Lois Sprengnether Keel
10/31/18 12:08:42AM

Back on Old Style Drone & Noter Players 2 inter-related discussions in the last few days lead me to posting this.  It was "Finding Harmonies  - In Different Mode, Or In Same  Mode" + the general discussion there.  I wasn't overly worried about  harmony.  As finally was mentioned, harmony often can be found 2 or 3 notes away from the melody.   What drew me into the discussion was my work with this song and finding the right mode & locating chords for my baritone.

This is the first song I have tried on a baritone as the instrument is new to me.  I call mine Bari & his lower voice seems perfect for this mournful song.  (I also mentioned another song from early music that was sounding mournful, too, but unintentionally. )  Bari's so new that I only dimly remembered it's first owner saying he normally tuned it A-something-A.  After mucking around unsuccessfully, I came around to remembering that.  Online I heard the middle string, if D, can play with dulcimers tuned to the common DAD.  That's what Bari had been tuned!  I also saw AEA was possible and used more when "taking the lead."

Tried both & chose AEA.  The song is often show in the key of G, including a  sample in the "Finding Harmonies", & the 2d & 3rd from the end measures show a difficult D#, but a B is just as difficult. 

In that discussion some options were discussed, coming after I spent the past day working out my own efforts.  One of the ways I chose uses pressing the fret wire on the middle string at the 2d fret for measure 12 after using a 1 on the melody string for the accidental.  I don't know enough to  know _why_ this works so I can use it in the future for other projects.  What principle is happening when you play while pressing a fret wire?

Beyond that, measure 13 really left me puzzled.  Tab giving just the melody line said: 5, 43, 21, X1, 2.  I hope strumming across all 3 open strings where the tab said X isn't too much of a stretch for the song's character.  Similarly I chose a 335 chord there & at several other spots in the song where a 5 is used.  It seems that chord also brightens the mood of the song slightly.  Since the 5 verses might become too much of a downer, I am willing to accept it.

Part of my efforts also required figuring out some of those notes which needed to have more than one syllable.  Fortunately the words needing stress helped figure it out.

It's starting to sound right to me.  Am I way off base here?  If so, what suggestions might those of you with more knowledge suggest?