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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:52 pm 
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Hello C & F'ers:

A guitarist friend is seeking the chords to the tune "Farewell to Glasgow." I believe he has them figured out, but he would like to verify his take. We are using the 'dots and lines' from the Session site with an ear to the excellent version of the tune done by Seamus Eagan on the When Junipers Sleep CD. A relatively thorough search of the net did not yield the chords. My thanks in advance for any leads in this regard.

Be Well,

Tom Dowling


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:26 am 
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This pseudo-ABC is taken from a combination of the accompaniments under the box solo at 0:40 and the whistle solo at 1:37.

T:Farewell to Glasgow
C:Trad
S:Seamus Egan - When Juniper Sleeps, Track 9
Z:MTGuru for Chiff & Fipple 2015.03.07
K:Em
M:3/4
|Em - -|G5/D - -|Am7 - -|D5 - -|Em - -|Am7sus - D5|Em - -|Em - -|
|C - -|G5 - G5add6|Bm - Bmsus|Bm - -|Em - -|Em7 - Em|Bm - -|Bm - Bmsus|
|C - -|G5 - -|Bm - Bmsus|Bm - Bmsus|Em - -|Em - -|Bm - -|Bm - Bmsus|
|C - -|Bm7 - -|Am7sus - -|D - -|Am7 - -|Cmaj7 - D5|Em7 - -|Em7 - -|

Note that only the bass note of the chord is played on the first beat of each bar. The full chord doesn't come in until the second beat.

The "5" convention (D5 and G5) means modal with the third of the chord omitted.

If your friend isn't comfortable with the extended voicings, he can eliminate the suspensions and add6 and just play the vanilla chords: e.g. Bmsus -> Bm, G5add6 -> G5, etc.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:43 am 
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Out of interest, I really don't like the chords that are used on that Egan recording. It's the C chord at the beginning of the second line (and other chords of similar effect) that gets to me. The tune itself is in a gapped mode, without a C of any kind. It grates on my ears to hear that 'violated' as it were. Very Hollywood. (Not enough Holyrood haha.)

... and, to be clear, Mr Guru Sir's chords are well transcribed there. Lovely, clear and accurate transcription there. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:06 pm 
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I writes 'em like I hears 'em. :P

The "3rd below" chord substitution is a pretty common trick (e.g. Em -> CMaj(7)). In a minor pentatonic tune, if you limit the chording to scale tones, you're pretty much restricting things to i and III (and maybe VII(5)), which can be boring for the creative accompanist. Yes, technically this tune is gapped hexatonic with the 2nd scale degree, which also gives you the v and VII chords. But that's still limiting if you're going to allow accompaniment in the first place ... :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:47 pm 
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Zero problems with MTGuru's transcription, but some troubles with the chords as given. I don't like the C chords much, though I understand the reasoning behind them, and the Em7 at the close seems uncomfortable. Yeah I understand it too, but I find that a bit too modern in sound for my concept of the piece. I'm not sure I like the sort of half cadences on Bm at the end of the middle two lines either. Seems a D might be better or perhaps a Bm in one measure and an D in the second one. Anyway, these are just my quibbles. Thanks to MT for taking the time to transcribe the chords. I'm really bad at that and I admire those who can do it well....


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:48 am 
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MTGuru wrote:
In a minor pentatonic tune, if you limit the chording to scale tones, you're pretty much restricting things to i and III (and maybe VII(5))

You can have I, III, V, VII plus 'power chords' on IV (ie without the third degree of the scale) plus you can get pretty creative with added tones (from within the scale) as well as nicely placed inversions. I think that's enough. Plus, I'd rather my accompanists don't get too "creative". My old-fashioned view is that the purpose of the accompaniment is to accompany the tune that's there, rather than create something new and therefore different. Granted, that sort of thing is limiting.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:43 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
You can have I, III, V, VII plus 'power chords' on IV

Well, if you think in terms of triads, only i and III are complete. v is defective (missing the 5th). And yes, iv and VII allow power chords.

But we both agree it's a matter of taste and perspective. "Accompaniment" is a loaded word. :wink: If you think of the guitar as subordinate and secondary to the melody, then it will naturally have a reduced role - or no role at all! - and it's up to the melody player to set the parameters. OTOH, if you think of melody and harmony as a collaborative partnership, then the expressive expectations of the guitarist are equally important within whatever boundaries the players agree to. And clearly, the tradition (broadly speaking) is evolving to allow players to push those boundaries outward if they so choose.

I'm not necessarily defending this almost-Solas arrangement and chording of the tune, with the wonky Em7s and all (I think it's Zan McLeod on guitar). But I think we can assume it's what they intended, and what people expect from a band like Solas. And I think there's value there for even the more conservative-minded. You can't know the limits of what you like if you don't what you don't like. :-)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:51 pm 
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[Where's that 'like' button? :) ]

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