Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Piobaireachd
Register Blogs FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Piobaireachd For all things related to Piobaireachd ...

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-16-2017, 11:16 AM   #21
Graineag
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 41
Default Re: Birls, Low-G gracenotes in Piobaireachd

Go to www.ceolsean.net and have a look at how the tune is notated in David Glen's "A Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd" published in 1876. In fact, look at how "birls" were written in general in Glen and every single collection and manuscript of ṕobaireachd prior to him going back to Joseph MacDonald in 1760. You'll notice that they're not what we would call birls at all but rather double echo beats on low A. Speaking of which, you'll also notice that the double echo beats (or "crathanan", literally "shakes" in Gaelic) were also often notated differently--usually a dotted eighth note followed by a sixteenth note followed by a quarter note or maybe another eighth note depending on the tune. This produces a "DUM-da-dum" effect rather than the "DADUM-daaaa-dum" effect of modern, conventionally-played echo beats. (Excuse my non-standard canntaireachd.)

If you look at light music collections published before the 1870s, birls are often pretty scarce. It seems likely that the modern way of playing the birl probably originated in the late 19th century, first in light music and later migrating into ṕobaireachd.

Hopefully without opening too big a can of worms, I think it can safely be said at this point that styles of ṕobaireachd playing prior to the rise of the Piobaireachd Society were much more different and varied than what they were after. That's not to say the music was better, just different. If you want to delve further into this, William Donaldson's book "The Highland Bagpipe & Scottish Society" as well as the theses of Iain MacInnes and Allan MacDonald all contain some fascinating accounts about changes to ṕobaireachd playing conventions in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as resistance of some players to these changes. (You can find these and a whole lot more interesting stuff on Ross Anderson's webpage, http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/music/.)

The bottom line is that if you're planning on playing tunes in competition, your safest bet is to play the conventional birl. In any other contexts, however, I say play the tune in the way that feels right to you.
Graineag is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old Today, 07:56 AM   #22
Pppiper
Forum Regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 277
Default Re: Birls, Low-G gracenotes in Piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graineag View Post
The bottom line is that if you're planning on playing tunes in competition, your safest bet is to play the conventional birl. In any other contexts, however, I say play the tune in the way that feels right to you.
This is all great, thank you. I'm interested in both (playing the tunes in general, and also in competition).

To be clear when you refer to the "conventional birl" .. are you referring to the same execution of a birl that would be played in light music? Or is there a "conventional birl" that's unique to piobaireachd in general?

Thanks agian,
~Nate
Pppiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:54 PM.