Audio Recording Shelving Rock

Shelving Rock

About this Item

Shelving Rock
Contributor Names
Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
Jabbour, Karen Singer (Collector)
Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
Created / Published
Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, June 18, 1966
Subject Headings
-  Instrumental music
-  Fiddle tunes
-  Folk music--Appalachian Region
-  Breakdowns
-  Reels
-  Ethnography
-  Music
-  Field recordings
-  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn
Field recordings
-  Meter: 4/4
-  Key: C
-  Strains: 2 (low-high, 4-4)
-  Compass: 16
-  Rendition: 1-2r-1r-2r-1r-2
-  Phrase Structure: ABA'C QRQ'C (abcd ab'ef qrst qref)
-  Stylistic features: Slurs predominate in bowing.
-  Related Tune(s): Braes of Auchentyre
-  This is a well-known and widely circulated American reel that usually goes by the title "Billy in the Low Ground" or "Billy in the Low Land"; see, for example, Bayard, Hill Country Tunes, #5; Thomas, Devil's Ditties, p. 130; Ford, Traditional Music of America, p. 65; Adam, Old Time Fiddlers' Favorite Barn Dance Tunes, #42; Morris, Old Time Violin Melodies, #37. The published and recorded versions seem to cluster in a broad swath from Pennsylvania and Virginia through Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. By the later twentieth century it had moved into the general American fiddling repertory and can be heard in contests and jam sessions from coast to coast. It is similar and perhaps related to British instrumental tunes such as the reel "Braes of Auchentyre." The title appears elsewhere in the Appalachian South and refers to the shelf rocks or sheltered outcroppings in the Appalachian mountains that local people often use as campsites and as markers for finding one's way in the forest.
-  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
-  Title change: The title appeared in the fieldnotes as "Shelvin' Rock."
-  Recording chronology: 007
-  Duration: 1 minute, 21 seconds
Audio tape
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1967/007: AFS 13034B35
Source Collection
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices for additional information and restrictions.

The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

Photographs in this collection produced by Carl Fleischhauer, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Kit Olson are reproduced here with their permission. Mr. Fleischhauer does not object to additional use of the photos he created provided he is credited as the photographer. Persons contemplating other kinds of uses or use of the other photographers' work should contact the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1 (AFC 1967/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2 (AFC 1969/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Fiddle tunes of the old frontier: the Henry Reed collection online presentation (AFC 1999/016), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, Alan Jabbour, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Henry Reed. Shelving Rock. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jabbour, A., Jabbour, A., Jabbour, K. S. & Reed, H. (1966) Shelving Rock. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, et al. Shelving Rock. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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