One of the questions pipers are often asked is what "key" the bagpipes are in. Usually, you'll hear this from other musicians. And like most things bagpipe, the initial answer is "well, it's complicated . . ." That's because are several answers to the question “What key is the Highland bagpipe?” and the question needs to be taken in context.
Do you recall the frustration, as a beginner piper, being told to play the music as it is written, but then told to “hold” certain notes longer than others? It takes some time and experience to understand and to appreciate that the music for the bagpipes is not often “played as written”, especially when the music involves “dotted and cut” notes. It's important to understand what this really means if you expect to get more musicality out of your playing.
A D throw is a common, three-step embellishment that occurs in all types of Highland bagipe music. It finishes on the note D from any other note on the chanter, hence the name.
The D throw is written as follows:
The D throw is, less commonly, written as follows:
The general degree of difficulty in a bagpipe tune is typically gauged by the frequency of certain technique relative to the note groupings and timings, as well as frequency of finger and hand changes within musical beats. The concentration of these aspects puts a demand on the player’s mastery of certain fundamental skills. High fundamental