From: SEFAN [admin_at_sefan_dot_org_dot_uk]
Sent: 18 April 2008 10:14
Subject: SEFAN 2008-04-18_01 from EFDSS: The Great Northern Tune Book Republished

PRESS RELEASE                                                                
16 April 2008                                        
The Great Northern Tune Book Republished
One of the foremost collections of English fiddle music ever assembled -- The Great Northern Tune Book -- has been republished.
The Great Northern Tune Book comprises the whole of the William Vickers’ eighteenth-century tune book manuscript, and is an essential resource for every musician and student of traditional music.


The William Vickers’ tune book was compiled in 1770, probably in Newcastle upon Tyne. It contained 580 tunes under the general heading ‘country dances’: jigs, reels, rants and common-time and triple-time hornpipes. The tunes come from England, Scotland and even France, but the emphasis in the collection is on the local fiddle and Northumbrian pipe tunes of north-east England. There is a mixture of old favourites, as well as obscure, high-quality tunes.


The Vickers’ collection served as a source for the book Northumbrian Minstrelsy in the nineteenth century, and also played a key part in the renaissance of traditional music on Tyneside in the twentieth century in the hands of The High Level Ranters, The Cut and Dry Band and Alistair Anderson. The tune book provides a unique insight into the traditional music repertoire 200 years ago, and shows that today’s musicians are part of a continuing tradition.  


Matt Seattle edited and published the Vickers’ collection as The Great Northern Tune Book in 1986-7. It was the first fiddler’s manuscript to be published in its entirety, but has been out of print for many years.


This new edition, completely re-edited – again by Matt Seattle – has been published by the English Folk Dance and Song Society and the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society.


Editor Matt Seattle says, “The collection provides an excellent entry point into the whole world of traditional music, and the notes in the new edition give a multitude of avenues for further exploration.”


Julia Say, secretary of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society, says, “We have long been aware of the importance of this collection and its republication in partnership with the English Folk Dance and Song Society, long supporters of the traditional music and dance of England, is particularly welcome.”


Katy Spicer, Chief Executive of the EFDSS, says, “We are very pleased indeed to be able to make this marvellous resource of music available again, and we welcome this opportunity of working with the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society. Matt Seattle’s work has been invaluable”.


The Great Northern Tune Book: William Vickers’ Collection of Dance Tunes AD 1770, ed. Matt Seattle, published by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in association with the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society, 2008. ISBN: 978 0 85418 201 5. Softback.


Price: £22.50 plus £2.25 p&p from the EFDSS or from the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society.

Penny Allen  -    General Manager
Anthony John Allen - Chair of the board

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