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Band vs solo bagpipes

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  • #16
    About Smashed Bands, the worst I've been in was when somebody got the bright idea to split the Massed Bands into two separate masses, marching towards each other from opposite sides of the Grandstand, and have the two masses march through each other.

    Problem was, each group had too many files for the available space, so each group was packed elbow-to-elbow. (One would have thought that the Drum Majors would have used half the ordinary number of files on each group so they could pass through each other, but alas!

    Being in the front rank I saw it all, as our tightly packed wall of pipers marched towards the oncoming tightly packed wall of pipers. When we all collided there was nothing to do but stop playing, cradle your pipes in front of you, and struggle through the crowd.
    proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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    • #17
      To address a different side of the "band versus solo pipes" issue, "solo pipes" can also mean the pipes you use for solo gigs.

      I have pipes set up for Concert Pitch/B flat/466 which I nearly always use for gigs.

      There have been many times when I've been told, when I've finished a church gig, that my pipes sounded much better than those of other pipers they had hired.

      I explain that most pipers use their band competition pipes, which are set up to be extremely loud, bright, and sharp.

      The General Public can't understand why a piper would choose to blast incredibly loud brassy screaming-sharp pipes inside a church, when they could also choose to be in tune (to normal instruments) and have a dark rich tone.
      proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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      • #18
        Originally posted by pancelticpiper View Post
        About Smashed Bands, the worst I've been in was when somebody got the bright idea to split the Massed Bands into two separate masses, marching towards each other from opposite sides of the Grandstand, and have the two masses march through each other.

        Problem was, each group had too many files for the available space, so each group was packed elbow-to-elbow. (One would have thought that the Drum Majors would have used half the ordinary number of files on each group so they could pass through each other, but alas!

        Being in the front rank I saw it all, as our tightly packed wall of pipers marched towards the oncoming tightly packed wall of pipers. When we all collided there was nothing to do but stop playing, cradle your pipes in front of you, and struggle through the crowd.
        That's a nightmare! Whenever I could, I would get our band in a file at one edge, with the hope of having some room to make a lateral move away from the "crash" (not always successfully).

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        • #19
          Originally posted by EquusRacer View Post

          That's a nightmare! Whenever I could, I would get our band in a file at one edge, with the hope of having some room to make a lateral move away from the "crash" (not always successfully).
          Here, at 3:30, is what whoever put together our Massed Bands disaster had in mind:

          Fightin' Texas Aggie Band Halftime Drill - Missouri Game at Kyle Field on November 15, 2014 - YouTube
          proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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          • #20
            Absolutely a different sets of pipes for each.
            My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC

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            • #21
              Originally posted by pancelticpiper View Post

              Here, at 3:30, is what whoever put together our Massed Bands disaster had in mind:

              Fightin' Texas Aggie Band Halftime Drill - Missouri Game at Kyle Field on November 15, 2014 - YouTube
              What a performance - some serious effort went into that. It's not difficult to make a massed bands look professional if you keep it simple and rehearse adequately, but something like this represents years of dedicated effort.
              http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
              -- Formerly known as CalumII

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Calum

                and rehearse adequately


                Well... There it is!! (Sigh...)

                Most--not all--but most--cannot bring themselves--
                nor be brought to--the proper rehearsal--of marching--
                and Close Order Drill--Time Consuming!!--as it is.

                Two of my now four past bands (and all of them now
                gone from us)--were quite keen on--Proper Dress and
                Drill--and it showed--and we took prizes for it!! :-)

                In one of those bands--we always--spent a good 20 to
                25 % of our practice time with--no pipes--no drums--
                no rifles--no flags--just our feet--and our ears--and how
                we swung our arms--and On Parade??--Damned Sharp!!

                And yes!! Many may--find it boring--and not nearly as
                flash--as pipe practice--In the Circle--but to be able to
                move--in a Sharp!!--and Well Dressed Line!!--is just as
                much--a skill to be learned--as anything on the chanter.

                It is--and to be sure--a discipline--and the lack of which--
                surely casts those without it--into the roll of "Fred Karnow's
                Army!" (an old song/pipe tune--from a fine old hymn)--and
                then into--A Great Bumble... :-)

                Trusting that All--may find their proper place--in the movement
                of a Well Dressed Line,

                Pip01










                My friends all know,
                With what a brave carouse...

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