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Transpose to minor key - very odd!

Dave the Gnome 19 Oct 04 - 11:37 AM
treewind 19 Oct 04 - 11:52 AM
pavane 19 Oct 04 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIES`S BAND 19 Oct 04 - 11:55 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Oct 04 - 12:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Oct 04 - 12:35 PM
Marje 19 Oct 04 - 01:29 PM
Pete_Standing 19 Oct 04 - 03:13 PM
Chris Green 19 Oct 04 - 03:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Oct 04 - 08:08 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Oct 04 - 08:24 PM
John in Brisbane 19 Oct 04 - 09:33 PM
Alex.S 19 Oct 04 - 11:13 PM
jonm 20 Oct 04 - 02:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Oct 04 - 04:31 AM
Dave Bryant 20 Oct 04 - 04:57 AM
John in Brisbane 20 Oct 04 - 07:03 AM
John in Brisbane 20 Oct 04 - 09:46 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Oct 04 - 10:28 AM
John in Brisbane 20 Oct 04 - 10:42 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 04 - 10:48 AM
leeneia 20 Oct 04 - 11:09 AM
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Subject: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 11:37 AM

Didn't know what handle to give this - Here goes anyway. I heard Martin Carthy do 'Princess Royal' on Saturday and it didn't sound like any other version I heard. On listening through it I twigged it was in a minor key whereas I have only heard major versions before so I decided to have a play on concertina when I got home.

The first bit (The first bit 'proper' that is - not the intro that some people play) begins to sound just like the Wraggle Taggle Gypsies version that I learned at school! The notes, in G major for instance, would be d-c-b-a-g, d-c-b-a-g while in A minor they become e-d-c-b-a, e-d-c-b-a.

I'm sure lots of people have done this before so what other tunes begin to sound like others when going from M to m (or m to M for that matter!) How come that change makes things sound so different anyway?
Does it matter?? :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: treewind
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 11:52 AM

There's several versions of Princess Royal from different morris traditions in a minor key or mode.

In fact I believe the orginal tune is from O'Carolan, called "Mrs. McDermott" and in a minor mode (Dorian? long time since I've heard it), and was adopted for a version of a song called The Princess Royal, and the new name then travelled with the tune.

There are other tunes in currency in both major and minor versions.
Yes, it's fun changing randomly selected tunes between major/minor to see if it works - generally with varying degrees of success.

Sounding like another tune when you do that may or may not be a coincidence...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: pavane
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 11:54 AM

There are modal versions of this tune as well as major key - see the various Morris dance tunes.

Also, the song Bold Nelson's Praise is set to a modal version of the tune (For example, version from the Dransfields).

Yes, it makes a big difference, especially to the chords!


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIES`S BAND
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 11:55 AM

I do my version of "Spanish Ladies" in the corresponding Minor key and it makes it an altogether more enjoyable song, away from the heavy chorus usually associated with it. The melancholy or sadness produced by the minors make for a sweeter solo song.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 12:00 PM

I know it matters about the chords - what I meant realy was does it matter if it is played in major or minor to anyone but us (and I include myself very loosely!) musicians? It does as add a certain 'sadness' which is why I was surprised by the Princess Royal being done in a minor - I have never seen a 'sad' morris dance. Am I missing out? ;-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 12:35 PM

At Standon Day, on May Bank Holiday, they always play a version of the Princess Royal that sounds a bit like that - lovely tune.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: Marje
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 01:29 PM

I think a minor version of the Princess Royal tune was (or is?) played in the Last Night of the Proms sea-song medley, possibly under the name "Arethusa".

There are other morris tunes which, although not exactly a normal minor, are in minor-ish modes (forgive lack of technical detail) - Cuckoo's Nest, Rambling Sailor, Bacca Pipes (Greensleeves), etc.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 03:13 PM

At a dance a few weeks ago I suggested we try Winster Gallop in a minor key, starting off as a major and then for the repeat going minor. It is not just a question of trying to play minor chords over the existing melody because the melody has to be subtly changed too. Winster Gallop is a great tune for dancing but I hate playing it and turning it into a minor key transformed it. Before anyone says "No you can't do that!", that is exactly what happened in the tradition and one of many reasons why there are so many variants of songs and tunes.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: Chris Green
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 03:34 PM

We do a swung gypsy jazz version of Sheebeg and Sheemore in G minor on oboe, fiddle, guitar, double bass and piano accordion. C'est vraiment cool, tu sais!


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 08:08 PM

Winster Gallop played with minor chords in place of the major ones(but not in a relative minor) sounds all Eastern European or Klezmerish. Johnny Handle likes to do it that way, and it works with all kind of tunes.

I'm not too sure about these things, but I think when you do it that way you're playing in a harmonic minor key rather than a natural minor key. It's fun anyway.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 08:24 PM

Changing a tune from a Major to a Minor key, or indeed from onemode to another, strictly speaking is not 'Transposition', but 'Modulation'.

It also MUST change the TUNE, as the relative intervals between the degrees of the scales are different.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 09:33 PM

Please forgive me for harping about ABC notation but there are many thousands of dance tunes freely available on the Web AND you can change the mode (and hence the notes) with half a dozen keystrokes in the K: field (key signature). I'll have a little experiment and report back

Rakes of Mellow is a tune I learned to hate until I changed the F#'s (in the key of G) to F naturals, and hey presto you have a brand new sound. It works brilliantly in the A part of the tune and less spectactularly in the B part, but still fine. From memory I've posted this version to Mudcat in years past - I think.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: Alex.S
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 11:13 PM

John, care to share your chords/notes with us? I'd like to see that one in minor...


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: jonm
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 02:19 AM

This is a party piece of mine, too.

If you know the Upton on Severn stick dance tunem try it in Gm in waltz time - definitely Upton on Volga!

I play Winster Gallop in major with flattened seventh (mixolydian?) in Cajun style. I shall try Rigs ditto.

William and Nancy (Bledington) makes a lovely French accordion waltz, major or minor.

Sad minor morris tunes? Nobody mentioned Shepherd's Hey Fieldtown a.k.a. Signposts. Very sad, wanders inot and out of the minor.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 04:31 AM

Wow! I have just discovered the different 'Greek' scales. Question is now - what can I do with them? Is it just a case of experimentation? They are so easy to do on a C/G anglo I can play for hours! Any suggestions? Mixolydian, Dorian or 'G Dorian' would be easiest? What goes well in those modes?

Another slightly related question. While I was out and about at one time I came across a xylophone type instrument with a pentatontic scale. I gather, and the name seems to confirm it, that there are 5 notes in this scale. It sounded realy 'mournful' when played. I guess I can do this on a diatonic box or chromatic box by ignoring some of the butons! Which ones and what goes well with this?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 04:57 AM

Back in the past when the EFDSS used to stage it's annual Royal Abert Hall show, one year they had a whole section of songs, tunes and dances based on Princess Royal tune. It was quite remarkable how many variants they found.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 07:03 AM

Dave the Gnome, I'm not exactly answering your question, but if you do a Thread Name Search (as opposed to Super Search) I posted a couple of large lists of pentatonic songs. The word 'pentatonic' is the key and it was maybe 3 years ago.

I did ask the question some years ago whether there was a method to convert MIDI files such that only the pentatonic notes were played. I've since developed my own answer. My solution involves using ABC notation as the source - it's easy to do but fairly esoteric, so I'll only describe it if anyone is really interested.

Alex, happy to share the dots/chords but I'll need to redo it. Gimme a coupla days please.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 09:46 AM

Here are three very different versions of the Rakes of Mallow. If you examine the notes at the bottom of each paragraph you'll see that I haven't made any changes. The chords are in " " and clearly they are very different. The only thing that I manually changed in the ABC notation was the K: (key signature) field to C and Gm.

This might appear anomalous, but the clue lies in the simple but clever method that ABC Notation uses for writing out a tune - if the note on the original score appears in the staff in the 'A' note position fr'instance - then you simply write/type an A. But the key signature ultimately determines whether the note is natural, flat or sharp.

I have actually made a technical musical error by describing the key as 'C'. In reality it would be better to describe it as 'G (Greek Mode name', but (a) I wanted to show how easy it is to modify and (b) I was too lazy to look up the Greek Mode name. I'm sure that this will evoke some useful comment.

You can view the dots and/or create a MIDI at Concertina.???. I'll have to rely upon another Mudcatter to give you the correct address 'cos I don't use it very often. ONLY PASTE ONE VERSION AT A TIME. Blank lines are interpreted as the end of the music.

Here are the tunes - This isn't the version that I know best but it's close enough to get the idea.

X:16
T:Rakes of Marlow
C:Beck (1784)
Z:Jack Campin * May 2000 * http://www.purr.demon.co.uk/jack/
M:2/4
L:1/8
K:G
"G"GB    "G"GB|"G"GB "Am"c/B/A/G/|"D"FA       "D"FA|"D"FA    "G"B/A/G/F/|\
"G"GB    "G"GB|"G"GB "G"d>B/    |"Am"c/B/A/G/ "D"FA|"G"G2    "G"G   z :|
"Em"gf/e/ "G"dc|"G"Bc "G"d2      |"Em"gf/e/    "G"dc|"G"Bd/g/ "D"A2      |\
"Em"gf/e/ "G"dc|"G"Bc "G"d2      |"Am"c/B/A/G/ "D"FA|"G"G2    "G"G   z :|

X:16
T:Rakes of Marlow Modal Version
C:Beck (1784)
Z:Jack Campin * May 2000 * http://www.purr.demon.co.uk/jack/
M:2/4
L:1/8
K:C
"G"GB    "G"GB|"G"GB "F"c/B/A/G/|"Dm"FA       "Dm"FA|"Dm"FA    "G"B/A/G/F/|\
"G"GB    "G"GB|"G"GB "G"d>B/    |"F"c/B/A/G/ "Dm"FA|"G"G2    "G"G   z :|
"Em"gf/e/ "G"dc|"G"Bc "G"d2      |"Em"gf/e/    "G"dc|"G"Bd/g/ "Dm"A2      |\
"Em"gf/e/ "G"dc|"G"Bc "G"d2      |"F"c/B/A/G/ "Dm"FA|"G"G2    "G"G   z :|


X:16
T:Rakes of Marlow in Gm
C:Beck (1784)
Z:Jack Campin * May 2000 * http://www.purr.demon.co.uk/jack/
M:2/4
L:1/8
K:Gm
"Gm"GB    "Gm"GB|"Gm"GB "F"c/B/A/G/|"Dm"FA       "Dm"FA|"Dm"FA    "Gm"B/A/G/F/|\
"Gm"GB    "Gm"GB|"Gm"GB "Gm"d>B/    |"F"c/B/A/G/ "Dm"FA|"Gm"G2    "Gm"G   z :|
"Eb"gf/e/ "Gm"dc|"Gm"Bc "Gm"d2      |"Eb"gf/e/    "Gm"dc|"Gm"Bd/g/ "Dm"A2      |\
"Eb"gf/e/ "Gm"dc|"Gm"Bc "Gm"d2      |"F"c/B/A/G/ "Dm"FA|"Gm"G2    "Gm"G   z :|

Or how's this for a new look for an old standard - The Water Is Wide.

X:1
T:The Water is Wide
C:
M:4/4
L:1/8
Q:2/4=100
K:G
D2 "D"G A A2 |"G"B6 A A |"Em"G2 E2 "G"D4-|
w: The wa-ter is wide I can-not get o'er,
"G"D2 G2 "G"G2 F2 |"G"G6 A2 |"G"B2 (c B) "D"A4-|
w:_ Nei-ther do I have wings to_ fly;
"D"A2 A2 "G"B2 (B c) |"G"d6 c c |"G"B2 (A G) "G"B4-|
w:_ Build me a_ boat that will car-ry_ two,
"G"B2 A2 "Em"G2 E2 |"G"D6 D2 |"Em"E2 G2 "G"G4-|"G"G2 |
w:_ And both will row, my love and I._

X:1
T:The Water is Wide
C:
M:4/4
L:1/8
Q:2/4=100
K:Gm
D2 "Dm"G A A2 |"Gm"B6 A A |"Eb"G2 E2 "Gm"D4-|
w: The wa-ter is wide I can-not get o'er,
"Gm"D2 G2 "Gm"G2 F2 |"Gm"G6 A2 |"Gm"B2 (c B) "Dm"A4-|
w:_ Nei-ther do I have wings to_ fly;
"Dm"A2 A2 "Gm"B2 (B c) |"Gm"d6 c c |"Gm"B2 (A G) "Gm"B4-|
w:_ Build me a_ boat that will car-ry_ two,
"Gm"B2 A2 "Eb"G2 E2 |"Gm"D6 D2 |"Eb"E2 G2 "Gm"G4-|"Gm"G2 |
w:_ And both will row, my love and I._

Enjoy, John

PS I didn't spend too long on the chords, so they could be a mite rough. I find chord decisions a bit tougher when I step outside my comfort zone of 'normal' modes.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 10:28 AM

Surely "pentatonic" just means there are only five notes in a scale. It doesn't in itself determine which five notes that should be.


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 10:42 AM

Winster Gallop in Gm:

X:2
T:Winster Gallop
R:polka
M:2/4
L:1/8
K:Gm
|: "Gm"GB "Gm"GB | "Gm"GB "Gm"d2 | "F"AB/c/ "Gm"BA | "Gm"GB "Gm"d2 \
| "Cm"ce "Eb"g>e | "Gm"dB "Gm"d>B | "F"AB/c/ "Gm"BA | "Gm"GB "Gm"G2 :|
|: "Gm"gf "Eb"ed | "Gm"gf "Eb"ed | "Gm"gf "Eb"ed | "Gm"cB "Dm"A2 \
| "Bb"fe "Gm"d2 | "Bb"fe "Gm"d2 | "Gm"d2 "Dm"A>c | "Gm"BG "Gm"G2 :|

and in G modal

X:2
T:Winster Gallop
R:polka
M:2/4
L:1/8
K:C
|: "G"GB "G"GB | "G"GB "G"d2 | "Am"AB/c/ "G"BA | "G"GB "G"d2 \
| "C"ce "Em"g>e | "G"dB "G"d>B | "Am"AB/c/ "G"BA | "G"GB "G"G2 :|
|: "G"gf "Em"ed | "G"gf "Em"ed | "G"gf "Em"ed | "G"cB "Dm"A2 \
| "Dm"fe "G"d2 | "Dm"fe "G"d2 | "G"d2 "Dm"A>c | "G"BG "G"G2 :|


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 10:48 AM

Rakes o' Mallow may sound good in the Minor key but if you transpose( or modulate) by flattening the relative third in this case the F# to F (assuming it was in G) it becomes unplayable on my Castignari Tommy coz there aint no effin melodeon. (sans accidentals)

This changing of tunes into minor keys is just way of stopping us melodeon players joining in your sessions init? Well it won't work coz I have a Dino Baffetti with accidentals so ner.

Spot


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Subject: RE: Transpose to minor key - very odd!
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 11:09 AM

Re: what I meant realy was does it matter if it is played in major or minor to anyone but us (and I include myself very loosely!) musicians? "

I'm sure it does matter to people. But to do a check, ask a number of non-musicians if "Silent Night" seems different to them from "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." I'm sure almost everyone will say yes.


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