I know I know it’s weird. A recent discussion on modes set me thinking: why aren’t some used in Irish trad? If others were used in a tune, would it end up sounding Spanish or Eastern European? So I wrote this tune in F# phrygian, trying as much as possible to stick to common Irish "riffs". The modes most closely related to F# phrygian are D major and A mixolydian, but it’s not quite either of the two. I think it’s interesting to hear what trad music might have sounded like if these modes had been used traditionally, but on the other hand I’m not really sure myself whether I actually like it. I guess I could get used to it. What do people think? Does it sound too weird? Feel free to say you hate it - I won’t be offended at all since this was a sort of experiment…
" A recent discussion on modes set me thinking: why aren’t some used in Irish trad?" Mark, you provide a most elegant answer to your oun question. :-)
This sounds REEL weird, and yet it somehow works. The "B" section kinda grows on me. I know I won’t pull this out at a session any time soon. How do you feel this might work towards the end of a set of contra-dances? *Gasp* As the hoofers get settled into the usual fare this melody could prove jarring for the folks on the floor and entertaining for the band to watch.
I like it. It moves well and lies nicely under the fingers (I’m talking fiddle here), as most good tunes do. Technically, the F# - c# works better at speed than that slightly awkward finger shift from F# - cnat which you might get in another mode with only one sharp. The ascending chromatic passage in bars 7 and 8 of part B is particularly effective.
The only other tune in this mode which comes to mind is Thunderhead (in B Phrygian) by Grey Larsen, and that works fine. It’s in 7-8 (except for one bar in 6-8), but it’s easy enough to convert it completely to 6-8. If a convincing conversion to 4-4 can be worked out perhaps the two tunes could be paired.
It’s nice to see the occasional experimental tune - after all, that’s how tradition moves on, if the experiment works out ok. When are you going to do something in Locrian ….? :)
Well, this is an interesting one… As my dad would say: "It’s *different*…." Maybe I’ll try it someday, If I can figure out how to roll an Fnatural on a whistle.