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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 06-04-2018, 05:38 PM   #11
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Bell View Post
I wonder if the military's standardization of playing styles contributed to this. Ditto with the use of natural notes.
It seems to me that the Highland pipe style predated the widespread use of pipes in the military. Who can say, though? We don't have recordings.

About accidentals, that's something else not available to the traditional Irish or Scottish harper.

Anyhow to defend my assertion that in other piping traditions vibrato and note-bending and yes accidentals are essential elements of the standard style (and not special "tricks" and not the provenance of particular tunes, composers, or players) here's some non-Highland piping.

Note here that note-bending is part and parcel of the way you approach many of the notes of a tune. I can't imagine these styles of piping having only pure notes that lack bending and vibrato.

Greece

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5MSp2IuBCw

Bulgaria

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa1dZLxPOCI&t=46s

Ireland (well a Russian guy playing in Germany, but it's Irish music in an Irish style)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVMbo8tq9lQ

France

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr2NvQcszdg

Flanders

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQHwnJLBDQ8
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 06-04-2018 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:17 PM   #12
MichiganGaidar
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

In defense of the current norm, bends are usually executed in Highland piping in such a way that they're a thing. The bends are usually too obvious and deliberate. It's hard to get a nice, crisp, impactful bend on a Highland chanter.

When I started learning gaida, this was my instructor's exact criticism of my bends - too fat, to obtrusive. Once I got the bend small and sharp enough, I could pepper them throughout tunes without thinking much of it.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:03 PM   #13
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

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Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
It seems to me that the Highland pipe style predated the widespread use of pipes in the military. Who can say, though? We don't have recordings.
Right, and I should have been more circumspect and also mentioned standardization due to competition playing.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:06 PM   #14
bob864
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

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Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
It seems to me that the Highland pipe style predated the widespread use of pipes in the military. Who can say, though? We don't have recordings.
But we do have a recording of sorts in the writing of Joseph Macdonald. Surely if pipers in his day (mid 1700s) used portamento (gliding between two notes) he would have mentioned it in his Compleat Theory.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:01 PM   #15
Anndrah
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

I wonder if the slurs/slides/portamentos are not as common on the GHB simply because the volume makes them stand out, whereas the small pipes it is much more subtle.
Also back in the 70s, which is my earliest recollection of piping, the quality of chanters/reeds/sound/skill was much less than today. I wonder what the quality of play was in the 1800s when I would imagine that style of play was being developed for other pipes. It is much harder to slide from one note to another when you are playing lower htz, crappier reeds, no tape on the chanter to tune individual notes, etc.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:39 AM   #16
bob864
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

Actually, I think there is a straight forward answer to the portamento (note bending) question.

Before the bagpipe became the important instrument in the highlands, the harp was the important instrument. There is no portamento on harp. If we assume that there was a transition period where the bagpipe took over from the harp, then we could logically believe that the pipers probably did their best to approximate the harp music.

You can see the same thing more recently with guitarists in the 50s and 60s phrasing like saxiphone players.

(The Robert ap Huw MS. documents a form of music played on harp in Wales in the early 1600s that resembles piobaireachd in some ways).
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:54 AM   #17
CalumII
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

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Originally Posted by Anndrah View Post
I wonder what the quality of play was in the 1800s

What we do know is that the technical standard was very high: Joseph MacDonald's manuscript goes into a wealth of detail that would not be repeated in a descriptive work until Rhythmic Fingerwork came out. There is no way someone could be taught to that standard of technique and yet not be a player easily able to learn such techniques if they wanted to.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:18 PM   #18
Anndrah
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

Intersting thought! I suppose that if it was something your life was dedicated to you would be pretty good at it.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:21 AM   #19
bob864
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

You can listen to recordings from the early 1900s and expect it probably wasn't any better in the 1800s.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:46 AM   #20
CalumII
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Default Re: Name for style of pipe music

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Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
You can listen to recordings from the early 1900s and expect it probably wasn't any better in the 1800s.

I think we should be very careful about judging these recordings. Yes, many aren't what we hear today, but many are just as good - they are just *different* and we literally can't hear them properly because we're judging by the wrong standard. Take John MacColl playing Cock of the North for example - if a student of mine played like that we would be spending some time on practice chanters - yet it's very clearly a deliberate, conscious performance. Just because it doesn't match the modern aesthetic doesn't mean it's bad playing.
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