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LOWLAND AMUSEMENT

One piper's exploration of the music of the Scottish Lowlands, its history and its performance. It's a diary of discovery, not a series of essays. You're invited to make your own contributions using the comments option on most pages.

 

hornpipe and diddle

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I've been planning to say something about the hornpipe, but till now haven't been able to figure out where to start.

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an' A' That

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One consequence of allowing yourself 'flexibility' in any performance is, as you may have noticed in my previous recording, that you're running the risk of making mistakes.

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For A' That

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I had a vague plan to post here my haggis-piping yesterday - but, perhaps fortunately, the video is 'a' weed awa''. However, playing through 'A Man's A Man for A' That' in preparation, a thought occurred to me that has survived.

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Blanche of Middlebie III

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Robert Riddells' setting of this tune looks so much like a pipe setting, and sits so well on the pipes, it is easy to forget that his collection is described as for violin, hautboy or german flute. This is important because it contains indications of ornaments which we have to assume are references to fiddle technique, not to piping. These ornaments come in the form of 'tr' [trill] added to the crotchets [and to the first quaver of bar 3] in the first strain. George Greig pointed out to me that the use of the 'tr' sign is not unusual in early highland pipe collections [Mackay and Maclachaln both use it and MacLachlan writes out its interpretation]

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Blanche of Middlebie II

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My two recent posts on gracings are particularly relevant to the interpretation of this tune, but before going on to look more closely at that question I wanted to ask a question which follows directly from Robert Riddell's story

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