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 Post subject: Memorial Service Tunes?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:19 pm 
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Hi All!

I've been asked to play whistle with a guitar player for a memorial service. It's not for someone I know. The guitarist is a Music Therapist that works at a Hospice, and a mutual friend mentioned my whistle playing to her and asked if I'd be willing to play.

I think we'll only play a few tunes, and I've thought of a couple of possibilities (Hector the Hero and Da Slockit Light), but would love some more suggestions.

I've found some others, but they either go too low or too high, or are in keys with bunches of flats.

Thanks.

--Brett

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And me! Beside thou,
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Quote Note: The above quote from "The Principia Discordia"
(https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tilt/principia/body.html)
was edited a bit.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:11 pm 
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Funny, I've had "The Parting Glass" in my head for the past few days. Not sure if it's appropriate for your memorial service but I'd play it.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:15 pm 
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A couple of Carolan tunes come to mind, like Blind Mary or Morgan Magan.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:24 pm 
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I would suggest Cuimhne An Phíobaire (Keen for a Piper). Written for his father, John Potts, by Seán Potts. Listed here on the Session https://thesession.org/tunes/14916. Transcription by our own An Draighean. You can hear it here on pipes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKbhbBj4IL0
Listen to Potts himself playing it on the whistle here: https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sou ... aire-potts
The title is also rendered 'The Piper Remembered'.

Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:13 pm 
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Ashokan Farewell is always popular. Play it in G and you'll be able to fit it all in without folding. Ar Éireann Ní Neosainn Cé HÍ is a nice mournful air, as is Caoineadh na dTrí Mhuire.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:56 am 
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Taimse im'choladh is pretty standard at funerals and A Stor mo Chroi seems to be used as well. I played A Stor mo Choi at the graveside of Kitty Hayes, she had played it for her son and Junior Crehan had played it for her husband so that seemed appropriate enough.

But anything you feel appropriate or connected to the life of the deceased will be a good choice.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:18 am 
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As a Highland piper who also plays uilleann pipes and whistles, I've played at hundreds of funerals over the last 40 years.

If I'm playing uilleann pipes I'll just play a selection of Irish airs. Being that I'm in the USA means that at many "Irish" funerals my audience will usually mostly consist of Americans of Irish ancestry, with a smattering of Irish-raised people.

The tunes I choose reflects this hybrid audience. The songs most Americans of Irish ancestry think of as "Irish" were actually written in New York in the early 20th century, or they come from the 1960s "folk music revival". I'll play some of those tunes interspersed with sean nos airs and perhaps some Carolan.

Much too depends on the venue and the denomination.

There are denominations that require that only Sacred music be played within the church. There are denominations that only allow tunes which occur in that denomination's Hymnal. Hence my collection of Hymnals.

For the Catholic Mass, the Mass itself contains Service Music, though there are points when non-Service Music might be played. Still this should be Sacred music. I generally play pre-service music which need not be Sacred.

In any case at funerals some, most, or all of the music I play might be Hymns.

Bretton wrote:

I've found some others, but they either go too low or too high, or are in keys with bunches of flats.




About the keys and ranges you happen to find tunes in, you'll need to transpose the tunes to fit the whistle.

Pretty much any tune will fit into the standard range of the whistle, if you put the tune into the right key.

What key you actually produce a tune in depends also on what whistle you happen to use. A guitarist should have a capo so your man should be able to accompany you regardless.

To take one tune as an example, BUNESSAN, most commonly used for the Hymn Be Thou My Vision, yes it almost always occurs in Hymnals in three flats, in the key of E flat Major.

On a D whistle it fits best played in the key of G Major.

To produce the tune in the written key of E flat Major you merely need to play it on a B flat whistle. (That's by far the most use my B flat whistle gets! I have to play that tune at every church gig, seems like, and they always sing it in E flat Major.)

So it doesn't matter at all what key you hear a tune in, or find the sheet music to a tune in. You transpose it to fit under the fingers, and then if it's required in a specific key you use the required whistle.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:45 am 
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Quote:
For the Catholic Mass, the Mass itself contains Service Music, though there are points when non-Service Music might be played. Still this should be Sacred music.



It really depends on the priest. Any old music will do if the priest is OK with it. I can't think of a funeral of any musician I have attended where no dance music was played. At Marty Malley's funeral Jackie Daly played reels and a half set was danced in front of the altar. If it's in the spirit of the deceased, it's appropriate.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:58 am 
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Quote:
To take one tune as an example, BUNESSAN, most commonly used for the Hymn Be Thou My Vision, yes it almost always occurs in Hymnals in three flats, in the key of E flat Major.


Don't know that I've ever heard Be Thou My Vision to 'Morning Has Broken'. SLANE is the tune name I think most would be familiar with, wouldn't it?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:40 am 
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Thanks everyone for the responses! I will follow up on these.

-Brett

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"A jug of wine, A leg of lamb,
And me! Beside thou,
Whistling in the darkness."

Quote Note: The above quote from "The Principia Discordia"
(https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tilt/principia/body.html)
was edited a bit.
:party:


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