by Andy Reiner
– Tuneswap is essential to one’s existence as an acoustic musician, whether by attendance at Tuneswap, actively trading tunes with other musicians, or simply being open to learning new tunes. The thirst for new music is insatiable and must be filled with communal tune-learning and jamming.
– Tunes are presented by Tuneswap leaders and Tuneswap attendees who come on a consistent basis, as well as the occasional special guest.
– Tunes are passed down in most ancient form of passing on knowledge: oral tradition. Whether by 2-bar phrase or sheer repetition, we learn by ear to retain stylistic integrity, to remain free from the confines of written notes. Recordings of the tunes presented shall be freely available to assist in internalizing the tunes and for those who missed the tune(s) when it was presented.
– Folk music is a constantly changing world. Be open to differences. As an oral tradition, fiddle music has always evolved depending on who plays the tunes and their musical influences. The fluid development of traditional is natural.
– Tuneswap is a communal event. Inclusive, not exclusive. Tunes come from the Tuneswap leaders as well as the active participants. The relationships we build with each other and newly learned tunes will work synergistically to create a new shared repertoire with shared experiences.
– Tuneswap is a polystylistic event meant to bring together everyone who plays any form of traditional string music from anywhere in the world. Anything goes, from the most basic, common tunes, to newly composed tunes in or out of a tradition.
– All acoustic instruments that can function melodically in a folk setting are welcome. Rhythm/Chord players are only welcome if they are able to learn the tunes themselves. Attendees must have at least a basic understanding of their instruments and learning by ear in order to get the most out of their time. The group moves at the group’s pace.
– Tuneswap functions at its best when the majority of its members attend consistently and/or learn the tunes from events that they miss. Tunes learned at previous Tuneswaps will consistently be reinforced by jamming at the beginning of each Tuneswap session. There is no excuse for not learning the tunes. In order to participate fully, one must embrace and learn by ear all Tuneswap tunes, whether convenient or not.
– Tuneswap is always open to guests who may be passing through or testing the waters to see if Tuneswap is right for them. However, there is no substitute for regular attendance.
– The online presence of Tuneswap is manifested in tuneswappers.com through a blog, Twitter, and Youtube pages to make the tunes freely available to the international community as a way of spreading the tunes to those who live outside of the Boston area. Tunes posted will always be at tempo – (you’ll have to attend Tuneswap events to have the tunes broken down)
– Respect. Respect one another, respect tradition, respect the tunes, respect fellow Tuneswappers’ playing abilities whether skilled or unskilled.
– The lives of all who regularly attend Tuneswap will be irreversibly changed for the better by virtue of their commitment to communally learning tunes, the love of music, and each other.
– Tuneswaps can happen anytime, anywhere!