Miss Thompson's Hornpipe Harmony Parts Sheet Music Arrangement

Buy the pdf sheet music here

 

Also appears in Celtic Fiddle Harmony Sheet Music Multipack 1

Key: D major
Melody range: D4 up to G5
Harmony 1 range: A3 up to D5
Harmony 2 range: D5 up to B5

(Pitch ranges are specified in Scientific pitch notation)

Also included: MIDI files, and "practise mixes" which are recordings with the harmony parts turned louder up the mix and the tune and chords turned down - these are to help people who prefer to learn by ear.

About the Arrangement and Harmonies

This arrangement of Miss Thompson's Hornpipe is in three parts - the original melody and two different harmony parts, which can be played both at the same time (in a trio) or you can just use one part to accompany the melody, in a duet. The sheet music has these three parts plus chords for an accompanist. In my recording I play the chords on the piano, but they can also be used for guitar, accordion, or any other chordal instrument. You could even use them to improvise a bass part.

In my recording I play the melody just with the chords to start with, and then bring the harmonies in one at a time and then both together.

The score is written for three violins, but the high harmony part could be played on a flute, and if you have a group with other instruments that cover the same note-range as a violin, such as accordion or mandolin, these harmony parts could also be used by a mixed group of musicians.

In the sheet music download, you get the pdf of the sheet music, the demo recording, and a MIDI file of the melody and two harmony parts.

About the Original Melody

This tune comes from Northumbria in North East England. However, it is not regarded as part of the "English" tradition, which is largely made up of music popular in the south and sometimes North West of England. Northumbria was historically called "The Debateable Lands" because, being on what is now one side of the border between England and Scotland, there were many battles for control of it. Northumbrian music is its own distinct tradition, neither Scottish nor English.

I made this arrangement in 2014; several years later I also made a full collection of ten additional Northumbrian tune arrangements, which you can see here.

The tune's original and - I believe - correct name is Miss Thompson's Hornpipe. However, when I was commissioned to arranged it, the person who commissioned it called it "Mrs Thompson's Hornpipe". Because of this uncertainty, and a desire to bring things up to date a little, I've called my arrangement of it "Ms Thompson's Hornpipe" instead.

As it's a hornpipe, it is played fairly slowly (i.e. slower than a reel) and the rhythm is swung. You can hear this in my recording. There is a tendency for it to be played as a fast reel in some sessions these days - which is fine if you like that sort of thing, and may have become popular because of some famous recordings of the tune in which it's played fast and without the swing - but I think it's nicer as a hornpipe, as it was originally intended.

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