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Little Played, but Wonderful, Tunes

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  • Little Played, but Wonderful, Tunes

    Thought I'd start a new thread. I'm always amazed at the number of fantastic tunes that have been around a long time, but somehow just aren't played. I'll start with two. I think Donald MacLeod's Echoes from Caithness, played at a magisterial pace, is lovely, but I just never hear it. Also, I think Heroes of St. Valery may be one of finest retreats ever written, but again I never hear it played.

    Any tunes like this folks want to share? I'm always mining the depths of Ceol Sean. New tunes are wonderful, but within Glen, Ross et. al. are hidden gems waiting to be rediscovered.
    Tervs and Tunes
    Holy smoking keyboard!
    Last edited by Tervs and Tunes; 09-08-2021, 09:36 AM.
    Cheers,

    Matt

  • #2


    Hmm... "The Road to the Isles"--is not now--much heard...

    Likewise... "The Barren Rocks of Aden"...

    And... I would think--a great many more... fine tunes...now languish...

    Good Thread!!, this!! :-)

    Let us see--where it--may now lead us... :-)



    Pip01
    Holy smoking keyboard!
    Last edited by Pip01; 09-08-2021, 07:02 AM.
    My friends all know,
    With what a brave carouse...

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    • #3
      When I first learned "The Road to the Isles" around 60 years ago, it was considered a slow march. I well remember a couple of pipe bands playing it as such in the Slow March & 6/8 (March) competitions that were quite popular back then. It was also as a slow march that I learned it and my then band played it. Nowadays, it seems to have transitioned to a march with no appreciable change in the setting. In my view, it sounds much nicer at the slower tempo. Perhaps this is why it is so rarely heard now.

      A couple of lovely 2/4 marches that I have never heard played by anyone, but that I have recently selected for my band, are the 2-part "Trooping the Colour" by John McLellan of Dunoon and the 4-part "The Skymen of Arnhem" by Willie Bryson. If my pipers (mostly grade 5) can handle it, I would like the band to play "Trooping the Colour" along with Bruce Gandy's lovely 2-part 2/4 march "Chisholm Belle".

      My band does play "The Barren Rocks of Aden" (together with "Mairi's Wedding") and we also play "Heroes of St. Valéry". I've not heard another band play the latter tune, but there is a very nice solo performance on YouTube.
      Ian
      http://www.thepipersden.net

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      • #4
        So, I found “Trooping the Colours” by G.S. McLennan. Different tune?
        Cheers,

        Matt

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        • #5
          I find that there are a number of tunes that "recycle"....perhaps not necessarily old (to us geezers), but ones played--perhaps even popular--30 or 40 years ago, nearly disappear, then resurface. I was an instructor with a junior band and was with them in Scotland back in 2006. They were warming up, playing what they wanted, when I heard of one young ones playing "Troy's Wedding." I hadn't heard that one in quite a while. Another two are "Pipe Major George Allan" and a wonderful 6/8 by Rene Cusson, "Bruce Gandy's Farewell to the Iron Horse."

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          • #6
            I don't hear Miss Lily Christy 6/8 as often as I used to. An old one I still like to play is based on an Irish tune Nell Flaherty's Drake. The reel, Dancing Feet never gets dusted off enough anymore, along with The Little Cascade and Devil Among The Tailors. I teach Devil Among The Tailors to my students early on because one of the old Logan arrangements can be played without gracenotes and is great for teaching them to skip between notes.
            Before you start fixing problems with your reeds, check to see if the bag or stocks are leaking.
            http://www.youtube.com/user/Marcblur?feature=guide

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tervs and Tunes View Post
              So, I found “Trooping the Colours” by G.S. McLennan. Different tune?
              Yes - John MacLennan's was only published in the 8th Argylls collection, so not well known, but it's in the edition Dale Brown published.
              http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
              -- Formerly known as CalumII

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              • #8
                Some of my favourites are 3/4s Clan MacFarlane and 8th Argyles Crossing the River Po, 6/8s Tug Argan Gap and Sweet Maid of Mull, and 4/4 City of Hastings Highland Pipe Band.

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                • #9
                  I admit I don't get out much but "The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre" is one I haven't heard played by anyone but runs through my head whenever I'm cleaning out my sheep stall. Another fun tune is "Donald Willie and His Dog".

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tervs and Tunes View Post
                    So, I found “Trooping the Colours” by G.S. McLennan. Different tune?
                    Same tune. I've found it with both "Colour" and "Colours" in the title. It seems to me that "colours" is more correct, but I downloaded the music from Jim McGillivray's Pipetunes site and he has it listed without the "s". I've never seen any reference to the regimental "colour"; it is always the "colours".

                    Sorry. I just realized that you are referring to G.S. McLennan's tune. it is quite different.
                    acadianpiper
                    Holy smoking keyboard!
                    Last edited by acadianpiper; 09-09-2021, 10:43 AM.
                    Ian
                    http://www.thepipersden.net

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tervs and Tunes View Post
                      .

                      Any tunes like this folks want to share? I'm always mining the depths of Ceol Sean. New tunes are wonderful, but within Glen, Ross et. al. are hidden gems waiting to be rediscovered.
                      There are a number of composers (and collectors I like). One that I think is under appreciated is Ian Hardie. Some of his tunes are here:

                      http://www.ian-hardie.co.uk/scores.php

                      Just some are bagpipe tunes, and he didn't write in embellishments. A number of bands, from FMM to Braebach, have played his tunes...
                      "What we play is life." - Louis Armstrong

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                      • #12
                        Just to triple-check, I've had a look at the music for each, and I can confirm the two Trooping the Colour(s) tunes are indeed different.
                        http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
                        -- Formerly known as CalumII

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by johnsog View Post
                          I admit I don't get out much but "The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre" is one I haven't heard played by anyone but runs through my head whenever I'm cleaning out my sheep stall. Another fun tune is "Donald Willie and His Dog".
                          There are at least two different tunes known as "The Mucking of Geordie's Byre"
                          Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Klondike Waldo View Post

                            There are at least two different tunes known as "The Mucking of Geordie's Byre"
                            George's barn must be excessively messy to warrant two tunes to clean it up.
                            "What we play is life." - Louis Armstrong

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                            • #15
                              It can be a long, arduous task... The more tunes, the better!!. My sheep stall is one-tune sized but I still want to look for the other tune!! Any idea where I'd find that, Klondike Waldo?

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