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X:1 T:Allbena M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig S: William Clark of Lincoln music manuscript collection (1770, No. 38) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D d2e fgf|edc d2A|d2e fgf|edc d3:| |:dcd Bcd|e2d cBA|dcd Bcd|edc d3:| |:a2f a2f|efg f2d|a2f a2f|edc d3:| |:A2d A2d|efg f2d|B2d A2d|edc d3:|]

ALBINA. AKA - "Albinia," "Allbena," "Albiona." AKA and see "Gavre (La)," "Will the Barber." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A very popular four-part quick march and dance tune in both Britain and in America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, with a variety of titles. The first printing of the tune appears in Captain Robert Hinde's Second Collection of Quick Marches with Basses, published in London in 1772, where it is labled simply "Quickmarch #18." London publishers Straight and Skillern included it in their Two Hundred & Four Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1 (1775), and Skillern printed it again in both his Compleat Collection of Two Hundred and Four Reels and Country Dances (1780) and Compleat Instructions for the Fife (1780). Longman & Broderip used the melody in their Entire New and Compleat Instructions for the Fife (London, 1780), repeated by Clementi, Muzio & Co. (London) in 1815 in a volume of exactly the same title.

Researcher Graham Christian (2015) finds the tune in Pierre Trappeniers (1734-1780) second Recueil de Contredanses (c. 1777) under the title "La Gavre." Trappeniers, Christian explains, had a reputation as a dancing master in Belgium in the second half of the 18th century, appointed to the court of Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, governor of the Austrian Netherlands. Christian suggests the title "La Gavre" honors the Princes de Gavre, Charles-Emmanuel-Joseph (1695-1773) and his son and successor François Joseph Rasse de Gavre (1731-1797), governors of the province of Namur and important functionaries in Prince Charles's court.

The 6/8 melody appears as "Albany Quick March" in the Thomas Hammersley (London) manuscript of 1790, and as "Will the Barber" in Northumbrian musician John Bell's c. 1812 music manuscript. "Albina" was entered into the music manuscript of William Clarke (Lincoln) of c. 1770 (although tunes were added to the ms. in different hands), and (as "Albiona" and the variant "Albino") in the mid-19th century music manuscript of William Winter, a shoemaker and violin player who lived in West Bagborough in Somerset. The Durham manuscript gives the title as "Albania Quick March," as does Daniel Henry Huntington's "Preceptor for the Flute," a manuscript copybook from Onondaga, New York, 1817. American fluter Henry Beck included it in his commonplace book of 1786, as did John and William Pitt Turner (Norwich, Conn., 1788). Lancaster, Pa., flute player John Hoff (1776-1818) noted it into his copybook, with the title "Albinea 10 or French Country Dance," while New Jersey fifer William Morris penned it into his 1776-77 copybook simply as "Cottillon." The Goulding (1790) and Hosmer (1798) manuscripts give the title as "Marionetts (1)."

Fr. John Quinn finds the the third and fourth parts of "Ablina" comprise the two-part "Pantomime Jig (A)" in the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of Canon James Goodman.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; No. 62, p. 22. Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 56. Christian (A Playford Assembly), 2015; p. 37 (under title "La Gavre). Skillern (Skillern's Compleat Collection of Two Hundred & Four Reels...Country Dances), 1780; p. 13. Straight and Skillern (Two Hundred and Four Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), c. 1775; No. 26, p. 13. Geoff Woolfe (William Winter's Quantocks Tune Book), 2007; Nos. 1 & 2, p. 16 (ms. originally dates to 1850).

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