Big Indian Hornpipe

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X:1 T:Big Indian Hornpipe S:Buddy Thomas (1935-1974, northeastern Ky.) M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel D:Rounder Records 0032, Buddy Thomas - "Kitty Puss" (1976) F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/big-indian-hornpipe Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:A (c2|e2)eg fecB|(Ac)eg a3g|bgec dcBd|cBAc BAGA| Aceg (f/g/f)ec|(Ac)[Ae][Ag] [A3a3]([Ag]|[Aa][Ag])ec dcBd|cABG A2:|| AB|cBAF EC[EA]G|FGAg [Af][Ae][Af][Ag] |[A2a2][Ae][Ag] [Af][Ae]cf|ecBc A2+slide+[A2A2]-| [AA]BcA ECEA|FGAg fecB|a2eg fece|(f/g/f) ed BAFG| A(BA)F ECEA|FGAg fefg|a2 eg fecf|ecBc A2-|| A2Ac BGBd|cAcc a3a|gbec dcBd|cBAc B2[G2B2]| +slide+[A2A2]Ac BGBd|cAcc a4|(g/b/g) ec dcBd|cABc A2||



BIG INDIAN HORNPIPE. Old-Time, Hornpipe (cut time). USA, northeast Ky. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Source Buddy Thomas (1935-1974) learned this from northeast Kentucky/southern Ohio playing partners and mentors Morris Allen and Jimmy Wheeler. Thomas fiddle exponent Roger Cooper [1] notes that there is another, different tune by this title played by Kentucky fiddlers George Hawkins and Alfred Bailey, even though they lived in nearby Bath County [Bailey's version can be heard on Rounder CD 0376, "Traditional Fiddle Music of Kentucky, vol. 1", 1997]. Cooper also recalls seeing a tune list from 1932 that contains a tune called "Big Engine Hornpipe." Thomas may have composed the third strain variation himself, notes Cooper, which Thomas said represented an Indian's war cry. See also the related "Lardner's Reel (1)," from Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883).
Buddy Thomas

The tune was also in the repertoire of Portsmouth, Ohio, fiddler and instrument repairer Jimmy Wheeler (1917-1987), who learned it either from his father or Acey "Aaa" Neal. Jeff Goehring says it was one of the "not-strictly Kentucky" tunes "popular among Portsmouth area fiddlers of an earlier era" [2].

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Buddy Thomas (1935-1974, Lewis County, northeastern Ky.) [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 180.

Recorded sources: -Rounder 0032, Buddy Thomas (northeast Ky.) – "Kitty Puss: Old Time Fiddle Music From Kentucky" (1976. Originally recorded 1972). Rounder CD 0533, Roger Cooper - "Essence of Old Kentucky" (2006).

See also listing at:
Hear Buddy Thomas's 1972 recording at Slippery Hill [1] and at youtube.com [2]



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  1. Liner notes to Rounder CD 0533, Roger Cooper - "Essence of Old Kentucky" (2006).
  2. Jeff Goehring, "First Recording Session with Jimmy Wheeler" [3]