Macedonian Oro reel

There are 2 recordings of a tune by this name.

Macedonian Oro has been added to 4 tune sets.

Macedonian Oro has been added to 49 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Five settings

X: 1
T: Macedonian Oro
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
M: 7/8
|:eff fedA|dee edcA|cdd dedc|c2A cdeA|
eff fedA|dee edcA|cdd dedc|c2A c4:|
|:cef g2g2|gaa gfe2|cef g2g2|gaa g4|
efg gagf|e2d cdeA|e2d dedc|c2A cdeA|
efg gagf|e2d cdeA|e2d dedc|c2A c4:|
X: 2
T: Macedonian Oro
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:ABB BA GD|GAA AG FD|FGG GA GF|F2D FG AD|
ABB BA GD|GAA AG FD|FGG GA GF|F2D FG AD:|
|:FAB c2 c2|cdd cB A2|FAB c2 c2|cdd c4|
ABc cd cB|A2G FG AD|A2G GA GF|F2D FG AD|
X: 3
T: Macedonian Oro
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: eff fe dA | dee ed cA | cdd de dc | c2 A cd eA |
eff fe dA | dee ed cA | cdd de dc | c2 A cd cA :|
|: cef g2 g2 | g_aa gf e2 | cef g2 g2 | gb_a g4 |
gb_a ga gf | e2 d cd eA | e2 d de dc | c2 A cd eA |
efg g_a gf | e2 d cd eA | e2 d de dc | c2 A cd A2 :|
X: 4
T: Macedonian Oro
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: cdd dc BF | Bcc cB AF | ABB Bc BA | A2 F AB cF |
cdd dc BF | Bcc cB AF | ABB Bc BA | A2 F AB AF :|
|: Acd e2 e2 | e=ff ed c2 | Acd e2 e2 | eg=f e4 |
eg=f ef ed | c2 B AB cF | c2 B Bc BA | A2 F AB cF |
cde e=f ed | c2 B AB cF | c2 B Bc BA | A2 F AB F2 :|
X: 5
T: Macedonian Oro
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:"D"eff fedA|"A"dee edcA|"G"cdd dedc|"A"c2A cdeA|
"D"eff fedA|"A"dee edcA|"G"cdd dedc|"A"c2A c4:|
|:"C#m"cef g2g2|gaa gfe2|cef g2g2|gaa g4|
"D"efg gagf|"A"e2d cdeA|"D"e2d dedc|"A"c2A cdeA|
"D"efg gagf|"A"e2d cdeA|"D"e2d dedc|"A"c2A c4:|

Twenty-six comments

M: 7/8
R: oro
K: Dlydian

This appears on Flook’s Flatfish cd, in a set with "Gentle Giant". (There’s another track called "Macedonian Oro" later on the cd, also in 7/8, but it’s a different tune).

I could only submit the tune as a 4/4 reel in A major, put it’s actually in 7/8 in D lydian. :-)

Whistle in A plays:

X: 1
T: Macedonian Oro
M: 7/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K:Dmaj
|:ABB BA GD|GAA AG FD|FGG GA GF|F2D FG AD|
ABB BA GD|GAA AG FD|FGG GA GF|F2D FG AD:|
|:FAB c2 c2|cdd cB A2|FAB c2 c2|cdd c4|
ABc cd cB|A2G FG AD|A2G GA GF|F2D FG AD|
ABc cd cB|A2G

7/8 = 3 + 2 + 2 + ~ :-/

Huh?! ~ This is familiar, but just didn’t feel right, but I don’t know fluke except as a parasite, so I can’t refer to that recording. However, isn’t Lydian the equivalent of Major? So, that would make D Lydian, D Major… But it ain’t that. So, I’ve worked on it from memory, because I’m not going to root through everything trying to find a correlation. I don’t have all my Macedonian music, sheets or recordings, at hand anyway. So here goes, and I fully admit I may be crossing wires, but this is how it speaks to me ~ in Phrygian… I wanted to make more changes but tried to keep close to the transcription given here…

X: 1134
T: Macedonian Oro
M: 7/8
L: 1/8
R: Oro
K: a phrygian
|: eff fe dA | dee ed cA | cdd de dc | c2 A cd eA |
eff fe dA | dee ed cA | cdd de dc | c2 A cd cA :|
|: cef g2 g2 | g_aa gf e2 | cef g2 g2 | gb_a g4 |
gb_a ga gf | e2 d cd eA | e2 d de dc | c2 A cd eA |
efg g_a gf | e2 d cd eA | e2 d de dc | c2 A cd A2 :|

Following swisspipers courtesy ~ another key, relative D Major

F Phrygian has two sharps, F & C, like D Major. here it is for the whistle, since swisspiper was kind enough to do likewise…

X: 1134
T: Macedonian Oro
M: 7/8
L: 1/8
R: Oro
K: f phrygian
|: cdd dc BF | Bcc cB AF | ABB Bc BA | A2 F AB cF |
cdd dc BF | Bcc cB AF | ABB Bc BA | A2 F AB AF :|
|: Acd e2 e2 | e=ff ed c2 | Acd e2 e2 | eg=f e4 |
eg=f ef ed | c2 B AB cF | c2 B Bc BA | A2 F AB cF |
cde e=f ed | c2 B AB cF | c2 B Bc BA | A2 F AB F2 :|

Lydian isn’t Major…

in the modern musical sense. In the classical Greek modes, it is equivalent. The modern Lydian mode has a raised fourth degree when compared to the Major (Ionian) mode. So C Lydian would be C D E F# G A B C.

Posted by .

Thanks muspc, but this still doesn’t fit Lydian for me, the claim here being that it is D Lydian… D E F# G# A B C# d (relative A Major) But maybe Flook played it that way… I think it sounds wrong that way… :-/ ~ ?

Well, the Flook setting transcription here is indeed accurate. In fact, I’d say their tonality is actually A Mixolydian in the A part. The use of a G Major chord as a Dominant in bars 3 and 7 suggests that they would have played any g’s, had they occurred, as g naturals. The first phrase of the B part modulates to C# natural minor, then moves to A Major with a IV-I-IV-I harmony. At least that’s how it sounds to my non-Balkan ears. But I admit I’m not familiar with any conventions of Phrygian harmony.

> F Phrygian has two sharps, F & C, like D Major
That’s F# Phrygian, I’m sure you meant.

Hmm - yeah, you’re probably right MTGuru. As far as the melody instruments are concerned, the tune has 3 sharps the whole way through, and D feels like the tonal centre - which is why I suggested D lydian. (Ceolachan is right to say that the D Lydian scale is D E F# G# A B c# d).

But right enough - overall, the harmony doesn’t have a very Lydian feel to it. The first section feels like plain D major (given that the chords are D A G A). By the time the melody reaches the G#s in the second section, it feels like its heading for A major (with the C#m chord feeling like a passing chord - III-IV-I-IV-I). The last C# note wants to resolve itself to D (and does at the end of Flook’s recording), which brings us back to D major again.

Anyway, this is the first tune I’ve posted, so I’m glad it’s generated so much interest! :-) I thought people might like to have the sheet music for this so they could play it along with Gentle Giant (https://thesession.org/tunes/3443).

[P.S. There was a mistake in the abc when I posted it - I’ve fixed the abc, but it hasn’t been picked up in the sheetmusic yet. The 8th bar should be the same as the last bar of the tune, pausing on that C# note for 2 beats].

F# phrygian

Yup, the whistle take, I forgot the #… Not having the recording was interesting, I had to just go with what felt right to me, and ended up with a different tune… If you guys say that’s the way Flook play it, I will just have to see if someone has the recording I can borrow for a listen… And I’ll have to give the other Oro a spin when I return in May… Thanks for the stimulation and memory jog… ;-)

A pocket guide to strange modes and contours…

Come all ye fair and tender people, and use a bit of sense:

humblebum, thou quoteth: ‘the tune has three sharps the whole way through’
that is obviously inexact; there is no g# in the 1st part (for the simple reason there is no g at all in this part)

What we need here is careful observation of the tune itself and a bit of methodology:
I donot know what tonal arrangement Fluke or the Macedonians use for this tune but we
can assume; 1)it is mono-modal or 2)pluri-modal in character (or whatever you want to call it) and/or 3)mono-tonal or 4)pluri-tonal or perhaps a combination of these. (Whether it is valid to refer to our own western notions to discribe it I don’t know; that’s another debate)

My feeling is that there are two simple solutions:

1)If we assume one tonality for the whole duration of the tune it must be A (from the sound of it, we may imagine a drone underlining it), ok?

-A what?

-There is no b(2nd) at all through the tune so:

it is an hexatonic major-type mode there is a major/mixolydian ambiguity in the first part of it due to the absence of the 7th(g/g#).

2)If we assume several tonalities (my prefered interpretation)

-the first part must be in D, without any 4th(g) or 6th(b), which makes it a pentatonic Major mode(the usual major type pentatonic mode in Irish music has neither 4th nor 7TH in it, for comparison)

-the second part must be in C#, without any 7th(b), which makes it a hexatonic phrygian alright.

We can go on exploring the characteristics of this ‘contour’ by looking at the place of stresses (which notes fall where), the ambitus, etc… Have fun!

"that is obviously inexact; there is no g# in the 1st part (for the simple reason there is no g at all in this part"

Okay smartypants! What I meant by that was - throughout the melody, whenever there is a g, it’s a g#. I apologise if the way I put that gave anyone the wrong impression (!)

Your two solutions are both incorrect. Overall, the tonal centre of the tune is D, not A. This rules out the first solution - there is not an A drone throughout the first section. You’re right that the tune has more than one mode, but the second section is not in C#m overall - the chords move from C#m to D without feeling like they’ve changed key/mode. I stick by my previous post - the first section is in D major, and the second section is A major.

I’ve written out another copy of the ABC below, this time including the guitar chords from the Flook recording so you can get a better idea of the harmony. I’ve used 2 different key signatures for the 2 parts of the song this time, to reflect the different modalities.

(To be honest I don’t think it matters much that the modality is a bit ambiguous. The only reason I brought it up was because I put "K:Amaj" in the ABC for the benefit of the sheet music, but overall I believed that it was incorrect and misleading to say that tune is in A major.)

X: 2
T: Macedonian Oro
M: 7/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:"D"eff fedA|"A"dee edcA|"G"cdd dedc|"A"c2A cdeA|
"D"eff fedA|"A"dee edcA|"G"cdd dedc|"A"c2A c4:|
K: Amaj
|:"C#m"cef g2g2|gaa gfe2|cef g2g2|gaa g4|
"D"efg gagf|"A"e2d cdeA|"D"e2d dedc|"A"c2A cdeA|
"D"efg gagf|"A"e2d cdeA|"D"e2d dedc|"A"c2A c4:|

Humblebum, I’m afraid I agree with birlibirdie’s no. 2 assessment. If you read his post again, he never said the 2nd part was in C#min, he said it was C# hexatonic PHRYGIAN, which explains why you can use C#m and D chords and it doesn’t sound weird. That C#m-D progression is really distinctively phrygian in character. There’s no way that 2nd part is simply Amaj.

I love it! I only wish I had Macedonian bagpipes here to check what drones it has in comparison with the chanter, and what keys… Worse, my books on the subject aren’t here either. I agree with the notion that there is a question as to whether we can so clumsily attach the usual Western notions here. I have some crazy book on scales, not here, again sadly, that has thousands of scales associated with different cultures and musical instruments and traditions, the micro-tonal included, and, would you believe it, several texts just on Macedonian music, musical instruments and dance…also not at hand… You have no idea how irritating that is for me… :-( Well, actually, Dow at least will know…

Drones ~ musically speaking ;-)

Something I can add, this music does depend on a drone, instrumental and vocal. Don’t wrinkle your nose, but aside from dancing it, and some playing, I used to sing it, in a choir. I had excellent teachers who knew and understood it much more intimately than I, which helped to enrich and nurture my appreciation for it…

… yeah ok, you have a point - I may have been a little too defensive there. There’s a good case for C# phyrgian in there.

I would still submit, however, that the A chords in the 2nd section sound "resolved" harmonically (i.e. the tonic chord), rather than "unresolved" (as you would expect from chord VI relative to any given tonal centre). By the time you get to the last bar, you don’t feel the need to go back to a C#m chord. That’s why I feel it’s in A major (perhaps passing through C# phyrgian on the way).

By the way, the first half of Flook’s recording of the tune is available at http://www.flook.co.uk/tracks/gentlegiant.mp3.

(sorry cross-posted: my previous reply was to Dow…)

The whole thing about phrygian is that it’s incredibly unstable, and can *never* sound resolved in the way that you can get other modes to resolve. Because it’s unstable it’s often just used fleetingly or referred to briefly and used to lend a particular flavour or colour to a tune. That’s why it can be difficult to recognise the phr when it appears. It’s one of those things where you know it when you hear it. I hear it in this tune.

Or heald together with a drone…

‘held’, damn, see how unstable it has made me… :-/

Ok, fair enough.

I can’t say I’ve ever got terribly ‘aux fais’ with the phyrgian mode (in my guitar playing experience - which I guess is what I relate most of this stuff back to), and the instability of the mode sounds like a good explanation. I initially looked at the C#m chord as a passing chord in the switch to A major, but right enough, it is held for 4 bars, making you think it’s being emphasised for a reason (e.g. establishing the phyrgian tonality).

I have to see that D major -> C# phyrgian isn’t something I would have thought of as an obvious harmonic progression to make if I was writing a piece of music. These crazy Macedonians!

(And I’m glad that the tune has got people thinking about the ins and outs of modes. Myself included…)

Book on modes

ceolachan,
that book on modes of yours sounds v interesting!
could you post the reference on this site sometime?
Thanks

humblebum, thanks for all your hard work.
It’s just that classical notation /conceptions are still pervasive in the music world today often to the detriment of subtle modal and rythmic appreciation. (try to find a metronome with a 7/8 in it or a music software that does 1/4 tones!) I like to have a good discussion about it too and let no one call us nerds: modes are moods are all about feelings and even sensititvities! At the end of the day, it really is a matter of personal appreciation, witness the lively debates about guitar and piano accompaniment styles…
Our cultural background plays a major role in this too: I grew up to the sound of classical music (mostly) and remember how ‘unstable’ some Irish/Scottish tunes seemed to me at first. I also remember how a french guitarist once had managed to convince a swedish guy to sing Staffan Stalledrang (a swedish song in the eolian mode) with a sharp 7th (the ‘leading note’ in classical harmony) at a Sancta Lucia celebration -and he knew he was right cause his guitar said so! At the time I hadn’t the knowledge to vindicate the other guy so I guess it’s haunted me ever since!
To this day I find the phrygian mode particularly ‘unstable’ too but I reckon it’s all in our little western heads. like taking a chinese waiter’s question for an order or an ulsterman’s order for a question!

OK I’m off to get that Flook’s album and hear it for myself! Cheers!

…on account of their strange intonation of course
(if you’re not an ulsterman or chinese yourself that is!)

Book on modes

ceolachan,
that book of yours sounds v interesting!
could you post the reference on this site sometime?
Thanks

humblebum, thanks for all your hard work.
It’s just that classical notation /conceptions are still pervasive in the music world today often to the detriment of subtle modal and rythmic appreciation. (try to find a metronome with a 7/8 in it or a music software that does 1/4 tones!) I like to have a good discussion about it too and let no one call us nerds: modes are moods are all about feelings and even sensititvities! At the end of the day, it really is a matter of personal appreciation, witness the lively debates about guitar and piano accompaniment styles…
Our cultural background plays a major role in this too: I grew up to the sound of classical music (mostly) and remember how ‘unstable’ some Irish/Scottish tunes seemed to me at first. I also remember how a french guitarist once had managed to convince a swedish guy to sing Staffan Stalledrang (a swedish song in the eolian mode) with a sharp 7th (the ‘leading note’ in classical harmony) at a Sancta Lucia celebration -and he knew he was right cause his guitar said so! At the time I hadn’t the knowledge to vindicate the other guy so I guess it’s haunted me ever since!
To this day I find the phrygian mode particularly ‘unstable’ too but I reckon it’s all in our little western heads. like taking a chinese waiter’s question for an order or an ulsterman’s order for a question!

OK I’m off to get that Flook’s album and hear it for myself! Cheers!

I am an Ulsterman actually! Hadn’t noticed the question/order thing - I guess I’m not likely to though. I gather New Zealanders have a similar thing going on, where they go up at the end of their sentences? (whilst eating their fush and chups, of course…)

I’m glad I’ve inspired you to check out the Flook cd - they really are very good and infectious. I’ve been listening to their most recent cd recently, there’s some really immense banjo playing on a couple of the tracks. (Now there’s something I never imagined I would say in earnest!)

Actually, another thing I’ve realised about Flook is that they seem to throw a couple of quite traditional tracks with odd time signatures onto each of the albums they’ve done. Which is probably a good way of drip feeding such stuff into people’s consciousness - having people humming along to tracks in 7/8 is a good way of showing that odd time signatures aren’t simply the preserve of the jazz musician.