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BGP 12-09-2018 10:01 AM

Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
In looking through old, 19thcentury, settings such as on the Ceol Sean online library; I’ve often encountered odd grip/strike like embellishments (particularly in jigs) some of these appear to be playable as irregular grips and some are more obscure. Is anyone aware of any resource, article et cetera explaining or examining these and other odd/outdated movements?http://imgur.com/gallery/eLUmb1G
http://imgur.com/gallery/agIE7AX
https://imgur.com/gallery/agIE7AX
https://imgur.com/gallery/eLUmb1G

CalumII 12-09-2018 10:07 AM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
Nothing systematic, but one point worth noting is that the modern distinction between melody note and gracenote is not always observed. In particular, the D gracenote of a grip was often written as a semiquaver, and sometimes it bears careful thinking about what the writer's intent might have been, and investigating different fingering possibilities.



I think some writers were more accurate than others in capturing what they actually did: for example, I think Gunn's book, though strange to our fingers at time is all playable musically in some sense. I've found Donald MacDonald's light music, at times, to be much more difficult to realise, even with the application of musical imagination!

LloydB 12-09-2018 12:18 PM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CalumII (Post 1333364)
[snipped]

I think some writers were more
accurate than others in capturing
what they actually did:

There's little doubt about that.

It's difficult to write down concurrently,
or possibly long after the fact, what we
'think' we were doing, or what we 'think'
someone else IS playing, or what we
'recall' hearing someone play.

"But... wasn't that a Grip from LowG?"

While grateful for the folks who spent so
much time 'collecting' tunes, in the 1700's,
for example... they had the same problems
that we have.

And then... copying and printing errors,
etc., and changes in 'styles' of how we
notate and print embellishments.

Some printed embellishment 'variations'
I've found are closer to what's done,
than our 'standard' notation dictates. ;-)

BGP 12-10-2018 07:21 AM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
In the second example the tune contains a number of 'normally' written grips, so I'm assuming with this 'open' one the middle note of the grip is fatter than usual to create the jig type group of 3 notes. in the case of the first example I'm assuming a 'fat gracenote' from low G to low A is how it would be played, again for the jig 3... were I playing these jigs I would probably convert these to mod GDE jig groups.


But really what I'm wanting is to find an article or other resource in which older ways (before our current more standardized method) of playing light music are discussed.

Aaron Shaw 12-10-2018 08:53 AM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
You might look for Decker Forrest's thesis.


https://www.pipesdrums.com/article/P...ed-to-Forrest/

CalumII 12-10-2018 04:13 PM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BGP (Post 1333391)
In the second example the tune contains a number of 'normally' written grips, so I'm assuming with this 'open' one the middle note of the grip is fatter than usual to create the jig type group of 3 notes. in the case of the first example I'm assuming a 'fat gracenote' from low G to low A is how it would be played, again for the jig 3... were I playing these jigs I would probably convert these to mod GDE jig groups.


It's a taorluath - these were commonly written with an extra melody note that is not conventionally played nowadays. Whether it ever was is a can of worms best not opened in an innocent thread like this.


Donaldson's Highland Pipe & Scottish Society has a good chapter on light music evolution.



In general, though, I'd encourage you to attack the settings themselves and see what they tell you.

pancelticpiper 12-11-2018 04:34 AM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Shaw (Post 1333392)
You might look for Decker Forrest's thesis.


https://www.pipesdrums.com/article/P...ed-to-Forrest/

Where might one find the thesis? It sounds very interesting!

LloydB 12-11-2018 10:54 AM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pancelticpiper (Post 1333411)
Where might one find the thesis? It sounds very interesting!

Apparently published, likely out of print -- possibly available
through St. Andrews Graduate Office? Bookstores? Library?

https://books.google.com/books/about...d=PSMFcgAACAAJ

Ceòl Beag : the development and performance practice
of the 'small music' of the highland bagpipe (c. 1820-1966)

Author: John Decker Forrest; Royal Scottish Academy of
Music and Drama.; University of St. Andrews.

Publisher: Glasgow ; St Andrews, 2009.

Dissertation: Thesis (Ph. D.)--Royal Scottish Academy
of Music and Drama, November 2009.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of St Andrews, November 2009.

Series: University of St Andrews thesis (Ph. D.)

LloydB 12-11-2018 06:55 PM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pancelticpiper (Post 1333411)
Where might one find the thesis? It sounds very interesting!

This should get you there.

https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/library...ctions/theses/

http://library.st-andrews.ac.uk/record=b1665797~S5

But there's no indication of copies for sale or off-site loan.

Barry Shears 12-14-2018 10:26 AM

Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments
 
Hello,
Just a quick note to say that many of these archaic embellishments were still played among the last few ear trained pipers in Cape Breton and the west coast of Newfoundland until quite recently. I have always found David Glen's tutor helpful in identifying many of these embellishments, and to actually hear them being played has been a treat for me. It is interesting to see, using the printed musical scores, how much pipe music has changed from one century to the next. The early form of embellishment was not unlike other bagpipe traditions in Europe using the finger just above the melody note for ornamentation. This can be heard in the doublings on B and C using 2 D grace notes instead of the easier G and D grace notes on these doublings.
One thing I noticed, as you no doubt you have also, was the elimination of many of these 19th century embellishments, in favour of a more homogenous style which came in among the champion competitive pipers of the very early 20th century (Ross, Maclennan, Henderson,etc) and trickled down to others over the decades supported by modern written scores.
I wrote a little something about archaic fingering technique for the Pipers' gathering a few years ago and I am currently expanding the piece for general reading. It should be ready sometime in the new year and I will let everyone know when it becomes available.
cheers,
Barry


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