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 Post subject: Road to the Isles
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:06 pm 
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Posts: 37
Hi
I am enjoying a tune titled, The Road To The Isles. On the high D whistle I can obviously play it in D or G. The key of D probably sounds best but it gets fairly high in the second octave so I have been trying the tune in G. However in G there are two low C eighth, notes which again obviously I cannot play on a high D whistle. How could I deal with these two notes? Should I ignore them, or play them as a D or is there an ornament I could use? I know some people might play them as a normal C but that sounds a bit odd to my untrained ear.
Any advice would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Road to the Isles
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:30 pm 
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Often folks will "fold up" the note by playing it one octave up. Doesn't look like that would sound so good here. You could play a G to keep it in the chord structure or, perhaps the best solution is just to not play anything where the Cs would be.

Them's my thoughts.

Best wishes.

Steve

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Last edited by Steve Bliven on Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Road to the Isles
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:37 pm 
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Thanks Steve. I tried playing a G and actually that seems to work OK - again to my untrained ear.
Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Road to the Isles
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:55 am 
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Location: Melrose
Play it in A, so you have the g natural. Scottish pipe tunes like this, with their 9-note myxolidian scale, sit best in A on a d whistle, to my (Scottish) ear.

(Some years ago I bought a Dixon D-Plus, which has an extra 7th hole for low c natural, but I rarely use this feature. It's made in 3 parts, though, and fits in a shirt pocket, so it's a great travelling whistle.)


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 Post subject: Re: Road to the Isles
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:29 am 
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Hi Brian,
You are dealing with a musical novice here. Anything I think I know I have taught myself over the last 2 years. Therefore I have no real understanding of what you mean. This is what I think I know - I can play the tune in D but the notes are fairly high in the second octave. Not impossible to play but for someone with my ability I think it sounds better when I am playing the tune in G. If I play it in A as you suggest then isn’t that just playing it in D with the G becoming G# and then I have to half hole the G. If that is the case it doesn’t mean anything because there are no G notes either natural or sharp if one plays it in D?
I am sure I am missing something so please set me straight.
I do understand your suggestion re the seventh hole but I have enough trouble with 6 of them.
All the best.


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 Post subject: Re: Road to the Isles
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:02 am 
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No need for doing "folding" on that tune, it has a limited range, just an octave and a note:

http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=www4. ... Tunes/0030

Here it's in the range of G in the low octave to A in the 2nd octave.

Since it's common in Irish trad music for tunes to go one note higher, to the B in the 2nd octave, you should have no trouble playing this tune in this key (D).

A in the 2nd octave is well within the standard range, so if you're having trouble playing that high it's a matter of practice and/or there's something wrong with your whistle.

For sure there are whistles that have harsh high notes. I don't play those! If you try enough whistles you'll find some with very sweet high notes, where having much of a tune up in G, A, and B in the 2nd octave are a joy to play.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
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 Post subject: Re: Road to the Isles
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:08 am 
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brianholton wrote:
Play it in A, so you have the g natural. Scottish pipe tunes like this, with their 9-note myxolidian scale, sit best in A on a d whistle, to my (Scottish) ear.



But the tune only fits in the key of D on the Highland pipes, the same as this arrangement:

http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=www4. ... Tunes/0030

That's the thing about Highland pipes, the only key where you get a full Major scale is D

D E F# G A B C#

though the tonic sits in the middle of the chanter's range.

So D is where you need to put any tune where you need all the notes of a Major scale.

The key of A has the G naturals as you noted. Yes there are loads of Highland pipe tunes in A Major, but they're in the "gap scale" that lacks the 7th, the note that distinguishes between a Major scale and a Mixolydian scale.

To get a full A Major scale

A B C# D E F# G#

you need to be able to play High G sharp, which can be crossfingered on some chanters.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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