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Most-Recorded Tunes of the 1940s

This list ranks the top 10 most-recorded tunes during the 1940s. By carefully comparing the 249 individual tune recordings dated as from the 1940s which appear on the indexed recordings, I identified a total of 218 musically distinct tunes. The top ten of those tunes are listed below, in order of how many albums they appear on. When tunes have the same number of recordings, tunes having the oldest recordings appear first. Note that reuses of a particular cut in other anthologies are counted, which is fair, since the popularity of a recording is a good indicator both of the popularity of the tune and of the likelihood that musicians will learn the tune from that recording.

Of related interest:
RankNumber of
Recordings
Explanation
Rhythm
Title (and link to tune details)
14Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Rakish PaddyRakish Paddy
24Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Sligo MaidSligo Maid
33Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of SteampacketSteampacket
43Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Hut in the BogHut in the Bog
52SetD
Transcription of first 2 bars of BlackbirdBlackbird
62Hpipe
Transcription of first 2 bars of Higgins' HornpipeHiggins' Hornpipe
72Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of TeetotallerTeetotaller
82Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of SalamancaSalamanca
92Hpipe
Transcription of first 2 bars of Liverpool HornpipeLiverpool Hornpipe
102Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Hand Me Down the TackleHand Me Down the Tackle