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Old 12-10-2017, 03:13 AM   #17
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Devon
Posts: 75
Default Re: Condensed Echo Beats

Originally Posted by Neill Mulvie View Post
Is it not likely that there were strong regional variations in piobaireachd style and that it is not possible to say which is the original style. The proponents of the "I was taught in the one true way" approach seem to me to do more damage to the art than good.
I like this point, and basically agree. But I think there is more to be said. People tend to polarize their positions, and in this case the two extremes seem to be "it's all just healthy variation" vs "the one true path."

I once wrote in an introduction to accompanying Irish traditional music "there is no one correct chord sequence for a given tune, but many incorrect ones." I think the same principle applies here. We have seen that genuine errors can become orthodoxy, and in this context the combination of strong loyalty to the teacher's style and the strange mix of an oral and written tradition mean that actual errors can definitely creep in.

Of course the definition of an "error" is ultimately subjective, or at least un-provable, but that is is why I consider the the recordings of George Moss to be so hugely valuable, as his knowledge and experience seem to span a transition between an older, more traditionally Gaelic approach and a new approach which had a lot to do with Army piping and standardization for competition.

There is a sincerity in his voice and a balance, where he tries to honour the new way but repeatedly states, almost reluctantly, that various aspects of the new style are simply wrong - things like grounds not agreeing with the variations rhythmically, or the rhythm being broken by misplaced cadences etc. These are examples of things which it is possible to simply "get wrong," rather than things which are just variations in interpretation.

So my main point is that I actually believe George Moss when he talks of errors in the new style.

Another perhaps equally important point is that the condensed echo beats just don't sound convincing to me. They sound harsh and musically aggressive. The way George Moss and Barrie Orme play them sounds a whole lot better to me.

Last edited by Robin73; 12-10-2017 at 03:28 AM.
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