Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's That Time of the Year

Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly.
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don't say "when".
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens.
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again.

Tom Lehrer

A little group of us has a gig at a local mall on
Dec 2. Two hammer dulcimers, guitar, and cello.
We've started working on Xmas tunes (Unlike some
folks, I don't have a problem with the abbreviation
"Xmas." It's not an English X! It's a Greek Chi,
for Ihsous Xristos. Makes it more international
and connects us with its original and true meaning
that way.)

It turns out the guitar player's chords differ,
quite significantly at times, from what I've assumed.
I'll need to do some revision. On Monday I'll get
together with just the guitar player and run through
accompaniments, cleaning them up. No pesky melodies
to distract us.

Sometimes my semi-classical/pop/theoretical taste
clashes with what others play, and have played,
for years. Part of it is I look for a good bass
line, rather than what's easy and natural on a
chording instrument like guitar. Also, I can't
help but feel Xmas music often lends itself to a
more colorful, classical-ish treatment, rather
than down-home 3-chord boom-chick.

"Y'know, we could substitute the relative minor
for that same
old tonic chord here... and don'cha
think a temporary modulation over here
would be so
cool... and waddabout a suspended 4th before the
cadence over there..."

Just knock it off already, Terry. Find out the
chord changes they're
already playing and play
something that sticks to those.

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