James F. Roach Instructor 1916 in the "Tutor Books" Section

This one popped up yesterday on here and I have not seen it before.  

I was pleased to find some Hawaiian music in it.  This seems to be absent from most banjo books with the exception of "Aloha Oe" which does show up in later works.

One of the pieces in this book is "Hilo March" which I went down the research rabbit hole over a couple years back (it is also in the Bradbury book).

Various sources claim that this piece has origins that predate the sheet music's date of 1913 by Will Pele. They also claim a different composer.

This wiki article pretty much sums up all of the info found in books on Hawaiian music about this piece...


I am always suspicious when something was not, then it was but has attached to it a history that is filled with nostalgia. 

What I discovered is that Hawaiian music history has a folk music echo chamber when it comes to sources.  People bounce references off of each other and very little of it is vetted.   There are good sources, but there is also lots of bad.  The bad tends to tick those nostalgia boxes. 

Being curious, I picked up my phone and called the University of Hawaii at Hilo.  I found the info desk and asked them if it was the "school song"-- they did not know what I was talking about, they have a different school song.  So they sent me to the music department.  Nope-- no record of it being a "school song" ever.  

I traced this myth back to a Mel Bay uke instruction book.  Anytime this piece is referenced they cite this Mel Bay book.  Checking the wiki article I see they have done the same.

This bit if history was made up/false and all it took was a phone call to find out.

Why does anyone care?  IDK.  I just thought it was interesting.  The piece was/is used to introduce a popular cartoon which reaches countless children.

Rant over.

Thanks for posting this tutor Satoshi and Ian!!  I had fun playing through it and I enjoyed some of the exercises in it. 

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Is it the "Old Hilo March" or "Hilo March"? Seems to be two different tunes.

I think this one would make a hot Classic Banjo piece:

Yes, that would make a good banjo piece (hi Steve!).

Here is Bradbury playing it, sadly the version in his tutor is not the same...

HILO MARCH played by Frank Bradbury


And here is the piano sheet music.  Notice the cool Hawaiian guitar style glissandos in the first part.


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