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Old 08-07-2013, 11:02 AM   #1
Rochester
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Default sheet music for Barbara Allen

I recall singing the old folk tune "Barbara Allen" as a school kid in the early 1970s, and I am wondering now whether anyone knows of piping sheet music for that song. I think it would sound amazing on Scottish smallpipes -- or even GHBs.

Thanks and best,
Rochester
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
Pete Stewart
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Default Re: sheet music for Barbara Allen

In Bronson's monumental 'The Traditional Tunes to the Child Ballads' there are more tunes for Barbara Allen than for any other ballad; IIRC the number is around 200. Which one are you after?....my guess is Joan Baez's? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8woUkSu7FBs
Joan B was my introduction to traditional music back in the 60's - but there are much better versions of the words than hers, if you're going to sing it
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: sheet music for Barbara Allen

The most commonly sung version includes a leading seventh ( G# in A, C# in D) If you can produce the Leading tone on your instrument, you're in.

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
Rochester
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Default Re: sheet music for Barbara Allen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Stewart View Post
In Bronson's monumental 'The Traditional Tunes to the Child Ballads' there are more tunes for Barbara Allen than for any other ballad; IIRC the number is around 200. Which one are you after?....my guess is Joan Baez's? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8woUkSu7FBs
Joan B was my introduction to traditional music back in the 60's - but there are much better versions of the words than hers, if you're going to sing it
Thanks for this info. I encountered "Barbara Allen" first through an Ontario elementary-school songbook -- probably around grade 5 or 6. I know of Baez thanks to YouTube, but her version sounds somewhat different from the melody that's rolling around in my memory. Just seems to me the overall "feeling" of the piece would be awesome played on SSPs.

Cheers,
Rochester
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: sheet music for Barbara Allen

I remember hearing Porky Pig singing that in a Loony Tune.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:59 AM   #6
John Dally
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Default Re: sheet music for Barbara Allen

The melody to "Chevy Chase" is nearly the same (the obvious precursor), and it fits well on a SSP chanter. A mixolydian, leading note is b, first note of melody is c#.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: sheet music for Barbara Allen

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Dally View Post
The melody to "Chevy Chase" is nearly the same (the obvious precursor), and it fits well on a SSP chanter. A mixolydian, leading note is b, first note of melody is c#.
John, do you mean "pick-up note"?
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:13 AM   #8
Matt Seattle
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Default Re: sheet music for Barbara Allen

There's an 18th century Scottish tune to the ballad which is in E minor but which fits the simple 9-note pipe scale unchanged. I published it in The Border Bagpipe Book (1993, now out of print) but you can also find it in the Scots Musical Museum and probably elsewhere, maybe online if you have the patience. Pete's point is very relevant regarding ballad tunes - there's more than one Chevy Chase, too. Bronson's book is an eye-opener, a real labour of love, but by the nature of the subject it couldn't ever be complete.
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