Monthly Archives: August 2016

Folk Music Retreat with Laurel Swift

Street, Somerset

7-9 October 2016

Street retreat

Just a few places left on this first event in Laurel Swift’s 2016-2017 varied teaching programme – a multi-instrumental weekend retreat with the emphasis on developing ensemble skills alongside individual playing and musicianship. Expect dynamic, inspirational teaching in great company, fuelled by wonderful food and drink in glorious country settings.

Oh, and you’ll need to pack walking boots with your instruments!

Glast Tor

Full details and booking here.

For Laurel’s full programme of retreats, workshops and classes, see the Teaching menu on her website.


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Filed under English folk/modern, English folk/traditional, Uncategorized

Durang’s Hornpipe



The Hornpipe, by John Durang, watercolor from his Memoir, Courtesy of the York County History Center

Meet John Durang (1768-1822), dancer, acrobat, actor and performer with Ricketts’s Circus across the northeastern United States and into Canada. Born in Pennsylvania of German and French parents, he was George Washington’s favourite dancer.

The tune was composed for  Durang in new York in 1785 by Mr. Hoffmaster, his German violin teacher.

Durang's Hornpipe orig

Here are several different versions from North American musical cultures: two teaching videos (American and Canadian); a performance video (traditional African-American string band); and archive reel-to-reel audio of a West Virginia fiddler.

Choose your favourite to learn!



Katie Henderson (fiddle)

America: teaching video from Katie’s encyclopaedic New Tune A Day Youtube site.

(Durang’s Hornpipe (Old-Time Fiddle Tune) NTAD) YouTube video, 2:11. Uploaded by Katie Davis Henderson, 20 Sep 2011.


Patti Kusturok, Shamma Sabir (fiddles)

Canada: teaching video from Patti’s YouTube fiddle tunes vlog.

(‘Day 229 – Durang’s Hornpipe – Patti Kusturok’s 365 Days of Fiddle Tunes’ YouTube video, 2:14. Published by Patti Kusturok, 17  Aug 2015.


Carolina Chocolate Drops

Justin Robinson (fiddle),  Dom Flemons (snare drum), Rhiannon Giddens (flat-footing)

The wonderful African-American stringband performing at Mass MoCA, May 2010.

(‘Carolina Chocolate Drops – Durang’s Hornpipe’ YouTube video, 2:24. Uploaded by Music Maker Relief Foundation, 31 May 2010.


Frank George (fiddle)

Recording by widely-respected West Virginia fiddler William Franklin ‘Frank’ George at the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music, 30 October 1976.


(From the Digital Library of Appalachia, Berea College


More information:

Katie Henderson:  NTADblogspot  website  YouTube

Patti Kusturok:  website  YouTube

Carolina Chocolate Drops:  website

Frank George: Berea College recordings

John Durang:


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Filed under American old-time, American old-time/traditional, Uncategorized