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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Cakewalks


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BANJOJUDY - Posted - 11/25/2011:  09:33:43



 



What is a Cakewalk?



Wikipedia defines it as shown: "Its origins in slavery and the plantation south, the Cakewalk was the sole organized and even condoned forum for servants to mock their masters. A send-up of the rich folks in the "Big House," the cakewalk mocked the aristocratic and grandiose mannerisms of southern high-society. Much bowing and bending were characteristic of the dance, which was more a performance than anything else. Couples lined up to form an aisle, down which each pair would take a turn at a high-stepping promenade through the others. In many instances the Cakewalk was performance, and even competition. The dance would be held at the master’s house on the plantation and he would serve as judge. The dance’s name comes from the cake that would be awarded to the winning couple."



I like the syncopation of these songs when played on the clawhammer banjo.  Would anyone care to add to this list of titles:



Georgia Camp Meeting



Whistlin' Rufus



Colored Aristocracy



Carolina Tar Heel



Eli Green's Cakewalk



 



 


Julian44_4 - Posted - 11/25/2011:  10:12:32



Swipesy Cakewalk  / Delaware Water Gap



Dr Brown's Cakewalk


trapdoor2 - Posted - 11/25/2011:  12:05:38



The difference between a cakewalk and a rag is often blurry. In many cases cakewalks were 're-syncopated' into rags as rags became more popular. Scholars have a hard time with an exact definition and argue whether this tune or that is a cakewalk or rag.



I used to play 'em clawhammer but once I tried 'em in the classic-style (fingerpicking), I never was happy doing them clawhammer again. Learning "Whistling Rufus" in its original format was an eye-opener. The typical clawhammer version only has two parts, the original has three (and a key change)...and there is a contemporary fourth part (added by some banjo player in the early part of the 20th cent., it is really just the 3rd part done in yet another key).



There are literally hundreds of cakewalks out there written specifically for the 5-string banjo (fingerpicked). Some do well in CH...but they often loose the third part because it generally is in a different key. For example, Georgia Campmeeting starts in A, stays there for the second part and then moves into D for the trio.



If you don't know already, your first two choices (Georgia Campmeeting, pub. in 1897 and Whistling Rufus, pub. in 1899) were written by the same man, Mr. Kerry Mills. He also wrote "Redwing". I have classic-style TAB for all of your choices, taken from the original sheet-music, except Colored Aristocracy (which I still play CH style).


BANJOJUDY - Posted - 11/25/2011:  12:11:22



quote:


Originally posted by trapdoor2




The difference between a cakewalk and a rag is often blurry. In many cases cakewalks were 're-syncopated' into rags as rags became more popular. Scholars have a hard time with an exact definition and argue whether this tune or that is a cakewalk or rag.



I used to play 'em clawhammer but once I tried 'em in the classic-style (fingerpicking), I never was happy doing them clawhammer again. Learning "Whistling Rufus" in its original format was an eye-opener. The typical clawhammer version only has two parts, the original has three (and a key change)...and there is a contemporary fourth part (added by some banjo player in the early part of the 20th cent., it is really just the 3rd part done in yet another key).



There are literally hundreds of cakewalks out there written specifically for the 5-string banjo (fingerpicked). Some do well in CH...but they often loose the third part because it generally is in a different key. For example, Georgia Campmeeting starts in A, stays there for the second part and then moves into D for the trio.



If you don't know already, your first two choices (Georgia Campmeeting, pub. in 1897 and Whistling Rufus, pub. in 1899) were written by the same man, Mr. Kerry Mills. He also wrote "Redwing". I have classic-style TAB for all of your choices, taken from the original sheet-music, except Colored Aristocracy (which I still play CH style).






 Thanks for your input and information.  If you would be willing to share some of your sound clips and classic tabs,I would be a happy recipient.



 


blockader - Posted - 11/25/2011:  13:39:28



shenandoah falls has a cakewalk sound to me, but i'm not sure if it is one.



-justin


must fret - Posted - 11/25/2011:  13:49:00



Great info!



I'm venturing more into syncopation - I love Colored Aristocracy and Ragtime Annie. I'll have to try Whistling Rufus. 



Any thoughts on the best way to venture into the classic style? (along with clawhammer)



I too would like to get your music and tabs.



Thanks!



Paul



mustfret@gmail.com



Edited by - must fret on 11/25/2011 13:50:22

trapdoor2 - Posted - 11/26/2011:  06:36:16



We have been working on a "study" of Whistling Rufus over on the ning Classic-Banjo site, posting both video and TAB/Notation there. We've only done the A part but we'll be posting the B and C parts soon.



I would be very happy to put whatever I have into the TAB archives here. I'll do that sometime today.



Let's see if I can link to my video of the A part...http://classic-banjo.ning.com/video/whistling-rufus-a-part-wmv



I don't know of any other cakewalks that have been translated to CH...but I would love to hear of more!



Paul, there are quite a few sites out there these days with Classic-style stuff. The main forum site is the above classic-banjo.ning group. The other main site is Hal Allert's classicbanjo.com site (which is unfortunately down at the moment due to tech problems). Rob MacKillop just posted a fantastic video about an hour ago banjohangout.org/topic/221447, his site is also filled with great stuff. classicbanjorm.com/ Although CB has been almost exclusively taught using standard musical notation, a number of us have been diligently Tabbing it out for some years. There is also a yahoo forum dedicated to classic-banjo.



Edited by - trapdoor2 on 11/26/2011 06:43:22

trapdoor2 - Posted - 11/27/2011:  11:48:31



OK. I've uploaded "Carolina Tar Heel", "Eli Green's Cake Walk", "At A Georgia Camp Meeting" and "Whistling Rufus" for your perusal. banjohangout.org/tab/browse.as...mp;v=3288



n.b.: These are "classic-fingerstyle" (three-finger) arrangements. I included a 2nd banjo part for "Georgia Camp Meeting" since it was already in the file. If anyone wants the 2nd for Whistling Rufus, I'd be happy to provide it. I'll add MIDI files for each when I can get to it.



And...



If you want to see just how popular the Cake Walk genre was around the turn of the 19th/20th century, go here, read about it and scroll thru all the great sheet music: ragtimepiano.ca/rags/cakewalk.htm



Edited by - trapdoor2 on 11/27/2011 11:59:21

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 11/27/2011:  13:24:39



I just finished an easy version of Coloured Aristocracy, and it has one measure that is in "Classic" cake Walk syncopation. If you email me (I can't attach the file here so I need an actual message to my email addy (It can be through the BHO however) I will send you a copy. You will need TEFView to read the tab.



The entire tune is written without syncopation save for that measure, but you can apply that (and many other syncopations) to other places in the tune.



TEFView is the free Tabledit reader and you can get it through my website:



rocketsciencebanjo.com



Edited by - oldwoodchuckb on 11/27/2011 13:26:23

trapdoor2 - Posted - 11/28/2011:  22:03:07



Ok, just for fun I have created a MIDI file from the original 1890's piano sheet of "Colored Aristocracy", by Gus W. Bernard. This bit of sheet music is usually (eventually) named as the source for the OT tune. I gotta go figure out how to upload a MIDI file...



Turns out that the Cakewalk and the Clawhammer don't jive at all. They're nowhere near the same tune.




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