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Tales from the Red Book of Tunes
Tales from the Red Book of Tunes

Tales from the Red Book of Tunes

$15.00 USD $15.00 USD

Folklorist Jiri Hansom Felding is caught in a web of jigs and reels as she tries to untangle the secrets of the melodies set down in the ancient Red Book of Tunes. The complicated politics of a modern contra dance, the hopes of the elephant seller’s daughter, and the dangerous myth of the Bramble Hive are all stones in a river of music and dance connecting the players across time and distance.

“When you're there, circling around the floor on a Saturday evening with all your mates about, it's like all the other dancers are there with you. In other halls. In other times. It's the music what brings it.”

In this collection of interwoven tales, Tyler Johnson takes us across the world, back in time, and into the murky myths where the music was born.

What People Are Saying

“Rare is the writer who is able to spin a tale so rich in the lore of folk music and dance traditions. To do it in a manner that spellbinds and beguiles and gives us meaningful insights into our collective spirit is extraordinary. Highly recommended reading AND playing.”

Rodney Miller, National Endowment for the Arts Master Fiddler

“An excellent and brilliant debut collection, Tales from the Red Book of Tunes is a must read for anyone who has ever been touched by the power of music.”

Matthew Peters, author of The Brothers’ Keepers and Conversations Among Ruins

“The stories flowed, sometimes in unexpected ways, and kept me turning pages for more. What fun to find the numerous connections between stories throughout the book. Full of feeling, well-written and entertaining.”

Gaye Fifer, folk dance caller


Listen to Peter Ostroushko and Danny Gotham play a set of tunes from Tales from the Red Book of Tunes.

Tales From The Red Book Of Tunes includes the following stories:
  • A Carriage Works
  • Bluets
  • Jack O’Dawn
  • Orianth
  • The Ballenteen Showers
  • The Bramble Hive
  • The Elephant Seller’s Daughter
  • The Sand Dollar
  • The Sounding Line
  • The Standing Goat
The book also includes Jiri’s story.
The collection includes printed versions of the tunes suitable for modern dances.
286 pages
ISBN 978-1-940822-00-6 (paperback)
ISBN 978-1-940822-01-3 (hardback)