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Whistles @ Dickens Fair @ the Cow Palace, San Francisco
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Author:  Peter Duggan [ Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistles @ Dickens Fair @ the Cow Palace, San Francisco

benhall.1 wrote:
Now that, Richard, is really interesting. I was wondering if maybe it had become Scottish in the way that Danny Boy has become Irish? (Not exactly a perfect analogy, I know.)

I'd assumed you already knew and were looking for something else. Hence my comment:

Peter Duggan wrote:
takes something already more Scottish by association than origin further from even imagined trad roots.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistles @ Dickens Fair @ the Cow Palace, San Francisco

Those Germans are pop musicians so they knew what they were doing from the "popular" end of things!

The tune is evidently irresistibly catchy to The General Public. I'm requested to play it all the time, at weddings and at funerals.

When I started playing the pipes as a Scotland supporter at USA Sevens I asked the guy in charge of the piping at Murrayfield what tunes to play when and he said Highland Cathedral as Scotland walked on to the pitch, followed by Flower Of Scotland, almost as if Highland Cathedral is regarded as a co-anthem of sorts.

In defense of the Highland Cathedral I will say that musicians coming from outwith Highland piping will sometimes recognise and exploit the unique properties of the pipes- especially the drones- in ways that never would occur to a piper.

So, Highland Cathedral starts in the key of Eb Major over the Bb Basso Ostinato; to a piper this happens without thought, but to a non-piping musician it creates tension, as their ear is powerfully drawn to the key of Bb.

Then, when the tune goes into the section section, it modulates to Bb Major, the shift being quite satisfying to the ear, as the tension which has been building is resolved.

Seems to me that to pipers the Bb drone is a given, and a piper wouldn't think of structuring a tune to imply such a shift in tonality.

(This effect is heard best when the tune is played on a solo bagpipe.)

Author:  Katharine [ Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistles @ Dickens Fair @ the Cow Palace, San Francisco

benhall.1 wrote:
Now that, Richard, is really interesting. I was wondering if maybe it had become Scottish in the way that Danny Boy has become Irish? (Not exactly a perfect analogy, I know.)

Well, I guess you could say it's "Scottish" in that it was written for and about Scotland. Possibly became popular not only because (IMO) it's a nice tune (if overdone at this point) but also I suppose because perhaps Scottish people seized on it as "a couple foreigners love our country so much they wrote a nice tune about it"?

Author:  benhall.1 [ Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistles @ Dickens Fair @ the Cow Palace, San Francisco

Peter Duggan wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
Now that, Richard, is really interesting. I was wondering if maybe it had become Scottish in the way that Danny Boy has become Irish? (Not exactly a perfect analogy, I know.)

I'd assumed you already knew and were looking for something else. Hence my comment:

Peter Duggan wrote:
takes something already more Scottish by association than origin further from even imagined trad roots.

Yes, I got that ... but only after the event, so to speak. And I did appreciate and agree with your comment.

I hadn't known the origins of this tune - nothing about it sounded Scottish to me. That was kind of ... all.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistles @ Dickens Fair @ the Cow Palace, San Francisco

Katharine wrote:
I guess you could say it's "Scottish" in that it was written for and about Scotland.


Perhaps written for and about Scotland, or perhaps titled Highland Cathedral on a whim, or for marketing purposes.

An example of the shoe being on the other foot is the tune Bulgarian Bandit, a Highland piper's attempt at a pseudo-Bulgarian tune, which suggests a total misunderstanding of the style and structure of Bulgarian music.

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistles @ Dickens Fair @ the Cow Palace, San Francisco

pancelticpiper wrote:
Perhaps written for and about Scotland, or perhaps titled Highland Cathedral on a whim, or for marketing purposes.

Full story from Michael Korb's own site:
https://highlandcathedral.com/engl.html

Author:  Katharine [ Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Whistles @ Dickens Fair @ the Cow Palace, San Francisco

pancelticpiper wrote:
Katharine wrote:
Perhaps written for and about Scotland, or perhaps titled Highland Cathedral on a whim, or for marketing purposes.

My understanding had always been that it was from a love of Scotland, though obviously I couldn't vouch for the credibility of the source (especially as it's been so long, I can't remember).

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