Back to Martini's Minuet
MARTINI'S MINUET. AKA - "Martin's Minuet." AKA and see "H. Martini's Favorite Minuet." English, Minuet (3/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCCDD. A very popular tune, to judge from the numerous times it appears in latter 18th century publications and musicians' manuscript collections. According to Kate Van Winkler Keller (1992), the composer has not been established and published music by several Italian musicians of this name were extent during the period. It has, however, been attributed to Italian composer Giovanni Battista Martini  (1706-1784). Single sheet music issued by Longman, Lukey & Broderip c. 1775, "with variations for the harpsichord and piano forte" credits Raynor Taylor (1747-1825), an organist and composer who had worked at the Chapel Royal under Handel, and who emigrated to Philadelphia, United States, in 1793. However, it may be that Taylor composed the variation sets to a tune composed by someone else.
Early publications containing the minuet include Charles and Samuel Thompson's The Compleat Tutor for the Hautboy (London, 1770), Samuel, Ann and Peter Thompson's Compleat Instuctions for the Clarinet (London, 1785), Longman, Lukey & Broderip's A Pocket Book for the German Flute (c. 1788) and Thomas Cahusac's The Compleat Tutor for the German Flute (London, 1788). London publisher David Rutherford printed it around 1775, and notes: "As perform'd by his majesty's Guards and at all publik assembly's." In addition, the dance tune appears in numerous period musicians' manuscript collections from both sides of the Atlantic.
Source for notated version: the music manuscript of Captain George Bush (1753?-1797), a fiddler and officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolution [Keller].
Printed sources: Keller (Fiddle Tunes from the American Revolution), 1992; p. 10. Wilson (Companion to the Ball Room), 1816; p. 165.