A site dedicated to all enthusiasts of Classic Style Banjo
For those of you interested in the beginnings of Classic Banjo, I recently acquired an original copy of Frank B. Converse's "The Banjoist", copyright 1871. Sunday, I scanned it to .pdf for the Early Banjo guys over on the ning "Minstrel" site.
Tim Twiss has hosted the copy on his website of early tutors located here:
The 1871 is the second one down on his list, a free download of course.
At least one piece from this book has been recorded out on youtube by Rob MacKillop (and a lovely thing it is).
There's a good bit of "Irish" stuff in it as well as some songs and some operatic arrangements. I hope somebody enjoys it!
thank you, Marc!
Perhaps Converse started a time-honoured tradition of bagpipe imitations on the 'jo? As George Morris wrote in BMG:
The second number I had to announce -- and as I said that we would give an imitation of the bagpipes, someone from "up aloft" blew me the father of all raspberries. This seemed to please the rest of the audience and we started our number at a disadvantage.
"Bagpipe patrol" starts very quietly -- to quietly for that audience! Someone shouted out that they would call a blacksmith to bring his bellows round to fill the bagpipes -- and this was followed by loud laughter and even more raspberries.
As our playing increased in volume, the uproar from the audience gradually ceased and we were able to finish our number to satisfying applause.
Just to dispell any ideas that this work is "light stuff"...here's a MIDI of one of the pieces in the back of the book, "The Anvil Chorus". I'm told that Converse actually played this in concert and created quite a stir.
I set the MIDI just a bit slower than what you might hear at the opera. Much faster and the lunatic ornaments get a tad blurry. I hope you enjoy.
I think that there are a few too many notes in that for me to play. I don't recall calling the early stuff "light".
There you are Marc...your next challenge ;-)
I don't think the basic tune is all that challenging...getting all those crazy ornaments in there and then the 4 bar trill at the end would do me in.
Nope, I'm working on "Drowsy Dempsey" at the moment. Much more my speed. ;-)