Annotation:Ross's Reel No. 4

Find traditional instrumental music

X: 1 % T: Ross's Reel Number 4 Z: John Chambers <> B: Miller & Perron (New England Fiddler's Repertoire) #112 1983 B: Page (Ralph Page Book of Contras) p.11 1969 B: Tolman (The Nelson Music Collection) p.8 1969 M: C| L: 1/8 K: F a2 | "C7"g3f e2d2 | "F"cdcB A2GF | "C7"ECEG c2cB | "F"AFAc f2a2 | y3 | "C7"g3f e2d2 | "F"cdcB A2GF | "C7"EFGA Bcde | "F"f2a2 f2  :| |: cB | "F"Ac~c2 dc~c2 | Acfc acfc | Ac~c2 dc~c2 | Acfc acfc | y3 | "C7"Bc~c2 dc~c2 | =Bcec gc_bc | =Bcec gc_bc | acgc "F"f2 :|

ROSS'S REEL NO. 4. AKA and see "Lady's Walpole Reel" (?). New England, Reel. USA. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A favorite staple of the latter 20th century New Hampshire contra dance repertory. The alternate title probably comes from association of the tune with the dance Lady Walpole's Reel. As with "Ross's Reel No. 1" the tune is associated with Frankfort, Maine, fiddler and dance band leader Alvah Batchelder (1879-1968), a friend and mentor of New Hampshire fiddler Albert Quigley (1891-1961), whom dance caller Ralph Page regarded as among the best dance fiddlers he knew. Quigley was also originally from Frankfort but settled in New Hampshire after World War I and became the primary fiddler at the Nelson, N.H., community dances. Both "Ross's Reel No. 1" and "Ross's Reel No. 4" were in the repertory of the Batchelder Orchestra, a small dance ensemble that played for dances at the Frankfort Knights of Pythias Hall and other community events for nearly forty years during the first half of the 20th century.

Where the Batchelder band obtained the "Ross's Reels" tunes from is unknown. None of the band members were named 'Ross' (first or last). Alvah Batchelder's father, Edwin Batchelder (1846-1901), also had an excellent reputation as a dance fiddler and led a dance band in the area, and it is possible the tunes were in his repertory as well.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Allan Block (N.H.) via Donna Hėbert (Amherst, Mass.) [Fiddler Magazine].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; pp. 235-236. Fiddler Magazine, vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 1996; p. 9 (includes a Latin variation). Hinds/Hėbert (Grumbling Old Woman), 1981; p. 11 (includes harmony line). Miller & Perron (New England Fiddler’s Repertoire), 1983; No. 112. Page (Ralph Page Book of Contras), 1969; p. 11. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), 1994; p. 204. Silberberg (93 Fiddle Tunes I Didn’t Learn at the Tractor Tavern), 2004; p. 36. Tolman (The Nelson Music Collection), 1969; p. 8.

Recorded sources: - Alcazar Dance Series FR 204, Rodney Miller - "New England Chestnuts 2" (1981). Culburnie CUL 1130, Alasdair Fraser & Tony McManus – “Return to Kintail” (1999). Kicking Mule 216, Strathspey - "New England Contra Dance Music." Varrick VR-038, Yankee Ingenuity - "Heatin' up the Hall" (1989).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Rodney Miller’s 1981 recording at Slippery Hill [2]
See the well-researched site on the Batchelders by Emeline Dehn-Reynolds [3]

Back to Ross's Reel No. 4