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Conall McKay : Three Songs without Words : Bergmann

Conall McKay

Bergmann Edition: 19 pages (including a line of tab)


These three pieces are very folk – influenced in their style, and if one recognizes the folk writing in the guitar parts, in the same way that Ralph McTell’s Streets of London is written to that accompaniment, then you will get the idea of how melodic these pieces are, whilst not being very difficult to get your fingers around

The opener Song for Roisin is the shortest of the three, set in D Major and marked Con Amore at a quick p[ace of 130 crotchets a minute , whilst written in quavers for the greater majority of its length. This first piece tends to be an arpeggiated upper part with various notes accented along the way, this being the melody, and a long bass note underneath. It is pleasant and at only 32 bars, very short.

Song for Chris is in a similar vein, but moves between 4/4 and a Piu Mosso 3 / 4 middle idea. Set in G Major at a slower pace, a reference no doubt to its sub – title of In memoriam Sarah Walker, this sad little piece goes a little higher than the previous piece, but is still a short 34 bars that changes its speed and themes three times in its short journey

The final piece Song for Danaidh, is set in that style, recognizable to all folk guitarists, with its bass line almost constantly set on two notes always on the beat, the second higher than the first and repeated throughout, with the thumb playing both, whilst the melody line is usually off beat to that static thumb bass line. An Allegretto  of 200 crotchets a minute and set in E Minor, this is the longest of the set and a little more tricky than the other two, but still friendly and pleasant to play and hear.

If you preferred style is light, pleasant and not too hard to negotiate then this little set of three pieces might suit you fine


Chris Dumigan

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