Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ice Cream Truck, My Source for Turkey In the Straw

I'm only partially joking with that post title.  Think about the tune Turkey in the Straw that you hear coming out of an ice cream truck.  To me that's as good of a place as any to start developing your interpretation of the tune. The melody line and intonation are clear, providing a solid foundation from which you are free to construct your own arrangement.
I believe there is a melodic identity at the heart of all good tunes...an "ice cream truck version" that is independent from any one musician, source, style or instrument...an equal playing field that allows everything from a West Clare jig to a Kentucky fiddle tune to be incarnated side by side regardless of who originally played them or where they come from.

I play traditional Irish and old-time tunes because A) they are great stand-alone melody lines and B) there are other local musicians who like to get together and play these same tunes in unison.  If folks in my area played a Norwegian Two-Step repertoire or Southwestern O'odham fiddle music, then I'd probably be inclined to learn some of those tunes as well!

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