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Houston Area Traditional Dance Society

Houston Area Traditional Dance Society

Contra Dan's Rehearsal Review: Far Away

Far Away is a popular waltz written in 1985 by Peter Jung.

We sometimes play it as a straight waltz twice through, and then change to a "latin" rhythm for three more times. The change is inspired by the two measures of syncopation near the end of the B music, bars 13 and 14.

The first two times through the tune the rhythm section plays the usual, simple oom-pah-pah waltz accompaniment with the bass playing on beats 1 and 3. The chord changes on the two syncopated measures come on beats 1 and 3 as shown in Example 1.

Two versions of the syncopated measures

Example of chord placement in the two syncopated measures. In #1, the chords change on 1 and 3. In the "latin" variant (#2), the chord changes match the melodic syncopation.

Starting on the third iteration of the tune, the rhythm section changes to eighth notes, six per measure. The bass continues to play on 1 and 3; it can also play on all three beats.

Because the rhythm section is playing more notes per measure, the waltz may feel faster, but the tempo does not change.

The melody is played the same at all times except the syncopation of bars 13 and 14 is emphasized in the "latin" style, as in Example 2.

Here's the tricky bit: on the two measures of syncopation, the chord changes—including the bass notes—come on the 1st and 4th eighth notes, matching the syncopation of the melody. Again see Example 2.

Here is the waltz played twice through by the computer, first normally and then with the "latin" styling in the rhythm section:

Hope This Helps!