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Thread: Blake's March -musical notation

  1. #1
    Registered User Nick Royal's Avatar
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    Default Blake's March -musical notation

    Anyone have a music notation version of "Blake's March" by Norman Blake.
    I'd find that helpful in working on the tune.
    Nick Royal
    Santa Cruz, CA

  2. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Wow. Seems to be very hard to find. I checked The Session, they don't have it, and I went over to Fiddle Hangout and they can't find it either.

    I will poke around a bit.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

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  3. #3
    Mandogenerator Mike Black's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Here you go.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Mike Black; Oct-25-2013 at 5:56pm. Reason: Added Chords

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  5. #4
    Registered User Nick Royal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Thanks Mike.
    I am playing the piece pretty much by ear, but having some music to look at, in spots, will help.
    Nick

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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Norman can be tricky that way and when you finally see it in notation you're like, well that is just the coolest little run .....

    Still trying to embedd walnut river, 3rd street gypsy rag, and Nancy's Hornpipe

  7. #6

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Wow. Seems to be very hard to find. I checked The Session, they don't have it, and I went over to Fiddle Hangout and they can't find it either.

    I will poke around a bit.
    Can't .tefs be converted to musical notation?

  8. #7

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    This is the version I'm learning from. It's in D. Does anyone have notation in D? The G notation posted by Mike Black above doesn't fit this version.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ftp...lyChamberMusic

  9. #8
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    That’s not Blake’s March. It’s The Constitution March.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    The tune that Stringalong linked to is indeed "Constitution Hornpipe," which is in "Ryan's Mammoth Collection," which was also printed in the now out-of-print "1000 Fiddle Tunes" published by M.M. Cole Publishing, often called "Cole's" by us older folks. Norman learned it out of Cole's.

    There are many dozens of good tunes in Ryan's, which is the same book as Cole's but in larger print. I believe that Mel Bay is still printing Ryan's.

    Mike Black's version of "Blake's March" is pretty close to the way Norman recorded it, although I believe that Peter Ostroushko played mandolin on the recording and Norman played guitar. I also believe that the 3rd and 4th beats of measure 7 should be "F#-G-A-F#" rather than "E-F#-G-E;" at least, that's the way we always played it. If you want it in D, someone can transpose it.

    Every time I have heard Norman play it on mandolin, he played it in G. For quite a few years, he has handled the first part a bit differently.
    I believe it was a fiddler who first started playing it in D, perhaps 15 or 20 years ago.

    Bob Chuckrow
    a.k.a. "St. Elmo Slim"
    Norman's accompanist on the "Flower From the Fields of Alabama" album.

    BTW, Norman has a birthday coming up on March 10. He will be 83.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    "Norman learned it out of Cole's" ?

    I do have a reprint copy of "Cole's One Thousand Fiddle Tunes" 1967
    I do not see Constitution March in there.

    I know Norman and James Bryan noted that book as the source of many tunes they recorded, its possible the version I have is not the same one Norman has.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    My mistake. The Constitution Hornpipe in Cole's is a different tune.

    Here is the Constitution March in D from a fakebook compiled by the late Fletcher Bright, crediting James Bryan as the source. I don't know where James found it. He has collected and learned many tunes from old sheet music, "tutor" books, and 78 rpm records. I cannot find it in any published source that I have.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Several of us have indeed gotten many tunes out of Cole's/Ryan's; and also out of Peter Kennedy's "The Fiddler's Tunebook, 200 Traditional Airs;" and "The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory," volumes 1 and 2, by R.P. Christeson, which some folks call "The Missouri Books." Note-- the chords in the current Mel Bay edition of "The Fiddler's Tunebook" series were added later and were poorly done.
    Last edited by rcc56; Feb-10-2021 at 3:48am.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Thank you everyone, especially rcc56 who sent Constitution March in D. It's early morning now where I am so I'll have to try it later. I've been playing it successfully with the YouTube version I sent the link for, but it's a hard one to remember.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    The notation in D is not at all like the mandolin version in the link I sent. I love the Constitution March, but I gather from the discussion that Norman Blake is not the composer, and that nobody really knows the source of Constitution March?

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    On "Far away down on a Georgia Farm" the tune is listed as "traditional" , Norman did talk about visiting radio stations through out the South East, and pouring through old 78 recordings of various fiddlers, learning many tunes by ear that way.

    He of course could have learned it from someone else he picked with.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Who knows the original composer of any of the 100+ year old tunes??
    They were passed down from one player to another, over and over, and often changed a little as they were passed down. That's the nature of the folk process.
    The books came later, starting in the 1880's or 1890's.
    The best we can do is to locate the oldest surviving printed or recorded source, and we cannot do that very often.

    I can think of two tunes off the top of my head that are known to have been played at least as far back as the late 18th century: Soldier's Joy and The Girl I Left Behind Me. The names of the composers are buried in obscurity.

    The version of Constitution that I posted works well enough, if you justify the meter on the pickup notes. Fletcher never did quite understand using 1st and 2nd endings to fit pickup notes into the meter.
    Last edited by rcc56; Feb-10-2021 at 12:20pm.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Quote Originally Posted by stringalong View Post
    The notation in D is not at all like the mandolin version in the link I sent. I love the Constitution March, but I gather from the discussion that Norman Blake is not the composer, and that nobody really knows the source of Constitution March?
    Not to be disrespectful but it seems pretty close. There may be a few notes different here and there but that is folk music.

  18. #17
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Tune names change over time, some musicians can't remember the name so it might be renamed for that player or the names misheard. In any case, my friend Andy has done quite a bit of research on tune origins. Here is what he said about "Constitution March" cross referenced to a scottish tune called "Willie Was a Wanton Wag":

    WILLIE WAS A WANTON WAG. AKA and see “Clare(s) Dragoons,” “Constitution March.” Scottish, American; Polka or Scots Measure. USA, New England. D Major. Standard. AABB (McGlashan, Miller & Perron, Kerr): AABBCCDDEEFFGGHH (McGibbon). The tune appears in the McLean Collection published by James Johnson in Edinburgh in 1772 (pg. 24‑25), the McFarlane Manuscript of 1740 (where it is ascribed to William Forbes of Disblair), and Robert Riddel's 1794 Scotch, Galwegian, and Border Tunes (set by James Clark). The first publication however (according to A. Fleischmann), was in Daniel Wright’s Aria Di Camera: A Choice Collection of Scotch, Irish, and Welsh Airs (London, 1727). It was the original tune for the American campaign song “Jefferson and Liberty” penned by ornithologist-painter Alexander Wilson. In early American collections it can be found as “Constitution March,” while in Ireland it is a polka called “The Clare Dragoons.” Kerr (Merry Melodies), vol. 3; No. 378, pg. 42. McGlashan (Collection of Scots Measures), 177?; pg. 6. McGibbon (Scots Tunes, Book 1) c. 1746; pg. 12 (includes variation sets). Miller & Perron (101 Polkas), 1978; No. 19.
    As you can see that tune has been around a bit as far back (and possibly further than the 18th century) and got named in various ways.

    Some versions in notation here.
    Jim

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  19. #18

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Hello, Jim Garber, wowee! Your friend Andy certainly did a tremendous amount of research about the origins of Constitution March aka many other names! Thanks! I'll post this at my YouTube channel, which is Marian Drake42 channel on YouTube.

  20. #19

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Here I am, playing Constitution March with the drumbeats created by BoxCarJoe! I even posted Andy's research on my YouTube version, thanks to Jim Garber.

    https://studio.youtube.com/video/DE66kTF_rDI/edit

  21. #20
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Hey string along, you posted a link to your video in the YouTube studio edit mode - link won’t work that way. Post a link to the video itself, I’d surely like to hear it!
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  22. #21

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Hey string along, you posted a link to your video in the YouTube studio edit mode - link won’t work that way. Post a link to the video itself, I’d surely like to hear it!
    Okay. See if this works! Thanks for asking!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE66...=MarianDrake42

  23. #22
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    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Constitution March is a neat tune ! Think I will learn it !

  24. #23

    Default Re: Blake's March -musical notation

    Cool! A great tune for a yankee1! We support the Constitution!

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