Here is today’s tune, the first half of a fantastic tune by whistle player extraordinaire Brian Finnegan. Brian is a member of the band Flook – check out their live performance of this tune below! Their music can be found on Apple Music and Spotify, but if you enjoy their work then please consider supporting them by buying a CD or download.
Here are the dots to the first half of the tune – we will work on this next week and learn the second section. I’ve also included the groove rhythms with the 7/8 counting, complete with numbers and silly words (and no offence to any supermarkets reading these!).
We are now finishing up the idea of creating a new tune based on an old one – we took Balance the Straw (Fieldtown) and first turned it from major to minor. We then identified some small melodic shapes and tried substituting one for another. This is a method you can use to create melodic variation, as well as using it to transform a tune. Everyone in the class volunteered a element of variation and I stitched them together to create a new tune. I referenced the dotted rhythm that was put into the B section in the A section to unify the two sections. The dots below show the original transposition, examples of the substitutions and the tweaked tune that is the final result (subject to class approval!).
Here is the development of Uncle Bernard’s, transposing the tune down a minor third to the relative minor of E minor. Since the tune starts and finishes on the tonic (G in G major or E in E minor) and moves mostly in small intervals, we were able to move it down without making very many changes – we only tweaked bar 30 (middle of the B section), bringing the melody down to an E rather than sticking on the G. In the video below I have included the version notated and then a version without the adjustment.
This new version can be played as a complete tune in its own right, or added to the end of the major version as C and/or D sections.
Here are the videos and dots from Monday’s class – a remake/recycling of a Playford tune called Jamaica, that has been christened Remaica (thanks to Bob for that little bit of punning gold!). The idea of re-imagining a tune is something we’re going to look into over the next few weeks. This version is in D Dorian mode – the original can be found at the bottom of the post for comparison!
Here are the dots:
Here is a PDF of Remaica, and another of the original tune Jamaica:
Something a little different this week – an extremely old hymn from Orkney in the Lydian mode. This mode is similar to a major scale but has a raised 4th, it’s quite an unusual mode but very beautiful! We tried harmonising with minim F-G patterns in the first half and minim C-D in the second half, as demonstrated in the second video (you could actually play C-D all the way through). We added single cuts in between repeated notes and turns in places where the melody descended by one or two steps.
Here is the tune from the last week of term (with one week owed and to be made up by me this coming term), The Wind that Shakes the Barley. This is a fantastic Irish reel and follows on well from The Witch in the Glen. Here is a video with a slow and faster version:
Here are the dots, with some suggested bowing/phrasing patterns.
Here is the rest of our March tune, The Witch of the Glen. We’ll cover the last section on March 14th. Here are the dots with a PDF and a video. The bowing/phrasing are just a suggestion but they indicate the groove that we’ll be using on Monday. We’ll also talk about ornamentation, applying the ornament variation that we looked at last week and trying out a few other options too.