Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I knew this existed but for some reason assumed it was some hard to find sheet music or was difficult to play or something but a Google search yielded some tabs w/ dots by Rob MacKillop and I must say Mr. Baur was a strange dood. After ripping thru a bunch of Buckley tunes which after while seem like various patterns this stuff just throws me for a loop. So many clog dances! Lots of high bass and what feels like a lot of more third string action than im used to. It's been challenging and fun so far.

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A copy of my original is available online here: Banjoist's Budget 

I believe Baur published another called "Modern Gems For The Banjo" but I don't think I have a copy. There are two sheets from it on the LOC website, "Baur's Favorite Clog" and "Wade Matson's Favorite".

I've attached dots and TAB for "Baur's Favorite Clog"


Ooooh! Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

He could have been a jingle writer.

Here's the other Baur Piece from the LOC site: "Wade Matson's Favorite". I'm getting better with this dotted stuff. Creation and note entry: 30min. TAB conversion formatting and checking: 15 min. Whew!


We had a "Baur" themed American Banjo Fraternity Rally some rallies back.  We discovered that Baur was one of the more prolific arrangers for banjo during his time.  While his compositions were sparse, his output of arrangements for popular pieces was near ridiculous in number, all high quality, and musical.

The only other person I can think of that put out that volume of arrangements would be George Lansing.

Since they were arrangements, you have to get creative to find them.  The LOC tends to catalog them by the composer.  We found many were published by J. W. Pepper in PA.

Baur was very interesting.  We often cite his letters to the Stewart "Banjo and Guitar Journal" for historical references.  His writings were extreamly accurate.  In fact, in one letter he wrote about buying hand written music from Frank Converse in the days before published sheet music for banjo.  He also wrote that he had "a habit" of writing the date on every piece of paper he got on the day he got it.  I have seen and handled the actual pieces that he bought from Converse.  The very paper that he wrote about in his letters!  I know who owns them (private collection) and I have had a chance to even take banjo in hand and read through them.  Converse even included a nice letter to his "Friend Baur" with notes on how to play the pieces. In addition to the date, he also wrote how much he paid for them on the upper corner.

Baur was one of the few banjoists that we can document that played as a soldier during the American Civil War.

FWIW, "Too Utterly Too Clog" was a reference to the popular culture phenomenon of the Aesthetic Movement, in particular Oscar Wilde.  There are also references in the titles to Gilbert and Sullivan (Dick Deadeye).  These guys were on the cutting edge of popular culture.  They were having fun with satire (a tradition that was hand and hand with the banjo from the very beginning).  Some of the fun for me is learning about all the things these early banjoist referenced (and made fun of).

Poor neighbors must have had their fill of too utterly too days ago haha

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