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Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question
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Author:  wrms [ Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

I'm playing for Scottish Country Dancers soon with two other people (Fiddle and Piano).
I'v never payed with these folks before nor have I played for dancers before.
The tune sets created by the other two musicians include tunes in keys other then what I usually play in (also a bunch of tunes in D whistle friendly keys). They are what they are. I don't think that they're going to change keys for me.

So here are the problem tunes;
Mrs Capt. Skene's Strathspey in EbM,
Lady Doune in FM
Minister on the Loch in BbM
Cape North Jig in Gm
Maple Grove in AM
The Lightnin' Bug in EM
The Cypress in Cm

I have D whistles both High (Burke) and Low (Susato)
I also have a O'Brien set with one mouthpiece and bodies in (from low to high); Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb and E.
If it can help, I also have a set of small pipes in A (440)

How can I participate in the above tunes with the tools on hand?

Thanks,

Mark

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

wrms wrote:
Mrs Capt. Skene's Strathspey in EbM,
Lady Doune in FM
Minister on the Loch in BbM
Cape North Jig in Gm
Maple Grove in AM
The Lightnin' Bug in EM
The Cypress in Cm


The first thing to know is if you're using the upper-case M for Major and the lower-case m for minor or if all your m's mean minor.

It's a simple matter to look up keys online, for example if by BbM you mean Bb Major then a Bb or F whistle would work depending on the range you need.

If you mean Bb minor then it's five flats which is the same as Db Major for which you can use your Db (C#) whistle. (I don't know why they would being playing in five flats.)

The Bb minor scale on a Db whistle starts here

xoo ooo

About Scottish smallpipes in A, you're probably aware that they don't play in the key of A Major (three sharps) but rather in the key of D Major (two sharps). For A Major you would need the note G# rather that the Scottish pipes' ordinary G natural, unless it's a gap-scale tune that's in A Major but happens to not have the note G in it.

Author:  wrms [ Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

Thanks for that. M=Major, m=minor.
I'm hoping for some cheats, for example; in any key with thee sharps, leave the G sharps out or substitute a chord tone (B naturals frequently).
When the G sharps are passing tones that's pretty simple,
The E whistle solves the note problems on The Lightin' Bug but it presents a shrillness problem. My god that's........bright. :o


Mark


The bagpipe thing= A mixolydian (Major scale with a flat 7)

Author:  dunnp [ Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

Here’s what I would do.
For instance your first tune is Eb.
So I found the abc for it. I used a abc transposer to take it to D but there were some low notes so instead I put it into G.
So using a Bb whistle but playing G fingering you will be in tune with the fiddlers.

X:1
T:Mrs. Captain Skene’s Strathspey—of Carreston
M:C
L:1/8
R:Strathspey
S:Marshall – 1822 Collection
Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion
K:G
G2 g>e d>B A<B|G<E E>D E<A A>B|G2 g>e dB c/B/A/G/|D>G F/G/A/F/ B<G ~G2:|
gdgb c'/b/a/g/ ~a2|gdad bdad|g>dg c'/b/a/g/ ~a2|gdcB EAFD|gdgb c'/b/a/g/ ~a2|
gdad bdad|(3gab (3agf (3gfe (3dcB|(3cde (3dcB EAFD||

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

wrms wrote:
Mrs Capt. Skene's Strathspey in Eb
Lady Doune in F
Minister on the Loch in B
Cape North Jig in Gm
Maple Grove in A
The Lightnin' Bug in E
The Cypress in Cm



I removed the Upper Case M's to bring your list into line with how trad musicians and people writing Lead Sheets etc do things, a Major key or chord is understood so you wouldn't see M's, only minor keys and chords receive their lower-case m's.

Mrs Capt. Skene's Strathspey in Eb (Eb whistle xxx xxx or Bb whistle xxx ooo depending on range)

Maple Grove in A (A whistle xxx xxx or E whistle xxx ooo depending on range)

The Lightnin' Bug in E (E whistle xxx xxx or B whistle xxx ooo depending on range)

Minister on the Loch in B (B whistle xxx xxx)

Cape North Jig in Gm (F whistle xxx xxo or C whistle xxo ooo depending on range)

The Cypress in Cm (Bb whistle xxx xxo or F whistle xxo ooo depending on range)

Author:  wrms [ Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

Thanks everyone. I'll try the suggestions out and see what works!

Mark

Author:  Andro [ Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

Hello Mark,

You may find this useful key chart, well, useful!

http://www.mkwhistles.com/blog/useful-key-chart/

Andrew

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

BTW I was an avid Scottish Country Dancer for many years, and I can't recall ever dancing to anything other than accordion and fiddle, except for The Reel Of The 51st which is traditionally danced to Highland pipes and Cullen Bay which was a short-lived fad in the 1980s requiring modified steps to accommodate that tune's 5/4 time signature, and also danced to the Highland pipes.

So kudos to you for taking on this unusual task!

Author:  wrms [ Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

Andrew; That chart is very helpful!
Richard; If I had know that it was unusual, I may have made a different choice when first asked! :thumbsup:
Fools rush in and all that.

Mark

Author:  Katharine [ Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

wrms wrote:
Andrew; That chart is very helpful!
Richard; If I had know that it was unusual, I may have made a different choice when first asked! :thumbsup:
Fools rush in and all that.

Mark

Don't second-think it! It makes life interesting.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

wrms wrote:
Richard; If I had know that it was unusual, I may have made a different choice when first asked! :thumbsup:
Fools rush in and all that.


It might not be unusual in other places, all I know is that back in the 1980s here in Greater Los Angeles our dances were dominated by accordion and fiddle.

BTW at that time the Los Angeles Branch RSCDS was the largest Branch in the world with well over 300 members.

It has since splintered, in the way of things, into a number of smaller Branches.

Los Angeles also boasts of having the first Strathspey & Reel Society outwith Scotland.

Author:  wrms [ Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

Katharine wrote:
wrms wrote:
Andrew; That chart is very helpful!
Richard; If I had know that it was unusual, I may have made a different choice when first asked! :thumbsup:
Fools rush in and all that.

Mark

Don't second-think it! It makes life interesting.



IRL I'm a trumpet player, lots of classical and jazz currently and in my background. Several decades ago I was preparing a personal recital. When I shared the material that I was going to perform with another accomplished player, he remarked that I may be braver then am I am smart. It seems that I haven't changed all that much in the intervening years. :)

Mark

Author:  Katharine [ Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

wrms wrote:
Katharine wrote:
wrms wrote:
Andrew; That chart is very helpful!
Richard; If I had know that it was unusual, I may have made a different choice when first asked! :thumbsup:
Fools rush in and all that.

Mark

Don't second-think it! It makes life interesting.



IRL I'm a trumpet player, lots of classical and jazz currently and in my background. Several decades ago I was preparing a personal recital. When I shared the material that I was going to perform with another accomplished player, he remarked that I may be braver then am I am smart. It seems that I haven't changed all that much in the intervening years. :)

Mark


Is this a performance or group that is very traditional, that makes you think this would be a bad idea and badly received? I would think it would be interesting to hear some different instrumentation or musicians once in a while (assuming you're not planning to sit in with an electric guitar or guzheng or didgeridoo or something).

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

wrms wrote:
I'm a trumpet player...I was preparing a personal recital. When I shared the material that I was going to perform with another accomplished player, he remarked that I may be braver then am I am smart.


I know this is wandering onto new topics, but what you say reminds me of attending a friend's final recital upon getting her Music Performance degree in trumpet.

It was a shared trumpet recital; she played several solo pieces, then a guy played several solo pieces.

I was struck by how wisely their pieces had been chosen!

Her strength was her tone, a glorious tone, and her pieces showed it off to best effect.

His strength, evidently, was facility, and his pieces had plenty of athletic passages to demonstrate it.

I'm a manager of an art department and I review the portfolios of new hires. Sometimes people make unwise decisions about what they include in their portfolios, like the guy who had a dozen strong pieces but the last piece was far weaker and raised red flags to me. Why didn't he leave that last piece out?

Another guy had a fairly weak portfolio but the last piece was very strong; so wise of him to include it!

Author:  wrms [ Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing for Scottish Country Dancers Tune key question

I'm sure that we'll be well received by the dancers, my concern is more about being well received by the other two musicians. :wink:
In my defense for the poor choices that I made in the past, I was young, I'm so much wiser now. :thumbsup:
Mark

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