Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

The Regatta Minuet comes from a 1785 Buckingham County, Virgina music copybook. It is typical of the late colonial dance tradition of Joel Walker Sweeney's p...

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Comment by Tim Twiss on June 11, 2013 at 12:40pm
Nice. It certainly expands and enhances what we look at on this site. Typically, what instruments would have played this music?
Comment by Mark Weems on June 11, 2013 at 12:56pm

Instruments listed in the copybook are Violin, Guitar (English, which usually had 5 strings), Viola, Flute. However, several pieces from this collection such as St. Patricks' Day in the Morning and The Black Joke (Sprig of Shelalah) show up 75 years later in Converse' Method of 1865, so we don't hesitate to play them on the banjo. 

Comment by Tim Twiss on June 11, 2013 at 1:20pm

I think looking outside of our normal sources is an amazingly healthy thing to do. That is how the repertoire developed to begin with...correct? This kind of stuff keeps it alive..vibrant....moving forward, which is inherent in the spirit of it's beginnings.

Comment by Tim Twiss on June 11, 2013 at 1:26pm

I always thought a nice deep fretless had some crazy kinship to lutes....in their gentlness and sound.

Comment by Mark Weems on June 11, 2013 at 2:42pm

Agreed. I'm particularly interested in how playing some of these pieces might inform our knowledge of possible early banjo technique.

Comment by Ian Bell on June 11, 2013 at 5:44pm
Very sweet.
Comment by CURTIS PAYNE on March 6, 2014 at 11:19am

Wow!  simply wonderful.  Is there any possibility of you having tab for this or tell me were I can get some for both guitar and banjo.  I am becoming a real fan of your video post.

thanks for taking the time to post for people such as me to learn from.


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