Audio Recording Fisher's Hornpipe [in G]

About this Item

Fisher's Hornpipe [in G]
Contributor Names
Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
Jabbour, Karen Singer (Collector)
Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
Created / Published
Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, June 18, 1966
Subject Headings
-  Instrumental music
-  Fiddle tunes
-  Hornpipes
-  Folk music--Appalachian Region
-  Ethnography
-  Music
-  Field recordings
-  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn
Field recordings
-  Meter: 4/4
-  Rendition: 1r-2r-1r-2
-  Compass: 13
-  Key: G
-  Strains: 2 (low-high, 4-4)
-  Phrase Structure: ABAC QRST (abbc abde qrq's tuvw)
-  Stylistic features: Slower pace, appropriate in old hornpipe style. Uses slurs and separate strokes in bowing. Once he reaches up for a high C on E-string.
-  The hornpipe seems to have developed in the later eighteenth century as a solo fancy dance, with the dancer typically accompanied by a 4/4 tune played on the newly democratized violin at a somewhat slower tempo than a reel. (The hornpipe of earlier British tradition in 3/2 time is a different genre with the same name.) One of the earliest and most widely circulated of all modern hornpipe tunes is "Fisher's Hornpipe." Its name is sometimes taken as a tribute to fishermen as an occupational group, but in fact it is the name of the original composer; the tune first appears in J. Fishar's Sixteen Cotillons, Twelve Allemands and Twelve Hornpipes (London, ca. 1780), p. 48. Fishar was, as the title page explains, "Principal Dancer and Ballet Master at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden."By the beginning of the nineteenth century the tune was already appearing in manuscript tunebooks from America, and it has appeared in countless published tunebooks since then, often set in the key of F. American Fiddle Tunes (Library of Congress, AFS L62) contains further discussion and citations. Henry Reed's sets illustrate nicely the two keys in which traditional sets are usually played--either in G (here) or in D (AFS 13037a03). A comparison of the two illustrates how a tune varies to fit the range and fingering patterns dictated by the key. Yet another set in this collection, played on a C-harmonica (AFS 13705a49), is something of a harmonica tour de force.
-  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
-  Title change: The title appeared in the fieldnotes as "Fisher's Hornpipe."
-  Spoken: ALAN JABBOUR: That's the "Fisher's"?/HENRY REED: Did Oscar and them play that for you?
-  Recording chronology: 015
-  Duration: 1 minute, 7 seconds
Audio tape
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1967/007: AFS 13033B07
Source Collection
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices for additional information and restrictions.

The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

Photographs in this collection produced by Carl Fleischhauer, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Kit Olson are reproduced here with their permission. Mr. Fleischhauer does not object to additional use of the photos he created provided he is credited as the photographer. Persons contemplating other kinds of uses or use of the other photographers' work should contact the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

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

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, Alan Jabbour, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Henry Reed. Fisher's Hornpipe in G. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jabbour, A., Jabbour, A., Jabbour, K. S. & Reed, H. (1966) Fisher's Hornpipe in G. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, et al. Fisher's Hornpipe in G. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.