This month's theme really has exposed me to some cool new music.
And yet, some things are missing. Partly my fault, since there are several more things I meant to contribute, but I kept/keep getting diverted by other matters.
And maybe folks didn't fully understand what was/is meant by "tunes in 3"? Since Jim B. says it was my suggestion, I suppose I should define more fully what I meant. Better late than never?
But first, a couple of examples of what I think has been missed... partly to "fill in the gaps" and partly to illustrate my "definition", below.
3 slip jigs
The first is The Rocky Road to Dublin. I learned the second as The Old Dutch Churn, in Gm as I've played it here, but I understand the Irish often play it in Em, with a different name that I don't remember. The third is Drops of Brandy. (Sorry for the weird flutter at the very beginning. Apparently some sort of recording artifact.)
This is a Greek song that has an associated folk dance. Since I don't know the words, I'm doing it as an instrumental.
Now for my promised (threatened?) explanation of "in 3".
- "In 3" includes tunes with the number "3" in their time signature ("3/2", "3/4", etc.), but it's not restricted to that. (Besides, that may not be a useful definition for those who don't read music.)
- No, it means tunes where the beat/stress pattern repeats after three major stresses. The "3" in various time signatures is just a description of this pattern of stresses, but there are other 3-patterns that for various reasons are notated with other upper numbers in their time signatures.
- The most common or "normal" of these is the 9/8 time signature for slip jigs (e.g., those above). In this case, the "9" isn't counting the primary stresses, but the total secondary divisions included in those 3 primary divisions.
- Other 3-patterns include the "7/8" rhythms found in Greece (e.g., Yerakina, above), the Balkans, and elsewhere. Here the number "7" again represents the total subdivisions of the three main stresses... in this case because one of the beats is half again as long as the other two. I.e., the primary stresses have relative secondary divisions in the ratios of 3, 2, and 2. But the primary pattern is still a 3-fold repetition.