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Music Discuss specific tunes, the writing of tunes, other questions, concerns, etc. related specifically to the music or music books.

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Old 07-16-2020, 08:45 AM   #1
Patrick McLaurin
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Default "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

Many years ago I was dinged in a competition for playing a wrong note. Trouble is, that wrong note was printed in the score I took it from.

Donald MacLean's Farewell to Oban by Archibald MacNeill as printed in Cairngorm 2/4 Marches, 3rd part, 3rd bar is written
| aAdA fAcd |
but it should be
| aAdc fAcd |

Funny enough, a tune I've been learning recently from Seumas MacNeill's book also by Archibald MacNeill: "David Ross", apparently had some modifications by Seumas in the very last line (and elsewhere a missing throw, wrong gracenote, and altered timing; oh and apparently the name is David Ross of Rosehall); these are pointed out by Colin MacLellan is the post below. This error also manifests in the Cairngorm 2/4 Marches because it's a copy of what appeared in Seumas' book.

https://bagpipe.news/2020/07/15/davi...021-set-tunes/

If you look at the Facebook page where The Piping Centre posts the link to this article, you'll see a comment from Donald MacPhee stating he was taught the tune as shown in the blog post but never competed with it because he didn't want to get dinged for not playing the high A grip that Seumas apparently inserted.

https://www.facebook.com/TNPCOtagoSt...84241621844226

What other tunes are you aware of that are commonly played differently than the composer intended due to errors or arrangements as in the cases I stated above, respectively.
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:19 AM   #2
Texas Gael
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

I have been going over The Company's Lament, and noticed that Seumas MacNeill in his Tutor for Piobaireachd has it wrong in the 7th bar of the second part of the 1st Variation. He gives the notes as F-B-C-HA, whereas it should be F-B-C-B. I learned a long, long time ago whether ceol mor or ceol beag to check as many sources for the tune I am learning so as to make sure I am getting it right. A number of my instructors over the years advised me on tunes to avoid because of this.

Cheers -

Wes
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:28 AM   #3
el gaitero
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

For years I was trying to Ďgetí Black Bear off from SG1 5th ed. 1965.

I couldnít for the life of me get it to sound like what I thot it should according to all the LP vinyls du jour Iíd heard..including SG.
I often gave up,..tried again,..gave up,..tried again....yada.

...at least 15 yrs passed before I finally approached a friend visiting the states..a SG RPM.

When I explained the difficulty...he immediately said ďoh yes,..well ,you know,..thatís the edition where that part of BB was printed all bollocks..and was corrected in SG II...Ē

I donít think anybody in SG ever got fired though.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

It all leads to a very interesting discussion.



We live of course in the age of the internet now, and that has contributed massively to all sorts of odd and bogus "settings" of tunes, because basically anyone with a writing programme can publish a tune on the internet provided it is public domain.



Lots of people get caught out with this, quite understandably, because they do not have enough of an understanding and experience and so have faith in almost anything they see and pick up online. As mentioned too, even some of the major music publications are not trustworthy for authenticity, which greatly adds to the problem.



As far as competing goes, I would think that the lower the grade, the more leeway and understanding should be afforded; a quiet word from an experienced judge would set someone onto the proper score of a tune, and as a piper went up the grades he or she should take more and more responsibility in ensuring that the proper scores are played the way the composer intended them to be played - to the point that in the professional grade it should not be good enough to say "oh, that's where I got the sheet music from" which is currently becoming more and more prevelant.



It also brings up the matter of what is a "setting" and what is merely a change of note or notes within a piece.



It's important that the respect to the great composers be afforded by playing the tunes accurately - anything else is either not taking the time to make sure the music is properly played, or, even worse, the player thinking he or she is a better composer than the person who actually made the tune - rarely the case, of course.



Now and again a case like David Ross of Rosehall comes up and nobody I don't think could be faulted for playing it the way it is in Seumas MacNeill's book, especially as he was the nephew of the composer.... who is to know but I hope that pipers will be able to see which is by far the better way of playing it now.



At the end of the day it's music and it's also opinion, but it is also good to try to be faithful to the original settings and compositions for the reasons stated above.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

The classic example is perhaps the misprint in Edcath of Hugh Kennedy where an omitted ledger line has led people, right the way up to at least one senior judge, to teaching and playing a blatantly wrong and unmusical note.


While we're on this topic, here's one that not many people seem to pick up on - the fourth bar of the third part of John MacDonald - cut up to E through B or C? Lots of people doing both and until I see a manuscript in Willie Lawrie's hand, I'm genuinely not sure who to believe. I personally prefer the C, on musical grounds, but the B is definitely easier...wonder if that's why Inverary play it?


The other example that pops into my mind is Brigadier Cheape in Willie Ross, which surprises many people when they read it from the book for the first time.



Quote:
It's important that the respect to the great composers be afforded by playing the tunes accurately - anything else is either not taking the time to make sure the music is properly played, or, even worse, the player thinking he or she is a better composer than the person who actually made the tune - rarely the case, of course.


Just on this point, something I find interesting is the range of attitudes from composers on this. Some composers are very precious of their tunes, and have spent time labouring over every gracenote. Others prefer to send them out into the world and encourage others to fiddle with them. And some, of course, well - what's the original setting of Gordon Duncan's Fourth Floor? Then, of course, there is the fact that style changes over the years - think of Kilberry's comments on contemporary pipers playing the 74ths Farewell to Edinburgh. And I doubt anyone playing John MacColl's original settings would get far.



I do agree the dodgy sheetmusic problem is a frustrating one, and frankly I include most published music in that. Given what publications cost these days it would be nice for it to be reasonably typo-free. One can muster all the authority one can, but at the end of the day you must take the piece of music in front of you and decide: can I make this better by altering it? And if you're reading Hugh Kennedy from Edcath, I hope most people would feel brave enough to question that note, whether or not they knew it to be a misprint.



On David Ross, though, altering a composer's setting silently for publication is another thing entirely. Although I seem to be in the minority of liking that grip (I also agree with the deletion of the throw in the second part), that's something you put out into the world with your playing, not your publications, and if it gets taken up, well.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:30 PM   #6
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
Others prefer to send them out into the world and encourage others to fiddle with them. And some, of course, well - what's the original setting of Gordon Duncan's Fourth Floor?

On David Ross, though, altering a composer's setting silently for publication is another thing entirely. Although I seem to be in the minority of liking that grip (I also agree with the deletion of the throw in the second part), that's something you put out into the world with your playing, not your publications, and if it gets taken up, well.
Gordon gave me a few handwritten tunes(break yer bass drone- the ramnee ceilidh etc), no grace notes, strikes, doublings....nothing but the notes and the values. I asked him where all the embellishments were, he just said make them up! Its more fun!

I think the most part of the issue is really centered around competition, and the desire to measure a performance against a control piece. Whether it makes better music or not is a matter of opinion.
Although there are, what some would call mistakes, totally unmusical notes that don't add to the tune. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

The difficulty for the unfortunate person is to try to relearn a tune how it was intended, That is harder than learning it the first time!
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac an t-Sealgair View Post
Gordon gave me a few handwritten tunes(break yer bass drone- the ramnee ceilidh etc), no grace notes, strikes, doublings....nothing but the notes and the values. I asked him where all the embellishments were, he just said make them up! Its more fun!

I think the most part of the issue is really centered around competition, and the desire to measure a performance against a control piece. Whether it makes better music or not is a matter of opinion.
Although there are, what some would call mistakes, totally unmusical notes that don't add to the tune. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

The difficulty for the unfortunate person is to try to relearn a tune how it was intended, That is harder than learning it the first time!
Love this.
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:46 PM   #8
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
The classic example is perhaps the misprint in Edcath of Hugh Kennedy where an omitted ledger line has led people, right the way up to at least one senior judge, to teaching and playing a blatantly wrong and unmusical note.


While we're on this topic, here's one that not many people seem to pick up on - the fourth bar of the third part of John MacDonald - cut up to E through B or C? Lots of people doing both and until I see a manuscript in Willie Lawrie's hand, I'm genuinely not sure who to believe. I personally prefer the C, on musical grounds, but the B is definitely easier...wonder if that's why Inverary play it?


The other example that pops into my mind is Brigadier Cheape in Willie Ross, which surprises many people when they read it from the book for the first time.
In order: should be a high A in the last ending, not a high G?

Whew, there's about as many variations of John MacDonald as there are people who can play it well. I like the B for variety's sake, but I still wonder what was intended (in multiple places). Staying on the B also makes it identical to the 1st bar of that part, just a note down. Interestingly, the 3rd bar is just the 1st bar with the beats flipped.

In Brigadier, you refer perhaps to the timing in several places? I'm not familiar with the tune beyond the umpteen times I've heard a band play it at the worlds.

I've always wondered if that little blip on high G in the first part of Bonny Ann wasn't a misprint and everyone just went with it. In a couple older books it seems to be a slur or just a strike, but not a high A gracenote to F as is usually printed nowadays.

FWIW, I throw my hat in with the high G instead of the grip and the "extra" throw in the second part of David Ross of Rosehall. But I also have a really good throw
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:42 PM   #9
CalumII
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

(Commented inline ther than try to break it all up, sorry!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
In order: should be a high A in the last ending, not a high G? Yep - if you look very closely you can see the "high G2 is printed up at the level of the A, it's just the ledger line itself the engraver forgot to punch.

Whew, there's about as many variations of John MacDonald as there are people who can play it well. I like the B for variety's sake, but I still wonder what was intended (in multiple places). Staying on the B also makes it identical to the 1st bar of that part, just a note down. Interestingly, the 3rd bar is just the 1st bar with the beats flipped.



Yes, but the first bar is an A major chord all the way through, but bar 4 demands a chord change and v v v IV | I is a bit of an odd cadence compared to v v I IV | I


In Brigadier, you refer perhaps to the timing in several places? I'm not familiar with the tune beyond the umpteen times I've heard a band play it at the worlds. Yes, the third part mainly.

I've always wondered if that little blip on high G in the first part of Bonny Ann wasn't a misprint and everyone just went with it. In a couple older books it seems to be a slur or just a strike, but not a high A gracenote to F as is usually printed nowadays. I think if you look closely at that period when you had high musical literacy but technique had not yet been codified by the College of Piping, you see lots of interesting detail. That movement would make perfect sense as {gf}g2{a}f<g, coming on an offbeat, but make that initial G a full beat and play the same thing, it's a lot more headscratchy to write out - {gf}g3{a}f g... doesn't imply the same urgency, to me, so the writer solved it with {af}.

FWIW, I throw my hat in with the high G instead of the grip and the "extra" throw in the second part of David Ross of Rosehall. But I also have a really good throw Saying nothing about your grip then?
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:06 PM   #10
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: "Wrongly" arranged and misprinted tunes

As long as itís not from B to C, the grip is solid!
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