Tom Dooley

Limited range, syncopated rhythms, and submediant arpeggios (vi, Dm) using the pentatonic scale.

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  • Grade: Fifth
  • Origin: USA - Traditional Ballad - 1866
  • Key: F Major
  • Time: 4/4
  • Form: ABA - chorus/verse/chorus
  • Rhythmintermediate: | ti ta ti ta ta | syncopation, | ta/a ta/a | ta/a/a/a | ta/a/a ta | ti ta/ ta ta | syncopation, | ta ta/a ta | ta ta ti ta/ | syncopation
  • Pitchesbeginners: So La Do Re Mi - pentatonic scale
  • IntervalsintermediateLa/Do/Mi ascending submediant arpeggio (vi, Dm), Mi\So (M6), Re\So (P5), Mi\Do\La descending submediant arpeggio (vi, Dm), Do\So (P4), La/Do (m3)
  • Musical Elements: notes: whole, dotted half, half, dotted quarter, quarter, eighth; pickup beat, syncopation, chorus/verse/chorus, D.C. al Fine, Fine, two double barlines; noteuse of the minor arpeggio (vi, Dm) and ending with a minor third gives the tune a minor quality using the pentatonic scale
  • Key Words: USA history; USA geography: Wilkes County, North Carolina, Tennessee; murder of Laura Foster by Tom Dula (Dooley); hanging, tomorrow, Grayson (Tom's boss who turned him in), lonesome, white oak tree; contractions: I'll (I will), hadn't (had not), I'd (I would); abbreviation: hangin' (hanging);
    southern USA vocabulary: reckon (thought)
  • Recorderintermediate: playing in F Major, syncopation, ascending and descending submediant arpeggios (vi, Dm), pentatonic scale, practicing pitches in the lower register

Based on the 1866 murder of a woman named Laura Foster in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Col. James Grayson, a Tennessee politician, had hired Tom Dula (Dooley) on his farm when he fled North Carolina.


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