Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

From "Virginia Reels, A Collection of the Most Admired Reels, Dances. Published by F.D. Benteen, Baltimore, 1843.

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Favorite of 2 people

Comment by Andy Chase on July 14, 2013 at 8:59pm

I like this one a lot!  Great ambling tempo.

Comment by Paul Draper on July 15, 2013 at 7:57am
Hey Mark I was wondering when you were going to post this one. I learned it, but it doesn't sound quite as nice as you guys here. I like the little variations you put in. (and then there's that banjo and guitar!)
Comment by Dave Vinci on July 15, 2013 at 9:57am

Just a wonderful tune! I really like it! Great job!

Comment by Mark Weems on July 15, 2013 at 11:19am

Thanks, guys. I find it helps me, when considering arrangement, to remember most of this stuff was ensemble material. A lot of tunes really come out of themselves with the addition of another instrument or two. The Regatta Minuet, for example, really comes alive with chords underneath it.

Comment by Wes Merchant on July 15, 2013 at 3:24pm

Nicely played. As with some other of Mr. Benteen's Virginia reels this one shows up in some of the earlier Scottish books: http://tunearch.org/wiki/Lady_Madelina_Sinclair's_Birthday. I love the Lady of the Lake in that book too.

Comment by Mark Weems on July 15, 2013 at 8:57pm

Thanks Wes. The Lady Madelina sounds like a different tune to me, though it does have the same type of bouncy feel to it. Yes, I've tried Lady of the Lake on banjo but it is at its most beautiful played mournfully on the violin!

Comment by Wes Merchant on July 16, 2013 at 6:53pm

http://tunearch.org/wiki/Lady_Madelina_Sinclair's_Birthday  Part of the link didn't show correctly, see what you think of this one.

Comment by Mark Weems on July 16, 2013 at 8:34pm

Yes, now that one is it. Fully a third of Knauff is going to show up in later banjo methods, early minstrel sheet music, and Sweeny repertoire - so it was a hugely influential source on early banjo music.

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on July 17, 2013 at 10:53am

Always good stuff Mark, hell wish I lived closer to some of you fellows, would be a musical treat!

Comment by Mark Weems on August 23, 2013 at 5:14pm

For instance Al. On this piece, I never go below the 7th fret!

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