Regent's Waltz

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REGENT’S WALTZ. English, Waltz (3/8 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABBCC. The melody appears (as “Regent Waltz”) in the music manuscript copybook of fiddler John Burks, dated 1821. Unfortunately nothing is known of Burks, although he may have been from the north of England. A “Regent’s Waltz” appears in the Allen Ash music manuscript of. c. 1818. Ash (1800-1889) was a farmer in Hamilton township, Northumberland County, Ontario, and built a crude threshing machine, one of the first in his part of the country. He was also a fiddler and luthier who built 7 violins and a dulcimer, although only one violin and his music manuscript survive today. There is no way of determining at this time if it is the same as Burks’ tune. The title honors King George IV (1762-1830), son of George III, who had been Prince of Wales, then Prince Regent since 1811 when it was apparent that his father’s mental instability no longer allowed him to govern. In 1820, at the age of 59, George became King George IV, when his father died blind and insane. George was affectionately (and derisively) known as “Prinny” to his subjects and “managed simultaneously to be a national scandal, a national disaster, a national achievement, and a national entertainment” (Bryant, Age of Elegance, 109).

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