Tag: download

mandolin history

William Jonas Fletcher jun. – Mandolinist – Fletcher’s Standard…

Long time ago I could buy a mandolin method – Fletcher’s Standard Mandoline Tutor. I found some information about other compositions of the same author with publishing dates in the late 19th century. The method was most probably published in 1896.

Recently I found some articles about the Fletcher family in some B.M.G. magazines from 1962. I have compiled the relevant pages in the following gallery:

Biography of William Jonas Fletcher jun.

MOST FAMOUS William Jonas Fletcher, Jr.

The eldest child and easily the most famous of this gifted family was born on October 18th, 1874. His early years were devoted to the violin; indeed, in 1895 he gained an Honours Degree from the College of Violinists.

Then quite suddenly he switched to the mandolin. No doubt, as was stated officially, this was partly for business reasons but it was roumored (though it might have merely been idle gossip) that the inequitable reward elsewhere of the gold medal in a contest had a good deal to do with this abandonment of the violin.

In after years, however, he always asserted that a working knowledge of the violin gave a mandolinist a technical advantage over players lacking such experience.

He was tall, good-looking and of slight build. Though apt to fuss a little when things went wrong prior to a concert, every one in the orchestra – and indeed throughout the fretted instrument world – loved “Will,” as he was known to all.

He was married on Christmas Day , 1901, when he was twenty-seven – his wife being Hannah Hilda Grandi, a mandola player in the orchestra. He was always the star soloist at the orchestra’s many concerts and was renowned for his expressive style, admirably clear picking in fast passages and his arched wrist. Indeed the records of his solos issued in November 1901 by the Edison Phonograph Co. were considered the most satisfactory mandolin recordings until then. I wonder if any can have survived ?

He was supposed to be the first English-born player of the mandolin to make use of the extended fingerboard.

Apart from his numerous compositions (and to a sound musical training he joined the gift of melody) his repertoire was extensive, consisting mainly of Bach and Beethoven – always from the original scores. He often appeared at the St. James’s Hall and similar concerts, (starring with Cammeyer, Farland and Obregon) and his career, brilliant as it was, presaged still greater triumphs when the world of fretted instruments was stunned to learn of his death from pulmonary tuberculosis on Sunday, 16th October 1904.

Fletcher’s Standard Mandoline Tutor is available for download from the Petrucci Library: https://imslp.org/wiki/Fletcher’s_Standard_Mandoline_Tutor_(Fletcher%2C_William_Jonas)


Guitarre-Solostücke by Josef Kellner (um 1900) – Bavarian Folk…

Recently I have added a scan with music for classical guitar to my website www.mandoisland.de as a free download.

The book is


Leicht arrangiert


Josef Kellner

Heft 4

This selection of guitar music has been published around 1900 in Munich. I do only own this part 4.

On the title page you can see a young guitar player – you can see that already around 1900 litle children did play the guitar:

I did not find much about Josef Kellner, the only reference that I have found is the following short biography from the archive of German Folk-Songs:

Josef Kellner (1854-1911) war ein Münchner Zitherlehrer und Komponist, der eigene Stücke schon ab 1886 im Selbstverlag veröffentlichte. …. Josef Kellner war ein typischer Komponist von Gebrauchsmusik: Nicht nur sein Opus 7 “Deutscher Schützenfestmarsch” findet sich in zahlreichen Notenhandschriften der Zitherspieler und wurde für andere Besetzungen (Salonmusik, Blasmusik) umgeschrieben, auch Landler und andere Kompositionen aus seiner Hand sind ins Repertoire der oberbayerischen Musikanten eingegangen.

Translation: Josef Kellner (1854-1911) was a teacher for zither and a composer in Munich who published his pieces from 1886 in his own publishing company. …Josef Kellner was a typical composer of popular music. Not only his Op. 7 “Deutscher Schützenfestmarsch” is found in many manuscripts of zither players and has been arranged for other groups (salon orchestra, brass band), but as well many of his Ländlers and other compositions have been included to the repertoir of the Bavarian musicians.

Source: http://www.volksmusik-archiv.de/vma/db_soechtenauer_luggi_marsch

The pieces in this book are quite easy to play and sound typically Bavarian. If you like to play typical Bavarian folk music you should download this book and try the pieces.

Two examples:

Example 1 – Das Stille Tal – Lied ohne Worte

(The quiet valley – Song without words)

Eample 2 – D’Sennerin – Alpenlied (Song from the Alpes)

Titel page

Joh. B. Westermair, München 12 was “Hoflieferant” (purveyor to the court) for  S.K.H. Prince Alfons of Bavaria and “Kammerlieferant” of  S. H. Prince Ludwig of  Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha.

Wikipedia Alfons von Bayern (* 24. Januar 1862 in München; † 8. Januar 1933 ebenda) : http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfons_von_Bayern

Wikipedia Ludwig von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (* 9. August 1845 auf Schloss Eu; † 14. September 1907 in Karlsbad): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_August_von_Sachsen-Coburg_und_Gotha

The complete book is available as free download on my website  www.mandoisland.de on page “Free Sheet Music”.

aa mandolin guitar

The Deadly Gentlemen – Bluegrass, Americana – Free Download…

The Deadly Gentlemen have recorded their first album “Carry Me To Home” – it was be released in January 2011.

The complete album was available as a pre-release for free download from the bandcamp homepage – the only thing you had to do is to register for the band newsletter with your email address.

I had found this information in the Gitarrengurte-Blog, a German blog that wrote about music including bluegrass and americana and has some interesting posts about bands touring in Germany – but this blog does no longer exist.

You can listen to the complete album now with grooveshark – here is my grooveshark widget:

The members of The Deadly Gentlemen are

Greg Liszt, banjo and vocals;

Stash Wyslouch, guitar and vocals;

Mike Barnett, fiddle and vocals;

Dominick Leslie, mandolin and vocals;

Sam Grisman, double bass and vocals.

The band describes itsself on the band homepage:

Instead of having a lead singer, we use a nonstop orchestration of somewhat unconventional vocals, with everybody in the band doing everything they can. Expect a lot of three-part harmony singing, group shouting, really dense rhymes and an almost rap-like phrasing.

Most of the songs on our new CD are reinventions of traditional folk songs, but you might not notice that if you weren’t a big folk music enthusiast.

The Deadly Gentleman is a band of the youngest generation of musicians – musicians that grew up in the environment of bluegrass and americanan during the last 5 years. Greg Liszt has developed his own banjo style. Dominick Leslie is one of the young mandolin heroes, and Sean Grisman, son of David Grisman has definitivly got the best influences from bluegrass, dawg and jazz music. All 5 band members sing, and they produce a sound that reminds me sometimes to the songs of the Avett Brothers. The Deadly Genlemen have already developped their own style, with the adding of influences from Rap and Metal Rock to Bluegrass, Americana and Folk.

The CD “Carry Me To Home” includes some interesting songs, my favorites at the moment are the Title track and especially the last track “Moonshiner”. Do not miss to download this pre release of “Carry Me To Home”.


Here is a video of Moonshiner from a concert last year:

Moonshiner – The Deadly Gentlemen

The Deadly Gentlemen performing the hit “Moonshiner” at a small pub in Copenhagan, July 2nd 2009.

Gregory Liszt’s Deadly Gentlemen performing Hobo Rockstar live at the Cluny2 in Newcastle

This is their first gig in England. Mike Barnett on fiddle, Stash Wyslouch on guitar, Sam Grisman on bass, and Greg Liszt on vocals and banjo.

Deadly Gentlemen with Sarah Jarosz

More Information

Homepage: http://www.deadlygentlemen.com/

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/deadlygentlemen

youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/deadlyge

Videos with The Deadly Gentlemen: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22deadly+gentlemen%22&aq=f

And finally a special video:

Christmas with the Deadly Gentlemen