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Scottish song recommendations?
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Author:  moonlitnarwhal [ Tue May 08, 2018 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Scottish song recommendations?

Hello!

I'm a novice whistler and I've found that I have a real soft spot for the small handful of Scottish tunes I've been exposed to. I just learned a version of Hector the Hero, can play Loch Lomond, and am learning Westering Home and there is something about the melodies of these waltzes that really hits me in the chest! Anyway, can anyone recommend more Scottish songs to explore? I'm predominantly playing a Killarney High D and have been using whistle tabs from the Internet in the past, but I'm learning to understand the simpler ABC notation and have been spending time on the thesession.org (in addition to working towards reading sheet music, but that seems a little ways off...).

With all that said, I'm certainly not limiting my musical exploration to Scottish tunes, and I've learned a version of Inisheer (which is gorgeous), Endearing Young Charms, Danny Boy, and I'm working on some jigs, and I would love any recommendations for beautiful, slower waltzes, airs, or other songs from around the world that might be approachable for a beginner like me...

Also, I happen to live in Hawaii just a few miles from where Kilauea volcano has recently started erupting again, andI would welcome any songs that are well-known to be calming to Hawaiian creation goddesses or to volcanoes in general. My wife and I are in a safe area, but I would feel a guilty not trying to use this powerful whistle, even as a novice...

Thank you all for your suggestions!

Rich

Author:  Tunborough [ Tue May 08, 2018 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

Some of my favourite tunes...

Morag of Dunvegan (mentioned recently in another thread)
Leaving Lismore
Invergordon's Welcome to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II
Morag Haig-Thomas
(Roslin Castle is nice, but takes some half-holing for accidentals)


Sorry, but I can't help with placating Hawaiian deities. Perhaps Keali'i Reichel?

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Tue May 08, 2018 7:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

I've been playing Scottish music my whole life and I'm a bit stumped as to what to recommend.

I think it's because there's such a vast body of Scottish music.

Since whistles can't sing songs, but play tunes, I'm considering all the instrumental as well as vocal music.

Off the top of my head Scottish music has quite a few different categories such as

-Highland bagpipe tunes. There's a vast number of lovely tunes composed on the pipes for the pipes, and an equally vast number of vocal pieces adapted to the pipes including a large number of Gaelic songs.

The tunes composed for the pipes include marches (in several idioms) strathspeys reels hornpipes jigs polkas waltzes slow airs and of course Ceol Mor or Piobaireachd. The Encyclopedia of Tunes for the Great Highland Bagpipe contains over 9,000 tunes.

-Scottish fiddle tunes. The fiddle has always been at least as important as the pipes in Scotland and it has a vast repertoire of strathspeys reels airs etc and the "slow strathspey" which is I think unique to Scottish fiddle music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs3J6kU_SaY

-Scottish song. There are so many songs! Songs in Gaelic, Scots, and English. Waulking songs, rowing songs, milking songs, broadside ballads, Child ballads, folk songs, Robert Burns songs, songs by modern composers like Andy M Stewart and Dougie MacLean... there's no end to them.

Personally I love waulking songs above all. I even learned how to sing a few.

Here is an old recording, raw footage showing women who had spent their lives doing this work and singing these songs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CmGJ5dwBuk

And here's a modern studio recording of a waulking song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TItwSyFcxgQ

As far as personal favourites to play at this time, right now I'm enchanted by Lament for Captain MacDougall. I find myself humming the lovely urlar at odd moments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH78VQ-v4AQ

For Scottish waltzes I've long played Chi Mi na Morbheanna

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZlQW4O4NpI

and Braighe Loch Iall.

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

Author:  JoFo [ Wed May 09, 2018 8:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

A couple of fairly easy ones are:

Ye Banks and Braes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf8L3Uxrg2M

Fear a Bhata: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMqV869zcHw

Mist Covered Mountain (not the Jig with a similar name!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbRSs0U7N80

Author:  kenny [ Wed May 09, 2018 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

https://youtu.be/DyQI9Xo6I_s

Author:  moonlitnarwhal [ Wed May 09, 2018 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

pancelticpiper wrote:
I've been playing Scottish music my whole life and I'm a bit stumped as to what to recommend.

I think it's because there's such a vast body of Scottish music.

Since whistles can't sing songs, but play tunes, I'm considering all the instrumental as well as vocal music.

Off the top of my head Scottish music has quite a few different categories such as

-Highland bagpipe tunes. There's a vast number of lovely tunes composed on the pipes for the pipes, and an equally vast number of vocal pieces adapted to the pipes including a large number of Gaelic songs.

The tunes composed for the pipes include marches (in several idioms) strathspeys reels hornpipes jigs polkas waltzes slow airs and of course Ceol Mor or Piobaireachd. The Encyclopedia of Tunes for the Great Highland Bagpipe contains over 9,000 tunes.

-Scottish fiddle tunes. The fiddle has always been at least as important as the pipes in Scotland and it has a vast repertoire of strathspeys reels airs etc and the "slow strathspey" which is I think unique to Scottish fiddle music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs3J6kU_SaY

-Scottish song. There are so many songs! Songs in Gaelic, Scots, and English. Waulking songs, rowing songs, milking songs, broadside ballads, Child ballads, folk songs, Robert Burns songs, songs by modern composers like Andy M Stewart and Dougie MacLean... there's no end to them.

Personally I love waulking songs above all. I even learned how to sing a few.

Here is an old recording, raw footage showing women who had spent their lives doing this work and singing these songs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CmGJ5dwBuk

And here's a modern studio recording of a waulking song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TItwSyFcxgQ

As far as personal favourites to play at this time, right now I'm enchanted by Lament for Captain MacDougall. I find myself humming the lovely urlar at odd moments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH78VQ-v4AQ

For Scottish waltzes I've long played Chi Mi na Morbheanna

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZlQW4O4NpI

and Braighe Loch Iall.

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


Aloha Richard -

Do you happen to know any pipe tunes that might be played on the whistle (and would be approachable for a motivated beginner)? Again, ABC notation would really help if possible... yes, its my long-term aspiration to learn the highland bagpipes (then the Scottish Smallpipes, then the uileann ;-)....) but it would feel incredible to begin learning some pipe songs on the whistle. Just last night, with this in mind, I stumble across a video of a whistler playing the Rowan tree, and that's definitely on my list now.

Thank you Richard, and all who responded, for your recommendations.

Rich

Author:  piperjoe [ Wed May 09, 2018 3:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

What Richard said... :D

Plus...You should spend some time on the LBPS (Lowland and Border Piper's Association) web site. They have a ton of books mostly written for small pipes that translate beautifully to whistle, flute or fiddle.

Unlike Highland Piping collections, Scot's Guards, Queen's Own et al, these are mostly lowland tunes so not as well-known or as military sounding. Although typical pipe tunes sound great on whistles if you just "loosen up" a bit. :poke:

Also, Matt Seattle has published a set of three books (please, anyone reading this, tell him we need more!) all titled Aires For Pairs. As the titles suggest they are arranged in duet form and most of the arrangements are brilliant. Most of the tunes are Irish or Scottish, about equally divided I think, but there's also some English, Northumbrian and perhaps even a Manx tune or two.

My grandson and I play out of Aires For Pairs all the time and the tunes are delightful. He's a Baroque Violinist, but grandpa is slowly corrupting him into being a fiddle player. :thumbsup:

Piper Joe

Author:  DaveL [ Wed May 09, 2018 5:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

All of these are worth a look, and most have whistle tabs.

http://www.nigelgatherer.com/tunes/ngmusic.html

Cheers
Dave

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Thu May 10, 2018 6:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

moonlitnarwhal wrote:
Do you happen to know any pipe tunes that might be played on the whistle (and would be approachable for a motivated beginner)? Again, ABC notation would really help if possible.


Any Highland pipe tune can be played on whistle. The thing is, the Highland pipes have a limited range and scale so everything is well within comfortable whistle range.

About ABC notation, the fact is that the Highland pipe world doesn't use it. The 9,000-tune published repertoire of the Highland pipes has all been written in standard staff notation. Unlike Irish traditional music, Highland pipe music is based around written music and published collections. A player or band will just finish playing a great tune and other pipers will come up asking "what's the name of that? What book is it in?" At least half of the Highland pipe repertoire is recently-composed music and the composers publish collections of their own compositions which pipers buy and learn tunes out of.

So the only way to access the same music that Highland pipers access is to learn to read normal staff notation, or to learn everything by ear off of YouTube videos (which is probably the best way!)

Only a tiny fraction of Highland pipe tunes have been transcribed into ABC notation, and of couse these transcriptions have been done by people outside the Highland pipe community, which doesn't use ABC. (Isn't Irish traditional music the only genre that uses ABC?) In my opinion ABC is next to worthless for learning Highland pipe music. For one thing if you go on thesession.org and look up a Highland pipe tune you'll usually see several versions, most (or all) of them incorrect. Luckily, for many of the tunes, somebody with knowledge of Highland music has contribued a correct version. But if you don't already know the tune you won't know which versions are incorrect and which is correct.

Author:  piperjoe [ Thu May 10, 2018 9:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

Richard, as usual, is correct. But I might add that a lot of the Highland piping repertoire tunes were originally harp or fiddle tunes that were adapted to the pipes in the late 1700's when Scottish regiments needed marching/dancing tunes.

So, you'll find a lot of them in fiddle collections, often in their original form. They frequently needed to be "adapted" to fit the compass of the pipes.

One thing you will discover is that there's way too many tunes, and way too little time! I'm hoping that reincarnation is a real thing 'cause it's the only way I'll ever learn all the tunes I want to.

My dad always told me that," he didn't believe in reincarnation, but he might have in a previous life". :shock:

Piper Joe

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Thu May 10, 2018 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

piperjoe wrote:
a lot of the Highland piping repertoire tunes were originally harp or fiddle tunes that were adapted to the pipes in the late 1700's when Scottish regiments needed marching/dancing tunes.

So, you'll find a lot of them in fiddle collections, often in their original form. They frequently needed to be "adapted" to fit the compass of the pipes.


Yes indeed, the Strathspey was originally a fiddle idiom that pipers imitated on the pipes.

When you listen to a Highland Pipe Band competition you'll often find a big difference in age of repertoire between the Medley competition and the March, Strathspey, and Reel competition.

A pipe band's competition Medley (usually containing hornpipe, jig, air, Strathspey, and reel) often consists entirely of recently composed tunes. A particular band might play a Medley for a competition season, then at the end of the season throw it out and learn an entirely new Medley. In some bands the Pipe Major composes a whole new Medley for each season.

In the March, Strathspey, and Reel competition the Strathpey and Reel are usually traditional tunes, that is, going back to an unknown origin. The March is generally by a known composer and composed in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Some of the Strathspeys are old fiddle tunes and they sound much better on the fiddle! One example is The Ewe With The Crooked Horn.

Here it is on fiddle, jump to 2:24

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPapxcq1K68

And here on the pipes. An excellent piper yet so much of the musicality of the fiddle is lost

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8ck_7RzOXk

And here played by a pipe band. It's a wonderful MSR, a brilliant march, and the Strathpey and reel are very old traditional Highland tunes. If you want to skip to Ewie it's a 2:39

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecxWjTSKV9g

What's a mystery to me is why pipers don't play the wonderful quadruplets in Strathspeys that fiddlers do. Pipers turn them into triplets and much of the musical effect is lost.

Author:  kkrell [ Thu May 10, 2018 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

If it's some good melodies you're seeking, check out any of the material from The Tannahill Weavers.

Such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRQwPik ... RQwPikyP8U

Author:  chas [ Fri May 11, 2018 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

You might also want to check out Chris Norman. He has one album of entirely Scottish music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzvuA5L ... nVThbPl74P

His other albums have a mixture of Scottish, Cape Breton, Maritime, Quebecois, Irish, etc.

Author:  cboody [ Fri May 11, 2018 11:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

Go to Jack Campin's website. Many standard common tunes, a selection of tunes for flutethat work well, and more than you want to know about modes...with lots of examples. All in abc notation. Check the Neil Gow fiddle tunes too, but realize that some will go outside whistle range.

For common slow things Skye Boat Song is nice if over played. I also like Loch Tay Boat Song, Leaving St. Kilda, Logan Water and a bunch of others. Dark Island is lovely too. Most of the marches and tunes from the pipe repertoire tend to be in A but often without G sharp so they can work well. I’ve played Atholl and Bredalbane Gathering. Again the spelling may be wrong, but it is too late here To go check.

Author:  kenny [ Mon May 14, 2018 2:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish song recommendations?

https://youtu.be/0sVV6uwsSfM

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