Audio Recording Ricketts' Hornpipe

Ricketts' Hornpipe

About this Item


  • Ricketts' Hornpipe

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


  • Ethnography
  • Music
  • Field recordings


  • -  Key: D
  • -  Meter: 4/4
  • -  Compass: 12
  • -  Rendition: 1r-2r-1r-2
  • -  Strains: 2 (low-high, 4-4)
  • -  Phrase Structure: ABAC QRSC (abcd abc'e qrq's tuve)
  • -  Related Tune(s): Texarkana Hornpipe
  • -  John Bill Ricketts was an early circus entrepreneur who brought a circus from England to America in the last decade of the eighteenth century. Circuses in an earlier era usually included fancy dancing, and the circuses of Ricketts included dancers such as Pennsylvanian John Durang, who became famous in early America. Both Ricketts and Durang had hornpipes named for them that have endured in American tradition, in both the North and the South, right up through the twentieth century. The tune makes its appearance before 1800; it is included in "William O. Adams's Musick Book [1795]," a music manuscript book in the Library of Congress. Nineteenth and twentieth-century American tunebooks generally include "Rickett's Hornpipe" (the apostrophe is usually misplaced); see for example One Thousand Fiddle Tunes, p. 89, with dance directions, or Fillmore, American Veteran Fifer, #111. Other hornpipes from the tunebook tradition, such as "Texarkana Hornpipe" (One Thousand Fiddle Tunes, p. 98), seem by their similarity to "Ricketts" to honor its popularity. Modern tune collections also regularly feature it, such as Ford, Traditional Music of America, p. 50; Thomas, Devil's Ditties, p. 151. The Northern sets tend to be close to the sets from print tradition and to begin, like printed sets, with the lower strain, while some Southern sets vary more from the printed sets and even begin with the high strain (a Southern predilection).Henry Reed's performance agrees with Northern and print tradition in beginning with the low strain, but its melody departs in several particulars from the standard printed sets. Either because of the complexity of the tune or because of continuing ties to the older tradition of using hornpipes for fancy dancing, the pace of his performance is a bit slower than most of his breakdown tunes.
  • -  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
  • -  Title change: The title appeared in the fieldnotes as "Ricket's Hornpipe."
  • -  Recording chronology: 030
  • -  Duration: 1 minute, 2 seconds


  • Audio tape

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1967/007: AFS 13033B22

Source Collection

  • Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • audio

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. Ricketts' Hornpipe. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

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

MLA citation style:

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