Thompson Compleat Tutor for the Fife
In 1760, Europe was at war. The Hanoverian King George II of England died and his son, George III, succeeded him as monarch. Five years later, the Stamp Act was passed. The die was cast and the American colonies began their long trek to independence from Britain.
Established in 1746 by Peter Thompson in St. Paul's Churchyard, London, the firm under his name was a very successful music publishing house as well as a purveyor of musical instruments. In 1759, it was renamed Thompson & Son, and later, Thompson and Sons. In that same coronation year of 1760 the Thompson firm published the Thompson Compleat Tutor for the Fife. The Thompson firm continued operation by Thompson children and grandchildren until sometime around 1800 when it became Button & Whittaker.
There is little question that this book of instruction was used in the musical education of British Army and Hessian fifers who later occupied Boston and fought throughout America's War for Independence.
24 pages in length, the book has had the dirt and stains of almost 250 years digitally removed by hundreds of hours of tedious effort. It looks as good as it did on that day in 1760 at its very first printing. As old tutorials go, it is a fine one, containing detailed musical instructions, gamuts and fingering exercises. But of far more importance to a modern fifer, it has the English Duty, (17 tunes), the Scotch Duty (8 tunes), followed by 33 other tunes that were used for parades, drills, and unit specific functions.
|English Duty||Scotch Duty|
|The Reveilly||The Reveilly|
|The General||The General|
|To Arms||To Arms|
|Troop or Assembling||The Gathering|
|Doublings of the Troop||Grenadiers March|
|Troop for the Colours||Taptoo|
|Doublings when Colours is receiv'd|
|Foot March 8 Divisions|
|The Drums Call||Prince Eugene's March|
|Rogues March||Marquis of Granby's March|
|A Scotch Reveilly||Count Saxe's March|
|The Queen of Hungary's March||March in Judas Mackabeus (sic)|
|The Hessian Tattoo||General Wolfe's March|
|Tattoo||The Duke's March|
|The French Troop||Captain Money's March|
|The Dead March||Prince Ferdinand's March|
|Mr. Weideman's singling of a Troop||Lord Loudon's Grenadiers March|
|Lord Loudon's singling of a Troop||The Turks March|
|Foot March||The Train of Artillerys Grenadiers March|
|The Bank||The Foot March|
|The Singlings of Johnson's Troop||The Hessian Dragoons March|
|The Singlings of Pools Troop||A Turkish March|
|The Doublings||Count Brown's March|
|The Taptoo||Pioneers March|
|March in Scipio|
This historic document is now available from BeAFifer for $14.95 plus shipping.
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