Dan Levenson’s Master Collection of Old Time Tunes

Mel Bay has released a new book that will be of interest to all players of old time string music.

It’s titled Dan Levenson’s Master Collection of Old Time Tunes – Over 300 tunes in standard notation for all instruments, written by noted old time musician, Dan Levenson.

The book is exactly what the title promises, a compendium of popular fiddle tunes, 300 in total, with chords provided. Dan doesn’t claim this as an exhaustive collection, but the odds are most any tune you hear called at a jam will be in here.

Basic melody and chords are provided for each tune, specifically to make them suitable for all instruments. Once you learn a tune, embellishments and variations are up to you. For good sight readers, you could use this as a fake book, carrying it with you when you head out for a gig.

The Master Collection is published in a large format edition (8.75×11.75”), with typically three tunes per page, arranged mostly alphabetically for ease of use. Dan said that he tried to keep them alphabetical, but a few were thrown out of order by layout issues. Still, it should be quite simple to find tunes in a hurry.

These are traditional tunes, so you might not see newly composed pieces that are becoming jam standards, but it is a very complete list.

Tunes are presented in their most common key, though a few – Cherokee Shuffle, Buffalo Gals, Chinquapin Hunting, Cuckoo’s Nest – are shown in multiple keys. Dan provides alternate titles where applicable.

This looks to be an excellent compilation that will be useful to fiddlers, and anyone who enjoys playing old time fiddle tunes.

It is available directly from the author in the print edition for $25. You can see the full list of tunes on Dan’s web site.

Dan Levenson’s Master Collection of Old Time Tunes can also be ordered from the publisher in either print or ebook editions.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.