The Air Tune

relayer

Explorer
In his book "The Pine Barrens" John McPhee recounts the story of the Air Tune wherein Sammy Giberson engages in a fiddling contest with the Devil to determine who the best fiddler is, loses the contest and then is rescued when the Air Tune is heard and puts both their efforts to shame.

I was just wondering if there were local variants of this tale and what the sources might be.

cheers
relayer
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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Nice post relayer. It should be interesting what comes of it. Sorry .. I can't help.

Guy
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
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Near Mt. Misery
In the story I heard, after the Devil plays, Sammy hears a melody in his head that he never played or heard before and begins to play it on the fiddle. The air tune is so moving it outshines the devils musical prowess.

He refers to it as the air tune, because he "pulled it out of thin air". As I recall, I heard that the melody escaped him immeditely after his performance and he could never recall it again.

As a musican, I can attest to melodies seeming to compose themselves during an improvisation. However, in truth, it is really a combination of many complex influences occuring almost subconsciously. As for the Devil part...I think Sammy was a heavy drinker.

Jeff
 
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