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George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels and the History of American Fiddling$
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Chris Goertzen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496814272

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496814272.001.0001

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“Speed the Plough” and “Money Musk”

“Speed the Plough” and “Money Musk”

Knauff and the Dance Music Component of Early American Popular Music

(p.28) Chapter Two “Speed the Plough” and “Money Musk”
George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels and the History of American Fiddling

Chris Goertzen

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses George P. Knauff's music business. When versatile musician and entrepreneur Knauff heard a fiddler playing the Virginia Reels melodies for dancing at social events held at the home of his wife's parents, he sensed a similar chance to enhance his income. It is not clear exactly when he launched into composing and arranging music for profit because a few of his publications lack dates and plate numbers; this includes the first printing of the first two volumes of the Virginia Reels. This suggests an alternative scenario: that his activity as a composer and arranger started after his home and business burned and piggybacked on his next focus for earning a living, which was teaching. Whether initially part of his brick-and-mortar business or coupled with his subsequent stint teaching, Knauff's choosing to compose, arrange, and publish music was nothing startling as it was a natural ingredient of any music career at that time.

Keywords:   George P. Knauff, music business, Virginia Reels, dance music, composing, music arrangement, music career, music publishing

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