CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > 'British' dulcimers 1800-1945

Printed tutors

Overview of characteristics - 3 of 3

12. Repertoire:

Basically this is the same assortment of popular classics, along with a few of the more respectable 'drawing-room folk-songs' - and, inevitably, the Irish Washerwoman - as is to be seen in any short tutor, to this day. However, Roylance in particular seemed to have been more influenced by traditional dance tunes, and his chromatic tutor has a selection of hornpipes that is of great interest in the history, sources and documentation of English folk music.

A number of pieces are in the repertoires of today's players in very similar forms to those in which they appear in the tutors; none of these players has ever spoken of having learnt from a written tutor, but it seems likely that they passed from the books into aural tradition in the present century, than that these repertoires are a continuation of a living tradition from which the tutor-authors took their material. It is difficult to see how this point could be conclusively proven either way, without documentary evidence from the period of the tutors and earlier. The general degree of correlation between the repertoires of the traditional players and the repertoires of the tutors might be a tentative guide, however.

Examples of such pieces which are currently played are: