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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > General Discussion > History, Tradition, Heritage
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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 09-24-2020, 08:02 PM   #1
Barry Shears
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Default Archival recordings now included

Hello all,
I wanted to let everyone know about recent additions to my web site
https://capebretonpiper.com/

check out archival performances by Alex Currie, Joe Hughie MacIntyre and his brother Duncan, and myself. Also take a listen to the late Theresa Burke describing how she made home made chanters when she was a young woman in Cape Breton. I have also included an essay about a well travelled Nova Scotia Gael who was winning competitions in Scotland in the late 19th century for both violin and piping. As far as I know Mackenzie Baillie was the first Nova Scotian / Canadian to have competitive success in Scotland.
I hope you enjoy it. I will be posting more field recordings and articles over the next few months .
Ṃran Taing
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:54 AM   #2
Pip01
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Good Friday Morning, Barry,

Once and again... thank you!!... and so very much...
for all of your diligence... and hard work!! :)

The more we know... the more we can appreciate...
those who came before... and so bring to bear... the
understanding... to help improve... that which we shall
leave... for others... in the future...

All the Best!!

Pip01


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Old 09-26-2020, 11:56 AM   #3
John Dally
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Amazing recordings there, Barry. Thanks for all the work you have done over the decades. Without your original research and careful collecting of these important recordings and tunes Cape Breton piping wouldn't be the "thing" it is today.
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Old 09-28-2020, 01:01 PM   #4
Matt Buckley
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This thread brings to mind a question I've been thinking about recently. After all these years, I find myself still gravitating to Barry's Cape Breton Collection Vol. 1. On so many levels its a wonderful compilation. I have also been using Ceol Sean over the past year to look at and rediscover countless old tunes, and I've noticed that, particularly with strathspeys and reels, many of the tunes in Cape Breton Vol. 1 are also found in Ross, Glen, Gunn, et. al.

So, Barry, have you encountered any evidence that any printings of the early collections made their way to Cape Breton with the immigrants, or are we pretty much talking about strictly an oral tradition? Perhaps you've answered this in your publications, and I've missed it.

Thanks.

Matt
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Old 09-29-2020, 06:56 AM   #5
Barry Shears
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Thanks Guys,
Matt, There very few published books of pipe music brought from Scotland since most couldn't read music. MacDonald Gunn and Mackay , and later the Glens drew from similar oral sources since Glasgow and Edinburgh were getting pipers from the Highlands there looking for work. John Gibson found an old collection rare 19th century collection to the web page dealing with the Beatons of Pictou County. Norman Beaton left NS for San Fran and was , according to local papers considered the best piper in the Pacific North West.His brother Walter could read music and did spend a year or two in San Fran playing pipes and violin in the 1880s, I know he collected collections of pipe music and had one of the largest for the time before his death in the 1930s. Also pipers are going back and forth to Boston, as well as other parts fo the USA where they encountered Scottish emigrants pipers. Pipers also brought back collections of music when they were overseas during the First World War . I spent an evening with Alex Currie going through the Gunn Collection. Some tunes he didn't know, others he played a bit differently and still others he knew by different names usually Gaelic titles. The new collection has 50 tunes I recorded from Alex and among the other 199 in the collection are different regional settings some of the most popular tunes of the turn of the last century. Cheers Barry

Last edited by Barry Shears; 09-29-2020 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:40 AM   #6
Matt Buckley
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Barry -

Thanks for the response. Really interesting. Years ago I purchased a hard-bound reprint of Gunn, and I still go through it. Gunn had a different, and spare, approach to notating ornamentation, but that's a topic for another thread.

Matt
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:25 AM   #7
Barry Shears
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Matt if you are referring to the Gathering of the Clans Vol. 1 some of the older tunes were taken from Glens but most of the other tunes were arranged by me for the pipes drawing on what some of older fiddlers were playing. I marked all the tunes as Traditional where appropriate, and included a note in the table of contents indicating the handful of tunes not arranged by me. It was a little disheartening to see some of my settings recorded (and taught as Traditional) without proper credit given. just last year Was playing in a session at the PIpers gathering and one of the session tunes was the Bird's Nest reel. I had composed the second part and published it in GOCVOL1. It has since been recorded and republished without due credit. Guess no one reads the Table of Contents. that was my first book and I learned my lesson. Now I put my name and/or contribution next to the title. But there are ways around this. I recently heard a performance in Scotland of The Old Copperplate. I published a setting of that in The Cape Breton Collection based on two sources 1
Irish and one CB. originally in G ,I moved it to A and incorporated some phrases from a local fiddling friend of mine. the Scottish piper took this CBCCOL setting and played the C's natural instead of sharp. So is this a new arrangement, when one note is changed and everything else remains the same? An interesting question.
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:02 AM   #8
GeorgeM
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Thanks Barry wish I had seen this sooner, great resource
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:02 PM   #9
Donald Ross
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Seriously, Barry. The global piping world owes you a debt it could never repay. There is so much to the Cape Breton tradition. Tunes, playing style, pipers and fiddlers, lineages, composers, on and on.

The body of work is immense and unique and I fear much would have been lost of not for you and the people you spent countless hours with to collect it all. Even the portion which would have survived would not currently be available to the whole world to share if not for your distribution and work to get it all "out there" for us.

Thank you, so much.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:02 PM   #10
JeremyKingsbury
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Wow, these are great Barry, Thanks!
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Check out the latest episode of my podcast if you want to hear to some historic piping tunes. You can find it on any of your favorite podcast listeners or here:

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