Washington's March (4)

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WASHINGTON’S MARCH [4]. AKA – “Washington’s March at the Battle of Trenton.” AKA and see "General Washington's March (2)." American, March. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody appears in a number of very late 18th century and early 19th century American publications and musicians manuscripts, and was very popular, judging from its apparent inclusion in most of the surviving musicians copybooks of the era (esp. those of fifers). It was printed in Benjamin Carr’s Military Amusement (New York, 1796), Gilfert’s Gentleman’s Pocket Companion for the German Flute or Violin (New York, 1802), Riley’s Flute Melodies, vol. 1, 1814, Daniel Steele’s New and Complete Preceptor for the Fife (Albany, 1815), and Joseph Herrick’s The Instrumental Preceptor (Exeter, N.H., 1807), among others. “Washington’s March” appears in the music manuscript collections of Ira Clark (Simsbury, Ct., 1801), flute player H. Canfield (Hartford, 1823), fiddler John Curtiss (Cheshire, Conn., 1800), Silas Dickenson (Amherst, Mass., 1800), Daniel Henry Huntington (Onondage, N.Y., 18), Gurden Trumbull (Stonington, Conn, 1801), and John Treat (Durham, compiled c. 1779-1802), to name just a few.

The “Washington’s March at the Battle of Trenton” is the name printed with the tune on various songsheets of the era. Oscar George Theodore, writing in his book A Bibliography of Early American Secular Music (1905), finds the melody of “Washington’s March at the Battle of Trenton” in R. Shaw’s Flute Preceptor or Columbian Instructor (Philadelphia, 1802), in which it is titled “The President’s New March.” From this he concludes that “Washington’s March [4]” is a turn of the century composition.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Oliver Ditson (The Boston Collection of Instrumental Music), c. 1850; p. 89. Mattson & Walz (Old Fort Snelling…Fife), 1974; p. 89.

Recorded sources:




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