COMPOSING WITH A FOLK SONG

In the final section of the program, we explore how a composer might use a folk melody as a point of departure for an "abstract" musical composition, often using only the melody without the text. The composer might embellish the melody, break it into fragments, vary its speed, harmony and register and combine it with other tunes. Often, composers are attracted to a particular tune because of the political, emotional or historic significance of the text. However, once the folk melody becomes part of the "abstract" composition and is divorced from the lyrics, it takes on a life of its own, with new functions and meanings.

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