Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby Robin the Busker » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:54 pm

...That said, the tune you show in your post is "All Through the Night", not "Arrú Niño". A very different song....


You're right !!!! :oops:

My search engine was defaulting to the closest thing in Welsh to the inquiry which was 'Ar Hyd y Nos' so 'All through the Night' came up repeatedly. Not surprising I suppose considering I live in Wales :lol:

Strumelia: Here's Mary Had a Little Lamb in the key of G.

MaryHadALittleLamb_G_Image.jpg


From DAA I would simply read the G root note as being at the 3rd fret rather than the 6th fret (although it is actually sounding a D note at the 3rd fret) and follow the intervals based around that. So the start of the tune would be 5434555. I don't think in terms of note names, so I'm not consciously saying 'Mary had a Little Lamb starts on a B note, so that would mean I play an F# in DAA". I look at the intervals between the notes, so I'm seeing that the tune starts on a 3rd, then a 2nd, then the root note etc. So I'm following the pattern of the tune, just as you would read a tune if you sang in a choir. I'm hearing the melody as I read the music, and that's what I'm playing on my dulcimer. So the pitched key doesn't matter, just the mode. The pitched key only matters when you play with others, in which case I'd re-tune to the relevant key that everyone was playing in. I can't sight read a brand new piece at playing speed but I can have a darn good go at it and then work out the details as I practice.

Does this make sense?

Robin
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby strumelia » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:59 pm

Yes, this does make sense and I'm realizing that I do a lot of this automatically when i scan over sheet music melodies... I first look for the tonic note, and then try to hum out the tune based on the intervals and their relationship to the tonic note, and the rhythm indications of course. In fact, i was doing it today too.
One question on this method I'm a little confused by though- because you are staying in DAA, you are then converting all melodies to ionian mode...? Doesn't that 'not' work when you are confronted with sheet music in other modes and you don't have those needed sharps or flats in DAA tuning? Or do you change your tuning in that case?

All through the Night... good one! :lol:
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby Robin the Busker » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:31 am

Hi Strumelia,

I re-tune for the modes. They can be difficult to spot when looking at fiddle tunes as there's no set convention for showing them. Take 'Shady Grove' as an example. It is most usually played in the key of Am but it is a gapped tune and so it will fit either dorian or Aeolian mode. So it can be written in SMN in a number of ways. Here are two examples, the first shows the tune written in the key of G but played in Am (dorian); the second shows the tune written in the key of C, yet again played in Am but this time aeolian. I have also found the tune written in the key of A but with the 3rd shown as a flattened accidental. As I said, spotting the mode simply from SMN can be difficult. In the first example (key of G) the tune finishes on an A note, so that's a good indicator it is actually a Dorian tune. In the second example (key of C) the tune again finishes on an A note, so that's a good indicator it is Aeolian - also the chords above the staff are a giveaway!

shady-grove.png
shady-grove.png (5.61 KiB) Viewed 119 times


shady grove - c key sig.jpg


I'd most likely use E,A,d to play the above two versions (that's A dorian starting at the 4th fret with reversed drones) or perhaps E,A,G (that's A aeolian starting at the first fret with reversed drones). I would tend to use reverse drones because my usual string gauges will reach E,A easily but not A,E.

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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby strumelia » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:31 pm

Yes, well as we see this method works pretty well for ionian tunes, but it gets somewhat complicated once the sheet music is in another mode without making it plain. And I run into this issue often, especially with pre-1700s tunes.
Which is why it's hard to explain such a method practically for players new to reading music. Robin, your extensive musician background enables you to work out such examples in real life, and I 'usually' can as well... but a newer player without any prior SMN and mode experience will have a hard time of it. I know it took me years before I could use the method on simply ionian tunes. But once things begin to 'click' in your mind, it's a great and very useful tool! It enables me to (most of the time) translate traditional tunes more easily to a playable key on all the instruments I play.
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby JoeBesse » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:56 pm

Boy I really started something with my question . I appreciate all the dialogue from all of you. It was a learning lesson for me. Thanks to all who responded .

Joe :P :D
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby strumelia » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:19 pm

Yes, you never know when a simple thread will turn into some interesting extended discussion! Thanks for starting the thread Joe. :)
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Re: Is AAAD a legitimate tuning?

Postby JoeBesse » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:40 pm

Glad you participated Strumelia.

Joe
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