Ending a tune on a non tonic note

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Casey Willis 5 months ago.

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  • #15799


    Hello, My student and I are puzzling over tunes written in Scottish, Cape Breton, Irish and Old Time styles that appear to end on a note that is not the tonic or mode of the tune. What to make of that? Is there something that is common practice for how to end a tune written this way that is not described in the help sections of these tune collection books across these styles? I am wondering if the assumption is to end a tune on the perceived tonic unless connecting within a set? Does it matter? OK pros, straighten me out on this! Thanks! Laura

  • #15801

    Casey Willis

    Hi there, Laura.

    I ran this by Hanneke this morning, and she literally said that either way is fine – no right or wrong way to do it in her opinion.

    I can tell you that occasionally in the Texas style & Old-Time styles of fiddling, players will end a tune on the relative minor…e.g. Em out of G.

    I’m not sure what the origin of this tradition is, but it’s certainly acceptable as long as you and your accompanist(s) are on the same page.

    So for what it’s worth, you have two instructors saying that you should take whatever approach you wish…any other folks out there want to chime in on this one??


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