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Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?

GUEST,Al 02 Feb 04 - 12:53 AM
GUEST,winniemih 02 Feb 04 - 01:01 AM
open mike 02 Feb 04 - 01:04 AM
GUEST,Oryx 02 Feb 04 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Feb 04 - 04:46 AM
Dave Bryant 02 Feb 04 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,T-boy 02 Feb 04 - 07:52 AM
Lighter 02 Feb 04 - 08:07 AM
Sorcha 02 Feb 04 - 09:50 AM
Leadfingers 02 Feb 04 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,HiHo_Silver 02 Feb 04 - 08:21 PM
harpmaker 02 Feb 04 - 08:24 PM
Dave Bryant 03 Feb 04 - 04:59 AM
Steve in Idaho 03 Feb 04 - 12:25 PM
GLoux 03 Feb 04 - 02:16 PM
Cool Beans 03 Feb 04 - 05:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 04 - 07:18 PM
Dave Bryant 04 Feb 04 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,sorefingers 04 Feb 04 - 09:26 AM
radriano 04 Feb 04 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Al 06 Feb 04 - 09:33 PM
greg stephens 07 Feb 04 - 03:33 AM
GUEST,Andy 29 Sep 19 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 30 Sep 19 - 04:54 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 19 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Starship 30 Sep 19 - 09:49 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 19 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Starship 30 Sep 19 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Jerry 30 Sep 19 - 01:28 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 19 - 02:56 PM
Jack Campin 30 Sep 19 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Jerry 30 Sep 19 - 03:49 PM
Jack Campin 30 Sep 19 - 04:03 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 19 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Jerry 30 Sep 19 - 05:28 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 30 Sep 19 - 05:38 PM
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Subject: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 12:53 AM

I've just tumbled to the fact that this tune falls under the fingers well in the key of F on the fiddle. What key do you other fiddlers play it in? Al


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,winniemih
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 01:01 AM

Also known as the College Hornpipe, and I've played it in B flat. Look in one of the Airs For Pairs books for a nice harmony.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: open mike
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 01:04 AM

popeye!


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Oryx
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 04:17 AM

At the last night of the proms they play it in A which involves shifting into third position which is annoying unless you are a virtuoso. G is good.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 04:46 AM

G seems to be the most common in sessions. I have observed the same as Oryx above - that is on the "Proms" it is played in A.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 05:46 AM

on the "Proms" it is played in A That's only because Henry Wood chose A to fit in with the rest of his Sea-song Suite. I think that G is a more usual key - melodeon players with D/G boxes aren't going to be very keen on the key of F.


Do your balls hang low - can you swing them to and fro ?
Can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow ?
Do you get a funny feeling when you bang them on the ceiling ?
'Coz you'll never be a sailor if your balls hang low.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,T-boy
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 07:52 AM

I play a tune called College Hornpipe, but it ain't nothing like the Sailors' Hornpipe.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 08:07 AM

Also known as "Jack's the Lad" in the Aubrey-Maturin era. Check the on-line "Fiddler's Companion" for lots more info.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 09:50 AM

I do Sailor's in G, College Hornpipe is Flop Eared Mule.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 02:45 PM

I like to do it in F on the C whistle simply because it feels right.
Most of the fiddle players I work with prefer it in G (same fingering but on the D whistle). Do it in A at most sessions and you will be playing a solo except for the odd guitarist.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,HiHo_Silver
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 08:21 PM

I have played guitar accompaniment for old time music on the East Coast of Canada for more years than I like to remember, Sailors Hornpipe traditionally is played in G major.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: harpmaker
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 08:24 PM

All guitarist's are odd leadfingers, look at Bobjack for instance. But 'G' it is.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 04:59 AM

Harpmaker - Leadfingers is a guitarist (when he's not playing mandolin, banjo, or whistle) - still I think your comment applies. Most guitarists wouldn't accept me as one of their number - so I'm probably safe.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:25 PM

Everyone I know does it in G - that would read "All the fiddlers" I know - and it makes for a nice fingering on the guitar also -

Steve


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GLoux
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 02:16 PM

David Brody's Fiddler's Fakebook has it in G.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 05:10 PM

Yo Yo Ma and friends have recorded "College Hornpipe'' which sounds an awful lot like "Sailors Hornpipe." Must be the Naval Academy.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 07:18 PM

I'm the kind of guitarist who just shifts the capo to play in whatever key the fiddler or whatever is playing in. I rarely know what actual key I'm playing in, because I prefer the feel and sound of a guitar capoed up.

But from trying it out on a mandolin, I think F does make sense.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 05:39 AM

Kevin - admit it, you sometimes don't even know what pub you're playing in :-)   - I'm getting to be the same myself.

I think F does make sense - I reckon Derek Brown has bribed you to say that - it saves him having to compete with D/G melodeons.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 09:26 AM

Capo fiddle up one then play in F fingering - :0)


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: radriano
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 05:47 PM

Many tunes are commonly played in sessions in G or D because of flute players. Keys of F and Bb are fiddler friendly.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 09:33 PM

Thank you to all responders. Looks like G is the most popular key for Sailor's. When I started this thread I said it fell under the fingers easily in F. I would like to add that it falls under the bow well in F also. I used to play it in G, but didn't like the way the second half of the A and B part had to be bowed. Either there would be four notes on a bow stroke with lots of crossovers, or a variable number of notes with fewer crossovers. In F, you can mostly get two notes per bow stroke, with minimal crossover, which phrases best to my ear. One down side to F is that it is generally a jam buster. Too bad. It's a great key. Good for singing too.

Al


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 03:33 AM

I have a considerable collection of fiddler's MS books, and have read a lot more, plus many old publications. The tune was normally called the College Hornpipe in the 1800's, but that name was gradually replaced with the Sailor's name. The keys you find it in are generally G or Bflat, with D and C appearing occasionally. I dont recall seeing it in F, but I'm sure it plays well in that key.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Andy
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 11:57 PM

Although I’m late to this conversation....
I taught myself sailor’s hornpipe in F on piano accordion a few years ago. It is super fun and challenging to play. I am happy to learn that i may not have to transpose for a fiddle player to join in. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 04:54 AM

Surprisingly, Narmour & Smith's 1930 Texas recording (they were from Mississippi) 'Charleston No. 3' is actually 'Sailor's Hornpipe'. You can hear it on a forthcoming Musical Traditions CD ' Oh, Listen Today... the roots of American Old-Timey fiddle Music' - (MTCD517). It seems that 'Sailor's Hornpipe' began life as 'College Hornpipe', but changed title when 18th century actors began dancing to the tune dressed as sailors. Tune titles are a real minefield, as I discovered while writing the notes to this CD. I was once told of a sign on the wall of one American fiddle club - 'No arguing over tune titles' - and having researched the notes to this CD I can easily see why.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 05:11 AM

As with most or all traditional tunes, if you want to play solo or put it on a CD, do what you like (at your peril). If you want to be sociable and play it with others in a session, play it in G. If you strike up in F, the bodhran owner might sit with you but everyone else will go for a pee or a pint.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 09:49 AM

". . . but everyone else will go for a pee or a pint." Not necessarily in that order.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 12:01 PM

Tasting some of the pints round here, you could argue that they're the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 12:13 PM

Good one.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 01:28 PM

It also works out quite well in C or D on the fiddle, depending which other instruments you are playing with, although a bit low sounding. As for F, it’s arguably easier than in G because you don’t need to go higher than the a on the top string surely (fret five on the mandolin). Many of the old dance tunes work best in F, to my mind, but have become standardised in G to suit other diatonic instruments.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 02:56 PM

The overwhelming majority of major-key traditional Irish tunes are in D or G, with a minority in A. There are very few in C or F. I'm no scholar in these matters, but I raised an eyebrow when you seemed to suggest that tunes have been standardised in G (and presumably D) in spite of what fiddlers might prefer...


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 03:06 PM

In Britain, it's obviously true if you look at old sources, many of them written down by barely literate musicians.

In Ireland the uilleann pipes must have had an influence long before the melodeon existed, even though it didn't play with fiddles all that often.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 03:49 PM

Yes, when I said old tunes, I was thinking about ones in the Playford and Fitzwilliam collections, rather than more recent collections like O‘Neill’s.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 04:03 PM

I was thinking of the 18th and 19th centuries, the period of the big Scottish collections and the Village Music Project manuscripts.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 04:28 PM

I imagine that when Chief O'Neill wrote down the tunes he collected he wrote them down in the keys they'd been played in for dozens or hundreds of years. I'm not trying to be controversial and I am no scholar of these things. Regard my posts as polite enquiry only!


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 05:28 PM

I’m no scholar either, but can we be sure O’Neill didn’t adjust keys to suit the popular instruments of the time, being a piper himself? However, I see he was also a fiddle player, so Bang goes that theory.


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Subject: RE: Sailor's hornpipe: what key on fiddle?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 05:38 PM

I thought that melodeons existed before uillean pipes?
Perhaps that is just the current standardised version of the pipes.

Robin


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