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Messages - hoodsmom

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Share your musical journey / Re: ornamentation in Amhrán A Leabhair
« on: February 18, 2020, 06:02:23 pm »
Can you folks who are good with Celtic ornamentation listen to this version:

and tell me what you think is going on just before the long roll in measures 12-13. I can't figure out what it is.

Learning Resources / Transposing music that's in abc format
« on: February 12, 2020, 01:05:09 pm »
If you want the easiest way to transpose (all you know is what key you want to end up in), use this tool - it transposes by semitones, but it simultaneously tells you what key you're transposing to. When I was just learning to transpose for Mountain Ocarina, this was my go-to tool, because even before rendering the music, I could quickly see both by how many semitones I was transposing and whether the key I was about to choose was an "easy" or "hard" key to play in.

However, sometimes you're using a tool that only tells you by how many semitones to transpose.
For example, the converter at will convert your music in abc format to standard musical notation. It also offers a transposition option, but you have to enter how many semitones you want to move up/down. The site does provide "tranposing help" to calculate the number of semitones between your desired keys, which you then enter in the transposition field.

The above online tools were great until midi support disappeared from my Mac web browsers. The app I use now to translate and play music on my Mac desktop, EasyABC, requires me to know by how many semitones I'm moving and doesn't provide any hints by key. To calculate the number of semitones between keys, refer to the attached chart (circle of 5ths).

Going clockwise
  • by one key, example G to D, transpose up 7 or down 5 semitones
  • by two keys, example C to D, transpose up 2 or down 10 semitones
  • by three keys, example C to A, transpose up 9 or down 3 semitones

Going counterclockwise
  • by one key, example F to Bb, transpose up 5 or down 7 semitones
  • by two keys, example C to Bb, transpose up 10 or down 2 semitones
  • by three keys, example C to Eb, transpose up 3 or down 9 semitones

If you know a little music theory, read on...
In western music, there are 12 notes: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A# e B. A semitone is the smallest musical interval, e.g., between C and C#. There are 12 semitones in an octave. Going up X semitones is the same as going down 12-X semitones, key-wise. So as long as you know how many semitones lie between two adjacent keys on the circle of 5ths chart (either 5 or 7, depending on whether you're transposing up or down), you can figure out using addition/subtraction how many semitones lie between two keys that aren't adjacent.

Share your musical journey / Itsuki no komoriuta (Lullaby of Itsuki)
« on: February 12, 2020, 12:24:22 pm »
T:Itsuki no komoriuta (Lullaby of Itsuki)
C:Jap. Traditional min'yo from the Kumamoto region
C:Transcribed by D. Festi
z D GA Bd | G3 A Bd | d3 B de | d2 z B de |!
[M:2/4] g2 e2 |[M:3/4] d2 BA G z | BA G2 E2 | G4 z2 |]

T:Itsuki no komoriuta (Lullaby of Itsuki)
C:Jap. Traditional min'yo from the Kumamoto region
C:Transcribed by D. Festi
z E AB ce | A3 B ce | e3 c ef | e2 z c ef |!
[M:2/4] a2 f2 |[M:3/4] e2 cB A z | cB A2 F2 | A4 z2 |]

T:Itsuki no komoriuta (Lullaby of Itsuki)
C:Jap. Traditional min'yo from the Kumamoto region
C:Transcribed by D. Festi
z B, EF GB | E3 F GB | B3 G Bc | B2 z G Bc |!
[M:2/4] e2 c2 |[M:3/4] B2 GF E z | GF E2 C2 | E4 z2 |]

and some inspiration from Youtube:

Learning Resources / Re: YouTube vids for Japanese folk songs
« on: February 12, 2020, 10:51:34 am »
I purposely took the live links out b/c I find the large previews annoying - especially if I'm eventually going to have a long list of vids.

Share your musical journey / Amhrán A Leabhair
« on: February 07, 2020, 01:18:38 pm »
amazing youtube vid with all lyrics, translation, and in the info section, historical notes

X: 1
T: Amhrán A Leabhair
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
|:A2|D4E2|F4G2|Ad3-d2-|d4e2|d4c2|A4G2|AB c4-|c4d2|!
D4E2|F4E2|FG A4-|A4G2|E4D2|D4C2|D6-|D4:|!
|:c2|d2d4|d4c2|de f4-|f4e2|d4c2|A4G2|A6-|A4B2|!
D4E2|F4G2|A2d4-|d4e2|d4c2|A4G2|AB c4-|c4d2|!
D4E2|F4E2|FG A4-|A4G2|E2D4|D4C2|D6-|D4:|]

You can play the key of C version on a Mountain Oc by dropping the notes in the first 5-1/2 measures of the third line by an octave, i.e.
|:C2|D2D4|D4C2|DEF4-|F4E2|D4 c2|A4G2|A6-|A4B2|!

X: 1
T: Amhrán A Leabhair
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
|:d2|G4A2|B4c2|dg3-g2-|g4a2|g4f2|d4c2|de f4-|f4g2|!
G4A2|B4A2|Bc d4-|d4c2|A4G2|G4F2|G6-|G4:|!
|:f2|g2g4|g4f2|ga b4-|b4a2|g4f2|d4c2|d6-|d4e2|!
G4A2|B4c2|d2g4-|g4a2|g4f2|d4c2|de f4-|f4g2|!
G4A2|B4A2|Bc d4-|d4c2|A2G4|G4F2|G6-|G4:|]

X: 1
T: Amhrán A Leabhair
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: D
R: whistle
|:B2|E4F2|G4A2|Be3-e2-|e4f2|e4d2|B4A2|Bc d4-|d4e2|!
E4F2|G4F2|GA B4-|B4A2|F4E2|E4D2|E6-|E4:|!
|:d2|e2e4|e4d2|ef g4-|g4f2|e4d2|B4A2|B6-|B4c2|!
E4F2|G4A2|B2e4-|e4f2|e4d2|B4A2|Bc d4-|d4e2|!
E4F2|G4F2|GA B4-|B4A2|F2E4|E4D2|E6-|E4:|]

Learning Resources / YouTube vids for Japanese folk songs
« on: January 31, 2020, 10:57:56 am »
YouTube vids playing the songs in the Japanese Folk Song learning resources collection are easily available on YouTube. A lot of the songs are straightforward, but for some, hearing them sung in Japanese will help you place the slurs correctly. Here are a few:

Rabbit and Moon

Moon Over the Ruined Castle

Red Dragonflies


Share your musical journey / Ashokan Farewell
« on: January 15, 2020, 12:28:59 am »
Ashokan Farewell, the theme song for Ken Burns's Civil War miniseries was written in 1982 by Jay Ungar - so not public domain. But it's easy to find the abc notation, e.g.

If you change measures 7-9 as below (drop a few notes by an octave), it plays beautifully on CODA

|d2 g2 B2 | B3 c B2 | A4 df|

Learning Resources / CODA and G-Mountain Oc Chromatics on one page
« on: December 19, 2019, 06:37:45 am »
I switch between CODA and my warmstone G MO, oftentimes in a single practice session. Somehow I manage to keep similar fingerings straight, but I sometimes find myself wondering if I just fingered the note for the wrong instrument. So I just finished a chart that has all the chromatics for the CODA and G MO (played as a transposing instrument) on one page.

Share your musical journey / Re: Oops
« on: December 19, 2019, 02:09:39 am »
For those of us with smaller hands and fingers, it's relatively easy to accidentally leave an inner hole not quite sealed, especially if you're playing a difficult chamber switch quickly. So then you're wondering why your lower chamber note sounded just fine and the upper chamber note was off. Even if you know that you're supposed to cover the holes and keep your finger pads flat, if you realize that the inner holes are for the upper chamber, it makes figuring out what's leaking easier.

Share your musical journey / Hanukkah, O Hanukkah!
« on: December 14, 2019, 08:21:53 pm »
I heard a high school group singing this today at the farmer's market and tracked it down. Catchy and easy. On CODA I like it better in the key of G, even though it means a chamber switch. On a G-MO it sounds good in F.

T:Hanukkah, O Hanukkah! (G)
BBBB eBBB | B2 AG A2 G2 | B2 BB e2 BB |
B2 AG A2 G2 | GABA G2 EE | F2 ED E4 | GABA G2 EE |
F2 ED E2 E2 | B2 B4 E2 | B2 B4 E2 | B2 BB c2 BA | B8 |
B2 BB c2 BA | B2 BB c2 BA | G2 GG A2 GA |
B6 E2 |$ B2 B4 E2 | B2 B4 E2 | B2 BB c2 BA | B8 |
B2 BB c2 BA |B2 BB c2 BA | G2 GG A2 GF | E8 |]

T:Hanukkah, O Hanukkah! (F)
AAAA dAAA | A2 GF G2 F2 | A2 AA d2 AA |
A2 GF G2 F2 | FGAG F2 DD | E2 DC D4 | FGAG F2 DD |
E2 DC D2 D2 | A2 A4 D2 | A2 A4 D2 | A2 AA B2 AG | A8 |
A2 AA B2 AG | A2 AA B2 AG | F2 FF G2 FG |
A6 D2 | A2 A4 D2 | A2 A4 D2 | A2 AA B2 AG | A8 |
A2 AA B2 AG |A2 AA B2 AG | F2 FF G2 FE | D8 |]

Share your musical journey / Re: Oops
« on: December 14, 2019, 08:16:06 pm »
Good story. I had forgotten until recently that the inner set of holes (the ones closest to the middle of the instrument) are for the upper chamber. So if your lower chamber note sounds fine but the same note on the upper chamber is off, it might be because an inner hole isn't completely covered. A slight change in the angle (flat vs. not) of the fingerpad can also make a big difference - at least for those of us with smaller hands. I myself have been struggling with a passage low E to D# in the upper chamber back to D in the lower chamber. I've mostly got it, but oftentimes my right index finger isn't quite covering that inner hole when I switch from the E to the D#, so the E sounds fine, but the D# is too high.

Share your musical journey / Pe trout war an douar (A Breton carol)
« on: December 05, 2019, 05:29:41 pm »
The Chieftains have a nice version of this.

Found at and transcribed to an easy key of C - all in the lower chamber (BTW, if you follow the link on the folktunefinder page, you end up at a French fellow's site - he has a number of Breton pieces in abc format as well as a link to - a site which transcribes abc format into shape note notation. But what I like about the site is that it can switch instruments on the fly).

T:Pe trout war an douar
E | E2 A A2 G | A3 c3 | B2 A G2 A | E3- E2 E |
E3 A A2 G | A3 c3 | B2 A G2 A | E3- E2 z |
[M:9/8] A3 G2 E F2 G | E2 F E2 D C2 D |
[M:6/8] E3 E2 E | E2 A A2 G | A3 c3 | B2 d c2 B | A3- A2 ||

Share your musical journey / An Dro St. Patrick
« on: September 27, 2019, 01:08:38 pm »
Very easy. Posting because it's pretty. Sheet at

X: 7
T: As Covas Do Rei Cintolo
T: St. Patrick's An Dro
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:E/2F/2G/2F/2 EB|GE FB|A/2B/2A/2G/2 FE/2F/2|GE/2G/2 F2|
E/2F/2G/2F/2 EB|GE FB|A/2B/2A/2G/2 FE/2F/2|G/2E/2F/2D/2 E2:|
|:E/2F/2G/2A/2 BB/2B/2|Ad BG|E/2F/2G/2B/2 A3/2B/2|A/2B/2A/2G/2 F/2E/2D|
E/2F/2G/2A/2 BB/2B/2|Ad BG|E/2F/2G/2B/2 A3/2F/2|G/2E/2F/2D/2 E2:|

Share your musical journey / Üsküdar'a gider iken - Turkish folk song
« on: September 27, 2019, 01:06:30 pm »
This one's good for practicing the acute bends to get D# and B,
I usually play D# by playing an E while doing an acute bend (bend your head/body as if you are bowing to bring the fipple on the back close - about 10 cm from - to your chest), although I can also play it with a change in embrochure.
I play B, by either playing C while doing an acute bend or by changing my embrochure.

You can find the sheet at

T:Üsküdar'a gider iken
|: E3B B2B2 | cBcd B2B2 | A2AA G2A2 | B8 |
E3B B2B2 | cBcd B2B2 | A2AA G2A2 | B8 ||
E3F G2A2 | BcBA GFE2 | F3G FE^DE | F8 |
E3F G2A2 | BcBA GFE2 | AGGF FE^DF | E8 :|
|: BcBA GFGA | BcBA GFE2 | FGGF FE^DE | F3^D C2B,2 |
BcBA GFGA | BcBA GFE2 | FGGF FEE^D |1 E3^D EFGA :|2 E8 |]

Share your musical journey / Inisheer
« on: February 18, 2019, 02:33:17 pm »

Beautifully played here and (cough, cough) there's a gif showing a transcription of how he plays it. I say "cough, cough" because even though lots of people think that Inisheer is a traditional air, it was actually composed in the 1970's by an Irish accordionist, Thomas Walsh. I'm not sure how OK it is to publish the sheet music on the internet, although at the session I found this along with lots of abc versions, including ones that will get you a result equivalent to the way it's played at Mick's Virtual Whistle:

Regarding the copyright to Inisheer. Thomas Walsh has copyrighted the tune, and he would like anyone who is recording the tune professionally to make arrangements for the use through the publishing company that represents him, I am in the process of arranging use of the tune for a CD for the group I am in, and they seem to be good folks to work with. So if you plan to record this tune, give the author his due and pay for use of the rights.

The post at the session said Mr. Walsh is happy to have people playing the tune in public without paying royalties if not recording professionally.

The gif shows the key of D, but there are actually no C#'s in the tune. For CODA, I recommend transposing down a full step/major second - you end up in the key of C. I started by learning it on CODA in the key of D and I just couldn't manage the chamber switches to get the sound I wanted. Even though there are chamber switches in the key of C, they occur at more convenient times. (Of course, now I have to unlearn the key of D fingering).

Also...if you can reliably play a low Bb and low C on an MO, you can transpose down again so that the key is Bb-major and lowest note a Bb - sounds pretty good on my warmstone G.

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