This is another first rate composition from T.S.Allen, the piano score was written in F but I've arranged it in G for ease of playing. The staccato notes in the first two bars of the intro make interesting listening but could be played 'straight'. The whole composition has plenty of variety and I particularly like his use of triplets in the first part. The score and midi are in the library...Steve.

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Very nice!

I have a copy of this (scribbly MS, stamped C.L. Spaulding) from Drew Frech in A notation. I believe he said it had been arranged by Hildreth (one of Jacobs' arrangers, I think).

Drew felt it should have been left in F but Hildreth agreed with you and arranged his in G. I'll key the Hildreth arrangement in soon and give yours and his a comparative study (and probably transpose it to F too, just for fun). Frankly, I'm all for playability!

I think F major is a lovely banjo key. It is not a lovely key for rhythm guitar for beginners. But banjo? I don't see G as being more playable than F for ragtime and related music.  All the open strings are used in F, including the B natural, which is a sharp 4 or flat 5. depending on your point of view.  In first position in F almost everything is on the first three frets whereas in G it is mostly on the first 4 frets. So why is G easier or more playable?   And think of all those C major classic banjo pieces whose third part (the "trio") is in F.  They are charming and enjoyable in that key.  The sonority of F is different from G as well. F has a characteristic tone color. 

I would assume that they both (Steve and Hildreth) see more comfortable positions for this piece in G...rather than tossing F because of some aesthetic reason.

But that is my point, or part of it. F is at least as comfortable as G and often more comfortable. And as Steve has pointed out, his transcription uses closed string chords at 3P.  That is tte same fingering in F two frets lower. Most of the G major scale involves  stretches of 2 frets whereas most of the F major scale has the notes 1 fret apart. How can 2 frets apart be more comfortable than 1 fret apart?  Steve's doing all the work here, finding old music and banjo-izing it. I'm just sitting here pondering. He can transpose to any key he wishes. And maybe G is actually easier. But I am asking what or why or how is G *easier* than F in this case (?).  For Foggy Mtn Breakdown, G is easier because it simply can't happen without the open string arrangement in G.  But what is easier in G for Sandy River Rag?  It's a philosophical question and a practical one as well.  I don't mean it as a challenge.  I'm just wondering, that's all.

Trapdoor2 said:

I would assume that they both (Steve and Hildreth) see more comfortable positions for this piece in G...rather than tossing F because of some aesthetic reason.

I really hope Steve doesn't mind us blathering on about this stuff. I'm learning!

I've found the rag (and many other T.S.Allen pieces on the Musescore site, so I can download them as piano scores and then cut 'n' paste into banjo scores, transposition is just a button click or two away.

So, rather than keying in from scratchy, nth-gen garble-copied MS in A notation, I can take the piano score, transpose it to Emaj and alter it to match the Hildreth A notation MS. Then I can further transpose it into C notation (G and/or F) and compare to Steve's score. Insights into the mind of our resident genius banjo score guy, so to speak.

At first blush, it appears that the original piano score in F does not violate the range of the banjo (meaning no Treble notes descend below middle C) and one could play straight from the piano sheet. This doesn't mean the chord stacks can be played, I'm sure many will bear alteration/voicing.

Hi Marc, It's no problem to me, it's nice to get a bit of feedback once in a while..Steve.

Trapdoor2 said:

I really hope Steve doesn't mind us blathering on about this stuff. I'm learning!

I've found the rag (and many other T.S.Allen pieces on the Musescore site, so I can download them as piano scores and then cut 'n' paste into banjo scores, transposition is just a button click or two away.

So, rather than keying in from scratchy, nth-gen garble-copied MS in A notation, I can take the piano score, transpose it to Emaj and alter it to match the Hildreth A notation MS. Then I can further transpose it into C notation (G and/or F) and compare to Steve's score. Insights into the mind of our resident genius banjo score guy, so to speak.

At first blush, it appears that the original piano score in F does not violate the range of the banjo (meaning no Treble notes descend below middle C) and one could play straight from the piano sheet. This doesn't mean the chord stacks can be played, I'm sure many will bear alteration/voicing.

Hi Marc, For the past 20 years or so I've used Finale PrintMusic as my preferred software but I do have Musescore on my PC so that I can access its music files. The Musescore XML files, apart from a few glitches, are more or less compatible with Printmusic and I often convert the files to PrintMusic and use onscreen editing to do some of my arrangements. As you say, it makes life much easier than having to input all the notes manually, especially when transposing keys....Steve.

e found the rag (and many other T.S.Allen pieces on the Musescore site, so I can download them as piano scores and then cut 'n' paste into banjo scores, transposition is just a button click or two away.

So, rather than keying in from scratchy, nth-gen garble-copied MS in A notation, I can take the piano score, transpose it to Emaj and alter it to match the Hildreth A notation MS. Then I can further transpose it into C notation (G and/or F) and compare to Steve's score. Insights into the mind of our resident genius banjo score guy, so to speak.

At first blush, it appears that the original piano score in F does not violate the range of the banjo (meaning no Treble notes descend below middle C) and one could play straight from the piano sheet. This doesn't mean the chord stacks can be played, I'm sure many will bear alteration/voicing.

Yes. I have always had problems with transferring XML files. TablEdit XML xfer is always a mess. I've found that their ABC file xfer is cleaner for some reason. I'm in process of xferring all my old TablEdit files over to Musescore...close to 400 scores. =8^0

I have taken the Sandy River Rag score from Musescore and have transposed it to Emaj to match the Hildreth A-notation arrangement...then transposed it to G for C notation. Frankly, the MS is so badly copied that several parts are unreadable...but I think I have it reasonably correct.

Then I compared it to your score in G. Easy answer: your score is easier to play...and I think critically so. The Hildreth arrangement has many of the 3-note chord stacks left over from the piano score where you have reduced them down to a simpler 2-note format while retaining the tonality.

I have played around with the original score in F...but until one truncates those piano chord stacks, it is quite awkward to play...and if I truncate the chord stacks, I might as well just transpose your score to F...which I have no real reason to do.

I suspect Drew may have wanted to play this in F simply because he has a pianist to play with. That way they could both read from the original score...

Steve Harrison said:

Hi Marc, For the past 20 years or so I've used Finale PrintMusic as my preferred software but I do have Musescore on my PC so that I can access its music files. The Musescore XML files, apart from a few glitches, are more or less compatible with Printmusic and I often convert the files to PrintMusic and use onscreen editing to do some of my arrangements. As you say, it makes life much easier than having to input all the notes manually, especially when transposing keys....Steve.

e found the rag (and many other T.S.Allen pieces on the Musescore site, so I can download them as piano scores and then cut 'n' paste into banjo scores, transposition is just a button click or two away.

So, rather than keying in from scratchy, nth-gen garble-copied MS in A notation, I can take the piano score, transpose it to Emaj and alter it to match the Hildreth A notation MS. Then I can further transpose it into C notation (G and/or F) and compare to Steve's score. Insights into the mind of our resident genius banjo score guy, so to speak.

At first blush, it appears that the original piano score in F does not violate the range of the banjo (meaning no Treble notes descend below middle C) and one could play straight from the piano sheet. This doesn't mean the chord stacks can be played, I'm sure many will bear alteration/voicing.

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