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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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“Peter Francisco” and “Richmond Blues”

“Peter Francisco” and “Richmond Blues”

The Titles of Knauff’s Virginia Reels

(p.55) Chapter Three “Peter Francisco” and “Richmond Blues”
George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels and the History of American Fiddling

Chris Goertzen

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the titles of George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels. Just a few of the melodies making up the Virginia Reels bear their customary modern names or similar ones in that publication, few enough that they can be listed quickly. Several titles are close to their usual ones. Fiddle tune titles serve as handy identifiers and can add value to these short tunes by being piquant, intriguing, by asserting an alliance between music and social values or local identity, or by combining several virtues. However, titles of tunes had been undervalued by earlier scholars, who characterized them as of little interest since they were impermanently linked to the tunes. In looking at changes in titles, similarities of many kinds could symptomize relationships between titles and often between tunes, including patterns of syntax, rhythmic patterns of versification where tunes are texted, conceptual relatedness, and retention of morphemes and phonemes.

Keywords:   George P. Knauff, Virginia Reels, melodies, fiddle tune titles, social values, local identity, syntax

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