Notes on the Tunes

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12. Lost Indian

Allan Jabbour writes that “Lost Indian” is “not traceable as a tune, because it is not a typical British-American tune in the first place. It is imitative.” This setting comes from Ed Haley, whose rhythmic slides are said to “represent an Indian squalling in the Wilderness,” i.e. “crying out harshly; screaming” (Websters 1852). Tunes that imitate Native Americans or evoke their mystique are common in the Upper South. Perhaps the first written example is “Indian Hoop” found in Knauff’s Virginia Reels (1839). Each fiddler had his own version and, yet they all seem to be in the same tuning. The common tune passed down to the current old time community is actually “Lonesome Indian,” composed by Tommy Magness. The variant “Cherokee Shuffle” is Tommy Jackson’s reinterpretation and re-composition of that tune. (Blech

Chris’ fiddle AEAC# : Whitt’s banjo eAEG#B : Laura - feet