Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

God Rest Ye Freylehk Rabosay

I practiced with just the guitar player last night. One of the Christmas tunes that we had to simplify chords for was "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." There's a standard E minor 4-part harmony arrangement that's been around for many years that perhaps you've heard or sung. In 4-part harmony singing you can easily change the chord for every note and it makes sense. With guitar it's too difficult, makes no sense, and would sound dreadful if you could. Better to choose a chord for a measure and let some of the melody notes be non-harmonic.

So I brought a proposed chord sequence and a bass line and we tried it out. The bass line has some C naturals followed by D#s. Y'know, linke in the good ol' harmonic minor scale. Also in some Jewish modes. Oy, it started to sound Klezmer! At practice tomorrow with the dulcimers (akin to cembala, an Eastern Eurpopean instrument) maybe we can add some Eastern European-ish rhythms, if they'll go along with this cross-cultural travesty.

Welcome, Yellow Dog. Glad to hear you're stilling playing with the fiddler.

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