Elzic's Farewell

As played by Wilson Douglas from the West Virginia region

Reel or Breakdown in A minor

From the Southern Appalachians Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


Recording of Wilson Douglas released on the album Common Ground, streaming audio available here


The Fiddler’s Companion relates a story (probably apocryphal) about a fiddler by the name of Elzic playing this tune before “marching off the fight in the Civil War.”  Whether or not that story is grounded in fact, this is still a magnificent tune.

I have notated this piece in the key of A minor, but in reality Douglas played the A part in A mixolydian.  I did not want to complicate the transcription with the frequent key changes, so instead I transcribed the Cs in the A part as sharp.  Some of the slide notations are partially obscured by sharp signs, so look carefully for them in the A part.  They appear consistently in the first note of the second measure of each line of the A part.

I would like to point out that the melody of the B part is somewhat ambiguous, at least to my ear.  There are places where the melody note could be a low A or an E.  I have generally transcribed the potentially ambiguous melody notes as E, but you could choose the low A if you prefer the sound. Better to play the double-stops like Douglas did, so you get both the low A and the E.

Lastly, note that the B part is crooked, featuring two extra beats.

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Dr. Fiddle's Favorite Breakdowns and Reels

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