Leviathan Hornpipe

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is an obscure American hornpipe, originally published in 1867 by Elias Howe in "1000 Jigs and Reels". A different and unrelated tune of the same name is in Ryan's Mammoth Collection. See:


    Howe's book has the tune in B flat major, but I'm playing it in G major, using chords and a bass line by Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, from Volume 3 of "Evelyn's Big Book of Mandolin Trios". I like the way the tune jumps up and down the fretboard.

    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

    T:Leviathan Hornpipe [1]
    S:Howe - 1000 Jigs and Reels (c. 1867)
    Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion
    B>A | B2B,2d2 (3dcB | G2g2g2 f>e | (3def B2 (3cde A2 | (3BAB (3dcB (3AGF (3EDC |
    B,2B2d2 (3dcB | G2g2g2f>e | (3def B2 (3cde A2 | B2b2B2 :|
    |: c>B | A>f T(3f=ef a>f T(3fef | b>f Tf=ef e>d c>B | A>f (3f=ef g>fe>d | e2c2c3F |
    D>B (3BAB G>B (3BAB | F>B (3BAB G2 F>E | (3DFA (3dfb (3agf (3edc | B2b2B2 :|]

  2. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Saw all the vids you posted Martin and thought, ok I’ll learn the first one as quickly as I can to keep up with you!
    Apologies, it still needs some polishing, but as a speed exercise/experiment, not too shabby!

  3. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Simon -- nice playing and interesting camera angle! Are you playing in the original key of B flat major? The triplet runs on this one are good fun.

  4. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thank you Martin for posting this one it certainly has some runs that are good as practice exercises.
    And there are a lot of parts that are sort of non-standard, Which is nice too.
    I played this one in B-flat fingering, but with the capo at the fifth fret I guess it takes it up to Emajor?
    I don't think yours is in B-flat either?
    Yes the triplets are fun, and as it happens I'm working on another hornpipe that has double triplets all over the place! It was written some time before 1810 and sounds as if it's from the north-east of England, a piping dance tune.
  5. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    My version is in G major, Simon -- Evelyn changed key from the original for her setting and I followed her score. Easier to finger, too.

    Evelyn says that this hornpipe is English, but the Fiddler's Companion says it's American. As the only known source is the Howe book, which was published in Boston, that sounds reasonable to me.

  6. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Yes, itís a great tune to practise, Bb fingering is definitely quite difficult! I thought it sounded like an American tune that had some pomp and ceremony added to it. Itís a mix of something. Scottish or NE England?
    Iíll try it in G, maybe those ostentatious runs will blend in better.

    Learning this tune as quickly as I could was an amazing exercise too. Never done it before, I worked soooo hard! The speed and pressure forced me to start thinking and memorising in blocks of melody, there are five or six main blocks linked together. It was a bit like the jump to tremolo, or suddenly riding a bicycle, itís actually quite easy once you make the jump, a very different way of thinking. The Session type thinking, I guess.
  7. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    This is a nice tune, I enjoyed both versions
  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Two very different versions from you, Martin and Simon, each with its own attractions. A new tune to me, so thanks for posting.

    Simon, your comment on how you learned the tune in more quickly than usual, identifying phrases that repeat, is the technique I mentioned to you being taught by Pipe Major Stuart Liddell on the Cork Hill thread a couple of days back. It is such a useful way of getting a tune into your head and you certainly got this one nailed quickly!
  9. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Kay, and nice to hear from you too.
    Yes, I hammered it John, flattened it!
    I looked through the errors I made - really instructive too. Often it was where I was jumping to a new phrase or simply playing too fast for the limited practise on those long runs. I did learn it mainly without the metronome and then decided to iron out the rubato, or at least put it where I wanted it.
    That was a bit of a shock, once I switched on my friend, the electronic beastie!

    Cork Hill is one of my favourite tunes! It’s a trance-foot-tapper-tune. Wonderful.
  10. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Kay and John!

    Simon: I'm usually pretty steady with timing on the dance tunes these days, with the benefit of a decade or so of recording strict time to a metronome, but on this one the long triplet run in the B part was rather more rubato than I wanted -- I noticed that I had to slow down slightly on those phrases when I added the tenor guitar rhythm. The benefit of playing with a "live" rhythm player is that they force you to keep time!

  11. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Ha, ha, I’m with you Martin, I don’t think I played every note on any of the runs at all!
    This is definitely one of the more technically demanding tunes on SAW.
    The other guys probably wont even try it.
  12. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Simon. Looking at your fingering, I think the tune is a lot harder in Bb major than in G, because of the Eb on the sixth fret. It falls reasonably well under the fingers in G (except for the final run in the B part).

  13. Gelsenbury
    Yep, far too difficult for me. You both play it well, though.
  14. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Yay Dennis, hope you’re doing well, always good to hear from you.
  15. Frankdolin
    NIce tune guys! Almost sounds like a sea shanty. Or is me ?
  16. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Denis and Frank!

    Hornpipes certainly have a connection with sailors, and the title of this one does link quite neatly to whaling songs, so the link to shanties is not that far-fetched. Also check A.L. Lloyd's classic album of whaling songs, "Leviathan!": Link

  17. John W.
    John W.
    Nice tune, Martin, which (leaving the title aside) does have a feeling of sea movement to it… Interesting response to Martin’s recent videos, Simon…as I was thinking myself that he seems to have been spending a considerable amount of time in that attic recently…
  18. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    -ha, ha, well Martin does have a considerable collection of posted mandolin tunes. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if Martin was a world leader in this respect.
Results 1 to 18 of 18