Major Reed's March

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X:1 T:Major Reed's March M:4/4 L:1/8 R:March S:Henry Livingston's manuscript copybook, late 18th century Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G d2 d>d d2c2|B2 B>B B2A2|G2 (3GAB A2 (3ABc|B4 z2 A<B| c2B2d2 c>B| c2 (3cde d2c2|(3BAB (3cBA G2A2|G6z2:| |:d2 A>A A2B2|A>GAB A2B2|c2B2A2G2|A4 z2 (3ABc| d2 B>c d2 e>c|d2 B>c d2 e>c|d>Bc>A (3BAG (3dcB| B2A2G2D2|G2 (3GAB A2 (3ABc|dgfedc B2|A2 G6:|]



MAJOR REED'S MARCH. AKA and see "Bedfordshire March," "Jove in His Chair," "Odd Fellows' March (The)." Irish, English; March (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody appears as "Major Reed's March" in the music manuscript copybook of Henry Livingston, Jr. Livingston purchased the estate of Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1771 at the age of 23. In 1775 he was a Major in the 3rd New York Regiment, which participated in Montgomery's invasion of Canada in a failed attempt to wrest Québec from British control. An important land-owner in the Hudson Valley, and a member of the powerful Livingston family, Henry was also a surveyor and real estate speculator, an illustrator and map-maker, and a Justice of the Peace for Dutchess County. He was also a poet and musician, and presumably a dancer, as he was elected a Manager for the New York Assembly's dancing season of 1774-1775, along with his 3rd cousin, John Jay, later U.S. Chief Justice of Governor of New York.

The tune, however, is a version of the march used by Dublin-born Kane O'Hara (1711-1782) for his song "Jove in His Chair," in his first publicly performed piece, the burletta Midas, staged in Dublin in 1760. It was a pastiche of Irish, English, French and Italian popular airs, linked by O'Hara's recitative, and bridged the gap between ballad opera and comic opera. O'Hara took it to the London stage at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden, in 1764. The march also bears some resemblance in the first strain to "Turk's March (1)" in James Aird's c. 1785 Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. II (Glasgow). It was printed in the mid-19th century by Boston music publisher Elias Howe under the title "Odd Fellows' March (The)."


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