Delaware Hornpipe

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DELAWARE HORNPIPE. American, Hornpipe. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The name 'Delaware' derives from Thomas, Lord de la Warr, the first Governor of Virginia, a courtier and soldier who as a young man had been knighted by Queen Elizabeth. At first the bay was named for him, then a river emptying into it was discovered and also given the same name, and finally the region was named for the river (Matthews, 1972).

A very similar (nearly identical in most measures) hornpipe is to be found in the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper Canon James Goodman as an untitled "hornpipe". It is a member of the "Boys from Scart (The)" tune family, but "Delaware Hornpipe" itself has little of Irish character in the melody; however it has been adapted to the genre. Provenance is debatable, at this point. It was one of the tunes cited by Lettie Osborn (New York Folklore Quarterly) as having commonly been played for dances in Orange County, New York, in the 1930's.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 86. Oliver Ditson (The Boston Collection of Instrumental Music), c. 1850; p. 58. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 119.

Recorded sources:




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