Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And still a few more to go ................

A Man’s a Man For A’ That.

Here we have a traditional tune being touched by the magical pen of Robert Burns to become one of the best loved songs in the Scottish genre. A great poem and a memorable tune which has proved very popular with pipers. It is normally played as a 2/4 but we choose to play it as a 4/4.

Aspen Bank.

This tune appears in some of the earliest collections of pipe music (sometimes under the title “Aspin Bank”, and also in such prestigious collections as Queens Own, Scots Guards, and Gordon Highlanders. A delightful tune from which to appreciate the structure of the traditional strathspey.

The Black Bear.

This enormously popular and catchy tune has traditionally been used, in the Highland regiments, to march troops “back to barracks” at the end of the soldiers’ day. Consequently it very often appears in the final “marching off” bracket for pipes bands the world over.

The Blackberry Bush.

The first two measures of this reel are traditional, and the third and fourth were added by the brilliant composer the late Pipe Major Donald MacLeod. The transformation into four parts has focused a lot more attention on this tune by pipe bands looking for this element of the competition MSR.

Bonnie Dundee.

Words by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) Music by Dr. E.E. Rimbault.

John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount of Dundee, led the Jacobites in the Rising of 1689 and was killed at the end of the Battle of Killiecrankie, just as his forces were carrying the day.

Bonnie Galloway (strictly Bonnie Gallowa’)

A popular song from the Scottish Borders, extolling the beauty of one of Scotland’s border counties. It is now accepted by pipers as their very own – a simple tune to finger, and a pleasure to march to.

Brown Haired Maiden.

A traditional and ever-popular song which pipers the world over have happily embraced.

Horo, my nut brown maiden

Hiri, my nut brown maiden

Horo, ro maiden

For she's the maid for me.

Her eye so mildly beaming

Her look so frank and free

In waking and in dreaming

Is evermore with me.

Campsie Hills.

Composed by Drum Major Robert Bruce of the Gordon Highlanders.

This delightful tune was written in memory of the composer’s father-in-law who lies buried below these lovely hills which lie north of Glasgow and between Killearn and Kilsyth. Drum Major Bruce now lies buried in the same spot.

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