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The tune, Durang’s Hornpipe, is believed to be composed in 1785 by Mr Hoffmaster and his wife, both little people, and named for their fiddle student and actor/dancer, John Durang (Lancaster, PA 1768 — Philadelphia, PA 1821). John Durang then went on to be known as `the first American dancer’ and popularized the `nautical-style’ hornpipe dance, The Sailor’s Hornpipe.[1]https://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Durang%27s_Hornpipe_(1) This sailor’s hornpipe dance is for a single dancer or group of single dancers as opposed to the hornpipe set dance for multiple … Continue reading
By the early 1800s the tune is found in American music commonplace books[2]Commonplace books are an `individual’s compilation of memorabilia (proverbs, poems, recipes, or on occasion pieces of music) recorded by hand in blank books’. (Goertzen, American … Continue reading including Thomas W Shannon, thought to be a teacher of Arthur McArthur Sr (Scotland, 1790 — ME, 1874).[3]Goertzen, op. cit., p 4. It also appears in commonplace books of Ebenezer Bevens (Middletown, CT, 1825), Gurden Trumbull (Stonington, CT, 1801), Josiah Adams (Framingham, MA, 1808), and Seth Johnson (Woburn, MA, 1807).[4]tunearch, loc. cit. Durang’s Hornpipe is a popular standard tune in Old Time Jams and Irish Sessions throughout North America.

Sailor’s Hornpipe Dance example:

—Kitty Steetle

Josh adds: there are many versions of this tune. Since this isn’t one I play a lot, the Tune of the Month
recording is most likely a blend of the last few versions I’d listened to.



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References

References
1 https://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Durang%27s_Hornpipe_(1) This sailor’s hornpipe dance is for a single dancer or group of single dancers as opposed to the hornpipe set dance for multiple couples.
2 Commonplace books are an `individual’s compilation of memorabilia (proverbs, poems, recipes, or on occasion pieces of music) recorded by hand in blank books’. (Goertzen, American Antebellum Fiddling, p 1)
3 Goertzen, op. cit., p 4.
4 tunearch, loc. cit.

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