Zenda Waltz

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ZENDA WALTZ. AKA and see "La Zenda Waltz," "Lucenda Waltz," "Zender Waltz," "Zinder Waltz." American, Canadian; Waltz. A Major ('A' part) & D Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Phillips): ABB (Messer). Frank Nims writes that the “Zenda Waltz” was:

“...composed by Frank M. Witmark around 1896. It was written as incidental music for a stage version of the hit novel The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), an adventure set in the imaginary Balkan kingdom of Zenda. Anyhow, I know it as the theme song of magician Howard Thurston, a very big star in his time (~1910-1930). For decades after his passing, at magicians' gatherings, if somebody was demonstrating an especially show-bizzy sort of trick one of the onlookers was sure to start humming "Zenda Waltzes". I'm guessing it became known among traditional musicians via Thurston, who toured the country on a grand scale (ten freight cars worth of props & scenery in his prime). Although obviously it stands on its own merits now. Might be interesting to see how the folk process has changed it over the years.”

Source for notated version: Jana Jae Greif [Phillips].

Printed sources: Messer (Anthology of Favorite Fiddle Tunes), 1980; No. 170, pp. 114 115. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 330.

Recorded sources: Bluebird B-0489-A (78 RPM), Bill Boyd and his Cowboy Ramblers." Dale Morris - "3/4 Waltz Time." Voyager 340, Jim Herd - "Old Time Ozark Fiddling" (appears as "Zender's Waltz").

See also listing at:
See Pete Martin's bluegrass/Texas transcription [1] (pp. 75-78)




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