Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Trio of Fiddle Tunes-Stroke Style on a Fretted Banjo.wmv

A set of tunes from the fiddle repertoire. Durang's Hornpipe, Fisher's Jig, and Jake Bacchus' Jig. Fisher's and Bacchus' are found in the Buckely Book under these titles, but also appear in fiddle books of the period under different names. Durang's is directly out of a fiddle book, but arranged by me. I wish you could hear the sublties of this instrument...the overtones produced by the combination of a tight calfskin head and the amazing rim make it sould like a little music box when played with a light touch. Straight Stroke Style..no thimble.

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Comment by Ian Bell on May 26, 2011 at 12:02pm

Look out - here comes more than any one needs to know about  Durang's Hornpipe.

Durang's Hornpipe was written in the late 18th century for John Durang - a renaissance man of the era. he was a stage hornpipe dancer, clarinet player, puppeteer and trick rider who mostly lived in Philadelphia. The tune was supposedly written for him by a "German dwarf" named Hoffmaster. Durang often worked with J.B. Ricketts - the "father of the American circus", (who also has a famous hornpipe named after him) They traveled around New England and up into Canada for years doing equestrian shows with borrowed horses and sleeping on peoples' floors. (easy for any folk musician to relate to this)  This all comes out of an  amazing memoir . http://www.amazon.com/Memoir-John-Durang-American-Actor/dp/B0016H9JQM  His son Charles was the first person to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" in public. What a guy.

Comment by Tim Twiss on May 26, 2011 at 8:07pm
Ian, ya always got something good.

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