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GUEST,Okiemockbird Dylan's use of Trad music? (101* d) RE: Dylan's use of Trad music? 11 May 00

Well, I went and bought a Dylan CD (it was on sale) and the sleeve notes and credits are just as they were in 1963. If you read carefully you will discover that "Bob Dylan's Dream", "Honey, Just Allow me One More Chance", and "Corrina, Coririna" aren't fully original in both words and/or music, but there's nothing in the notes to "Girl from the North Country" or "Masters of War" to indicate Dylan's sources. One must discover those sources for oneself.

I find annoying his affected vocal style and his rhythmic imprecision. He seems good at writing, or in some cases re-writing words, though, and when he works from what I know, or suspect, is a traditional tune, he picks a good one.

The tune to "Masters of War" is certainly "Nottamun Town". It seems very close to what I remember of the Ritchie version, and it's also very close to "Fair Nottiman Town", the version that appeared in Wyman and Brockway's Twenty Kentucky Mountain Songs, Oliver Ditson, Boston, 1920, pp. 6-9, which I quote here. In W&B it was set in D-sharp minor. I've put it formally in D-dorian, but since the air is pentatonic (D, F, G, A, C) it can be harmonized in D-minor (with B-flat) also.

X: 1
T: Fair Nottiman Town
C: Kentucky Traditional. Wyman and Brockway, Twenty Kentucky Mountain Songs, Boston, Oliver Ditson, 1920.
M: 3/8
K: C
L: 1/8
z2 D | F2 D | F2 G | A c c | A2 G | (A c) c |
d2 c/A/ | dc c | A2 G | A G A | c A G |
F D D | F2 G | A G A | c A G | F C C | D3 ||

Thanks, everyone, for the thoughts & comments.


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