The Fiddle Tune Secret, Part One

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Many fiddle tunes follow the same form. In addition to the popular AABB structure, almost every fiddle tune melody falls into a four phrase format: 2 bar question, 2 bar answer, repeat of the 2 bar question, and the final 2 bar statement (commonly referred to as the tag). This form can be seen in countless tunes such as “Old Joe Clark”, “Soldier’s Joy”, “Salt Creek”, and “Temperance Reel.” There is also an exact phrase length that seems to be favored. While there are endless rhythmic and melodic variations it is this phrase length that will enable you to hear, play, and improvise over fiddle tunes.