Re: Gangs of New York

The harmonica playing early in Gangs of New York is
none other than Sonny Terry. I'm one of those nuts who
stays and reads ALL the credits (completion bond,
caterer, you name it) and one of the many recordings
used was of Sonny. It's part of a gigantic collage of
different folk music traditions all interweaving in
street scenes early on, suggesting the immigrant
nature of New York, with people arriving from all
over, aggravating the resentment of the villain of the
piece, William "the butcher" Cutter.

Was second position used in the civil war era? Who
knows? It didn't lend itself to major-key tunes, and
it wasn't documented in the tutorial materials of the
1880's that I have, but that doesn't mean someone
wasn't doing it away from the centers of music
publishing (Chicago and New York)- providing
Richter-style harps were available. The reedplates
I've seen depicted in a number of Civil War
excavations are decidedly non-richter - you can tell
by the sizes of the reed slots, which go from long to
short in three distinct series of four reeds each,
suggesting an instrument that plays three different
chords side by side.


- --- In harp-l-archives@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "M. N."
<mnessmith@xxxx> wrote:
> Back in December, Glenn wrote:
> "Just saw Gangs of New York, a powerful Martin
Scorcese flick. Towards the 
> beginning there is some pretty good 2nd position
harp. Anyone know who's 
> playing it?"
> =============================
> Jerry's post today - "Civil War era harp question" -
reminded me of a 
> question I'd had about Glenn's Gangs of New York
question but couldn't post 
> to the list for technical reasons. At any rate, I'm
just wondering how 
> historically accurate it is to feature
second-position harmonica in a film 
> about the 1860s. I thought cross-harp playing only
came about after the turn 
> of the century. Mouth harp historians?
> MN

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.