Ravenscroft's Maggot

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RAVENSCROFT'S MAGGOT. English, “Old” or Triple Hornpipe (3/2 time). E Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABCD (Walsh): AABBCCDD. Maggot, from the Italian word maggioletta meaning a plaything, a trifle. The tune appears in London publisher John Walsh’s Third Volume of Lancashire Jiggs, Hornpipes, Joaks etc. (c. 1730), and is associated via the title with violinist Thomas Ravenscroft (d. 1745) who was one of the Waits of Tower Hamlets and a member of the band of Goodman Fields Playhouse, where many of the popular ballad operas were staged. He was apparently much sought after to play at balls and dancing parties and was known for his unique way of playing hornpipes. Ravenscroft was also responsible for the preservation of the largest collection of popular period vocal music in his three printed catch books: Pammelia (1609), Deuteromalia (1609), and Melismata (1611).

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