Money Musk (1)

From The Traditional Tune Archive
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Money Musk (1)


MONEY MUSK [1]/MONYMUSK. AKA - "Moniemusk." AKA and see: "All the Lads of Copper Alley," "Countess of Airly (The) (early 18th century)," "Dannsa Gaelach," "Grant of Mony Musk," "Sir Archibald Grant of Monemusk's Reel." Scottish (originally), English, Irish, Canadian, Old-Time, American; Reel, Strathspey, Fling, Highland, Breakdown. USA; New York State, Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Maine, New Hampshire, Alabama. England; Shropshire, Northumberland. Ireland, Donegal. A Major (Ashman, Barnes, Brody, Bronner, Christeson, Cole {reel}, Ditson, Doyle, Kennedy, Miller & Perron, O'Neill, Phillips, Raven, Skinner, Sweet, White): G Major (most versions): C Major (Howe/Accordeon): A Major (Beisswenger & McCann). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Burchenal): AB (Cole {strathspey version}, O'Neill/1850 & 1001, Plain Brown, Surenne, White): AAB (Balmoral, Barnes, Campbell, Dale, Gow, Hunter, Martin, Skinner): AA'B (O'Neill/Krassen): AABB (Ashman, Brody, Ditson, Ford, Howe/Accordeon, Kennedy, Linscott, Miller & Perron, Peacock, Raven, Sweet): AABB' (Athole, Kerr, Skye): AA'BB' (Cuillerier): ABC (Honeyman): AABBCC (Beisswenger & McCann, Christeson): ABCCDD (Cole): AABBCCD (O'Neill/Waifs): AABBCCDD (Brody): AA'BB'CC'DD (Phillips/Block): AA'BCAA'BC' (Phillips/Miller).

Monymusk House, by James William Giles, 1848.

"Moneymusk" was originally a pipe tune or pipe-inspired tune (written within the range of nine notes, in the so-called 'double tonic' tonality). It takes it's name from an Aberdeenshire, Scotland, baronial estate called Monymusk House, long in the possession of the Grant family. 'Moneymusk' is the 'Englished' version of the Gaelic words Muine muisc meaning a 'noxious weed or bush'. The tune was composed by Daniel (sometimes Donald) Dow (1732–1783) in 1776 and first appeared in his Thirty Seven New Reels, c. 1780 (p. 5), under the title "Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk's Strathspey" (Sir Archibald, the third Baronet, founded the town of Archiestown, near Monahoudie Moss on Speyside. He was musical and was President of the Aberdeen Musical Society, and, according to Graham Christian (2015), "had his tenants taught how to sign harmonized psalms." He died in 1796 in Aberdeenshire. Dow was born in Kirkmichael, Perthshire, and became a music teacher in Edinburgh where he taught, among other instruments, the guitar. His compositions were well received in his lifetime and survive today. When he died in the winter of 1783 at the age of 51 he was buried in the Canongate Churchyard; a concert to benefit his widow and children was given shortly after his death in St. Mary's Hall, Niddry's Wynd, where he had often given his own concerts over the years. Perthshire musician John Fife copied "Money Musk" into his manuscript music book of around 1780 (he also apparently was a seaman, for there are indications in the manuscript that he saw conflict in the Caribbean and Mediterranean). Irish music researchers Fleischmann & Ó Súilleabháin, however, cite Joshua Campbell's Collection of New Reels and Highland Strathspeys (1786) as the first publication with the melody.

Linscott (1939) says the melody was called "Countess of Airly (The)" in the early 18th century, and came from the village of Monymusk, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, although by what authority she makes this claim is not known. Bayard (1981) states that even if there was not one particular tune that was a direct predecessor of Dow's melody, he certainly had access to earlier models for it, for both "Ruffian's Rant (The)" and "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" are cognate and contain similar melodic material. Mary Anne Alburger (1983) also identifies Daniel Dow as the composer of "Sir Archibald Grant of Monemusk's Reel," and adds that when the Gows published it in their 1799 Repository, Part First, they altered it rhythmically (by adding more 'Scots snaps' and smoothing out some dotted patterns for variety) and shortened the name to "Monymusk, A Strathspey." It has since that time been generally known simply as the shortened "Monymusk" or its alternate spellings and variations. Christine Martin (2002) uses the tune as an example of one of the vehicles for a foursome reel, and says "Monymusk" is often used for dancing the Highland Fling.

Multi-instrumentalist John Rook, of Waverton, Cumbria (northwest England), entered "Money Musk" into his large 1840 music manuscript collection *(p. 152), set as a strathspey in the key of 'G'. Ensign and flute player Thomas Molyneaux, of the 6th Regiment, penned "Money Musk" into his copybook when stationed in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, in 1788. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, fiddlers, who have retained the old Scottish fiddling tradition, play the tune as a strathspey in G Major, as it is set in older collections in Scotland. Later Scottish fiddlers were more classically trained on their instruments, and as a result the music tended to be more formal and virtuostic, as in the playing of J. Scott Skinner and others of his ilk. Some Scottish fiddlers became skilled enough on their instruments to vary the playing of 'traditional' tunes and venture further afield musically than the usual 'fiddle keys'. When Jamie Duncan tried it, however, he was taken to task by a local fiddling tailor:

I've keepit dacent company a' my days and I'm nae gaun to change my ways noo. At this moment Jamie Duncan's playing 'Mony Musk' in four flats, and I say that the man that wad do that is fit for ony kin' o' rascality.

English musicians' manuscripts include "Money Musk" with regularity. The William Brown manuscript (Romford, England, c. 1797) has it.

Caoimhin MacAoidh (1997) has remarked that "Moneymusk" was absorbed into Irish tradition through the Ulster counties, but was played as far south as Clare and Cork. In Donegal (in the north of Ireland) this and other strathspeys were converted into a form called the 'highland,' similar to a strathspey but with a less pronounced rhythm. Likewise, Fintan Vallely, in his book Blooming Meadows (1998), writes that in Donegal "Moneymusk" was "strikingly converted from a strathspey to the high-rhythm, house-dance variant, The Highland." Donegal fiddlers play the tune in the key of 'A' Major. "Peeler's Pocket (The)" is a related Irish reel.

Paul Gifford reports that a history of Romanian music by Poslusnicu gives that "Money Musk" (recorded as "Manimasca") was one of the dances at a nobleman's ball in Bucovina, Moldavia, sometime after 1812, and that the music was not unlikely played by Jewish musicians.

"Money Musk" was a popular melody as well as a country dance in America by the 1790's. American published versions of the music appear beginning in 1796 by B. Carr in Evening Amusements (Philadelphia), and both tune and dance were widely published after that, indicating enormous popularity in America in the last decade of the 18th century into the next. Manuscript versions are also numerous: one appears in Ann Winnington's music manuscript book (No. 29), c. 1810—the frontispiece in the MS. indicates Winnington resided in New York (although she may have removed at some point to England). Elisabeth Crawford (Massachusetts) penned the dance figures in her 1794 commonplace book that contained the rules of grammar alongside 12 other country dance figures. Southington, Connecticut, musician Joel Allen copied "Money Musk" into his music copybook of around 1800, as did Thomas Cushing around 1805 and Silas Dickinson (Amherst, Massachusetts) around 1800. Onondaga, New York, fluter Daniel Henry Huntington copied it into his manuscript "Preceptor for the Flute" in 1817, as did Newburyport, Massachusetts, musician Samuel Morse in 1811. William Patten (Philadelphia, Pa.) noted it in his copybook from around 1800, as did Cherry Valley, New York, fiddler George White, around 1790. Set as a reel, "Money Musk" was entered into the music manuscript book of M.E. Eames, frontispiece dated Aug. 22nd, 1859 (p. 7); nothing is known of the fiddler save that he may have been from Philadelphia.

The country dance "Money Musk" has remained a New England staple for two centuries, although one phrase of the original music has been dropped, while the dance measures stayed the same (thus "cramming 32 measures of dance in to 24 measures of music" note Tony Parkes/Steve Woodruff). In some New England dance circles this dance was traditionally danced immediately after the break, where, for just one example, presumably this was so when it was danced in August, 1914, at the 150th anniversary celebration of the founding of the town of Lancaster, N.H. (it was listed on a playbill preserved in the town history). Peter Yarensky remembers that it used to be the first dance after the break for years at New Hampshire dances and that "some people would line up for Money Musk before the break even began..." By the 1970's the tune dance was considered a "chestnut" and it is rarely performed today in New England. Howe (c. 1867) and Ford (1940, p. 214) also print versions of the contra dance, though without source references. Paul Gifford remembers seeing the dance on a surviving card from Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Ball. The melody appears in George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels, volume I (1839) under the title "Killie Krankie," a title that was actually the title of the dance that "Money Musk" was associated with at the time (in northern Ireland the tune is still known as "Killiecrankie Highland"). The melody was cited as having commonly been played for Orange County, New York, country dances in the 1930's (Lettie Osborn, New York Folklore Quarterly), and it appears in a repertoire list of Mainer Mellie Dunham (an elderly fiddler who was Henry Ford's champion fiddler in the late 1920's). It was also once popular in coastal areas of the South, as attested to in the following passage from A Contribution to the History of the Huguenots of South Carolina (1887) by Samuel Dubose and Frederick Porcher. It describes a country dance in Craven County, South Carolina in the early 1800's:

Nothing can be imagined more simple or more fascinating that those Pineville balls. Bear in mind, reader, that we are discussing old Pineville as it existed prior to 1836. No love of display governed the preparations; no vain attempt to outshine a competitor in the world of fashion. Refreshments were provided of the simplest character, such only as the unusual exercise, and sitting beyond the usual hours of repose, would fairly warrant. Nothing to tempt the pampered appetite. Cards were usually provided to keep the elderly gentlemen quite, and the music was only that which the gentlemens' servants could produce. The company assembled early. No one ever though of waiting until bedtime to dress for the ball; a country-dance always commenced the entertainment. The lady who stood at the head of the dancers was entitled to call for the figure, and the old airs, Ça Ira, Moneymusk, Haste to the Wedding, and La Belle Catharine were popular and familiar in Pineville long after they had been forgotten, as dances, everywhere else.

In contrast to New England and the eastern seaboard, in the Southern Appalachians the tune was was rarely heard (Jabbour, Krassen/1973), although not unknown. It was recorded as one of the tunes played by fiddler Ben Smith, a Georgian in the Twelfth Alabama Infantry in the Civil War (as listed by Robert Emory Park in Sketch of the Twelfth Alabama Infantry, 1906) {Cauthen, 1990}. Another Civil War reference is to be found in Bell Wiley's The Life of Johnny Reb, where it is listed among the favorite fiddle tunes of Confederate musicians. "Money Musk" was in the repertoire lists of two fiddlers who played in the Raleigh, North Carolina, fiddler's convention, held in the decade before World War I. According to articles in the defunct Raleigh News and Observer, it was played by one Arnold A. Parish of Willow Spirngs (Wake County, N.C.) who competed in the 1906 contest, and by S.S. Ransdell (Louisburg, Granville, County, N.C.) a year earlier in the 1905 contest (Ransdell called the tune "Money Mush"). Gail Gillespie (Fiddle-L 1/04/03) points out that Parish's town was on the border of Wake and Harnett Counties and that the latter had many Scots immigrants, "as recently as the 1840's." In the Midwest "Moneymusk" was much more common and the title appears in a list of traditional Ozark Mountain fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. Missouri fiddlers still play the tune (it was known as a difficult piece and a "big tune" in Mo. fiddle contests up until the 1970's, according to Howard Marshall, though its popularity has waned in recent years), and "Money Musk" is one of '100 essential Missouri tunes' listed by Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden. John Hartford (2001) recorded a three-part version in the key of 'A' he learned from Missouri fiddler Roy Wooliver ("the little cross-eyed snaggle-toothed drifter who drifted in an out of almost everything we played, who was a major influence on Gene Goforth when Gene was young, who in turn was a major influence on everybody else who heard him"), that Hartford and Goforth both recorded as "Wooliver's Money Musk." Interestingly, Marshall notes "Moneymusk" is known as an "Irish" tune, a thought perhaps derived from its transmission through Scots-Irish immigrants to the mid-South American highlands, and thence to the Mid-West. Early-recorded American versions include that by Jasper Bisbee (for Edison), who was born in 1843, Col. John A. Pattee (for Columbia), born in 1844, Henry Ford's Orchestra, and North Carolina fiddler Dad Williams.

Paul Gifford says he once heard the brilliant Montreal fiddling cab-driver, Jean Carignan, play at a concert where he took requests. Gifford asked for "Money Musk" and Carignan obliged, asking if he wanted the French, Scottish or Irish version! Gifford suggested French, but Carignan played them all. See also Ménard Bougie's Quebecois version "Moneymusk (Le)." The tune merited mention in an entry in the Canadian publication Uncle Walt (The Poet Philospher) (1910) by George Matthew Adams, a collection of poems and witticisms:

We have often roasted Nero that he played the violin,
While his native Rome was burning and the firemen raised a din;
There he sat and played "Bedelia," heedless of the fiery storm,
While the fire chief pranced and sweated in his neat red uniform.
And I often think that Nero had a pretty level head;
Would the fire have been extinguished had he fussed around instead?
Would the fire insurance folks have loosened up a shekel more,
Had old Nero squirted water on some grocer's cellar door?
When there comes a big disaster, people straightway lose their wits;
They go round with hands a-wringing, sweating blood and throwing fits;
But the wise man sits and fiddles, plays a tune from end to end,
For it never pays to worry over things you cannot mend.
It is good to offer battle when catastrophes advance,
It is well to keep on scrapping while a fellow has a chance;
But when failure is as certain as the coming of the dusk,
Then it's wise to take your fiddle and fall back on "Money Musk."

The tune was recorded early in the 20th century on cylinders, by the Edison Concert Band (1912) and the National Promenade Band (1912).

Sources for notated versions: Bob Walters (Burt County, Nebraska) [Christeson]; Highwoods String Band (N.Y.) and Delaware Water Gap [Brody]; Lewis L. Jillson (Bernardston, Mass.) [Linscott]; Henry Reed (W.Va) [Krassen]; John Baltzell (Ohio, 1923) [Bronner]; Archie Thorpe, c. 1940 (Hornell, N.Y.) [Bronner]; Steffy (Pa., 1949), William Shape (Greene County, Pa., 1944), James Morris (Greene County, Pa., 1944), and Samuel Losch (Juniata County, Pa., 1930's) [Bayard]; Alan Block and Ron West (Vt.) [Phillips]; Rodney Miller (N.H.) [Phillips]; a c. 1837–1840 MS by Shropshire musician John Moore [Ashman]; Gene Goforth (1921–2002, High Ridge, near St. Louis, Mo.), learned from Roy Wooliver [Beisswenger & McCann]; a c. 1847 manuscript by Ellis Knowles, a musician from Radcliffe, Lancashire, England [Plain Brown]. Joshua Campbell's 1788 Collection [RSCDS].

Printed sources: Adam (Old Time Fiddlers' Favorite Barn Dance Tunes), 1928; No. 59. Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796; No. 81, p. 33. Ashman (Ironbridge Hornpipe), 1991; No. 40a, p. 14. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 87. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 343A–D, pp. 329–331. Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; p. 45. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 194–195 (two versions). Bronner (Old Time Music Makers of New York State), 1987; No. 5, pp. 32–33 (includes variations) and No. 18, p. 87. Burchenal (American Country Dances, vol. 1), 1918; p. 55. Cahusac (Pocket Companion, vol. 2), c. 1798, p. 35. Joshua Campbell (A Collection of New Reels & Highland Strathspeys), Glasgow, 1789; p. 41. Cazden (Dances from Woodland), 1945; p. 15. Cazden (Dances from Woodland), 1955; p. 31. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddler's Repertory, vol. 1), 1973; p. 15. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 73. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 31 & p 128. Cuillerier (Joseph Allard), 1992; p. 11. Joseph Dale (Dale’s Selection of the most favorite Country Dances, Reels &c.), London, c. 1800; p. 24. Ditson (The Boston Collection of Instrumental Music), c. 1850; p. 60. Doyle (Plain Brown Tune Book), 1997; p. 35. Emmerson (Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String), 1971; No. 63, p. 153. Ford (Traditional Music of America), 1940; p. 52. Lovett (Good Morning: Music, Calls and Directions for Old Time Dancing), 1943 (4th edition). Gow (Complete Repository, Part 1), 1799; pp. 10–11. Harding Collection (1905, 1932) and Harding's Original Collection (1928); No. 44. Honeyman (Strathspey, Reel and Hornpipe Tutor), 1898; p. 13 (Strathspey). Howe (Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon), 1843; p. 30. Howe (School for the Violin), 1851; p. 21. Howe (Diamond School for the Violin), 1861; p. 41. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 74. Hunter (The Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 84 (two settings). Jarman (Old Time Fiddlin' Tunes), No. or p. 28. Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 10: Airs & Melodies of Scotland's Past), 1992 (revised 2001); p. 11. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1954; p. 17. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 116, p. 14. Kimball & Bohrer (Sackett's Harbor), 1994. Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; p. 70–71. J. Kenyon Lees (Balmoral Reel Book), c. 1910; p. 18. Linscott (Folk Songs of Old New England), 1939; p. 98. Donald MacDonald (A Collection of Piobairreachd), 1822; p. 7. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 12. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; pp. 49 & 54. McGlashan (Collection of Reels), 1786; p. 19. McGoun (Repository of Scots and Irish Airs), 1803. Miller & Perron (New England Fiddler's Repertoire), 1983; No. 107. Moffat (Dance Music of the North), 1908; No. 10, p. 5. O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 125. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1361, p. 254. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 614, p. 111 ("Irish style"). O'Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922; No. 221. Peacock (Favorite Collection of Tunes with Variations), c. 1805; No. 8, p. 2. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 155 (two versions). Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 171. Robbins (Collection of 200 Jigs, Reels, and Country Dances), 1933; Nos. 120 and 177. Robinson (Massachusetts Collection of Martial Musick), 2nd ed., 1820; p. 53. Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Book 11, No. 2. Ruth (Pioneer Western Folk Tunes), 1948; No. 20, p. 9. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; pp. 57 & 168. Saunders (New and Scientific Self-Instructing School for the Violin), Boston, 1847; No. 1, p. 98. Skinner (Harp and Claymore), 1904; pp. 106–107 (includes a pipes set). Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 158. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 8. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; p. 61. Sym (Sym's Old Time Dances), 1930; p. 5. White's Unique Collection, 1896; No. 54, p. 10. White's Excelsior Collection, 1907; p. 27. Winner (New American School for the Banjo), 1883; p. 30 (appears as "Highland Fling").

Recorded sources: Adelphi 2004, Delaware Water Gap – "String Band Music." Alcazar Dance Series FR 203, Rodney Miller – "New England Chestnuts" (1980). Celtic CX022 (78 RPM), "Little" Jack MacDonald. CLM 1006, Carl MacKenzie (appears as "Sir Archibald Grant of Mony Musk Strathspey"). Columbia A2837 77257 (78 RPM), Patrick J. Scanlon. Compass Records 7 4446 2, Oisíin McAuley – "From the Hills of Donegal" (2007). Decca 14023 (78 RPM), Alex "Alick" Gillis/The Inverness Serenaders. Edison Blue Amberol #1522 (cylinder), National Promenade Band (1912). Edison 51354 (78 RPM), John Baltzell (Ohio), 1923. Edison 51381 (78 RPM), Jasper Bisbee (Michigan), 1923. F & I 001, Fiddlesticks & Ivory – "Ghillies On The Golden Gate." F&W Records 3, "Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra." Folkways RBF 115, Joseph Guilmette – "Masters of French Canadian Music, vol. 4" (originally recorded 1931). Fretless 118, Marie Rhines – "The Reconcilliation." John Edwards Memorial Foundation JEMF-105, Ron West – "New England Traditional Fiddling" (1978). June Appal 007, Tommy Hunter – "Deep in Tradition" (1976. Learned from a Library of Congress recording). Living Folk LFR-104, Allan Block – "Alive and Well and Fiddling." Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers' Association, Cyril Stinnett – "Plain Old Time Fiddling." Philo 1010, Jean Carignan – "Hommage a Joseph Allard." PearlMae Muisc 004-2, Jim Taylor – "The Civil War Collection" (1996. Two versions: one from Henry Reed, Glen Lyn, Va.,; one from Buck Brewer, Marion, Ky., who was a musician on riverboats that ran on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers). Rodeo RLP 75, John A MacDonald – "Marches, Strathspeys, Reels and Jigs of the Cape Breton Scot." Rounder 0045, Highwoods String Band – "Dance All Night." Rounder 0042, John Hartford – "Hamilton Ironworks" (2001. Appears as "Wooliver's Money Musk"). Rounder CD0388, Gene Goforth – "Emminence Breatkdown" (1997). RTE Records, Jimmy Lyons – "The Donegal Fiddle." Rounder, Walt Koken – "Finger Lakes Ramble." Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40126, Bob McQuillen & Old New England – "Choose Your Partners: Contra Dance & Square Dance Music of New Hampshire" (1999). TAC002, Don Bartlett & The Scotians – "Play Favourites" (as Sir Archibald Grant Of Monymusk). Victor 263527-b (78 RPM), Joseph Allard.

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1] [2]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [3]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [4] [5]
Hear Don Messer’s recording of the reel at Ted McGraw’s site [6]
Hear accordion player Patrick Scanlon's recording at the Internet Archive [7] (2nd tune in medley, following "Keel Row (The)"). Hear the 1912 recording by the Edison Concert Band at the Internet Archive [8]
Hear the 1912 recording by the National Promenade Band at the Internet Archive [9]
Hear accordion player John J. Kimmel's (1866-1942) recording at Rare Tunes, played as a 'sword dance' [10]
Hear Bob Walter's (Nebraska) version at Slippery Hill [11]
See a transcription of Uncle Bob Walter's version at the Fiddle Hangout [12]
Hear Roy Wooliver's (Missouri) version at Slippery Hill [13]




Back to Money Musk (1)