Light Into Darkness – February 11, 2018

I had the extreme pleasure of playing with the Cleveland Chinese Music Ensemble on February 11 at the Hudson Public Library (near Cleveland, Ohio). Here is my solo on “Light Into Darkness” — a tune I’ve been tweaking for over a decade now. It’s got sort of a Minimalist – Baroque vibe if you can imagine that: VERY simple, very repetitive, yet always changing and evolving. Light Into Darkness (solo on electric dulcimer)


Axis of Awesome!

Four Chords for a mess of pop songs! This Aussie comedy act is really amazing. Butch Ross told me about them in 2007 or 2008, when I was obsessed with my little four chord circular progression D – A – Bm – G… that I used for Light Into Darkness, Tapping at the Edge of Paradise, and Tapping Into The Light on electric dulcimer. I just found more and more melodies that went with these…
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Just Intonation

This is hopelessly geeky stuff, but if you’ve been messing with it for decades like I have, it is just so cool to have a concise history of how the Just diatonic scale is built: Just Intonation For dulcimer fretting, the KEY is to remember that the open string is scale degree 5, and not 1 like most people expect. The 3rd fret is 1 or “do” !!!


Modal Chord Progressions!

I have always been a fan of Gary Ewer’s online resources for learning basic music theory and improving your songwriting skills, but when the subject is very close to my heart, like Modal Chord Progressions, all of my lights and buzzers start to go off simultaneously!! Here is a new post about how to get Lydian Mode progressions to work. I’ve tried some of these ideas over the years with limited success, but Gary goes…
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Definitions: What is Diatonic?

The wikipedia has a great entry on diatonic vs. chromatic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatonic_and_chromatic As the article says, these two terms are most often used in pairs, because they mean very different things. The section on “modern meanings of diatonic scales” is particularly interesting to me, because it confirmed my suspicion that there is no generally agreed convention with regard to whether the melodic and harmonic minor scales should be considered diatonic. They are not in my book,…
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