the history of choyt

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Re: the history of choyt

Postby adrian » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:55 pm

Barry Say wrote:From the correspondence of Tom Clough in "The Clough Family of Newsham" (by two members of this parish)
When quite a youngster an old piper of last century and a splendid performer gave me very simple and very grand advice:
"If you want to be a good piper, listen to a linnet, and make your chanter as clear and as distinct. A good linnet never choytes, and neither should a good piper" To choyte a note means to attempt to grace a note after the manner of a Highland piper. Gracing notes is a fine art and only acquired by long and careful practice.
Tom Clough was born in 1881, so this 'old' piper would have been 40 or 50 years his senior, but it is also possible that the old-yun was complaining about developments following the publication of the Northumbrian Minstrelsy.

My belief is that Clough and his mentor (Thomas Todd?) are specifically arguing against the use of cuttings - such as Highland pipers use to split low notes and to mark the rhythmic pulse of the tune. Northumbrian smallpipes have no need to resort to such subterfuges. the fact that we can silence the chanter to produce successive notes at the same pitch, and can control the length and spacing of the notes means that we have available techniques which should be our first approach, before we start attempting rather poor imitations of other sorts of pipes.

Curlew ... ong.curlew

I forgot about this - ignore my last post!
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