Chinky Pin

As played by Clark Kessinger from the West Virginia region

Reel or Breakdown in D

From the Clark Kessinger Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)


78rpm Record


The odd title of this tune does not seem to be a racial slur against the Chinese. Rather, the Fiddler’s Companion posits two possible origins. One is a misspelling or regional spelling of chinquapin, a type of oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) that produces edible acorn. The other is a type of fake coin called a “chinky pin” or “jinky pin” that was issued to miners in lieu of legal tender, only redeemable in stores owned by the mining company.

The tune itself is very pleasant and not very difficult. Kessinger introduced variations throughout, but nothing too dramatic. Look out sixteenth notes and accidentals.

This tune has no comments.