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UpstatePiper
10-03-09, 04:35 PM
I've done some investigating regarding how a tune is written, vs. how it's played. It's just one tune and one piper. My motivation is simply learning to play the tune and wanting to understand better what's going on it it.

Since there are a number of graphics and a spreadsheet I put it onto a web page (http://www.2fiddles.com/piping/beat/ccg/ClanCampbellsGathering.html)

SDowns
10-03-09, 04:50 PM
Once cool thing about music is the interpretation.

getawaytae
10-03-09, 05:46 PM
It's music not maths, more about feeling than accuracy. The maths helps us understand the musical idea and to reconstruct it but then we must interpret and change back to music to create the feeling. A bit like photons, light with mass! To consider one without the other would give something less than the whole.

UpstatePiper
10-03-09, 07:38 PM
It's music not maths, more about feeling than accuracy. The maths helps us understand the musical idea and to reconstruct it but then we must interpret and change back to music to create the feeling. A bit like photons, light with mass! To consider one without the other would give something less than the whole.

People who play without accuracy usually fail to express their feelings to the listener.

But I agree that if you try to play strictly what's written it sounds boring. Like listening to a computer play back a written score.

In this case the discrepancy between the written and the played is so large as to make the former counter-productive.

getawaytae
10-03-09, 10:26 PM
Got to be almost mathematical, but the imperfections make for the feeling. I suppose a better analogy would be with language. A code breaker would study the mathematics to do his job, which suggests that the maths is there even though in normal speech we are aware of it only at an instinctual level. Most people (punters) will feel the music, but not be compelled to count the beats. A musician should play to those beats but not allow the mechanics to show through. There are tricks within the structure of the music which can point listeners towards a particular emotion such as happy or sad. Happy, quick and regular beats and sad, with slower sometimes slightly irregular beats.

In his description of "Too Long In This Condition" Donald McLeod describes the creation of an unsettling, edgy feeling by coming off of the the "A" torluaths quickly, while coming off of the others less abruptly in the ground. This tends to suggest, to me, that there exists an amount of indecision in the narrative. Playing all of the torluaths evenly later gives the feeling that the mind is becoming more set and the narrative has progressed.

getawaytae
13-03-09, 08:36 AM
I have been giving this some thought and had to think back almost to lesson one. Most other instruments can start and stop during a piece and can play at different volumes. These two factors can add emotion and drama. The pipes can't emphasize a note by playing it slightly louder, so this is achieved by lengthening the note. Of course this would put you hopelessly out of time, and therefore has to be payed back. The texture and shape of the tune is created by this pushing and pulling of the time line.

sass jane
13-03-09, 02:00 PM
Drat! Now I want to look points up and I won't be able to until after the weekend......!

It's been a few years and I'd defo have to refresh, but I'm pretty sure I remember Clan Campbell's Gathering as one of those tunes where it was taught to me with the music as only a 'rough guide'...for the ID of the notes, like. I do remember my tutor saying something along the lines of 'ok...this is how it is written on paper, but THIS is how it is played...*insert musical example*......and so-and-so played it this way.......*insert musical example*... but if you listen to this recording (names recording only available on lp that I can no longer remember what it was off the top of my head), you'll hear it this way, the way I was taught, so I'm going to teach it to you that way"........ I do have the tune on tape the way I was taught it....because I remember the musical score not doing me a whole lot of good.

Did you check out Binneas? I know Clan Campbell's Gathering is in there as well....and sometimes I find that setting much more conducive to the actual melodic structure and feel of the tune.

Nice post, btw!

UpstatePiper
13-03-09, 05:47 PM
Drat! Now I want to look points up and I won't be able to until after the weekend......!

It's been a few years and I'd defo have to refresh, but I'm pretty sure I remember Clan Campbell's Gathering as one of those tunes where it was taught to me with the music as only a 'rough guide'...for the ID of the notes, like. I do remember my tutor saying something along the lines of 'ok...this is how it is written on paper, but THIS is how it is played...*insert musical example*......and so-and-so played it this way.......*insert musical example*... but if you listen to this recording (names recording only available on lp that I can no longer remember what it was off the top of my head), you'll hear it this way, the way I was taught, so I'm going to teach it to you that way"........ I do have the tune on tape the way I was taught it....because I remember the musical score not doing me a whole lot of good.

Did you check out Binneas? I know Clan Campbell's Gathering is in there as well....and sometimes I find that setting much more conducive to the actual melodic structure and feel of the tune.

Nice post, btw!

I don't have Binneas, but it looks interesting. I wish it weren't in color and had a 5 line staff.

Anyway, the guy I heard teach the tune didn't warn us that it wasn't played the way it's written though he probably should have. But the "problem" isn't the way it's played, it's the way it's written. It's obviously still not played strictly like a metronome or anything, but the notation can be written to much more closely approximate the tune.

I noticed I have a problem in the way I have it written too. There's a missing low-a in the last bar. The E after the grip in bar 3 should be a half beat shorter, everything moved left, and a 1/8 note low-a inserted just ahead of the final low-g

getawaytae
29-03-09, 12:29 PM
It gets difficult dosn't it! Writing it down and then getting someone to read it and play it the same is the hard bit. Understanding that what is written might not be the whole story is the first step to developing ones own style.

heatherbelle
05-04-09, 01:19 PM
Sometimes we maybe forget though that even in light music, no two players will play the same written score, the same. Its just perhaps that in piobaireachd there is more room for variation (literally).

phyx
06-04-09, 12:56 PM
Sometimes we maybe forget though that even in light music, no two players will play the same written score, the same. Its just perhaps that in piobaireachd there is more room for variation (literally).

Good point...:bgt:

getawaytae
07-04-09, 05:25 PM
That is the difference between mathematics and music!