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Eighth of January

Genre: Fiddle/Celtic/Irish  Style: Other  Key: D  Difficulty: Expert
Posted by Tom Hanway, updated: 1/13/2010
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Notes: Here I make (1) “melismatic variations” in the form of grace notes, using slides and pull-offs, (2) “intervallic variations” by moving away from the normal melody, substituting higher and lower notes, also developing a series of either ascending or descending note patterns, and (3) “rhythmic variations” in the form of syncopation, also by making two eighth notes a quarter note (as in the first full measure), or by making a quarter note two eighth notes (as in measures 6 and 10, on the third beat). The pinches, sometimes straight, sometimes syncopated, serve as examples of combined intervallic-rhythmic variation. I have doubled the parts, also breaking them up into units of four measures each, indicated by a heavy bar line, putting in variations that sound good to me after all these years playing the tune. Within the A and B sections, the order of parts can be moved around any way you want, but here I start with the simple before moving to the more complex. One can go back to playing the tune’s structure as AB, instead of doubling both sections. The tune structure here is actually A1, A2, A3, A4; B1, B2, B3, B4. These are not the only variations, obviously, but these are what I like to hear and play. It’s about playing the sounds that you want to hear, not about playing variations just to play them, or an abstract exercise.

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