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Civil War Concertina Tunebook - Coming Soon!

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I'm currently putting together a book of songs and tunes of the American Civil War that will include a variety of arrangements and tablature for playing them on a 20-button Anglo concertina (since 20+ button Anglos didn't exist yet at that time period). Of course, the melodies will also be playable on any other concertina system and on most other musical instruments.

 

With a wide range of patriotic, jingoistic, maudlin songs and old time tunes popular in that time period, there's a lot to choose from - Stephen Foster, Henry Clay Work, George F. Root, etc. I'm trying to whittle it down to 50 songs and tunes, but it could easily stretch to 60 before all is said and done.

 

So, if any of you have any particular favorites that you play, or would like to learn, let me know as soon as possible!

 

With luck, the tunebook will be available via Amazon by the first of next month.

 

Time to stir up those Blue and Gray musical sentiments!

 

Gary

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I'm currently putting together a book of songs and tunes of the American Civil War that will include a variety of arrangements and tablature for playing them on a 20-button Anglo concertina (since 20+ button Anglos didn't exist yet at that time period). Of course, the melodies will also be playable on any other concertina system and on most other musical instruments.

 

With a wide range of patriotic, jingoistic, maudlin songs and old time tunes popular in that time period, there's a lot to choose from - Stephen Foster, Henry Clay Work, George F. Root, etc. I'm trying to whittle it down to 50 songs and tunes, but it could easily stretch to 60 before all is said and done.

 

So, if any of you have any particular favorites that you play, or would like to learn, let me know as soon as possible!

 

With luck, the tunebook will be available via Amazon by the first of next month.

 

Time to stir up those Blue and Gray musical sentiments!

 

Gary

 

Gary - I'm a sometimes member of an established Civil War band - I play with them when they do reenactment dances.

 

Some of the tunes we do for dances that work on concertina:

 

Nelly Bly

Ring de Banjos

Glendy Burke

Father Abraham

Rose of Alabama

Some Folks

Just Before the Battle

Stonewall Jackson's Way

Wait for the Wagon

Camptown Races/Oh Susannah

Eighth of January

Year of Jubilo

FLop Eared Mule

Buffalo Gals

Tenting Tonight

Kingdom Coming

Battle hymn

Jenny Lind polka

 

Waltzes include Do They Miss Me at Home

Endearing young Charms

Der Dieter Dog

Green Grow the Lilacs

 

Audiences ask for Lorena (which I like) and Ashoken Farewell (which isn't civil war tune at all, but Ken Burns sort of made it one. We won't play it).

Edited by Jim Besser

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Excellent suggestions! I'm trying to cut and paste the song and list I'm working from, but nothing happens...

 

Gary

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"We're Tenting Tonight." Popular on both sides. Jim suggested that, but I wanted to reinforce that selection.

 

And good for Jim's band for not doing Ashoken Farewell as a period piece! (I love it, but wish Burns hadn't used it.)

 

Mike

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Here's what's on the list for consideration so far (not counting the recent suggestions):

 

Amazing Grace

Angelina Baker

Annie Laurie

Aura Lea

Battle Cry of Freedom

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Beautiful Dreamer

Bonnie Blue Flag

Camptown Races

Darling Nelly Gray

Dixie to Arms!

The Empty Sleeve

The Faded Gray Jacket

The First Gun is Fired

The Girls at Home

The Glendy Burk

God Save the South

Goober Peas

Hard Times Come Again No More

Home Sweet Home

The Homespun Dress

Jim Crack Corn (Blue Tail Fly)

Just After the Battle

Just Before the Battle, Mother

Kingdom Coming (Year of Jubilo)

Lorena

Marching Through Georgia

Maryland, My Maryland

The Minstrel Boy

My Old Kentucky Home Goodnight

Oh Susanna

Old Folks at Home

Star Spangled Banner

Stonewall Jackson's Way

Sweet Evalina

Tell Mother I Die Happy

Tenting on the Old Camp Ground

There is a Fountain

They've Sold Me Down the River

Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!

The Vacant Chair

Weeping Sad & Lonely (When This Cruel War is Over)

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

Who Will Care For Mother Now?

Why Did My Master Sell Me?

Yellow Rose of Texas

 

....and some tunes:

 

Arkansas Traveler

Frog in the Well

Garry Owen

The Girl I Left Behind Me

Hail to the Chief

Haste to the Wedding

Seneca Square Dance

Soldiers Joy

Turkey in the Straw

Yankee Doodle

 

I'm pulling most of these off original sheet music - it's interesting to see how the folk process has made some changes over the years. I'll also be including all the original lyrics (sanitized where necessary to remove fake racial dialects).

 

I'll definitely check out Bruce & Emmett's, though I've seen some discussion questioning his tunes. Hadn't thought of Jenny Lind Polka - maybe because I play it on melodeon and not concertina (definitely different parts of the brain)!

Gary

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Here's what's on the list for consideration so far (not counting the recent suggestions):

 

Amazing Grace

....

 

I'm pulling most of these off original sheet music - it's interesting to see how the folk process has made some changes over the years. I'll also be including all the original lyrics (sanitized where necessary to remove fake racial dialects).

 

I'll definitely check out Bruce & Emmett's, though I've seen some discussion questioning his tunes. Hadn't thought of Jenny Lind Polka - maybe because I play it on melodeon and not concertina (definitely different parts of the brain)!

Gary

 

A good list. I've played most of them at one time or another.

 

The issue of offensive lyrics is tricky. The leader of the civil war band I play with, a singer, believes in an authenticity that can be uncomfortable at times. I'm ambivalent about that issue.

 

Yes, the folk process has changed many of these tunes. Jenny Lind is a good example - the way it's played today in contra/square dance bands is very different from the original. Ditto Battle Hymn.

 

A side note: a few years back I was hired to play for a reenactment ball for African Americans in Washington DC - reenacting a freedman's ball that took place in the same location in 1865. My regular band was unavailable, so I did the gig with a guitarist I've played with. We were sort of clueless: do you play the same music for a black audience? (our singer wasn't with us, so the racist lyrics weren't an issue).

 

Luckily, the director of the local African American history museum was among the dancers, so I asked him.

 

And we did what he suggested: played the same tunes, but faster and with a lot more swing. It turned out to be a truly memorable evening.

Edited by Jim Besser

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There are some that claim that Bruce & Emmett was published in 1865 and therefore is not period for the Civil War. This is most likely due to the fact that the 1865 edition is more commonly found. However, it was originally published in 1862 and consisted of tunes that were in common use in the Army at the time.

 

The Yale University Library has an 1862 edition in their collection:

 

http://orbexpress.library.yale.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=866999

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One of the my favorite pieces of this time, and sounds great on concertina:

 

Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still, published in 1865 in Richmond, apparently a "Top 40" hit of the day.

 

I can't find anyone playing it on concertina on YouTube, but here's Bryan Bowers doing it on autoharp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyxL5KTsIwQ

 

I played it on 20b a lot when I was trying out Anglo, and it wasn't at all hard to arrange. There's an arrangement in the 1879 Howe's Western German Concertina School on page 9.

 

 

A really emotive wartime ballad that's not explicitly partisan; if I could recommend only one tune/song, it'd be this one.

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Nice list above. Good luck with the book.

 

Here's what was not on your list that we used for a recent Civil War evening (with singers). We went a bit on each side of the war for the program.:

 

That's What's the Matter (Foster)

Year of Jubilo

When You and I were Young Maggie (period, but not necessarily Civil War.

Beautiful Dreamer

In the Sweet By and By

Follow the Drinking Gourd (questionable...)

Camptown Races

Darling Nellie Grey

If You've only Got a Moustache (without a singer forget it)

Gentle Maiden

Rosin the Beau

Angelina Baker

Red Haired Boy

Seneca Square Dance

Hell Broke Loose in Georgia

Ten Strike Quadrille (part 4)

 

And here's a list put together by the "Kitchen Musician" Sara Johnson of 18th century/19th Century tunes and Civil War tunes. She's helpfully included publication dates where she knows them.

 

18th/ 19th Century Tunes (in books and MSS) Still in common (and uncommon) usage.
Not necessarily first printing or as this title.
X A man’s a man, for aw that - 1757
X All Things Bright and Beautiful - 1686
X Allie Croaker - ca 1725
X Anacreon in Heaven (Star Spangled Banner) –
1770-76 – Star-Spangled from War of 1812
XAshgrove - 1802
X Auld Lang Syne – 1799
X Ballydesmond Polka – prototypes 1726
X Banks of Inverness - 1808
X Believe me if All Those Endearing Young Charms – 1775
X La Belle Catherine - 1787
X Birks of Endermay (Invermay), 1750s
X Black Nag - 1657
X Blarney Pilgrim –ca 1800
X Bluebells of Scotland - 18th c
X Bottom of the Punch bowl - 1760s
X British Grenadiers –1680
X Broom of the Cowdenknows (Bonny Broom) - 1632
X Campbells are Coming - 1715
Carolan Compositions (popular, in books):
Bumper Squire Jones
Captain O’Kane
Carolan's Concerto
Carolan’s Devotion
Carolan’s Dream - Molly MacAlpin
Carolan's Farewell to Music
Carolan's Receipt
Hewlet
John Drury 2nd Air - Cathleen Asthore
Morgan Megan
One Bottle More - (not by Carolan) O’Rourke’s Feast
Planxty Connor (John Connor)
Planxty Kelly
Princess Royal.
Si Bheag Si Mhor - 1691
X Childgrove - 1701
X Coleraine – 18th-19th
X College Hornpipe - 1766
X Comin' Thru the Rye – 1760s
X Cuckoo’s Nest 1723
X Devil (de’il) Among the Tailors or Devils Dream –1772
X Drink to Me Only - 1780s
X Dumbarton drums Beat Bonny O - 1690
X Durangs Hornpipe - 1785
X East Neuk of Fife - 1752
X Fairy Reel (Old Molly Hair) - 1802
X Farewell to Whiskey - ca 1800
X Fisher's Hornpipe - 1780
X Flowers of Edinburgh - 1742
X Galopede - early 19th C
X Garryowen - 1770
X Gentle Maid – 1839 or earlier
X Gilderoy - Red Haired Boy - 1768
X Gilliecrankie [Killiecrankie] - 1701
X Girl I Left Behind – 1758
X Give Me Your Hand - 1603
X Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself - 1790
X Good Morrow to Your Nightcap (Piper of Dundee) 1734
X Good Night and Joy be wi’ You All, –1615
X Green Grow the Rushes - 1680
X Greensleeves –16thC
X Hare in the Corn –1630
X Harp that Once Thru Tara's Halls - 1797
X Harvest Home - 1786
X Haste to the Wedding - 1767
X High Road to Linton - 1787
X Hulls Victory - ca 1812
X Hunt the Squirrel, Geud Man of Ballangigh 1696
X Huntington Castle - 1734
X Irish Washerwoman - 1770
X Jefferson and Liberty, The Goby O - 1750s
X Jenny Dang the Weaver –1726
X Jenny Nettles –c 1615
X Jenny’s Bawbee - 1779
X Jockey to the Fair - 1780s
X Johnny Cope - 1750s
X Johnny McGill/ Macgill – 1779
X Kesh Jig as Tear the Callies - 1855
X Kitty Magee - 1750
X Lads of Dunce - 1765
X Lady Harriot Hope - 1768
X Langstrum Pony (Saddle the Pony) 1726
X Larry Grogan – 1770
X Larry O’Gaff - 1818
X Lass of Patie's Mill 1726
X Lea Rigg (My ain kind dearie) - 1734
X Leather Britches - mid 19th;
X Lillibulero - 1690
X Lochaber No More - 1730
X Lochrynach - 1770
X Logie O Buchan - 1787
Lord Mayo - 1726
X Lord McDonald’s Reel - 1780s
X Macpherson’s Farewell - 1730
X Malbrook- 1722
X Maggie Brown’s Favorite – 1819
X March of the King of Laois - 1657
? (Road to Boston??) Marching on the Road to Boston - 18th c
X Mason's Apron - 1800
X Merrily Kiss the Quaker - 1760
X Mill, Mill O –1725
X Miners of Wicklow - 1778
X Money in Both Pockets - c.1785
X Money Musk - 1775
X Munster Cloak –1793
X My Love is But a Lassie - 1770
X My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing - 1700
X Nancy Dawson (Here we go round the mulberry bush)- 1765
X Newcastle - 1651
X No Luck About the House - 1770-72
X Nonesuch - 1651
X O Dear What Can the Matter Be – 1787
X Off She Goes - late 18th
X Old Highland Laddie - 1701
X Over the Water to Charley 1768
X Paddy Carey – 1780s
X Paddy O Rafferty - 1790
X Pea Straw - c1730
X Pinkie House - 1736
X Piper of Dundee -1734
X Portsmouth - 1701
X Priest in His Boots –1749
X Rakes of Mallow – 1745
X Rattlin' Roarin' Willie - 1768
X Ricketts Hornpipe - 1781
X Ride a Mile - 17th C
X Rights of Man – mid 19th
X Rose Tree - 1782
X Roslin Castle - 1746
X Rule Britannia - 1740
X Scots Wha’ Ha Wi’ Wallace Bled - abt 1700
X St. Patrick Day – 1770
X Shepherd’s Wife - 1790
X Sir John Fenwick's Flower Amongst Them All–17thC
X Sleepy Maggie - Drowsie Maggie - 1734
X Snug in the blanket - 1808
X Soldiers Joy - 1760
X Southwind - 1807
X Speed the Plow - 1799
X Star of Munster – by 1855
X Star of the County Down - 1855
X Staten Island Hornpipe - 1780s
X Stewart’s Rant – 1760s
X Three Sea Captains - 1790
X Top of Cork Road- 1770
X Tralee Jail – 1855
X Trip to Paris - 1711
X Trip Up Stairs - 1770s
X Twas within a Mile of Edinburgh - 1696
X We'll gang nae mair to yon town - 1751
X Weel May the Keel Row - 1770
X Well Hall - 1679
X What the Devil Ails You - 1770
X Whistle o'er the lave o’ It – 1760s
X White Cockade - 1778
X Yankee Doodle - 1778
X Ye Banks & braes of Bonnie Doon - 1782
CIVIL WAR ERA
X Angelina Baker – Stephen Foster 1850
X Arkansas Traveller 1851
X Aura Lee 1861
X Battle Hymn of the Republic 1862
X Beautiful Dreamer - Foster 1864
X Billy in the Lowground - fav. Confederate tune
X Blackberry Blossom – KY tune, Civil War era
X Buffalo Gals – Minstrel, pub. 1839
X Camp Chase (from Marquis of Huntly’s Farewell) 1781
X Camptown Races Stephen Foster 1850
X Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines - 1868
X Come Dance and Sing (La Belle Catharine) fife tune
X Cotton-Eyed Joe - from plantations? Minstrels?
X Darling Nelly Gray 1856
X De Boatman’s Dance – Dan Emmett 1843
X Dixie – Dan Emmett 1860
X Do ye ken John Peel 1820
X Flying Trapeze 1867
X Forked Deer - 1839
X Garryowen – 1787
X Girl I Left Behind 1758
X Goodnight Ladies – Christy Minstrels 1847
X Grandfather’s Clock 1876 by Henry Clay Work
X Hard Times Come Again No More – S. Foster 1854
X Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - 1855
X Haste to the Wedding - militia quickstep
X Hell broke Loose in Georgia – Confederate tune
X Hog Eye Man - fife tune Civil War, pub.1853
X Home Sweet Home - 1823
X Hop High Ladies (MacLeod’s) 1809
X I’ll Give to You a Paper of Pins – English Game,
First printed US 1869
X It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 1850
X Jeannie with the Light brown Hair - Foster 1854
X Jenny Lind Polka composed 1846
X Jim Crack Corn, Blue Tailed Fly- 1846, Dan Emmett
X Jingle Bells 1857
X John Brown’s Body 1861
X Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel- Dan Emmett
X Joy to the World 1839
X Leather Britches – Scot. McDonald’s Reel 1790
X Listen to the Mockingbird – Septimus Winner – 1855
X Little Brown Jug 1869
X ? Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane 1871
X The Minstrel Boy – Thomas Moore words 1813
X Mississippi Sawyer 1839
X Moneymusk – favorite Confederate tune
X Morpeth Rant in U.S. by 1815
X My Old Kentucky Home –Stephen Foster 1853
X O Little Town of Bethlehem 1868
X O! Susanna – Stephen Foster 1848
X Old Dan Tucker- 1834, Dan Emmett
X Old Folks at Home – Stephen Foster 1851
X Old Gray Mare - 1858
X Old Molly Hair (Gow’s Fairy Dance, 1802)
X Old Oaken Bucket 1826
X Petronella – 1817
X Quince Dillon’s High D Tune
X Red Haired Boy (Gilderoy) 1726
X Richmond is a Hard Road to travel-1863
X Rights of Man–no known versions before 1870s
X Rory O’More 1836
X Rosin the Beau 1835
X Seneca Square Dance (Waiting for the Federals)
X Silent Night - 1818
X Speed the Plow – 1790s
X St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning - 1783
X Sweet By and By 1868
X Turkey in the Straw 1834
X We Three Kings - 1863
X When Johnny Comes Marching Home 1863
X When You and I were Young, Maggie 1866
X Where, O Where has My Little Dog Gone - 1864
X Year of Jubilo or Kingdom Coming - 1862
X Yellow Rose of Texas – 1858
INSTRUMENTS USED:
Colonial – most common in early colonial (1740-60s), in a study of Maryland: violin, flutes or recorders, harpsichords, oboe (hautboy), bassoon, viola da gamba, cello, French Horn, some mention of hammer dulcimer. No lute or guitar family, except slave banjos. Military fife and drum. Irish officials imported blind Irish harpers to play for them in NC and New York state.
1770s: Fiddles, kit fiddles, Guitar meant the English Guitar, which is actually a 10 string cittern. What we call a guitar now was developed in Germany in the 1780s, and though some guitars were made here, none influenced our music until Martin came here from Germany and began building guitars in 1833; he developed flat top guitar in 1850s, largest size was 13.5 inches wide. Harpsichords began being replaced by new-fangled piano fortes. Some harps played, Scottish harpers toured in 1820s.
Ralph Lee Smith of opinion the lap dulcimer not developed or common here until around the time of Civil War, but the German Scheitholt definitely in PA in 1770s. White stage acts already appearing in the late 18th C, in blackface, playing banjos.
Hammer dulcimers were played in Europe from medieval times to popularity in 17-18th C Europe, then here, by genteel young ladies. In Germany in the 1770s, a popular dance ensemble was hammer dulcimer, cello used as a bass, and a fiddle. Lessons for dulcimer were advertised in 1750s, as were lessons on the mandolin, and some stage performers used mandolin.

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One of the my favorite pieces of this time, and sounds great on concertina:

 

Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still, published in 1865 in Richmond, apparently a "Top 40" hit of the day.

 

I can't find anyone playing it on concertina on YouTube,

 

Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDud8Q377zE

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Gary,

 

I'm looking forward to your book.

 

Would you tease us a little with lyrics to The Empty Sleeve?

 

Thanks,

 

Ken

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Roll Alabama Roll has been added! Excellent suggestion, Don. One of my favorite shanties ever since hearing Bill Staines lead an entire room full of harmonies at Anderson Fair in Houston many moons ago. Absolute magic, that.

 

Ken, here's a sample: "And till this hour I could ne'er believe what a telltale thing is an empty sleeve. It tells in a silent tone to all, of a country's need and a country's call, of a kiss and a tear for a mother and wife, of a hurried march for a nation's life....up to the skies let us all then heave one proud hurrah for the empty sleeve"

 

Judging from this and some of the other weepy sentimental songs that will be included, maybe the book should come with a spare handkerchief?

 

Gary

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Gary

 

I wonder if it might be possible to add bass clef to your music notation so that Duet and EC players can also use your tune books?

 

I don't want to detract from your tab notation, which is really good, but maybe you could add it in a way that does not mess up your tabs? Plus, providing the full grand staff also gives a more precise indication of the left hand rhythm.

 

Just a thought.

 

Don.

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Don,

The big problem is that middle C on an Anglo is smack in the middle of the left hand side, so if you notate the music at exact pitch then the left hand notes would mostly be way up in the nosebleed section of the bass clef ledger lines where only a select few can sort out what the notes are.

 

Some books just go ahead and pitch everything an octave low, and some folks like Dan Worrall use two treble clefs, others try pointing the note stems different directions. I like putting the notes where they really are - the octave low thing is a guaranteed way for me to never be able to read music on an Anglo. And I might never anyway, but it is slowly happening the more I transcribe and work with these books.

 

I've tried just about every notation system with pretty limited success. At one point I was still carrying an empty bass clef on all the tunes in hopes of a Eureka moment that never came. But in the interest of simplicity (and at the urging of the esteemed Mr. Kruskal) I dropped the lower clef and kept the treble only. Which I think works well for what it is, a simple tab for Anglo. And this way the right and left hand button numbers are not spread too far apart. And I rather like the left hand being somewhat up to interpretation - a bit scary for beginners but hopefully their ears will tell them what works best for them eventually.

 

There's probably a thread or two here on cnet about Anglo clefs, but I don't think anyone's found the magic solution yet. I still play the Anglo mostly by ear, and on the Anglo I think mostly in terms of button numbers and patterns, so for me the notes are just a guide for rhythm and relative pitch, and of course are much more usable by just about every other musical instrument!

 

Gary

Edited by gcoover

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Gary

 

Good points, pity though as I was hoping to be able to directly use your new book with my newly acquired Elise.

 

Brian Hayden in his all systems duet tutor addresses this by using another clef on the bottom staff . Maybe the alto clef, I am not sure, but the reason for this puzzled me until now. In Wim's Elise tutor he switches between bass and treble clefs on the lower staff.

 

Tricky.

 

Don.

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Gary,

let me start by saying Thank You for your work thus far. I love the first 2 books and am looking forward to this one as well. There is one problem, however, I haven't heard Goober Peas in 25 years, and now I can't get it out of my head. mmmmmm bald peanuts

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