Abbot's Bromley Horn Dance isn't actually the name of the second TOTM selection - I think it was originally called Robinson's Tune...
Question about Abbot's Bromley Horn Dance. I have a version in my pile 'o tunes that has a couple of differences from the versions listed above and I wondered what people thought.
1. Measure 4 of the B part: the first note in my version (C in the PDFs version Jim posted above) has an accidental sharp. Changes the feel to keep it natural, which most of the YouTube versions also seem to do. Is my version (the sharpened version) an anomolie?
2. Measure 1 of the C part: 4th note goes up a 4th from the third note ( instead of a step); measure 2, the 4 th note goes up a fifth ( vs. a fourth).
They don't now use Robinson's tune for the Horn Dance, and there's some doubt whether they ever did. Sorry.
First off, here's my recording of the Horn Dance. I do it in G minor, as Sharp notated it (see below). I recorded it and posted it a year ago. Last weekend I played it hundreds of times with my Morris Dancers at street festivals in Saratoga Springs (Thursday evening), Rhinebeck (Saturday afternoon and evening), and Troy (Sunday afternoon), all in upstate New York.
As I understand the history of the tune, and the Robinson connection, Robinson was a wheelwright and fiddler in Abbots Bromley, born in the 1790s. When he was in his 60s, he played this tune for a young man named Robert Buckley, stating that it had been the tune for the horn dance when he was a kid (and he had learned it then) but that nobody played it anymore. Buckley wrote it down and tucked it away and forgot about it. If the tune had a name, Buckley never knew it.
In the early 20th century, Cecil Sharp visited Abbots Bromley, saw the dance, and published it in his book, "The Sword Dances of Northern England." In it, he said that the ancient spooky tune had been lost, and that they now use more jaunty major key tunes.
Buckley (now an old man) saw this and got in touch with Sharp, showing him the decades-old scribbling he had produced from Robinson's playing. Sharp arranged it for piano and published it. It has since become known as "Robinson's Tune" (or "Wheelwright Robinson's Tune"). Here is a facsimile of Sharp's arrangement (which ought to answer Sarah's questions):
It is from this notation that I learned the tune. Except that I've never heard anybody actually play the repeats (AABBCC), and neither do I. I expect it's fair to say that anybody who knows the tune now learned it from (somebody who learned it from) this source, directly or indirectly.