I think I've asked once previously about the somewhat comical end tag, "Shave and a haircut, two bits". I don't recall getting an answer. I presume it originated with an itinerant street vendor. …Continue
I got this tune (1840), from the Levy website. A decent tune but I'm confused.The 1839/40 Whig Convention was in Harrisburg, PA. The Democratic Convention was in Baltimore. Just a mistake by the…Continue
"This is the genre I sometimes refer to as "social orchestra". I'd really like to play this stuff but it often requires more refinement on the fiddle/violin than my capabilities will take me. I'm working on it but......"
"Just to make sure I'm hearing correctly...... For the first note In the 7th measure of the 'B' part, you play an F natural rather than an F#? That's how it seems it should be but that's not what Converse, 1865…"
"English guitar is fun, isn't it? I got one in 2012, thinking I might use it for War of 1812 programming. Never did but played it a bit and enjoyed it. I have a nine-string, four courses of double strings and one single. …"
"I don't know if this is what Tim does or not but your description (Strum) sounds like what I do when/if I back up someone on guitar. I hold my thumb against my index finger as if I were holding a pick but instead, use my finger nail, down…"
Al, That's the kind of thing you can either add as a link in a thread (there's a way to upload files to a given thread, click on the paperclip icon), or something as generally useful as that we can put under resources. Elaine has been going through period songsters and has a list of over 1800 songs at this point from the time period. The list is growing. I would put your spreadsheet under documetation.
I find that the most useful thing about the Weidlich book is his index of Minstrel Songs and which instructor they are in. It would be great to have some resources like that here on the site.
I'm not a re-enactor (though I do have a suit of funny clothes in the closet) so I usually don't always have to limit myself to completely period-appropriate performances. When I am doing a historic perfromance I use the "period" instruments that I happen to play — wooden flute, Scottish smallpipes, fiddle and sing unaccompanied. I've never earned the trick of self-accompaniment with fiddle. It's all I can do to play in tune when I'm not singing.
I mostly do 1812 songs from the Canadian point of view. My repertoire comes from old manuscripts and early published sources and also includes songs of the time that survived to be collected as part of the folk tradition in Ontario. I've been accumulating this stuff since the early 80s. Canada was much less urban than the eastern US at that time so there weren't nearly as many printed broadsides produced up here. Your Library of Congress website has lots of American 1812 songs online. (I'm envious)
In a concert setting, I'll usually perform this stuff in a more "folksingerly" context, as music from the past that has survived into the present. I use non-period instruments like steel-string guitar, mandolin and concertina and arrange songs to suit my own tastes — which to most people's ears are probably pretty arcane.