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Old 08-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
Blueliner44
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Default E as the Attack Note?

Why is E the attack note predominately used to start a set?

Just curious...
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
LindyHoppingPiper
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

The only thing I can figure is that it's a top hand note (even though you're supposed to have the bottom hand on the chanter by the time the note sound) and it's the 5th in the scale so it has a certain harmonic that's pleasing.

Well, whatever the case, that's primarily with a band. I don't suppose it really matters for solo work.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
CalumII
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

Force of habit, mostly. It also has the useful property that it works melodically to open most tunes.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

I have heard that it comes from the days before we had synthetic drone reeds and was used as a means of stabilizing/settling the instrument before playing a competition or performance set.

I would love to hear from the forum heavies who've had FAR more experience than I (or my source for the above info).

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:06 PM   #5
ratherbpiping
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

Because Shotts I believe did this in a competition under the MacAillister's and since became a defacto standard. Sad really. But it does mske s clean entry easier
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
PMT
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

The E was done well before Shotts had any influence over it. Shotts introduced the E on the beat with the constant pitch. Before that it just grinded away until the tune started.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratherbpiping View Post
Because Shotts I believe did this in a competition under the MacAillister's and since became a defacto standard. Sad really. But it does mske s clean entry easier
Actually, I believe Shotts just invented the current standard snare roll-off. Before that, convention was for the snares to do a long roll until the pipers came in on E.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:47 AM   #8
classicbagpipes
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

the 2 three pace roll start for bands comes from the military. It was standard for military bands to begin their marches like this. So it stands to reason that as pipe bands developed in the army that some of this sort of thing would rub off on the pipe bands as well. Thus we are or have been stuck with this sort of attack since bands first started.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:34 AM   #9
David
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PipePlayr View Post
I have heard that it comes from the days before we had synthetic drone reeds and was used as a means of stabilizing/settling the instrument before playing a competition or performance set.

I would love to hear from the forum heavies who've had FAR more experience than I (or my source for the above info).

Any thoughts?
Comes from the days before synthetic drones? 99% of Highland bagpiping history is before synthetic drones. I just switched to them, and am still getting used to the sound!

The E is a logical choice, from a number of standpoints, but I, too, would love to know if there is a documented history of this useage.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:01 AM   #10
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: E as the Attack Note?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMT View Post
Before that it just grinded away until the tune started.
That's a good way of putting it.

For some of us, it still does!
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