[originally posted in September 2008 on www.Memphis-Dulcimer.com , copied and reposted here on 4/11/2009]
Today’s meeting was inspiring!
Gail shared an article written by Lorraine Lee Hammond and published in a 1987 issue of the Dulcimer Players News. With the article came tab for two tunes for us to try today! Thank you, Gail!
The first tune “When Jesus Wept,” composed by William Billings (1746-1800) and arranged by Lorraine Lee Hammond, was a short piece written in B minior, with 3/2 timing (which was a bit of a surprise to see in our dulci-tab!), to be played in DAD tuning. The tune was arranged to be played as a two or four part round.
We had fun playing this simple, soothing, sweet, song, and practicing our skills of paying attention and such! We all know how to sing rounds…..you know: Row, row, row, your boat, gently down the stream…[Row, row, row, etc., etc.,]…but the multi-tasking of learning a new song, remembering to pay attention to timing, applying what we know of hammering-on, sliding up and down, bar-chording, and all that jaz, keeps the mind cluttered a bit, and I have to admit….occasionally….we are challenged as a group sight-reading a song….but it’s a GOOD challenge! I mean it’s really good for us to give it a go and hear ourselves make music together. Pretty sweeeeeet.
The second tune was an American folk song, “Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn.” This tune was arranged for the tuning of DGC, had a droning chord harmony option for duet playing, and included lyrics about the man who wouldn’t hoe corn, had to sigh when his grass got high, and wanted to wed but couldn’t make cornbread. It was a catchy tune, and I enjoyed hearing our club president sing along as we played. Good job, Bob!
I appreciate our club members coming to my house today, and I look forward to seeing and playing with you next time. Also, I thank you all for agreeing to let me make an infomercial (video) about our club meetings. That should be fun! Looking forward to that!!
Strummin’ in Memphis,