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Old 12-14-2018, 11:26 AM   #10
Barry Shears
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: capebretonpiper.comHalifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 970
Default Re: Odd/obsolete embellishments

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.
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