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Published on Jan 21, 2011
This is a nice old-time tune in A modal that I picked up from listening to Reed Martin's "Old Time Banjo" CD. This is a completely different tune than the tune by the same name in D major. While it is sometimes characterized as Mixolydian, it is actually a hexatonic tune, with only six, rather than seven notes in the scale. It is missing the third degree of the scale, the note which- depending on whether it were a major or minor third- would allow it to be properly characterized as either Dorian or Mixolydian. Old time tunes are often modally ambiguous for lots of reasons, one of which, like here, is that there are not enough notes to tell. This tune is probably related to the old ballad about jealousy and murder which sometimes has the same name.