Nav Bar Home Curriculum Ideas Postcards Research Tools Treasure Hunts Web Links Web Projects Web Picks About

British naval cadets dancing the hornpipe in 1928

Example of a Hornpipe


Hornpipe Music and Dance

According to the Harvard Dictionary of Music, the hornpipe dates to the 16th century. The hornpipe was a single reed woodwind instrument with a cowhorn bell. Hornpipe music was very popular in England during the 16th to the 19th centuries.  At times, other instruments like a drum or violin were added to the performance of the music

Durang's Hornpipe began to appear in American musician manuscripts and dance performances at the very beginning of the 19th century. Edison record 9145 released in1923 features John Baltzell (violin) and John F. Burckhardt (piano).

Fisher's Hornpipe is one of the most popular, widespread and frequently published fiddle tunes in the world. The music and dance were widely popular in 18th century England and the newly independent United States. Charles D’Almaine plays this lively toe tapping violin with orchestra rendition.  Record number 1770 was released in 1912.

If you are familiar with Popeye, the Sailor Man, you have probably heard the Sailor’s Hornpipe Medley in some of the cartoons. The Sailor’s Hornpipe dance imitates the life of sailors and their duties aboard ship. Due to the small space that the dance required, and no need for a partner, the dance was popular on-board ship. Charles D'Almaine plays this fiddle tune recorded on a 1964 Edfison Blue Amberol issued in 1913.

Durang Hornpipe - John Baltzell (violin), John Burchardt (piano)

Fisher's hornpipe - Charles D'Almaine
Sailor's Hornpipe Medley - New York Military Band


Apel, Willi. Harvard Dictionary of Music.Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1966.

The Traditional Tune Archive

Wiki pedia: Hornpipe


Charles D'Almaine"

Updated May 24, 2023
© 1996 - 2023 Linda C. Joseph
All Rights Reserved
All CyberBee Graphics are Trademarked

Graphics by
Darlene Vanasco/Creative Director
Erika Taguchi/Designer & Illustrator
Hosting Provided by Iwaynet