Joint Effort at Transcription and Arrangement of Ragtime Oriole

Over the last few weeks, Ian Holloway in Blackpool and I in San Francisco have been tossing a ball across cyberspace creating a banjo arrangement of Ragtime Oriole based on the early 1950s recording of Fred Van Eps. Van Eps kept the original piano key of A flat and so have we. Basically we listened and transcribed and refined each other's versions and filled in the gaps left by the other and corrected our mistakes over time. I initially tried to be faithful to whatever I could discern of Van Eps' fingering (open strings are evident on the recording for instance) and also kept a descending diminished arpeggio where he may have actually intended to play the strict melody and simply was off by a fret at one point. But as the transcription got updated over and over my own fingerings and Ian's fingerings entered the picture. About half way through the process we were each won over by the other's idea of which part of the fingerboard to use for certain passages. The final version represents how I play the tune now in June 2009. Ian plays the identical notes using slightly different means. I've just posted the final version which was entered by Ian using G Vox Encore on a wooden computer run by steam generated by a 5 oxen turning a wheel. It looks great I think. I've posted the score in a separate blog and the recording may be found on my page and perhaps the main page for a while anyway. Neither of us is tired of the tune. My respect for the musical imagination of Fred Van Eps has increased as well. I've long thought his 1920s rendition was about as good as classic banjo playing can get, but this later version moves further from the original piano score and more into banjo territory and the territory of good creative musical playfulness.

Except for a few spots which we think were errors and which we did not reproduce, this score represents our best effort at transcribing the version of Ragtime Oriole Van Eps played on this occasion. The indicated fingerings are a combination of the fingerings we think he must have used and how I prefer to play it and the latter has been amended by how Ian prefers to play it. Sometimes we've left the fingerings unmarked because we hadn't settled into one way of playing those passages.

Views: 62

Comment by Trapdoor2 on June 15, 2009 at 2:28
Bravo! Bravo! This is indeed a very cool piece. I'm sure ol' FVE would be quite happy with y'all's transcription. I gotta TAB this one out...!
Comment by Trapdoor2 on June 15, 2009 at 16:58
Man, that scribd file just doesn't like me at all. I can see it from home but not from work (big firewall at work, doesn't surprise me) Still, it won't let me save or print the file from home. "Access denied".

I'll work on it some more later.
Comment by Jody Stecher on June 15, 2009 at 17:05
try this: along the top of the transcription is a horizontal menu bar. On the far left is says Scribd. Just to the right of that it says "more". Click there and choose the print option.
Comment by Trapdoor2 on June 15, 2009 at 17:44
I believe I tried that at home a few minutes ago...but it required me to be a member first. :-( I don't mind the membership thing but I've never heard of them before, so it will take a bit of 'comfort level' research first.

I tried emailing myself the file but all it does is send a link...and then you gotta subscribe...

I'll try again this evening...probably just subscribe.
Comment by Jody Stecher on June 15, 2009 at 17:51
Clicking on scripd requires membership to get access to the file. Clicking on the next option over does not. It worked for me anyway and I'm not a member. OK, Ian's computer wiz son has come up with another possible solution. Hang on a bit. I'll post something new, let's see if this works.
Comment by Jody Stecher on June 15, 2009 at 17:54
OK, have a look now. You might be able to see this from work as well. And print too. Success?
Comment by Trapdoor2 on June 15, 2009 at 19:31
Success! Here's a pdf built from your bitmap...all these generations create a bit of fuzziness (esp. with bmp files) but hey, it worked!

Ragtime Oriole.pdf

If I can access the cleaner copy, I'll re-do the .pdf.
Comment by Jody Stecher on June 15, 2009 at 19:39
Hang on a moment here, Marc (LOL)! HOW did you post this pdf file? The only reason Ian asked his son to find a way to post the score and the reason he came up with these crazy other ways to do it was because neither Ian nor I could find a way to post a pdf. file. The score has been a pdf file since day one!
Comment by Trapdoor2 on June 15, 2009 at 20:38
FF Professional.pdf

Um, in this comment box, there are a row of icons (bold, italic, underline, strikethru, hyperlink, add image and upload a file). Select "upload a file", hit "browse", browse to the file, highlight it and click the "add" box. It will upload directly from your computer. Done!

Comment by Jody Stecher on June 15, 2009 at 21:35
I know how to post a file to this group. Ning has accepted my jpegs and music files as you have seen. It refuses my PDF files though.

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