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Author Topic: Another name that tune, or, "was I misinformed?"  (Read 2198 times)

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Andrew Wigglesworth

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Another name that tune, or, "was I misinformed?"
« on: December 30, 2007, 07:49:49 PM »

I learnt this tune from a recording a friend of mine made at a session.  I then played it at Shrewsbury Folk Festival where someone (I'll protect his name and honour, but he isn't a melodeon player!) informed me that it was called the "Wiltshire six hand reel".

Well, Father Christmas brought me some wonderful recordings by John Kirkpatrick, one of which is the "Wiltshire six hand reel".  But, it's a completely different tune.

I'm perfectly prepared to believe they are both called by the same name, but I suspect that my informant was wrong.

Soooooo...... anyone know what this tune is called, where it's from etc?

http://www.andrew-wigglesworth.co.uk/files/unknown_tune.ogg

GPS

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Re: Another name that tune, or, "was I misinformed?"
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2007, 10:04:59 AM »

He obviously wasn't a dancer, either!  That's Herbert Smith's Polka, which used to be quite common in band repertoires in the heady days of the big English upsurge led by such outfits as The Old Swan Band. Interesting that the pleyer you learned it from has "straightened out" the A music - many players include an extra half-bar between bar 7 and what would normally be bar 8; I guess old Herbert made a mistake when he was recorded and subsequent players have copied it warts & all.  There are also one or two tiny variations in the B music as you've learned it as against the published dots (Dave Townsend's second tune book) - but hey, that's the folk process, and if I were to "correct" every personal variation in the tunes I play I'd have to re-learn 98% of my repertoire!

Incidentally, Herbert Smith was a fiddler from East Anglia.

Cheers
Graham
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 10:07:36 AM by GPS »
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Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Another name that tune, or, "was I misinformed?"
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2007, 01:45:50 PM »

This is an interesting one!

I don't recognise the 'B' music given here by andrew_w, at all, but the 'A' music here is the same as the 'C' music of a tune entitled 'Herbert Smith's Four Hand Reel' taken from a recording of Herbert Smith's playing on the album 'Rig-a-jig-jig: Norfolk Village Songs and Dances'. The same album has Herbert Smith playing a tune entitled 'Herbert Smith's Polka' which is nothing like this tune of andrew_w's !

There is quite a discussion (too much to quote here) on Herbert Smith's tunes and the Four Hand Reel tunes in the newly-published East Anglian Tunebook, 'Before the Night Was Out' - see elsewhere in this forum for details of this.

The trouble when collecting tunes from musicians 'in the field', as it were, is that if the player in question doesn't happen to know the name of the tune, it tends to just get called 'Joe Blogg's hornpipe', or whatever, and it may have a totally different name elsewhere. A receipe for confusion! However, the really important thing is to just play the tune and enjoy it!
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GPS

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Re: Another name that tune, or, "was I misinformed?"
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2007, 02:51:20 PM »

I'm sure you're right, Steve; I don't know much about Herbert Smith, and in the Townsend book where I got it from it's just called "Herbert Smith's". I added the "Polka" simply because it's in the "Polkas" section of the book. It might just as easily be called "Herbert Smith's Tune" or "Herbert Smith's Favourite" or "Herbert Smith's Hangover"! He himself probably had a name for it....

The B music as Andrew plays it is definitely a variation on the Townsend version - probably the player he got from personalised the version he/she got from wherever, which might well have been personalised in its turn, and so it goes on. And his A music is, to within a note or two, the A music in the book.

Interesting the way these tunes get about, isn't it?

Cheers
Graham
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Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

Andrew Wigglesworth

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Re: Another name that tune, or, "was I misinformed?"
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2008, 08:28:03 PM »

Excellent, thanks for the info. :-)

I'll look up the references.

I have heard the tune played with the extra bit, but came to the same conclusion that it was probably picked up by some collector and people were being a bit "train-spotterish" about it.  I'll be playing the tune for dancing so am quite happy to drop that part.  I would be interested in seeing the original transcription though.
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