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March 2013: William Dixon

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:51 pm
by Dally
A few days ago while retreating home after a freindly session at the Snap Dragon a trio of large, dark figures dripping with rain, covered in furs, wearing pointy shoes and large hats, and enthusiastically exersizing their 2nd Amendment rights, encountered me in the dark patch where I park my car. Geordie, my terrior, alerted me to their presence before any real damage could be done. He is more like a small alligator than a dog. Well, they were friends, actually, only collecting dues for the Town Minstrels' union. Before they left they asked why we never select anything interesting for tune of the month. I was flumaxed. What, pray tell, did they want for March's tune of the month? Why not Mozart?, one said. Another called for tunes from Korea, North Korea. The third, the largest and most well armed, reeking of fried chicken and bourbon, said, yeah, why dontcha pick a 'Mericuun tune, like "Dixie." Not really fearing for my own life, but rather concerned for Geordie, who has the jaws of a Doberman and the heart of an Alnwick lion, but who is the size of a large cat, I said, right you are, my fine gentleman, it will be Dixie next month. And so March's tune of the month is any tune in the William Dixon manuscript, in any form, any key. You can even pick a different setting, as long as there is a setting in Dixon's book. Recordings of Dixon tunes on Lowland pipes and other smallpipes is not only welcomed but encouraged.
Here is an example from Bill Wakefield's Soundcloud page: ... legs-dixon

Re: March 2013: William Dixon

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:15 am
by Dally
While doing research on which tune I will learn this month it dawned on me that there might be a source on the web for Dixon tunes in G. Does anyone here know of such a resource?

Re: March 2013: William Dixon

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:59 am
by Matt Seattle

Fine choice, and great introduction! Please see my reply to your other message on Dixon in G -

A CD recording of a Dixon tune which I prepared earlier is already on soundcloud -

Re: March 2013: William Dixon

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:35 pm
by Dally
Thanks, Matt. FWIW, I'm learning a Dixon tune in nominal A on the NSP. To put Dixon on the modern NSP you have to choose between nominal A (which transposes the tune to its original key, G, although G then wasn't what G is today) using the C# and high A keys, or nominal G using the low and high G natural keys. Of course, there are tunes that do not require the low leading note.

Re: March 2013: William Dixon

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:34 am
by Wallie Ogilvie
Hi everyone, here's my second attempt at this tune.

Permalink: ... rquess-ran

Rather than transpose down to G I played it straight from Matts book with the drones tuned to A/E. I decided to do this because I prefer the sound in A to G, and having done so, now realise they are perfectly playable and accessible on the NSP's, although I appreciate they may be easier in G. Nevertheless, it does stretch the brain a little to work in a different key!

Re: March 2013: William Dixon

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:05 am
by Dally
Here's my offering for the month:
After experimenting with playing tunes in G mixolydian I found the sound of the tunes in nominal A on the NSP more pleasant and a little easier to play. I also recorded a couple of Dixon tunes on the Lowland pipes, but the results are not worth sharing. It is interesting to compare the feel of Dixon's tunes on a NSP, a SSP and a LP chanter. I can't draw any conclusions, except that Dixon's tunes continue to inspire and confound.