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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 09/14/2012 Speckled Apron


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/244986

vrteach - Posted - 09/14/2012:  16:18:59



Well, I had hopes to do something else. A few years ago I attended a great workshop by Garry Harrison in which he went through 18 tunes, and I really wanted to provide the tune "John Dye" as a TOTW. But darned if I could work out a worthwhile version of it today.



So, I decided to do another tune from that workshop, a simpler tune called Speckled Apron.



The tune comes from a fascinating collection of tunes transcribed by A. Porter Hamblen (I think in the early 1950s?) from the playing of his father, Williamson Hamblen (1846-1920), and grandfather David Russell Hamblen (1809-1893).



There is more information about this collection, and one CD by Christian Wig which includes many of the tunes. I've got to buy a copy of that!



chriswig.com/cds/cs.html



And there is also further information, including how to get a copy from the Library of Congress at:  singingwood.com



In searching around I didn't find any other versions beyond the three I include here. The tune itself is a pretty simple one which I play out of A-modal tuning (aEADE). I'm attaching my version, a sample from the Christian Wig CD, and the version from the Garry Harrison workshop.



I wish I had more to offer, but it's a nice little tune.




Speckled Apron


Speckled Apron, Garry Harrison


Speckled Apron, Christian Wig (sample)

Mtngoat - Posted - 09/15/2012:  10:14:28



I am not familiar with this title but it sounds a lot like "Rock Andy" to me.  The Chadwell Station CD with Christian Wig and Whitt Mead is a "must have" for fans of "old" Old Time music.


blockader - Posted - 09/15/2012:  10:55:11



nice playing! it reminds me a lot of the modal tune Ducks on the Pond.



-justin


Castania - Posted - 09/15/2012:  14:21:09



 


Originally posted by Mtngoat




I am not familiar with this title but it sounds a lot like "Rock Andy" to me.



 



I know . . . no arguing over tune names . . . but I have to agree with Mtngoat.  Check out the bottom of this page.



appalshop.org/frontporch/artis...smith.htm



There must be some connection here.  Still, a great tune . . . by any name or slight twist!



 




Edited by - Castania on 09/15/2012 14:24:59

vrteach - Posted - 09/16/2012:  07:48:40


Ah, well that's what happens when one rushes a TOTW! I picked up the tune pretty quickly because it had some elements that I've used before in A-modal tunes, but there were a couple of things that I didn't remember having done before. But then, I don't think I've played "Rock Andy," even though it was a TOTW a while back.

Mtngoat - Posted - 09/16/2012:  10:00:39



I was probably a bit imprecise in my wording in my earlier post.  More accurately perhaps I should have followed the thinking of Castania and said it seems to be related to Rock Andy.   What I find most interesting though is the regional and temporal connections of the sources.



The liner notes to Wigs Chadwell's Station CE say that David R Hamblen, the source for Speckled Apron,  was born in Cumberland Gap, Virginia, in 1809, and lived there before moving to Indiana in 1857.  He reportedly learned to play the fiddle as a young boy so we can safely surmise that the tune was extant in that area in that time period.



Snake Chapman learned Rock Andy from his father, George Chapman, born 1850, less than one hundred miles away from Hamblen, across the mountain in Kentucky. 



Though the original sources don't provide much information about the the tunes it's entirely possible that they have a common local antecedent.   I couldn't find any previous reference to such a link so your TOTW post may have contributed something to musical scholarship.


ndlxs - Posted - 09/17/2012:  06:38:14



Rock Andy, which I have always meant to learn on egotistic grounds, sounds a lot like June Apple to me.


vrteach - Posted - 09/17/2012:  08:05:30



I finally got to a fast enough connection to view the P.D. Smith video--really nice, thanks Castania. And Mntgoat, I think there is merit to your observation of the geographic closeness of David R Hamblen and George Chappman. As I recall, the first law of Geography is: Everything is related to everything else, but things that are closer are more related. In jargon this is known as spatial autocorrelation. (I hope I have that right, it's been years since I read up on geography)



As people are remarking, there are alot of shared phrases among this class of tunes. While listening to the Smith video of Rock Andy, Red-Haired Boy came to my mind during the B part, and Frosty Morning and Home With the Girls in the Morning in the A part!



I think this is all part of the human ability (and need) to identify patterns. I bet some graduate student could get a degree out of studying how by-ear OT musicians parse-apart and categorize tunes in terms of aural pattern recognition.


Harpist - Posted - 09/18/2012:  00:49:49




 Everything is related to everything else, but things that are closer are more related. In jargon this is known as spatial autocorrelation. (I hope I have that right, it's been years since I read up on geography)



As people are remarking, there are alot of shared phrases among this class of tunes. While listening to the Smith video of Rock Andy, Red-Haired Boy came to my mind during the B part, and Frosty Morning and Home With the Girls in the Morning in the A part!



I think this is all part of the human ability (and need) to identify patterns. 






Spot on. Often, with tunes, that seems to be caused by their chordal structure. Speckled Apron's A part reminds me most of the Scottish tune Johnny Cope. Check out youtube.com/watch?v=wF1UF8x0p3w


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