Saturday, January 22, 2011

How to Lose a Sunday -- Autoharp Edition

Sunday is a good day for me to relax and mess around with the instruments in the house. Yes, I recorded these instruments last Sunday, and I am only just now finding the time to blog about it. I've been thinking about arrangements lately. (In between thoughts of how to give the kids everything they want and how to get a job and keep it.) So how do you come up with just the right instrumentation and "twiddly bits" to keep a song interesting and fresh while still maintaining the spirit of the song?

It is also interesting to me that while I am competent on both the piano and the organ, I continually have music envy over other instruments. I very much enjoy practicing the organ and can recognize the improvements that I make. But I stew, and "fret" (get it), and work to frustration on instruments that annoy the snot out of my children and friends.

I have made my boys hate the ukulele (I love it so). All but one of my children HATE the baroque recorder (Oh, Jojo and I love our early baroque music. He'd love it even more, i'm sure, if he could keep up). The kids really hate my autoharp. And yet there are times I play it and play it wishing I could go beyond hammering out a tune (ala the Loving Spoonful). I wish I could really make it sing! Like this video

I've been working out how to pick out a melody. I haven't gotten to the point that I can pluck melody and arpeggiate an accompanyment yet, but I did get it sounding a little like a dulcimer, which gave me the idea that maybe I should try blending it with dulcimer. I added another track to the "Come, Come Ye Saints" I posted last week. But then I thought (like a cook tasting her stew) we are a little heavy on melody and a little light on harmony. I added a fourth track, melodica. Judea mixed in a little visual. And viola, I have a new music video!

If you find yourself sitting at home on a Sunday preevening with nothing to do but mess with your autoharp, take a look at this tab. I have noted the buttons needed to pick out the melody of Come, Come Ye Saints (this is in the same key as needed for the dulcimer). I have also added a harmony line for a c instrument such as melodica or melodeon.

Come Come Ye Saints Melodica

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