31st August 10, 09:15 PM
As a piper, I think of all the tunes that would have and could have been appropriate. HOWEVER, 99.99% of America is made of of non-pipers who know only two tunes. AG by name and STB as "that bagpipe song". While not my favorite (although the first tune I ever learned) it was appropriate for the listening audience.
Now as far as tuning. Cold tuning should be (one of) the first thing a piper learns. If you spend a half hour playing and tuning, then put them down for fifteen to thirty minutes, you will be out of tune to one degree or another, depending on climate. The proper way to handle this is pick 'em up, play for about a minute and tune them. Put them back down and wait your turn. The reeds are still the same temperature and humidity as when you started. The other oprion is to play as long as you want, but have to sit there waiting, blowing softly into them the entire time. I prefer to not waste my breath.
If playing a long set, however, your best bet is indeed the "sit and blow softly" method. But for a couple stanzas of AG? Tune them cold and go get a Frosted Barley Pop.
I wish I believed in reincarnation. Where's Charles Martel when you need him?
1st September 10, 01:12 AM
That was piper Ivan Browning who played the solo.
Originally Posted by NashTnGuy
1st September 10, 03:17 AM
I'm just glad I was not there. The band was a fire sservice band from Montgomery county, Md. A democratic stronghold that never goes for the conservative vote. I am surprised that their union let them perform.
1st September 10, 03:51 AM
I'll beat this dead horse, as well- My eyes roll back in my head every time I hear STB and AG and I have to fight the urge to impale myself on the nearest flying heraldry.
Yes, the general public 'knows them". The general public, alas, thinks that you wear a kilt if you're IRISH and that a sgian dubh ("your dagger" in the patois) must not be returned to its sheath without drawing blood...
The GHB was designed to play "the big music". I wish instead that "The Desperate Battle" was what came to mind when people thought "bagpipe music"...
1st September 10, 03:59 AM
Thank you, David. This totally made my morning!
Originally Posted by davidlpope
1st September 10, 04:34 AM
Well, gentlemen, you have had your say, but I am going to buck the trend and say that I love both those tunes.
I have Scotland the Brave as my mobile phone ringtone, as it brings to mind the times I marched in a kilt with my regiment and the St Andrew’s College band in Grahamstown.
And if you have seen the movie Amazing Grace, you will grasp a little of what the words are about.
Canuck of NI wrote: “I remember that they were written by a former slave trader from the 19th Century, who had some sort of Road To Damascas experience and became an anti-slavery activist?”
Actually the 18th century. His name was John Newton, and that road to Damascus experience was the beginning of a saintly career that produced dozens of hymns, many of which are still sung regularly in those churches that have not gone over totally to guitar worship.
Granted, Amazing Grace has been overplayed in various forms – on the pipes, on brass instruments, and sung by people who don’t necessarily have the voice to carry it.
But it remains a tremendous testimony to a life turned around by the grace of God.
There are cheesy renditions of it, but it definitely not a cheesy tune.
By all means let’s have other tunes on the pipes as well. But don’t decry this one just because some folk have done it badly, or too often.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.
1st September 10, 06:02 AM
Yes the Unions are quite a voice for democracy.
Originally Posted by Frank McGrath
"If you look long into the abyss, the abyss looks into you." - F.N.
1st September 10, 06:07 AM
I'm not a mod, but I'm noticing this thread is drifting into dangerous waters. We might want to police ourselves before the mods do
1st September 10, 06:35 AM
Originally Posted by Mike_Oettle
The "cheesy tune" reference is a line from the movie (and novel) "Tunes of Glory", about the inner-workings of a post-WWII Highland Regiment. Acting Colonel Jock Sinclair, a former piper, makes the remark several times in both, especially about "Cock o' the North", a thinly veiled-reference to the author, James Kennaway, who served with the Gordons.
Don't get me wrong -- when sung or preformed properly, it is a beautiful piece. Is it my favourite hymn -- no, that would probably be "Abide with Me". I do think it is overdone on the pipes, but as someone mentioned earlier, it is a piper's bread & butter. It has become so imbedded in people's minds as a pipe tune in the last 20 years, especially in association with Fire & Police Department Pipe Bands, and I have no issue with that.
I actually like "Scotland the Brave" as well, especially when played by massed bands -- but I prefer "Black Bear", "All the Blue Bonnets Over the Border" and other tunes. My all-time favourite pipe tune is "Farewell to the Creeks", though, which Hamish Henderson set his "The 51st Highland Division's Farewell to Sicily" to during WWII.
1st September 10, 06:57 AM
When I hear "Amazing Grace", I think of the words. That makes it very much of an "upper" to me. As a Southerner, I will not stand for the "Battle Hymn" being played in my presence. It's an evil song.
"Try not. Do.. or do not. There is no try."
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