Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"Star of the County Down" -- ** UPDATED ** w/ some mountain dulcimer clips and a painless intro to the Dorian mode

Star of the County Down -- Lizzy Hoyt

Lizzy Hoyt performing at the Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee Showcase on December 3rd, 2011 at Hugh's Room in Toronto, ON. Lizzy's album HOME was nominated for Traditional Singer of the Year. To hear samples of her nominated CD, visit: www.lizzyhoyt.com

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Star of The County Down - Van Morrison and The Chieftans


Since it's a slow air, it can be played in different keys to accommodate a singer's voice. (Yea!) The Session website has two setting in A minor and one in E minor, and most of the players who commented seem to play it in Am. xxx has it in Bmin, although I think it's actually in B dorian. It plays well on a mountain dulcimer in either mode,

Mountain dulcimer

  • Dorian Mode-Kingsfold ("Star of the County Down")-DAG tuning. Played in the Dorian mode (using DAG tuning) on an all cherry 5-string dulcimer. A traditional English tune thought by some to date back to the medieval period, it is probably most famous today as the tune for the Irish folk song "Star of the County Down" (lyrics by Cathal McGarvey ca. 1890s-1920s). It is also the tune for several sacred songs, including "O Sing a Song of Bethlehem" and "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say."

  • Kingsfold in DAA ("Star of the County Down") Dr. Bill's Mountain Music - Appalachian Dulcimer Demo's -- Played on an all cherry 5-string dulcimer. I have played this song drone-style in minor modal tunings, but I wanted to show that, by use of chords, it can also be played in standard DAA tuning. Ionian, Dorian, and Aeolian are modes of play based on scales, NOT methods of tuning.

  • Star of the County Down (My Love Nell) Katie LaRaye Waldren -- Katie arranged this beloved Celtic tune on the mountain/lap dulcimer using both finger picking and strumming styles. Tune to DAD, capo on the first fret.

Dorian mode made easy

Well, that's "easy" like if you're really, really into music theory.

https://thesession.org/tunes/4320. Also known as Diversus And Lazarus, Diverus And Lazarus, Dives And Lazarus, Gilderoy, Kingsfold, The Star Of County Down, The Star Of The County Down March, When First I Left Old Ireland. ... As Dives and Lazarus.

Among the comments: Many songs to that tune This is the plain tune of the song and has little to do with a reel. The melody is used for quite a few songs. Amongst them: Crooked Jack, Dives an Lazarus … The list ist longer but I would have to do a longer search.

# Posted by Ranks 11 years ago. ... Anyone ever play this as an air? Being a bassoonist as well, I’ve played Vaughn Williams’s "Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus" and the melody sounds great slower, and I think it could be really heart-wrenching given the right inflection. ...

Re: The Star Of The County Down The melody is in English County Songs, 1893, collected by John Maitland, later harmonised by Ralph Vaughan Williams as the hymn tune Kingsfold and used with words by Horatius Bonar, "I heard the voice of Jesus say, ‘Come unto me and rest’ ".

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