Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,
Steven
unzeugmatic

More Tune Talk

My last entry was about the Morris dance tune Bob W. wrote for my team and named for me, which set me to thinking about Morris tunes and Bob's other tunes and how danceable and suitable to our team they are. So I went and found another tune he wrote that I enjoy dancing to, and really looked at it for the first time. Mostly I don't think about the tunes, I just dance to them.

This tune was called something like "A Braggarty Tune" until we figured out the "Mopping the Cedar" dance. Matt and Mike choreographed the dance, although their original version added a bunch of leapers at the end of this tune, which even without the leapers is among our most knackering.

This, like Squire Steven's Maggot, is mostly in 6/8 (except for the slow parts). A lot of Morris tunes are in 6/8, but when I was talking about this with Denise the other day she noted that the Braggarts style makes 4/4 a bad idea in general and Bob knows this. This tune has leading notes, and aspects of timing that pretty much force you into a leaping, jiggy sort of movement -- which is what I summarize as "danceable".

Also about this tune: It's in a minor key. Didn't we learn back in elementary school the simplistic and stupid notion that major is "happy" and minor is "sad"? Voila the disproof. Denise says that all Morris tunes in a minor key seem to be in E minor, but that's because G is one of the keys that squeezeboxes can play and E is the relative minor. (See, I do know a teeny teeny tiny little bit about music theory, although not much.)

Anyway, here's another of Bob's tunes. Remember that for the Braggarts this tune is much much slower than you might think when you consider most Morris dance traditions. And think about the slow part as a thump-thump 4/4. Bob summarizes all this with the phrase "Bledington Style" which means "Play it like a Braggarts tune".

Foot up...

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