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Music Discuss specific tunes, the writing of tunes, other questions, concerns, etc. related specifically to the music or music books.

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Old 07-20-2020, 08:56 AM   #21
CalumII
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

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Precisely...we are folk musicians playing a folk instrument..play it the way you like.

But that's extremely misleading. Even if you accept that individual players can and should vary and rearrange what they play - by no means an accepted standard in mainstream highland piping - there are still many ways to play something that is unidiomatic and unpleasant.


To some extent, the modern light competition music has crystallised on the settings that were played in the inter-war period, although the style has continued to change drastically. The question of why that is and why light music stopped innovating some time around the death of GS MacLennan is an interesting one, if perhaps slightly tangential to this thread.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:45 AM   #22
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

I simply like knowing what the composer intended. For those tunes that do qualify as folk tunes with an unknown composer, obviously the previous statement does not apply; arrange away.

Anyways.....any other examples I might note in the errata that Iíve added to the Pekaar encyclopedia?
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:18 PM   #23
magsevenband
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

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But that's extremely misleading. Even if you accept that individual players can and should vary and rearrange what they play - by no means an accepted standard in mainstream highland piping - there are still many ways to play something that is unidiomatic and unpleasant.


To some extent, the modern light competition music has crystallised on the settings that were played in the inter-war period, although the style has continued to change drastically. The question of why that is and why light music stopped innovating some time around the death of GS MacLennan is an interesting one, if perhaps slightly tangential to this thread.
I've heard quite a few tunes that have benefited from a good re arranging, some even transposed to a different time signature...far from what the original composer intended...one could say the original composition was "unidiomatic and unpleasant"..also, the Irish influence lately has resulted in less hold and cut and a more rounded approach to standard Highland tunes...I see it more popular with the young folks as well..their's is a more folk based approach...I'm fine with it.
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:42 PM   #24
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

I think we're very lucky to have had composers like Pipe Major Donald MacLeod, Pipe Major George S MacLennan, Pipe Major John MacLellan, Dunoon, Archie MacNeill, and many, many more. The music they made was not "folk" music, it was classic composition and pure genius and I think the point is simply that it shouldn't be mucked about with.

I don't think anyone would get very far "rearranging" the works of Bach, Beethoven, or Berlioz; it's no different in piping.

Traditional "folk" tunes, maybe; but all too often you hear versions which don't even follow the simple systemic method of embellishment which our music is based on.

Poor playing is poor playing, no matter the guise it's wrapped in.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:47 PM   #25
CalumII
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

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Anyways.....any other examples I might note in the errata that Iíve added to the Pekaar encyclopedia?

One more I'm not sure about: Mary Anderson of Lochranza, last line, first note of second bar - C or E? C is consistent, but is perfectly musically plausible (Jim MacGillivray plays it). It was published in DJ's book 1 with an E, in the collected compositions with a C - does anyone know who edited and typeset the complete compositions?
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:21 PM   #26
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

Along the same lines, I was docked (or perhaps lectured) for one of my first piobaireachd comps. I had no Piob. instructor, so I simply chose a tune on Pipes/Drums website and listened to the Canntaireachd religously (Lament for the Only Son). The manuscript I used wrote out the burls with the individual grace notes. Since the Canntaireachd recording sung in that manner aswell, I played like that.

It wasn't years later that some like Allan MacDonald, and the Alt Pibroch group suggested that was how it was originally played.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:24 AM   #27
bob864
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

A few years ago my instructor became an EUSPBA judge. Part of the piobaireached certification, iirc, involved learning the misprints. The idea being that a judge should not penalize a competitor for playing the tune as published, but also that a judge should know what the "right" setting is too.

It seems like the current EUSPBA standards for judges are really high, at least from a knowledge and expertise standpoint. At one of the workshops my instructor attended the host explained that piping judges are effectively curators of culture. What they pick as winners will become the standard.
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:59 AM   #28
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

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FWIW, I throw my hat in with the high G instead of the grip and the "extra" throw in the second part of David Ross of Rosehall. But I also have a really good throw
Well, I've put my recordings where my mouth is and finally got around to recording David Ross of Rosehall with the changes mentioned. I hope I did it justice!

http://www.patrickmclaurin.com/wordp...-gorm-keel.mp3
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:32 PM   #29
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

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While we're on this topic, here's one that not many people seem to pick up on - the fourth bar of the third part of John MacDonald - cut up to E through B or C? Lots of people doing both and until I see a manuscript in Willie Lawrie's hand, I'm genuinely not sure who to believe. I personally prefer the C, on musical grounds, but the B is definitely easier...wonder if that's why Inverary play it? .
In the ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS PIPE MUSIC collection (page 40) the note in question is a C. But in Willie Lawrie's grandson's collection, THE LAWRIE COLLECTION (page 8), which is made for the accordion, it is a b.

I asked the editors of the A&S collection via their FB page if their settings of Lawrie's tunes are based on his original mss. The response didn't really say yes or no, just that they had settled on the best settings of Lawrie's tunes after consulting a great many sources. I was particularly interested in "Captain Carswell" because their setting is very different from the setting I learned.

It would be great if someone would publish facsimiles of the classic 2/4 marches in their original ms form, the way the PS offers various sources for comparison and study. Lawrie is one of my favorite composers of all time so I am very interested in playing his tunes the way he intended them to be played.

I have tried to track down Lawrie's mss, and have a contact in Scotland who claims to have access to them, but so far my contact has not shared them with me, or how they differ from published settings.
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Last edited by John Dally; 09-14-2020 at 11:35 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:24 AM   #30
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

I'm in the middle of these things.

The Highland piper in me wants to track down the composer's original and hold it up as "the correct setting" and look askance at people who play it differently.

It's aggravating to me how trad Irish players always play Atholl Highlanders wrongly, putting A's in the second part where there should be B's, and never knowing about the second ending of the 3rd part.

On the other hand, the traditional Irish musician in me wants to ignore all that.

Because in that genre the tunes are transmitted and learned by ear. Few people read music. For one thing, they tend to regard written versions with suspicion, and often rightly so, because the people who write down Irish traditional music usually aren't good players and don't really understand what it is that they're writing.

It's like you make a Venn Diagram and one circle has the people who are really good at playing Irish trad music and the other circle is the people who are really good at transcribing things in Staff Notation and the two circles have virtually no overlap.

Printed collections of Irish music aren't viewed as evil, just irrelevant.

Thus any tune taken into the tradition is subject to 'the process of folk transmission". The poster child for that was The Clumsy Lover. I had seen Neil Dickie's band play it not long after he composed it.

Within a year it was the "new hot tune" at Irish sessions all over the world. But what they were playing amazed me. The tune had lost some parts, had gained some parts, and the parts were scrambled in various sequences (never like Dickie's original). They viewed Clumsy Lover like any other traditional Irish tune: whichever setting they happened to hear was "the correct setting". When I mentioned that the tune was only a couple years old and in print they looked at me like I had horns growing out of my head.

However I must say that various pipe bands, including Grade One bands, came up with their own versions of Clumsy Lover, distilled down to four parts etc.

Also when I heard Gordon Walker play I noticed that he had come up with his own arrangements of just about everything he played, with elegant little bits here and there to make the tunes his own. Even Scotland The Brave had been reworked and made more tuneful and musical.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 09-15-2020 at 05:28 AM.
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