune in E-flat (AGGHH). Luckily, modern technology in the form of QuickTime enabled me to slow it down a LOT and, over endless replayings, to piece it together. The real victory (other than playing it halfway successfully) was figuring out chords that work in the last theme.
TQ Tony's Quadrille: (Bob McQuillen) This is the first tune in a great medley with Priscilla's Jig on Hand it Down (Avocet CD 105).
WW The Wizard's Walk: (Jay Unger) I first heard this tune being played at a local library tea by fiddlers Ruth Grierson and the remarkable Emma Walsh. It is in the same lusciously wild category as Catharsis and Spadookis. And, like the former, Emma puts some kind of gorgeously insane syncopation in the B-music that I've never been able to catch. Another tune in which an accordion will never match a fiddle. But it's still fun!

Update Notes
28 Nov 11 Page first posted in an organized fashion.