Posted: 9/2/2007 11:51:41 PM

From: Fresno, California USA

Joined: 3/26/2006

I am no musicologist, so don't know their lingo; but there is a long and highly evolved tradition of unaccompanied solo voice music that found its way from the British Isles to North America long before the even-tempered piano scale became dominant; and continued on through Appalachia, the Yazoo (Mississippi) Delta and into present day popular music. Among these songs there are many that were composed in pentatonic or heptatonic scales and various (now non-standard) tunings, with long gliding transitions between notes and simple words. I have heard adaptations for piano, banjo and other stringed instruments that simply don't work well; indeed, they may be unrecognizable! But they should work well for theremin, I think. I have had in mind making "He's Goin' Away" my first tune to learn once I am theremin-enabled. I pulled out a Library of Congress CD of old field recordings on the way home, and found three such songs--the only title which sticks in my mind is "Another Man Done Gone," but there were others. I am sure I have sheet music for some more. I think that will be a rich source of repertoire for theremin, and good for those of us who cannot look at a piece of piano music and hear the notes in our heads. Oh, yes--another feature of such songs is the falsetto parts that sometimes occur; learning to make the necessary quick changes in pitch (key?) will be something to work on for some time, I think. I continue to anticipate that this will prove highly interesting.

"My apparatus frees the composer from the despotism of the twelve-note tempered piano scale."
--Lev Sergeivich Theremin, 1927

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