Does anybody know something about tempos for a "quickstep" as it would have been in 1880? Is this related to ragtime? I am speaking specifically of "Harriman's Quickstep" on page 131 of the Converse Analytical. It seems that if it goes too quickly, the 32nd notes will blur into a simple nail glide.

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According to the Harvard Brief Dictionary "In military parlance, a march in quick steps, about 108 per minute. Also the music for such a march.

In the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary, 1897 A quickstep is "1: a march written in military quick time. 2: a quick march."

The dance called a "quickstep" seems to have been developed in the 1920s, just when the 5-stringer all but vanished from popular culture.
I don't have that book so I can't comment on Harriman's. Most of the quicksteps I've heard have been Scots fiddle tunes, with a close relation to the highland pipes. I've heard a few hillbilly quicksteps too. None of either type were slower than 100 on the metronome and none faster than 116 I'd say off the cuff. None I've heard had a ragtime element. Rags connect to cake walks which connect to marches so I wouldn't say there was absolutely no connection but 1880 may be too early for ragtime.
Here is a link to the book (courtesy of Marc Smith who whipped my ass in an ebay auction...lol!). If anyone is so inclined to look at it, the song in question is on page 131.
Tim Twiss said:
Here is a link to the book

where is a link, please? .....
Hi Tim
You need to listen to some of the old 'Victor Silvester' recordings. He was a maniac for Strict Tempo...slow, slow, quick, quick, slow
http://www.milfordmusic.com/Banjo%20Clubhouse/Pages/Converse%20Anal...

Link to the book.

Jody Stecher said:
I don't have that book so I can't comment on Harriman's. Most of the quicksteps I've heard have been Scots fiddle tunes, with a close relation to the highland pipes. I've heard a few hillbilly quicksteps too. None of either type were slower than 100 on the metronome and none faster than 116 I'd say off the cuff. None I've heard had a ragtime element. Rags connect to cake walks which connect to marches so I wouldn't say there was absolutely no connection but 1880 may be too early for ragtime.
Yeah, never get between me and a book of antique banjo music... ;-)

I would also vote for the 108bpm...though this is pretty much spot on for regulation march tempo as well.

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