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Location: Shortcut to Homepage /Sheet music/Fingerstyle Banjo/BLACKBIRD BY JOE MORLEY.

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The Home of the Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar and Kindred Instruments


By Joe Morley

This is one of Morley’s famous unpublished solos, and was recorded on a cylinder machine in 1918 by Richard Tarrant Bailey senior.   It was copied to tape several decades later for A.P. Sharpe, the Editor of BMG, and this transcription was made from a cassette tape copied from that.   Morley played the piece at his usual tremendous tempo, but despite the piano accompaniment, the poor reproduction, and the questionable replay speed from the aged and well-worn cylinder, it has been possible to transcribe it into notation and tablature with reasonable accuracy.   It would be interesting to compare this version with an original manuscript which must be extant somewhere; probably in some closely-guarded collection, where the owner may gloat over his possession, but prevent interested players from ever having access to it.   Here’s a chance then, for all banjoists to try a challenging solo, improve their technique, and see how Morley imitated the alarm call of the blackbird.


Play a digital sample of  'Blackbird'

We can either send you a hard copy of this music, printed on high quality 120 gsm paper, price £3.00 post free. Or we can email you a downloadable file, price £1.30, and you can print the music yourself. Please choose in the options box located at the bottom of this page.

In an effort to make our sheet music affordable to all, we have made all sheet music post free, worldwide. This is a facility we would like to retain. We ask that if you are ordering music from outside the United Kingdom please order at least two titles. 

Astute players read BMG magazine.

Published quarterly by Clifford Essex Music Co. Ltd

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Price: £3.00

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Product Code: AMFB90
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