Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Okay fellas...break out your scores and go with me on this one. Is the famous version of Picayune Butler found in Rice, which Joe Ayers so masterfully recorded, actually a misprint with regards to the key signature? Check the version in the Ethiopian Glee Book. I won't go into to technical details with notation, but those of you who are able, check this out. It changes a significant interval in the melody, and really transforms the tune...not just a teeny bit, but quite a bit. The Rice Book shows the key signature as being "E". The Glee Book shows "G". I think it is possible that the Rice Book added an extra sharp in the key signature....try it without that extra D#. So far as intention, look to the fingering in the banjo instrumental of Rice...strong case for a D natural. Also, in case you were thinking that the Glee Book omitted a sharp (making it parallel to Rice), notice the intentional C# in the tenor. Musically, it makes a lot of sense. Not knockin' Joe's...it's what we've always heard. Although I have not dug deep, I cannot find another sheet music for Picayune Butler. Are these the only 2?   

Compare it harmonically and melodically to Jenny Get Yer Hoecake Done.


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It's in '68 Buckley at page 20.  Key of E. 

There's also a version in the Levy Library in the key of G from '47.  Here's a link to a pdf of this version : http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/levy-cgi/datastream.cgi?id=020.12...

Thanks Silas. The Buckley version supports the Rice version. The Levy (which I have no idea why I could not pull it up) parallels the Glee Book.  I say, look to those original vocal sheets...decide for yourself. The more I hear the Levy / Christy way, the more I like it.

I know John's voice is not quite up to a post for Clare De Kitchen, but let's look at Picayune Butler for a post by the end of the year. I respect Mr. Ayers....but let's open our minds to "question authority"...a  ha

I haven't looked at Picayune Butler to comment but I have noticed that we can't automatically assume that tunes were played as they have been written.  I have found what appear to be key signature errors in Ryan's.

Well, having played them both, and thinking about other similar tunes, I cast my vote for the C / D version as opposed to the C# / D# version. I back this up by looking at reliable sources...the sheet music from2 different places...1. Levy's Collection AND 2.The Ethiopian Glee Book. In addition, I like the sound of that interval better in context with the tune.

My 2 cents worth...

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