Traditional Fiddle Tunes: “Chandler’s Hornpipe”: For Cello

The hornpipe is originally an Irish, Scottish and English dance, but this one appears first in a collection published in the USA in 1883. Perhaps it was aurally transmitted through the generations in its area of origin but only published in the USA? To accommodate this ambiguity of origin, it, along with all the other traditional fiddle tunes, is classified (found) on the cellofun website in its own international category of:

Traditional Folk Fiddle Music

This lovely, delicate, lilting melody has only one defect: it is too short ! Even playing it twice takes barely one minute. To make it longer, we could repeat each of the two sections of the original melody (halves) and then do a Da Capo (repeat from the beginning), this time with no repeats. But in this cellofun version, rather than doing that, we have extended the piece by making additional variations, playing around with the tune’s speed and character as well as using dotted variants. Those dotted variations give it an even more playful, lilting, skipping character. For an “Easier Version” we can play those dotted rhythms as triplets rather than the tighter, faster quadruplet dots.

Here it is, arranged for cello in several different versions: a Solo Version (with accompaniment by any chordal instrument or ensemble) and a Duo Version with either another cello, a viola or a violin. In the Duo Versions, we will need to “mix-and-match”, deciding who will play the tune and who will play the accompaniment, according to our respective abilities and desires. To make this process easier and more flexible, the entire piece (with all the variations) is written out for each player with both the accompaniment and solo parts on neighbouring staves. Changing between solo and accompaniment voices only requires switching between staves. The melody voice is possibly a little high for comfort for the viola as it is played in the same octave as the violin. It is written out always in the treble clef so as to stay on the stave.

  1. Solo Version (+ accompaniment chords)
  1. Duo Version: CELLO PART
  2.   Duo Version: VIOLIN PART
  3.   Duo Version: VIOLA PART

And here below is a simple audio play-along accompaniment, useful mainly for the Cello Solo version but valid also for the Duo Versions, played quite slowly for the first two variations and then faster for the second two. If downloaded it can be played back at different tempi.