Mudcat Café message #2407231 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113301   Message #2407231
Posted By: JohnInKansas
06-Aug-08 - 10:47 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Clarinet Polka
Subject: RE: Origins: Clarinet Polka
In the Mel Bay Phillips Collection, Volume II it's listed as the Clarinet Polka with an apparent attribution to "Mark O'Conner." I think it's safe to assume that just means Mark is the one Phillips heard play it at some point.

The Craig Duncan Master Fiddle Collection lists it as "Grandfather Polka" (Polka - traditional) with comment:

"The Grandfather Polka is the same tune as the Clarinet Polka, only in a differrent key and played with idiomatic fiddle licks. The Clarinet Polka is usually played in Bb. ...'

(Duncan has parts of Grandfather Polka scored in G, A, and C.)

Duncan also appears to have "reordered" the parts from the sequence common for the couple of great clarinetists (Woody and Benny) who's recordings I think I remember hearing.

A speculation would be that Grandfather Polka is the traditional one, and Clarinet Polka is an arrangement of the trad tune by a more modern clarinetist. (Woody Hermann or possibly Benny Goodman might both be suspects as the one who stole it from whoever actually did the arrangement (i.e. the one who's name might have appeared on scores)) - but that's just guessing. I've played it many times (but should have called it the Saxophone Polka in my case I guess); but I've never seen a true score of the piece.