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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW (OT) 10-31-14 - Peter Francisco


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/293687

blanham - Posted - 10/30/2014:  20:01:22


Tune of the Week: "Peter Francisco"



Peter Francisco is a tune found in Knauff’s “Virginia Reels,” published in 1839.  In the original manuscript, it is set in the key of F for piano forte.



[see attached photos below ... ]



 



Complete scans of the Knauff sheet music can be browsed in the UNC collection:



dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collect.../id/33599



 



In 1971, Chris Goertzen and Alan Jabbour published article discussing the background behind the “Virginia Reels”:



bluegrassmessengers.com/george...eels.aspx



 



Around 1972-73, Tom Carter transposed it down to the key of D.  Tom was a member of the “Fuzzy Mountain String Band,” and the band recorded Peter Francisco for their “Summer Oaks and Porch” LP.



amazon.com/gp/product/B0010VWM..._dp_trk30



 



Here is the “Fiddler’s Companion” summary on this tune:



ceolas.org/cgi-bin/ht2/ht2-fc2...francisco



 



Peter Francisco, the man, was a celebrated Revolutionary War hero (c. 1760 – 1831).   The Wikipedia article is very interesting:



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Francisco



 



Mark Campbell and Joe Ayers do a very nice job playing it on fiddle/gourd banjo, on this YouTube video:



youtu.be/B4oH8FM25C4



 



I have tabbed it out in 2 different tunings for the banjo (tabs attached).  To me, it is easier to play in double-D tuning, where it lends itself to a down-stroke style.  My included mp3 recording is the double-D version.  The tab for G tuning seems harder to play, but it allows it to be played note-for-note according to the original sheet music.  I hope to post one played from the G tab, in a day or 2.



 



If you have time, give it a try, and post one.  Have a great week!



- Bob




Peter Francisco (dbl-D)


Peter Francisco (G)


Peter Francisco


Peter Francisco Sheet Music


Knauff's Virginia Reels Cover

   

JanetB - Posted - 10/30/2014:  21:58:26


Fascinating, Bob!  Here's a link to a 22 minute video about Peter Francisco's life, narrated by a descendant, Travis Bowman, who also wrote a book about him:  youtube.com/watch?v=3jRyxgip5ew



 


RG - Posted - 10/30/2014:  22:44:09


Great pick, love playing this tune...!



Edited by - RG on 10/30/2014 22:46:12

blanham - Posted - 10/31/2014:  03:58:23


quote:

Originally posted by JanetB

Fascinating, Bob!  Here's a link to a 22 minute video about Peter Francisco's life, narrated by a descendant, Travis Bowman, who also wrote a book about him:  youtube.com/watch?v=3jRyxgip5ew




 







Thanks, I enjoyed that video.  I think P.F. was a little young to be elevated to "Founding Father" status, but that's for another topic.


janolov - Posted - 10/31/2014:  07:34:55


Nice story and nice tune!



When studying the notation I found that  old F tuning and playing in the key of F, as in the original notation, is an alternative way to tackle this tune if you want to clawhammer.


J-Walk - Posted - 10/31/2014:  08:24:15


That's a great tune, and you play it well. Thanks for the nice write-up.



Check out Stompin' Dave's solo fiddle version on YouTube.


banjered - Posted - 10/31/2014:  10:52:19


Thanks, very pleasant. Not knowing much about music/transposing but I wonder if the G banjo tab would be better off/easier to play if the B part was mostly lowered to the fourth low D string? Some adaptation needed. Don't really know for sure, more just asking. Banjered


blanham - Posted - 10/31/2014:  11:10:13


quote:

Originally posted by banjered

Thanks, very pleasant. Not knowing much about music/transposing but I wonder if the G banjo tab would be better off/easier to play if the B part was mostly lowered to the fourth low D string? Some adaptation needed. Don't really know for sure, more just asking. Banjered







That B part would be nice an octave lower, especially while accompanying a fiddler.


Zischkale - Posted - 10/31/2014:  11:23:49


New one to me, loving that B part. Great tune and cool subject, thanks for sharing!


davidbragger - Posted - 10/31/2014:  12:32:21


Such and awesome tune and history. Thanks! I just whipped up a fiddle version for the thread since I love this tune so much! It was even done pre-coffee!



youtube.com/watch?v=kAEg-6AbfP8



 



-David



Oldtimetikiparlour.com


blanham - Posted - 10/31/2014:  12:38:54


Wow, thanks for your contribution, David.  That's great fiddling, and I'm going back to listen to it again now!


blanham - Posted - 10/31/2014:  13:02:17


I didn't mention before (but it's in the Alan Jabbour article), that although the "Virginia Reels" were arranged for piano forte, they probably came from the orally (or aurally) transmitted Southern U.S. fiddle repertoire.


bd - Posted - 10/31/2014:  16:07:45


quote:

Originally posted by davidbragger

Such and awesome tune and history. Thanks! I just whipped up a fiddle version for the thread since I love this tune so much! It was even done pre-coffee!




youtube.com/watch?v=kAEg-6AbfP8




 




-David




Oldtimetikiparlour.com







Great fiddlin!



Now I'll work my embedding magic...



 


chip arnold - Posted - 11/01/2014:  10:07:12


I'm having trouble understanding how you'd play the G tab as written, in clawhammer style. It seems to lay out nicely enough in 3-finger style. What am I missing?


blanham - Posted - 11/01/2014:  11:02:09


quote:

Originally posted by chip arnold

I'm having trouble understanding how you'd play the G tab as written, in clawhammer style. It seems to lay out nicely enough in 3-finger style. What am I missing?







Yes, you are correct, I would use finger picking for the G tab!


JanetB - Posted - 11/01/2014:  12:38:09


This is a great tune and it alerted me to the gems that are on the Fuzzy Mountain String Band recording.  I like your bright version, Bob, as well as all those lively fiddles posted here.  Though my arrangement is in open G tuning, I can play along in the key of D because of the lower tuning on the cello banjo.





The Bicentennial 1976 US postage stamp, created in a set of three called "Contributors to the Cause," is in my stamp collection -- something I've not appreciated till now.  I wonder how many Virginians know about this man.  His story is indeed inspiring and I'm considering purchasing Travis Bowman's book, Hercules of the Revolution, though it's written as a novel based on historical facts.



 



Edited by - JanetB on 11/01/2014 12:43:36



Peter Francisco (CB)


Peter Francisco tab

jamesd - Posted - 11/01/2014:  12:52:45


Thanks, Bob for this tune.  I have never heard it played before your posting.  It usually takes me a week or more to get a tune down, but your tab and playing of the tune has gotten it down to one day.



I enjoyed the history lessons and all the members playing the tune.  Good pick for TOTW.   Thanks


Noah Cline - Posted - 11/01/2014:  21:15:54


Track 9 on Chadwell's Station by Chris Wig and Whitt Mead.


JeroenJ - Posted - 11/02/2014:  01:32:22


Great totw tune. Thanks blanham.
And thanks David, I am always impressed and inspired by your articulate and bold approach.

blanham - Posted - 11/02/2014:  02:57:13


Janet -



Great playing, and it sounds really cool on the cello banjo!  Thanks for posting a clawhammer-friendly tab for G tuning.  It proves Banjered's point about playing the B part on the lower strings.



 



Also, that's amazing that you actually have in your possession one of the Peter Francisco stamps. - Bob


blanham - Posted - 11/02/2014:  03:14:29


quote:

Originally posted by Noah Cline

Track 9 on Chadwell's Station by Chris Wig and Whitt Mead.







Good reminder!  That's a really good album, also with "Gaston" from Knauff's Virginia Reels, plus a lot of good stuff from the Hamblen collection.


Cyndy - Posted - 11/02/2014:  11:32:29


I've been experimenting with moving some of my fiddle tunes (thank you David Bragger!) to banjo and this thread was the motivation I needed to try writing something down. smiley



Here's a link to the tab, the TablEdit file, and an mp3 of the TabEdit-generated MIDI.



http://www.banjohangout.org/tab/browse.asp?m=detail&v=20828



Blanham--Thanks for the links to the wonderful Goertzen/Jabbour article and the piano sheet music. I never would have found them on my own.


blanham - Posted - 11/05/2014:  18:49:19


Thanks for posting your tab for us all to enjoy, Cyndy.  And, thanks to all for your posts so far ... and now one more:



Here's how the G tuning tab, from my original post, sounds played on a Bell banjo.  It ends up in the key of D here, due to the lower tuning of this banjo (A.K.A. "Briggs High Bass" tuning).




VIDEO: Peter Francisco
(click to view)

   

blockader - Posted - 11/06/2014:  08:38:18


Great pick and great examples from everyone! I only know it on fiddle (from David) but it sounds so good on banjo i think i'm gonna have to work it up. I was a history major and took a mess of Revolution era courses but somehow I had never heard of Peter Francisco until I looked into the title after learning the tune, once again proving that old-time is better than college.

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