The tune is in a “gapped” modal scale in A, either A Dorian (one sharp) or A Mixolydian (two sharps). Modes are quite ancient types of scale that overlap with the ones we use today. This tune is ambiguous in that it isn’t A major (three sharps), nor A minor (no sharps). As C isn’t played it isn’t sharp or natural, we can think of it as “gapped” as it is missed out of the scale, making the key signatue ambiguous. However, the F is sharp and the G is natural. This phenomenon is common in traditional music. Accompanists may need to play chords that miss C altogether.
Resources for this tune and others can be found at Fun Flute page at The Flow.
We’ll be building a set of jigs around the tune over the next couple of classes.
Photo of Newcastle Brown Ale by Michael Fajardo, some rights reserved.