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Old 12-22-2017, 11:32 AM   #1
Robin73
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Default Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

I read recently an early quote from someone about the structure of Piobaireached consisting of four phrases of varying length, but I can't find it again. Can anyone point out the source please?
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:53 PM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

As a stab in the dark, it sounds rather like Joseph MacDonald's description. The question is where you read it! It's quite widely quoted.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:14 PM   #3
Robin73
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Default Re: Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
The question is where you read it!
Any reference/link will do. I just want to check the wording.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:40 PM   #4
moderntraditional
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Default Re: Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

Well,

You can download a full color reproduction of Joseph MacDonald here:

http://www.altpibroch.com/j/
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:44 PM   #5
Robin73
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Default Re: Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by moderntraditional View Post
Well,

You can download a full color reproduction of Joseph MacDonald here:

http://www.altpibroch.com/j/
That's very kind, but it's overkill for my current needs. I just want to check the wording of that one paragraph...
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:54 AM   #6
will103
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Default Re: Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin73 View Post
That's very kind, but it's overkill for my current needs. I just want to check the wording of that one paragraph...
Hi, is this what you are looking for?

"Of further interest is the structure of 'Fannet', which Campbell in the NL has written in three lines; it quite clearly conforms to the older pattern of composition mentioned by Joseph MacDonald in his Treatise, of four lines or 'fingers' of equal length, merely by making each line contain an equal amount of phrases. This give the tune a pleasingly logical (and easier to remember) structure. It also
indicates that this pattern was known to MacCrimmon, and is therefore older and more fundamental to pibroch structure than the clumsy three-lined pattern so widely used in modern
publications."

http://www.piobaireachd.co.uk/wp-con.../12/Fannet.pdf

It also makes more sense when you consider the internal symmetry of tunes. So, for example primary structure is in the modern sense considered as:

AAB
ABB
AB

Using info from Joseph, it may well have been:

AABA
BBAB

Ta, will
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:57 AM   #7
will103
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Default Re: Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

Hi, the following article by Barnaby Brown is worth reading if you are interested in this stuff:

http://pibroch.net/articles/bjb/2005-iii.pdf

Ta, will
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:37 AM   #8
Robin73
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Default Re: Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

Thanks everyone. I've now found it:

“Their Adagios when regular, commonly
consisted of 4 Quarters. In each
Quarter there were Such a number of
Fingers (which we Count as Bars) 2, 4,
or 8 as the Quarter was Long or short.” - Joseph MacDonald

(In part one of the Barnaby Brown article.)

I'm not sure what to make of it. Taken out of context at face value, depending on the meaning implied by the word "regular," this could in theory describe a structure with 4 varying phrase-lengths such as 8,8,4,4 or 2,4,2,8 or any other of the possible permutations.

Perhaps it is more likely that 2,2,2,2 or 4,4,4,4 or 8,8,8,8 was intended?

I've tried hearing tunes like "the Bells of Perth" and "the End of the Great Bridge" with the bars grouped in 4s, but I'm not yet convinced that the composer intended something different to the more superficially obvious 6,6,4 arrangement.

Food for thought though. I might dive into some of the writing on the subject, but I'm slightly put off by the not immediately (to me) intuitive or understandable use of lower and upper case letters to represent tune structure.
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Old 12-23-2017, 03:17 AM   #9
will103
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Default Re: Early Reference about Structure of Piobaireachd

Hi Robin,

"Food for thought though. I might dive into some of the writing on the subject, but I'm slightly put off by the not immediately (to me) intuitive or understandable use of lower and upper case letters to represent tune structure."

I agree with you. I am ok with Primary but the rest - phew. I enjoyed reading "History and Structure of Ceol Mor" by Alexander John Haddow. He looks at the structures in a slightly different way than prior writers. Ta, Will
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