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Old 12-20-2005, 08:09 AM   #1
New Hudson Highlander
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Default Reading Piobaireachd

New to Piobaireachd, I'm starting on "The Desperate Battle". Fortunately, I've got it in a .bww file, so as to hear it, but can anyone suggest a tutorial on reading Piobaireachd?

My music reading ability is for squat; I have to hear it in order to be able to play it.

-NHH
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:10 AM   #2
Pipin' FF
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

Which Desperate Battle ar you playing? There are two unfortunately...

Donald MacLeaod's Piobaireachd Tutors Volume 7 has the Desperate Battle in Canntraireachd and Played on chanter and is what I used for my interpretation. This one is "An cath gailbeach", I can't remeber the other Desperate Battle

Another Desperate Battle Thread worth Looking at!

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

Don't know which version; I just don't know which abbreviations are what embellishments.


-NHH
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:54 AM   #4
Keir Todd
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

NHH,
Since you live in Michigan, you can't be that far from any number of competent professional piobaireachd players/teachers in upper US MidWest and Southern Ontario. My strong suggestion is that you find yourself an experienced, professional piobaireachd player/teacher and attach yourself to that person. Nothing beats constant oversight by a seasoned piper. You should be able to find someone who meets those qualifications in the Great Lakes Region. Do Not Learn It On Your Own! Nothing is worse than that. It will only lead to disaster.
Cheers,
Keir Todd
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:15 PM   #5
Kenton Adler
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

I'm with Keir. I think just trying to play Piobaireachd by looking at a sheet of music would be an exercise in futility. It might be possible if you were listening to a recording, but still not recommended. If you absolutely cannot get with an instructor, go for the Donald MacLeod CDs at the very least. Available through many of your piping supply folks, and very likely one of the fine sponsors of the forum.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:42 PM   #6
Ron Teague
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

Hi NHH:
Here is the problem, as I see it, with your very sincere request. There is no real standard piobaireachd notation. The venerable Piobaireachd Society has tried to come up with a standard notation but mnay pipers don't follow it. If you look at Joseph MacDonald's work of the 1700 it uses one form of notation, there is another in Angus MacKay another in Gen Tomeson(very wierd albeit complete). There is even a three lined staff in Binnias. Reading ceol mor from staff notation is a hopless effort, you can't sight read it as the first writers of the music really didn't have any idea how to write the music. If one wants to use the canntaireach, vocal music notation, there are a lot of problems with it, duplications and very different styles. So when you enter into the written idiom of ceol mor you enter into a fun house where there are distortng mirrors and lots of jokers.

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Old 12-20-2005, 11:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

Quote:
Originally posted by New Hudson Highlander:
My music reading ability is for squat; I have to hear it in order to be able to play it.
Hey! The perfect way to learn a piobaireachd!

Even the top pipers learn piobaireachd from other pipers. To reiterate others' advice, I'm not aware of anyone successfully learning a piobaireachd from a just sheet of music. There's just too much "playing not like it's written."

Andrew
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Old 12-21-2005, 01:51 AM   #8
Neill Mulvie
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

Quote:
Andrew Lenz wrote
Even the top pipers learn piobaireachd from other pipers. To reiterate others' advice, I'm not aware of anyone successfully learning a piobaireachd from a just sheet of music. There's just too much "playing not like it's written."
Not true - think about some of the tunes transcribed from caintaireachd and published by the Piobaireachd Society which had not seen 'light of day' for generations. Examples of such tunes which have been learnt in modern times from the published sources alone are 'Lament for Hugh' 'Rory MacLeod's Lament' and 'Port Urlar' which is a set tune for this year's clasp.

Our folk lore says that it is not possible to learn a piobaireachd except from another piper's fingers - if all one has been taught is how to play particular piobaireachds then that may be true. But given musical talent and teaching which has inculcated the basic/underlying principles of playing piobaireachd then the piper can learn any tune from written music and some of our modern top class players have done so.

I have a suspicion that a lot of teaching of piping is based on 'painting by numbers' rather than helping players understand how to do it themselves which is why many players will have to be taught how to play every new tune they come across.
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Old 12-21-2005, 09:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

Actually, the playing it NOT as it's written sounds interesting...

What I'd really like to know is, for example, how sequential crunoluaths, taurluaths, etc are notated.

-NHH
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Old 12-21-2005, 01:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Reading Piobaireachd

Well there was a long thread on this awhile ago. There is some variances in notational abbreviation which can be confusing.
The standards are...help me out here people if I screw this up...

T under the theme note usually denotes a Taorluath

Upside down T under the theme note usually means a Taorluath a mach

C under the theme note denotes a Crunluath

Upside down and backward C means a Crunluath a mach

The rest are hard to type without pipe notation fonts, but they vary more than the above mentioned.
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