Dubourg's Minuet

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DUBOURG'S MINUET. Irish, Minuet. E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Matthew Dubourg (1707-1767) was an Irish violinist, conductor and composer; a child prodigy who studied with Geminiani, and who collaborated with Handel. It was Dubourg whom the great composer chose to conduct the orchestra during the premiere of The Messiah (1742), in Dublin. Dubourg's powers of improvisation were prodigious. A story is told that Dubourg was chosen by Handel to play the cadenza of one of his pieces in a 1742 concert. Dubourg did so, introducing complex modulations in which he wandered far from the theme. When he finally did return to the seminal melody, Handel is said to have remarked, "Welcome home, Mr. Dubourg!" Dubourg is also known for his settings of traditional Irish melodies in lage Baroque style (see his Variations of Druid Tunes). He eventually held the post of Master and Composer of the State Music in Ireland. "Dubourg's Minuet" was contained in the 1758 manuscript of Johannis (John) Ormsby, a Colonial dancing master at Annapolis, Maryland. Ormsby's manuscript contained only minuets; 55 of them. An early printing of the piece was in Henry Waylet's Instructions for the Hautboy (London, 1745), and Robert Bremner published it in his Delightful Pocket Companion for the German Flute (London, 1763-a reissue of John Simpson's flute tutor of 1745). See also "Duburg's [sic] Maggot," in Neale's Third Collection for the violin of the Newest English Airs and Minuets (Dublin, c. 1726).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Johnson (A Further Collection of Dances, Marches, Minuetts and Duetts of the Latter 18th Century), 1998; p. 12.

Recorded sources:




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