Let’s begin today by learning this Joropo right hand pattern:
There are so many rhythmic layers in Joropo music created between the harpist’s left hand and right hand patterns and also between the different instruments. We have seen how there is often a strong juxtaposition of 2 against 3 between the harpist’s left hand and right hand within one measure of 6/8. In the following excerpt from “La Quirpa Llanera”, notice how the left hand creates a 3 against 2 syncopation across the bar line when 2 measures of 6/8 are grouped together.
**Suggested review of relative major/minor scales in the Harp Composition Toolbox section; Scales Lesson**
Many joropos have a song form of two contrasting sections switching from the major key to the relative minor key. This structure is utilized in the Joropo “La Quirpa Llanera” included in the previous lesson.
Often times, the melodies, chordal patterns, and bass lines played in the major key will then be diatonically transposed (tonal transposition) to the relative minor key. We can see this transposition happen in “Lamento Apureño” where the melody is first stated in the major key (in this case C Major) and then transposed down a third to the relative minor key (in this case A minor). Notice in the excerpt below how the melody and bass line in measures 21-24 are exactly the same as measures 17-20, just moved down 3 notes.
Laitz, Steven G. (2008). The Complete Musician, An Integrated Approach to Tonal Theory, Analysis, and Listening (2nd Ed., pp. 371-372). Oxford University Press.
Assignment: Our harps are tuned to the key of F major right now so the major key will be F major and the relative minor will be D minor. Choose which key you would like to start with and then compose an 8 measure phrase using the right hand pattern we learned in class. Next, transpose your phrase to the relative major or minor (depending on which key you started in). If you start in F Major, move your pattern down three strings. If you start in D minor, move your pattern up 3 strings. Always count the string your finger is on as 1 so if I start my pattern on an F string and want to transpose it down, I count F as 1, E as 2, and D as 3 (D being my transposition destination). Below is an example of a two measure phrase I composed in F Major and then transposed down to D minor.