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Alice, where art thou?

Posted by Mike Moss, written by Joseph Ascher

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- Play count: 232

Size: 10,627kb, uploaded 11/16/2013 7:00:15 AM
Genre: Popular / Playing Style: Classic

G-G-Granville, f-fetch your cloth! Though practically forgotten nowadays other than as the intro music for Open All Hours, "Alice, where art thou?", written by Joseph Ascher in 1861, was one of the most popular songs of its time. This typically sentimental ballad of a melancholy man lamenting the departure of a girl taken too soon is one of the quintessential standards of the popular music of the late 19th century. It was, like so many others, overplayed, and it eventually sank into oblivion. This arrangement was one of Alfred A. Farland's most popular numbers along with his variations on My Old Kentucky Home. It is a typical Farland showpiece that displays all of his fancy tricks, from chord tremolo to rapid rolls, arpeggios and runs. He displays a certain Thalberg-esque flair in the first section, which surprisingly develops into a very quiet tremolo part on the inside strings. He alternates regularly between these two registers until reaching a grand finale in which the melody dies out, accompanied by natural harmonics on the 4th string. Like most of his solos, this one has never been recorded before (to my knowledge). My performance is far from doing it justice, but someone had to do it! This style of playing is known as Classic style banjo. For more information visit: http://classic-banjo.ning.com/



2 comments on “Alice, where art thou?”

Lew H Says:
Sunday, November 17, 2013 @5:58:26 AM

Interesting piece, and one that sounds really difficult. I have no idea how you get all those different sounds, volume levels, etc.

Mike Moss Says:
Sunday, November 17, 2013 @6:03:00 AM

Hi Lew,

thanks for the feedback. If you check out the video of me playing it you can get a look at the techniques involved to obtain the different effects, mostly finger tremolo and alternating between the inside and outer strings to get different intervals and levels of volume, the 3rd and 4th strings being used for the quieter passages, as well as the 3rd and 2nd and 2nd and 1st for brighter passages. Definitely one of the most unusual banjo solos I've ever played.

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