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Old 08-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #1
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Default medleys

OK no screaming, and no dark alleys.
I know that many a medley has been played with Pibroch tunes as a slow air. I've heard one gr 3 band play flee the glenn in their set. I heard another use different time signatures in their slow air to try and recreate pibroch phrasing.
I've also heard that some judges have made negative comments to some gr 2 band for doing it too much. but, what I have in mind is a fairly well known pibroch tune arranged as a jig,

what I'm wondering is, has the lynch mob already started?
would it be considered walking on sacred ground or would more judges see it as simply an imaginative use of a nice melody?
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: medleys

Hi Mike,

I think you will be surprised how many well known tunes have been based on piobaireachd.

Mrs McPherson of Inveran is based on Lament for the Children!
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:59 PM   #3
Lori Wilson-Gaudet
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Default Re: medleys

I've played in 2 bands where we have played the ground of the Harp Tree with much success....
newest version is on YouTube...just search Hamilton Police Pipe Band and find us playing our medley 2008
Piob in medleys is nothing new....My Grade 2 Jervis Bay Pipe Band played it in Scotland in 1991 and the 78th played it I think sometime later in the 90s...
As long as your arrangement is tasteful so not to put off the piob stalwarts it's a great addition to a medley!
Just my opinion...
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

~ Red Auerbach ~
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: medleys

I remember hearing a top piobaireachd person, who is also a well known and respected judge, saying he dreaded hearing piobaireachd played by a pipe band. Also, it's unlikely is it not, that many of the band members would be 'in to ' piobaireachd, so may not have the 'feel' for how to play it well.

Would a compromise be to write a new bit of one, say a Ground - and play that - because then you wouldn't offend any judges by doing something to an old respected one - and you could make it Slow Air/Piobaireachd-esque. It would also be fresh and very 'yours' so original and innovative at the same time.

And band members, getting a taste for their own one, might then be tempted to take it further and have a look at some actual piobaireachd which would be great for everybody in terms of development of all kinds of skills. The 'Worlds' your oyster!
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: medleys

It's certainly been done in the past. In most recent memory Scottish Power adapted Lament for Mary MacLeod in their 2007 medley. While its true that kitschy overuse of piobaireachd in a medley as bridges/themes can elicit groans from the audience as well as the judges respectful treatment of piobaireachd by a pipe band can broaden the musicality of the tune and interest in genre.

For examples you need only look to SFU's performance of Andrew MacNeill Of Colonsay on their Down Under album or the 78th Fraser's title track of their Flame of Wrath album. The Flame of Wrath especially is seen as a landmark for pipe music and has brought a resurgence of the tune's performance in solo competitions.

The entire solo piobaireachd competition establishment has been put in place to preserve the tunes as they have traditionally been interpreted. As a result of this there will always be judges which consider piobaireachd interpretation to be sacrosanct. Though they may look down their noses at pipe bands playing, reformulating, or reinterpreting piobaireachd to fit into the medley format, I say as long as you and your band mates enjoy what you're playing pay them no mind.

There's too much music there to keep locked up by tradition and a few stodgy old judges.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: medleys

thanks for the comments. Flame of Wrath sounds like a cd worth picking up.
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