Monday, July 9, 2012

La Chavannée Tunebook

In a conversation over on the Chiff and Fipple (devoted to tin whistles, but with some considerable discussion about other folk instrumentation) an aspiring piper asked about the "canon" of tradFrench. Which are the recordings he should listen to? Which are the tunebooks to be acquired? One conversant linked to an item I'd never seen before: 80 Airs à Danser du Centre-France, La Chavannée (click for PDF). It's dated 1991, and Frédéric Paris is himself listed as the transcriber. Consider my gob to be thoroughly smacked. I never knew that this tune book existed, and am now swooning deliriously. Am I the only one who didn't know? If anyone out there has any ideas about its provenance, how widely available it was, stories or lost weekends, etc ... I would love to hear them.

UPDATE:  Mike Hirst, a respected sage over on, reports that he bought this book in France around 1992.  He's posted a version in ABC format, which can be found HERE. Steve Mansfield, over on  reports that he purchased his version from the AMTA "many years ago." He describes it as A5, spiral bound, and with a "fetching mustard colour" cover.

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