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Audio Recording [Witch of the Wave Reel]

[Witch of the Wave Reel]

About this Item


  • [Witch of the Wave Reel]


  • 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


  • -  Instrumental music
  • -  Fiddle tunes
  • -  Folk music--Appalachian Region
  • -  Breakdowns
  • -  Reels
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Music
  • -  Field recordings
  • -  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn


  • Ethnography
  • Music
  • Field recordings


  • -  Meter: 4/4
  • -  Compass: 12
  • -  Key: G
  • -  Rendition: 1r-2r-1
  • -  Strains: 2 (low-high, 4-2)
  • -  Phrase Structure: ABAC QC' (abac abde dqde')
  • -  Stylistic features: Henry Reed was trying to play the full version of the second tune into which he had verged in his previous performance (Breakdown in G, AFS 13033b25), but instead plays yet another tune.
  • -  Related Tune(s): New York Reel
  • -  Related Tune(s): Western Gem Reel
  • -  Related Tune(s): St. Botolph's Hornpipe
  • -  Related Tune(s): Buckley's Fancy
  • -  Related Tune(s): Comely Jane Downing
  • -  Related Tune(s): The Lakeside Road
  • -  Henry Reed gave this tune no name. Its first strain appears often, under various names, in the nineteenth-century tunebook tradition. One such set, "Witch of the Wave Reel," is in One Thousand Fiddle Tunes, p. 3; for similar tunes, compare "New York Reel," One Thousand Fiddle Tunes, p. 38; "Western Gem Reel," One Thousand Fiddle Tunes, p. 49; "St. Botolph's Hornpipe," One Thousand Fiddle Tunes, p. 99; "Buckley's Fancy," O'Neill's Music of Ireland, #1211; "Comely Jane Downing," O'Neill's Music of Ireland, #1461; "The Lakeside Road," O'Neill's Music of Ireland, #1699.The Hollow Rock String Band, having learned this tune from Henry Reed, noticed its similarity to "Witch of the Wave Reel" and began calling it that. The tune is now occasionally played by other fiddlers using that title, and the title is adopted here as a way of distinguishing it from other unnamed tunes in G.The second strain in Henry Reed's performance does not reflect any of the print sets. It is a kind of filler or extender, only half as long as the first strain, which is made up of musical elements of the last phrase of the first strain.
  • -  Title change: The title appeared in the fieldnotes as "Unnamed."
  • -  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
  • -  Spoken: [before tune]/HENRY REED: I can't think of the other one.[after tune]/ALAN JABBOUR: That's the one that you got on to while ago./HENRY REED: Yeah, I got onto it.
  • -  Recording chronology: 034
  • -  Duration: 45 seconds


  • Audio tape

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1967/007: AFS 13033B26

Source Collection

  • Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • audio

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. Witch of the Wave Reel. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

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

MLA citation style:

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