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Transcribed from selections from an undated manuscript in the Farne online collection

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Go to PDF of transcription

Transcribed into ABC Music Notation for The Village Music Project by Peter Dunk from the incomplete manuscript on the Farne website, so the tune numbering is provisional and shown in square brackets to indicate this.

There are many fine hornpipes here, some of which are attributed elsewhere to James Hill.

Notes by Matt Seattle, from the Farne website:-

This tune book was passed to Jack Armstrong in the early 1990s by a descendant of its compiler also known as John Nichol. The contents appear to be mid- to late 19th century, and while Tyneside is the obvious origin considering the local tunes included, County Durham or Northumberland are also likely.

Due to limitations on time and money it was decided not to digitise the whole of this tune book, but rather to select key pieces from the manuscript. The selector has naturally followed his own criteria and the criteria of the FARNE project as he perceives them in choosing which tunes are 'relevant' or 'important' enough to be digitised for the website. The compiler of the manuscript, however, makes no apparent distinction between currently popular dance music - Polkas, Schottisches, Waltzes, Varsovianas, Quadrilles etc. - and the material which we perceive as 'traditional' - Jigs, Hornpipes etc. In some ways a parallel can be drawn with present day traditional musicians, who, if not actively involved in, are usually at least aware of, the popular music of the day or of their youth.


Collection description : 19th century fiddler's tune book compiled by John Nichol

Period : 1841-1860

Height : 25 cm

Width : 19 cm

Held by : Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum

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