Virginia Reels Selected & Arranged FOR the Piano Forte [Nos. 1-4]. George P. Knauff.
Virginia Reels Selected & Arranged FOR the Piano Forte [Nos. 1-4].
Virginia Reels Selected & Arranged FOR the Piano Forte [Nos. 1-4].
Virginia Reels Selected & Arranged FOR the Piano Forte [Nos. 1-4].

Virginia Reels Selected & Arranged FOR the Piano Forte [Nos. 1-4].

Baltimore, (MD): Geo. Willig, [1839?]. Engraved sheet music, a complete set, individually published, of a rare and important collection of southern fiddle tunes. Folio. Four volumes in one: 7; 8-13; 5; 7 pp. Knauff's "Virginia Reels" constitutes the first collection of fiddle tunes from the American South, and is the only substantial collection of such tunes to be published in the 19th century. The thirty-five tunes, some of which are derived from folk tradition, some from the minstrel repertoire, and some from the Anglo-Irish tradition, include such long-lived and familiar titles as "Billy in the Low Grounds," "Mississippi Sawyer," "Natchez on the Hill," and "Forked Hill," along with "Indian Whoop," "Richmond Blues," "Colonel Crockett," and "Petersburg Ladies." George Willig published this original edition, and it was later pirated by F.D. Benteen. Only a dozen holdings of the individual parts of both imprints, numbers one through three, are recorded on OCLC, with only two locations recorded for bound copies of all four parts of the later Benteen edition (Duke, U. Oldenberg in Germany); apparently no copies of part four of the Willig edition are recorded. In their pioneering study "George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels and Fiddling in the South" ("American Music," 1987), Chris Goertzen and Alan Jabbour note that the collection, in both the original edition and the later, pirated edition, "exists today in roughly a dozen copies, some fragmentary, in major U.S. libraries." The fourth number, they continue, "is rarer than others" and survives in "a few extant copies." As is often the case with engraved publications, and the survival of plates through various hands, the bibliography becomes murky and dating difficult. Parts 1 and 2 of this set bear stamps from a post-Civil War Louisville music store, along with Willig's ads, and so would seem to be later printings from original plates; parts 3 and 4 appear to be of an earlier date, with slight evidence of plate deterioration, and no ads. Some of the engraving plates quite worn. Very goood copy, a landmark set, handsomely bound in period style. Modern contemporary-style half-calf and green marbled boards, morocco title label on upper board. (8983). Item #62124

Price: $4,500.00

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