Box the Monkey

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X:1 T: Box the Monkey M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig N:A version of "Munster Buttermilk" B:James Goodman music manuscript collection, mid-19th century, B:County Cork Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D d2e fdB|d2 e fdB|AFE EFE|AFE EFE| d2e fdB|d2e fdB|AFE DED|AFE DED:| |:BcB BAF|B2c d2B|AFE EFE|AFE E2A| B/c/Bc BAF|ABc d2B|AFD DED|1 AFD DED:|2 AFD D2|| e|g3f3|e2c d2B|AFE EFE|AFE E2f| g/a/ge f/g/fd|e/f/ec d2B|AFD DED|AFD D2:| |:F|G3 F3|EFE d2B|AFE EFE|AFE E2F| G/A/BG F/G/AF|E/F/GE d2B|AFD DED|AFD D2-:|D||

BOX THE MONKEY. AKA and see "Behind the Haystack (1)." Irish, Jig (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'CCDD. The melody appears in the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman (1828-1896). Goodman, who spoke Irish and played the uilleann pipes, collected from tradition in Cork and elsewhere in Munster, and obtained tunes from manuscripts and printed sources as well. Paul de Grae notes that Sliabh Luachra fiddler Paddy Jones and famed Sliabh Luachra fiddler and teacher Pádraig O'Keeffe also called the melody by the "Box the Monkey" title, although it is known to most fiddlers as "Behind the Haystack (1)." The title is obscure, remarks Paul, and quotes Anthony Buffery's possible explanation:

The only association I know for this phrase [i.e.Box the Monkey] comes from symbolic logic; the model is around 100 years old but is still used to illustrate computer program or system design. It runs: 'There is a monkey at the door into a room. In the middle of the room a banana is hanging from the ceiling. The monkey is hungry and wants to get the banana, but he cannot stretch high enough from the floor. At the window of the room there is a box the monkey may use. The monkey can perform the following actions--walk on the floor, climb the box, push the box around (if it is already at the box) and grasp the banana if standing on the box directly under the banana. Can the monkey get the banana?' The problem is referred to as 'Box the Monkey'. [Pádraig] O'Keeffe was a trained schoolteacher and may have used it to make children think.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Shields/Goodman (Tunes of the Munster Pipers), 1998; No. 237, p. 96.

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