Fnat key

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Re: Fnat key

Postby Barry Say » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:46 am

Dally wrote: My point is that Highland pipe tunes don't necessarily transpose onto the NSP chanter by dropping the tone a whole step.


You are of course correct. In general, to play GHB tunes on NSP it is best not to transpose at all if one wishes to retain the flavour of the original. If one wishes to transpose to G there are no 'correct' answers and it is up to the individual player to decide how to treat the sevenths.

Dally wrote:You're exactly right about Scott Skinner. His faux tradition is alive and well. But when does a faux tradition become a vrai tradition? The word of the day is 'fetish" I think. ;)


Indeed, the compositions of Scott Skinner provide a generous harvest for NSP players and Tom Clough was apparently in correspondence with Mr Skinner. My concern lies more with less experienced GHB players, particularly on your side of the pond who regard tunes such as "The Piper's Wierd'"as an archetype of the GHB repertoire, whereas it is in origin an attempt to represent the GHB on the fiddle, and as such I for one feel it must lose something in the translation :roll:

For an example, closer to home, take the tune "Jimmy Allan" which some regard as an old NSP tune by virtue of its name. As far as we can tell it was collected by Ian Powrie, the Scottish Accordionist in the early 1930s and was called The Reel of Tullochgoram. We have no evidence about when the change of name occurred, but I suspect the1950's and if I had to point a finger, the name Armstrong would spring to mind. I am not alone in holding the opinion that it is not a good tune for the NSP.
:? :? :lol: 8-)
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'faux tradition'

Postby John Gibbons » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:13 pm

Scott Skinner wasn't the 1st to play the 4 string GHB - look in Johnston's History of 18th c Scottish Fiddle Music for fiddle pibrochs (yes - it means what it says - a piece built like a pibroch but to be played on a fiddle) and other pipe-style fiddle tunes. Pibroch of Donall Dhu is one of these others, I think, and Atholl Highlanders another.
Oswald has lots of pipe-style fiddle tunes, imitating either GHB or Border pipes.

If it's a faux tradition, Barry, it is one that is a quarter-millennium old.
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Re: Fnat key

Postby Ben Power » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:27 am

hmmmm... I honestly hadn't thought about any of these tunes in terms of transposition at all. I don't think I think of them a set in particular keys as more than nominally, or, perhaps conventionally. To say it another way, I was thinking of the NSPs (mine are in G, but in any case) as a transposing instrument. I suppose that that is because, seeing highland pipe music conventionally set in A, even though the pipes rarely are, and Northumbrian music set in G, even though the pipes rarely are, I (and this is an after the fact naming of an unconscious thought process: I've no axe to grind about it) saw the link to a fixed key as rather tenuous. It occurs to me though that this has been exacerbated by the fact that my only set of pipes up until three months ago was in D. I'd been playing it where the instrument is, if you see what I mean. hmmm... think I've just figured out what that key in the middle of my NSP chanter is mainly for— idiot! I couldn't figure out why a key offering a minor third still wasn't present on a 9 key chanter. sorry all, I hope I'm not too tedious as I figure thing out that you all must have internalised long since.
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