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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2002 11:02 pm 
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Well, I'm stumped. I can't think of any way to accompany the air _Ím Bó 'gus um Bó_ besides drones and P4/P5 harmony. Chords obviously don't apply...it's a totally different tonality system than I'm used to (not major/minor). I'd try medieval modes, but I'm lost on how those really work. Yes, I have visited "Some Basics of Modal Harmony", it didn't help. All it did was tell me what I already know, as arrogant as that sounds.

Anybody have any ideas?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 12:15 am 
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Well...looks like I'm gonna have to look for my answer elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:59 am 
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I think traditionally slow air are played without any accompanyment at all. Even when you listen to fairly recent recording trends (70s and onward), you will get an occasional strummed guitar or harp chord. But the free rhythm of slow airs does not lend itself to a denser accompanyment. Aesthetically, I think, slow airs are about making the just the melody and the phrasing carry all the expression and accompanyment is perceived as a distraction. This is just my hunch: I am very new at this. I know that I prefer a slow air with no or very very little accompanyment.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 7:42 am 
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Ím Bó 'gus um Bó... never heard of that air. In fact the title could be a clever spoof, could it not? (Yes I know that "bo" means "cow" and "'gus" is a contraction of "agus".)

But drones are wonderful, don't you think? They give you a fabulous underpinning that allow you to feel and find the perfect natural harmony for every note, esp. with voice, fiddle, or u. pipes. I love it when I walk past one of those enormous vacuum-cleaner tanker trucks sucking out drains or sewers. Often they make a deafening drone on a constant musical note. If I can I stop for a few minutes and sing my heart out, improvising an air or something. Nobody can hear me so I feel totally free. Exhilarating. Chords would ruin it!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 11:48 am 
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BSteve: I think its in McCullough's first book, the Tutor.

I remember not knowing what to do with it in those days either.

But over a period of time and exposure, ideas do come. I am going to look at it again after "work" and post ideas, if any.

Neo-trad ponderings: I have lately been re-harmonizing a lot of standards, using dadgady chords in standard tuning. Like Asus7 in place of regular dominants in D tunes, also I used a GMaj7/B (first inversion with extra D added on second string third fret) and an A7maj9, five upper strings, all open except e on fourth string (2nd fret)...

The other is the implied fourth, that is using the subdominant, even when melody notes don't exactly spell it out.

To all, I think you will get excellent harmonization ideas from Donal Lunny records, and best value is Journey, a 2 cd set. Great tunes, a few trad but mostly pleasing neo-trad. his treatment of Fairy dance is short but breathtaking.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:16 pm 
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Okay. Its in McCUllough;s book #61 page 63.
I feel you can harmonize it though you expressed that you didn;'t think so.

12 full measures with pickup in Mc.
Chords by measure:
pickup, 1-Em, 2 and 3-C, 4-G, 5,6-Am, 7-Em, 8 - Bm, 9-C, 10-G,11-Am, 12: to continue by repeating, I would use C then when you were done, end on Em instead.
The C makes it want to continue.
Worth a try.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 1:17 am 
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Thanks Weekenders. I'll try those chords. Just out of curiosity, how did you figure out those chords, by ear or by some other method?
Actually, I thought that it might be harmonizable, too, and I think I tried it and couldn't figure out anything but Em...I don't quite remember.
I figured with the age of the air (actually, it's not a slow air; the Tutor said it was not in the sean-nos style, and the Whistle Doc had omitted slow airs from the book), it had come before chords. Whether or not it did, I've recently read that TI music is composed in modal tonality, most in Ionian or mixolydian...that's why I didn't think chords applied.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 1:25 am 
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Never mind...I think I can already see from your posts how you did it.


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