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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 04-09-2019, 02:27 PM   #1
Peter.Bailey.Bagpiper
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Default New Suo Gān arrangement & harmony

Hey pipers!

I took a harmony writing workshop with Stuart Liddell at Winter Storm this year and have been tinkering with various ideas ever since.

Here is my latest effort, my own arrangement and harmony for Suo Gān

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgJwBHVN4ao

Compliments and critiques are both equally welcome!
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:12 AM   #2
John McCain
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Default Re: New Suo Gān arrangement & harmony

Very nice - thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:39 AM   #3
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: New Suo Gān arrangement & harmony

Cool, I like the bell-ringing effect you get as you go along there.

I like it when the harmony part has its own tunefulness, I suppose one could say more of a descant-sounding thing, and I try to do that as much as I can, when I write harmonies for the band.

Did the harmony workshop talk about contrary motion? It's a cool thing in pipe arrangements. Due to the limited range it's usually starting out an octave or 6th from the melody and moving closer, ending up at a 3rd. (Of course you could start at a 3rd and move away from the melody, though I don't know if that's quite as satisfying-sounding. See Minnie Hynd below.)

Anyhow Suo Gan struck my interest because we used to play it in the band and I used an obvious big bit of contrary motion in my harmony part.

Generally I don't do harmonies all the way through but introduce them later.

Here's a demo sheet I did a while back on contrary motion that has my Suo Gan harmony part:



Note that the bass line in The Star Spangled Banner plays the opening notes of The First Noel, pretty cool.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 04-10-2019 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:36 AM   #4
Peter.Bailey.Bagpiper
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Default Re: New Suo Gān arrangement & harmony

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
Did the harmony workshop talk about contrary motion?
Hey - thanks for the nice comments. No, the workshop didn't cover that because it was only 90 minutes and he had to start from the beginning - keys a GHB chanter can play, etc.

However, I do have experience playing counter melodies in my band - La Boum and Going Home come to mind - the latter of which was partly responsible for inspiring the counter melody in the B-part here. But, I used a bit of contrary motion in another harmony I wrote - a two-parter for Top Deck in Perth.

As to when to introduce harmonies - I agree I think. For a single tune best to play melody at first, then switch to harmony on the repeat. In a band context or if the tune is in the middle of a set I might have a different opinion.

As a complete aside - that is some very well-written sheet music!

2nd aside - I couldn't help but notice the Star Trek bit in your notes - I realized not too long ago that the melody in the opening theme of First Contact is in Fmaj/Cmix and thus transposes nicely to Dmaj/Amix and is this playable on a Highland Chanter ;)
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #5
TwitchyFingers
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Default Re: New Suo Gān arrangement & harmony

Very nice harmonies on the second part!
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