Sunday, June 05, 2016

Clayville-Prairieland slow jam Tuesday -- "June Apple," an old fiddle tune transposed to D Mixolydian and a list of the modal key signatures in Irish and southern Appalachian traditional music

Blast email sent tonight to the Clayville-Prairieland Strings electronic mailing list.

Hi everybody --

A reminder -- our "first Tuesday" slow jam is from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Peace Lutheran Church (formerly Atonement-Faith-Luther Memorial), 2800 West Jefferson, Springfield.

Let's just go around the circle and call tunes. One I plan to call is a fine old Mixolydian fiddle tune called "June Apple." We've played it before, but not for a while, and it's one I think we'll enjoy putting back in the rotation.


Dulcimer tab at -- there are two arrangements on the website, but we want Ron Zuckerman's since it has backup chords for guitar. It looks like it's in G, but don't let that fool you -- Ron's arrangement is actually in D Mixolydian, and the chords in the A part are going to run to D and C. (It's those C naturals, by the way, that give the tune its Mixolydian, or mountain modal, flavor. I'll link you to an explanation below.) It's also in Steve Seifert's "Join the Jam."

A couple of YouTube clips:

-- Fiddle and clawhammer banjo. A father and son duo - Ryan and Brennish Thomson, who call themselves the Fiddling Thomsons, at the annual Hillside School Farm Day event in Marlborough, Mass.

-- Mountain dulcimer club. Silver Strings Dulcimer Society performing group at a variety night in Garden City, Mich.


A couple of weeks ago, I found a printout I made of an explanation of how to find the key signature for the different modes in Irish traditional music from a website that went dark in 2014. [The same modes, especially Mixolydian and Dorian, also occur in southern Appalachian fiddle tunes. They're probably called "modal" or "mountain minor," but they're the same modes.] It was put up by the Small Circle Tune Learning Session in Boulder, Colo., a trad Irish club that I modeled our Clayville-Prairieland slow jams after when we were first getting started. It gives you the key signatures for the different modes, and I have put that discussion up on Hogfiddle at:

There's more to it than that, of course, but I just kept the Small Circle website bookmarked whenever I wanted to look up a key signature. I was tickled to find my old printout, and I'm tickled to pass it along to you on Hogfiddle.

Hope to see you Tuesday.

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