Garfield March

As played by Clark Kessinger from the West Virginia region

March in G

From the Clark Kessinger Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


78rpm Record


This march is extremely challenging, featuring a veritable smorgasbord of advanced fiddling techniques to enchant and annoy old time fiddlers. You have high notes in the A and B parts, which go up to high E and high C, respectively. The A and B parts also have some difficult double-stops. The B part features bowed triplets. Several notes are played using a Spiccato bow stroke to give them a scrub brush sound. These notes are marked with Xs, and are mostly in the A and C parts, though some stray Spiccato shows up in the terminal B part as well. The C part features a lot of Pizzicato, where you pluck the strings with a finger of your left hand (assuming you bow with your right hand, it is of course vice-versa for those brave fiddlers who play left-handed). Some of these Pizzicato notes require you to stop the string while plucking it, and if you listen to the recording you will notice that even Kessinger didn’t get those notes to sound perfectly clear.

Finally, there is a good bit of vibrato, notated with a squiggly line to the left of notes to be played vibrato. When this squiggly line appears next to a double-stop chord, play both notes of the chord with vibrato. This may be easier to using wrist vibrato rather than finger vibrato.

Kessinger played the march two times through in the recording, followed by a single B part to end the tune. The structure is A BB CC A BB CC B. The A part is comprised of five lines, the B part of six lines (the second B part the second time through is degenerate, with only four lines), and the C part of two lines. The A and B parts are both crooked.


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