Back to Dance Terpsichore
DANCE TERPSICHORE. Old-Time, Breakdown. C Major ('A' part) & G Major ('B' & 'C' parts). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC. This ragtime-influenced tune goes through the circle of fifths through the keys of C, G, and D. Terpshichore was one of the nine sisters of Greek mythology, the muse of the dance. The tune under this title was in the repertory of fiddler Jehile Kirkhuff, Rush, Pennsylvania, born at the beginning of the 20th century. Kirkhuff lived all his life in the town he was born in, but traveled occasionally to fiddle contests (he won the national contest in Crockett, Texas, in 1954 playing "Golden Slippers"). He lived in poverty in a dwelling without electricity or running water, but was sought out by enthnomusicologists and students (such as Ed and Geraldine Berbaum and Alan Jabbour) in the 1970's and 1980's. A similar tune, by the title of "Helter Skelter," was played by Lon Jordon of Farmington, Arkansas.
Source for notated version: fiddler Pete Sutherland (Vermont) [Phillips].
Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 66.
Recorded sources: Folkways FD 6530, Old Grey Goose - "Maine Country Dance Music and Song" (1980).