James Oldfield Ms

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James Oldfield was a musician in the Belper Regiment of Local Militia in 1809. He kept a manuscript book of 84 tunes including Marches, Quick Steps, Giggs, Waltzes, Hornpipes and Airs and a few dance instructions written in the margin. The collection of books in which the manuscript was found included a clarinet tutor of this period, some published dances for the years 1809 and 1819 from publishers Button and Whittaker and W. M. Cahusac and another similar manuscript book containing 112 tunes titled "Thomas Reeve his Book, Primo Clarinett, 1800, Brailsford".

The tunes vary from single line melodies to duets to three and four-part harmonies. The James Oldfield tunes appear to primarily notated for fife but are occasionally annotated specifically for primo and secundo clarinet and for bugle.

The collection contains some well known tunes such Soldiers Joy and Speed the Plough but also some tunes named after local towns and villages as well as obviously military pieces and some concert pieces.