Birthday Party Waltz, by Horace Weston - Sheet music? Recording/s?

Forwarding a message from a fellow strings teacher:

"This month I have been having my students sight read music from "Music by Black Composers." The compilation is by Rachel Barton Pine. It's a nice book with duets (and piano) and bios of the composers. Composers are from many different countries and time periods. There is also a website to hear recordings of the songs performed by violinists from the Sphinx Soloist Program. "The Birthday Party Waltz" by Horace Weston is written for banjo, yet I can't find a recording done by a banjo player. Have you ever played it?"

I have not played it, nor have I found the sheet music on this site. Does anybody have the sheet music? Has anyone ever played it or have links to any banjo performances of it? Any additional info about the piece would be most welcome. Thanks!

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A copy may be found at the LOC site here: The Birthday party waltz | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

I'll have it tabbed out in a few minutes...

See attached for C notation transcription. This transcription follows the original w/o corrections. Sounds wonky in some parts and I'm trying to figure out exactly how it should play thru...

Trapdoor2 said:

A copy may be found at the LOC site here: The Birthday party waltz | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

I'll have it tabbed out in a few minutes...

Attachments:

This is fantastic, thank you! How did you do that so fast? Do you have a computer program that transposes for you or are you just that good at it?

Trapdoor2 said:

See attached for C notation transcription. This transcription follows the original w/o corrections. Sounds wonky in some parts and I'm trying to figure out exactly how it should play thru...

Trapdoor2 said:

A copy may be found at the LOC site here: The Birthday party waltz | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

I'll have it tabbed out in a few minutes...

Also, where does the 130 BPM come from?

Aaron Jonah Lewis said:

This is fantastic, thank you! How did you do that so fast? Do you have a computer program that transposes for you or are you just that good at it?

Trapdoor2 said:

See attached for C notation transcription. This transcription follows the original w/o corrections. Sounds wonky in some parts and I'm trying to figure out exactly how it should play thru...

Trapdoor2 said:

A copy may be found at the LOC site here: The Birthday party waltz | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

I'll have it tabbed out in a few minutes...

I'm just amazing. ;-)

Full of it too...

It helps that I've been transcribing notation since the early 1980s.

The computer program (Musescore) is actually the amazing thing. I just poke the original notes into the staff from my keyboard and then, when I have them all in, I click on "Transpose" and then choose "Up - minor third" and voila, A notation becomes C.

It takes a few minutes more to arrange it all so it fits on two pages neatly.

This latest version (3.6) has much improved fonts. Looks very professional.

I sight read tablature, so I do this stuff a lot. I'm pushing 500 pieces of classic banjo now...

I'll spend some time with "The Birthday Party" after dinner  and fix some of the harmony, etc. Then I'll republish with a sound file and tab.

130 bpm = my first guess for 'feel'. It isn't marked so I just set the computer program to what sounds comfortable to me. The piece is a bit awkward and it doesn't sound very good (to me) played slowly. I'll post the mp3 file soon and you can judge for yourself.

Here's the mp3 file. I've "interpreted" the repeat indicators to follow the standard A-A B-B A C A format.

The TRIO does not have a pickup measure and it sounds like it just appears out of nowhere. I would have to finagle the system to get a comfortable fermata at the end of the A section (leading to the TRIO), so I just left it alone. Frankly, I think I would prefer to add a pickup measure to the TRIO.

Attachments:

Hi Amazing Marc (we never doubted it, but now we know!)

Thanks for the scores I will upload them to the MUSIC LIBRARY for everyone.

January 8th was S. S. Stewart’s birthday.

And mine.

Joel Hooks said:

January 8th was S. S. Stewart’s birthday.
I thought it might be Stewart's or Weston's...
It was nearly a national holiday here in the 19th Cent. (famous in song, fiddle tunes, etc). I wonder if Stewart felt any connection.
It was the first melodic style banjo tune I learnt.

Here’s a video of me sight reading it last night, as written (A A B B A B C C A). 


https://youtu.be/-Np25aBeZvw

Cool! It sounds so much better live, as expected.

Sometimes a piece just doesn't work well when played by a robot. I can apply all sorts of complicated compensations to make it better but I've found that it just isn't worth the effort (can take a long time).

One of the reasons I pushed it to 130bpm was that it just sounded better that way robotically. Also, being a former dancer I tend to think of dance forms as, well, dances. Really slow waltzes need dramatic interpretation, pauses, rubato, etc., etc., that only a live performance can give.

Well done!

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