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Music Discuss specific tunes, the writing of tunes, other questions, concerns, etc. related specifically to the music or music books.

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Old 09-05-2019, 07:16 AM   #1
Matt Buckley
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Default Current Obsession w/Kantara to El Arish

I am rediscovering Kantara to El Arish. Brilliant, brilliant tune.

I have a question about just one note, but I think it actually makes a difference in the feel of the tune. In the 1939 Fergussan collection, found in Ceol Sean, my focus is on the Third Part. In the 5th measure, the 4th note is shown as E. In the 1st measure, the 4th note is shown as F#. But in several other collections, the 4th note, 5th measure, is shown as F#, just like the 1st measure.

I actually really like the E in the 5th measure. I think it makes a subtle, but very cool, and beautiful, difference in the tune.

Is the Fergussan setting an outlier? But didn't he write it? A typo perhaps?

I know this is not of earth shattering import, but I'm curious as to what other folks play.
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Last edited by Matt Buckley; 09-05-2019 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:19 AM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Current Obsession w/Kantara to El Arish

Great tune, one of my favorites.

It is a misprint proven within the sheet music itself. It lists the 3rd part ending as the 2nd ending to the 4th part but it writes it all over again, and with an F#, not an E.

I note that these alternate 2nd endings for the 2nd and 4th parts is unique to the version in Fergusson’s book. I wonder why that is? Willie Ross (book 1) has no second endings, but Fergusson wrote the tune. The timing of the 1st and 5th bars, 3rd part is also altered to cut the D whereas Fergusson has you dot the D; I’ve only recently switch to Fergusson’s version in the last couple years after hearing Mike Cusack and Iain MacFadyen play it with the dotted D (on recordings). Fergusson’s version deviates from just about every version I’ve heard in that he writes a C to precede the doubling D -> C -> grip E instead of an E (2nd and 3rd parts, last note of 5th bar); playing a C puts them in line with the 4th part. Lastly, Fergusson writes a dotted B, cut E at the end of the 7th bar in every part, opposite of what I’ve always heard.

Thanks for making me aware of Fergusson’s arrangement, I’ve played this tune far longer than I’ve had any sort of website and so I had never thought to look it up.

Last edited by Patrick McLaurin; 09-05-2019 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:20 AM   #3
Matt Buckley
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Default Re: Current Obsession w/Kantara to El Arish

Patrick -

Thanks for the reply. You may well be correct. But I'm not completely convinced it's a typo, given that Fergussan wrote it and it is in the Fergussan collection. And the E works.

No matter. I'm not competing with it, and I'll just enjoy playing that lovely E in the privacy of my home. Overall, I do love the original Fergussan setting. I wonder why others saw fit to change it, and remove the endings. The setting is more interesting, and varied, that any other setting I've found.
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