Swiss Boy (The)

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X:1 T:Swiss Air T:Swiss Boy, The M:2/4 L:1/8 B:Kerr – Merry Melodies, vol. 3, No. 389 (c. 1880’s) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D (F/G/)|AF/G/ AF/G/|Af/e/ dA/A/|Ag/f/ ef/e/|(d2A) (F/G/)| AF/G/ AF/G/|Af/e/ dA/A/|Ag/f/ ef/e/|d3:| |:A|Ae/d/ cA/A/|Af/e/ dA/A/|Ae/d/ cA/A/|Af/e/ dF/G/| AF/G/ AF/G/|Af/e/ dA/A/|Ag/f/ ef/e/|d3:|]



SWISS BOY, THE. AKA – “The Merry Swiss Boy,” “Swiss Air.” English, Swiss, Quadrille (2/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. There was a vogue for a time in both England and the United States during the 1820’s and 1830’s for ‘Tyrolese Melodies’, popularized by touring singing groups from the Continent, including yodellers. “The Swiss Boy,” or as it was often called, “The Merry Swiss Boy,” was a particularly popular song composition of Ignaz Moscheles ("Der Schweizerbue", from his Tyrolese Melodies, 1827), a friend of Beethoven and teacher of Franz Mendelson. Although originally a song air, the melody was adapted for dancing as a march or even a polka. The tune appears in many British fiddlers’ manuscripts. In addition to Gibbons and Hardy (cited below in source information) it appears in the music manuscripts of George Spencer (Leeds, west Yorkshire, 1831), Charles Fox (Beverley, east Yorkshire, 1830), John Moore (Tyneside, 1841), the Browne family (Troutbeck, Cumbria), James Haslingden (Midlands or south of England, 1827), and James Winder (Wyresdale, Lancashire, 1835).It was published in America in Riley’s Flute Melodies, book 4, (New York, 1826, p. 61).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - the 1823-26 music ms. of papermaker and musician Joshua Gibbons (1778-1871, of Tealby, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire Wolds) [Sumner]; the Hardy family music manuscripts (Dorset) [Trim].

Printed sources : - Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 51. Kerr (Merry Melodies vol. 3), 1880; No. 389, p. 43 (appears as “Swiss Air”). Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 94 (originally set in the key of ‘C’). Trim (The Musical Legacy of Thomas Hardy), 1990; No. 9. Paul de Ville, Paul (Concertina and How To Play It), Carl Fischer, 1905); No. 121.






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