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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 352 individual tune recordings dated as from the 1940s which appear on the indexed recordings, I identified a total of 290 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)
15Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Sligo MaidSligo Maid
24Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Rakish PaddyRakish Paddy
33SetD
Transcription of first 2 bars of BlackbirdBlackbird
43Hpipe
Transcription of first 2 bars of Liverpool HornpipeLiverpool Hornpipe
53Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of SteampacketSteampacket
63Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Miss McLeodMiss McLeod
73Hpipe
Transcription of first 2 bars of Harvest HomeHarvest Home
83Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Hut in the BogHut in the Bog
93Piece
Hound after the Hare
102Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Swallow's TailSwallow's Tail