OTR-74 Online Reviews

This month, we'll take a look at some reviews of old-time music, though not the usual critiques of CDs, MP3s, downloads, uploads, offloads, and Things That Fall From The Sky. I suspect that a lot of old-time musicians have occasionally purchased tunes from www.oldtimefiddler.com (check it out), sometimes with good results, other times not so much. Here's a sampling of some of the consumer reviews posted on their website.

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
* * * _ _ Assembly needed. February 29, 2013
By O.J. Clark
The tune requires assembly. You have to put the notes into order to make it sound like the tune you purchased. But you may assemble it differently, and it can still work. Some notes can be left out and be spare parts for the next tune that comes along, or you may find that you need notes that seem to be missing, so with luck you have some left over that you didn't need from a previous tune.

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
* _ _ _ _ No Warranty. April 31, 2013
By A. Baker
Iím not sure this tune will last very long.† It does NOT come with a warranty, just a vague reference to already having survived a long time, and a prediction that it should be good for 200 years or 200,000 repetitions, whichever comes first. Also, it is impossible to find out where it was originally manufactured.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful
* * _ _ _ This tune causes trouble. Octember 1, 2013
By L. B. Wilson
This tune has flaws that can lead to disputes and arguments among your family and friends. One person plays it just the way they heard it, but another plays it differently, and a third doesn't even call it by the name it came with. Use it with caution.

10 of 9 people found the following review helpful
* * * * * Look for authentic tunes! Septober 2, 2013
By O. J. Sutton
I've had a good experience ordering these tunes. I am a purist and I consider myself something of an amateur ethnomusicologist, so I have a strong preference for old, traditional tunes from another century that were handed down from father to son, mother to daughter, grandfather to great-niece, you see my point. That's why some of my favorite tunes are "Nail That Catfish To The Tree", "Sadie At The Back Door", "Ashokan Farewell", "Swannanoa Waltz", and "Teabag Blues". Tunes born in obscurity like these whose first players are long forgotten hold a great fascination for me, much more than contemporary ones.

1.5 of 3 people found the following review helpful
* * * * _ You'll want a chair. Thursuary 15, 2013
By S. Goodin
Best to use this tune sitting down. Other old-time jam members may insist on it, so be prepared, if you're used to standing when you play. It's not essential to sit, but if you stand you may be mistakenly taken into a bluegrass jam, where you may find most of your tunes unusable.

-3 of -2 people found the following review helpful
* * * _ _ Some tunes have uncertain backgrounds. Wednestember 16, 2013
By Miss McLeod
I suspect that some of the tunes available were originally outsourced from other places: perhaps Ireland; Scotland; maybe even Canada! Possibly some parts were inserted by African musicians over a hundred years ago. Some tunes are definitely fixer-uppers that, with patience, can be renovated to attain a more home-grown flavor.

4 of 5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
* * _ _ _ Poor directions. 30 October 2013 (Submitted from Europe)
By Billy I. T. Lowground
Full written directions werenít included with this tune. What directions there were were vague.† Apparently you're expected to just listen to this tune over and over, and then try it yourself. I guess you're allowed to make changes and improvise parts of the tune after you receive it. This is probably because no one thought enough of these tunes to copyright them, so anyone is free to "rewrite" them. I put that in quotes because I'm not even sure some of these old-time musicians can read and write music!

e of pi people found the following review helpful
_ _ _ _ _ Wrong tune sent! 26th of Cheshvan, 5774
By Booth S. Lincoln
Warning! The tune you play may NOT be the one you ordered! I ordered "Seneca Square Dance", but received something called "Waiting For The Federals". I didn't even try to play it. I just sent it back, and I'm still waiting for my refund.

x of y people found the following review helpful
* * * _ _ This tune might not last. Stardate 67296.3
By W. Rufus
Hard to say how long I'll keep this tune. It could improve with age, and with gradual modifications in the note choices, tempo, accents, syncopation, but if it doesn't, it may just become a warm-up tune that gets cast aside once the jam picks up.

1/3 of 4/12 people found the following review helpful
* _ _ _ _ Not for neighborhood use! Mid-Cenozoic era
By B. E. Susie
I canít use this tune in the house or even in the neighborhood. If I play it as loudly and as fast as recommended, the police show up. My next order will be for a more sedate tune, like "Jeff Sturgeon".

You of All people found the following review helpful
* * * * _ Be careful!. Mid-Holocene period
By Jimmy I. T. Swamp
I wish these tunes came with safety warnings. I started playing one the other night, and it was after 2 a.m. before the jam stopped. I was so tired I slept through breakfast. Also, I asked the seller about recalls, but was told that if I don't recall a tune, ask around. That started out sounding like it made sense, but then it didn't. Caveat musicus.

100% of 100% of people found the following review helpful
* * * * * Excellent tunes, easy to play! October 30, 2013
By B. Molsky
I've been very happy with all my old-time tunes. I have found that I can even make a living playing them!

We the people found the following review helpful
* * * * * Having lots of fun with these tunes! October 30, 2013
By R. Gellert
I agree with B. Molsky. Maybe he/she and I will meet up someday and play some tunes!

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