Old Haile Hornpipe

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OLD HAILE HORNPIPE. English, "Old" or Triple Hornpipe (triple time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABCDEFGHI. From Thomas Marsden's A Collection of Original Lancashire Hornpipes, Old and New. Containing Divisions upon each (London, 1705). Unfortunately, nothing is know about the author (who may have first published his book in 1697, according to Chappell, albeit he had not seen a copy), although it is thought he came from the north of England. The book was sold out of Henry Playford's shop at the Temple Change, priced at one shilling. Haile is a village in Cumbria, northwest England, 7 miles southeast of Whitehaven. Music researcher Thomas M. Ward [1] provides this analysis of the tune:

The "Olde Haile Hornpipe" with which [Marsden's] collection begins is typical in the strict observance of the four-bar unit and the implied double-tonic ground, and equally typical in the unpredictable structuring of the distant. The overall play of the piece is an alternation of variations in which the prevailing movement is by quarter notes and those in which it is by eighth and quarter notes. The juxtaposition of the two types resembles that of the strain and varied response characteristic of earlier periods...Lack of consistency [in variation sets] is a hallmark of Marsden's hornpipes, as is the unique form of each realization. [p. 153]

Marsden's "Jack Warrel's Hornpipe" is a set of eight variations on the same theme as the "Old Haile Hornpipe."

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Back to Old Haile Hornpipe[edit]

  1. John M. Ward, "The Lancashire Hornpipe", Essays in Musicology: A Tribute to Alvin Johnson, 1990, pp. 140-173