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Home Sweet Home with variations

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Herbert J. Ellis

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- Play count: 480

Size: 11,986kb, uploaded 4/17/2013 12:03:18 PM
Genre: Traditional / Playing Style: Classic

Home Sweet Home, written by Henry Bishop, is one of the world's most enduring and well-known melodies. It has also been a favourite with banjoists ever since the minstrel era, with arrangements composed and played by Frank B. Converse, Alfred A. Farland, Herbert J. Ellis, S. E. Turner, or Earl Scruggs. Sets of variations on melodies such as this one were extremely popular with audiences at the time and were therefore a staple of Classic banjo playing. This set of variations is probably one of the best of its kind, as it is neither too simple nor too difficult. It follows the following structure: - Intro w/cadenza (semi-improvised fancy ornaments) - Theme - Rolling/arpeggio variation - "Brilliant" variation (with fast, fancy ornaments) - Tremolo variation - Thimble variation (down-picking with a metal thimble pick) This style is known as Classic style banjo, for more information visit: http://classic-banjo.ning.com/

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Home, Sweet Home

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Henry Bishop and John Howard Payne

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- Play count: 411

Size: 684kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:27:22 AM
Genre: Traditional / Playing Style: Classic

An arrangement of this old favourite for Classic style banjo by S. E. Turner.

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Humoresque

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Alfred D. Cammeyer

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- Play count: 360

Size: 4,538kb, uploaded 1/23/2013 5:04:04 AM
Genre: Popular / Playing Style: Classic

Another quick recording with my new mic, this time I tried to remove some of the background static with some measure of success. I have based this performance on William J Ball's, incorporating several of his slight variations and changes to the original score; I figured them out by ear but I could write them down if anyone else wants to play it like Bill. I recorded this one as it's somewhat similar to Lazy Rhythm; both, as bd on Banjohangout and Julian Egan on Classic-Banjo.ning pointed out, have a "strolling" feel to them. The Wiki sez: "Humoresque (or Humoreske) is a genre of romantic music characterized by pieces with fanciful humor in the sense of mood rather than wit. The name refers to the German term Humoreske, which was given from the 1800s (decade) onward to humorous tales."

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Lancashire Clogs

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Emile Grimshaw

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- Play count: 371

Size: 1,145kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:28:29 AM
Genre: Popular / Playing Style: Classic

Another of Grimshaw's most iconic tunes, which was a favourite of BMG ensembles in the early 1900s.

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Lazy Rhythm

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Bert Bassett

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- Play count: 311

Size: 6,519kb, uploaded 1/21/2013 8:42:30 AM
Genre: Popular / Playing Style: Classic

A nice tune by Bert Bassett for Classic fingerstyle banjo.

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Massa's in the Cold, Cold Ground

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Stephen Foster

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- Play count: 327

Size: 1,705kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:29:52 AM
Genre: Traditional / Playing Style: Classic

An arrangement of this famous tune for Classic style banjo, played on the occasion of the passing of Earl Scruggs.

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Mazeppa

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Joe Morley

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- Play count: 264

Size: 1,661kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:31:21 AM
Genre: Other / Playing Style: Classic

One of Morley's latest and most virtuosic solos for Classic style banjo.

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Minuet

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Joe Morley

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- Play count: 317

Size: 2,078kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:32:28 AM
Genre: Classical / Playing Style: Classic

A quieter piece for Classic style banjo by Joe Morley.

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My Old Kentucky Home

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Alfred A. Farland

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- Play count: 518

Size: 9,947kb, uploaded 4/28/2013 6:48:14 AM
Genre: Traditional / Playing Style: Classic

I wasn't really sure if I should upload this recording, but since this is about as well as I'm every going to play this one I thought I might as well. I've been struggling with this monster for over a year and, well, here are the results. Plenty of mistakes, some passages I still couldn't play smoothly if my life depended on it, crappy uneven tremolo... so, for me, this is a way of burying this solo for once and for all. The arrangement, in itself, is very nice, but it is far too demanding, so unless you're the ghost of Fred Bacon, don't waste your time on this like I did. There are plenty of great, pleasant and easy arrangements out there that are just as effective and a lot easier. Now that I got that off my chest... here's some small talk about this piece. My Old Kentucky Home was originally a minstrel song by Stephen Foster, which was introduced to the public by the famous Christy's Minstrels. Even though, like many songs from that time, the song contains ethnic slurs, Frederick Douglass, the African-American abolitionist and intellectual, said of it that "[it stimulates] the sympathies for the slave, in which anti-slavery principles take root and flourish." It has since become the state song of Kentucky, and, recently, the lyrics have been cleaned up to remove the ethnic slurs. Alfred A. Farland wrote and played this arrangement sometime in the 1890s, and it became an instant favourite with his audiences. The presence of such classic, "characteristic" banjo songs in Farland's repertoire is a nod to his origins -- he worked in a minstrel troupe for a number of years -- and to the audience's expectations. Although Farland never recorded this solo, his pupil, Fred Bacon (of the Bacon banjo co.) played two of the variations in his medley of Southern airs. This recording is available on the website of the Library of Congress, and you would do well to listen to the lightning-fast rolls to see how it's meant to be played. I find the rolling variation to be particularly awkward due to the fact that, unlike Scruggs rolls, these are triplet rolls and the melody is carried by the third string. The structure of the piece is as follows: - Intro - Theme - "Brilliant" variation - Minor variation (tremolo on 3rd and 4th strings) - Rolling variation - Tremolo variation This style of playing is known as Classic fingerstyle banjo. For more information visit: http://classic-banjo.ning.com/

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On the Road to Mandalay

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Oley Speaks

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- Play count: 69

Size: 5,962kb, uploaded 4/24/2013 8:44:53 AM
Genre: Unknown/None Chosen / Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

The banjo is featured in several of Rudyard Kipling's poems, including this one from the Barrack-Room Ballads: Mandalay. This one was famously made into a song by Oley Speaks which only included three verses. My "sing-along" arrangement only includes the first and last, but as you can see in the attached sheet music, it is quite possible to sing the entire poem simply by repeating the entire song with the first ending before finishing with the final flourish. Rudyard Kipling wrote this poem after returning from Rangoon to England; on the way, his steamer made a stop at Moulmein (nowadays called Mawlamyine), where he was struck by the beauty of the Burmese women. The poem is a tale of longing of a soldier who wishes to return to a simpler, healthier life and to the girl he left behind in Burma. Note that, in the poem, the girl plays the banjo -- what more can a man ask for? You can download the sheet music for my arrangement here: http://www.mediafire.com/view/?6ie362q72kbdevs This style of playing is known as Classic fingerstyle banjo. For more information visit: http://classic-banjo.ning.com/

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Poet and Peasant Overture

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Franz von Suppé

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- Play count: 326

Size: 9,335kb, uploaded 7/6/2012 8:58:53 AM
Genre: Classical / Playing Style: Classic

A selection from the overture to Poet and Peasant (Dichter und Bauer) by Franz von Suppé, arranged for Classic banjo by Parke Hunter. I have arranged the piano part.

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Pompadour

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Joe Morley

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- Play count: 294

Size: 1,542kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:34:01 AM
Genre: Classical / Playing Style: Classic

Another of Morley's quieter pieces for Classic style banjo.

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Ragtime Oriole

Posted by Mike Moss, written by James Scott

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- Play count: 457

Size: 1,408kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:35:08 AM
Genre: Ragtime / Playing Style: Classic

Arrangement based on a transcription of an old recording of Fred Van Eps for Classic style banjo.

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Return of the Regiment - New Weaver Banjo

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Emile Grimshaw

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- Play count: 316

Size: 5,423kb, uploaded 3/11/2013 1:06:07 PM
Genre: Other / Playing Style: Classic

One of Grimshaw's most famous solos, Return of the Regiment is a fun, rousing military-themed piece which cleverly incorporates a few bars from "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" towards the end. The late, great Bill Ball rated this as one of the greatest marches ever written for the banjo, and, like many Grimshaw compositions, it falls very easily on the fingerboard as any good solo should. Played on my new Clifford Essex Weaver banjo. This style of playing is known as Classic Banjo. For more information visit: http://classic-banjo.ning.com/

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Sammy on Parade

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Alfred D. Cammeyer

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- Play count: 265

Size: 7,208kb, uploaded 4/20/2013 7:33:03 AM
Genre: Popular / Playing Style: Classic

Sammy on Parade was one of Alfred D. Cammeyer's most popular solos, though it is seldom heard nowadays. As a march it ranks with the best written for Classic Banjo, such as Return of the Regiment or the Palladium March. According to Bernard Sheaff, Cammeyer's star pupil, Cammeyer was inspired when he saw the parade of the American troops though London in 1917, after the USA joined the war. He reputedly wrote this solo in only one hour, and it was published shortly thereafter. This style of playing is known as Classic Banjo. For more information visit: http://classic-banjo.ning.com/

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Shuffle Along

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Joe Morley

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- Play count: 311

Size: 1,417kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:36:43 AM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: Classic

A nice swing number by Joe Morley for Classic style banjo.

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Shuffle Along (on the new Weaver banjo)

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Joe Morley

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- Play count: 282

Size: 5,621kb, uploaded 5/12/2013 7:18:48 AM
Genre: Jazz / Playing Style: Classic

One of the most fascinating things about Joe Morley is that, due to the fact that his carreer as a famous banjoist spanned about 50 years, he went through a number of musical fashions and styles, and his music adapted to suit them. His distinct style of Classic Banjo playing proved equally suited to ragtime, oriental foxtrot and jazz, as it was to the earlier forms of music he played. This runs contrary to the stereotypical view of Classic banjo peddled by many contemporary documentaries, which would divide banjo history into cut-and-dried "periods". Shuffle Along was one of the great musical hits of the 1920s. The first all-black musical show, written and performed by African Americans, Shuffle Along embodied all things jazz and it was a smash hit when it premiered on May 23rd 1921. Even though there is no date on the Morley composition, it is very likely that he was inspired by the show to write this jazzy swing number in the 1920's. Everything points to the fact that this became one of his most popular numbers -- young William J. Ball recalled hearing him play it at the 1931 banjo rally, and the minutes of the London Banjo Club record it as one of the last pieces he performed in September, 1937, shortly before his death. This solo is another example of Joe Morley's remarkable versatility as a banjoist and a composer, as well as the extreme adaptability of Classic Banjo as a playing style. The success of this composition endures to this day, as it was also recently adapted for guitar by Richard Yates. This style of playing is known as Classic style banjo. For more information visit: http://classic-banjo.ning.com/

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Song of the Boatmen on the Volga

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Emile Grimshaw

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- Play count: 106

Size: 5,093kb, uploaded 4/23/2013 12:01:55 PM
Genre: Unknown/None Chosen / Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

Emile Grimshaw (born in Accrington, Lancs, in 1880) was a prolific player and composer for a number of fretted instruments, including Classic fingerstyle banjo, plectrum banjo, balalaika, and jazz guitar. Among his output he arranged many solos for BMG clubs, where they were very popular.The Song of the Boatmen on the Volga (also known as "Ey, ukhnem!") is a famous Russian melody and an authentic traditional shanty, first written down by Mily Balakirev in his book of Russian folk songs, published in 1866. It was sung by the Burlaks, or barge haulers, as they pulled the heavy timber-laden barges along the river Volga. The song evokes the heavy measured tread of the men as they keep step with the plaintive melody. This arrangement is special insofar as it is written with a divided accompaniment. In Classic Banjo, the vast majority of accompaniments are written for a single Second Banjo, who plays both bass notes and harmony. Divided Accompaniment was explained in a book, published over several issues of Stewart's Journal, by Thos. J. Armstrong, an American banjoist from the late 19th century. His idea was that accompaniments would sound fuller and richer if they were spread over two banjos, using their low strings for a less strident effect. The idea never really caught on, however. This style of playing is known as Classic fingerstyle banjo. For more information, visit: http://classic-banjo.ning.com/

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Sunflower Dance

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Vess L. Ossman

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- Play count: 431

Size: 863kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:38:42 AM
Genre: Ragtime / Playing Style: Classic

One of the most iconic pieces for Classic style banjo, played as a double-tracked duet with myself.

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The Dancer's Dream

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Alfred Cammeyer

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- Play count: 274

Size: 1,588kb, uploaded 6/20/2012 9:41:26 AM
Genre: Classical / Playing Style: Classic

Probably my favourite Cammeyer piece for Classic fingerstyle banjo.

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