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TOTW February 28, 2020 - Stear's Quadrille

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Feb 28, 2020 - 6:44:54 AM
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17 posts since 5/27/2014

Everyone seems to have jig fever right now so I thought I'd share this tune I got a bit ago from the playing of Mark Tamsula and Richard Withers.

They got it from Samuel Bayard's collection "Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife" (It's #528 in that collection). Bayard collected it from Albert Stear of Armstrong County, PA. No source recording, unfortunately, but here's Mark and Richard playing it:

When I heard them play it here in Columbus earlier this winter in a house show/workshop I knew I wanted to figure out a more melodic version of it and I've been working more on my jig and 6/8 playing more recently, so here's what I came up with:

This is actually the second of two similar quadrilles from Albert Stear that appear in this collection (the other one is #527). I wrote out some tab for both of them so I'm attaching them here in case you're interested!

Happy Friday!

Feb 28, 2020 - 12:35:32 PM
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3747 posts since 3/11/2004

Well done. We play a couple of jigs each night at our weekly contra dances. They take some special handling but work well when arranged well like yours.


Feb 28, 2020 - 3:58:02 PM
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150 posts since 4/10/2010

I had just about given up on jigs. Your playing has given me a booster shot of encouragement. I'm going to try again with arrangements better suited to my abilities. Thanks to David for that insight.

Feb 28, 2020 - 4:34:50 PM
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351 posts since 9/26/2006

Super-duper playing, Adam.    This tunes uses that fifth string really nicely.

Andy Alexis

Feb 29, 2020 - 2:10:51 AM



168 posts since 4/17/2010

Love these well played jigs, Adam.

Feb 29, 2020 - 12:45:26 PM
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6415 posts since 6/27/2009

A challenge you meet well, Adam.  That's neat and inspiring to learn from Mark Tamsula and Richard Withers.  I'll be sure to get this more recent CD with the quadrille.  

 I found the original Stear's Quadrille, 1948 recording by Albert Stear -- boy, he plays fast!  It's definitely a different style of clawhammer to play a jig, but possible with practice. Adam's and my tab show how to use the thumb. I've never found it hard to use my index finger twice in a row as needed for jigging.  Hammer-ons and pull-offs also make it easier.  

I looked up quadrille dances.  It was a popular dance style of the 19th century, but in this ball room style video probably not anything like what may have occurred in Southwestern Pennsylvania at the time of Stear's recording.  

Edited by - JanetB on 02/29/2020 12:49:19

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