Lesson Plan


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Lesson notes

Ashokan Farewell is an instrumental written by Jay Unger in 1982. It became famous when Ken Burns used it as the main theme for his 1990 documentary The Civil War. The piece is a two-part fiddle tune in the style of a Scottish lament. Jay’s band, Fiddle Fever recorded the original, which was used in the documentary. The tune started off with the fiddle playing the melody solo, then a strumming guitar came in, followed by a guitar solo.

This lesson is presented as a duet for two guitars, starting with a basic strumming accompaniment, then a basic way of playing the melody, and also looks at the more complicated strumming accompaniment as well as the guitar solo. There is a closing segment going over some typical fiddle embellishments and ornaments.