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Old 07-12-2018, 10:39 PM   #1
Heatherbelle
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Default When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

Pondering the above question, I'd be interested in what people think. Does it have to be a Theme and Variations format? Does it have to include Taorluaths, Crunluaths etc.? Presumably there has to be enough of something to merit it being categorised as a Piobaireachd, otherwise someone could write a Reel and call it Piobaireachd. But what ARE those essential ingredients ? In your opinion?
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:24 PM   #2
Rooklidge
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

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Originally Posted by Heatherbelle View Post
...someone could write a Reel and call it Piobaireachd.

Isn't that correct?
However, ceol mor it is not!
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:20 AM   #3
DamhCabrachPiping
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

Teeeeeeecchnically any bagpipe music is Piobaireachd...

Piobaireachd literally translates to ďpipe playingĒ

So in that context yes.

In the context of Ceol Mor (the big music)

I donít think so. I believe Piobaireachd is meant to have a ground and variations....

But Iím not a Piobaireachd expert.


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Old 07-13-2018, 06:07 AM   #4
Steven Knox
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

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Originally Posted by Heatherbelle View Post
Does it have to include Taorluaths, Crunluaths etc.?
Definitely not -- assuming that we define "piobaireachd" to include The Pretty Dirk and The Old Woman's Lullaby, to name two very short tunes that seem pretty universally to be considered "piobaireachd". Neither includes either a Taorluath or Crunluath variation, though The Pretty Dirk has some taorluath embellishments.

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Originally Posted by Heatherbelle View Post
Does it have to be a Theme and Variations format?
Again, if The Pretty Dirk is a piobaireachd, then "theme and one variation" is sufficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatherbelle View Post
Presumably there has to be enough of something to merit it being categorised as a Piobaireachd, otherwise someone could write a Reel and call it Piobaireachd. But what ARE those essential ingredients? In your opinion?
Wow, this is piper nerd-sniping if I ever saw it!
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:15 AM   #5
Dan Bell
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

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Originally Posted by Steven Knox View Post
Definitely not -- assuming that we define "piobaireachd" to include The Pretty Dirk and The Old Woman's Lullaby, to name two very short tunes that seem pretty universally to be considered "piobaireachd". Neither includes either a Taorluath or Crunluath variation, though The Pretty Dirk has some taorluath embellishments.



Again, if The Pretty Dirk is a piobaireachd, then "theme and one variation" is sufficient.



Wow, this is piper nerd-sniping if I ever saw it!
Yup . Even the piobaireachd society doesn't have a particularly rigorous definition. I think it's generally accepted that competition playing has an unwritten consensus around what sorts of tune are acceptable (eg. that have all the variations we're generally familiar with), but I don't think that's an expansive definition. Certainly, there are some very old tunes that fundamentally reflect the Scottish piping idiom that do NOT have all those components, and which really should be considered "big music."
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:02 AM   #6
Josh Whitson
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

To quote Justice Potter Stewart's famous concurrence on what counts as obscenity, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it...."

I think that description works pretty well for piobaireachd too.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:45 PM   #7
Heatherbelle
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

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Originally Posted by Josh Whitson View Post
To quote Justice Potter Stewart's famous concurrence on what counts as obscenity, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it...."

I like that quote. And perhaps that's a near as one can get.......
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:45 AM   #8
DamhCabrachPiping
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

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Originally Posted by Heatherbelle View Post
I like that quote. And perhaps that's a near as one can get.......


Iím pretty sure that is the definitive explanation of Piobaireachd lol

We donít know, but we know. We canít explain but we can show. Lol


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Old 07-14-2018, 09:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

Taking a look at the corpus, I note several genres of pibroch: salutes, gatherings, laments, militia, commemorations, rowing tunes, lullabies, taunts.

Which makes me think of pibroch as music (with theme and variations) for important occasions of life.

Except for dances.



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Old 07-14-2018, 11:50 AM   #10
Graineag
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Default Re: When is a Piobaireachd not a piobaireachd

Allan MacDonald noted that there's a piobaireachd arrangement in one of the old manuscripts (I can't remember which) of "Gabhaidh Sinn an Rathad MÚr" ("We'll Take the High Road"). Similarly, some tunes like "Bodaich nam Briogais" have a certain "ditty"-like quality to them.

I saw a tutorial on piobaireachd playing in a piping magazine online a while back (again, can't remember which, sorry) that arranged "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" as a piobaireachd for demonstration purposes.

Isn't it something like close to a third of the 300+ tunes we know of that don't have T & C variations? I was flipping through PS 1 this morning and happened to notice that "The Big Spree" was printed with T & C variations. In Kilberry, the tune ends after the siubhal doubling. Interestingly, in the editorial notes on the tune in PS 1, the editors (i.e., J.P. Grant and Archibald Campbell) wrote that the Piob. Society favors the setting w/o T & C variations but printed them for pipers who wanted to play the tune in competition.

I wonder sometimes to what extent old pipers may have varied the number of variations they played based on the occasion, how the pipes were behaving, mood, audience, etc. While I don't want to suggest that they took a complete "pick & mix" approach, there are a few tunes I think I would enjoy playing much more minus a variation or two in the middle.
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