Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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FOREWORD
377
melody isn't difficult for any good fiddler. But when a pian­ist tries to play that same racing melody in good quick tempo, it is not many repetitions until the muscles in the forearm begin to knot and the pianist can hardly go on. These melo­dies are very difficult and tiring for a pianist. Some of them are simple enough but do not "lay under the hand" right. So usually the pianist just chords and "plays around" with them, while the fiddler carries the melody at a furious and untiring pace. Amateur pianists had better leave them alone.
And your old-time fiddler will probably say that isn't the way he plays it. Surprising how these standard tunes, transmitted from ear to ear, are each played as individual and personal arrangements. Sometimes, a tune varies so much under the fingers of different fiddlers that you can hardly recognize it as being the same tune. And always, somehow, any good fiddler's tune has a personal magic in it, that can't be put down on paper in eighth and sixteenth notes.
The last selection is a group of special tunes mostly for the round dances described in my book. I have suggested there a single album of old-time dance music, and for each round dance have described just how much of each tune we usu­ally hear in the West, and just how it is played. And so in­stead of repeating these tunes here, Mr. Knorr has given us some variations. He has given us his own arrangement of the Varsouvianna, built from the many Varsouvianna tunes he has heard, and putting in as many phrases of his own as he liked and writing a new waltz for it. It is a good tune to dance to. The Schottische is his arrangement taken from an old clog—over a hundred years old. The simple little polka is his own and is typical of this style of dance. There are a hundred other polka tunes extant for you to choose from. He has arranged the Rye Waltz as it is played here in the West and as I have described it. And because so many orcfaejrtn^ disagree on dtor#ng "Pop Goes the Weasel," he has given an arrangement of ttiis.
The o!4-tim# #a|iee 4une$ are infinite in number. We hope IfeltiMflie/iM'^^^^^fc^ will serve your pur­pose and $<f I to yMf jof in powfeoy dtacing.
Luoyb Shaw






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III