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Old 02-03-2016, 04:37 AM   #1
fleemie
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Default 4/4 marches - never marching to them?

To begin at the beginning! I was at a Northumbrian piping workshop last weekend with Andy May and one of the tunes we worked on was Captain Norman Orr-Ewing which Andy got from a Northumbrian piper called Joe Hutton. Having played Scottish smallpipes for a few years I, mentioned it was almost certainly a Scottish GHB 4 part march. The timing given was 4/4 (which on checking was originally a 2/4 march). Anyway, one of the participants who had been a music director in the English army said there were no 4/4 marches in the army. I countered that I had a piping book full of them and had learned Rowan Tree and the Gallowa Hills quite early on. He then maintained that that might be the case but they would be played in competitions and wouldn't be used for marching as the beat was wrong. I knew this was wrong because I've seen both the tunes marched to... But is it true that 4/4 marches are generally played as competition tunes rather than used for marching or are most 4/4 marches used for marching? Moreover, could it be that Scottish and English regimental marching traditions are different with the English having no 4/4 marches?!!
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:48 AM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: 4/4 marches

4/4 Marches are marching tunes. Modern competition has slowed most competition 2/4 marches down to a non-marching pace, however there are plenty of 2/4 marches that are simple enough to be played at marching tempo.

I have zero knowledge of British Military tradition but to suggest that no one marched to 4/4 marches seems a bit extreme.
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Old 02-03-2016, 05:57 AM   #3
brent
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Default Re: 4/4 marches

Played "The Battle of Waterloo" a few times whilst marching... In France... Last year....
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:08 AM   #4
bob864
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Default Re: 4/4 marches

If you go to 3:00 in this video there is marching to Battle of Waterloo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-IYiP0whQM

(Edinburgh Military Tatoo 2015 opening)
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:28 PM   #5
Richard Strayer
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Default Re: 4/4 marches

Well I can't speak to the English Army, but here's the official list of Regimental Marches, Tunes and Songs for the Royal Regiment of Scotland and it looks to me that quite a few, if not the majority, of the tunes listed are 4/4 marches:

http://www.electricscotland.com/hist...icHandbook.pdf
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:56 PM   #6
Helvetica
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Default Re: 4/4 marches

Erm.... has no one yet mentioned Scotland the Brave?

Anyway, that dude is full of shite. "The beat is wrong"? Give me a break: 4/4s are possibly the most marchable tunes we have in our repertoire.

Competition marches (in the GHB tradition) are almost invariably 2/4s.

Last edited by Helvetica; 02-04-2016 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:11 PM   #7
CalumII
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Default Re: 4/4 marches

Quote:
Originally Posted by fleemie View Post
one of the participants who had been a music director in the English army said there were no 4/4 marches in the army.






There are plenty of people out there who will claim things that are not true.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:42 PM   #8
Andy Halliday
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Default Re: 4/4 marches

Sounds like a typical "Spit and dribble band" music director's attitude.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:44 PM   #9
acadianpiper
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Default Re: 4/4 marches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Strayer View Post
Well I can't speak to the English Army, but here's the official list of Regimental Marches, Tunes and Songs for the Royal Regiment of Scotland and it looks to me that quite a few, if not the majority, of the tunes listed are 4/4 marches:

http://www.electricscotland.com/hist...icHandbook.pdf
Most of the listed marches are 2/4s and 6/8s, with very few exceptions. Scotland the Brave, which is a 4/4, seems to figure very prominently throughout the list, though, including being listed as the RRS's regimental march. I wonder if the former music director had confused 4/4s with 3/4s, which appear to be conspicuously absent from the RRS's list, judging at least from my quick perusal of the list. Interestingly, Orange and Blue is listed as a company march. Usually played as a strathspey, I assume that it would be in 4/4 time as a march, but I've never heard it played as a march.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: 4/4 marches - never marching to them?

Data point: Shots, the winner of the World Pipe Band Championships in 2015, had a 4/4 as their march-in tune.

It's an awesome tune too. Check out the video on the BBC website.
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