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Mar 1, 2024 - 2:33:48 AM
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Bill H


2283 posts since 11/7/2010

The tune of the week is Jame Allen. This tune is in G and I found it fairly easy to learn and wicked fun to play. I only recently learned Jamie Allen from New Hampshire dance fiddler Shana Aisenberg, and in researching this tune I have heard it referred to as a traditional New England march. I found several videos by New England musicians and it appears in the tune list of Maine Fiddle Camp—find a link to their site below.

I could find no five string banjo versions of the tune online but did find many fiddle and mandolin versions. I have always found fiddle and mandolin tutorials helpful when trying to learn a tune, so I have posted links below to a couple that I liked.

Jamie Allen History From the web:

Jamie Allen, a renowned Northumbrian musician, was born around 1734 and passed away in 1810. He was famous for his mastery of the smallpipes and other types of bagpipes. His name is associated with the tune we now know as "Jamie Allen".
Jamie Allen is credited with innovations in smallpipes design. He extended their limited range of an octave by adding keys, enhancing their musical capabilities.
His father, Will Allen (1704-1779), was possibly a pipe maker and held the position of River Warden of the Coquet. Jamie’s mother was a gypsy, and he spent much time with her folk. His life is shrouded in mystery, with fanciful biographies attributing various roles to him. Some say he was the Duchess of Northumberland’s piper, while others claim he enlisted in the army and even faced legal troubles.
Chronicler John Sykes noted Jamie Allen’s death in 1810. He had been confined for over seven years in the house of correction under Elvet Bridge in Durham, sentenced for life due to horse-stealing. Despite receiving a pardon, his age and infirmities prevented the sentence from being carried out. Had he lived a little longer, he would have regained his liberty, as the Prince Regent had issued a free pardon for him.
The melody of the Jamie Allen tune is categorized as a ‘rant’ among Northumbrian musicians, although it could also be employed as a polka. In Scottish tradition, it is known as the "Reel of Tullochgorum". I have heard it referred to as a march by New England musicians.

Sheet Music and Lessons:

Sheet Music and midi:
Maine Fiddle Camp, sheet music, midi:
Julia McDonald-Plum:
Mando Lessons:

Lisa Schneckenburger and Eric Eid-Reiner:

Tabledit: Jamie Allen


Mar 2, 2024 - 2:17:27 PM
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7118 posts since 6/27/2009
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Quite an old source, Bill, good hunting results.  Though it's called a traditional New England march, you have given it more roots.  You play and tab it much like me.  It was gratifying discovering on my own, as you did, the barred seventh fret to hit the notes in the B part.  I don't mind jumping from a second fret to the seventh fret, but in this case it could be avoided. 

Here are live links to the ones you have above: (many midi samples with notation) (fiddle lesson; this is the video I used to learn by)  (mandolin lesson)

Edited by - JanetB on 03/02/2024 14:20:16

Mar 3, 2024 - 2:32:51 AM
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Bill H


2283 posts since 11/7/2010

Thanks Janet. I didn't realize my links were not live. I usually preview and test all links. I posted this at 4;30 am before work, so I may have been asleep at the switch. Yes, the seventh fret bar I find easier than jumping around. I tend to play more in melodic style and generally like to group fingering for minimal hand movement if I can.

I always enjoy your playing.

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