Another great tune by the great John McCusker. It was a tough tune to transcribe for a novice, so I tried to keep it simple. Please let me know of any corrections you think are necessary, as I’m sure I missed a few cloudy notes. Those tunes in odd keys are a bitch to play and they can leave you playing solo at a session, but they sound so rich. Many of the newer original tunes that I hear these days are written in keys other than the reliable C, G, D, and A. Does that mean these keys have been exhausted for new composition, and other keys are the future of ITM? Possibly, like the Wiley Coyote, one day, we’ll all B flat…
I think a lot of bands and musicians will play tunes in different keys on their albums. The Battlefield Band version on "Happy Daze" is in the key G minor, though it’s a bit more modal than that. However, the "Yellow Hoose" is an A minorish/modal version which is a lot more session friendly. Sorry, I’m not too sure about what’s mixylodian or dorian! :-)
John plays "Blue Bonnets" on "Yella Hoose" in Bb instead of the usual A as well. I think it’s just for a bit of variety. It’s also possible to transcribe the key in the studio with the aid of technology but I’ll not accuse anyone of that here. :-)
I’ve been meaning to put "Wee Michael’s march" up too. It’s quite easy to play but more difficult to transcribe than you’d think.
Funny - I was about to submit this tune myself! Loads of good tunes on that album - Joe’s Tuxedo is a cracker.
Regarding key, surely it’s not in mixolydian or dorian but just A major (or Ionian, if you like)? I don’t know the Battlefield Band recording but the one on Yella House is pretty unambiguously major key.
Just tried this out on the guitar, and the tune seems to work both ways. I think you’re right, though. It is a major key but some of my "modal chords" fit in quite nicely as with a lot of Scottish tunes.
I’m not much for theory…that’s probably why I dropped out of Classical and went into Punk. Yet here I am in ITM, somewhere between the two. Keys, modes, major, minor—duh—it’s doubtful I’ll ever get it straight. If you would care to explain it, I’m available for a 20-year lesson. I would call this tune B flat, based on where I put my fingers, but the only option on the site to get the two flat symbols on the staff is G major. I transcribed this tune from the Battlefield Band CD. I really recommend that disk. It’s one of my favorite CDs of all time, with a good mix of trad and original tunes. Thanks for all the feedback!
John plays it in…….
he plays it in A. I just emailed him and he said: "i play it in A but if im playing with bagpipes i play it in Bb."
Hope this helps - it still works in Gminor though.
Boys Of The Puddle
I don’t understand this. The tune is simply in A major, with the whole thing up a semi tone for the pipes on the Battlefield Band recording.
T: Boys Of The Puddle
C: John MacCusker
|: cAA eAA | fff ecB | cAA ecA | BBB Bcd |
cAA eAA | fff ece | a2f ecA | [1 BcB Bcd :| [2 BcB BAF ||
BBB Bcd | c2e cBA | BBB Bce | fff ecA |
B2B Bcd | c2e cde | fff efa | BcB BAF |
FBB Bcd | c2e cBA | B2B Bce | fff ece |
a2f ecA | BcB Ace | fff efa | BcB Bcd ||
Boys In The Puddle
Sorry, that should be in the puddle not of the puddle
no it shouldn’t. Ignore me, I’m going mad.