Harper's Frolic (The)

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X:1 T:Harper’s Frolick M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Country Dance Tune S:Harrison & Wall music/dance manuscript (c. 1770, Ashover, Derbyshire, England) N:The front page is inscribed “Joseph Harrison, David Wall 1762.” Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D A|FADA|FADd|cdec|d/c/d/e/ dA| FADA|FADd|ef g/f/e|f3z:| |:g|fd2 e/f/|g e2g|fd2f|e/d/c/B/ A>g| f d2 e/f/|ge2g|fd {f}ed/c/|d3z:|]



HARPER'S FROLICK. AKA - "Harper's Fancy," "Harper's Frolick." AKA and see "Turkish March," "Vetter Michael," "Yorkshire March." English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Callaghan): AA'BB (Carlin). A very popular English session tune (often paired with "Bonnie Kate (2)"), originally appearing in the Harrison and Wall music and country dance manuscript from the village of Ashover, Derbyshire, dated 1762-75 (AKA the "Ashover Manuscript). It can be found in print in Charles and Samuel Thompson's Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3 (London, c. 1773, p. 98), and, under the title "Harper's Fancy," in James Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3 (Glasgow, 1788). "Harper's Frolick" also appears in Norwich, Connecticut, musicians John and William Pitt Turner's commonplace music book of 1788 (Connecticut Historical Society)-they included several tunes from the Thompson's 1773 volume in their manuscript, so must have had access to the printed work. American printer Thomas Balls (Norfalk) included the tune in his Gentleman's Amusement Book 1 (1815), probably copied from Aird, for he uses the title "Harper's Fancy." The tune has developed from the original in the 'folk process' of modern playing, and is often nowadays considered a polka, although of course it predates the polka form.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 37. Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 1, p. 15. Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 3), 1773; No. 20.

Recorded sources: -Topic 12TS382, New Victory Band - "One More Dance & Then" (1978). Topic TSCD 752, New Victory Band - "Stepping Up" (2004. Compilation CD).



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