Detroit Schottische

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DETROIT SCHOTTISCHE. AKA and see "Flop Eared Mule (1)," "Old Detroit Schottische." Old-Time, Schottische. USA, Michigan. G Major ('A' part) & D Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'. A schottische variant (and predecessor) of the old-time fiddling chestnut "Flop Eared Mule (1)," albeit originally in three parts. Adam Couse is credited with composing "Detroit Schottische", published Detroit in 1854, which eventually sold an astounding (for the era) 100,000 copies in America and was re-pubished abroad. Couse was a dancing master and music store owner in Detroit, Michigan; for many years his 23 Monroe Ave. store, established in 1844, was the only music store in the city. He was originally from Pittsburgh, where he evidently was acquainted with songwriter Stephen Foster's family, and in 1850 Foster dedicated his ballad, "The Voice of Days Gone By," to Couse. By 1854 customers of Couse could choose from some 12,000 pieces of music, including some locally-composed pieces and dance music [Russell Sanjek, American popular music and its business: the first four hundred years, 1988].

Folklorist Paul Gifford remarks that few of the old-time fiddlers in Michigan that he encountered knew the title "Flop-Eared Mule," but most knew this tune as either a nameless schottische, or sometimes as "Old Detroit Schottische." The name Detroit is derived from the French word for the straits, a narrow passage from one lake to another, though the French spelling is given "the most uncompromising English pronunciation" (Matthews, 1972).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Howe (Musician's Omnibus No. 1), p. 56 (1863. Appears as third figure of "May Flower Schottische Quadrille"). Johnson (The Kitchen Musician's No. 7: Michigan Tunes), vol. 7, 1986-87; p. 2.

Recorded sources: Louis Begeman, of Vassar, Michigan, in Karl Byarski Collection, University of Michigan-Flint [1];




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