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Let's talk about humpenscrumps

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Tradsinger 27 Jan 18 - 05:21 PM
Iains 29 Jan 18 - 05:05 PM
Tradsinger 30 Jan 18 - 03:58 AM
Iains 30 Jan 18 - 05:55 AM
Tradsinger 02 Feb 18 - 04:48 AM
JHW 02 Feb 18 - 05:20 AM
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Subject: Let's talk about humpenscrumps
From: Tradsinger
Date: 27 Jan 18 - 05:21 PM

I have been browsing through the James Madison Carpenter collection recently put up on line and had a look at Gloucestershire Mummers plays. In the Didbrook play (Didbrook is a hamlet near where I live), the performer sings a song and Carpenter has written: "Has humpscump - chine of a barrel with three pieces of string and a bow like a fiddle, made of horse hair".

Another Gloucester Mummers play, this time from Sapperton, has this "Father Scrump carries the humpenscrump made with a tin with wires across and bridge and a stick with notches for a bow."

The Morris researcher Cawte mentions a humpscrump being used to accompany Border Morris (but I can't find the reference).

Thomas Lanchbury (1865-1934), a traditional Gloucestershire folk singer, remembered the home-made fiddle that supplied the music for Morris dancing. He said that it was made with two tins fixed at either end of a stick of wood with a piece of whipchord [sic] stretched across from one tin to the other. A bow was used but he couldn't remember how the notes were made. He said ?there wasn?t much of a tune about it, it just kept the dancers going. It probably served to mark the rhythm.? The song collector remarked that this was probably a humpenscrump.

Google has it that a humpenscrump is "A crude musical instrument like a hurdy-gurdy."

Does anyone else have any information on this curious instrument and its use?

Also, what part of the barrel is the "chine"?

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Let's talk about humpenscrumps
From: Iains
Date: 29 Jan 18 - 05:05 PM

As far as I can make out the chine of a barrel is the (max. Diameter) midpoint of the staves forming the barrel. If rolling the barrel, it would be rolled on it's chine.

The only definition I found does not really go much further:
humpenscrump "a musical instrument of rude construction." Alongside others like humstrum, celestinette and wind-broach, it was originally another name for the hurdy-gurdy.


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Subject: RE: Let's talk about humpenscrumps
From: Tradsinger
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 03:58 AM

Further googling suggests that the word is chime rather than chine. The chime of a barrel is the ring that holds the top on. Apart from that, I find it interesting that there are several references to its use for mummers and morris. I feel that the collectors used the word just to mean a home-made fiddle type instrument rather than anything similar to a gurdy. Any other mentions that people know of?


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Subject: RE: Let's talk about humpenscrumps
From: Iains
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 05:55 AM

Tradsinger. I was wrong. Another series of explanations for chine/chime below:
Coopering

Another explanation for chime is the bevelled edge of the staves at the top of a barrel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel#/media/File:Oak-wine-barrel-parts-description-toasting-toneleria-nacional-chile.jpg

I am still confused.


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Subject: RE: Let's talk about humpenscrumps
From: Tradsinger
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 04:48 AM

I think I have found another reference. In the Sherborne (Gloucestershire) mummer's play, the Jack Finney character says:

Last night me mother and I fell out
And that you can plainly see
She gied I this old tin cannister
To make a hurdie gurdie.

He is then asked to play a tune and plays Greensleeves.


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Subject: RE: Let's talk about humpenscrumps
From: JHW
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 05:20 AM

Cider with Rosie?


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