Erie Hornpipe

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X:1 T:Erie Hornpipe M:2/4 L:1/8 C:George Saunders R:Hornpipe N:”Allegro” B:Saunders – New and Complete Instructor for the Violin (Boston, 1847, No. 31, p.28) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D A,/D/|F(F/A/) G/F/E/D/|F/A/A/B/ A(F/A/)|(A/F/)(d/F/) (G/F/)T(E/D/)|C/D/E/F/ E(D/E/)| F(F/A/) G/F/E/D/|F/A/A/B/ A(3e/f/g/|f/d/e/c/ d/c/B/A/|B/D/A/F/ D:| |:(3e/f/g/|a/f/d/A/ b/a/f/d/|A/B/A/F/ (G/F/)T(E/D/)|A,/D/B,/D/ A,/D/F/A/|A/B/A/F/ {F}E (3e/f/g/| a/f/d/A/ b/a/f/d/|A/B/A/F/ (G/F/)T(E/D/)|.D/(d/c/d/) F/A/E/A/|.D(b/a/f/) d:|]



ERIE HORNPIPE. American, Hornpipe. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The name Erie is derived from the name of a local Native American people, the Erielhonan, literally meaning "long tail" and referring to the mountain lion, cougar or panther. The native word was recorded by the French as Yenris, but was later simplified to Erie (Matthews, 1972). The title may refer to the Great Lake itself or to the port city of Erie, Pennsylvania, settled at the end of the 18th century. Growth occurred during the War of 1812 when Erie served as the port for Commodore Perry's fleet before the battle of Lake Erie in 1813, and continued with the Erie Extension Canal in 1844, and a small oil boom in the 1860's. Erie was the freshwater fishing capital of America in the mid-19th century, but was in decline as a port since 1900. I once wrote that "The tune sounds American, to my ears, and it should not be forgotten that numerous tunes in Ryan's Mammoth Collection have black-face minstrel origins. The "Erie Hornpipe" may be one, especially since nearby Buffalo was the origin of the minstrel troupe, with the formation of the Virginia Serenaders in 1844 in that city, and early minstrel performances were recorded in Erie." Since then, Seattle fiddler, researcher and publisher Vivian Williams has found the "Erie Hornpipe" in a violin tutor by George Saunders, a self-described "Professor of Music and Dancing," entitled New and Scientific Self-Instructing School for the Violin (Providence, Rhode Island, 1847, No. 20, p. 55; reprinted by Oliver Ditson in the 1850's). Therein 'Professor' Saunders credits himself with composing the "Erie Hornpipe." Vivian writes: "I think Saunders probably did compose the tunes he claimed. In his book he seems quite conscientious about marking his tunes with his initials, and leaving the rest unmarked. He comments that he wrote all the cotillion sets himself, and they are all initialled...On the other hand, he didn't initial any of the standard 'Contra, Spanish and Fancy Dances' in the book, including his very idiosyncratic version of 'Durang's Hornpipe', which is very different from the usual 'book' versions." The 'B' part opens with similar melodic content with Frank McCollum's "Home Ruler (The)."

"Erie Hornpipe" is among the tunes entered into the neatly penned c. 1860-1890 music manuscript collection [1] of H.E. Packard (West Halifax, Vermont).

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 105. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 141. Saunders (New and Complete Instructor for the Violin), 1847; No. 20, p. 55.

Recorded sources: -



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