Annotation:Fife Hunt (The)

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X:1 T:Fife Hunt, The M:C L:1/8 B:Aird - Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3, 1788 (No. 408, p. 157) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D g|fd Td2 AF TF2|Eeed e2 eg|fd Td2 AF TF2|Dd-dc d2-d:| |:g|fdad bdad|Be-e^d e3g|fdad bdad|Addc d2 dg| fdad bdad|Be-e^d Te2 eg|fadf gbec|Ad-dc d2d:|]

FIFE HUNT, THE. AKA and see "Moonlight Ramble (1) (A)." Scottish, Reel. C Major (most versions): D Major (Aird). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (most versions): AABB (Aird, Honeyman, Robbins, White). The name Fife derives from the name of an ancient ruler, Fib, who, as one of seven sons of a legendary Pictish king, inherited the region. The Fife Hunt has a long history as a social organization for hunting, breeding of hounds, support of sporting events, and "convivial gatherings" such as the Fife Hunt Ball.

The reel was composed by renowned Scots fiddler-composer Niel Gow's eldest son, William (1751-1791), who was leader of the Edinburgh Assembly Orchestra until his death. "Fife Hunt" belongs, according to Bayard (1981), to a large and nebulous family group of tunes which includes "Whistle and I'll Come to You My Lad" (Scot), "Drunken Hiccups (1)" (USA), "Such a Gittin' Upstairs" (USA), and others. It was used by Lady Nairne for her song "The Fife Laird." One of the oddest (and perhaps first) sound recording of "Fife Hunt" is on the barrel organ from the polar expedition of Admiral Parry of 1819. In place of a ship's fiddler (a common complement to a crew in those days), Parry introduced a mechanical barrel organ on board ship to provide entertainment and a vehicle to which the men could exercise (i.e. by dancing). "Fife Hunt" was one of eight tunes on barrel no. 5.

See also J.A. Boucher's adaptation of "Fife Hunt" in his reel "Zwyska," published in 1933.

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Matthew Betham music manuscript collection (1815, Towcett, Cumbria) [Offord].

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs), vol. 3, 1788; No. 408, p. 157. Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796; No. 47, p. 18. Anderson (Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances for the German Flute or Violin), Joshua Campbell (A Collection of New Reels & Highland Strathspeys), Glasgow, 1789; p. 38. Edinburgh, 1820; p. 24. Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 253. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 45. Joseph Dale (Dale's Selection of the most favorite Country Dances, Reels &c.), London, c. 1800, p. 4. Gow (First Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 1784 (revised 1801); p. 9. Honeyman (Strathspey, Reel and Hornpipe Tutor), 1898; p. 16. Jones [Ed.] (Complete Tutor Violin), c. 1815; p. 7. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; Set 23, No. 2, p. 14. J. Kenyon Lees (Balmoral Reel Book), c. 1910; p. 5. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 1), 1844–1845; p. 15. John Offord (Bonny Cumberland), 2018; p. 11. Preston (Preston's Twenty-Four Country Dances for the Year 1793), No. 231, p. 96. Robbins Music Corp. (The Robbins collection of 200 jigs, reels and country dances), New York, 1933; No. 199, p. 64. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 74. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 72. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 18. White's Unique Collection, 1896; No. 44, p. 8. Wilson (Companion to the Ball Room), 1816; p. 50.

Recorded sources : - Saydisc SDL 234, Parry's Barrel Organ (vol. 11 of the Golden Age of Mechanical Music). Smithsonian Folkways Records, SFW CD 40507, The Beaton Family of Mabou - "Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano Music" (2004). WMT002, Wendy MacIsaac - "That's What You Get" (1998?).

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Hear Albert Gerson's c. 1919 recording at Virtual Gramophone [3] (2nd tune in medley of reels)

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