Annotation:Harmonious Blacksmith (The)

Find traditional instrumental music

X: 1 T:Harmonious Blacksmith,aka. JMP.059 M:C L:1/8 Q:1/2=90 C:"64...Harmonious Blacksmith" S:John Miller MS. Perth, 1799.(for the fife) R:.Hornpipe O:Scotland A:Perth H:1799 Z:vmp.C. Graebe F: K:G major B2 e2 d2 cB | A2 BA GFED | GDGB AGAB | GDGB AGAB |! B2 e2 d2 cB |A2 BA GFED | c2 BA B2 AG | EGFA G4 :|! |:d2 g2 f2 ed | e2 fe dcBA | dAdf edef | dAdf edef |! d2 g2 f2 ed | e2 fe dcBA | g2 fe f2 ed | Bdce "D.C."d4 :|]

HARMONIOUS BLACKSMITH, THE (Y Gof Du). Welsh. This Welsh air was arranged with variations for harpsichord by the great (baroque) composer Wikipedia:George_Frideric_Handel (1685-1759). It is said that he came to Whitchurch on the Welsh borders and there had to take shelter from a downpour in a village smithy. Overhearing the smith singing this tune in Welsh as he worked at his anvil, the composer was so taken with it he felt compelled to memorize it. "The Harmonious Blacksmith" was Handel's name for the air. Y Gof Du means "The Blacksmith" in Welsh. A version of the melody was entered into the mid-19th century music manuscript collection (vol. 4, p. 53) of County Cork Church of Ireland cleric and uilleann piper James Goodman.

A musicological source says, about the 4th movement (Air and variations) of Handel's Suite no. 5 in E major HWV 430 : "The famous set of variations (known in England from early in the 19th century as The Harmonious Blacksmith, a spurious title which led to the invention of an absurd story about its origins [1]) began life as an independent Chaconne in G major [...]." [2]

[1] See Newman Flower, George Frideric Handel, his Personality and his Times, London, 1923, p. 120-121 (Reprint 1959, p. 139-140).

[2] Terence Best, Preface of Händel, Keyboard Works I, First Set of 1720. The Eight Great Suites HWV 426-433, Bärenreiter, Kassel, 2000, p. XI.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: -Flying Fish FF70610, Robin Huw Bowen - "Telyn Berseiniol fy Ngwlad/Welsh Music on the Welsh Triple Harp" (1996).

Back to Harmonious Blacksmith (The)