O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

I’ve been searching high and low for what distinguishes these two volumes beside publication date and the number of transcriptions in each. I have purchased both, and am confused that the 1850 (Mel Bay) has no forward while the 1001 (Waltons) does and seems to mention the 1850.

Is the 1001 just a subset of the 1850?

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

I believe the Waltons 1001 is older - my copy certainly is.
Back in the days before tunes and videos were available online I bought the set of Ceol rince na hEireann books by Brendan Breathnach which at the time were rated as the dogs b*ll*cks as far as tune books go. These days it’s all by ear for me.

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

What Gromit said. I will add, some of the settings between the two O’Neills will be different.

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

The 1850 is "Music of Ireland", and contains many airs, O’Carolan tunes and listening pieces.

The 1001 is "Dance Music of Ireland". They’re tunes people dance to.

("Foreword"?)

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

Some collections have index numbers, and some don’t. I think the 1850 has, I don’t know about the 1001, the Miles Krassen doesn’t and I don’t remember if the "400 Choice Selections arranged for piano and violin" has.

Before I had access to any of these, I had noticed that some recordings referred to the corresponding index numbers of "O’Neill’s" collections, but I was never sure of which edition… For example, the same page in the booklet of "The Corner House" (by the band The Irish Tradition) has references to "O’Neill collection, #1194", "O’Neill’s Dance Music of Ireland" (the 1001?) and "O’Neill, #1186". And the only collection people spoke about at the time was "O’Neill’s". My first one was the 400, a friend got the 1001 a few years later, then I got the Krassen, and eventually the 1850 got transcribed into ABC…

Is the 1850 the one that musicians usually referred to?

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

Francis O’Neill (1848 - 1936) was an Irish born American Policeman and Chief of Police of Chicago from 1901 to 1905. He settled in Chicago in 1873. He was a flute, fiddle and pipe player of local renown and developed an interest in ITM while still a boy in Ireland (he left at 16). In 1901 he began compiling/collecting/transcripting his first book "The Music of Ireland" and published it in 1903. It contained 1850 tune settings. In 1907, he published "The Dance Music of Ireland," which contained 1001 tune settings. Typically they’re called O’Neill’s 1850 and 1001 rather than their formal titles.
O’Neill went on to publish "Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby" in 1910. It contains two earlier appendices on piping from O’Farrel and Tuohy.
Next, he published "Irish Minstrels and Musicians in 1913. It contains the biographies of many of the musicians who contributed material toward his first book as well as earlier famous Irish musicians. In 1915, he published "400 Tunes Arranged for Piano and Violin." His last published work was "Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody" in 1922 which contained 365 tunes.
So the "Music of Ireland" came first, followed by the "Dance Music of Ireland" four years later.
The frequently played "Chief O’Neill’s
Favorite" may have had a different title originally, but Edward Cronin, who contributed many other tunes to O’Neill’s manuscript couldn’t recall it and rechristened it in the Chief’s honor.

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

Thanks for the additional info, Chuck!

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

Did Chief O’Neill ever have time to do any policing? No wonder the Mafia ended up running Chicago!

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

re. O’Neill’s Chicago:
"What do you call an uilleann piper in Chicago?"


"Sergeant"

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

Chuck - do you know anything about the origin of the transcriptions? I always thought that the 1850 just contained the tunes of the 1001 - well it does, but there are quite a few differences between what seem like two lots of hand-written originals.

If you look at, eg Shehan’s Reel in both books, the notes are the same, but the relatives shapes of the notes are different in each, and in 1001 some of the musical ‘natural’ signs are missing, but present in 1850.

Surely tunes were not originally written out twice?

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

Regarding duplicates, just a few days ago when I browsed irishtune.info I found a number of tunes which were even published twice in the same book(s).
Examples:
Joy of my Life - https://www.irishtune.info/tune/1004/(twice in 1850, twice in 1001)
Pretty Peg - https://www.irishtune.info/tune/1612 (twice in 1850, twice in 1001, twice in Krassen)

From https://www.irishtune.info/books.htm :
1001 - "34 of the indexed transcriptions are just versions of a tune found elsewhere in this book under a different title."
1850 - "84 of the indexed transcriptions are just versions of a tune found elsewhere in this book under a different title."
Krassen - "25 of the indexed transcriptions are just versions of a tune found elsewhere in this book under a different title."

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

Thanks everyone for the great answers!

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

"Did Chief O’Neill ever have time to do any policing?"

Only his first collection - Music of Ireland (MOI), or "the 1850" - was published while O’Neill was still on the force, and it is said that he often put music on the back burner in favour of his police duties. He retired in 1905, and in answer to musicians who wanted only dance music, he started on Dance Music of Ireland (DMI) - "the 1001" - with his chief collaborator Sgt James O’Neill [1]. It contains about 140 tunes not in MOI and, because it was cheaper and more accessible, it was treasured by traditional musicians, and became known in some circles as "The Book".

Two publications of great interested to those who wish to know more are ‘A Harvest Saved’ by nicholas Carolan and ‘The Scribe’ by Caoimhin Mac Aoidh.

[1] Francis O’Neill got to know many Scottish Highland pipers in Chicago, and collected music from them. It’s through these Scots connections that he met Ulster fiddler James O’Neill.

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

I put them all in a sortable spreadsheet which I could share if you think it might help. Most of the dance tunes are duplicates (~95%). Very few of the settings differ. Nearly all of the extra tunes in 1850 are airs and a few odd tune types.

Re: O’Neill’s 1850 vs. 1001

Did Chief O’Neill ever have time to do any policing?

Well, yes. I once read his autobiography, hoping to find out more about his music collecting, but it is actually all about policing. In fact, most of it seems to be devoted to complaints about other self-serving or corrupt officers, especially those who stood in the way of his own career. It might be that his music was a release and a consolation from the frustrations and politics of the Chicago police.