Postcards From the Crater

(Easy to Intermediate Divertimentos for solo Mandolin or Violin)

by John Goodin


For over 25 years I have been enjoying the music composed by James Oswald in the middle of the 18th century. Even before I knew his name I had learned to play his "Flowers of Edinburgh" as a "traditional" fiddle tune and the three divertimentos for "2 guittars or 2 mandelins" which were published as anonymous works in 1982 by Plucked String Inc. and edited by Neil Gladd.

As I came to know more of Oswald's work I often found myself writing "new" music clearly inspired by Oswald's love of melody and simplicity. In January 2016, while working on a mandolin-oriented edition of Oswald's own 12 Divertimentis for the Guittar for Mel Bay, I began writing some short pieces intentionally modeled after Oswald's approach.

These Postcards From the Crater follow Oswald in being purposely accessible to the amateur musician. Each of the Postcards contains three short sections. Oswald would freely re-use tunes in his own work and I have also adapted a few of my older tunes for individual movements. One entire piece, here entitled "Dug Road," is a solo version of a piece previously published as "Divertimento in G" in my Midwestern Mandolin Duos book from 2010. The great majority of these notes, however, were written in 2016 and most of these pieces were road tested during my monthly solo mandolin gigs here in Decorah.

I have chosen to provide suggested tempo markings but I have intentionally not added dynamics or other technical indications. I encourage the player to freely experiment with different approaches to playing and performing these pieces. Enjoyment is the goal.

Postcards From the Crater takes its title from the recent discovery that Decorah, Iowa, and much of the surrounding countryside, sits on the site of a huge meteor impact crater, created nearly a half billion years ago. The titles of the individual Postcards come from places of special significance to me within our crater neighborhood.

I shared demo quality home recordings of all of these pieces at my So Many Tunes blog back in October 2016. You will find links to those mp3 recordings below:


1. Twin Bridges (p. 2-3) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3) (sample pdf)

2. Butterfly Prairie (p. 4-5) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

3. Phelps Park Bandshell (p. 6-7) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

4. Twin Springs Meadow (p. 8-9) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

5. Pines West (p. 10-11) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

6. Ice Cave Road (p. 12-13) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

7. Lower Palisades (p. 14-15) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

8. The Mighty Oak (p. 16-17) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

9. Dunning's Spring Falls (p. 18-19) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

10. Dug Road (p. 20-21) (pt.1) (pt.2) (pt.3)

Published by Rosie and Earl Music (ASCAP)

Postcards From the Crater contains 20 pages of music in standard notation. There are 10 Divertimentos, each with three parts, 30 short pieces in all. I will be glad to sell you a PDF copy for only $5 or I can print a copy for you and send it to you for $13, including postage, in the United States. You can purchase a copy by clicking on the appropriate Paypal button below or by contacting me via email. If, for any reason, you are unhappy with your purchase I will send you a refund.

PDF copy ($5)
(When PayPal notifies me of your payment I will send you the PDF book attached to an email.)

Printed copy, postpaid within the United States ($13)

John Goodin, January, 2017

Back to Mandotopia

Created on January 27, 2017