Week #141 ~ Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner, by a landslide, is Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains, which was submitted as an Old Time Tune.

    Here is a link to the notation on abcnotation.com, from John Chambers' collection.

    This is the abc from that site:

    T:Bonaparte Crossing the Rocky Mountains
    I:speed 300
    S:unknown, photocopy
    N:A Aeolian
    |:A2 AB AGEG | cdec d2 eg | aged cAGE | G2GA G2cB |
    A2 AB AGEG | cdec d2 eg | aged cABG |[1A2AB A2cB:|[2A2AB A2eg|
    |: aged ^cdeg | age^c d2 eg | aged cAGE | G2 GA G2cB |
    A2AB AGEG |cdec d2eg | aged cABG |[1A2AB A2eg :|[2A2AB A4||

    Here is another link, with notation, abc & a midi file.

    A little info:

    BONAPARTE CROSSING THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. AKA and see “Battle of Waterloo,” “Bonaparte Crossing the Alps,” "Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine [2],” “Bonaparte’s March [3],” "Caledonia March." Old‑Time, Breakdown. A Aeolian (Am). Standard tuning. AABB. The title is perhaps comes from a garbled transmission of "Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine," or perhaps a deliberate Americanism. There's a story about this tune in Allen H. Eaton, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands (1937, repr. Dover 1973). Tunes at a Knoxville fiddlers' convention included "Napolean Crossing the Rocky Mountains, which several contestants chose to render. This tune seemed to be a particular favorite and one which it was stated was local to that part of Tennessee. This, however, proved to be an error, for it was found to be also popular in parts of North Carolina and in Kentucky. Dean WIlliam Jesse Baird of Berea College heard it in Pine Mountain and tells this story about it: 'Uncle John' delighted in playing for visitors and sooner or later he would say, 'Now, I want to play you my favorite; I calls hit Napolean Crossing the Rocky Mountains.' One day a teacher at Pine Mountain said, 'Uncle John, you mean Napolean Crossing the Alps'. 'I don't know, maybe I do,' he replied. Sometime later he was playing for a visitor and at his usual point announced, 'Now I want to play you my favorite; I calls hit Napolean Crossing the Rockies. Some folks say Napolean never crossed the Rockies, that he crossed the Alps, but historians differ on that point'". Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; pg. 51. Kicking Mule 209, Bob Carlin‑ "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo."
  2. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    As we'd established in this thread, this is actually the same tune as is used for the song "Hot Ashpelt" (or "Hot Asphalt"). Versions by Eddie, Michael Pastucha and me are in that earlier thread -- here is mine:

    X: 1
    T: Hot Ashpelt, The
    M: 4/4
    L: 1/8
    R: hornpipe
    K: Gmaj
    cB |: AcBc AGEG | cd (3edc d2 (3efg |1 aged cABA |
    GDGA BG cB :|2 aged cABG | A2AG A2 (3efg ||
    |: aged cdef | gfga g2 (3efg | aged cABA | GDGA BGcB |
    AcBc AGEG | cd (3edc d2 (3efg | aged cABG | A2 AG A2 z2:|

  3. Eddie Sheehy
    Saves me a recording...

  4. Eddie Sheehy
    And on TB...

  5. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Hey guys, wait for me!

  6. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    I thought this tune was called Bonaparte's March and had posted it previously on the last Bonaparte thread. It's all so confusing.

  7. Eddie Sheehy
    You just have to remember the difference between Napoleon and Nelson... One was Bonaparte..... the other was Blown apart... great playing guys.
  8. Lou Giordano
    Lou Giordano
    Wow you guys are quick on the trigger. Great playing as usual.
  9. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Lou: No, we were cheating -- these are all videos we posted last November when the tune had a brief outing as an "other" tune.

    Naming is all very confusing: "Hot Asphalt" is definitely the same tune as "Battle Of Waterloo", which is listed by the Fiddler's Companion as an alternative to "Napoleon Crossing The Rocky Mountains". Stuche's tune was posted under that name, and is clearly the same one as Eddie and I are playing as "Hot Asphalt". The Fiddler's Companion also lists "Bonaparte's March" as another alternative name, which is the name that David has used.

    However, I have heard versions of "Bonaparte Crossing The Alps" and "Bonaparte Crossing The Rhine" and "Bonaparte's Great March", that have little or no resemblance to this tune, so not all "Bonaparte" tunes are in this category. I think it's one of those tunes that you immediately recognise when you hear it and then it doesn't matter much what you call it.

  10. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    Here's my attempt (been enjoying the rest of the versions, I missed the hot asphalt thread):

  11. Eddie Sheehy
    CHEATING? I think we just got a lucky break and a week off...
  12. OldSausage
    Great to see everyone's on top of this one so fast. I hadn't ever looked at it before, but it's clearly a tune after my own heart. I fooled around with it a little, as I am wont to do.

  13. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    You certainly put quite a lovely spin of your own on this tune David! Thanks.
  14. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    Fantastic, David.
  15. Marcelyn
    If only every week could start out with such a bang on the first day! I missed the Hot Asphalt thread, so I'm really glad to have made it up here.
    Neil, you really captured the feel of shuffle bowing in this tune. I love it!
  16. GKWilson
    One great tune and so many great takes. This place rocks.
  17. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    It's been driving me crazy since May where I've heard this tune before and after reading the the alternate titles above I finally figured it out. I learned this tune eons ago from an album by The Battlefield Band where it was played on the pipes and called "The Battle of Waterloo". This is how I hear it in my head:

  18. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Very nice recordings, David, David and Neil -- great range of approaches to this tune!

    David H: Yes, Battle Of Waterloo is the same tune. I think a lot of the differences between our respective interpretations of the tune comes from where we first heard it: as a bagpipe tune, as an old-time fiddle tune, or -- as in my instance -- as an Irish song. What I hear in my head and what determines my speed and my phrasing when I play this tune is Luke Kelly singing, as in this clip:

  19. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    After my long work caused absence from posting here comes my new start with Napoleon. I know the tune more as " Napoleon Crossing The Rhine " this in fact he did. it was fun to dig the tune out and play on the Banjo.
  20. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    Something went wrong but this should work.
  21. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    You've been away from here since before I joined, so I can't really say "welcome back", but good return, and after hearing that, hope you're going to be sticking around.
  22. OldSausage
    Hi Bernd, to post the video, click Go Advanced, then click the YouTube icon, and insert your YouTube code in the box. It inserts some code that looks like this (except without the spaces):

    [ YOUTUBE = H1wNBDuKjtw] [/YOUTUBE]

    Excellent job on that. We had another thread for a different tune called Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine.
  23. AaronVW
    Here is my attempt. I got crazy and tried to get two posts in one evening as it seemed I had to run or miss the train this week! That is a great sound, Bernd! Good stuff all around.
  24. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    May have to change your settings as it's not letting me view it, saying "this video is private"
  25. OneFineBob
    I had fun with this one. I decided to use our Zoom H2N as the microphone. I did the video first and then added the audio tracks. I'll probably try the other way next time. Includes Sovereign Mandolin, Ibanez Acoustic guitar, a cavaquinho (brazilian cousin of the ukelele), bass guitar, doumbek, and a mop. Oh, and a sopranino recorder. Complete with snafus and all, here it is.

  26. OldSausage
    You really squeezed some great tone out of that mop.
  27. OneFineBob
    Ha..thanks! It's the shaker sound. I have a lot of plastic bottle caps on strings attached to it.
  28. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Liked that picked on the banjo Bernd. Great job Aaron – nice sound. If I'm not mistaken that adds up to SevenFineBobs, Bob! Nicely done...
  29. Marcelyn
    What a cool ensemble Bob. You gave it an exotic flair.
    Here's what I've got so far. Looks like it's even boring my dog, so appologies in advance...

  30. Eddie Sheehy
    That dog has no taste, nice job Marcy...
  31. Marcelyn
    Thanks, Eddie. It's good to have someone confirm my suspicions. Sometimes, I'd swear she shows a slight preference for Jeff's Banjo.
  32. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Very nice, Marcy, your version combines the best of this song from both sides of the pond... And if you think your dog is a hard audience, you should try playing for my cat sometime. She usually waits a few seconds to make sure I'm not going to stop and then just leaves the room as quickly as possible.
  33. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    Thanks OldSausage and thanks for all friendly comments. Marcelyn my dog is in deep sleep within seconds when I start playing but she stays in the room until I stop.
  34. Marcelyn
    True, at least dogs have the decency to try to pretend they appreciate our music. To her credit, Rosie's the only one who's sat (or snoozed) through every hour of the last two year's practices.
  35. OldSausage
    Nicely played Marcelyn, I particularly enjoyed those expressive slides.
  36. laura809
    Wow! There is a lot of variety in the different interpretations of this tune. OneFineBob had a unique arrangement and Marcelyn had some really intricate ornamentation going on. I tried something a little different this week. I multi-tracked the entire audio track, and then tried to sync video to it. If anyone has advice on how to make the process of syncing video and audio in iMovie easier, please let me know. I also included a verse with my new Flatiron 3k octave mandolin and a cheap Kay tenor banjo( capo at 7th fret) that I just picked up.
  37. GKWilson
    Very nice Laura. Your Octave sounds awesome.
  38. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    Another fun and entertaining week - lots of different styles - everyone sounds great. Bob - You are having way too much fun. Maybe sometime in the future you can show us "The Mop." Larua - Your multi-instrument post really came together well. Thanks to all - even Rosie.
  39. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    Very professional Laura and what a great sound.
  40. OneFineBob
    Marcelyn, maybe the dog is just soothed by the music and comfortable! Not boring at all! Laura, you did a great job of putting that together. I've been playing with iMovie but I haven't tried multiple videos like that as of yet. If I find something better than clicking and dragging it into place I'll let you know. This has been a fun week to listen to. Lots of great posts! Thanks for the comments, too.
  41. Marcelyn
    What fun new instruments, Laura. And you're already handling that octave's scale length so smoothly. You've definitely got some options for recording now. Looks like you had a great Christmas.
  42. OldSausage
    Good job Laura. To help sync audio with video, it helps to have a visual and audio cue. If you can't find a guy with a clapperboard to help you, just clap your hands or exaggeratedly tap the instrument before you start playing (making sure it's recorded on the audio as well as the video, of course). Use that to sync and then edit it out from the final video.

    I nearly always forget to do that myself and end up nudging the audio around aimlessly for a half hour until it looks close enough.
  43. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Laura.... tell us a little more about your octave mandolin! Sure sounds great, and you play it like you've played one for years!
  44. laura809
    Thanks for the video advice OldSausage. I wish it only took me half and hour to nudge the files around. It will probably get easier with some practice. I will try leaving some clues behind next time to help out.
    Barbara, the new octave is a Flatiron Bouzouki 3k (koa back and sides). Despite the model name, another tag inside that suggest string gauges identifies it as an octave mandolin. I believe it was made in the late 70's or early 80's. It showed up in a local music shop just after Christmas. I was just getting used to adapting my guitar fingerings for mandolin. Now I am really going to confuse myself!
  45. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Very good production Laura-playing the different instruments on the same tune highlights their sound characteristics. If you want to save yourself learning other fingerings you can always tune your banjo the Irish way like an octave mandolin.
    Here's my attempt on a Savannah.

  46. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Try again[YOUTUBE]_JUaFoZoVA[/YOUTUBE]
  47. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Lets try this[YOUTUBE]1_JUaFoZoVA[/YOUTUBE]
  48. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Alright this[YOUTUBE]/1_JUaFoZoVA[/YOUTUBE]
  49. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Finally got some useable code out of youtube
  50. OneFineBob
    Loved it, Maudlin! It was very lively and toe-tappin'!
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