Tuesday, June 07, 2016

"Over the Waterfall" -- another D Mixolydian fiddle tune for the Clayville-Prairieland Sessions

At last week's session at Peace Lutheran Church, we took a flying run at "Over the Waterfall." I called the tune because we used to enjoy it when we played it, but we haven't done it in a while and we're getting rusty. Then things got embarrassing in a hurry. Turned out I couldn't get the melody in my head, and we didn't have enough sheet music to go around anyway.

Our "third Thursday" session is 7-9 p.m. Thursday at Peace Lutheran Church, 2800 West Jefferson, Springfield.

So I decided we'd better put it off till this week.

And here it is.

This clip, from the Mount Airy festival in North Carolina, shows a "Musician from Pittsburgh" playing it. I don't know who she is, and the guy who made the video didn't get it. (He didn't give his name, either, so I guess he's known to posterity as YouTube user xanther97.) Whoever she is, she's got the ornamentation and double-stopping (playing two notes at the same time) of traditional appalachian fiddle playing down.

We meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Peace Lutheran Church (formerly Atonement, Faith and Luther Memorial), 2800 West Jefferson, Springfield.

Last summer I put up some background information about the tune -- including this not-to-be-missed graphic on the Kitchen Musician website for hammered dulcimer players -- on Hogfiddle. Permalink at:


A lead sheet with dulcimer tab is available in Steve Seifert's Join the Jam, and two sets of dulcimer tab are available on line:

It's a Mixolydian tune, but both sets of tab, Bellingham's and Three Rivers' alike, are written in the key of D with the C-natural indicated by an accidental. It's that C-natural that gives the tune its Mixolydian flavor -- what musicians call a "flatted seventh" and old-time southern Appalachian call that old D modal key that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up when it's played right. (The "Musician from Pittsburgh" who's linked above plays it right.)

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