Originally posted by sbhikes2
I don't think you guys read the sentences that followed. There are notes that must be played for it to be this tune and not that one, but overall it is the chords that form the tune.
A super simple example is that a lot of tunes end with BGAF#G. That would be chords GDG. Does it really matter if you play BGAF#G or if you play BBAAG or BCAF#G or BCDF#G? Is the tune police going to correct you if you play that little thing different each time? Of course not. What matters is you riffed on that GDG chord thing to end the phrase.
I've observed enough variations among tunes to see that what makes them all the same are a few key phrases and the overall chords. The variations and differences are in all the other notes. It can sound like a completely different tune sometimes, but I've noticed that the chords stayed the same.
I see what you're getting at now. Sure, that works, but sometimes that turn around is part of what separates the tune from the rest and how one plays it does matter. Otherwise the tunes get blurred into one another. They are often more unique than folks think.
What Doug said regarding rhythm is true. It's hard to have a tune without a rhythm to hang it on. Beyond that, as much as I like harmony and chords, I can't see how they're considered the essence of a fiddle tune at all. A fiddle tune is a melody, plain and simple.
I agree, the particular order of the notes makes the tune, if the notes are changed in anyway then it's a variation of the original tune. The harmonization of a tune isn't static because the tune can be harmonized in many ways. The same harmony can belong to many tunes, but that doesn't mean it would be acceptable to play them simultaneously. But, all melodies involve harmony, the melodic movement creates the harmony. As in Arabic music where one chord only can be played to function as the harmony, and by analysing Bach's solo music there are chords/harmony changes practically on every bar. Give a proficient improvisor a chord progression and he'll make up tunes all day, there may not be any repetitions that's because many tunes can be played over the same harmony.
'Chin rest' 1 day
'The Nightingale' 1 day
'The Nightingale.' 1 day
'"Downfall of Paris"' 2 days