This is a catchy 6/8 march and very un-Joplin like with no hint of ragtime. It suits the banjo very well. In the piano score, the Melody for the first 16 bars is shared between the left and right hands of the final part so I've had to be inventive to make it into a banjo solo by adding chords to the first 8 of those bars. There is a second banjo part which can be heard on the midi. The scores and midi are in the library...Steve.

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From Prince Hal, my favorite unknown Joplin piece is Binks Waltz. I think it is in the library. There is something haunting about it.

"Binks' Waltz" is indeed a lovely piece. Something in the back of my mind sez that  "Baby Binks" was a newspaper comic/cartoon character from the period (1905). The Palmer Chocolate Company makes a chocolate easter bunny called "Baby Binks" and I think it stems from the same source. The sheet music has cuts of the child character on the cover. Early newspaper comics is another one of my latent interests.

I'd not heard Binks Waltz before so I had a listen on YouTube and it is indeed a very pleasant tune. I couldn't find it in the library but I have downloaded a piano score, if no one has made a banjo arrangement, I may put it on the to do list...Steve.

Hal's banjo trio arrangement is in the Library but you have to be specific and use "Bink's" (with the apostrophe, which is actually in the wrong place...the original is "Binks' Waltz", the character was named Baby Binks and the apostrophe would go after the 's')...or do as I did and type in "waltz"...and then scroll thru them to find it.

Thanks Marc. I have removed the apostrophe all together.

One point. It is possible to search for:   Bin, bink, binks   etc. in the search box.

Three letters of any title will do, you do not need to type the entire word. 

I always forget that, Ian. I think I spent too many years typing. I have a hard time typing parts of a word...the whole thing simply squirts from my fingers. Miz Diane is similarly impaired but moves on to whole sentences. She started out typing contracts. On an old fashioned electric typewriter, she sounds like a machine-gun.

After taking my foot out of my mouth, I tried to play the version of the piece and found it unplayable on the banjo so I experimented a bit and dropped the 1st banjo an octave. It is playable now and I will upload it soon. It is still a pretty piece. I also got out my apostrophe app and reconciled the vulgar differences.

Perhaps I am taking you too literally Hal, but if the 1st banjo part were lowered an octave a good deal of it would be below range of normal banjo tuning. I had a quick look at your present arrangement, banjo in hand, and did not find it unplayable. Which passages were giving you trouble? This is an intriguing piece  of music.

Hal Allert said:

After taking my foot out of my mouth, I tried to play the version of the piece and found it unplayable on the banjo so I experimented a bit and dropped the 1st banjo an octave. It is playable now and I will upload it soon. It is still a pretty piece. I also got out my apostrophe app and reconciled the vulgar differences.

I suspect that 'technically' Hal's notation doesn't indicate that the banjo notation is an octave above pitch. It should (again, technically) have an octave designator of some sort to tell the player that it is actually pitched an octave below the notation.

Of course, few would ever look at that (I certainly wouldn't). I assume a standard for Banjo notation and go with that. I think that sometimes it is an advantage to be an untrained musician. One of my previous music teachers (viola) would not be happy until that little "8" was written on the page...

All correct, Marc, but that's not what I meant. When I look at banjo music notation I see the second line from the bottom of the staff as representing the open third string of the banjo.  what I meant was that some of Hal's original notation takes place in the lowest octave of the banjo, from the open bass string up to the open second string. How can these notes be played an octave lower in normal tuning?

Trapdoor2 said:

I suspect that 'technically' Hal's notation doesn't indicate that the banjo notation is an octave above pitch. It should (again, technically) have an octave designator of some sort to tell the player that it is actually pitched an octave below the notation.

Of course, few would ever look at that (I certainly wouldn't). I assume a standard for Banjo notation and go with that. I think that sometimes it is an advantage to be an untrained musician. One of my previous music teachers (viola) would not be happy until that little "8" was written on the page...

I think we're making the same point, Jody. Rather than the third string, I look at the lowest bass note in the composition. If it is "middle C" then I'm playing that note on the open 4th (tuned an octave below middle C). The rest of the strings fall in line.

I am just as confused as you re: Hal's comment above. I would play the 1st banjo part right off the page, no problem. I don't see how one could drop it an octave and play it...unless I drag out the Cello Banjo.


I should have been clearer about playing this, Jody. Of course, you can't just lower the entire song one octave. The first 8 measures are no problem but measures 9 and 10 are up at the 17th fret. The sustain at that point is almost non-existent and the fingering is very close. This song was written for the piano not the banjo so I should have taken that into account when arranging it. Further into the song, the fretting is at the 19th fret which is even more difficult to produce the tones that I expect Joplin was aiming for. 

I went back in and selectively lowered the piece one octave. I think it balances the melody and brings it into the spirit of the original. Look at this new arrangement and compare it to the original. It is much easier to play as well.

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