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1790s Rhode Island Music

GUEST 07 Sep 10 - 07:54 PM
katlaughing 07 Sep 10 - 08:09 PM
Jack Campin 07 Sep 10 - 08:10 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 10 - 08:33 PM
Jack Campin 07 Sep 10 - 08:49 PM
Lighter 07 Sep 10 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,julia L 07 Sep 10 - 10:27 PM
katlaughing 07 Sep 10 - 10:57 PM
katlaughing 07 Sep 10 - 11:06 PM
Jack Campin 08 Sep 10 - 05:46 AM
Ernest 08 Sep 10 - 01:20 PM
GUEST 08 Sep 10 - 06:06 PM
Susan of DT 08 Sep 10 - 07:35 PM
Jack Campin 08 Sep 10 - 08:01 PM
GUEST 09 Sep 10 - 07:40 PM
Mary. 09 Sep 10 - 10:29 PM
Jack Campin 10 Sep 10 - 05:24 AM
Chris Partington 10 Sep 10 - 06:08 AM
Jack Campin 10 Sep 10 - 08:26 AM
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Subject: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 07:54 PM

I work at a living history museum in Rhode Island that depicts coastal farm life in the 1790s, and I am looking for some appropriate songs to sing while at work. I've found a couple of songsters from the time and location, but I am having a hard time finding corresponding tunes. I am looking for more songs and sources. The more concrete and interpretively significant, the better. Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 08:09 PM

I am sure other members will be along and very helpful. In the meantime, if you put "colonial" in the search box in the upper right corner and tick just the "DT" box, there are a few songs with playable midis which come up. Not sure if they are specific enough or authentic.

Welcome to the Mudcat,

kat


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 08:10 PM

If you can show us the songsters somehow it won't be hard to work out a lot of the tunes.

Are they currently available, or do you have scans of them?

Please give yourself an identifying name (I put more effort in if people give their real one).


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 08:33 PM

The songsters that I have PDFs of are:

Humming Bird or New American Songster with Modern Toasts and Sentiments
Boston: Spotswood and Etheridge, 1798.

The Columbian Songster Being a Select Collection of Genuine Songs
Brookfield: Thomas and Waldo, 1795.

Nautical Songster or Seamans Companion
Baltimore: Henrys Keatinge, 1798.

I have only heard a few of the songs in these collections in the living tradition, and I am guessing that is because natural selection has killed them off. For the most part they are very dry and haughty. I searched the DT for a few of the titles, with no luck.

Aside from this avenue, maybe someone can suggest an early New England song collection that might have a RI informant?

Thanks Again
Mary


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 08:49 PM

Trying the first one, the good news is that it is available online, the bad news is that you have to be a paid subscriber to the National Library of Australia to see it.

A lot of these prima facie dull old songs do come to life once you've hit on the right tune. Which we might be able to infer if we can see the text.

Can you scan a few of the more promising ones?


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 10:00 PM

"Dry and haughty" to us. Magnificent to somebody in the 18th C.


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: GUEST,julia L
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 10:27 PM

Robert Burns music was already popular here in the colonies (he died in 1796) Also remember that songs were popular for a very long time and sometimes show up today as children's songs. (Misty Moisty morning, the frog and the mouse, fox went out on a chilly night all appear in Thomas Ravenscrofts collection circa 1609) Many broadsides used melodies that also appear as dance tunes so you could fit your lyrics to appropriate tunes found in dance tune collections.

good luck
Julia


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 10:57 PM

Sometimes I think we forget some of the wonderful sources we've had over the years. You may find a lot of help at The Contemplator for Popular Songs in American History, complete with lyrics and midi, history and info. It IS a wonderful resource.

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 11:06 PM

Guest, Mary, following a link from the Contemplator, I also found Early America Music, whihc should help.

I used to live near Westerly, RI. May I ask what living history museum you are at? If you don't mind telling us; no problem if you'd rather keep it private.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 05:46 AM

I didn't immediately notice the statement that you have PDFs (I thought you were using library originals). So the hard bit's done.

Upload them somewhere (rapidshare?) or email them to me (jack at campin period me period uk) and I'd bet I can identify the tunes for a few of them.

It would be much more interesting to use songs with a known local connection than fall back on stuff that was sung across the whole English-speaking world.


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Ernest
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 01:20 PM

Not sure about anything special to R.I. but here is something that might fit:

http://www.kitchenmusician.net/

Good luck
Ernest


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 06:06 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions. I am looking forward to studying those websites. Also looking forward to giving some of the songster gems new life.

If anyone is ever in RI on the first Thursday of the month, please come by the farm for a traditional music sing.

Here is our website: http://coggeshallfarm.org/

Thanks Again

Mary


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Susan of DT
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 07:35 PM

Most of the Child ballads are older than 1790. You might check Bronson and the Helen Harkness Flanders collection for which ones were found in New England around then.


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 08:01 PM

Mary sent me scans of her material. It's interesting stuff, halfway between the Scots Musical Museum and the songs of Dibdin in idiom, but distinctively American. It really needs to be re-created on its own terms without too many assumptions derived from what was being sung elsewhere.

I can identify quite a few tunes already, but can't do any more with it till Friday.

It's "respectable enough to print" material, so Flanders might usefully complement it. Even that small world can't have had a homogeneous musical culture.


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 07:40 PM

Brown University has a good collection of old tune and songbooks in one of their libraries. They might have something local.


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Mary.
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 10:29 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will be making a trip to Brown in the future, as well as the RI historical society archives to see what I can see.

Can anyone suggest any good secondary sources, such as journal articles or well sited books that might help me get my head around what was going on with English and New English music in the late 18th Century- during and especially post Revolution? I would love to start a reading list. I spent some time googling Dibdin, Scots Musical Museum, and reaquainting myself with Flanders and Bronson and on the Contemplator.

How do people access the Flanders collection?

Thanks
Mary.


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 05:24 AM

The Flanders collection is in a book - not recently in print, but any serious library in your part of the world should have a copy. Or maybe somebody local to you might be willing to donate or lend one to your museum?

However, it records what people were singing 150 years after the period you're interested in. Societies and tastes in songs don't stand still. You can't expect Flanders to provide anything you can use right out of the box.


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Chris Partington
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 06:08 AM

You might try these music manuscripts from late 18thC:-

EDWARD MURPHY,Manuscript, Newport, RI, 1790, USA, Lib.Congress, MT356C62MF music3060
I don't know whether it is mainly song or dance music, or its size, but it's local to you in origin and will I am sure be interesting.

Also William Wiliams MS,1775,Pautuxit,RI
USA Brown Uni, John Hay Lib, P76WA863p2HarrisWaterman

These are both gleaned from The Early American Secular Music And Its European Sources website, which seems to be down at the moment.


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Subject: RE: 1790s Rhode Island Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 08:26 AM

One of the songs is an extraordinarily long and almost unbelievably gross version of "The Captain's Apprentice", dated to 1799 and set on a voyage to Carolina. Captain James flogs his cabin boy Richard Pavy to death after tying him to the mast, starving him, trying to force him to eat and drink his own piss and shit and successfully making him drink the blood from his flogging stripes. X-rated audioguides anyone?

The tune I know for that is the beautiful one Lloyd found in Norfolk (for a much shorter version of the song with only just enough detail to make the point). But it sounds to me much too recent to have been current in 1799. Anybody have one from then?


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