About the Simple Harmonies
We’ve included one example of simple harmonization for each tune – as mentioned in the ECD Performance Practice info, there are infinite ways to create harmonies for these melodies. The ones included here are rhythmically (mostly) parallel with the melodies, don’t veer far afield, and tend towards 3rds and 6ths where applicable. The harmonic range in our examples hangs mostly lower than the melody. As with all of the sheet music, take it as a starting point, and simplify or make more complex as you wish. Harmony parts of course can move along at a slower rate or use rhythmic divisions, or use countermelodies or parallels or chords (etc)., so you are never stuck with any one strategy. Go forth and Adventure!
About the Transcriptions: Caveats
The Phantoms thought long and hard about including transcriptions of our performances. It was eventually decided that they might be helpful in providing illustrations of some of the kinds of things that can be done, but caveats are necessary to prevent mis-applications.
We do not in any way want to imply that what we have recorded is the “right” or best way to play these tunes. Since ECD playing is mostly improvisatory, our performances change every time. The recordings are merely snapshots of what experienced ECD musicians might invent on the fly at a dance. These transcriptions are not made to be played in performance situations, but the underlying concepts may provide some instruction.
The actual transcriptions are not exact. While most of the notes are correct, little attempt has been made to notate the ornamentations and styling of the playing. The same symbols are sometimes used for very different ornaments. Ornamentations are often instrument-specific, and are highly individual. They cannot be conveyed exactly with written music (dots); listening is the only way to learn. We encourage you to listen, and then to experiment to develop your own individual style.