Phil Isaacs' Jig

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X:1 T:Phil Isaac's Jig M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Reel B:James Buckley -- Buckley's New Banjo Method (1860, p. 75) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A (A/B/)|(3c/B/A/ (3c/B/A/ F/>A/ E/>c/|d/>e/f/>g/ (3a/g/f/ (3e/f/g/|a/>e/c/>A/ B/>A/ F/z/|A4| (3c/B/A/ (3c/B/A/ F/>A/ E/>c/|d/>e/f/>g/ (3a/g/f/ (3e/f/g/|a/>e/c/>A/ B/>A/ F/z/|A4| Aa c z/c/|db B z/c/|d/>e/f/>g/ (3a/g/f/ (3e/f/g/|a/>e/c/>A/ B/>A/ F| Aa c z/c/|d>b B z/B/|d/>e/f/>g/ ae/d/|c/>A/ G/>B/ A z:|]

PHIL ISSACS' JIG. American, Clog Dance Tune (2/4 or 4/4 time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Howe, Kerr): AABB (Cole, Ryan). Listed as a 'jig' in Ryan’s Mammoth Collection (1883), referring to a type of syncopated, duple metre old-time banjo tune, not the Irish jig in 6/8. John Hartford (writing in the periodical Devil’s Box) thought Ryan’s term ‘jig’, a minstrel dance, gave rise to the term ‘jig dancing’, meaning African-American dancing, as well as ‘jig’ becoming a derogatory term for African-Americans.

Edward Le Roy Rice’s Monarchs of Minstrelsy (New York, 1911) lists a P.D. Isaacs, a fiddler. He was one of the early black-face minstrel leaders, “and a fine musician. He was one of the original members of Bryant’s Minstrels [1] in New York at their opening, February 23, 1857. He was born in London, England, 1831; he died in San Francisco, September 6, 1857” (p. 78). The second strain of “Phil Issacs'” is closely related to the second part of "Kitty O'Neill's Champion." Howe includes the tune in his section of schottisches.

See also "P.B. Isaacs' Jig."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - James Buckley (Buckley's New Banjo Book), 1860; p. 75. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940, p. 80. Converse (Hitchcock's Banjo Collection: 230 easy pieces for the banjo), 1887; p. 84. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 55. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880’s; No. 422, p. 47. Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 112.

Recorded sources : - Rounder 0321, Bob Winans - "Minstrel Banjo Styles" (1994).

See also listing at :
Hear the tune played on fretless banjo by Tim Twiss on [2]

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