Twinkle Little Star (1)

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X:1 T:Twinkle Twinkle Little Star T:Twinkle Little Star [1] S:Smith's Garage Fiddle Band (Dallas, Texas) M:C| L:1/8 R:Schottische Q:"Quick" D:Vocalion 5268 (78 RPM), Smith's Garage Fiddle Band (1928) F: Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G DC|:B,DGA BGcA|[G2B2](c/B/A) G2GA|[B,2G2] (3DE(G [GB])[DA] [C2E2]|[B,4D4]- [B,D]EDC| B,DBA BG[Gc]A|[G6B6] (3EFG|A>A A2^c2 ce|d4- dBA[CD]-| [B,D]DGA BGcA|[G2B2] (B/4c/4B/A) [B,2G2] GA|[B,2G2] (3DE(G [GB])[DA] [C2E2]|[B,4D4]- [B,D]EDC| [B,2D2][B,2D2] [G,2G2]D2|BGcA [G4B4]-|[GB]c-AF DAF<A |1G4- GEDC:|2G6|| [Dd]c|[DB][DB]-[Dd]g- bgc'g|[e4b4]-[eb][^d_b]-[e2=b2]|(3gag eg c'2eg|d6 ([Dd]c)| [DB][DB]-[Dd]g- bgc'g|[e6b6][A2e2]-|[^ca][ca][c2a2]-[e^c'][ec'][e2c']|[f6d'6] ([Dd]c)| [DB][DB]-[Dd]g- bgc'g|[e4b4]-[eb][^d_b]-[e2=b2]| g2e<g c'2 e<g|d4- d[GB]-[DA][CE]| [B,2D2][B,2D2][B,2G2][D2A2]|[DB]G[Gc]G |[M:3/2][G4B4]- [GB](B/4c/4B/)-AF DAF<A|[M:C|]G6:||

TWINKLE LITTLE STAR [1]. AKA - "Little Star," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." American, Reel (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Beisswenger/McCann): AB (Phillips): AA'BB. A popular tune with older fiddlers throughout the South, apparently derived from a schottische, perhaps from the banjo repertoire. Vivian Williams reports that she found the melody in a dusty manuscript with hand-written banjo arrangements of c. 1890-1905 popular dance tunes, marches, songs, etc.; included is a piece called "Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars Schottische," in the key of A, complete with introduction (the melody in the manuscript does not jump to a higher octave in the second part). A popular song was set to the melody called “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Meet Me at the Bars” composed in 1879 by Fred MacEvoy, part of the stage play Joshua Whitcomb, about a rube from rural New Hampshire's adventures in the big city. The tune was printed in Septimus Winner’s New American School for the Banjo (1883, p. 52), and bears strong resemblance to the fiddle tune. John Hartford remembers lyrics that went, "Twinkle twinkle little star or meet me out behind the bars;” bars being a reference to an old rail fence. However, many of the “Twinkle Little Star” versions in traditional fiddle repertoire differ from MacEvoy’s song air (although some are close, see “Twinkle Little Star (3)”).

“Twinkle Little Star” was recorded several times during the 78 RPM era, including a “Little Star” by Willie Narmour & S.W. Smith (1928) and Tennessee’s Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith. Other early recordings were by Smith’s Garage Fiddle Band (1928), North Carolina’s Charlie Poole & Roy Harvey (1930), and Texas fiddler Bob Wills (1938). Sometimes these recordings retained the original feel of the schottische, as does the Texas group Smith’s Garage Fiddle Band, other times the tune has been reworked and can seem fairly distanced from the original, as does north Georgia fiddler Earl Johnson’s version, recorded in 1927. Another 78 RPM has the tune under title “Mormon Schottische.”

The tune is played like a rag in Midwestern fiddle contests in modern times.

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Jim Herd (1919-2002, originally from Eastview, Mo.) [Beisswenger & McCann].

Printed sources : - Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; p. 59. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 156.

Recorded sources : - Cassette C-7625, Wilson Douglas - "Back Porch Symphony." Document (DOCD-8038), Smith’s Garage Band – “Texas Fiddle Bands” (reissue). Graphic GR1005, Pete McMahan - "Missouri Fiddlin' No. 4" (1979). Rounder 0437, Jim Herd – “Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks, vol. 3: Down in the Border Counties” (2000. Various artists). Rounder 11661-0133-2, "Art Galbraith, James River Fiddler: Dixie Blossoms" (2007, extended reissue). Vocalion 5268 (78 RPM), Smith's Garage Fiddle Band (1928). Voyager 309, Benny & Jerry Thomasson - "The Weiser Reunion" (1993). Voyager CD VRD366, Pete McMahan - "50 Old Time Gems" (reissue of earlier albums).

See also listing at :
Hear Smith's Garage Fiddle Band's 1928 recording at Slippery Hill [1] and [2]
Hear Bath County, Ky., fiddler Carlton Rawlings' c. 1960's home recording at Berea Digital Archives [3]

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