Well, I had a few moments today to sit down and clean out my binder of tunes. This is a three-ring binder that carries all the Classic Banjo tunes I either routinely practice, play thru or wish to work on. It has gotten to where it is overstuffed and hard to carry without dropping out loose pages or whatever.

So, I took it all apart and cleaned out all the junk I never play and then decided to arrange it by tuning, that is, all the gCGBD tunes and then all the 'raised bass' tunes. I find that I tend to simply plop it open and start from the beginning (when I have that kind of time), bouncing around from one tuning to the other is tiresome.

Here's a list of what is now in it:

Kissing Cup Waltz Joe George
Berkeley March Brooks and Denton
Kaloola A. J. Weidt
The Ladbrooke March C. Skinner
Cupid's Victory A. J. Weidt
Fun On The Wabash Parke Hunter
A Banjo Oddity Joe Morley
Whistling Rufus Kerry Mills
Honolulu Cake Walk Lerman/Ossman
Pensacola Parke Hunter
Skeleton Dance Norton Greenop
A Joy Ride Joe Morley
Banjoland Joe Morley
Canon Jig Joe Morley
In the Moonlight Joe Morley
Glitter of Steel Thos. Dorward
Desert Trail Joe Morley
Man The Guns Sanders Papworth
The Dusky Minstrel Felix Burns
Rose Leaves Gavotte Joe Morley
Royal Rag Thomas Armstrong
Smokey Mokes Abe Holtzmann
Donkey Laugh Joe Morley
Kingdom Comin' Joe Morley
The Whistler and His Dog Joe Morley
Mister Jollyboy Emile Grimshaw
Popinjay Polka Joe Morley
Eli Green's Cakewalk Sadie Koninsky/J. Morley
Rag Pickings George Lansing
Favorite Waltz Joe Morley
A Darkey's Romance Emile Grimshaw
Banjoliers Emile Grimshaw
A Plantation Episode Emile Grimshaw
Corn Cob Parade Joe Morley
Kalamazoo Kapers Thomas Armstrong
Nuts and Wine Joe Morley
Royal Tourist Percy Jacques
Circus Parade Joe Morley
The Red Rover March A. J. Weidt
Gypsy Love Bernard Sheaff
Lillies of the Valley A. J. Weidt
Pink Lemonade A. J. Weidt
Onion Rag A. J. Weidt
Dat Yam Rag A. J. Weidt
That Banjo Rag A. J. Weidt
Yankee Dandy A. J. Weidt
Dashwood Quickstep Olly Oakley
Fernbank Quickstep Olly Oakley
Rugby Parade Olly Oakley
Somewhere in Dixie George Lansing
Plantation Symphony Paul Eno
A Footlight Favorite

Emile Grimshaw

Views: 432

Comment by Jody Stecher on December 19, 2011 at 2:38

Rag Pickings seems to have been claimed by Fred Van Eps as well as George Lansing. Can you shed some light on this?

Comment by Trapdoor2 on December 19, 2011 at 3:04

The sheet music I took this from says "arrang. Van Eps". I don't remember where I found the George Lansing connection. Perhaps GL wrote it and Van Eps did his own thing with it.

Comment by thereallyniceman on December 19, 2011 at 19:04

This is a very interesting post, Marc. I too have a ring binder that frequently bursts open, but I am so disorganized that when bits fall out they end up in my other music catalogue, which uses the “Heap” filing system.  I accumulate piles of mixed up scores here and there, which grow and grow until my wife tells me to sort it all out.


Can anyone suggest a suitable filing system for printed banjo scores, as I have never come up with one that doesn’t involve a heap that rapidly turns into a jumble?  I have tried alphabetical, by author but it makes no difference, I can never find anything that I am looking for without spending an age going through the whole pile(s)!


My ring binder currently contains the following, that is until it falls off the music stand again and spills all over the floor ;-) 


A small number of these are still “under my fingers”, but they usually come back fairly fast with a few hours of practice.  The brain is a clever thing, even a small one like mine ;-)


Whistling Rufus                         Kerry Mills

Georgia Grind                             Ford T. Dabney (S.Harrison)

Grace & Beauty                           James Scott

Calliope Rag                                James Scott

Ragtime Oriole                           James Scott (J.Stecher)

Hot Frets                                     Frank Lawes

Progressions                               Frank Lawes

Red Hot Shivers                         Frank Lawes

Syncopatin’ Shuffle                    Frank Lawes

Yankeeland                                  Max Hoffmann

Palladium March                       Joe Morley

Circus Parade                             Joe Morley

Georgia Medley                         Joe Morley

Keynotes Rag                              Joe Morley

Jovial Huntsman                       Joe Morley

Pompadour                                 Joe Morley

Jumbo Rag                                  Bert Bassett

 At Sunset                                    Emile Grimshaw

 You and a Canoe                       Emile Grimshaw

Maple Leaf rag                           Joplin/Van Eps

Heliotrope Boquet                    Joplin/Chauvin

Cupid’s Arrow                            V.Ossmann

Whipped Cream Rag                Percy Wenrich

The Smiler Rag                          Percy Wenrich

Omena Intermezzo                   B Hartz

Kansas Jig                                  Herbert Ellis

Comment by Trapdoor2 on December 19, 2011 at 19:49

After I sorted the binder out, I typed 'em all into an excel spreadsheet, sort of as a "Table of Contents", which I printed and put in as the first page. It is just as seen above, no page numbers (the pages aren't numbered anyway) but it gives me an idea roughly where each tune might be found.

Of course, the whole thing is constantly in flux as I add or subtract tunes (mostly add). I have another binder that I'm going to use as an 'overflow' for tunes I don't regularly play. At least I won't be throwing away that pile of paper...just yet. I also intend to have yet another binder to match the 1st one, but will contain "2nd parts"...hopefully in the same order. This will save disassembly when I find someone who wants to play a duet (rarely). It also took about 40% out of the main book as I kept the 2nd parts tucked in behind any applicable 1sts.

One problem that I haven't properly sorted out is that some of my TABs run to 3 pages (Footlight Favorite, for instance). I have sheet holders (a fold-out page) that allow that but they're awkward. I can print these pieces on 2 pages but my old eyes do not appreciate the tiny font.

Comment by Hal Allert on December 27, 2011 at 1:18

What a major endeavor to organize your  music. I have forgotten more than I have learned, I think. Songs I once liked to play seem to, initially, take a back seat to a new tune that I like better. Then those old tunes manage to get taken out of the binder and be put away. Not too far away but far away enough that they are not played again. Of course, once you learn a song, it is easier to relearn if you can find the sheet music.

When I first became interested in Classic Banjo, I scoured my collection of Banjo Newsletters and copied everything that was connected to CB. This included the fine songs transcribed by Clarke Buehling, Bill Morris, and a person named Faulkner. I even copied the classical pieces because they were notations unlike the bluegrass ones. I put them in 3-ring binders alphabetically. As I collected true CB pieces I would add them to the binders in their proper place in the alphabet. After some time, I had 6 or 7 binders with music in individual sheet  protectors (ideal for playing outside on windy days). As I kept collecting, the binders got too heavy and the inserting process became unwieldy. My present system is an open filing cabinet on casters where I have put all the music in hanging folders. There is a folder for each letter of the alphabet. Within that folder the songs are arranged alphabetically. I can find any song I want pretty quickly now and it is easy to insert a new piece in its proper place. I wouldn't say that is being anal-retentive, just the mother of necessity.

Since then I have scanned all of those sheets and store them online. I didn't realize what I was getting myself into when I had that brainstorm as the scanner was a high-speed scanner and it named each scan with a consecutive number. So I had to go through each scan and re-name it to its proper title. Not to make it too easy for myself, I had to re-name each piece to whether it was first, second, piccolo, bass, etc. and whether it was page one, two, etc. Now that might be closer to  anal-retentive but, at least, I can tell at a glance what the page is. The next step in this step through purgatory is to re-enter all the sheets into a spreadsheet for reference.

Presently, I have 2 binders. One is for performance. It includes all the parts for each song we perform arranged by their order in the performing set. The other binder is for pieces I am learning and they are arranged alphabetically. I am currently learning ten songs in a row and have been learning these ten tunes since the beginning of 2011. These ten tunes have been arranged in SmartScore and each part can be played individually or altogether. I play along with them at the tempo I have selected and can read the music as I go. I really like this method because each of us have the same software and can quickly find mistakes in our playing. Just recently, Musitek, the makers of SmartScore, has released a standalone player for these files. You can play the songs and adjust the tempo and all but you cannot edit it. SmartScore.

Comment by Jody Stecher on December 27, 2011 at 6:50

I just put the music sheets in file folders arranged alphabetically and marked on the outside. Several letters of the alphabet per folder. The folders are arranged spine out on a book shelf with the outer covers of A and Z held up by books which keep the files from flopping over. The few originals (not photocopies) that I have are taller and they are on a different taller bookshelf, again held up by books. There is another folder for tunes I'm currently working on and that is usually lying  flat on one inappropriate horizontal surface or another. Totally boring, I'm afraid but I can find what I need pretty quickly.       Except for when I can't.

Comment by Trapdoor2 on December 27, 2011 at 13:54

So intersesting how we each have different needs and file accordingly. Eventually, I want to finish digitally photographing all my stuff (the large format stuff won't fit on a scanner) and then filing them by name. I have an "Access" database (which is horribly out of date) where I can search by Name, Composer, Publisher, etc. However, once their digitized, I will make 'em available to Hal for his website (and anyone else who wants 'em).

Right now, they're in archival binders...or simply stacked in U-Haul boxes (willy-nilly). I have taken this week off...the garage is #1 priority (cleaning, etc.) then my music room will hopefully be next. If I can just get the books unpacked and on their shelves, that will be a major accomplishment (and I'll be able to walk thru the room). 

Comment by Hal Allert on December 27, 2011 at 19:48

I think you could sort by those headings in a spreadsheet. I have seen it done this  way and it would be a lot easier to set up. Now if the database could give you a list of whatever item you choose and then open the music file up into a viewer, that would be the ultimate. Of course, you are probably going to have divorce proceedings in that mix, but where are your priorities.

I am going to start another thread about music conservation and preservation. I hope to hear from a lot of you.

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