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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW - 5 August 2016: Rochester Schottische


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/321326

Paul Meredith - Posted - 08/05/2016:  13:05:24


For this week's TOTW, I've picked "Rochester Schottische", a tune from the Round Peak area.  A schottische (pronounced shotish) is a widely popular dance, supposedly somewhat like a slow polka, that probably originated in Bohemia.  Ironically, this TOTW is not played as a schottishe, as noted below.  The only information I've been able to find is from Brad Leftwich's Round Peak Style Banjo and Fiddle books and from the Fiddlers Companion.



Quoting from Brad Leftwich's Round Peak Style Banjo book: "Ben Jarrell called this tune "Rochester Schottische," but Charlie Lowe and others called it "Walking in the Parlor."  Apparently unrelated to the family of tunes usually called "Rochester Schottische" or the family of tunes usually called "Walking in the Parlor," this enigmatic piece isn't even played as a schottische."



The Fiddlers Companion, ibiblio.org/fiddlers/ROC.htm provides a bit more information, here is an excerpt:  "Tommy Jarrell's "Rochester Schottische" is not a schottische at all, much less the "Rochester Schottishe" found in older collections in North America (which even some Southern fiddlers have occasionally picked up from these sources). Barry Poss (1976) suggests that "Rochester Schottische" was played at one time in the Round Peak (N.C.) area, but that the title became detached from the melody, and, as a "floater," became attached to this tune. Similarly, the alternate title, "Walkin' in the Parlor," can be found in the South in numerous versions, though all seem dissimilar to this tune of Tommy Jarrell's."



Whatever its origins, I really like this D tune.  I first heard it a few months ago. I was looking for something else on youtube and came across David Bragger's version (see below) and was instantly hooked.  In hindsight, I think my infatuation with the tune was due as much to Bragger's playing as to the tune itself - he is a fine fiddler.



Here are a few versions from youtube.



Tommy Jarrell, including a few words about the name of the tune:  youtube.com/watch?v=LSURlods_Bk



from the 2008 Centralia Campout in WA state:  youtube.com/watch?v=6xC7W-H6zPE



a very nice version by BHO member Blockader:  youtube.com/watch?v=IXbHLDmQo0U



David Bragger's version is my favorite (looks like the Stefaninis enjoy it too...):  youtube.com/watch?v=GoQ1a2MVhyI



For comparison, here is the "real" Rochester Schottishe - a totally different tune:  youtube.com/watch?v=h9OsmNIyCqs 



I hope some of you can provide additional information about this fun tune, here is my take on it:



Edited by - Paul Meredith on 08/05/2016 13:08:27


RG - Posted - 08/05/2016:  13:08:56


Great tune!


llrevis - Posted - 08/05/2016:  13:41:09


There is a tab of this wonderful tune on Tater Joe's website.


JanetB - Posted - 08/06/2016:  18:00:32


Very nice, Paul!  This tune is in The Legacy of Tommy Jarrell, Vol. 1 and now I'll be more aware of it.  Instead of learning the tab (from Brad Leftwich's Round Peak Style clawhammer banjo book), I used the tab to create the tune in waltz-time.  Hope you enjoy.



Paul Meredith - Posted - 08/06/2016:  20:13:12


That's neat Janet!  I know a few bluegrass songs that evolved from 3/4 to 4/4 time but I hadn't thought about going from 4/4 to 3/4 for a fiddle tune.

 


bhniko - Posted - 08/08/2016:  14:51:02


Janet is a wonder.


vrteach - Posted - 08/08/2016:  14:54:30


I really enjoy playing this tune. My version is derived from the one that John McCutcheon learned from a Pennsylvania fiddler, and was on the LP by Wry Straw. I did this video back in 2011, and I play it a bit differently now.



I've got to get the string that I broke last year replaced on that banjo. I miss playing it.



 



Zischkale - Posted - 08/12/2016:  06:55:30


Thank you for choosing this one, Paul! I've been digging deep into the Leftwich book lately, and this one's one of the next tunes on my list to learn. I hadn't gotten around to listening to Tommy's fiddle version, so this is perfect. It's nice, one of those melodically-simple but rhythmically juicy Round Peak pieces. Looks like a ton of fun to play, and your rendition sounds great!



Clever call on the waltz, Janet. Glad to see Leftwich's book being referenced by  y'all, it's my favorite clawhammer banjo book so far. 


Don Huber - Posted - 08/14/2016:  00:09:00


Since the OP mentioned and gave an example of the "real" Rochester Schottische I would like to provide a far better version. The fiddler appears to be the amazing Howard Rains. He's half of Spencer and Rains who can be heard on the recent Tikki Parlour release "The Midwest Corridor". A brilliant album I hope to write about when I can catch my breath.



 



youtu.be/85uxKba6Ysc


Zischkale - Posted - 08/19/2016:  12:40:32


quote:

Originally posted by Don Huber

 

Since the OP mentioned and gave an example of the "real" Rochester Schottische I would like to provide a far better version. The fiddler appears to be the amazing Howard Rains. He's half of Spencer and Rains who can be heard on the recent Tikki Parlour release "The Midwest Corridor". A brilliant album I hope to write about when I can catch my breath.




 




youtu.be/85uxKba6Ysc







Spencer's the dude, quickly becoming one of my favorite fiddlers. As a new Austinite I really like the conceit of that video/band, too.



Have really enjoyed the Gellert Tiki Parlor album, I need to add Midwest Corridor to my wishlist!


Don Huber - Posted - 08/19/2016:  17:09:56


Spencer and Rains'(and the efforts of the supporting musicians) Midwest Corridor album is brilliant. There is a real hunger out there for the styles of OT music that developed as musicians moved North, West and other points in between. I write this not to disavow my appreciation of the seminal music of the Southeast, but to celebrate the fact that the regional styles and repertoires of other areas are equally rewarding. Tiki Parlour may have produced a classic album with Midwest Corridor.



Edited by - Don Huber on 08/19/2016 17:11:31

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