The Banjo, and How to Play It (1872)
The Banjo, and How to Play It
Containing, in addition to the elementary study, a choice collection of polkas, waltzes, solos, schottisches, songs, reels, hornpipes, jigs, etc., with full explanations of both the "banjo" and "guitar" styles of execution, and designed to impart a complete knowledge of the art of playing the banjo practically without the aid of a teacher
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- This book was published in 1872 as a "companion" to The Banjo without a Master. It features instruction in the guitar style (iv).
- Converse perceives music as a science, and believes it should be taught systematically, beginning with "elementary principles" , which here are the basics of music theory (7-13).
- Converse recommends using guitar style for "polkas, waltzes, and pieces containing harmony generally " (17).
- Converse provides 19 "exercises" with the same kind of measure-by-measure description as in The Banjo without a Master except that Converse presents all the music notation together instead of splitting it into two measures at a time.
- The reader is told whether to use banjo style or guitar style; exercises 8, 9, and 10 are meant to be played in both styles (35-37).
- A "miscellaneous" section follows the exercises, with much less instruction, containing pieces for solo banjo as well as banjo and voice.
- Almost all of the pieces are in A major or E major, with one song in G major (58) and a jig in E Aeolian (59).
- All the vocal songs are from a male point of view. One of these songs "The Cream-Colored Horse," "as sung by Harry Stanwood" (90). Stanwood was a well-known comedian and banjo player during the 1860s and 1870s, performing with a number of minstrel troupes, including Duprez and Green's Minstrels, Emerson's California Minstrels, Bryant's Minstrels, and Haverley's California Minstrels . "The Cream-Colored Horse" uses the same music (and lyrical conceit) as "The Man on the Flying Trapeze," the latter which was sung by a bus-ful of passengers in Frank Capra's 1934 comedy It Happened One Night .
 Frank B. Converse, The Banjo, and How to Play It: Containing, in Addition to the Elementary Study, a Choice Collection of Polkas, Waltzes, Solos, Schottisches, Songs, Reels, Hornpipes, Jigs, etc., with Full Explanation of Both the "Banjo" and "Guitar" Styles of Execution, and Designed to Impart a Complete Knowledge of the Art of Playing the Banjo Practically with the Aid of a Teacher (New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1872), iii-iv. Converse believes in teaching enough music theory that a banjo student can read regular music notation, in contrast to those such as George Dobson who taught a simplified method, a kind of tablature notation that required no knowledge of music theory.
 "[Charley Reynolds; Lew Benedict; Harry Stanwood; Green's Minstrels]," New Haven Palladium published as New Haven Daily Palladium, evening ed., December 4, 1863, accessed July 7, 2011, America's Historical Newspapers, 2; New York Herald, October 13, 1872, accessed July 7, 2011, America's Historical Newspapers, 4; New York Herald, January 9, 1873, accessed July 7, 2011, America's Historical Newspapers, 2; Sunday Times (Chicago, IL), November 21, 1875, accessed July 7, 2011, America's Historical Newspapers, 7.
 Capra, Frank, dir., "The Man on the Flying Trapeze," It Happened One Night, perf. Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, in The Premiere Frank Capra Collection (1934; Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2006), DVD.