Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Gurkhas

I have always been interested in these guys. I love it when they march, at 140 beats. No wonder why. So here is very brief article on them. I wonder if any of their traditional music fits in with the pipes!

Andy T

1 comment:

Old Angus said...

A Gurkha army pipe band visited Aberdeen around 1956 and drew a large and enthusiastic crowd.
I remember watching the performance and being a bit dismayed by the apparent butchering of some
of our best-loved traditional marches by playing them at 140 beats per minute. I was not alone,
because a few letters appeared in the local press expressing the same sentiment, and bemoaning the
fact that the local pipe bands of quite a high calibre could never hope to get such a turnout of
spectators.

It did occur to me at the time that a simple cure to the speed problem would be to play the march at
70 beats per minute but continue to keep up the frenetic pace with their feet. That would be a win-win
situation. The listeners could enjoy (and recognise) the music and the Gurkhas could keep their traditional
pace.

But I don't think that ever happened. More is the pity perhaps, because I am sure there were some excellent
musicians in the Gurkha ranks.

I should add that I have never heard a Gurkha pipe band play other than traditional Scottish tunes.