Audio Recording Flop-Eared Mule

About this Item

Flop-Eared Mule
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
-  Strains: 2 (high-low, 4-4)
-  Phrase Structure: ABAC QRQS (abcd abce qrst qrsu)
-  Compass: 12
-  Key: G/D
-  Rendition: 1r-2r-1r-2r-1r-2r-1r-2r-1
-  Stylistic features: Slurs predominate in bowing. It is interesting how many times through he played this (4 1/2 times through, which is more than his usual). His playing is also clean, as if he had a moment unhampered by physical impediments so kept going, or kept going in h
-  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
-  Spoken: NEAL REED: Off-key.
-  Recording chronology: 010
-  Duration: 2 minutes, 14 seconds
-  This is instrumental tune is widely diffused throughout America. Nineteenth-century printed sets call it "Detroit Schottische," and one early printing, Howe's Leviathan Collection (1858), p. 110, indicates the composer as A. Couse and notes, "By permission of Amsdem and Carkill, proprietors of the copyright." Twentieth-century sets usually call the tune "Flop-Eared Mule" (see Ford, Traditional Music of America, p.121) or "Lop-Eared Mule" (see Bayard, Hill Country Tunes, #56; Artley, "West Virginia Country Fiddler," pp. 48, 50), but other titles also crop up.The tune, which modulates from the key of G in the first strain to the key of D in the second, is one of a class of tunes having strains set in different keys. In this respect it may be compared with "Richmond" in this collection, which is also in the general "breakdown" category, as well as various schottisches and waltzes. Henry Reed is joined here by his son Neal with a few tentative bars on a G-harmonica.
Audio tape
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1967/007: AFS 13033B02
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.

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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. Flop-Eared Mule. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

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

MLA citation style:

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