Old Time in the Media: Web


Updated  Monday, March 04, 2019 07:55 PM est                                          Your online source for old time music news



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Websites provide a great resource for 
old time tunes

Here are just a few of a growing number of sites where you can find old time tunes online:

Digital Collections in The Library Of Congress

The Library of Congress is not only the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, it is also the largest library in the world, with millions of resource items in its collections. An increasing number of these are becoming available for 

Henry Reed with Bobbie Thompson of the Hollow Rock String Band (1967)
Henry Reed with Bobbie Thompson of the Hollow Rock String Band (1967)

experiencing online at the Library of Congress website, with free and open access to historic maps, photos, documents, audio and video. A subsection Collections with Audio Recordings  includes over 40 collections of articles, photographs, video, and music recordings. Among these is a collection titled Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection.

Henry Reed was a fiddler from Monroe County, West Virginia, who lived from 1884 to 1968. He never performed as a professional musician, or recorded commercially, but has become known for preserving the music of his life and his culture through these archival recordings, now accessible for everyone to hear online. Read articles, view photographs of his life, listen to over 180 audio files of Henry playing his tunes collected by folklorist Alan Jabbour in 1966-67. Also view a video of Mr. Jabbour demonstrating Henry's bowing technique.

Be sure to also explore the many other collections available from the Library. Other topics include:

African-American Band Music & Recordings, 1883-1923
Alan Lomax Collection of Michigan and Wisconsin Recordings
The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America
National Jukebox
Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943

Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip

Slippery Hill (Larry Warren) has posted MP3s of the entire Milliner/Koken collection

Larry Warren of http://slippery-hill.com/ began maintaining a public digital collection of C, F, and Bb tunes in 2005. He has now added to his site digital audio versions of most or all of the 1404 fiddle tunes in Claire Milliner and Walt Koken’s collection, and the Slippery Hill site has grown to nearly 3500 tunes

For more background on this project, please read this interview by Jon Bekoff at Oldtimeparty 

And of course, visit https://www.slippery-hill.com/about

"When you see Larry, please give him a warm thank you.”

Hetzler's Fakebook

A fakebook is a musicians resource. It consists of simple melody lines in standard notation. This site presents hundreds of fiddle tunes in MIDI format, a file system that can easily be played by computers with synthesized sound. Unlike mp3s, which are compressed versions of live recordings, MIDI uses a much smaller amount of file space, but the sound is computer generated, like listening to an old fashioned music box. However, I find the versions of tunes on this site to be very well done, capturing a fun spirit that makes the tunes work. At the very least, it is a fine resource for helping to remember how a tune goes, or motivating you to find a live version of tunes that you find interesting.

Another advantage of MIDI is that it can be converted to sheet music. The software for doing this is also available for download at this site.

The Samuel Preston
Bayard papers

Traditional tunes and songs from SW Pennsylvania

Famed folklorist Samuel Preston Bayard conducted fieldwork collecting folk music even before he enrolled at the Pennsylvania State College. Between 1928 and 1963, Samuel Bayard and his collaborators traveled throughout southwestern Pennsylvania collecting and transcribing nearly 1000 traditional folk tunes. Their intent was to show something of what the older Pennsylvania tradition really consisted of - "pre-radio, pre-tape, pre-TV" Their sources were largely country dance fiddlers and singers, as well as fifers, who carried on a once widespread but now relatively obscure tradition of American marching music.

Bayard began using tape recording in the 1940s as an aid to his transcription method. In recent years these recordings have been digitized and are available for listening on YouTube. The collection consists of folklore research materials that consists of 61 audio recordings of fiddle tunes, fife tunes, and folk songs along with transcriptions, correspondence, fieldwork, source work notes and texts, and manuscripts.

The Samuel Preston Bayard papers, 1935-1996

Do you know any other great websites with Old Time music resources, broadcasts or MP3's? Send  them to


and we'll post them on this site. If you would like to include your personal reviews that would be even better!