The Lowland Hornpipe
- Created on Saturday, 28 January 2012 11:41
I've been planning to say something about the hornpipe, but till now haven't been able to figure out where to start.I'm not going to say much about the history; if you're interested, my thoughts are on this site HERE and you can here performances of the early hornpipes on my Youtube channel.
What I want to do here is revisit the suggestion I made in that essay that the triple time hornpipes that appear in the Lowland sources cna be divided into two groups, which I then called 'Lancashire' and @border', thought I would probably now opt ofr the latter being 'Lowland'. These groups are well-demonstrated by the tune 'Welcome HOme My Dearie'.
Here is Rook's verision: I'm sorry, it's written here in Aminor/G; you'd need to transpose it up a tone to play on an A chanter - I will try and get a version in A uploaded, but the point I will make about the form of the tune should be clear
Here is Neil Stewart's 1761 version:[sorry, this one's in D]
I've approached both these tunes in these performance in much the same way, which I think is probably the standard 'dird' for these 3/2 tunes today.- three emphatic beats to the bar. But notice that Rook gives his version a 3/4 time signature; there is a clue here to the possibility of playing tunes of this format in a different way, and it is this possibility that lead me to divide these tunes into two groups; Tunes that have Rook's structure, and there are a number, all of which use the same short theme in some inter=val or other - seem to want to pplay rather differently, with an emphasis on the first beat, a suppressed second beat and a slight emphasis on the third beat, leading into the first beat of the next bar. A classic example of this kind of dird is the well-known Northumbrian song 'Dance to thee Daddie'; Here's my version of Rook's setting played this way [as unpolshed as ever]
And then, just as I've tidied this classification up, along comes WIlliam Vickers with this version:
which is essentially the Stewart tune played in the Rook setting ; here's what I can make of it at present. I think it could well go quicker, and would then fit in the 'Lowland' category, a form of 3/4 tune which comes closer to a mazurka than any other 3/4 format. Which brings me to the Lowland Mazurka ...