Devils Dream - Fiddle Tune A Day - Day 357 Video

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I used to get so sick of hearing classical violinists play Devil's Dream. Let me clarify. I have no problem with classical violinists as a whole. I play classical violin myself, and enjoy classical music. Nor do I have a problem with Devil's Dream. It's a cool tune, that happened to get caught in the crossfire. And, when I was 12, I remember being totally entranced by Jana Jae's version of Devil's Dream.

What I do have a problem with is when a classical violinist learns the notes to Devil's Dream and thinks that they are now a qualified fiddler. To me, it feels like a devaluing of fiddling, as if it is less than violin playing.

In reality, fiddling isn't even just one discipline. Within the world of fiddling, there are many subgenres. And mastering just one can take years of diligent study and practice.

Just a handful of these include: Scottish, Irish, French Canadian, Metis, Appalachian Old Time, Texas Style, Texas Swing, Contest Style, New England Style, Cajun and Missouri Style. And some of these can be broken down into even more specific styles.

Enough about that. After not playing Devil's Dream for a number of years, I came across this recording of Jean Carignan playing Devil's Dream (Le Reve Du Diable) and my faith in the tune was revived.

Devil's Dream is an important fiddle tune, and I didn't want to just play the basic tune if I was going to play it, so I worked this up for you!

Devil's Dream according to Fiddler's Companion

DEVIL'S DREAM [1] (Aisling An Diabail). AKA and s see "The De'il Among the Tailors," "Satan's Nightmare." See note for "Parody." British Isles, Canadian, American, Old‑Time; Reel or Hornpipe. USA; Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky. England, Shropshire. Canada; Quebec, Prince Edward Island. A Major (most versions): G Major (Hardings, Shaw). Standard tuning. One part (Burchenal, Lowinger): AB (Silberberg): AABB (most versions): AABBCC (Kershaw, O'Neill/1001): AABCDEFG (Kerr). Despite its occasional appearance in the South, it is known as a Northern tune. Linscott (1939) thought the tune to be of Irish origins, but it has since been rather easily traced to a Scottish reel, "The De'il Among the Tailors," composed c. 1790, and it appears in the Scottish Kerr collection (vol. 4) as "Devil's Dream." In America it has almost invariably been known by the "Dream" title, while in the British Isles it is always found under the Tailor/Taylor title--notwithstanding its appearance in Kerr as "Devil's Dream," which may have been evidence of a transatlantic return of the piece. Bayard (1981) notes that the tune, like "Soldier's Joy," has been transplanted to Scandinavia. It was of the tunes cited by Lettie Osborn (New York Folklore Quarterly) as having been commonly played for dances in Orange County, New York, in the 1930's. Linscott recorded a dance, also called "Devil's Dream," for which this tune was played in Hinsdale, N.H., and Howe (c. 1867) and Burchenal (1918) also printed New England contra dances of the same name to the tune. It was in the repertoire of Arizona fiddler Kenner C. Kartchner, who said of it "plenty old and difficult to play properly." New Englanders Tolman and Page (The Country Dance Book) have this to say about the tune: "All fiddlers are jealous of their accomplishments, you know, and it is an absolute impossibility to be accepted into their clan unless one can perform both 'Devil's Dream' and 'Speed the Plow' in a creditable manner, preferably with home‑made variations. Old Theophilus (Parse) Ames used to say that a fiddler without his own version of 'Devil's Dream' was of 'as much account as a string of wampum in the Washington mint'" (pg. 112). Boone County, Missouri, fiddler Cyril Stinnet (1912-1986) probably didn't agree, for although it was the first tune he learned on the fiddle at age 8, he once later remarked he did not much care for the piece. The tune was rumoured (in New Jersey, for one place) to have been composed by Satan himself (and played on the 'devil's box', or the fiddle) {Cauthen, pg. 202}.
Duration: 02 Minute, 43 Second
Rating: 4.9 - Excellent
Definition: SD
Published: 6 Years Ago

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