Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I'll allow Marc the honor of intrroducing this new find. I have the copy, and will post it on my site tomorrow with a link. What a great opportunity to play and discuss new material....find links to old material, and talk about the text-which specifies banjo and guitar style. This is a great chance to get equal footing on a new work.....we can play, interpret, and discuss the songs. I'm really excited.

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Notice "banjo kings (?) of present and past generation."  That pretty much covers all the Dobsons.

Yes, I thought I had read it before...but having the two handy, I drew the comparison. I love the phrase "antediluvian banjo kings", would make a great name for a group!

I quite like the name, Robert Le Diable!

I just had to look that one up. Interesting medieval character.

Can we still call you "Rob"? ;-)

Here is another odd thing that could be true...

In Baur's fourth letter to the Journal he told the story of Charley Dobson hearing Converse playing the Anvil Chorus and making a hit with it...

"This 'riled' him and he immediately had himself photographed, standing with a banjo in position, and the following legend printed at the bottom of the picture; 'Charles E. Dobson, the world renowned banjoist, as seen playing the Anvil Chorus.'


Charley never could play the Anvil Chorus-- not that it was a difficult piece of music, but it is entirely out of is latitude."

Now look at the version of Anvil Chorus in the back of the 71, I wonder if FBC put that in there just to rub it in?

Okay, this should be good to go.

It is on my personal banjo site.


Here is the direct link to the page. I think it is the second one down...title is The Banjoist.



Thanks gentlemen!

It's exciting to have some new stuff to check out!

No time to jaw, gotta practice!!

Dang! I think it's missing the chapter describing the thimble and its use.

A few early observations:

Some of the "Irish" material is quite ornamented, unlike the "Irish" material in the two '65 Converse's or the '72.  

PG 27- Drowsy Maggy!  This is a tune that we should play more.  I have a Clarke Buehling arrangement that is similiar, but different especially in the B section.  It's a tough tune.  I'll be working on this one big time.

PG 41- Hand Organ!  This is undoubtably similiar to what Converse in his Reminiscences described as a part of Hy Rumsey's comic act.  This is "trick" playing that is under-represented in our re-created minstrel banjo genre.

Pg. 47 Pat Malloy- a pity to be missing a few measures!  Looks like an easy tune, no offensive words (except perhaps for the paddies and they'll just have to deal with it ;^).  A remedy is easily found , however.  Go to the Levy Sheet Music Collection and print off the first page of Pat Malloy, it's even in the same key!

Happy musicking...

Carl Anderton said:

No time to jaw, gotta practice!!

I think that people checking in with what they find....and think of this stuf will be awesome. I might keep a notebook with musical DNA threads.

Don't have to look far to find something fresh and unusual. The Music Box Polka has some interesting contours in its melody. Now the tempo..hmmm. Not sure yet.

Stanwood's Favorite-a repeat in the Analytical. He must have just kept a file of music, and was able to publish at wil.

Great stuff, indeed! What's so interesting about the current state of interest in these books is the dissemination that's taking place beyond straight research. Eli Kaufman keeps a comprehensive bibliography of all early 19th- and early 20th-century banjo tutors and tune books. I know this book is on that list. What's so vital about what we're doing here and other places online is that we are now bringing these pages to light so that the melodies can be given new life! Huzzah for the crossroads and new horizons! Thank you Marc for sharing and Tim for disseminating!

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