Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Here are 5 tunes that I tabbed out from Riley's Vol. 1 and 2, which I believe were printed in 1814 and 1817, respectively:

Durang's Hornpipe
Come, Haste to the Wedding
The ? (I forgot to write the title, name that tune!)
Fisher's Hornpipe
Irish Washerwoman

I will scan Gilder Roy and Spanish Fandango, also from Riley's, after I black in the transcriptions I did in pencil.

Brent

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Is there a way we can see the original scores?
Can you put up the original manuscript?
Ha John...quicker finger than me.
John and Tim,

I believe these are note for note transcriptions since I used the 1973 reprint of Riley's to make them. If they are not exactly note for note then they were transcribed for GDGBD tuning, which should work for DADF#A since the intervals are the same. The problem is that there are not many copies of Riley's that are available. Historic Fort Snelling, where I used to work (and where the picture for my page was taken) has two but they can't be lended unless you work there. I'm going to check with the Minnesota Historical Society Library to see if they have a copy of Riley's and if I can photocopy the pages with the tunes I mentioned. I've also been looking for an electronic copy of Riley's without much success, which I find hard to believe since it's an out of print book and copies are rare. Either way, if I find something, I'll post it here.

John Masciale said:
Is there a way we can see the original scores?
That would be so cool to see them. It would be different from the Ryan's version, and I would like to see the differences. We posted versions of this sometime back...check it out if you have not already. Even given the tuning difference and lining up the intervals, there are significant differences...right out of the gate your arrangement shows an octave leap on the first interval as starting the main motif. Ryan's shows this as a 5th and continues as such.
Tim,

You could be right. The differences could just be my arrangement. Since I arranged this for a fretless gourd banjo tuned GDGBD (with the classic light nylgut strings-I didn't know the minstrel tuning DADF#A at the time), I tried to start the tunes out as low as I could so the player wouldn't have to go so far up the neck on the first string. It could also be because these tunes were arranged for whistle and flute where you have a full two-three octaves? available.

Tim Twiss said:
That would be so cool to see them. It would be different from the Ryan's version, and I would like to see the differences. We posted versions of this sometime back...check it out if you have not already. Even given the tuning difference and lining up the intervals, there are significant differences...right out of the gate your arrangement shows an octave leap on the first interval as starting the main motif. Ryan's shows this as a 5th and continues as such.
Brent, you should play your arrangement and post it here.
It would be fun to hear that one and "Haste" to compare with how we drew it out of fiddle music.
I've got some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that there are no on-line manuscripts of Riley's that I and Corp. Nordin have been able to find. The good news is that there is a 1973 reprint in the University of Minnesota Music Library. The bad news is that they are only open M-F till 5pm until the Spring semester starts on Jan 18. Depending on my subbing schedule, I might be able to get over there before then to do some photocopying.

I just put a no-knot tail-piece and some nylgut-strings on the metal pot Fender banjo that I started with. Doesn't sound half bad but it does have those cheater things called frets. As soon as the nylgut settles down and I can get some more practice time, I'll play the versions of Fisher's Hornpipe and Come, Haste to the Wedding that I transcribed (I assume those are the ones you want to hear?). I think that my digital camera has enough recording time to get the tunes in. I'm pretty rusty on these versions so I'll need some practice time. I'll try to post them during the end of the month

Tim Twiss said:
Brent, you should play your arrangement and post it here.
It would be fun to hear that one and "Haste" to compare with how we drew it out of fiddle music.
Nice! You should do "Durang's" and "Haste".

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