Blockhouse Dutchman hornpipe

Also known as Box The Fox, Double Hornpipe, Dogs In The Dishes.

Blockhouse Dutchman has been added to 10 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Blockhouse Dutchman
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DFAF AcBA|GEBE dBGB|ABcA Acec|1 d2dB f2B2:|2 d2 (3edc d2 (3def||
|:g2 (3fgf e2d2|c2 (3BcB A2B2|ABcA Acec|1 d2 (3edc d2(3def:|2 d2 (3edc d4||
X: 2
T: Blockhouse Dutchman
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:D>F AF|Ac c/B/A|GE BE|dB GB|
AA/B/ cA|Ac e/d/c|1 d2 dB|f/g/f/e/ d/c/B/A/:|2 d2 e/d/c|d>A d/e/f/g/||
|:ag fg/f/|e2 d2|c2 Bc/B/|A2- AB|
AA/B/ c/B/A|Ac ec|1 d2 e/d/c|d>A d/e/f/g:|2 d2 e/d/c|d2- d2||

Thirty-one comments


I ’ll have the name for this later if there is one. This is one of favorite tunes. Its a good example of a traditional American hornpipe and such a beautiful melody to my ears. Played straight or bouncy, dont go to fast because the notes should be squeezed out with feeling. I vary this melody alot. Sometimes I leave out the triplets and use a “shake” or a slight vibrato on the fiddle.

Sometimes I play the 1st and 2nd bars like this:


That “B” part is one that Ive known from somewhere else and is used in other tunes.

It’s not a hornpipe - that’s for sure.

A Schottishe perhaps

I’m always on the lookout for 16 bar schottishes and this one makes for a nice gentle one, dotted of course! thank you MH.


I think one of the names for it has “hornpipe” in it so thats why I was set on “hornpipe.” Now that I look at it objectively with dow and hetty’s comments, I agree that its more like a schottishe. I may have more on this tune later.


A fiddler named Samuel Losch is pretty much the source of this tune. It was collected in 1930 from the middle aged Losch and is the same 16 bars and almost identical melody as I have posted. This is from ofcourse my favorite collections of tunes “Dance to the Fiddle March to the Fife” published in 1981. Bayard also collected other versions of this tune but without the excellent B part that is here. (Losch’s was the only one with this B part.) Also from the same collection is “Dogs in the Dishes” which also shares characteristics and this unique B part. Another version Bayard collected was “Double Hornpipe.” It didnt have this “B” part and was also 16 bars. Well know clawhammer player in the uSA Bob Carlin recorded a version of this tune called “Box the Fox” which doesn’t share this “B” part. In my opinion, without the distinctive B part and the leaning towards B minor in the 4th bar, Box the Fox and Double Hornpipe are probably versions of the same tune but are completely different “mood” wise. However I will put those titles as alternates….

And it’s *definitely* not a double hornpipe! The closest I can guess is 16 bar schottische, but that implies fling, and it doesn’t even have that feel about it either. It has more of an English country dance feel to it if anything, on second glance at it anyway.

or Scottish country dance, I suppose.


For me it certainly has ‘fling’ and slow-fling at that. Of course you could try it all ways but I’m already thinking this would make a useful tune for ‘the Barn Dance’ nice and slow with plenty of time to enjoy the unique chord structure that it has and to relish the triplets. Really! Dow you should give it a try like that, I’m sure you will like it that way. MH already has suggested a Scottish source in mentioning the Fife. (capital letter suggest place name but could be reference to instrument).

In playing it through many times I’m finding that pausing on the top F# in bar 4 (first time round) ‘A’ music, and not playing the final B is quite effective. I also play my fudged B minor throughout the while of bar 4 (first time) and hold my B bass button.

Hmm. Nah, it still won’t come out as a fling for me. The phrasing’s not right. It’s not repetitious enough. It could reworked into a fling by making bars 1 & 3 of each part mirror each other somehow, but it’d take a bit of doing to get it to sound decent.


The collector, Bayard, was usually very long winded about possible origins of tunes but didnt say much about this one. The B part is what I cant resist. He collected a march (fife) with this (similar) b part and doesnt say much about origins there either. As for structure or categories of tunes, he seperated the 600 something tunes in the book loosely like this:

First section “reels” or tunes played at a good tempo. Second was clogs, schotisches, hornpipes, waltzes then jigs. He did stress that the way a tune was played was really up to the individual and in some cases was hard to categorize. He doesnt go into much detail about the dances that the players played for except the names… reel, schottishe, clog, square dance, sword dance. Ill have to see where he put this tune in his collection and check to see if there are other identifying characteristics in the other versions.

This comes across more as a march to me…but I could see it might also have origins with early country dance, and these can have a march feel to them…

March?! Nah… 🙂


Bayard put it into the section of his collection that has marches, clogs, breakdowns, schottishes, hornpipes etc…

All the players of this tune were fiddlers. There is the fife march that shares the B part which Ill post tomorow.

Maybe its a clog?

I just call it a nice little tune, like when I might cactch a nice little trout ofr the frying pan….

I’d have to give you the notes for that would I Marcus Aurelius? Let us meditate on this… Get your boots on first, so we can act this out as we play it… ~ 😀

“The Blockhouse Dutchman’s March”

X: ~
T: Blockhouse Dutchman
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: march
K: D Major
|: D>F AF | Ac c/B/A | GE BE | dB GB |
AA/B/ cA | Ac e/d/c |1 d2 dB | f/g/f/e/ d/c/B/A/ :|2 d2 e/d/c | d>A d/e/f/g/ ||
|: ag fg/f/ | e2 d2 | c2 Bc/B/ | A2- AB |
AA/B/ c/B/A | Ac ec |1 d2 e/d/c | d>A d/e/f/g :|2 d2 e/d/c | d2- d2 ||

Oops, missed a slash ~ | d>A d/e/f/g/ :|2 ~ 😀

Now *that’s* what I’d call a march 😉

Looking forward to a highland fling setting from you, ‘c’, so that I can nitpick it annoyingly 😀

Fling with swing

I thought, Dow, that you used the word ‘fling’ in the same way that I would use the word ‘swing’. Did not think you referred to the danc form of ‘Fling’ as in ‘a highland fling’ !?
Certainly would not think of this tune as a ‘Fling’ (capital F preceded with the ‘a’ donating a noun (object).
Does that alter you comment a bit?


Can’t say that I like your ‘March’ version ‘c’, sorry but I think it ruins the tune.
Have you played it yet Dow?

Yeah. He always messes up tunes like that. I’d just ignore him 😉

PS, don’t really understand what you said about ‘swing’ vs ‘fling’, Hetty, but I was definitely talking about highland schottische, which is similar in form to this tune, seeing as a fling is a 16-bar schottische.

I also see no need to capitalise it. You wouldn’t argue for “Reel” vs. “reel” necessarily, so why do it for other types of tune?


Well, “c’s march is good, but Im with Hetty on this one. I went back to see if my arrangement of the tune was to far from the source, and its not. Maybe its a ”clog."

If we give it a cooler name like… “The Moss in the Bog” or something and get Lunesta to record it, then it would be a huge Irish “hit.”

~ a huge Irish tit? 😏

“The Blockheaded Dustman”

Well, I just couldn’t leave it be, what with you renaming yourself Blockhead, and Dow stirin’ the **** again ~ so, here’s a bit more composting ~

X: 1
T: The Blockheaded Dustman
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: hmmmm
K: D Maj
|: A/G/F/E/ |
D>FA>F A>c (3cBA | G>EB>E d>BG>B |
A>Bc>A (3ABc e>c | d>ef>d A2 :|
|: d/e/f/g/ |
a2 (3gag f2 e>d | c2 (3BcB A3 B |
A>B (3cBA A>ce>c | d2 (3edc d2 :|

I don’t think it’s a clog either, incidentally.


Sounds nice to me with c naturals in the first measure of the A part and the second measure of the B part.