Notated Music Turkey in the Straw [music transcription]

Format Notated Music
Contributors Jabbour, Alan
Dates 1966
Location Giles County
Glen Lyn
United States
Language English
Subjects Appalachian Region
Fiddle Tunes
Folk Music
Instrumental Music
Notated Music
Sheet Music
Turkey in the Straw [music transcription]
Contributor Names
Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
Created / Published
[Between 1966 and 1968]
Subject Headings
-  Instrumental music
-  Fiddle tunes
-  Folk music--Appalachian Region
-  Breakdowns
-  Reels
-  Ethnography
-  Sheet Music
-  Music score
-  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn
Sheet Music
Music score
-  Key: D
-  Meter: 4/4
-  Transcribed by Alan Jabbour, from a performance by Henry Reed.
-  Compass: 12
-  Strains: 2 (low-high, 4-4)
-  Rendition: 1r-2r-1r-2r-1
-  Phrase Structure: ABAC QRSC (abcd abc'e c"c"qq' rsc'e)
-  Stylistic features: Slurred bowing, high D on E-string.
-  Related Tune(s): Natchez under the Hill
-  Related Tune(s): Natchez
-  Related Tune(s): Old Zip Coon
-  Related Tune(s): Jolly is the Miller
-  Related Tune(s): The Rose Tree
-  Handwritten: Played 2 1/4 times thru. 1st time transcribed. Low D in 1st measure & C flat in 5th measure prob. irregular.
-  "Turkey in the Straw" is by now close to universal as an American fiddle tune, being played not only in the Upper South but in every region of the country. It may have originated in the Upper South, but it is by now so well-circulated that it is not easy to reconstruct its original epicenter. In the nineteenth century it competed with a close cousin, "Old Zip Coon," that had the advantage of minstrel stage promotion, as well as a more distant cousin, "Natchez under the Hill," that was associated with the frontier riverboat scene on the Mississippi and its tributaries. "Old Zip Coon" seems not to have survived the minstrel stage, but "Natchez under the Hill" seems to have lingered well into the twentieth century, despite the competition with "Turkey in the Straw," perhaps because "Natchez under the Hill" is usually in the key of A, while sets of "Turkey in the Straw" are typically in either D or G. Henry Reed's version of "Natchez under the Hill," which he called "Natchez," appears elsewhere in this collection (AFS 13705a35, AFS 13035b07). All these American cousins, together with others such as the play-party song "Jolly Is the Miller," seem to be derived from an eighteenth-century British air often called "The Rose Tree." This lineage is discussed, and many variants are listed, in the notes to American Fiddle Tunes (Library of Congress, AFS L62).
manuscript; 1 page
Call Number
AFC 1967/007: Notebook 2:59
Source Collection
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1
American Folklife Center
Digital Id

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Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1 (AFC 1967/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2 (AFC 1969/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Fiddle tunes of the old frontier: the Henry Reed collection online presentation (AFC 1999/016), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

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