Chaisson Reel, The | Bowing Down Home
About this tune
“Old Peter” Chaisson tells us that when Islanders requested this tune, they would often refer to it as “the Chaisson Reel.” Players from South and Central Kings County – associating the tune with fiddlers from the County’s north shore– often called it the Northside Reel.
Although this tune is played mostly in the Eastern half of the Island, I did occasionally encounter it farther west (see for example, the version by Edward P Arsenault).
In essence, The Chaisson Reel is a variant of the popular 18th century Scottish tune Mrs. McLeod of Rasay, in which most of the original diatonic and arpeggiated passages are rendered in pentatonic (five-tone scale) format. For example, a phrase might change from G-A-B-C-D to G-A-B-D-E.
Notation for this tune as played by “Old Peter” Chaisson is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.