The Black Joak

from Homunculus Mellitus by Ben Paley



It’s extraordinary the low esteem in which traditional English instrumental music is held in England. The reasons for that are far beyond the scope of these notes, but I offer this excellent tune as a counterexample. Some derive the term joak from jig but, in the eighteenth century, the melody was certainly connected with a song often described as “bawdy” in which the word has quite another meaning. I learnt this melody from the great Chris Wood.


from Homunculus Mellitus, released August 13, 2019
Fiddle, Ben Paley


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