"The Joseph Kershaw Manuscript: The Music of a 19th Century Saddleworth Fiddle Player"
Edited by Jamie Knowles
In With A Chance Publishing, 1993
Little is known about nineteenth-century fiddle player Joseph Kershaw’s life, except that he lived in Slackcote, Saddleworth, then a remote district in the Pennines, east of Manchester. But from around 1820 Kershaw kept a fiddle music notebook (now in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House, London), containing some seventy-seven tunes. Of particular interest is Kershaw’s inclusion of a pair of 3/2 hornpipes, ‘Berwick Jockey’ and ‘Chip and Rant’, fine examples of a dance form previously thought to have been extinct by that time, as well as cut-time hornpipes like the one in the present collection, now known as ‘Kershaw’s Hornpipe’.
~ Pete Cooper
OUR CAT HAS KITTED. English, Old Hornpipe (3/2 time). D Major. Standard. AABB. The melody, according to Jamie Knowles, is a version of the English classic “Cheshire Rounds,” and is contained in the Joseph Kershaw manuscript. Kershaw was a fiddler who lived in Slackcote, Saddleworth, North West England, in the 19th century, and his manuscript dates from around 1820 onwards. The Joseph Kershaw Manuscript, 1993; No. 2. Topic Records TSCD 536, Waterson/Carthy – “Broken Ground” (1999).
The little I know of ‘Cheshire Rounds’ they tend to be built on 4 measure phrases that repeat, as the transcription I’ve given illutrates.
I have read somewhere that there is a 4-part version of this tune, but I have not yet found the notes for that. I will add them when and if I do find them. I think they are in Michael Raven’s collection "1000 English Country Dance Tunes", and my copy is in the care of a friend, so I couldn’t chase it up, and they can’t remember where they last saw it. I did try… I’ll try again. Maybe someone else has his collection and can check for it…
Does that mean you’ve forgiven me? 😏
(‘illutrates’? ~ ‘illustrates’)
No, of course not. I just like 3/2s 😉
Me too, and I’ve only just realized I used to know a few from my early music romps of old… 😉
It definitely has an old English or Scottish sound to it. Ive been wanting to learn a good 3/2 but Im not one to learn tunes just for the sake of learning tunes. But this one might have enough soul in the MIDI to cause me to learn it. Something about it reminded me of a tune I first learned from a family member.