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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Johnny in OKC Folk tunes for Melody players (22) RE: Folk tunes for Melody players 13 Mar 04

Hi Greg Stephens, Thanks for your thoughts. Actually I wrote something along these lines earlier, but I can't find it in the thread so I guess it didn't "take".

This William Chappell quote... "if these tunes still resist all attempts at making good bases (basses?) for them, it is because they are thorughly worthless, and ought to be thrown aside" ... I wouldn't go that far. The tune might have other qualities, or might be re-worked.

Getting to your point ... although harmony, in the sense of chordal accompaniment, is not used in most of the world's music, you would agree that there is nevertheless an underlying scale structure. The scales are seldom our major-minor system, but they include a "home" tonality, which is apparent to the listener.

The fact that they do NOT require accompanying chords in order to be understood, would recommend them as "good tunes". Where I said, just add guitar, I should append, "if appropriate".

Regarding I-IV-V ... I actually prefer tunes that get away from the old routine, minor keys, and unusual progressions -- IF they are nonetheless transparent.

Of equal importance, the rhythmic framework ought to eventually become apparent to the listener.

Of the tunes suggested so far, some of the outstanding ones are Rosebud in June, Rocky Road to Dublin, How Can I Keep from Singing, Ash Grove, and Wild Mountain Thyme. I have not been able to find any of the Welsh tunes mentioned, or the O'Carolan music.

Thanks again, MUDCATS, for your suggestions!
Love, Johnny in OKC

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