McLeod’s Reel

As played by Bob Larkan from the Arkansas region

Reel or Breakdown in G

From the Bob Larkan Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)


78rpm Record (Partial MP3 available at


In Bob Larkan’s recording of the widespread Miss McLeod’s Reel, the piano and fiddle get out of synch and stay that way. That’s because Larkan often dropped half a beat in the first measure of the second line of the A part. The measures where he did this are marked with Xs in the transcription. I have straightened this out in the transcription, adding the half-beat back in as a tied note at the end of such measures. When played that way, it provides some nice syncopation. If you want to play it exactly like Larkan played it (which I don’t recommend), skip the last eighth note in the measures marked with an X (they are all the first notes in ties), and jump right to the quarter note in the next measure. Totally confuse your jamming partners for fun and profit, while all the time claiming complete authenticity!


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