Tips, Techniques, Examples about my favorite musical instrument, the Twelve-String Guitar.

If you play guitar check out Playing Technique, or Strings / Setup. There are also some interesting posts about guitars at, you guessed it, Guitars.

If you want to spread your musical talents around, you will find some good info at Recording.

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I've made some music videos through the years, and you can find them and other interesting music at Music I Like, Music I Play.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Celtic Gig Book for Mandolin

Allan Alexander has a new edition of The Celtic Gig Book for Mandolin. I've been listening to the tunes and they really are amazing. The pieces were composed before Western music became strict about tonic - dominant tonality that dominates right up to today, and these pieces have a refreshing freedom in the use of scales and chord progressions.

Check out the piquant dissonance of The Song of the Chanter and the mix of major and minor that occurs within the theme. The Courante starts out simply enough, but it develops into a real pretty melisma that repeats a phrase in a rising scale - very effective.

I can hear a preview of the fugue that would become a standard musical form by the 18th century in several of the pieces like Garrett Barry and Man of the House, yet they could also be modern trance pieces.

Agincourt is nicely syncopated.

Each piece is a unique exposition of a single idea, each idea seems unique, yet one nice thing about listening to these pieces is that the mandolin and guitar combination lends a consistency to the overall collection.

I'd love to see a movie with this as the soundtrack.

You can get the book and CD here.

Here are the tunes.

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