Thursday, August 27, 2015

Modal Chord Changes

Yesterday at band practice we were playing a lot of fiddle tunes for an upcoming gig (this Saturday at 4:30 at the Good Neighbor Festival in Middleton, for those who are around), and a lot of these tunes are modal, but the chords often cover that fact up. For example, “Old Joe Clark” is in the Mixolydian mode, and in the B part of the tune there should be a C chord when you are playing it in D major (as we were), but our arrangement had an A7 chord there, as if it were just regular major key. I advocated for changing the chord, so we played the C and then Hardingfele’s husband suggested a C6 would be even better. We all agreed it did sound better – it gives it that “bluesy” feel that straight major key just doesn’t have. We have another tune, “Liza Jane,” that seems to be screaming for a modal chord in the A part – do any of my readers know this tune? Is it in fact Mixolydian and not just major key? Maybe it is Lydian, and that’s why, when I tried a Mixolydian chord, it didn’t sound right. We probably won’t solve this mystery before Saturday, but at some point I’d like to emphasize the modes in our fiddle tunes, to make them more fun and more true to the original intent.

Last night Luxuli and I went on a brisk three-mile walk. It felt great! We agreed we have to do it more often. Maybe not in my neighborhood, though – the cars are supposed to only go 25 mph along the road with no sidewalk, but they sure seem to be zipping by much faster than that.

Travalon is having some bizarre issues with his new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S6. My name in the contacts randomly changed from “Famous” to “Famous Table Tennis rrr 564,” and somehow his alarm got turned on so it went off every morning at 6 am. When you can sleep a few minutes later than that, you do NOT appreciate being awakened, so finally this morning I tried to turn the alarm off. It took some doing, but I finally did it. His phone is not as intuitive as my iPhone. We are wondering if someone actually hacked his phone and purposely effected these changes, or how are they happening? Nothing weird has happened with my phone yet, knock on wood…

Famous Hat

1 comment:

Famous Hat said...

Pa Hat thinks "Liza Jane" may be in the Lydian mode. I found a mountain dulcimer blog that claims you can play it in both the Mixolydian and the Ionian (basic major key) modes. I guess we'll just mess around with chords till we find one that fits that particular spot.