Traditional instrumental tunes are ephemeral. Like Ulysses “good deeds past” they are “devour’d as fast as they are made, forgot as soon as done”. Unless they are played. A few of these “alms for oblivion”, old and new, are played by some small groups in Madison, Wisconsin. if you want to help these tunes persevere, open a tunebook from the menu above .
Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, Wherein he puts alms for oblivion, …which are devour’d As fast as they are made, forgot as soon As done. Perseverance, dear my lord, Keeps honor bright … ... Time is like a fashionable host ... One touch of nature makes the whole world kin, That all with one consent praise new-born gawds, Though they are made and moulded of things past, And give to dust, that is a little gilt, More laud than gilt o’erdusted. The present eye praises the present object… — — Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, 3:3 —
You can find other alms for oblivion at the Traditional Tune Archive, The Session, the North Atlantic Tune List, John Lamancusa’s Old Time Fiddle Tunes, Pascal Gemme’s Identitairs Québécois and Trad Quebec Studio, Peter Yarensky’s New Hampshire Fiddle Tunes and many others.