themes of the minor tonality
Here are a few common melodies created from the minor tonality, providing us with common themes for discussing basic ideas of theme / variations. This first idea goes way back into the British Isles and was a big hit in the 60's and 70's of the last century. Still is on the oldies station. Example 1, heading for Scarboro Fair. Know this line?
This theme comes from the early American gospel library. Example 2.
Motive of "Erie Canal." Example 3.
Back to the British Isles for this next idea. "Greensleeves" could very well come from the Shakespearean era of the 15th century. Got this one under yopur fihgers? Example 4.
So, as with any melody we choose to play, we can oftentimes extract segments of the line to create variations that have a basis in the original melody, so essential to the improvising musician.
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"Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame."