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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 12-19-2018, 01:33 PM   #1
erracht
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Default An version of Cabar Feidh (the march) from old military LPs

Normally, the melody of the first bar of "Cabar Feidh" goes "high G-high A-high G-E" and there are no taorluaths anywhere in the tune. However, listen to these two old recordings of the tune from mid-20th century records (the first one is from my favorite bagpipe LP, "Scots Guards Pipes and Drums - Marches" and the second one is from "The Pipe Band of the Royal Scots Greys - Scotland's Pride"):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx0pYRwmEBk



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAg2rwFd4Tw



If you listen carefully, it becomes clear that there is almost certainly no high A in the first bar (the first high G appears to be held longer and to be followed by a gracenote) and the sixth-last and fifth-last bars sound like they might be arranged differently than is typical (specifically, where there would normally be clusters of three low As with G-D-E-D gracenotes, it seems like there might be groups of two low As perhaps divided by taorluaths, though this is less clear: the Scots Guards version sounds more like there are taorluaths there, while the Royal Scots Greys version sounds like it could be either that or the standard three-note cluster with gracenotes).



I have looked high and low through the various standard settings books (no march version of Cabar Feidh in the Scots Guards Books 1 and 2, unfortunately), various versions online including on Ceol Sean, etc and have not found a single setting of the Cabar Feidh march that would lack the high A in the opening bar or include groups of two low As and taorluaths near the end. Does anyone have a setting that bears out the features that I have described above? Or am I hearing things?



P.S. Just a thought - could this military arrangement perhaps come from the 1936 Army Manual Of Bagpipe Tunes?
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:53 PM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: An version of Cabar Feidh (the march) from old military LPs

I have to disagree, to be honest - I can hear the high A quite clearly, followed by a flick on the F as normal in both recordings.


For the last part, yes, I agree some at least of the pipers are playing taorluaths on A. I don't think they all are. The Scots Greys recordings they are playing GDEs.


I have the Army book 1 in front of me and there's nothing remarkable in there (it was all set by Willie Ross, so should be no surprises!)
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: An version of Cabar Feidh (the march) from old military LPs

I listed to the first recording, and I'm with Calum, I hear the High A's in the first bar clearly. True they're quick! But in general they're really holding the dotted notes, that initial High G is no exception.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:43 PM   #4
erracht
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Default Re: An version of Cabar Feidh (the march) from old military LPs

This is beginning to sound like the "Laurel or Yanny" debate (I clearly heard "Laurel"). I carefully listened to both recordings but still couldn't find any hint of an "A". I believe that's what you heard (and I agree that they're holding the dotted notes - this could easily have contributed to it). I wonder if the F gracenote absorbed the A, so to speak.


On listening to the Royal Scots Greys recording again, I can indeed hear the three low As interspersed by gracenotes better. Again, I think they were indeed holding the dotted notes.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:41 AM   #5
CalumII
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Default Re: An version of Cabar Feidh (the march) from old military LPs

Quote:
Originally Posted by erracht View Post
I wonder if the F gracenote absorbed the A, so to speak.

Generally speaking, it's often the case that a "gracenote" is actually longer than the "melody" note. For example, an ACE sequence in a 6/8 march, with a D gracenote on the C, will always have the D sounding longer than the C - but our ears trick us into hearing it as an ACE arpeggio.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:30 AM   #6
erracht
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Default Re: An version of Cabar Feidh (the march) from old military LPs

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
Generally speaking, it's often the case that a "gracenote" is actually longer than the "melody" note. For example, an ACE sequence in a 6/8 march, with a D gracenote on the C, will always have the D sounding longer than the C - but our ears trick us into hearing it as an ACE arpeggio.

Very interesting. I found a way of slowing down the video, by opening it in Chrome and choosing a slower playback from the settings for the video. The sound quality was awful, and I only had the nerves to listen to the Scots Guards one, but when I did this, I noted that there did seem to be a high A - very briefly - in the repeat of that phrase (and there were times in the past when I thought I might have heard it in that exact place); also, the first of the three places where I thought there could be a taorluath did seem to have the gracenotes you would expect there, while the third such place still sounded like a taorluath to me. This has been quite an exercise.
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