Watter, Rossendale, East Lancashire.
Present Location of MS is Rossendale Museum, Whitaker Pk, Rawtenstall, East Lancs..
The manuscript would pass for the work of a professional copyist.
It is a leather bound volume, 9.1/2″ x 12″, portrait.
There are 104 items in this abc transcription, including all the Primo, Secundo and bass parts.
21 pages dance tunes and airs, another 10, which I have not transcribed, of Mozart and Handel, oratorios etc.
The date is uncertain, probably mid 1830s, based on the presence of Quadrilles and Paganini pieces (when did Paganini visit Manchester? date clue) and the absence of Polkas.
It is interesting in it’s very sophisticated (for the vernacular) use of harmony theory for the 2nd and bass parts, evidently due to the known history of the Nuttall family in the thriving musical life of the Rossendale area, in their case at least, based on the Baptist Chapels, which they had been instrumental in founding. See The Larks of Dean for further information in this connection.
A transcription of some of the parts, in melodeon friendly keys, was made by the late Jim Mainland, whose widow kindly donated them to Manchester Morris Men.
An abc file of this was passed to us by Howard Mitchell of the MMMen. (who did the abc? Howard?).
I have compared this with the MS in Rossendale Museum and restored the original
keys and the missing tunes and parts.
The Manuscript sits in a glass case next to an 18thC consort of violin,
clarinet and cello belonging to the Larks, presumably the very instruments
the parts were written out for.
Transcribed by Chris Partington.
Introduction by Chris Partington, Feb.2001