Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Here is the version of this one as it appears in the Green Converse of 1865.

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Comment by CURTIS PAYNE on December 11, 2016 at 5:06pm

I looked this up to find out the story so far can't find one, does anyone know what is meant by money musk? 

Comment by Al Smitley on December 11, 2016 at 8:32pm

I think it's a river.

Comment by Al Smitley on December 11, 2016 at 8:40pm



Late 18th century. From Monymusk (formerly also Monemusk, Moneymusk), the name of a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which was rebuilt in the 18th cent. as a planned village for estate workers by Sir Archibald Grant. 


Still seems to be associated with a river but I can't verify.

Comment by John Masciale on December 12, 2016 at 10:19am

The fact that it is a location is not surprising, there are a number of other fiddle/dance tunes that are named for a place from this era. Moneymusk was a popular dance in the mid 19th century, you can find the instructions for it in Howe's. I have quite a number of different arrangements for it, and it is one of Elaine's and my favorite tunes to play together.

Comment by Al Smitley on December 12, 2016 at 10:31am

This is from, Country Dances of Colonial America (1990) by John Fitzhugh Millar........

"tune: Frobischer MS, 1793.  The dance, written about 1775, was originally named "Sir Archibald Grand of Monemusk" (sic) Strathspey Reel....."  

It's put in the key of 'F' which is the only time I've seen it in a key other than 'A' (unless perhaps for banjo.

Comment by Al Smitley on December 12, 2016 at 10:33am

You can also go here and scroll down to "Moneymusk" and you'll probably get more info than you want.


Comment by CURTIS PAYNE on December 12, 2016 at 5:49pm

thanks everyone, for the nice replies.   Are any of you aware there is a Confederate song sheet called Gov. Hicks that list "money Musk" as it's Air. ? 

Comment by Al Smitley on December 12, 2016 at 5:58pm

Never seen a song sheet giving "Money Musk" as the air.  That's interesting.  Seems it would be a difficult tune to sing.

Comment by CURTIS PAYNE on December 12, 2016 at 6:20pm

I can't sing, but have a singer, he hasn't tried it yet as I can't play it yet.  It's about the Gov. of Maryland who was much despised by the south after he kept Maryland in the Union, I have actually found 3 songs written about him.   this one starts: 1st. verse    "Mister Hicks, full of tricks,      How prying, next time trying.     Sing hey down derry, The pits in the cherry,    Mar him, sever him, Taar him, feather him,   Sweet Mister Hicks.   2nd verse   Drop off my arm if any harm/Comes to the city, 'twill be such a pity.   sing hey down derry, The pits in the cherry,/Book him, hook him, poke him, smoke him,/ Dear Mister Hicks.    perhaps I can copy the complete text if you or anyone is interested I would love to hear it if you do. 

Comment by Al Smitley on December 30, 2016 at 6:54am

Back to Money Musk....... Old timers around here usually played it with four parts.  Can anyone tell me how and when that came about?  I know that the Ford Orchestra used four parts.  I don't know if it predates that or not.  Also, were the 'C' and 'D' parts added to make if fit a 64 bar dance or what was the impetus?


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