California Consolidated Drum Band
Music Page - The American Veteran Fifer
On this page you will find most of the tunes from the classic AVF
collection. This was published after the Civil War, probably
around 1905, by Civil War veterans.
There are undoubtedly some errors; these were transcribed by hand
and might have typos, so if you see something that doesn't look or
right, please drop an email message back. Many thanks to
Peter Kosel of Sacramento, who spent a great deal of time checking,
researching, and typing. Between the two of us, hopefully we
caught most of the errors. In general, the music matches the
printed page although there were a few obvious errors that were
fixed. These should be noted in the specific abc files for each
Some possible errors have been noted in the transcribing. These
may not be errors, but in some instances the songs sound better with
This is a complete listing of the basic 139 tunes in the original book,
with one or two of the camp duty songs included. The remainder of
the regulation pieces are in process; there are some 20 additional
songs. These songs are saved in various formats; if you
notice any problems or have questions, feel free to contact the webmaster.
- Cuckoo's Nest - The last measures of each part are too short.
The 8th notes have been changed to quarter notes.
- Recruiting Sergeant - This sounds wrong. Numerous C's
in the first strain sound better as C#, but I'm not sure that is
actually correct. The music below is shown as it was
printed. Check the abc file for the alternate notes.
- Dream Quickstep sounds better with a C# in the second part.
It is presented as originally written.
- Dashing White Sergeant - again, change C to C# in the second
part. It is shown as printed.
- Libby Prison - It's written with only one sharp. Sounds
terrible. Key changed from G to D.
- The Soldiers Lament - As published, the second strain of this
song is identical to that of the preceding piece, Kippy Smith's
Favorite. I suspect a typographical error on the printer's part;
this sounds wrong. However, both are shown here as written in the
The American Veteran Fifer
| "Portable Display Format", by Adobe. Use the Acrobat
Reader (acroread) to view and print
these files. They're formatted for US sized 8-1/2 by 11 inch
| a picture format, sometimes known as JPEG. Your
web browser should be able to display these. The jpg files here
may be smaller size (and smaller scale) than the GIF images.
There's one song per page.
| a sound file. These are short and only contain the
first part played one time through, followed by the second part played
one time through (AB, not AABB as they are usually played). The
only exception is if there are first and second endings for the tune;
then you get the whole thing. The tones should match your (B-flat)
fife, although they are an octave low. The files are automatically
generated and don't sound much like a fife, but
will hopefully give you an idea of what it should sound like if you
difficulty following the written music.
| a simple text format that contains the notes
and lengths, along with some occasional notes on the tune. It's a
format used on the Web to email tunes back and
forth. It's not too legible, but it's very compact. See the web
pages for abc and abcplus on sourceforge for
more information and pointers to various programs which allow you to
and print music files. There are LOTS of abc tune archives out
These files were generated with Barfly on a Macintosh computer.
The abc files have a non-standard notation on the key line (K:) to
transpose the Midi output (t=8). Also, some tunes have trilled
notes, which are denoted by a T.
Last updated: 15-September-2004
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