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Old Hornpipe Collection


Pete Dunk
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Here's a great collection of hornpipes that was published by Thomas Craig of Aberdeen. Here I've transcribed the 36 tunes into abc. A few are very well known but there are many that I've not come across before and there are some real gems. Enjoy!

 

Here is part of the description from the FARNE Folk Archive website where a scan of the original book may be found. I am indebted to Mike Hirst for his kind permission to freely circulate the ABC transcription.

 

This small collection is one of a number of books published by Thomas Craig of Aberdeen in the late nineteenth century. This eight page publication contains 36 melodies arranged in keys starting with A and working through to Eb. This mode for arranging collections of melodies is reflected in Kerr's Merry Melodies and we have seen it used in some of the hand written texts in the North of England. One such volume, written by T. Newlands (1831-33) contains a number of tune sets arranged for dancing grouped by key. This seems very much at odds with the current practice of arranging tune sets around dramatic changes of key.Although it only contains 36 melodies, this slim volume is of great interest. Many of the tunes are by known composers. Some are certainly American or Scottish, but at least one composition has obvious Tyneside Links. The tune 'Hill's Hornpipe' is definitely in the style of James Hill of Gateshead, it would be fair to assume then that this is one of Hill's compositions. The fact that this Scottish publication contains compositions by American and Italian musicians alongside melodies from Tyneside gives us a very clear picture of the important place held by Tyneside composers such as James Hill and it is no little surprise that these compositions remain popular to this day.

Empire Violin Collection of Hornpipes.txt

Edited by tallship
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...it's a poor quality scan at best...

Eh?

I found it decent enough, and quite easy to read from.

 

Still, the ABC will be a great benefit to many who don't read "notes", "dots", "tadpoles", or as I think Pete Seeger termed them, "flyspecks and henscratches". :) Thanks for your effort.

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Eh?

I found it decent enough, and quite easy to read from.

 

Really? I found the image quality so coarse and poor in some places that accidental symbols had to be guessed at!

 

Still, the ABC will be a great benefit to many who don't read "notes", "dots", "tadpoles", or as I think Pete Seeger termed them, "flyspecks and henscratches". :) Thanks for your effort.

You really don't need to thank me Jim, the initial effort was entirely selfish in nature! I transcribed this for my own benefit because I like to play from legible staff notation. Once done it seemed only polite to share, clearly you find altruism an alien concept. :rolleyes:

 

Derogatory comments about people who don't read music well are a pretty cheap shot too, different strokes and all that. (Sir) Paul McCartney lives about four miles from where I'm sitting now, can't read a note you know, poor chap, complete musical ignoramus. He's quite sociable though so we let him play along at the local session, it's the charitable thing to do.

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Eh?

I found it decent enough, and quite easy to read from.

Really? I found the image quality so coarse and poor in some places that accidental symbols had to be guessed at!

Really.

I'm using Adobe Reader to view the PDF file, and I find the pages perfectly clear. I just looked at them again to be sure. I'm not disputing that you had difficulty. I wonder what's making the difference.

 

Still, the ABC will be a great benefit to many who don't read "notes", "dots", "tadpoles", or as I think Pete Seeger termed them, "flyspecks and henscratches". :) Thanks for your effort.

You really don't need to thank me Jim, the initial effort was entirely selfish in nature! I transcribed this for my own benefit because I like to play from legible staff notation. Once done it seemed only polite to share, clearly you find altruism an alien concept. :rolleyes:

 

Derogatory comments about people who don't read music well are a pretty cheap shot too....

OUCH!

Pete, I guess this ABC vs. "standard notation" issue has become overly sensitive. I wasn't being at all sarcastic or derogatory; I was being entirely sincere. I agree with you about "different strokes and all that," and I think it's great that you can and do provide "translations" in the direction that software can't yet handle reasonably. And I quoted those various nicknames for "the notes", accented with a smiley, because I enjoy them; they are both apt and amusing... like calling the concertina a "squeezebox", only more so.

 

As far as altruism being "an alien concept", my appreciation of your own altruism should make it clear that it's not. You could have kept your transcriptions to yourself, but you didn't. And you've done far more than just this batch, for which I personally thank you. Though I'm not fluent in ABC, your transcriptions have made it possible for me to use the Tune-O-Tron to get tunes -- many of them new to me -- into a form which I can read easily.

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Really.

I'm using Adobe Reader to view the PDF file, and I find the pages perfectly clear. I just looked at them again to be sure. I'm not disputing that you had difficulty. I wonder what's making the difference.

Well I'm using a largish high definition screen that actually displays the pages at twice their normal size which won't do the coarse scans any favours! It probably doesn't help that I wear varifocal specs, so the combination of a low-res scan, VERY poor contrast and bizarre things like printing reversed quaver rests as crotchet rests led to my dissatisfaction with the whole thing and I decided to transcribe the lot. Besides I will save a fortune in printer ink!

 

OUCH!

Pete, I guess this ABC vs. "standard notation" issue has become overly sensitive. I wasn't being at all sarcastic or derogatory; I was being entirely sincere. I agree with you about "different strokes and all that," and I think it's great that you can and do provide "translations" in the direction that software can't yet handle reasonably. And I quoted those various nicknames for "the notes", accented with a smiley, because I enjoy them; they are both apt and amusing... like calling the concertina a "squeezebox", only more so.

 

As far as altruism being "an alien concept", my appreciation of your own altruism should make it clear that it's not. You could have kept your transcriptions to yourself, but you didn't. And you've done far more than just this batch, for which I personally thank you. Though I'm not fluent in ABC, your transcriptions have made it possible for me to use the Tune-O-Tron to get tunes -- many of them new to me -- into a form which I can read easily.

 

Funny old place t'internet. It's easy to misjudge things and I am hypersensitive to criticism about the undoubted limitations of abc; not because abc is flawed in many ways which of course it is but it has been suggested (not necessarily or exclusively here) that I'm blind to those limitations which I'm not! It serves a particular purpose very well for me in that it produces simple melody lines very well, it's easy to use from my perspective and easy for a final user to reconstitute without needing to understand how it works. Job done I reckon.

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Nice collection Pete. Did you notice that "Fischer's" and "Sailor's" are actually the same tune (well essentially) though in two keys. And, I've never seen College in Bb before. Interesting stuff. Thanks.

 

I took a look at the pdf. The problem is that it is scanned at a low resolution. If you look at it large it gets really fuzzy at 100% it is mostly OK and at 90% it looks fine.

Edited by cboody
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  • 4 weeks later...

I am the owner of this tune collection. The scans were made by me for use on the FARNE website http://www.asaplive.com/archive/detail.asp?id=X0001001 I have no conection with the pdf version and I have not given permission for use of the scanned images other than on the FARNE site. Whilst I have no interest in preventing the distribution and enjoyment of these melodies I would consider it common decency to acknowledge the source and to seek permission for wider distribution and/or re-use.

 

With regard to the discussion above, scans were saved as tif files at a resolution of 600dpi. The jpgs were generated from the high resolution archive scans for web use. There never was any intention that they should be published in any other form.

 

The source publication was bought by me in Newcastle in 2002. I have yet to find another copy either in a public collection or privately owned. The Publisher, Thomas Craig, was a violin dealer in Aberdeen some time around the end of the 19thC. There are a number of violins in circulation bearing his label. Most are either nice mirecourt violins, nice mirecourt violins with a tasteful oil varnish job (possibly by Craig or one of his workmen), markneukirchen violins or lesser quality Schonbach-type violins.

 

There is a good example of a violin sold by Craig currently (Jan 2012) for sale at the Musicroom in Cleckheaton.

 

http://www.themusicr...roducts_id=5238

 

Further to the above it may be useful to quote the text which I wrote to accompany the scans on the FARNE website:

 

This small collection is one of a number of books published by Thomas Craig of Aberdeen in the late nineteenth century. This eight page publication contains 36 melodies arranged in keys starting with A and working through to Eb. This mode for arranging collections of melodies is reflected in Kerr's Merry Melodies and we have seen it used in some of the hand written texts in the North of England. One such volume, written by T. Newlands (1831-33) contains a number of tune sets arranged for dancing grouped by key. This seems very much at odds with the current practice of arranging tune sets around dramatic changes of key.Although it only contains 36 melodies, this slim volume is of great interest. Many of the tunes are by known composers. Some are certainly American or Scottish, but at least one composition has obvious Tyneside Links. The tune 'Hill's Hornpipe' is definitely in the style of James Hill of Gateshead, it would be fair to assume then that this is one of Hill's compositions. The fact that this Scottish publication contains compositions by American and Italian musicians alongside melodies from Tyneside gives us a very clear picture of the important place held by Tyneside composers such as James Hill and it is no little surprise that these compositions remain popular to this day.

 

Edited by mikehirst
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I am working today and have no time to respond in full at the moment. I have removed the text file from the original post until such time as I am able to confer with Mike Hirst regarding this matter. I didn't use material from the Farne Islands website (I wasn't even aware that it was there!) but from another site that I will link to later which claims the PDF is public domain.

 

Pete Dunk.

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Peter,

 

I recognise the time and effort you have taken in transcribing the Hornpipe Collection. I am also aware that you are not the person who extracted the images from the FARNE site and compiled them as a single PDF. I do know who did this, but this not a matter for discussion in this forum. As stated above I have no interest in preventing the distribution and enjoyment of these melodies. I am happy for your transcription to be made available.

 

Mike

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Thanks to Mike and to Pete for their efforts and their willingness to share them with us. There's a lesson here for using music from others: ASK! And if you don't know the source and are contacted about it. remove your materials until everyone is comfortable with the situation.

 

I've reproduced quite a number of Peter Ostroushko tunes (fine Minnesota musician). I always ask and Peter always says go for it. But I wonder how he'd feel if I didn't ask? I've also unwittingly made available a copyrighted tune. When I did I contacted the composer, apologized and offered to pay for the resultant error at current rates. He kindly gave permission. And I've contacted one person who said he was in process of producing his collection, and once that was on the market he'd give permission for me to make things available. Folks are reasonable...

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