Tink-a-Tink

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X:1 T:Tink a Tink M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Air, Country Dance Tune Q:"Allegro" B:William Cahusac – The German Flute Preceptor (c. 1814, p. 14) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G2 d>B|G2 d>B|c>dc>B|A>G F2|G2 d>B|G2 d>B|c>AG>F|G2 z2:| |:d2 g>f|e>dc>B|A>Bc>d|B2G2|d2 g>f|e>dc>B|A>cF>A|G2c2:|]



TINK-A-TINK. English; Air, Schottsiche. G Major (most collections): A Major (Kerr). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABC (Kennedy, Raven): AAB (Kerr): AABB (Ashman, Trim): ABAC (Sharp). This very popular melody first appeared as the vehicle for a duet in the 1798 opera Blue Beard, or Female Curiosity by Michael Kelly, first performed at the Drury Lane theatre. It was sung by Mrs. (Maria Theresa) Bland and Mr. John Bannister Jr. According to Bannistger’s memoirs[1], the melody was rumored to have been Russian originally; “Kelly never concealed or denied it” (p. 16). Editor Ashman says his version is very similar to another dotted variation found in the John Clare manuscript (Helpstone, Northants, 1820), and thinks "both are nicer than the undotted tune found in the Hardy MS." “Tink-a-Tink” appears in numerous other musicians’ manuscripts from the period, including John Moore (where it appears simply as “Dance”), the Rev. Robert Harrison (Brampton, Cumbria, 1820), William Mittell (New Romney, Kent, 1799), the Browne family manuscripts (Troutbeck, Cumbria), the John Rook manuscript (Warerton, 1840), William Calvert (Leyburn, North Yorkshire, 1812), James Winder (Wyresdale, Lancashire, 1835), the Welch family manuscripts (Bosham, Sussex), the Tiller manuscript, James Haslingden (Midlands?, 1827), and Ann Winnington (England & New York, 1815). In America, “Tink a Tink” was included in Thomas Cushing’s copybook (1805-1813) and Daniel Henry Huntington’s copybook (Onondoga, New York, 1817).

Similarly, it appears in print in a number of publications on both sides of the Atlantic soon after the opera was produced: Andrew’s Complete Instructions for the Fife (London, c. 1808), G. Astor’s Entire New and Complete Instructions for the Guittar (London, 1800) and his Hoboy Preceptor, or Military Pieces (London, c. 1800), Thomas Ball’s Gentleman’s Amusement Book 1 (Norfolk, Va., 1815), G. Gilbert’s Gentleman’s Pocket Companion for the German Flute or Violin (New York, 1802), Goulding’s Clarinet Preceptor (London, c. 1803), Carr’s Musical Repository (1800), Cahusac's German Flute Preceptor (London, c. 1814), Edward Riley’s Flute Melodies (New York, 1814-16), James Hulbert’s Complete Fifer’s Museum (Greenfield, Mass., c. 1811), and on various songsheets. Linscott (1939) thinks this melody is similar to "Petronella."



Additional notes
Source for notated version : - a c. 1837-1840 MS by Shropshire musician John Moore [Ashman].

Printed sources : - Ashman (The Ironbridge Hornpipe), 1991; No. 49b, p. 19 (appears as untitled dance). Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 90. Kennedy (Fiddlers Tune Book, vol. 1), 1951; No. 26, p. 13. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; No. 13, p. 29. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 177. Sharp (Country Dance Tunes), 1909; p. 12. Trim (The Musical Legacy of Thomas Hardy), 1990; No. 29. Wilson (Companion to the Ball Room), 1816.






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  1. John Adolphus, Memoirs of John Bannister, Comedian, 1839.