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 traditional instrumental music with annotations, formerly known as
                          The Fiddler's Companion.
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Louisiana Belle

Played by : Tom Roush
Source : Youtube
Image : Stephen Collins Foster, known as "the Father of American Music"

Louisiana Belle

LOUISIANA BELLE. American, Minstrel Air (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB.

"Louisiana Belle" was the first of Stephen Foster's (1826-1864) minstrel songs to be published, issued in October, 1847, although the composer was not credited.

Instead, the copyright was taken out by W.C. Peters, the publishers.

It speaks of Louisiana, "Whar Massa us'd to dwell." The slave owner "Had a lubly cullud gal./'Twas the Louisiana Belle."


Oh! Belle don't you tell, don't tell Massa, don't you Belle,
Oh! Bell, de Lou' Belle,
I's gwine to marry you Lou'siana Belle.

I wen to de ball de udder night,
I cut a mighty swell;
I danc'd de Polka pigon_wing,
Wid de Lou' Belle.

The melody (along with a number of blackface minstrel pieces) was entered into the mid-19th century music manuscript collection of Bellport, Long Island, ship's captain and fiddler Isaac Homan (1816-1901).

Known as "the Father of American Music", Foster was the major songwriter of 19th century America Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

...more at: Louisiana Belle - full Score(s) and Annotations

X:1 T:Louisiana Belle M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Minstrel Tune B:Gumbo Chaff - The Complete Preceptor for the Banjo (1851, p. 5) N: A later edition of the earliest known banjo tutor, published in 1848. It was written by Elias Howe, whose pseudonym Gumbo Chaff N:is taken from Thomas Dartmouth Rice's 1834 blackface character. The 1851 edition was published in Boston by Oliver Ditson. N:In 1850 Howe sold some of his works to Ditson (this one among them) and agreed not to publish similar works for ten years. Z:AK/FIddler's Companion K:G G|Bd d/d/ z/d/|ee d z/d/|f>f g>g |a2 zd| Bd dd|ee/g/ d(3d/e/f/|g>g a>f|g2 z2:| g2d2|e z/e/d2|ee d<d|c>c B2| g2 d>d|e/e/e/e/ d2|ff/f/ g/g/g|a/a/a/f/ gz||

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Who Builds the TTA

Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.
This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.
Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni

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