Island (The)

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X:1 T:Island, The M:2/4 L:1/8 R:reel B:George P. Knauff - Virginia Reels, vol. II (Baltimore, 1839) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F c|(f/c/A/c/) (f/c/A/c/)|(g/c/=B/c/) (g/c/B/c/)|(a/f/b/g/) (c'/a/d'/c'/)|(b/a/g/f/) (f/e/d/c/)| f/c/A/c/ f/c/A/c/|g/c/=B/c/ g/c/B/c/|(a/f/b/g/) (a/g/f/e/)|f[Af][Af]:| |:a/b/|(c'/=b/c'/a/) (f/c'/d'/c'/)|(b/a/g/f/) (e/f/g/a/)|b/a/b/g/ f/a/c'/b/|a/g/f/e/ fg| {b}a/g/a/b/ c'/a/c'/a/|{c'}b/a/b/c'/ d'/b/d'/b/|a/c'/a/f/ g/b/g/e/|f[Af][Af]:||



ISLAND, THE. American, Reel. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody appears in George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels, volume II (Baltimore, 1839). Chris Goertzen, in his book George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels and the History of American Fiddling (2017, p. 60), is not certain what the title refers to, but speculates that it may have referred to a military installation in Virginia. He points out that Knauff's second volume of Virginia Reels contained titles that referred to Virginia in some way: people, places, etc. He also considers that the reel's location between the tunes "Twenty-Second of February" (Washington's Birthday) and "Richmond Blues" (a militia unit) suggests all had a military connection, and that Knauff's title placement was not random, but rather deliberate. He finds that a man-made island built in the Chesapeake in the aftermath of the War of 1812 was the location of a new fort, Fort Wool, constructed to complement Fort Monroe across the bay. Since the fort's island was still being added to in the 1830's, Goertzen speculates that title may be a reference.

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