Wood Picker (The)

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X:1 T:Wood Picker, The M:2/4 L:1/8 S:John Burks music manuscript, dated 1821 K:D A|.d(d/d/) d/e/f/d/|.e(e/e/) e>e|.f(e/d/) .d(c/d/)|e/c/d/B/ .A(A/A/)|.d(d/d/) .d(c/d/)| .e(e/e/) e z/A/|.a(f/d/) B (G/G/)|.A(B/c/) d/e/f/g/|.a(f/d/) .B(G/G/)|.A(B/c/) d2||(A/A/)| .A(G/F/) E(B/B/)|.B(A/G/) .F (f/f/)|.f(f/f/) d/f/z|.f(f/f/) d/f/f|f/e/d/c/ B(B/B/)| .d(d/d/) .B(B/B/)|.e(e/e/) .c(c/c/)|.f(f/e/) .d(e/f/)|.g(f/f/) e(d/d/)|.d(c/^c/) (B/B/)z| e/e/ (dc) A/A/|.a(f/d/) B/B z/G/|A/A/B/c/ d/e/f/g/|.a(f/d/) B/B/z/G/|AB/c/ .d2||

WOOD PICKER, THE. AKA - "Woodpecker (1) (The)." English, Air or March (2/4 or cut time). D Major: C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody, variously cast as a march or slow air, appears in a number of English musicians' manuscript collections of the first half of the 19th century, but surprisingly few publications. The number of measures in each part of Gibbons’ version are unusual (10 for the first part, 14 for the second) for a fiddle tune, however, the last two measures of each part are repeated, as is the convention of some song airs. If the repeats are excluded, then the tune becomes marginally more ‘regular’, with 8 bars in the first part and twelve in the second. I also have a photocopy of the same melody in another fiddler’s manuscript, a musician named John Burks with the date of 1821 on the cover. I know nothing of Burks, and although the manuscript surfaced recently in California, it seems by the contents that Burks was probably from the north of England. His second part is 15 measures long, but the whole tune is very similar to the one in the Gibbons manuscript. The indication of a fermata on the fourth note (‘e’) of measure 9 in the ‘B’ part, and the repeated ending measures would indicate that this was a song air.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - the 1823-26 music mss of papermaker and musician Joshua Gibbons (1778-1871, of Tealby, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire Wolds) [Sumner].

Printed sources : - Edward Riley (Riley's Flute Melodies vol. 2), 1817; p. 25. Sumner (Lincolnshire Collections, vol. 1: The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript), 1997; p. 25.

Recorded sources: -

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