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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 11-23-2019, 10:47 AM   #21
McCracken140
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Default Re: Glenfiddich Tempos

I figure that a March should be played quick enough that you can march to it without looking like youíre going in slow motion.

I also believe that someone who is skilled enough can play a tune with high musicality at a fairly wide range of speeds.

Iím not saying that we should be playing competition 2/4s at 120bpm Quick March, but the 60bpm is getting comical. Thatís a slow march.

With Strathspeys and Reels etc, I think they ought to be played (at least close to) the speed that one would need to dance to them. Otherwise, the original intention of the tune is lost. If you canít dance a reel to a particular tune, then that tune mustnít be a reel.

My 1.7 cents.


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Old 11-23-2019, 01:35 PM   #22
Green Piper
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Default Re: Glenfiddich Tempos

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Originally Posted by McCracken140 View Post
I also believe that someone who is skilled enough can play a tune with high musicality at a fairly wide range of speeds.

As a grade 3 solo light-music piper, then Iíd say youíll lose a number of embellishments from most pipers if tempos push into the 80ís for all but the easiest 2/4 marches.
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:16 PM   #23
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Glenfiddich Tempos

I find 75 sufficient for many 2/4s. It would also seem I play them better at that tempo than sub-70.

Of course my expectations of pipers playing in the Glenfiddich are very different than any amateur graded piper.

Last edited by Patrick McLaurin; 11-23-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:49 AM   #24
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Glenfiddich Tempos

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Originally Posted by McCracken140 View Post
With Strathspeys and Reels etc, I think they ought to be played (at least close to) the speed that one would need to dance to them. Otherwise, the original intention of the tune is lost. If you canít dance a reel to a particular tune, then that tune mustnít be a reel.
The way the dance music is played, even at the highest levels of competition, isn't really "danceable." Again, it comes down to what the judges reward. Any of the competitors at that level are perfectly capable of playing at whatever tempo they want.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:50 AM   #25
McCracken140
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Default Re: Glenfiddich Tempos

Dan Belló exactly!!


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Old 11-27-2019, 01:20 PM   #26
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: Glenfiddich Tempos

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Yes, competition playing is a style unto itself. It has its own reason for existing that is separate and distinct from military playing, playing for dancers, folk playing, and so forth. Judges are the gatekeepers in that style: if you want to win prizes, you need to pay attention to what's being rewarded and what isn't. - Agreed

That doesn't make competition-style playing better or worse than anything else. "Better or worse" is subjective; it's a matter of what you, personally, enjoy listening to. Anyone can be an informed, musically-literate listener, even if you don't play a note. Anyone who listens to and studies this music is entitled to their own opinions. - Agreed, I've said this in previous posts too

I have a leadership role in a reasonably good competition pipe band (grade 3). When I play in the band, I play in the style that the idiom demands. I also play in a folk band, and I play differently there. In my opinion, both have "musical value" and I enjoy all of it, or I wouldn't do it. Nothing has to be "better" than anything else. Why does it have to be an argument? - Maybe you picked me up wrong over the typing, but no argument, just good discussion
I had replied to this the other day, but I pressed back instead of minimise

I agree with (almost) everything said here. I suppose my frustration may well be with piping worlds head in sand approach, and adherence to a dogma (re: piobaireachd - laid down by people of limited piping ability and even more limited musical savy).
'Nothing has to be "better" than anything else.' - So true, yet I find this statement difficult. We as humans like to measure things in order to gauge how good a thing is. Creating competition gives us that gauge, and the gongs to go with it. We then look to the people with the gongs for guidance, but we are searching in a very narrow (sterile) band of the whole spectrum of musical possibilities. Therefore you will think something is better because of the gongs instead of the musical value it holds.
A well known person once said that he had to win at the highest level for his ideas to be respected. Perhaps if he hadn't, I wouldn't have the views I have as he wouldn't have been listened too.

I'm sorry I went a bit off piste. With regard to the tempos, we must avoid them going like pitch, creeping ever slower to the point of a technical exercise, but also allow more room for musical interpretation. It will of course have to be played on a fantastic bagpipe and have pristine technique, but more artistic flair should be allowed for. Although, we then get back to the boring measuring part!

Music is subjective, of course we aren't all going to like the same thing (or should that be shouldn't?), but lets not all just agree and pat ourselves on the back. Discuss, debate, disagree too. More strands and strains and colour the better.

Last edited by Mac an t-Sealgair; 11-27-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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