Back to Nickerson's Reel
NICKERSON'S REEL. American, Reel. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The reel was composed by Providence, Rhode Island, violinist, music teacher and dance fiddler George Saunders, and appears in his violin tutor, published in 1847. It appears as the (optional) Finale to his Coquette Set of quadrilles, and Saunders explains:
In some places, the Finale is used at the end of every cotillion, and in others, only occasionally. The figures in Finales, as well as the music, should be varied; that is, not the same changes each time. The music, as a general thing, should be lively and animating, and of a different style from the rest of the set; such as Reels, Gallope, Hornpipes, and sometimes Songs.
Boston publisher Elias Howe picked up the tune (and several more of Saunders' pieces) and published them some twenty years later, sans composer credit.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 62. Saunders (New and Complete Instructor for the Violin), Boston, 1847; No. 4, p. 82.