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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 11-26-2018, 11:25 AM   #21
el gaitero
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3D Piper View Post
I think many of those old 78 recordings were sped up- for whatever reason I don't know.
Case in point- listen to Willie play this tune from about 10 years earlier:

https://youtu.be/S9L2cQnAZSU

Sounds much better, eh? Lower pitched pipes that match the era, a much more realistic tempo (still crackin'!)..

The youtuber gives credit to Jim McGillivray's Pipetunes site as the source for the audio. If you go there an read some of the interviews from the authors, they even admit they didn't play as fast as in the recordings.

-Matthew
Given its a 1910 recording at 50cps voltage in UK...wondering if it might well have been done up at 60cps voltage elsewhere.
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Old 11-26-2018, 03:01 PM   #22
Jim McGillivray
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

Tempos continue to adjust downward even in recent decades. In the 1970s-early 80s, top soloists were usually playing competition marches at 70-72 bpm. Today 64-68 is the norm. Strathspeys at that time were 124-128 (now 114-118) and reels were 88-90 (now 82-84).

The pitch goes up, the tempos go down. Maybe there is a correlation in there....

It does take some getting used to. Used to be 6/8s marches were played to get armies across deserts. The way soloists play them today you'd be 40 minutes getting your granny across the street.

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Last edited by Jim McGillivray; 11-26-2018 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:32 PM   #23
CalumII
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

And just to add: the speed could equally go the other way. Lots of discs were recorded at 80rpm. The pitch in the faster one is a hair over 452, and I'd happily believe it was in fact higher when recorded.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:34 PM   #24
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

"The pitch goes up, the tempos go down. Maybe there is a correlation in there...."


Don't know about tempo, but rising pitch seems to have always been a factor in music. Regarding concert pitch (taken from Wikipedia): "During historical periods when instrumental music rose in prominence (relative to the voice), there was a continuous tendency for pitch levels to rise. This "pitch inflation" seemed largely a product of instrumentalists competing with each other, each attempting to produce a brighter, more "brilliant", sound than that of their rivals...At the beginning of the 17th century...pitch levels had become so high that singers were experiencing severe throat strain and lutenists and viol players were complaining of snapped strings."


"The advent of the orchestra as an independent (as opposed to accompanying) ensemble brought pitch inflation to the fore again. An 1815 tuning fork from the Dresden opera house gives A = 423.3 HZ while an 1826 fork from the same opera house gives A = 435 Hz"
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:19 PM   #25
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

But orchestral pitch in Britain went down, quickly and dramatically, from A-452 in the 19th century to A=440 in the 20th century.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:37 PM   #26
Ron Teague
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

Just to be obnoxious, well perhaps not, I have read somewhere that older recordings the tempo of tunes were faster because there wasn't a lot of vinyl to accommodate the measured playing of tunes. Donald MacDonald's 5 piobaireachd tunes that are precious to ceol mor pipers are played a wee bit faster than he might have wanted to play. So I suppose that using old recordings might not be the best way of determining what tempos were played in the 'good old days'
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:34 PM   #27
Piping Potential
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

"But orchestral pitch in Britain went down, quickly and dramatically"


Maybe we should hang onto all those old, lower-pitched chanters as they be back in fashion before long.


"older recordings the tempo of tunes were faster because there wasn't a lot of vinyl..."


Maybe something was better than nothing, but I'd think the audiences would think the same thing we're thinking, that the tempo was comically too fast. At least audiences that had actually heard a piper in person.



I actually like the reel played that fast (not that I'd want to ever play it that tempo). It sounds more like a reel you'd hear a fiddler play.
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:40 AM   #28
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

I do prefer the more expressive tune, so the hundred mph doesn't appeal to me, but also the laboured slow slow approach takes away from the tune equally as much as the fast.

There must be a sweet spot?
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:05 AM   #29
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

Because clean playing wins competitions. Modern, high-status players are not playing for dancing, or to move a military formation from one location to another, or to entertain their friends. Their reputations (and often, their livings) are founded on their competition success, so they're going to play in the style that judges reward. As long as competitions are judged in such a way that any technical flaw puts a competitor out of the running, competitors will play it safe.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:33 AM   #30
3D Piper
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Default Re: Modern Brakes on Tempo

Quote:
or to move a military formation from one location to another
In addition to the video Pancelticpiper/Richard posted earlier in the thread, here is a more recent vid of a pipe band moving troops. Upbeat (110ish) crackin' 6/8s! Very clean too

https://youtu.be/ZRVS4XxSn9Q

-Matthew
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