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Re: Eternal Father
I am not familiar with the Naval Hymn off the top of my head but when I hear
it, I most likely will recognize it.
I can tell in an instant if I see the music if it will work on the pipes..
as, indeed, many hymns and Xmas carols do. FYI. The ken or scope of a pipe
chanter is 9 notes: what we pipers call Low A to high A with a low G natural
below the low A. In reality, we play in Bflat (or Eflat by starting tunes
up a 4th) when tuning to other instruments. Amazing Grace is played in
Eflat for example.. Tunes like Danny Boy which span more than 9 notes can
still be played by 'splitting' the tune or going low for what would be the
high parts. It is still effective. Similarly, Wild Mountain Thyme has to be
'split' and is slightly less effective than Danny Boy but still quite
I learned most of this on my own as I play a lot with other instruments and
tuning is the 1st critical thing and knowing when to back off when a tune
doesn't work is the 2nd most critical thing. EG. tunes with many sharpened
or flattened notes (incidentals) such as in jazz or for example, The Star
Spangled Banner: The latter works up to 'Dawn's early light" the note that
goes with the '-ly' in 'early is flattened and cannot be found on the pipe
chanter. Similarly with the note that goes with "hail" in the next line.
Hence you never hear this played on the pipes or if you do, you will hear
'wrong' notes' and you will say it doesn' sound right.
Sorry if I have bored y'all but sometimes it is useful to know that if you
like the pipes, why we can do a heckuva lot (nothing is sadder when you
want to be sad and nothing is livelier when you want to kick up your heels)
but we cannot do everything.
PS. I can play 12 bar blues such as Kansas City and have done so with Horns
in an R&B band as well as Herbie Hancock's Classic Blues Funk tune
"Watermelon Man" and it sounds great Honest!
And all this from a piper whose favourite pipe music is classical
piobaireachd composed in mediaeval times for bagpipe only!
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