Index, locate, define is Karen’s neat summing-up of what she and I will first be concerned with over the next year or so, when we have our bass culture hats on (officially that’s two days a week).
So much of this work has been done already by Charles Gore, and is now available online at www.scottishmusicindex.org – fiddlers, pay your tenner and get access to an enormous library of old tunes. But the books which escaped Charlie’s notice won’t make it into our sights or anyone else’s, unless there is a record somewhere of which tunes are in them, so some indexing is required. Of the making of lists there is no end, so we’re aiming to be discriminating over which sources get Karen’s attention and which don’t.
Once we’ve narrowed down which books we want to look at, in most cases we still have to find a physical copy. Once our spiffy web resource is up and running in two or three years’ time, this will be less of a problem for everyone. But in the meantime, given that most of the books are over 200 years old, this means visiting libraries.
When we have located our fiddle basslines, we’ll have to develop a vocabulary to describe them in words, using terminology that as many musicians as possible can understand. This is more difficult than you might think and will no doubt be the subject of many a blog post in the future …