Folk Music (Celtic)
Tonality and harmony
Folk music tends to be modal. Instead of major and minor chords you have a set of modes.
Here are the different modes:
W = whole step (whole tone) H = half step (semitone)
Ionian (the major scale): W, W, H, W, W, W, H.
Dorian: W, H, W, W, W, H, W.
Phrygian: H, W, W, W, H, W, W.
Lydian: W, W, W, H, W, W, H.
Mixolydian: W, W, H, W, W, H, W.
Aeolian (the minor scale): W, H, W, W, H, W, W.
Locrian: H, W, W, H, W, W, W.
A DRONE is a continuously held or repeated note.
The CHORDS used in folk music are often open fifths. For example, A + E.
An OSTINATO is a persistant phrase or motif repeated over several bars or more.
Rhythm and meter
Most folk music uses a range of interesting rhythms.