Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

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Thank goodness Mark was willing to bid a big chunk o' change to secure it.

LOL, I'm glad we're all happy about this! ;-) I also wanted the Brooks & Denton and the Jennings pieces...and who knows what else is hiding in this pile. I figure this cost me right around 3 tanks of gas...and will get much better mileage!

That was a good haul for you. I'm happy for you. So excited for the Converse. Looks like a lot of high end stuff in there. Over 3 dozen of just the jig type tunes. The Winners books...not sure what you got there.

Anyway, congrats!  

Thanks! Of course, we'll know more when it arrives. With what I paid for shipping, it ought to be here, um, tomorrow! ;-)

I think the Converse will go right on my scanner, no trouble. I do it as soon as it comes in.

Well...it got here pretty damn quick. No complaints.

This is the 1871 Converse. Pretty tattered and torn but 99.95% usable. Not as fragile as some...but not something to flop about either. Missing only parts of two songs (Champaign Charlie and something on the reverse of that page). End paper missing (usually the table of contents or advertisements). Seems to be a lot of Irish stuff here...

I love the frontpiece:

THE BANJOIST by Frank B. Converse.


In addition to the Rudimentary Study, Progressive Exercises, and Valuable Information Pertaining to the Instrument Generally, A Large and Choice Collection of:


Compiled from the AUTHOR'S PRIVATE COLLECTION of Orignial Arrangements and Compositions,


More later...

That's good news. Any additional text about technique, exercises, or thimbles?

It seems like not real simple stuff......(from the little bit I had seen)...true?

As I said, I haven't really had much more than a flip thru. It must have been delivered yesterday, I only saw the box this morning when I went out to get the paper.

Like most of these things, it has basic instructions...nothing to the level of the Analytical. Paragraph about banjo style, paragraph about Guitar style, paragraph about the banjo, paragraph about installing frets, etc., etc. There's a section with basic learning tunes and then the tunes. Looks like it has a pile of short pieces, some marked "guitar style", etc. Then it has a middle section of songs...after which the tunes become longer, full page and multi-page. Ends with the ubiquitious "Home Sweet Home and variations".

I'll try to get it on the scanner ASAP. We have family coming in for the 4th so we're busy getting the house in order, buying groceries, etc.

The "Winner" is missing its covers and frontpiece. It may be one we already have. There's an early Dobson book in the same condition, I'll have to compare it with the ones I already have. The Fairbanks & Cole is in very nice shape and copyrighted in 1886 (competition for the ABM). I can't recall if I already have a copy of it though!

The rest is sheet music, a good bit of which are tunes I already have. There are two Brooks & Denton pieces which are in TAB as well as notation. Those are the first single-sheets I've seen printed like that. B&D printed a book in that manner (which I have) and these tunes are in the book too. I've just never seen individual B&D sheet music with both forms of notation before. They're from 1892.

Between the Converse, Fairbanks, the B&D pieces and one cool one from Jennings, I'm stoked!

"Scientific Banjo Solos" - makes me want to record an album with that for the title! Should raise a smile or two.

Take your time, Marc, there's no hurry.

LOL, when I saw that, I was tempted to stay home and sort thru the book looking for tunes labled "scientific".


This period (1860-1880) is rife with scientific discoveries. There should be a "Helium Polka" in there...it was discovered in 1868 but named in '71...

Electric Light Reel... I think the "concept" album is alive and well :-)

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