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13. Kate's Got the Bellyache

The tune comes from Kentucky fiddler Estill Bingham (1899-1990) from Bell County in the southeast, the closest county to Cumberland Gap. His repertory included many tunes learned from his father Noah (b.1850) as well as neighboring musicians. Youngest of thirteen children, Estill began fiddling at age seven with gospel hymns. When recorded by Bruce Greene and Bob Butler, he played those early hymns along with dance tunes and slower ones like this setting. Bingham moved away from Kentucky in the 1940s to live in rural Oregon, where he was recorded in the 1970s by Linda Danielson. Seen in the video by Marynell Young, he tuned his fiddle one and a half to two steps low and played with short up and down saw strokes, accented on the up-bow, and rarely played more than one string at a time. He was killed in an auto accident at age 91. He told Bruce Greene that he believed playing an instrument was a gift; not everyone could learn. (Titon: 199) This setting uses a gaped, pentatonic scale in mixolydian mode, characteristics of Scots-Irish tunes. (Titon: 19-22) West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons plays a related tune “Jake's Got the Bellyache.”

Chris' Strad FA#FC (ADAE)
Mark's minstrel banjo fCFA#C