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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Garfield's Hornpipe

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Twelvefret - Posted - 07/30/2007:  07:04:40

Norman Blake plays this tune. I first learned to flat pick guitar this tune and then just transfered it to fiddle. Kinda has a sophisticated aire about it to me.


Here is an archive of old time music from Berea College in Berea Kentucky,

timberhill - Posted - 08/01/2007:  02:37:52

Hi Chuck,

The tune you heard Blake play is "President Garfield's Hornpipe," a book tune in Bb from the famous Cole's 1001 Fiddle Tunes (a 1940 republication of Ryan's Mammoth Collection from the 19th century) -- it is a fiddle tune that Blake worked out for guitar solos. I don't know where Blake got it. A closely related tune, or maybe an evolved folk variant of the book tune, also in Bb, is what that we play here in central and north Missouri called "Blue Water Hornpipe" -- classic settingshere are by the late great Cyril Stinnett, Lyman Enloe, and Lonnie Robertson, all of whom I heard play on a number of indelible occasions. (Hornpipes in Bb and F seem to be characteristic of central and north Missouri fiddling, but are very rare in the Ozarks. --Different cultural regions of Missouri....) I've heard book fiddlers play "Garfield's," and to me it is different, although in subtle ways, from the ear musician's "Blue Water." I think "High Level Hornpipe" is a bubble out of the same gene pool (it's in O'Neill and other Irish collections). It wants to be played in its historic key of Bb. It's a tough tune to get "right," but it's a marvelous thing to behold. Whatever we call it, it's a superb tune. Dig it. Cheers, Howard (Rusty) Marshall, in Missouri

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