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Old 07-30-2008, 08:23 AM   #11
bugz
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piperwalton
I don't know for sure, but I suspect that they WOULD be considered false by judges in light music.
Well, I wasn't sure, but since Andrew says he plays all his high A's this way (I assume for both piob and light music), I was wondering if he had ever gotten an adverse comment from the judges on this.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:23 AM   #12
ratherbpiping
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

This is a question I raised some time ago. There is a tonal difference betwwen the Hi G F down and the open high G. But it seems people are more concerned about the apearances, and worry about false fingering the high G in Piob, by playing an open high G rather than a F down high G. If playing piob, I would think you could tune your chanter to get a tonal piob high G while fingering a open high G. So why is there so much concern over the "False" Fingering. I would think the False Fingering really should be considered if it causes tonal issues. for example you tune for a open high g and play both in the same piece of music. Then different high Gs would have different tones, which is not right. I figure the same discussion could be had about High A and C. With G however, there seems to be variance and different preferences over the tuning of that note. Preferences seem to vary from -4 to -30 cents.(light music)

I had an interesting conversation with a guitarist this past weekend. He would finger chords differently depending on where he was coming from and where he was going to. Same chords but different hand positions. We don't necessarily have that option, as we tune for our fingering, and alternate fingering will vary,tonally.

But if you are tuned for notes played with a certain fingering, why should it be considered false fingering, if the notes you play are in tune? While saying this, I do think that students should be taught "standard accepted" fingering. But once they hit the uper grades, why should it matter what fingering they use. Who has the authority to slam Terry Lee for playing an F down high A if it does not affect the tone.

I have seen two people play this style in light music and have herd tht Terry Lee plays this way as well.

I too learned pipes with an open C but converted easily when I realized I was not conforming to the norm. Other than the Tchums, I prefer the closed C. I think it stablizes the chanter better.


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Old 07-30-2008, 10:16 AM   #13
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugz
... but since Andrew says he plays all his high A's this way (I assume for both piob and light music), I was wondering if he had ever gotten an adverse comment from the judges on this.
It's never been specifically mentioned. I did have a judge ask who my instructor was after my (light music) performance out of mild curiosity but later awarded me 1st place. No known negative effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratherbpiping
I too learned pipes with an open C but converted easily when I realized I was not conforming to the norm. Other than the Tchums, I prefer the closed C.
I wasn't around during that conversion time, but my understanding that rising chanter pitches had a part to play in the fingering change. With current pitches and chanter designs, there is a fairly significant tonal difference on most chanters between the two C fingerings. As for whether that difference is always bad or even noticeable for very quick movements is open to debate. I remember Jimmy McColl complaining about a young judge who nicked him for playing an Open C (knocked him to 2nd place, if I recall correctly) while Jimmy considered it completely acceptable given the tune. These days, nearly all judges will always consider it an error.

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Old 07-30-2008, 11:28 AM   #14
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

I played my current tune (The Rout of the MacPhees) for critique at the recent Payson Games in Utah. The 1st Variation is a thumb variation and is peppered with High As.

I play the F down High A when I play piobaireachd, and the judge told me afterwards that it was nice to see. He said that many of the young players today that he listens to (not that I'm claiming to be young) are not taught this fingering.

I'm not sure if this is connected, but it sounds as though my chanter reed is crowing just a tiny bit more with the piob HA fingering than with the light music HA. Anyone else noticed this? (I play a Sheppard reed in a McCallum poly chanter, btw.)
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

I had one judge tell me after a piob competition that he noticed I did not play F down Hi A. While he did not mark me down, he suggestd others would. I asked another judge if that was true and he said that "Old School" I would have been marked down, but the normal High A is acceptable now. But for safety sake it may be wise to adopt the F down high A. I fail to see the need on a piece that is designed to play solo. (other than to impress a judge)

Interesting thought though as some bands are starting to play piobs or parts of them nyway. It may be difficult to match the F down G and normal G on everyones chanters at the same time. So it would probably be easier to just have the normal hi G played. The then traditionalist will really go bezerk. Bands playing piob with open high Gs. What can be more shamefull.

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Old 07-30-2008, 06:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

The piobaireachd High G flattens the note G as does the high A with the F finger down.

It is acceptable to play either high A and no judge would even comment unless it caused a flat high A or technical issues. I know a lot of pipes have difficulty playing High A to F to and E doubling using the "piob High A" in light music.

My main tutor and mentor used to play a piob high A in all music. I was initially taught this for piobaireachd only. I was told it was so an Edre from high A could be played. I had no difficulty playing it from a standard high A, didn't like the flatter tone of the note, so I changed and now play a standard high A in everything. No-one has ever commented.

A local piper, who was a student of John McDonald, Inverness, and whose father was a gold medallist also, taught students to play with a standard high A in piobaireachd. We still have a few and I now follow suit. So this is nothing new!
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

Has anyone stopped to think why certain fingering is played?

Forget about which School taught what, maybe it was just a carry-over from old practices, such as in the 'early days' when pipers adjusted their fingering to ensure the notes were in tune. This is similar to fingering on the tin whistle (or other wind instruments, e.g. recorder) where there several fingerings (sic.) for some of the notes. The 'correct' fingering to play is the one that is in tune. For example, the fingering may differ slightly between different makers, or even differently pitched instruments (e.g. low/high whistle). It makes sense that this would apply to the pipes too.

My 2c worth (which is worth more in the US these days!)

Geoff from Bannockburn (Aust.)
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMT
The piobaireachd High G flattens the note G as does the high A with the F finger down.
Yes, but this can also be accomplished with chanter set up. So if you obtain a properly tuned high g with out the f down, why should a player be penalized?

Same question for the high a oand open C
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Jones
Has anyone stopped to think why certain fingering is played?

It makes sense that this would apply to the pipes too.
Not really, All chanters are supposed to be tuned the same. more or less. For the most part it is not as though we have chanters of different scales.

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Old 07-31-2008, 10:07 PM   #20
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Default Re: Finger placement on High A in piobaireachd

I have seen a piper play piob G with his E finger down in major competition. He was not criticised for it, because it sounded true. His comment was that he changed to it as he couldn't get the note to sound true with the F finger down. It is not the first time I have seen this done.

I have never heard of someone penalized for playing either type of high A, or for that matter an open C in solos, unless is sounded wrong?
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