Occidental Hornpipe

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OCCIDENTAL HORNPIPE. AKA and see "Holmes' Hornpipe," "Pirate's Hornpipe." American, Hornpipe. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Like the "Oriental Hornpipe," this tune may possibly have been named for a New York City concert saloon. Brooks McNamara, in his book The New York Concert Saloon: The Devil's Own Nights (2002, p. 43), records:

In 1864, the Occidental may well have had both music and waiter girls, who spent at least part of their time performing. The veteran William Allen had both a piano and violin at the Occidental. "Taking a look around the internal arrangements," wrote the Clipper [Ed.-a period entertainment periodical], "we noticed a piano fixed plumb up against the windows facing the street- rather a cold place in the winter time-with a very nice looking girl seated thereat; and by her side sat a violinist. While the latter fiddled the former played upon the grand pianner."

There have been many Occidental Theaters, however (if indeed the title refers to a venue. Occidental theater is also a genre of performance with dialogue, as opposed to the Oriental theater, which emphasizes movement). The tune was published twice in William Bradbury Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883), in the key of 'G' as "Occidental Hornpipe" and the key of 'Eb' as "Holmes' Hornpipe." A few years later, across the Atlantic, it appeared in Laybourn's Köhler’s Violin Repository Book 3 (Edinburgh, 1885) as "Pirate's Hornpipe," also in the key of Eb.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 102. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 138.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [1]




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