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Origin: Mudgee Waltz

Arkie 22 Mar 99 - 10:43 AM
John in Brisbane 22 Mar 99 - 06:50 PM
Les B 22 Mar 99 - 11:14 PM
Helen 22 Mar 99 - 11:27 PM
Bob Bolton 23 Mar 99 - 01:32 AM
Bob Bolton 23 Mar 99 - 01:40 AM
Arkie 23 Mar 99 - 01:03 PM
Judy Johnston - tomjudy@talleytech.com 23 Mar 99 - 03:53 PM
Helen 23 Mar 99 - 07:17 PM
Helen 23 Mar 99 - 11:57 PM
Bob Bolton 24 Mar 99 - 01:20 AM
open mike 11 Apr 13 - 10:41 AM
Joe Offer 11 Apr 13 - 11:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 13 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,leeneia 12 Apr 13 - 10:51 PM
Bruce D 15 Apr 13 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Apr 13 - 09:24 AM
Bob Bolton 15 Apr 13 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Apr 13 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 17 Apr 13 - 05:58 AM
Bob Bolton 18 Apr 13 - 01:47 AM
GUEST,Denis McKay 26 Jun 13 - 11:47 PM
Bob Bolton 27 Jun 13 - 01:05 AM
Bob Bolton 27 Jun 13 - 01:39 AM
GUEST,Denis McKay 27 Jun 13 - 10:51 AM
Bob Bolton 27 Jun 13 - 06:14 PM
Bob Bolton 27 Jun 13 - 06:18 PM
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Subject: Mudgee Waltz
From: Arkie
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:43 AM

I'm new at this, but have read enough threads to know someone will talk me through. Does anyone know the origin and any background on the Mudgee Waltz? I'd even settle for knowing how to spell it.


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 06:50 PM

Mudgee is a town quite close in Austraian distances to Helen from Newcastle. Not a tune that I know, but the title is deveilishly familiar.

Regards
John


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Les B
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 11:14 PM

Your spelling "Mudgee" seems to be correct. As noted above, it apparently is an area of Australia. In a book called Folksongs of Australia there are a couple of versions of it - one by a man named Cyril Abbott who played it on a kerosene tin dulcimer, and another by George Davis, who played the tune on the button accordion. There is also a Mudgee Schottische. In mentioning both the waltz and the schottische, the notes say " There are two tunes known to most Mudgee musicians that have never been encountered elsewhere. They have apparently descended from goldfields musicians and have not been dispersed, although many variations exist throughout the district."


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Helen
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 11:27 PM

Les,

You saved me some time by looking it up in the Folksongs of Australia. This book contains tunes "collected" from musicians around Australia, using in rural areas, and the tunes tended to be passed down form generation to generation. Their origin is not always known, so the two men mentioned probably didn't make up the tune themselves but simply learned it from other musicians.

I'll see what else I can find out.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 01:32 AM

G'day Arkie,

John Meredith, the major author of Folksong of Australia and the Mane & Women who sang them, did a lot of his 1950s collecting in the area around the western districts (everything west of the small eastern, coastal strip where most residents of New South Wales are). This was because contacts, within districts, families and such tended to keep him following people nearby to the last musician researched.

Mudgee is a particularly interesting area because so many of the "Germans" - actually various ethnic minorities fleeing Bismarck's "Unification" of Germany - stayed in this area and many even clung to their old ways during two world wars when they were seriously persecuted. Merro always believed that the distinctive tunes if Mudgee - those with little relation to English, Irish, Scottish &c, originals may have been from the Germanic traditions.

This has been somewhat confirmed by later researchers - particularly Mark Schuster and Maria Zann, who study the various centres of Germanic heritage. A number of the traditional tunes that thay have unearthed have strong affinities with tunes well-known in Mudgee (as well as some from around Nariel Creek in Victoria, where a family band founded by Con Klippel [snr, snr?] around 1870 has existed and provided a distinctive dance tradition).

Backblocks (more study group than a band), which I now coordinate, was formed to explore a genuine collected repertoire without plundering UK/Irish tunebooks. We now play a lot of these distinctive tunes for polkas, varsoviennes, mazurkas, schottisches, waltzes, waltz mazurkas and polka mazurkas - along with a repertoire from a wide British base. This sort of mixture contributes much to whatever an Australian style is.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 01:40 AM

G'day again,

Oh ... It also struck me, as I sent of the last posting, that those who would search for the origins of these tunes ... particularly local waltzes... need to look at other time signatures. The great demand for waltzes in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of this one led many musicians to 'bend' familiar tunes into waltzes, no matter what they had been.

I know of popular old waltzes that were originally:
Jigs (that's pretty easy - just slow down!)
Schottisches, in 4/4 with a "dotted" rhythm
Marches (trickier - it helps to be desperate).

It is a well-know 'party trick' of old-time players to spin a yarn of how some old player only knew one tune and to proceed to show how he played it for any dance step that was requested - it only takes a good feel for dance rhythms and 50 years of practice!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Arkie
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 01:03 PM

John, Les, Helen, & Bob, Thanks for your help. I really appreciate your taking time to research this. If you ever need anything on the Ozarks, let me know.

Arkie


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Judy Johnston - tomjudy@talleytech.com
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 03:53 PM

Can anyone give me an approximate date as to when Mudgee Walta was written.

A friend of mine and I are going to enter a dulcimer ensemble competition in Mountain View, Arkansas, the later part of April and all the tunes we do must have been written prior to 1940. I am assuming from what I've read and heard that Mudgee Waltz was written even before 1870. Am I right?

Sincerely

Judy Johnston tomjudy@talleytech.com


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Helen
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 07:17 PM

Judy,

I think that you can assume that it was written before the 20th Century, but with collected tunes it is really hard to tell.

Bob Bolton,

Thanks for your info. I never knew the history of German people coming to live around Mudgee. That's really interesting. I find the pockets of cultural influences around Australia really fascinating, much more interesting than the "melting pot" concept (60's song?) of us all turning into "coffee coloured people", all looking, talking, acting, singing, dancing, eating the same.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Helen
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 11:57 PM

Hi again,

If you go to this website there is a copy of the music in gif format (i.e. a picture of the sheet music) which looks like it has been scanned in from the Folksongs of Australia book which Bob Bolton refers to here.

http://www.spirit.net.au/~gramac/waltzes/waltzes.html

Helen


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Subject: RE: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 01:20 AM

G'day Helen,

The tunes on Graham's Folk Things are mostly from later collecting work than John Meredith's 1980s (2nd volume) although some of what John published in that book should be there. In later years Meredith worked with Rob Willis, of Forbes, NSW who has continued doing great work in his own right - and Rob tends to publish quickly, in single performer monographs, rather than the magnum opus approach.

These come out as Carrawobbity Publications, in the Pioneer Performer Series - joint work of Rob and the Wongawilli Musicians and Dancers. Their books can be seen at: Australian Bush Music Wongawilli Style http://wollongong.starway.net.au/~gsmurray/index.html#contents.

Graham's site is also a good source for music-reading players - particularly fiddlers (Graham's current obsession. A lot of the GIFs on his site are from Carrawobbity publications and are accompanied by a fair amount of the text. Anyone in eastern Australia over Easter should get to the National Folk Festival, in north Canberra where Graham will once again coordinate the "National Fiddle Orchestra" ... a high-falutin' name for every loose fiddler that want's to bone up on some new tunes and perform on the final day of the Festival.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: open mike
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 10:41 AM

a.k.a. Tom Blackman's Waltz


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 11:36 PM

"Mudgee Waltz" can be found at the ABC Tune Finder.

And as linked above, also at http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/musicfolder/waltzes/waltzes.html

-Joe-

X: 1
T:Mudgee Waltz
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:C
"C"E3 F G2|C2 D2 E2|"Dm"F4 A2|D4 G2|"G7"B3 A G2|F2 G2 F2|"C"E4 F2|\
G6|"C"E3 F G2|C2 D2 E2|"Dm"F4 A2|D4 G2|"G7"B3 A G2|F2 E2 D2|"C"C6|C6|
"C"e3 d c2|E2 G2 c2|"G7"B4 A2|D4 G2|B3 A G2|F2 G2 F2|"C"E4 F2|G6|\
"C"e3 d c2|E2 G2 c2|"G7"B4 A2|D4 G2|B3 A G2|F2 E2 D2|"C"C6|C6|]


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:57 AM

"Written" and "written down" can mean very different things.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 10:51 PM

Thanks for the abc, Joe.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bruce D
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 09:07 AM

I got a old record titled "Alan Walsh plays the Mudgee Waltz" Walsh Records (WLP01), and the notes on the back says "the Mudgee Waltz, ..... was handed down by the legandary Mudgee folk musician, Fred Holland.

The album tributes much of early music of the region to european gold miners and the latter (1900's) music to a travelling Minstral with the name Gonzales.

Bruce D


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 09:24 AM

Thanks for the info, Bruce D. I've been playing the Mudgee Waltz on the piano, and I can recommend it to anybody who plays an instrument.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 08:17 PM

G'day Mudgee Waltzers,

Open Mike's posting of 11 April raises the "Title" Tom Blackman's Waltz ... then four postings down, we have Bruce D's note that another recording ascribes it to "... legendary Mudgee folk musician, Fred Holland ...

I seem to remember John Meredith saying that he first collected this tune from Tom Blackman ... but then found that every local dance musician could play it ... and all dated the tune back before any contemporary 'claimant'.

It did appear, subsequently, in a collection published by a performing group ... all drawn from the field collecting work of others ... and adumbrating that the publication, by Meredith, under the broad ascription as "The Mudgee Waltz", was some sort of 'conspiracy' to deprive Tom Blackman of credit for his 'true authorship'!

I'm afraid that this sort of "publication politics" is more appropriate to the competitive world of academia ... than a broad view of a body of shared "folk music / folk dance repertoire"!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 04:07 PM

I agree, Bob.

If anybody wants to play the song and hear how it goes, you can highlight and copy Ctrl+c) the ABC file that Joe posted above. Go to the Tune-o-Tron at Concertina.net and hit CTRL+v. Press submit, and the sticks and dots for the tune will appear.

Next you play it, modify it, put the chords on, add some thirds or fifths, and you've got it - a little bundle of beauty and pleasure.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 05:58 AM

On a side note, I remember an expression "she had tits like a pair of Mudgee mailbags", the reference being that as Mudgee was so remote, they didn't have regular mail delivery but let the mail pile up until they had enough to fill a couple of bags!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 18 Apr 13 - 01:47 AM

G'day GUEST of 17 Apr 13 - 05:58 AM,

You interpretation of "~ Mudgee Mailbags" sounds reasonable ... but it must have a good bit of age about, for Australian vernacular.

I can remember that the train caught, from Sydney, to head off west of the Great Dividing range, was always "The Mudgee Mail" ... and I certain that my Dad's pre- and post- WW2 bushwalking was a heavy user of the same ""Mudgee Mail" service ... as well as the early morning "Mountains to Sydney" Monday, first light commuter service!

Of course, it may be the expression reflects reaction to the heavy load of Sydney ... to the Bush ... mail that steamed out of Sydney every evening!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: GUEST,Denis McKay
Date: 26 Jun 13 - 11:47 PM

Alan Walsh tells me that The Mudgee Waltz was originally a song called "Oh, How I Float in My Golden Boat". Meredith's notes to his recording of the Blackman family says
"1. Mudgee Waltz/Oh How I Float in my Golden Boat"

I have been unable to find any further references to this song/tune.
Denis


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 01:05 AM

G'day Denis McKay,

I do remember seeing much that reference ... but, as a practical player for dances, I've always just thought of the tune as The Mudgee Waltz!

I'll delve into my various John Meredith books ... to see if he had any "collected" lyrics to the supposed song - or if it is just the title that was handed down in Blackman family.

If there's nothing in the books, I might run it past Rob Willis, or others who accompanied John on his later collecting trips in Mudgee and the surrounding area.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 01:39 AM

G'day again Denis,

I see that one of the (1984) National Library of Australia tapes of John Meredith includes this content:

George and Ruth Blackman play accordion and sing / Interviewer : John Meredith Blackman, George, 1919-[ Sound : 1984 ] Keywords: Blackman, George, 1919-; Accordion music.; Folk songs, English - Australia.... George Blackman, Accordion : 1. Waltz, The Mudgee, Here I float in my golden boat, 2. First set ...

This is (?) a later generation of the Blackman family and a good 30 years later.

(I haven't had time to listen through the recording ... yet ... ) and I note the slight difference in "tune name". It may well be that memory of the tune's 'name' is subsidiary to the tune's undoubted position as the favourite waltz tune around Mudgee!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: GUEST,Denis McKay
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 10:51 AM


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 06:14 PM

G'day again Denis,

I had a look at my copies of Meredith's Folk Songs of Australia - books 1 & 2 ... and only the Book 1 has any comments on the distinctive Mudgee dance tunes collected in the 1950s. I OCRed the full text ... showing he collected widely among the Mudgee dance musicians ... and that there was no "God-given names" for their tunes.

I also like the local reference to teh kerosene-tin dulcimer ... an instrument on which one of the local musician 'busked' for small change during the Great Depression. The square cross-section 4 gallon tins, in which kerosene (... was that something like 'rock oil" for Americans ... and something else for Brits .. ?), for stoves and heaters, was delivered. Anyway, I did make up a playing 'replica' for a workshop i presented at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney ... using an 18 litre tin that had held Italian tomato paste (restaurant quanity ...) ... ends up somewhere between an "Hawaiian guitar and a tin-plate dulcimer!

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Folk Songs of Australia and the men and women who sang them

John Meredith & Hugh Anderson URE SMITH Sydney 1967

Page 220
There are two tunes known to most Mudgee musicians that have never been encountered elsewhere. They have apparently descended from goldfields musicians and have not been dispersed, although many variations exist throughout the district. A study of these tunes in their variants may provide useful clues to the origin of variants, as obviously all present-day performers must ultimately have learned the tunes from a single source. As neither tune has a name, John Meredith has called them the Mudgee Schottische' and 'The Mudgee Waltz' respectively. Sally Sloane says the schottische bears a resemblance to a tune she used to know as 'The Belle Brandon Schottische'.
George Davis's version follows.

THE MUDGEE SCHOTTISCHE
(Music Block)

One version of this schottische-that of Tom Blackman junior- has already been given; others by Fred Holland and Jim Lyons appear later.

'The Mudgee Waltz' was recorded by George Davis, but John Meredith first heard it played on an instrument peculiar to Mudgee, the kerosene-tin dulcimer, which was made by Cyril ('Bunny') Abbott, a Mudgee man who is an experienced bush-man - and who plays the accordion as well as his bush dulcimer.
He learned it from Tom Blackman junior, who said he had learned it from his father. At first Meredith thought he should call it 'The Tom Blackman Waltz', but Fred Holland mentioned that he had taught it to Blackman senior years before.

The kerosene-tin dulcimer consisted of a four-gallon tin with sound-holes cut into the ends and a broom-handle neck. Strung with three steel-guitar strings in a fairly high register, the dulcimer had a bridge at each end. Two of the three strings were tuned in unison, and the third, for some unknown reason, was sharpened slightly. The method of playing used was strumming with a plectrum and stopping in unison with a steel-guitar 'steel'or similarly shaped piece of iron. The effect was rather like that produced when a banjo-mandolin is played in unison with a fiddle.

THE MUDGEE WALTZ
(Cyril Abbott's version)
(Music Block)

There are two important variations: in one, which Fred Holland insisted was the correct one, most of the notes are of equal value (and the tune is played in what he called a 'running style'), and in the other dotted crochets are followed by a quaver or semi-quavers, giving the tune a jerky movement. End Page 221

Page 222
George Davis played the tune in 'running style' on the button accordion.

THE MUDGEE SCHOTTISCHE (Music Block)
(George Davis's version)

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

BobB


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Subject: RE: Origin: Mudgee Waltz
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 06:18 PM

Oh yes ...


... Now I remenber: What we Aussies called kerosene ... the Poms called Paraffin - certainly when they used it to start their farm tractors on cold mornings ~!

BobB


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