Threshers (2) (The)

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X:1 T:Threshers [2], The R:hornpipe B:O'Neill's Music of Ireland. 1850 Melodies, 1903, no. 1704 Z:François-Emmanuel de Wasseige L:1/8 M:C| K:D (FG)|A2 (Bc d)cdB|AdFD EA,B,C|DCDE FEFG|dBAF E2 (FG)| A^GAc dcdB|AdFD EA,B,C|ABdB AFEG|F2D2 D2:| |:(de)|fa{b}af bfag|(3fga ec dcBA|FABc dcdb|afed e2 (fg)| afbf agfe|(3fga ec dcBA|FAdA BGEG|F2D2 D2:|



THRESHERS [2], THE (Na Buailteoiride). Irish, Hornpipe. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. O'Neill volumes researcher Paul de Grae found no instance of this hornpipe melody that predates O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903), and suggests it may have been composed by O'Neill's friend John McFadden, whom O'Neill credits as his source for the melody. "[This possibility] is strengthened by the more than two-ocatve range of the piece and the variations of bars 1 and 5 of each part, phrases which might otherwise simply be repeated"[1].
John McFadden


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - "McFadden" [O'Neill]. John McFadden, originally from near Westport, County Mayo, was a fiddler and a member of the Chicago Irish Music Club at the turn of the 20th century. Although musically illiterate, he was a skilled musician and composer whose ability to spontaneously play variations and improvisations was greatly admired by O'Neill.

Printed sources : - O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 198. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1704, p. 317. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3), 1927; No. 168, p. 59.






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  1. Paul de Grae, “Notes on Sources of Tunes in the O’Neill Collections”, 2017 [1]. These are signature characteristics of McFadden's playing.