PDA

View Full Version : Bagpipe Music Theory


JHaslip
18-06-12, 06:34 PM
I was wondering if anyone could further enlighten me in Bagpipe Theory? Moreso advanced stuff (i know the difference between 2/4 4/4 etc etc) but sadly I dont think I know nearly enough of the musical theory behind piping, ie hornpipes, jigs, reel and the differences between them etc etc...

anyone able/willing to help me educate myself?

Bagpipe Specialists
19-06-12, 07:59 AM
Try following the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) examinations. As well as the playing aspect there is a structured music theory side to the exams. The College of Piping Glasgow did some YouTube videos of requirements for the different levels which you might find of use.

janelleTG
19-06-12, 11:14 AM
Have you tried googling 'bagpipe theory'. There is some interesting pieces, that some notable people, have written floating around in line.

JHaslip
19-06-12, 04:52 PM
Try following the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) examinations. As well as the playing aspect there is a structured music theory side to the exams. The College of Piping Glasgow did some YouTube videos of requirements for the different levels which you might find of use.

I did discover this afterwards, and i know plan on getting "certified" as a piper. and hopefully up to an instructor level...

Have you tried googling 'bagpipe theory'. There is some interesting pieces, that some notable people, have written floating around in line.

I did try, but didnt find many results as far as i can tell...

piper_dancer
19-06-12, 06:23 PM
It's quite complex and would take a lot of time to explain.
I might have some documents I could send you explaining a bit, if you want to PM me your email address.

I'll have a wee look for them and let you know.

sass jane
19-06-12, 06:47 PM
There is a book which is quite good....called
"Is it Supposed to Sound Like That? A music theory workbook for Highland Bagpipers". by Carolyn Watts.

List of contents (from Kinnaird's website, where they have it in stock usually) include:
1) Music Notation Basics
2) Music Notation Basics - Note Values
3) The Unique Highland Bagpipe - Notes of the PIpe Chanter
4) Pipe Music Notation
5) The Unique Highland Bagpipe - Pitch
6) Tuning the Pipe Chanter
7) Piobaireachd - Overview
8) Time and Meter - Time Signatures
9) Time and Meter - Simple and Compund Meter
10) Beat and Rhythm
11) Phrasing
12) Tempo
13) The Unique Highland Bagpipe - Modal Scales and Keys
14) Scales and Keys - Major Scales
15) Scales and Keys - Minor Scales
16) Scales and Keys - The Circle of Fifths
17) The Unique Highland Bagpipe - Pentatonic and Hexatonic Scales
18) Intervals - Simple and Compound; Consonant and Dissonant
19) Intervals - Major and Minor; Augminished and Demented
20) Between Eye and Ear - Transcription and Memorization
21) Harmony and Chords
22) Scales and Keys - What key is that tune in?
23) Transposition
24) Playing Well with Others - Working with an Accompanist
25) Playing Well with Others - Following the Directions of a Conductor
26) Music Notation - Octave Identification.

The last half is great if you intend to go on and play with other instruments...the first half is brilliant simply to get more understanding out of our music.

Cheers...

sass jane
19-06-12, 06:55 PM
Another book which I got a lot out of, although it is not specific to bagpipes, is the "Idiots guide to Music Theory". (and that was recommended to me from a drummer no less ;)) I got mine at Chapters.

JHaslip
19-06-12, 07:57 PM
THanks all... I saw "Is it Supposed to Sound Like That? A music theory workbook for Highland Bagpipers". by Carolyn Watts, was gonna ask if it was any good/worth it... Im also looking at just buying all the tutors and going thru them, then finding an assesor for the PDQB tests...

Heed
20-06-12, 08:14 AM
I'm an accredited PDQB teacher, and would certainly keep you right with the requirements of the papers.

If thats the route you wanted to go down, then you would be better following the syllabus bit by bit. The exam papers follow the published syllabus very closely, and as usual with exams, it can be more your' skill at exams rather than your' expertise on the subject. Being good at both helps of course. By all means, read the stuff that Sass has detailed. But you won't need half of it for the PDQB exams.

Assessors have to be affiliated to Cadets/Army (they're out for you), RSPBA, College of Piping, or NPC. I'm sure there are a couple of people in Canada affiliated.

I know Donald Lindsay, in US is. But if you want to sit the exams, you'll have to go through one of the centres. Most User friendly is COP or NPC. Give me a shout if you want. Best of luck. You can achieve the Tutors' Cert after Level 4, if too much Piobaireachd doesnt interest u

craigiehall
20-06-12, 12:58 PM
Heed, do you know any in New Zealand?

Scottish piper
20-06-12, 01:54 PM
It's a shame that PDQBs don't seem to be worth anything for universities - at least in the same way that ABRSM grades do.

JHaslip
20-06-12, 02:10 PM
Yeah, Im sure theres someone here, possibelly with AlCal or formerly of AlCal etc... I know Andrew Grant is the Pipes Grading Guy here in the City, maybe he is or would know... Worst case i just call one of the centre's up and ask if they have a list...

scaryguy
20-06-12, 03:40 PM
Im 99.9% sure there is no one in Alberta who is an assessor.

JHaslip
20-06-12, 07:01 PM
Ill still check with the Grading Commitee here, maybe someone knows one... or worst case i find one somewhere i can travel to, gives me an excuse to go somewhere, and maybe i can talk the PM into getting the band to fund it lol

Heed
20-06-12, 09:32 PM
It's a shame that PDQBs don't seem to be worth anything for universities - at least in the same way that ABRSM grades do.

PDQB levels are now awarded by the Scottish Qualifications authority, and have Credit levels the same as any other academic course. So you should be able to count them as credits, ie, PDQB 6 is SQA level 8. Forget how many points. This came into being about 3 years ago.