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Ryan's Mammoth Collection

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Ryan's Mammoth

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Ryan's Mammoth Collection was published in Boston in 1883, containing 1050 reels, jigs, hornpipes, strathspeys, etc. In 1940 it was repackaged and marketed as Cole's 1000 Fiddle Tunes (also known as The Fiddler's Bible). Finally, in 1995 it was once again published, this time reverting to the Ryan's Mammoth title. Whichever form it has taken, this collection has been an invaluable store of tunes for countless fiddlers and other musicians, and it is a remarkable snapshot of the repertoire of 19th century America.

Like other books in my collections, as I played through the tunes in the book, I recognized various tunes and scribbled alternative names and settings in what little white space I could find on the pages. This sort of thing interests me, and at least keeps me off the streets. Since then I have enhanced my own notes with the comments of other people, notably Don Meade, Caoimhín Mac Aoidh, Paul Wells, and Paul de Grae and, in the hope that others might find our findings of use, I publish them here as reference. If anyone has anything new to add, or has any other constructive criticism, email me.

Nigel Gatherer